Since the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, those of us living below 39th Street on the East Side of NYC, have been getting through day by day, zombie-like, during the aftermath of the storm, seemingly experiencing *Post Traumatic Sandy Disorder. We don’t have electric, many of us with water don’t have any hot for bathing, and all those movies we preemptively stockpiled for the storm? Oh yeah. We don’t have electric.
But at least we have the fronts to our buildings, in tact, where they’re supposed to be.
façade-less building on 8th Avenue
As New Yorkers, we’re a resilient lot. We may not be able to get cell phone service in our abodes, but there are plenty of places in the flooded out Lower East Side that are serving as cell service areas, so marked and flocked to by many.
East Village “cell phone service area”
We have our own “charging centers” — bicycles built for power where you can ride your way back to mobile juice, picture to come later (they weren’t at it yet this morning; East Villagers tend to sleep late). That’s Avenue C, where cars were inundated by the waters of the East River as the salt water rushed past capacity of normal beds and flowed into autos, basements, ground floor apartments. People were pumping out even as of yesterday afternoon with the help of generators. Front and back seats were drying out next to open car doors and piles of furniture inhabited sidewalks.
Luckily I was able to take yoga last night. Our practice was illuminated by candle light in the hallway, stairs and classroom. It was lovely.
Yoga to the People stairs
Driving downtown Tuesday night from the Land of the Living, aka the uptown electric slide, into the Dead Zone, traffic lights were non-existent, building windows looked blackened and only the car lights gave any indication of life. Oh and the crazies on St. Marks who made themselves known by slapping our car on the side after P rolled the window up on one of them.
police cruise with LED “Proceed with caution” message
Living by candlelight has been interesting, a bit romantic and a times a fire hazard scare. One of our candles in the kitchen was blazing a little too high and thank god we got it put out in time. Not as scary as one of our former neighbors, who had to actually call the fire department on a neighbor using a hibachi grill in their apartment last night. Idiots!
Cooking by candlelight offers its own, I believe obvious, drawbacks. Was that salt or sugar I just sprinkled in to the veggie soup??!!
But at least P got in the spirit of Halloween and treated me (tricked me?!) to a birthday party after picking me up from my fabulous yoga class. My neighbors were hiding there in the darkness – I almost screamed when I realized someone was sitting on our bed – before everyone yelled out “Surprise!”
Vienero’s chocolate mousse cake
There was chocolate mousse cake, an amazing prezzie and even a birthday card (unheard of in the past!) from my loving hubby.
But I think my favorite part of last night was the full moon I could see shining soooo brightly through our apartment’s picture window overlooking the park. I always called it our tree-house window, but with the top of our beautiful fall-leaf laden tree broken off during Sandy, there’s now an unfettered view from the bed. It’s truly a picture window. Plus with no street or building lights, the sky shows all its night time beauty = moon, stars, everything.
Full moon from our window
I may not have had electricity for lights or hot water for a bath or shower for my birthday, but it seemed like I had everything else I might have needed to turn one more year older and make it one of the most memorable birthdays yet (mmmm, actually the Machu Piccu surprise trip took the proverbial cake). And, thus, I fell asleep in our ultra quiet, moonlight-shadowed apartment with a smile fully plastered on my face, a tummy full of chocolate happyhappyhappiness and a heart full of love for my amazingly thoughtful husband.
P.S. The prezzie was a Breville juicer. We’ll have to wait a while until we can test it out; supposedly, electric will be back on by Sunday or Monday. If we can make it til then!