Saturday, July 24, 2010

tornados and such

Last night there was a tornado warning. That's right a tornado warning in NYC. It was a near perfect day. After spending the afternoon visiting a friend who works at a small college in Chinatown, Chris took the Turtle and I out for ice cream. Well, the Turtle didn't get any of course. Someday. 

We got home just in time to flip on Friday Night Lights and to beat the rain. I'm not sure that the tornado ever hit ground but we did see one helluvan electrical storm from our windows. We were standing at a good distance of course. The Turtle was not phased by the thunder. I suppose he's so accustom to hollers, car horns, sirens and garbage trucks by now that he could sleep through the Apocalypse.

Our time in New York has been eventful. We, of course, arrived in the city just a few months before 9/11. I was working at a community college in Jersey City and was sitting in my office when Chris called and said, "The craziest thing happened. A plane just hit the World Trade Center." A few moments later all hell broke loose. Our apartment was just on the other side of the Hudson River, less than a mile away from what is now called "Ground Zero." Chris ran out on the stoop and watched the second tower fall. He then rode his bike to the waterfront to see what he could do to help, but there was little anyone could do. Within hours military and relief vehicles were heading up our street. They had set up triage just a few blocks away, fully expecting to treat survivors. Rather, the area became a makeshift morgue. There was no one to save.

A few years later there was the massive blackout. I remember standing in my office suite. My colleagues and I of course thought back to 9/11 and wondered if this was another attack. New Yorkers were so relieved to learn that it wasn't  that the next 24 hours became a giant block party. Everyone walked home that night. The street lights were out and mass transit was suspended. I walked the full span of the island. Merchants gave away perishables, offering commuters water, shaved ice and beer to help them along their journeys. Chris worked at a hotel in Times Square and was asked to stay on site - they had opened their doors to displaced travelers and there was alot of work to do. I rather, got home, put on my PJs and spent the night staring out the window. The entire city was dark and I could see the stars in the New York sky; a sight I hadn't seen before or since.

So had there been a tornado, the four of us (cat included) would have hunkered down in the bathroom and waited out the storm. I like to think we would have been just fine. After all, this city has thrown us a lot of curve balls in the last ten years and we're still standing at the plate.

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