Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dawn Has Broken the Third Day

Dawn has broken the third day after hurricane Sandy made landfall along the central Jersey shore. New York City, the city that never sleeps, is starting to emerge from its nap in the tomb carved by Sandy.

Bus service has sort of resumed.  Limited subway service is available but not running into lower Manhattan, or from Brooklyn and Queens into Manhattan. I will be using mass transit for the first time after Sandy tomorrow, when I take the Q55 and J train as I commute from Ridgewood, Queens to Jamaica, Queens.  To commute back home I will take the J and L trains, I hope.

Mayor Bloomberg has ordered that all private vehicles crossing bridges into Manhattan must have at least three occupants.  I am not planning to head into Manhattan anytime soon, but my wife must head there Sunday afternoon.

I am glad I filled up our car with Gas before the storm hit because gas stations are starting to run out.  Their supply lines have been interrupted by flooding and their storage tanks are running dry just as more people than usual are driving because of lack of Mass transit or need gas to keep portable generators running.

Damaged Gazebo at North Church Queens
Yesterday afternoon I drove from Ridgewood to North Church Queens in Flushing, just south of Whitestone.  The drive was without incident but I saw several downed trees and some side streets still blocked by downed trees.  There was power at the church but I learned that at least three members did not have power in their homes.  Several branches came down near the church.  The sanctuary lost a few shingles but did not suffer any extensive damage.  The wooden Gazebo south of the church did not fare as well, however.  A large tree fell on it, a branch piercing the wooden shingled roof.

Live wire arcing and burning in street south of NCQ

The block south of the church was closed to traffic as a downed live wire, humming, arcing, and burning was still lying in the street.  Yellow caution tape had been stung around the area and a utility worker was monitoring the situation, but no work crew could be seen.

Storms sometimes have a way of bringing strangers and neighbors together, and last night was an example. My wife and I attended our first Ridgewood Meet Up,  gathered at the nearby Cozy Corner Bar and Grill. We hung out from before 9 PM last night to after 2 AM this morning.  We met neighbors who have moved here from Kansas, Texas, California, Denmark, Finland, Korea and places in between. Some were gay, some straight, some in relationships, some not.  Some lived in a six person, three apartment common home. Some were Christian, some Jew, some secularists or non-professing. At least two held PhDs and one of then taught at Princeton University. One had attended West Point for a while. Many were artists. I discovered during the evening's conversation that one of them and I had a mutual friend who moved here from Maryland, an example of one degree of separation.  There was a total of a dozen or more of us that met up.

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