And have you noticed how many East Village windows still have tape on them to protect from flying glass and stuff...? (Or maybe this pre-dates Irene... and to ward off UFOs...)
"Happy Hurricane Day," a burly, bearded man named Carlos said as he walked into Mona's, a longtime watering hole in New York's East Village, on Friday night and asked a barmaid to pour him a whiskey. "Nah, that's Sunday," came the barstool reply from a short, clean-shaven man who looked like the actor Fisher Stevens (and may in fact have been him).
A kind of stoic comedy, with a kick of gallows humor, permeated New York late Friday night as the city braced for what meteorologists predicted could be one of the worst natural disasters in its history. In preparation for Hurricane Irene, the state was already taking the unprecedented step of shutting down mass transit at noon Saturday, a move that equates roughly to Los Angeles banning cars on city streets during the weekday rush hour.
... The East Village, where Mona's is located, is one of New York's premiere nightlife districts. Well past midnight on almost any weekend night, bars are typically packed, the sounds of noisy inebriation — emanating from those who've traveled miles from homes in suburban New Jersey or blocks from dorm rooms at New York University — filling the streets.
You get used to odd sights in New York, especially in the East Village, a crowded artsy neighbourhood known for a bohemian mix of hipsters and gritty old-timers, which boasts a bar on virtually every corner.
But panic-buying supplies for a hurricane? That was still a novelty for even the most jaded Manhattan eye. Yet there they were: crowds of people lined up outside local supermarkets and thronging "deli" corner stores.
The queue outside the Trader Joe's supermarket on 14th Street stretched all the way down the block, filled with a cross section of East Village life from suited-up young office workers to people clad in gym gear to smartly dressed nighthawks.
Seeing the line it was easy to be briefly disappointed at a lack of fortitude in a city that celebrates a reputation for toughness and scepticism of danger. But, gratifyingly, the line for the cheap wine shop next door was even longer.
All emergency items purchased on Thursday, Friday & Saturday including:
No exchanges and no returns