Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy, queen of darkness


What a storm.  I have to say, Hurricane Sandy was unlike any other storm I've ever experienced.  I expected a lot of wind and rain, but as the storm slowly moved into the city Monday night, I admit I was a bit disappointed that it didn't seem all that dramatic.  That evening around 5pm, I shot this video on 2nd Avenue and St Mark's, which shows how seemingly dull Sandy appeared:

About an hour later, the intensity picked up and it got dark quickly, so I decided to head home.  Even then, you can see in this video of my walk to First Avenue that things are still not that unusual - there were strong gusts of wind, but more blowing rain than anything else.

But, by then it was already too late.  Sandy was sneaky and deceptive.  Flooding from the storm surge had already begun and the power would go out two hours later and last almost five days.  And, the nights in between each of those days were the darkest I've ever known.  I've concluded there is no darker place than the city without its lights.

Here we are looking west on 6th Street at Avenue A (that's the Cherry Tavern on the right):

Looking west on 6th St

This is First Avenue and 6th Street, which is normally illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights in the Indian restaurants (as seen at the end of the video above):

Looking SW on 1st Ave 

Gem Spa, which was actually open for business:

Looking SW on 2nd Ave

I thought St Mark's between 2nd and 3rd Avenues was the darkest block.  I couldn't see a damn thing along here and it was frightening to walk down this street. 

Looking SW on St Mark's Pl

A truly spooky Halloween night on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street:

Looking NW on 2nd Ave

All these photos were taken around 6pm, not long after sundown.

You can see more photos of the hurricane and aftermath here.

So, now we prepare for a nor'easter due to hit in two days.  People are still without electricity, heat and hot water.  It's encouraging to see New Yorkers pulling together and helping each other out, but the loss and devastation is still so heart-breaking.

Everyone out there, stay strong, warm, positive...and we will persevere.


  1. I remember the blackout of 2002...or was it 2003? That was just one night without power and it was really scary. Glad that you and everyone else I know made it through this safely. I hope it gets better soon.

  2. Thanks, Marty.

    The blackout of '03 was different in many ways (it was summer, for one thing) but I do remember standing on my stoop that first night and hearing screaming and breaking glass. I was too frightened to go out and just hoped there wasn't too much violence.

    This time around, there was flood and other storm damage, so people experienced trauma other than just the lights going out. I actually expected a lot of looting and was surprised and relieved that crime levels remained pretty low. It was frightening being on the street, though, as it would be so easy to mug someone and get away with it.

  3. one more foldedsunsetNovember 8, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Thanks for sharing these pictures. I was thinking about you last week and hoping you were ok. Terrible to think of people in the city still without, power, heat, homes.

  4. Looks like my comment got lost over at your site - I was really worried about you and your house! So glad you didn't blow or float away.

    Yes, the snow storm last night was so unwelcome at this time when people are still without power, heat and hot water.