Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween in a darkened city

Happy Halloween, readers! It doesn't really feel like Halloween much up here, in part because several drug stores have preemptively put up their Christmas displays and in part because we have no subway service and much of the city is without power. However, Astoria was largely spared. We had no flooding here, and no one in the neighborhood is without power. There are a number of trees down and several local businesses lost their awnings, but that seems to be the brunt of it. When I went for a walk yesterday, on one street there was a tree that was entirely picked up and shoved roots first into someone's windshield (the trunk of the tree then fell, destroying the frame of a second car). A trip to Astoria Park showed more trees, and some old growth ones, also felled. Interestingly, the twitter culture is rampant and every fallen tree was surrounded by a crowd of paparazzi with smart phones. You won't find any tree carnage photos on my blog, but I assure you, you don't have to look far on the Internet to find some.

While business as usual has begun in Astoria, it certainly won't return to the city for a while. Trains are still down (although the MTA twitter promises a midday timeline for when service should be restored), although buses are running. Not entirely helpful, as I passed the M60 stop this morning (one of the few buses that travels from Queens to Manhattan) and there was at least 50 people waiting for it. For those of us working downtown (well really just Sam as I work from home) most offices are without electricity anyway. The email server and website are down at my company which does somewhat limit the amount of work I can do remotely. But for now I'm content to be stranded in Western Queens for the foreseeable future.

I'm passing the time preserving apple butter for the wedding (more on that later) and avoiding working on my screenplay (although if there was ever a time I was going to get that thing done, it would be now). My screenwriting class, as well as tin whistle class, were both canceled this week. On a sadder note, for the first time in 39 years, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was also canceled tonight. Kind of a no-brainer given that most of the parade route has no power, the police presence required to set up the route is needed elsewhere, and there may actually still be flooding in the Village. Still, I'm sorry to miss putting on my latex wounds and dancing to Michael Jackson tonight though.

Therefore, instead of pictures of fallen trees and damaged property, I would instead like to post my favorite photo of the Halloween parade last year. Many of these zombies are without power and my heart goes out to them. However, the city's response to the disaster has been very efficient and well-organized. I'm confident New York will be up and running soon and the dead will walk the streets again someday soon...


  1. Thanks for the detailed account. I was wondering how it was going in Astoria.

  2. I was wondering about you as well! Glad to hear things are mostly okay in your 'hood. SO devastating elsewhere, very close to you!!