Aside from a little water damage in the bathroom and a mysterious rattling on the roof all night, I’m happy to report that Realcity HQ survived the storm just fine. Thankfully, it seems that the majority of our fellow citizens did too. This is because however they chose to spend the night — drunk, stoned, glued to the TV or passed out in a fear coma — they did it inside. Had the subways not been closed this would’ve been a different story, but thankfully the city’s leaders knew us well enough to eliminate that option. For in the rare times that we must collectively deal with such situations, we usually act no better than insolent children. Nowhere else would we turn on those who helped us weather a storm mere hours after it’d passed. Yet, we’re New Yorkers and no matter what happens we know best about everything.
This is why despite the repeated warnings to spend a quiet day at home, half the city’s population was back on the streets by noon. Despite my best efforts to resist the trend, I soon joined them. Wearing my knee-high boots and riding my bike, I was ready to assess the aftermath. Aside from some flooding on the local basketball court, our neighborhood looked fine. The Navy Yard was characteristically quiet and the streets of DUMBO were only starting to wake up, but Cobble Hill was bustling. Two little girls had even climbed onto a downed tree to bounce among the splinters. Down in Red Hook the main pastime — aside from pumping out basements — was looking at the whitecaps. In the face of winds so strong that I had to dismount, many people had flocked to the waterfront for a glimpse. We may not have heeded the city’s warnings to stay inside, but we still had respect for the forces of nature which started this whole thing.
On my way home back through Cobble Hill and Fort Greene, though, it seemed that most people had already forgotten anything happened. A patch of fallen trees attracted some attention on Dekalb, but any place with an open kitchen was packed and most people had drinks in hand. Thankfully my own restaurant had remained closed, which made me appreciate my freedom even more. If people could’ve taken a day off from boozing it up at brunch and just cook their own eggs for a change, maybe everyone else could’ve been as lucky. For the first time in recent history we would’ve had a truly relaxing Sunday — no subways, no restaurants, no stores — just us and the streets. Sadly, the prospect of that seems to terrify my fellow citizens. Instead, we get mad at the mayor for shutting the subways down and ask why more brunch places aren’t open. For such a selfish city, it’s funny how after narrowly missing a destructive force of nature, we still can’t stop to appreciate our own existence.