Is it a good thing or a bad thing that we live atop one of the highest hills in our area? That our top-floor balcony faces northwest and the hurricane heading toward us — with projected local winds on Sunday of 90 miles per hour — is coming from the southeast?
As some of you know, Hurricane Irene, heading north as I write this up the Atlantic coast of the U.S., is larger than Europe.
I wish I could make a jaunty joke about baguettes or gondolas but the very idea of something so powerful headed our way is a little scary.
So we have:
removed everything from our balcony
garaged (and gassed) our car
acquired a pile of cash in case we lose power and ATMs don’t work
stocked up on bottled water, tinned food, ice, batteries and our battery-powered radio
We’re debating taping our windows, but not sure what good, if anything, that would do. As a news photographer, Jose has covered five hurricanes, so he knows what to expect and how bad the aftermath can be. I’ve only seen them on television.
New York has had an apocalyptic week — I was at home working, on the phone with Jose at 1:51 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, when a 4.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Virginia — very far from where we live — shook my chair, desk and all the objects atop the cabinet beside me. We live on the 6th. floor of an apartment building and as I felt the room move, had a severe case of cognitive dissonance: It can’t be an earthquake. We don’t have those in New York.
But it was. This is a week of never-before-this moments.
Tomorrow — in an unprecedented move — all New York area public transit will be shut down. As some of you know, millions of commuters come into Manhattan each week driving through tunnels from the outer boroughs and New Jersey. Now they are a potential death trap, and therefore closed.
My first earthquake and hurricane in one week?
Are you kidding me?