Hurricane Irene

I was really trying to come up with a clever title for this blog post, or at least something other than “Hurricane Irene”, but that just didn’t happen. Oh well, they can’t all be flawless emeralds. Some are going to have to be chipped…rocks.

(Note to self, blogging in the morning may not be ideal)

Anywho, when I first started hearing about Irene and the vast and total destruction she would bring to our fair city, I was of course excited. As I grow older, I learn that most people are, to one extent or another. Possibly because it is just a thing. Like everyone else, I went out and started buying supplies. I got snacks, cereal bars, water and some soda. I even bought a pair of rain boots, in case I had to walk around in a torrential downpour. Buying things has a sort of thrill all its own, so I can’t be entirely dismissive so shopping addicts.

As a kid, I grew up watching storms for fun, a trait I must have picked up from my mother. On one occasion, we literally sat in a garage and watched one. My mother called them “wind storms” and explained to me that they were like hurricanes, but different because they weren’t warm enough to be actual hurricanes. Wikipedia suggests that these storms are known as extratropical cyclones, which sounds pretty cool, but some people won’t respect a storm unless it has a hurricane name.

I’m rambling at this point, so let us get back to the topic at hand. Anyways, the storm news was exciting, right up until the point where I started hearing talk of things being cancelled. Things like every train, bus and plane for the foreseeable future, many hours before the storm would even start affecting us, and it hits me just how inconvenienced I would be by this storm. Having lived a monstrously fortunate life, the worst thing I can recall from the various storms I’ve been through is losing power or being stuck inside for long periods of time. Since I live in Jamaica, Queens, losing the subways and buses would mean that I would either be stuck at home for most of Saturday and all of Sunday, or have to walk for hours just to get anywhere.

When Saturday finally showed up, I went out to buy some final supplies. I made the mistake of heading for a grocery store at first, and for a scant few seconds I even stood in the ridiculous line, but then decided just to go somewhere else. Luckily grocery stores are not the only place one can buy things, just one of the cheaper places. Convenient stores, while convenient, are notoriously pricey when it comes to everything, but the one a few blocks from my apartment had little to no line to speak of, so that’s where I went. Perhaps someday I will have to answer for my extravagant spending, but by then I plan to be homeless and crazy, so I don’t really worry about it.*

With all the supplies I counted on needing, I went to McDonald’s for one last hurrah. I really need to stop going there, but it’s the single most convenient food-type place near my apartment. That and I’m fairly certain there are addictive substances in their food, and I’m a sucker for the perceived value of so many calories for such a relatively low cost (never mind the fact that those calories are pure poison and my organs die a little with each bite).

Back on topic. After killing myself a little I went back home, ready for a long night of absolutely nothing, because the storm wasn’t even supposed to start hitting until after midnight. After a great deal of Internet, a thing I assume you are all familiar with, I ended up falling asleep. I think I saw it rain before I lied down, but that was about it.

When I woke up the next morning, it was all pretty much over. Like pretty much everyone else, I missed whatever it was that had happened, and saw only the serenity of a post-storm cityscape (Google Chrome is attempting to tell me that “cityscape” is not in fact a word, but if cityscape is wrong I don’t want to be right). It was cloudy outside, and I could still see the breeze moving tree branches about, but other than that it was hard to tell just by looking out the window that there had ever been a hurricane, tropical storm, or other such atmospheric phenomenon. After more Internet and eventually showering, I ate some of my rations (vittles as it were), backed my bag with more of the aforementioned foodstuffs, and made my way outside to explore the post-apocalyptic wasteland that was the smack dab middle of Queens County. In case it wasn’t obvious, exploring post-apocalyptic wastelands is another hobby of mine. I suppose I ought to go visit Russia or the radioactive Southwestern United States when I get the chance.

When I walked out the front door, sometime between 11 am and noon, the first thing I noticed was the debris. Tree debris, to be exact. Twigs, sticks, branches, and leaves nearly blanketed the streets and the apartment complex yards. It looked like some kind of premature Autumn, except everything was still very green. It occurred to me then that I might see some fairly cool stuff, and that I ought to write about it on Facebook or something, and that is when I got my idea to start blogging for real again.

To get back to the story, I started walking around, heading towards Queens Boulevard with no real destination in mind, though I did want to find something other than cereal bars and chips to eat for lunch. The convenience store was open again I bought a large bottle of Snapple Fruit Punch. I didn’t know Snapple came in any size other than the standard before that moment. Sadly only the smaller ones are glass; this was just boring old plastic.

The McDonald’s was closed, as were the vast majority of other stores, shops, and shoppes in the Kew Gardens area (I technically live in Jamaica, but I’m literally a few blocks away from Kew Gardens, and sometimes I tell people I live in Kew Gardens). As I walked on towards Forest Hills, however, signs of a more typical late Sunday morning were appearing. People were walking around, cars were driving by, stores were open, and the debris was far less prevalent. If only subway or bus service could resume, but it was not meant to be, and by that I of course mean the jerks in charge decided to chicken out for the whole freaking day.

I kept walking, and things continued to look more and more normal, with the exception of the X shapes taped on windows and places continuing to be closed. What happened during the rest of my post-apocalyptic tour seems like a story for another blog post, though.

*Do you plan for the day you will be homeless and crazy? You should.

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4 Responses to Hurricane Irene

  1. Flak says:

    No mention of unicorn ponies?

  2. AJBulldis says:

    Quiet you.

  3. RS says:

    So you’re saying that the biggest effect of Hurricane Irene was inspiring Anthony Bulldis to start a blog? Good enough!

    • AJBulldis says:

      Essentially, though I keep hearing about places that aren’t NYC that actually got pretty messed up. I can only assume our skyscrapers formed a protective shielding against the very weather. Man has finally conquered nature.

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