New York & Sandy
Sandy is the size of Spain. At the moment it’s a hurricane but later it might not be a hurricane, it might only be a tropical storm, but it’s combining with a tropical storm, so you know, double power. It’s called the Fujiwhara effect. Melania Trump is tweeting pictures from her apartment of a high-rise crane bent over W57th Street. WNYC seems to be sending out reporters to all the bits of New York the authorities have told us to evacuate to report what it’s like, and it’s bad, apparently. The surge will hit around eight tonight. The wind is high. Lower Manhattan will flood. It will cost millions, billions even. The Stock Exchange is closed. I can’t understand why people are tweeting pictures from The Day After Tomorrow. It’s already bad enough.
So what’s it like? We’re lucky; we’re not in zone A. I have been out once today and I think that’s enough for me. But otherwise? Not a lot. I have listened to the radio and looked out the window and thought, yes this is a crisis. Then I put another record on. This week I may also finally read all the New Yorker and the New York Times. It makes me think of all those times when power cuts have happened and the birth rate has risen. Tricky situation for the parents should the child ask about that night. What do you say? ‘We were bored, we made you.’ Maybe I should make contact with the couple in the apartment that’s opposite the back of ours. I waved to them last week. They waved back, so they seem nice. I could write a note saying, ‘Do you like soup? Want to watch Greenberg? We’ve downloaded it on iTunes?’ But then again, maybe I might have to fight these people in the store tomorrow. Part of you wants to go outside, help or at the very least go for a run. It’s like Christmas mixed with the end of the world.
Incidentally, if you’re reading The Guardian, the MTA did not ‘grind to a halt’. Service was suspended. The weirdest part of the whole Sandy experience was Sunday: life carried on even though we all knew what was coming. It seemed almost irresponsible to go MoMA. But I have to say that New York has really got its act together. It’s not like when it snows in the UK, which always appears to be such a massive and completely unexpected surprise. New York has updates, a map and a plan. Finger’s crossed.