Sunday, 4 November 2012

The huffing and puffing of Randy Sandy

As everyone is aware - there was a rather large hurricane that passed through the North East of the states last Monday. I would have loved to report on this sooner but we have only just got electricity back but still battling cold showers when it is 5c outside. But we really have nothing to complain about because as you would have heard the death toll has passed 100 which is just terrible. Here is our story of Hurricane Sandy and NYC so far.

We arrived late on Thursday night and spent our first three nights on one of Grants old banking mates couch. Living the New York dream. At this stage Sandy was just a little storm that may or may not hit and really wasn't a concern but thought we should check out Central Park just in case she did huff and puff and take all the fall leaves away. Thank god we did because it looks like most NYC parks are going to be closed for some time. Here are some pics of our day in Central Park - the heart beat of the city I think and some other sights we stumbled on. Slightly sore head as our first night in NY was spent in the Meat Packing District at a place called STK which is part night club part steak house. A little different from bangers and mash in Sheila I can tell you that.

STK in the Meat Packing District. Ouch on the pocket but great into to the NYC scene.
Gramercy Park. Only park in city that requires a key to get in. Only residents on the park are allocated one - lucky for us this was JP! Pretty park with lots of nannies and kids.
Fall leaves in Gramercy Park.
A gorgeous NYC street.
Piano and tap in Washington Square. As you do.
Taking a bite out of the Big Apple at Union Square Farmers Markets.
Love the buildings here - so classic
Inside Grand Central - yeah I guess you are quite Grand...
The Plaza of course
Our first glimpse of Central Park - looks exactly like the movies!
Getting into the Halloween spirit we purchased a pumpkin pie from the markets and had it park side.
So glad we got to see all these leaves before Sandy blew them all off.
A castle in a park?
Which pumpkin is it to be??
And of course Times Square to finish off a very jam packed day

Because Haloween this year fell on a Wednesday, all the older kids celebrated on the Saturday night. This involved joining the crowds on Saturday morning in the Haloween shops trying to scour for the least tarty outfit. Not easy when it comes to Haloween. Naughty nurse? Naught maid? Naughty witch? Naughty fruit bowl? Whereas the guys get to hop into fully covered banana suits, ninja outfits, cowboy costumes etc. basically no arses and breasts hanging out for them. I managed to find the least suggestive outfit as a spider queen (no photos unbelievably!) and Grant as Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid (the bad guy). Had a great night dropping in at a few Pre drinks in Greenwich Village and then to a party which was put on by a banker turned party promoter. Again not many pics but here are a few. Big night resulting in sloppy dancing on the Dance floor, a NY pizza at 4am and somehow finding our way home all by ourselves.

The Pimp, the Karate Kid and a Scary Monkey with a fat lip - interesting cross section.
Oh yes - the late night pizza. That is not a rash you see there - I may have been wearing red lipstick. Don't judge!

Next morning there seems to be some waves of panic starting to move through Manhattan as the media starts warning that this could actually be the worst storm ever to hit the North East Coast of USA. Grants mate takes us out to stock up on water and a few food supplies. We didn't think we would be huddled inside for three days so our supplies of cereal and almonds didn't go far. There are lines outside of supermarkets and a lot of pushing and shoving. What is going on here. We arrive to our pad that we have rented in the East Village and settle in for the night. So far there is just some serious winds but all we hear on the news is that this is just the start. We manage to sleep ok for the first night with the big tree outside bending over itself but on Monday things start to get serious. We are told that our area is just within the evacuation zone but we have no where to go so we stay put. Then we are told not to go outside and with us being very hungover the day before we live on cereal and eggs for the next two days. And then it all happens about 8pm at night. We hear a lot of commotion going on within the corridors of our building so we head to check it out. A woman across from us huddles us into her apartment to show us the tidal water creeping up the street. Then we head downstairs one flight and discover that the basement has completely filled to the ceiling and water is heading up to the first floor. Can't even get out the front door because it has 2-3ft of water lapping at the bottom. There has been people in the building for over 40 years and they say they have never seen anything like this. To make matters worse all of a sudden the power is cut and it is pitch black. We have no idea how much more water is heading our way and no tv or phone reception to check news. Check out the pics of this night.

Just before we tape up the windows. That poor tree had to leaves the next day.
Our dinner for the next two nights.
Crap picture - but this is the water rushing up our street.
The water creeping into the front door.
Water filled up large basement and crept up the stairs very quickly.

Next day all the water had subsided and we head out to check the damage.

The crane that flipped over itself, hand vicariously there for days and forced a number of blocks to evacuate because they were scared if it fell it would puncture the gas lines and cause quite the explosion.
This sight everywhere as pumps are bought into pump sea water from basements.
The complete front of this building was torn away.

The next four days involve us walking 4km up to 50th Street where the power is on. Very bizzare scenes of busses jammed with people and for those that can't get on, the on foot pilmigrige uptown to plug in phones, make calls, get a hot meal and basically just get away from the very eerie feeling of a large city just closing down.

This pic was taken from on top of Grants lap as we were stuffed in the corner.
The frantic plug in at a fast food take away. People were getting antsy!

We were lucky to have a mate from Aus in town who was residing up on the Upper East Side where you wouldn't even know that there had been a storm. We head out for coffee and cake and I feel like I am in a different city.

All smiles up on Upper East Side. That's what happens when you have two showers a day.

We stay up that end of the town and end up at a 'We Survived Sandy' party where they were pumping out some dancing tunes and serving free pour double shot margaritas. That's one way of forgetting about what's going on I guess.

Some groover getting down and dirty.
What Hurricane?
Back to the darkness... Very bizarre.

Starting to get a bit difficult making the trek everyday and no warm showers, so a very kind GF of mine who has lived in NYC for two years offered her place to us for two nights. Hello warm shower, safe bright streets and what was that... Electricity. Her man also happens to be in the restaurant business and we got treated to a mediterranean spread at his restaurant, Medi. Wow. A must check out if you get over here. Some women have all the luck!

This is how A woman can look when she is fed Mediterranean every night. NYC suits you DD.

She is still working from home like most NYC workers because subways are still down and most of the office building are based downtown which are still without power, so we manage to drag her uptown with us to a little place called Dinasour BBQ in Harlem which has quite the reputation. OMG this is serious. We are talking BBQ wings, baked chickens and of course ribs. We go over board of course and order countless chicken wings and literally half a cow. No pics of the ribs unfortunately because we got too excited and gave up on the camera.

First trip in the up and running subway!
The smiles of a feast on the horizon.
Decided to walk back along the Hudson River to work of 1/8 of the calories just consumed.
More Sandy damage along the way.
Manage to crash D and D's Greek Feast. These guys don't muck around when ordering.

Now we are back in our apartment but still no hot water and no wifi so have to say its not exactly the NYC rental experience we were after. But hey - there are far more people out there doing it tougher than us. Have just heard that the NY marathon has been cancelled too which is a bugger because we also had the haloween parade in west village cancel on us. Of course understandable in this situation just a bit dissapointing because we based our timing on all these events. One event i cant see being cancelled is the election in a couple of days. I am sure it will be an interesting place to be to watch that all unfold. We originally thought we would be spending a few weeks here but have decided to head out Tuesday week. Leaves just over a week to see what we can of this slightly bruised but wonderful city. Will let you know how week two goes. Hopefully not as dramatic.



  1. Guys - great photos -what an amazing time - makes me very nostalgic

  2. Finally. Contact. What a relief. Amazing experience-one for the rest of your days!not surprised yore leaving early.
    Is Luke working in NY? Saw his farewell to Albury radio on facebook. Lots of love mum x o x