Waiting for Irene

Irene is only a few hours away from New York City. Soon I will be able to ad her to my list of experiences in the city that also include  9/11, the blackout and the subway strike. Days like this always bring the best and the worst out in people. This morning I spent an hour in line at a grocery store witnessing some people being very kind to their  fellow men and others totally switching to survival mode.

At noon the entire transportation system shut down. Until then most shops an stores had already closed since people needed public transportation to get home. The city that never sleeps is sleeping now. It feels like Christmas day just much more quiet.

There is piece in this place of endless opportunities. There is nowhere to go since almost all businesses are closed and there is nothing to do besides to wait for Irene’s arrival.

The media-frenzy is totally overwhelming. It is the business of fear that keeps people glued to the television screen but at the same time a hurricane is serious business. Many years ago while doing my mandatory military service on a tall ship in the German navy we got hit by hurricane Bonny that at the point of reaching us was a tropical storm.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Our watch was over at 6 AM. Our captain had  tried to maneuver around Bonny but she kept on changing her path. We were waiting to be allowed to grab breakfast when suddenly the entire crew was ordered on deck. Within minutes strong wind gusts were hitting us and the rain felt like needles in our faces. That not being enough we were ordered to climb up to the sails and tie them down while huge waves started to pound the ship. It wasn’t fun to say the least but it taught me how small we human beings are and how powerful mother nature is.

It took us two days to get through the storm. During that time I saw many of my comrades that were eager to encounter the storm turn green in their faces and feed the fish.

I’m writing this to say yes the media might make this bigger then it is but at the same time it is to be taken serious.

I will not ride this one out in the loft in Williamsburg. My fiends Lucy and Richard were so nice to offer me to apartment sit their place at Union Square. I’m on the 24th floor overlooking parts of the park. The image below was taken from that apartment of 14th Street and Union Square a place where you usually find thousands of people on a Saturday afternoon.

We will see how it goes. I have some food, some whine, some water, one candle, the bath tub is full of water, a good book, a few movies and something I usually never have. A lot of time.

If we have electricity tomorrow I will keep you updated about the events. And those of my friends who will encounter Irene as well, please take the warnings serious and stay inside.

As always New York City = never a dull moment. Happy hurricane! 🙂



“Waiting for Irene” Manhattan/New York City/Union Square 08-27-11 at 04:58 Pm

Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com


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