Post Storm Update

Hurricane Sandy may have only been a Post Tropical Storm when she hit NYC but the water levels were enough to cause problems. At this point, so much remains to be seen to understand the long term effects. If you have paid attention to the major news outlets, you have probably already seen the 4 story building in Chelsea that lost its facade, completely exposing the apartments inside. Or heard about the fire in Breezy Point Queens that wiped out 111 homes and firefighters were making rescues in boats.

I’ll consider myself one of the fortunate ones. My part of Brooklyn isn’t in a flood zone and the power stayed on. Buses are starting to run again, which means they’ll probably be very crowded. Subway could be at least a few days from running because there are many flooded tubes. MTA made the right move suspending service. Now hopefully they can get them back up and running again.

Apocalypse Soon

It’s been the longest stretch without a post since I’ve started this blog. October was going to be a huge month, I had so many ideas, but it all just fizzled away. What happened?

Like Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, or a very fat Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic war movie, I went up river and I’ve gone native. What started out as mere observation turned into infiltration and participation. No longer am I amazed at things I see on a daily basis. Life continues to be exciting, but maybe I don’t have as many novel things to report on as I once did. Of course there may be other factors, such as a lazy approach to daily writing which was due to the many distractions that have occurred in the last month, and possibly a bit of self censorship because I can’t tell you about every little detail that happens. Here’s what I will tell you:

I met a Swiss traveler who is touring the U.S. and we hit it off. She managed to stick around New York for a while and we had lots of fun around the city at various bars, restaurants, and occasional tourist sites. At one point we were at a deli in SoHo at 4am with Lindsay Lohan, who I didn’t pay attention to enough to recognize, but my Swiss friend and the guy working the counter swear that it was her.

Another night we went to a concert at Webster Hall sponsored by Jameson that was called Pettyfest. It was musicians playing covers of Tom Petty songs. While I didn’t recognize everyone that played, they were all from established bands, and it was a reminder that Tom Petty has written lots of great songs. The best part was that we had been listening to the Strokes a lot together and I had introduced her to Portlandia to show what my hometown is like from a comical viewpoint. So when Fred Armison of SNL and Portlandia fame got up to play drums and then Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes did the same, we were very excited. In fact, she admitted she and her friends had all had a crush on Fabrizio and made sure to get pictures to send to them.

All in all not bad for a free concert and free Jameson.

But now, I’m waiting for the storm of the century, or some such disaster to strike. My Swiss friend went to DC and she’s there with friends, waiting for the same. The subways were closed yesterday evening, so I missed what is generally a very profitable night of work at my restaurant, and today I’m not working again. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed, I prefer to take off from work when it’s planned. I’m trying to occupy my time with some movies and finally writing another post for the blog. The wind is howling outside, but the real storm is still somewhere offshore. I have food, beer, Jameson, movies, and a book for when the power goes out, which in all likelihood will happen at night when reading will be impossible, so I hope I’m drunk enough to just sleep through all of it.

My Portland friends and I had a running list of things you need for the Apocalypse, since the whole Mayan thing has been gaining steam. Sure there’s always those emergency preparedness kits they tell you about in the media, but our list was things you don’t think you need until they’re gone. The problem is, people usually think things will come back to normal right away, and generally they do. But when you look at what happened with hurricane Katrina, or when ice storms take down all the power lines, or ridiculous amounts of snow fall in a region like the Pacific Northwest as it did in 2008 and transportation ground to a halt and store shelves were empty for weeks, that’s when things start to get weird.

It’s good to have a network of people to rely on, who can help you out when you run out of supplies, or help you raid and loot other groups of people that have lots of supplies. Think of the Road Warrior and that crazy gang that Mel Gibson took on. Dressing in leather, wearing modified football pads and having a mohawk also looks cool and helps with the intimidation factor. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have much of a gang out here.

So here’s my impromptu list and remember, this is speaking in case of a purely hypothetical emergency, post law and order scenario.

1. Guns and ammo.

I’m not talking about the magazine, I’m talking the real thing. I know what you’re saying. Guns are bad. Guns hurt people. Yes they do. Just remember what Clint Eastwood said before he started talking to empty chairs: “There are two kinds of people in this world my friend, those with guns, and those who dig. You my friend, dig.”

It’s part of my American heritage, the wild west, if it’s me or you, well I’m choosing me. So don’t come busting down my door to rob me.

2. Drugs.

Legal, illegal, I don’t care. Drugs can be considered medicine, therapy, a way to pass the time. Even if you don’t use them, someone else may want them so it’s a good item for trade.

3. Booze.

Once again something to pass the time. Remember all the people looting cases of beer during Katrina? That’s why you better be able to protect your stash from the needy and the greedy. And whiskey is helpful if you need to remove a bullet or an arrowhead with a dull rusty knife blade. Just like in those old Western movies, sterilize the blade, give a drink to the patient, pour some on the wound, a little for the doctor…

4. Lipstick and Makeup.

This suggestion came from my friend Jenn, who pointed out that women still will want to look good. And guys, just like drugs, just because you may not use them doesn’t mean that someone else won’t covet them enough to trade for something you value.

5. Tampons.

Once again, I have to give credit to Jenn on this too. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the value of having happy women.

6. Candy.

One more from Jenn, who pointed out that living on ramen, insects, and forest berries will get old pretty fast. Good to have something for your sweet tooth.

7. Wet wipes.

Hygiene is important, and if clean water becomes scarce and hot showers become a luxury, these could come in pretty handy.

8. Condoms.

When your iPhone no longer works and the internet’s down and Netflix stops delivering, there’s still that old fashioned form of entertainment that never goes out of style. There’s always baby booms 9 months after disasters, but if you’re not ready to repopulate the earth Post Apocalypse and want to stay STD free while fleeing across the country to a safe zone away from the zombies, make Trojan Man your right hand man. Or use your right hand, man.

This list is not all inclusive and can always be tailored to suit your own personal tastes, but feel free to use it as your guide for survival, because not only is your physical health important, but your mental health is too.

Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting here for the worst and I’ll post some pictures if anything exciting happens in the ‘hood.