Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sandy Superstorm

a coworker told me he was in Coney Island and saw a guy -- a looter -- running with a wet tv 
(taken from a flooded store) down the street
he called out to him that the tv won't work -- 'it's wet homie!' -- 
'i'm gonna use a blow dryer on it' was the reply -- 
'it's salt water' --
'shut up!' .. went on his way with tv ..

a guy in Chelsea hardware store told me he has a friend who lives near the beach --
out in Ocean Port NY --
he encouraged him to leave as Sandy approached --
but.. since Irene was kind of a joke after all the hype -- he (this guy's friend) decided to 'ride it out'
the town is full of blue collar workers -- many of them retired --
lots of them also 'stayed put'
there are numerous one-story houses there -- built decades ago..
his friend has a 3 story house
the waves and flooding came
as water gushed in he rushed his kids up to the second floor
water quickly rise and began filling second floor --
he rushed his family up to the third floor
power cut out
he could hear neighbors calling out for help -- screams ..
many hours passed before his friend was rescued ..

today i heard from a Hoboken resident that 'price gouging' went on --
shop owners asking for like $50 for a pizza ..
now that the water's receeded
locals are posting papers around, raising awareness 
in aims to shut price-gouging shops down, put them out of business

far as my experience.. Chinatown grew steely grey as Sandy drew near -- 
a paddy wagon rolled slowly thru the abandoned streets --
a megaphone on its roof gave instructions in Chinese....

my guess was.. that it'd be gusty like Irene was -- maybe a lil' more -- then that would be that ..

lights flickered round 10pm -- then shut off.. 
power outage would last about a week till they came back on..

we've a gas stove 
as days flowed by.. drank plenty of tea.. lotta reading w/ candles..
shuffling round apt w/ flashlight.. catching up on rest..
i'd sold my phone to French friend just before the storm hit, so.... phoneless
finished two books, set into a 700-pager on WWII..

dark, warm fridge.. 
we'd stick milk out on the ledge to keep it cool..

a couple times we had 'mifi' cards -- which gave us wifi signal for a few hours before they ran out of batteries..

Chinese ladies hand-washed laundry in water cascading from open fire hydrant
streets at night were eerily dark -- no street lights -- no Traffic lights

most stores closed.. days drug on..
here and there a dark deli with darkened coolers 
huddled masses formed a line out their doors
cash exchanged for things 

branches scattered willy-nilly in streets, on sidewalks
blown-over whole trees, knockt-down signs, felled plywood scaffolding pieces, shredded awnings, debris strewn about, mattresses, knockt-over newspaper boxes, police caution tape, flares

while riding in the dark 
(rode bike up to apple store 60th St [my temp 'office'])
there'd sometimes be people with flashlights 
quiet cop cars with lights spinning occasionally rolled by on patrol

40th Street -- working traffic light -- street lights on, shops open, electricity, NYC as we know it

in Apple Store, would catch up with emails on a big glossy iMac
ride west on Central Park South to Whole Foods for din
friend in UWS -- charge devices -- steaming hot shower

cruising south ..  at around 41st Street you'd see the wall of dark ahead
zoom into the darkness -- law of the jungle -- sharpen up --
was that a pack of ewoks scurrying over there into alley?

giant trash trucks -- engines roar as hydraulics descend crusher --
crunching branches workers toss in 'CR-CRACKLE P-POPP!'

one night i got paid to be a 'look out' in a design house office,
which had an attempted break-in (smashed window) one of the first nights

my bro's buddy, after getting slammed by flooding,
local thugs smashed deadbolt and burglarized the place

when i was in Equinox uptown (Columbus Circle) 
people seemed pretty oblivious to what was going on downtown, 
the beaches, BK, NJ..
while waiting for my workout shake at the bar 
the giant flatscreen tv on wall showed scenes of flooded Hoboken -- yyoow

after the week off of work and a lot of weird experiences
news of power restoration in East Village came to me while i was eating a
massive pasta dinner with friends in Greenwich Village

I rode east through the thick darkness.. . .  .
saw a working street light! -- then another! -- lights on in buildings!
door to my apt swung open to a lightbulb ON in the kitchen!