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.
12:35 pm - Completely baffling astronomers throughout the world, a meteor shower begins raining down on midtown Manhattan.
1:43 pm - The MTA reports that the city’s subway tunnels are flooded as deep as seven feet with a strange, psycho-reactive pink slime.
1:55 pm - Even though the eye of the storm is still hours away, reports of flooding on the FDR quickly sweep across Twitter.
2:01 pm - The first tsunami comes in from the south, sweeping over the Statue of Liberty, a little odd when you consider New York geography.
2:01 pm - Leading meteorologists are quick to report that destructive weather usually takes the most photogenic route possible into New York.
2:02 pm - The wave sweeps across lower Manhattan…
2:02 pm - …devastating the thankfully empty Brooklyn Bridge.
2:15 pm - New Yorkers run for cover into the New York Pubic Library, which quickly announces that no fines will be levied for water-logged books.
2:16 pm - New Yorker Jake Gyllenhaal barely makes it.
2:45 pm - Washington Square Park is strangely filled with New Yorkers flagrantly ignoring the city’s repeated warnings and spending a leisurely day outside. This is not good.
3:02 pm - A dragon-like creature, believed to be of Aztec origin, is spotted flying around the Chrysler Building.
3:22 pm - The giant reptile, now nicknamed Godzilla by the press, continues its path of destruction into midtown as it slams through Grand Central.
3:50 pm - The enormous ape, now at the spire of the Empire State Building, is found to holding a young woman. Fighter planes are scrambled to take it out with gunfire.
4:00 pm - The asteroid storm shows no signs of abating as Grand Central is directly hit. Incredible that its trajectory would happen to target such an iconic building.
4:02 pm - Also destroyed in the cosmic onslaught is this bizarre entrance to the 53rd Street subway, which no one previously knew existed.
4:11 pm - A flying gremlin is reported on Park Avenue South.
4:20 pm - Things are not looking good for Lady Liberty.
4:44 pm - Another enormous lizard, believed to hail from approximately 20,000 fathoms under the ocean, rises up near the South Street Seaport, where all sea monsters traditionally enter Manhattan.
5:01 pm - Police officers with firearms battle the winged creature atop the Chrysler Building, which is now being referred to as Quetzalcoatl (or Q, for short).
7:01 pm - As night falls, 911 lights up with calls about a loud bang heard throughout the Flatiron District. An investigation reveals it to have been caused by the detached head of the Statue of Liberty.
7:20 pm - A 112-foot marshmallow monster appears in Columbus Circle.
7:45 pm - A rare picture of resident Snake Plissken, previously thought to be dead (and a little taller), combing through the rubble.
8:14 pm - A space alien takes out what remains of Grand Central, following its devastation by meteorites and Godzilla.
8:47 pm - As if things couldn’t get any worse, serial killer Jason Voorhees is spotted in Times Square.
9:00 pm - Downtown’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is reportedly encased in a giant shell of hardened pink slime.
10:12 pm - New Yorkers flee the city via the Brooklyn Bridge as it is ripped to shreds by a space monster. Mayor Bloomberg suggests taking alternate bridges that Hollywood usually ignores.
11:55 pm - Gozer becomes a serious problem.
Aftermath: At this point, you’ve probably already heard what happened next:
- King Kong was gunned down by fighter pilots.
- Godzilla became entangled in the steel cables of the Brooklyn Bridge and was easily taken out.
- The Ghostbusters used their proton packs to destroy the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, then crossed the streams to rid the city of Gozer; Vigo was later dispatched with help from Lady Liberty.
- Grenades were used to take out Q
- The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was destroyed in Coney Island using an isotope injector bullet
- The Hammerdown Protocol eventually got rid of the Cloverfield monster
- The asteroid showers eventually ended
- The gremlins were exterminated en masse by electrocution
- Jason was killed by toxic sludge flowing through New York’s sewer system
In the end, though a little colder, Hollywood’s New York was still standing the day after tomorrow.
Hurricane Sandy was a pretty bad day for New York too. But that one ended a little differently. Thanks to the brave, tireless work of city employees and endlessly resilient residents, the real New York is still standing as well, recovering from bruises but ready to continue her role as the greatest city in the world.