Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preparing for Sandy

So, here we are again. Storm prep.

The subways will shut at 7pm tonight - this has already been announced -  it takes many hours to close the enormous system.We won't be going anywhere for a couple of days, unless on foot and in rainboots. Vince will be working at home.

The moving of pots began in the night, with wind gusts buffeting the terrace edges and the climbing roses squealing horribly against the aluminum gutter. Vince went out and brought down the fig. The fig is always the first. It has the greatest sailing capacity due to its long arms. Most of the other pots are now also on the terrace floor, under chairs, on and under table. The roof farm has been battened down, the beaded African guard sheep brought to the landing, along with deck chairs and tomato tee pees.

The cat is fascinated. The big pots on the terrace edge are waiting for the heavy lifting muscles of the Frenchman who is, as we speak, on his second shopping trip, the first keeping him in a line that wrapped around the girth of Key Food...

We have everything we need for a melting pot of meals: pad thai, ancho-spiced tacos, pizza, chicken cordon bleu (eaten first if the electricity goes), a multitude of egg dishes, salade Lyonnaise (since Vince bore home what I'm sure he thought was arugula but which turns out to be giant dandelion leaves), rice this way and that, and beans, beans, good for your heart.

We'll need beer - for us and for the slugs that I know will invade the new grazing grounds that we have helpfully brought down to the gravel. Wine. Maybe gin for a Baybreaker: A predicted 11 foot storm surge will surely cover that sand bar that is the Rockaways at Fort Tilden (Frank's Beach Farm). Jamaica Bay, its wildlife refuge, the strange beach-like community at Broad Channel, some houses on stilts in the water - they are in for a rough time, but are perhaps leaving already, as they lie in evacuation zone A (all dark orange on the linked map). Live storm prep updates are available at the New York Times' City Room.

This mandatory evacuation zone includes our local stomping grounds of Red Hook, and Dumbo; as well as Coney Island, the waterfront edges of Sunset Park, Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, parts of Manhattan along both the Hudson and East Rivers south of Midtown, most of coastal Staten Island, the already-mentioned Rockaways and parts of Long Island City in Queens and poor little City Island in the Bronx, near Pelham Bay.

For apartment life - we still have a case of water from Never-Happened-Irene, last August. We have flashlights, we have a nice handcranked/solar-powered radio (a gift from a WNYC pledge drive), we have portable entertainment (le chat noir) and he has plenty of food. We have freshly-charged camera batteries. Piles of them. We have an oil lamp and candles. We do not have cards. Maybe this is the time to learn to play poker? Can the cat hold a hand?

We are on the top floor and, though close to the water of New York Harbor, on a hill (by New York standards, at any rate) so we won't go floating anywhere.

We may leak, though.

Happy storm, New York. Hold on tight. Don't linger beneath callery pear trees.

3.30pm Super-local panic shopping update from the Frenchman:

Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable - double line backed up to the beer fridges in the rear
Trader Joe's - doors closed and only opened to let one shopper in when another exits
Pacific Gourmet - lines on the sidewalk, taking cash only to pay on the sidewalk


  1. Your preparations are impressive. I appreciate the update. Part of living through hurricanes is the resulting desire to check on friends along the east coast who are waiting for the storm. Keeses to Storbito!

  2. You sound nicely set :) Hopefully, before the next storm of this sort aims for the east coast, I'll have a nice set of 'Go' & a portable firepit. By the time the Frenchman gets back & up the stairs, he may well need a drink or 2 to recuperate!

  3. Batten ye hatches- a gale is upon us! Aye, but no more nor less say I.

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  5. I baked 2 cakes already (must have cake). We have wine, cheese, candles, milk, water and a generator, so if we lose power, the meats won't spoil in the freezer. Gas stove will work, but no oven (electric).
    I hope the NJ shore survives, and Battery well as the 100 year old oak on my front lawn.

  6. I have just been watching the news all about the approaching storm. Sheets of plywood are being put up against windows and all the evacuations. It sounds as if you are well prepared, these storms are so so destructive, and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it except sit tight and hope for the best. I'll be thinking about you.

  7. We're doing the same prep around the corner, Marie. Terrace furniture brought into the house. Plants strategically placed to minimize flight. I struggled through the madness that was the Key Food on Atlantic and have done all the prep I would have for a blizzard or earthquake (if one could prep for that). I thought I was the only one filling bathtubs. (Do you do that out here??) Now busy making cupcakes and lasagna. I think you can tell a lot about the people who, in times of pending crisis, see it as an opportunity make a bunch of favorite recipes.
    Stay safe and dry.

  8. Here we go again. I've had massive migraine all day so I can tell you this: somethings coming.

    I don't know what it is but is is gonna be big.

    Stay dry, stay in touch.

    xo J.

  9. We are well prepared as well. Daughter Hannah and her cat Javier have come to ride out the storm with us. Henry is delighted to have his "nephew" here to romp with.

    Hope all goes well for you, your gardens, the Frenchman and Estorbo.

  10. Stay safe and dry everyone, and warm if you can!

  11. I'm sure Estorbo could learn to play cards.he has the classic "poker face."

    Be safe,all of you.

  12. Be safe! And enjoy the time you 3 get to spend together. It sounds like you are ready as can be.

  13. My delightfully New Age cousin just called to wish us luck, and pointed out the personality traits I share with Sandy because we are both Scorpios. (Mine was also a few days ago.) Cousin said, "her slow movement would trick you into believing she is always gentle, but she can be very volatile and if you don't respect how meticulous she is with her craft than you can really pay the price." Happy Birthday to my fellow Scorpios.

  14. Souds like youve done all you can, so might as well break out a good book and some wine. Thinking of you and hoping for the best.

  15. My husband is away in Scotland so I am on my on doing terrace duty. My apartment now looks like a garden shop run by an incompetent. At least I have access to unlimited basil, lavender, rosemary and fennel (ok a little limited..) I am jealous of your menu. With hubby gone, cooking isn't as much fun. I'm remembering the roast chicken we made while Irene rained on. Making a simple risotto and a little wine tonight and sending a toast across the sea.

  16. Hope all goes well with you, Marie, and all the good citizens of America's great city. Amidst all the preparations--and howling sounds--we can sure that our relaxed Estorbo will shed a little bit of his usual equanimity.. Especially if he is dealt a hot hand.

    The river has now swallowed my 40' dock 5' above a Virginia river on the Bay, and the lights now flicker ominously. But I have had power long enough to see the Giants beat the inept Cowboys. Now nursing a soft red Nobilo straight from Montepulciano. All is well.

    Good luck to all.. At moments like these, we are a united people. Don't you wish it would last?

  17. Your preparations are amazingly thorough. Will be thinking of you,Vince and Don Estorbo and waiting for updates. CNN appears to be in full panic mode.

  18. I hope you and your Frenchman, chat noir and jardin stay safe and relatively dry!

  19. Stay safe, Marie, Beence and Mr. Cad. Thinking warm, dry thoughts for all ...

    Keli'i and 'Kaika

  20. A graphic account of your preparations - I'm almost apprehensive to look outside, never mind go ...... but all is quiet here,even the south-easter

  21. Gonel:
    Hi Marie!
    I have been reading your blog from mounts. I love flowers and I like so much you classic taste!
    Now I'm afraid for you and I think about you!!!
    I hope everything will be ok!!!
    Greatings from Bulgaria!!!

  22. Stay safe all of you in the path of Sandy. It sounds terrifying from all the news reports over here - in our thoughts :)And yes, beans are perfect! x

  23. oh my gosh I wish I were camping at your place for this storm! your food plans sound incredible.


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