Two days after Hurricane Sandy, I feel so very lucky (almost shamefully so) that my neighborhood is almost back to normal. I’m so grateful to all of the people who work at the businesses around here who took cabs or biked to work, especially my Starbucks baristas, who are the greatest… ever. In this part of Brooklyn, there was minor flooding, but most of us didn’t lose power. Coffee shops and grocery stores are open again! But since the subway’s not running yet, there’s really no place for any of my neighbors to go, so we’re all kind of walking around aimlessly. I just gave my apartment the most epic cleaning of my entire residency here.
It doesn’t feel like Halloween. Mayor Bloomberg (wisely) canceled the very famous parade (the one that Grace attends with her brother in The Believer’s Daughter) through the West Village because no one can get to the West Village right now, and it’s still a little unsafe to be out walking around when so many old trees were damaged.
And yet still, my neighbors are doing what they can to keep our beautiful neighborhood festive. Jack o’lanterns were returned to doorsteps as soon as the winds died down, and kids have been outside all morning putting their big cotton cobwebs back out on their fences. I’m sad that these kids won’t get to have a big party in Cobble Hill Park this year, which is the playground a few blocks from where I live, but so relieved and grateful that as a community, we were unharmed by the monster storm that caused so much damage to neighborhoods around us.
Clean-up efforts on Bergen Street yesterday included removing a lot of limbs from trees that fell into the street. City employees were up bright and early to begin the massive task of ridding the streets of debris.
And one of my favorite places on earth, Book Court on Court Street, was open the day after the hurricane. As much as I love e-books, I genuinely love spending an hour in a book store and picking up a book I know I’m going to love in hardcover. Book Court is very much the heart of the neighborhood of Cobble Hill, offering story time for kids in the mornings and hosting very awesome authors like Junot Diaz for readings.
So many of my co-workers live in downtown Manhattan and are on their third day without power or water. That’s pretty terrifying, and not in a Halloween kind of way! But all kidding aside, my heart goes out to everyone whose home has suffered irreparable damage. Halloween feels a little more like Thanksgiving to me this year, because I am so thankful that all of my friends and family on the East Coast are safe.