I didn't take the threats of Hurricane Irene seriously at all until Saturday morning. The Boy had stayed over and it was my turn to go and get us coffee from Starbucks.
I walked to my local one to find that it was closed. Undeterred, I walked to the next one to find it shut too. As far as I am concerned, no Starbucks means "the end of the world as I know it" ... hence when I started to panic.
I went home, empty handed, to find the Boy ready to leave my place as the MTA was about to shut down all public transport and his brother had to be evacuated from Long Island and stay with him in the Bronx.
We both set off on our own grocery missions. Me to Gristedes for ham, bread, cans of tuna and inexplicably (although it seemed like a good idea at the time) a jar of artichoke hearts. Him to Fairway for his favorite roast chicken and a baguette (who's the French one in this relationship?!). I also made a pit stop at the liquor store which had the longest queue of all. I felt an extra pang of love for my fellow New Yorkers then - we may have been facing an indefinite blackout but none of us were prepared to do it sober and conscious :)
After the Boy left, I met with a bunch of my friends for a boozy brunch that lasted until the evening, while the rain poured outside. CS and I had already agreed that she would stay with me for the weekend so we went home and pooled our "groceries" together which by this point included what I had bought earlier and her snazzy selection of cheese and biscuits, as well as no less than six bottles of wine between the two of us.
We woke up the next day hungover but surprised to find a clear sky and a gentle breeze sweeping the Upper West Side. We managed to find the only bar/restaurant open that day in our neighborhood and met some more friends for yet another long brunch with bottomless Mimosas.
Many areas of New York State were badly affected by the storm and I hope that everything will be repaired soon. But I can't help but being amused by the reaction of people in the City. I have since read that during this whole experience, Whole Foods had sold out of organic hummus first or other "luxury" products, before any of the other life saving things people might need. Manhattanites (me included) can be so out of touch with reality sometimes!