Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I walked out this evening to shop. We didn't really need food, though we were running low on milk. There was already a pot simmering on the stove, beginning to turn the evening apartment fragrant with the scent of ancho and cinnamon, orange and onion and garlic - a sauce for our supper tacos.

On the street I passed a small matador and a musketeer, the former announcing, Ole! on every set of stairs it could find to ascend, complete with excellent accent and sense of occasion. The matador had long legs in tights and wore tap shoes. She carried a small purse and flourished her cape formally at invisible adversaries.

We are on a lucky, dry hill.

At Mr Kim's, which we used to call Mr Lee's, the Mexican workers were piling into a minivan, their usual subway ride out of commission. Inside, in the leafy aisles, The Scream paraded, and was rewarded with candy from behind the till. The shop was well-stocked but there was not single, large carrot to be had. Interesting.

Key Food had no milk at all, neither organic nor hormoned, and practically no bread. I bought beer and flour for baking, some long life Parmalat (memories of camping) and perhaps some beer. When I got home I discovered some tiny chocolate bars that had been slipped into my shopping bags by my cashier.

At Heights Chateau I picked up some South African red wine made by Americans (...), and one of the staff members told me of his friend's waterside restaurant, wiped out on the island in a community where boats and yachts now reside in living rooms. They have lost everything, he said.

Vince was at home when I returned, back from his regular run through Lower Manhattan, which he describes as "complete chaos."

The whole of Lower Manhattan is pumping water out of deep subterranean structures. The Battery Underpass is flooded to the roof. People are working so hard, without sleep, to clean up, from professional crews and disaster management personnel, to city employees,  to individuals who've lost a sofa, a box of books, a mattress, a home.

From across the vast region I hear from blog readers, friends - without electricity, feeling cold, worried about opening the fridge, unable to be where they need to be; a Facebook friend who is an engineer, who went to bed at last after working for 60 hours straight in the subway system. Strength and love to you all.

What are we doing? Sitting high and dry, drinking our drinks, about to have supper.

We feel very sad, and genuinely, unsentimentally, grateful.


  1. "We are on a lucky, dry hill...We feel very sad, and genuinely, unsentimentally, grateful."

    Yup. Exactly. Couldn't have put it better myself. I think we're just at the beginning of dealing with all of this.

  2. Watching Bellevue being evacuated on television, and Cuomo touring the subway, which looks like a river, then reading this - comes a sad, eerie sense of 2005 deja vu. Your words brought tears tonight.

  3. Russ is right. The vvery worst part is how long it will take to fix it all. The pictures remind me of andrew in southflorida. Its hard to feel lucky that we escaped this one when so many "neighvbors" were wiped out. "Promoting the general welfare" will be a challenge for us all.

  4. everyone has to bring forth their strength. Even this kind "tiny chocolate bars that had been slipped into my shopping bags by my cashier." Don't judge. Just be.

  5. Down at the Battery, we're ascertaining damage to the gardens. We may not know how bad it is until spring. Salt water made it about 3/4 of the way into the gardens.

    But this is small stuff in comparison to people who lost homes, families, everything.

  6. Here in the UK we have had good coverage on the news. We probably see the shots that most Americans are seeing. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their homes and possessions, but, of course, to those who have lost family members.
    There are quite a few American bloggers I read regularly who have not updated in the last few days, and, even though I have never met them, I worry.
    It's a funny community, blogland. Perhaps caring is one of the main things that holds us together.

  7. Agreeing with Sara - just be. Lots of emotion, just be x

  8. Your posts are heart-wrenching,Marie. My thoughts continue to be with you and yours and also the many who continue to suffer. They will prevail, in time. And there will be a day again very soon when your posts will be filled with hope and promise, like a new spring garden.

  9. it seems you all took a bullet for us here in boston so i glad to know my go-to blogger(s) et al are in good shape. the reports we hear are daunting so i am glad to know people are showing, for now, their best sides. even gov. Christie has surprised me.

  10. I have yet to hear from a few blogger & FB friends. & I worry. I also worry about those who have lost homes, & jobs...

  11. Radian - what work do you do there? I am headed over the bridge now to see the gardens - I have been thinking about them.

    Thank you, e v e r y o n e, for your thoughts for this city and region. I believe they help, in a way we don't really understand, yet.

    As for Governor Christie - I do like a straight talker, and all this action might get him to trim down a little. He and the president look a little like Laurel and Hardie, together!

  12. Marie, so glad you guys are fine. Your pictures are heartbreaking and i totally understand not being able to take ones of people. It's hard to take photos of a city in pain. Our offices are still closed and i'm not sure when we'll be back up and running.

  13. Hi Dervla - thank you! How are you, and yours?


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