Stormy Weather

Upper West Side- Manhattan, Sunday, August 28th- about noon?

Well, it’s almost all over… Just took a walk and it’s CLEAN outside- There was (and is) so much wind and water, the streets and the air and the buildings got washed (though not dried).
The air smells like air, the tree smell like trees– all the usual pavement-reflected heat and vehicle exhaust has disappeared (especially as they stopped running the subways and buses). The wind and water were messengers from another part of this very troubled planet: “It’s not just streets, cars, subways.. bricks, glass and steel– There are more things out there than that.. We spared you this time, but remember, this city of yours is no isolated fortress, no slice of pie in the sky… We’ll be back sometime again. And, by the way, how’d you like the earthquake?!”

Most of Manhattan was spared flooding and power-outages though there was some damage to trees… I held a torn-fresh branch in my hand– green green leaves.
How does the tree feel? Not good. Lost one of its children…

There is a great feeling of anti-climax around here– Not quite (to paraphrase an old Dudley Moore and Peter Cook skit) the conflagration that we’d been counting on…
The news and weather people on New York 1, our local city-centric channel, looked not just depleted from broadcasting round-the-clock, but also as if they were suffering from post-coital triste– even tristier because they were hoping, not for death or disaster, but at least for a more memorable orgasm.

In the “Outer” boroughs– Brooklyn and Queens–there was more damage– But it’s always that way during a big storm in the city… They have more individual, smaller structures and the power lines out there are often above ground. So trees get uprooted, the path for flying objects is larger and less obstructed, and, of course, they have the ocean coasts, so there’s more flooding.

As far as I can deduce, no one died in the emergency. The storm is over– and now the daily tempests in our individual teacups are back again…
But who, after all, would yearn for such a violent disruption as a hurricane? (Maybe a lot more people than would admit it). Now the dial is reset to automatic and many people are back where they were… pitched in the middle between singular, energizing eruptions on one side and lives of quiet desperation on the other.
We’re always at a fork in the road?every day, every hour, every minute…

***Note: For a good old story (from yours, truly) about a Hurricane that took a strange turn… go to the OLD/VINTAGE radio page and listen to “Hurricane Gloria”.

As always, responses to this post or the radio shows– very welcome…

– Mike Feder (New York City – August 29, 2011)

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