August 27-28th, 2011 – OMG HURRICANE!!
When told that a hurricane is approaching, residents of most coastal states buy necessities, such as water, non-perishable food, batteries, and an evacuation kit. As Hurricane Irene approached, when Mayor Bloomberg ordered residents of certain parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan to evacuate and informed all residents of NYC that public transportation would be shut down starting noon, August 27, New York City residents panicked.
They ran into liquor stores and bought as many bottles of Stoli they could carry. They sent out last minute Facebook invites to hurricane parties, and coordinated with friends to bring enough guitar sets to play Guitar Hero. They stuffed DVDs into messenger bags. What about food? What doesn’t spoil? Chips and Skittles I guess. They took their precious netbooks and Androids and chargers to their friends’ apartments outside of Evacuation Zone A. A mobile hotspot was key – if the wireless router were to go out, maybe the cell phone towers would still be operational. Live tweeting the hurricane was essential. Even if they didn’t need to evacuate, they went over to a friend’s house anyway, because there was going to be a lot of booze.
My apartment is next to the Hudson River, so I packed essentials – basically, a bunch of electronics – and do you remember Ms. Kim from the Atlantic City bus? I packed the Snickers bar she gave me. I knew I would need it some day. That day had come. If the big bad hurricane were to blow New York City down, I would not starve. Then I headed to the Upper East Side, where a hurricane party was already in progress.
By the time midnight rolled around, an epidemic had swept the city. New Yorkers were experiencing bloating from eating all the sodium-laden junk food, inebriation from all the liquor, and the desire to escape from the ten people crowded into an apartment the size of a shoebox.
The streets were quiet all over the city, although according to Ilegal Mezcal liquor rep Kaylan Rexer, some intrepid lushes decided to weather the storm at Ward III bar in Evacuation Zone A in Tribeca.
And now some hurricane reports from disaster correspondents Courtney Gillette and Stacy Lentz.
My favorite thing about the hurricane is that there was a LINE on a FRIDAY NIGHT at the bookstore to buy BOOKS and BOARD GAMES and PUZZLES. It was like going to the shore, without throwing down for some place on Fire Island.
Otherwise, I was completely bummed to have to miss the gay wedding of the century. My friends Mona and Maria got married outdoors in New Paltz despite the hurricane! Half their guests were stranded in the city without public transit, weather reports warned everyone to stay inside, but it did not stop these awesome ladies and the wedding goers who made the trek. I offer the following photograph as evidence of their unstoppable joy. Take that, Irene! Gays gonna get hitched anyway!
As far as the hurricane I actually lost a house and a bar outside of New Orleans during Katrina, so I did take it a little more seriously than most New Yorkers, which means in addtion to a 24 case of beer or their favorite booze of choice, cigarettes and junk food which normally none of us would ever buy or eat, I did get a flashlight, jugs of water and other medical supplies just in case. I also, like ever single lesbian in Manhattan, was wondering why no one had come up with the female version of Grindr so I could have found a hot companion near me to ride out the storm with. [Editor's note: There is one - Qrushr. But I doubt most of the people on there are actually women.] Instead I went searching on my own, and since I am closer to Cubby Hole than my own bar, Stonewall, I went and drank with friends – which means the hot companions weren’t to be found in the eye of the strom – until the wind started to get strong enough, and we all knew it was better to be safe than sorry and headed home. We were lucky though in the city, as other areas had a lot more damage than was intially thought or reported.
With earthquakes and hurricanes hitting us here in New York many say it is the wrath of God for us passing Gay Marriage. I actully think it is the wrath of the LA lesbians, who are jealouse that not only did we pass gay marriage, but that we actually aren’t void of culture, have a better scene with amazing parties and bars to chose from, and aren’t viewed now as they are by rest of the country as only being made up of women with full sleeves tattoos and knitted caps. Just my own little consprancy theory.
The next day I woke up to mild wind and even milder rain. The hurricane had lost strength before landfall, and New York City was spared the brunt of the storm. Later that afternoon I wandered into Central Park to survey the damage.
Aww. Look at that Dunkin’ Donuts cup. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance.
Ahoy! A fallen tree branch. Something happened. Irene happened. It was real.
While this planet and other planets threatened to shake, blow, and confuse New York City into submission, we are still here, just as strong and irritated as ever.
Epilogue: I never got around to eating Ms. Kim’s Snickers bar. The amount of food at the Upper East Side hurricane party was obscene, and so I am saving it for another rainy day. Ms. Kim, I hope you won big. You deserve it.
Kamsahamnida and good night.
All photos by Grace Chu.