Tuesday, December 28, 2010


(Photo courtesy ShiaHD on this page, with video available.)
New York City.  The city that never sleeps.  Surely, a major snowstorm…a blizzard…wouldn’t be enough to strangle the Big Apple.  Right?


WRONG.  Big time.

The big Christmas whopper of a storm (New York Daily News) struck while Carrie and I were near Albany, visiting her mom, brother, and niece.  We watched the snow fall, and had a largely uneventful drive back, despite some 10 inches or so.  We got up this morning and began the trip back into Brooklyn.  Sean and my mom came along for the ride.  All was well – the Taconic, the Sprain, the Cross County – all pretty good.  We hit some traffic on the Deegan near the George Washington Bridge (what a shock!).  Getting into Manhattan and shooting down the FDR Drive, and across the Brooklyn Bridge was easy – better than usual.

Brooklyn was OK, though some lanes on the BQE just mysteriously disappeared.  Yet overall, all went well.
Then I turned onto a side street.  This thoroughfare, one that I use very frequently, was, in short, a total clusterf*%k.

You want pictures?  You want to see how bad this area was?  Check out the good people over at the Ditmas Park Blog.  Some great shots are here and here (and there’s a lot of coverage of the storm).  But specifically, have a look at this post, with a picture of a bus that brought everything to a stop.

Including us.

I went forward…backwards…and repeated.  I did everything I could to move us.

We were stuck.  I had visions of abandoning the car, just as many others – TOO many others – had done.  I didn’t want to consider what that would entail.

Fortunately, a few enterprising guys walked by, and asked me if I needed help…for a price.


It took an hour – probably more.  These three guys (I never got their names), worked feverishly; digging, pushing, strategizing.  It took enough to get us back to the nearest corner and turn me around.  The only thing to do was to get us back to Ocean Parkway – which was clear, save for the cars parked in the center turning lanes(!).

A Russian gentleman (I’m basing it on the language he was speaking) rooted us on and gave me driving instructions.  A shopkeeper watched and smiled, as did others.  In some ways, we became a fascination of sorts (a celebrity, as our saviors thought I looked like one).

We had to dodge parked cars – including those in the middle of the road.  We had to dodge shovels stuck in the road, trying to dig a mini van out.  We had to dodge people, standing the in the road.

Eventually, we were free, and I waved and honked the horn with a mix of relief and joy.  I was able to work around that street and get Carrie within a block of the warmth and happiness of her apartment.

Sean, Mom, and I escaped from New York.

I think, largely thanks to the good humor and companionship of my passengers (who were amazingly patient), and the nature of the guys who worked so hard to free us, that my rage isn’t over the top.

But ho…lee…crap.  Trains aren’t running.  Buses are stuck.  Side roads are a nightmare.  Emergency vehicles can’t get through.  Parts of Brooklyn and Queens are literally paralyzed.

Yet…YET…effing Times Square is getting cleaned up for Friday night.  Are you kidding me?  Is that where the priorities are?  Who the hell cares about the million idiots watching an orb?

Clearly, Michael Bloomberg and business people do.  But they don’t even remotely care about the outer boroughs.  The regular folks.

Must not be an election year.  Oh that’s right, the mayor was just reelected.  How convenient.

I literally just heard one of Mayor Bloomberg’s henchmen (Joseph F. Bruno, commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management) saying that the storm wasn’t predicted to be so bad.  Is he an idiot?  I was up near Albany, watching The Weather Channel, and Carrie and I could both see that NYC was going to get HAMMERED!

This is an embarrassment of huge proportions to New York City.  Oh Times Square will be just fine.  It’s the rest of the City that is a mess.  A forgotten mess.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I agree- the plowing situation in the boroughs is ridiculous! I too can't believe that Times Square is the priority. NYE is almost always a let down, anyway and most Manhattanites don't to Times Square to celebrate. If everything else is a huge mess, will people even come in to Time Square? So much effort!
Oh, Bloomberg.