It seems a particularly New York sort of reaction that, once you get worked up and worried enough about an oncoming storm to stand in line for several hours to buy some white bread and peanut butter and a bulk case of water, you will be, ultimately, disappointed when you don’t actually have to use your supplies, or your go-bag, or your exit strategy. Like New Year’s Eve or any highly anticipated night out (or in), Hurricane Irene was kind of…a let down. New Yorkers do not like to wait in line for let-downs! Or, as in the title of this New York Times article, “‘Some Hurricane,’ New Yorkers Grumble as Danger Passes.” If we’re going to “be in danger,” we should be in danger! We paid for it!
Admittedly, this very blogger had been expecting at least some high winds, and a little bit of an actual reason, besides neuroses, to sleep on her couch instead of the bed next to the windows on Saturday night. At the very least, a frisson of horror-movie fear, perhaps, which would somehow be justification for standing in that 40-person-deep bodega line with an armful of Volvic, feeling like an ass. But, in the end, there was not.
Aside from subway and travel complications (and, anecdotally, city subways seem to be moving pretty well, though railways outside the city are still in major clean-up mode), and the flooding, messiness, power outages, and having to see a lot of people in wellies, we seem to be…pretty much…okay. Which is, in the words of some, LAME. Let us throw the blame upon Mayor Bloomberg, who, obviously, simply wanted to make himself look good after the blizzard mess in December/January of this year! We didn’t need any of that white bread, after all! (But…did he not sort of, actually, succeed?)
Let’s take a few steps back. People have died in this hurricane. While there was only one fatality in the New York City area, there have been a total of 24 people killed in 8 states throughout the U.S. And Irene, now a tropical storm, is still going, causing significant damage in the Catskills and Vermont before continuing on. Some 945,000 people throughout the state still don’t have power. At the end of the day, Irene will have messed with a lot of people.
But she has passed our city, leaving us mostly dry and enjoying sunny, abnormally but pleasantly fall-ish weather, yet full of ennui over our lack of a real hurricane. Woe to us! Do New Yorkers not deserve the best in everything, including natural disasters?
But, really, can we just be happy that we’re all pretty much okay, hope for the best for people who are still being affected, and wait it out until the next earth-rattling/nature-terrifying moment? Plus, you’ll have all that water on hand already.
Fine, let’s think of it this way: New York City scared that mother-fucking hurricane into submission.