With everyone looking back over the last weekend in NYC, there are lots of people crying hype, accusing Bloomie (that’s Mike Bloomberg to those who aren’t on a Bloomie name basis with our fair mayor) of overreacting to Hurricane Irene. I’m not one to get fevered over politics, not here anyway – but this is what I say. In these events where there is no real way to predict exactly what will happen, we can pretty much agree that it’s best to “prepare for the worst , and hope for the best”.
We’ve all heard that, and it makes sense. You know, that’s exactly what happened. NYC was prepared for the worst, but we got the best. So, hurrah. I’m down with the way our NYC leaders took care of their people. Well done.
And I don’t say that every day.
But the coolest thing? It was a great weekend. There was something totally magical about the threat of great drama. Hurricanes and tornadoes were on their way, but we still felt safe. My neighborhood was literally on the evacuation line. The street about four houses down was the border for being evacuated. So we got to stay, but there were a lot of neighbors who were bailing to higher ground.
On Friday, there was a run on everything predictable: water, batteries, flashlights. Also: bread. I don’t know why bread, but no bread anywhere. My neighbors were consulting each other. “Are you staying?” And I found there were basically two camps. The mildly hysterical, and the too-cool-to-be-affected. I bounced back and forth from these two camps. I found that the less I watched the news, the less I felt stressed. But when I watched the news, I’ll admit it: I got a little hysterical. Yes, I filled the bathtub.
Let’s just say that in any type of impending Natural Disaster, from here on out, I will keep the news off, and look out my window instead. I mean. Every news broadcast just seemed so sensational, it was a little ridiculous. The funny thing is, I felt like I got a better and more real idea about what was going on by reading various friend’s experiences around the city on Facebook and Twitter. Seriously.
Obviously Roan was really into it. He has a natural propensity to be drawn to the highly dramatic, and this was right up his alley. We were outside often, looking to the sky and surveying tree branches. All the kids in the neighborhood seemed just a bit happier and excited – kind of like when Christmas is the next day. Storms are terribly exciting, and probably two-hundred times so for kids.
Roan helped me create a little emergency zone, where we put our flashlights and batteries, our candles and our cash. We bought ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, ordered some pizza (NYC delivery guys are the toughest and bravest in the world), set up a family sleepover in front of the TV, and watched Harry Potter.
Roan now officially loves potential hurricanes, this was exactly his dream night.
As we all know, there was no real storm, nothing out of the ordinary. There was a lot of rain, some blustery wind and dark skies. It never got scary, and (luckily) we never lost power. So the drama ended up being a little low for my son’s taste. But this is why I have my friend and neighbor Kara in my life. Exactly for these circumstances. She hosted a “Blackout Zombie” dinner when it was all over. The kids dressed up like zombies (which naturally are a part of all natural disasters) and we ate dinner with our friends in the semi-darkness of evening light.
Simply put, this weekend was one of my favorites of the entire Summer. So much community and nervous energy and excitement and family time. It could have gone the other way, if the storm ended up being what it was predicted to be. But we got the best, we got what we hoped for. Thank you, Irene.