Note: This post was written as Hurricane Sandy crossed over New York City, and my fiancee and I were hunkered down in our apartment hearing from all sides that the world was about to end.
At that point, the news media was going crazy overhyping the storm for ratings, while misinformation spread across the internet, and fake pictures of Sandy’s devastation ran rampant across Twitter and Facebook, most taken from movies or past storms. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, and I wrote this post with the hope of briefly uplifting the mood of anyone who had been in the same situation as me.
For the most part, the post received a very positive response. One reader wrote: “As a NYer whose family home had 22″ of water in it, I find this post awesome. It was an uplifting moment to my dreary day.” Another wrote “I live in NYC and appreciated this…The media has played this storm up as if it were the apocalypse.”
But I also received responses from readers appalled I could make light of the disaster. And in retrospect, I see that my writing could easily be misinterpreted, especially as the period of survival transitions into one of mourning and recovery. I apologize for any offense I may have caused.
For four years, I’ve written this site as a love letter to New York, and it greatly saddens me to see the amount of destruction Sandy caused. But I stand firmly by my closing paragraph: “Thanks to the brave, tireless work of city employees and endlessly resilient residents, the real New York is still standing…recovering from bruises but ready to continue her role as the greatest city in the world.”
As you’ve probably heard, New York recently had a pretty bad day. In the interest of providing Scouting NY readers with the most accurate account of events, I spent 24 hours in Manhattan weathering the worst of it. Here is an hour-by-hour recap with my photographs. Be sure to read and not just scroll through.
8:30 am: With ample notice of the coming storm, the city begins precautionary measures. Below, a police officer stands guard in Lower Manhattan as a light rain begins to fall.
9:30 am - The first signs of trouble: an overflowing storm drain on Canal Street.
10:15 am - As fears of the storm intensify, midtown becomes choked with gridlock as panicked New Yorkers flee the streets, many abandoning their cars.
10:20 am - Water is already ankle deep and rising.
11:12 am - The city’s public helpline 311 begins receiving mysterious reports of a creature climbing the Empire State Building.
12:06 pm - An enormous reptile, now believed to be of Japanese origin, lowers a scaly claw onto the South Street Seaport.