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Showing posts from November, 2012

After Being Tossed About, the City Dresses Up Again

A week or so ago, in the early evening of a fine day, I was in a cab heading north on 6th Avenue. The traffic came to a standstill. Still reeling from the effects of the storm that engulfed the city - for the hurricane seemed to hit many people like myself on a psychic level - I assumed the traffic jam was due to a tunnel closure or another storm-compromised infrastructure. So I inquired about the delay, and the driver said, "It's always like this at this time." Seeking clarification, I asked, "What 'time' do you mean?" He turned around to look at me, as if in the manner of someone looking at a lost soul or perhaps at a crazy person. "It's the holidays, madam." Really. You have got to be kidding. The holidays in New York. I had seemed to have forgotten this.  The storm's arrival, almost a month ago, had delivered the first blow to my prolonged state of semi-unconsciousness, living with the lights out and all that

The View from the Terrace: New York City When the Lights Went Out

I turned on my computer this morning, the first time I could successfully switch on anything since Monday night. That was the time, of course, when the storm came and the lights went out over Lower Manhattan. Late on Wednesday, after my flashlight failed, I realized I could repower my flashlight with the batteries from the computer mouse and keyboard. They weren't doing me any good anyway. Every night this week I walked out on the terrace to look at this scene. I marveled at the darkness and the distant light of One World Trade Center down to the south. The nights were uncommonly still and serene, though I could hear sirens. Sometimes I could see stars, and the full moon was so bright at one point that it illuminated the buildings across the street and taller buildings in the distance. I liked it when my neighbors above me directed their flashlights on the buildings. The lights reminded me of Batman signals. I suppose this picture provides a sort of Rorschach test of how people