Sunday, April 15, 2007

nor'easter

well, today (on vacation), NYC had a nor'easter rip through, depositing about 5 inches of rain. The quantity of rain and the quickness in which it fell broke a record--the wettest day in 8 years. Amazing!

It was raining buckets. Not much different then Portland.

Actually, it is different; the rain is heavier, harder, everything was flooding, the subway stations, sheets of water cascading down the streets, over 300 flights cancelled from the area 3 airports--JFK, Laguardia and Newark. Anyone who braved the storm was drenched in an instant, power outages were occuring throughout the city, waterfront communities were frantically sandbagging and watching the rising high tide, wondering where (or if) it would stop. It's still raining, but not nearly as hard or with such intensity.

I'm supposed to leave Tuesday night, and I think that things (weatherwise, anyway, I'm not thinking about the backlog of displaced travelers) will be back to semi-normal.

When I lived in NY, I was here for a record breaking snow storm (another nor'easter). It was January, 1996, I think the storm hit on the 2nd, and subsuquently shut the city down for 2 days. The city shutting down was pratcially unheard of, NYC was known for marching on in the face of adverse weather, presidential visits, protests, parades, and any other complicating multiplier. Once the seriousness of the storm hit area residents, there were mad dashes to stock up on bread, milk, lunch meats, diapers, and any other items deemed necessary. After the snow started piling up, the silence was deafening. The only audiable noises were the random and infrequent scraping noises of bored residents shoveling, and occasional emergency vehcile siren was muted and embraced by the 26" of snow. I was snowed in at a friend's house, and we spent several hours making fimo sesame street charachter head earings and listening to The Cure's Paris CD. I had listened to a little Cure prior to that storm, but after those 2 days I had a whole new outlook on Robert Smith and The Cure's music.

When the snowfall subsided, my friend used her father's huge 4 wheeler pick up truck to drive us out to The Unicorn Diner to get a bite to eat. We weren't hungry, but looking for an activity to occupy our cabin fever. There were about 6 other vehicles in the parking lot, all SUV's or big trucks. They were probably at the diner for the same reasons we were. Driving there was a challenge; there was so much snow there was no clear idea of where the street ended, the curb began, or where people's front yards began for that matter. I remember at the time thinking we should have attached the snow plow and done a little zen snowplowing--almost like Luke and the force--letting go, and trusting your feelings to guide where the path needs to be cleared. That could have been really cool.

When we arrived at the diner, we were welcomed by the neon pink tubing, and the warm embrace of practically curdled creamer, greasy disco fries, and tuna melts on huge bagels. My friend's father wasn't at home, in fact I had never met him throughout our brief friendship. I learned over those two days that he had been committed to a mental institution for sucide attempts. He was a cop. I think her mother had died several years earlier of some sort of cancer. It was a very surreal point in time for me, in my life, now that I'm looking back. At the time I was very "go with the flow," twenty-two and carefree. It was all an adventure.

The good ol' Unicorn Diner.

At least it's only raining today...

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