Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Aftermath of Frankenstorm / Sandy

I woke up this morning feeling very fortunate. Fortunate that I slept safe and sound, while other New Yorkers and nearby New Jerseyans have been battling all day and night the fierce impact of Hurricane Sandy.  Those of us who grew up in this area are accustomed to Nor'Easters and bad storms, but this one was certainly unprecedented.  Not so much the rain, but the winds clocking in at well over 55-60mph and the tides and storm surges just brought in devastation that we in the Northeast have not experienced in our lifetimes.  With the major power outages and flooding throughout New York City and it's outer boroughs, it's definitely humbling and quite an eye opener to realize that a bad storm can really devastate and bring this bustling city to a standstill. All mass transit, subways, buses, commuter trains all cancelled.  Subway tunnels around the city flooded and Battery tunnel that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, is completed flooded. Houses in Queens and Staten Island completed submerged by the flooding. This is definitely the worst storm I have ever seen.

This morning, I took my coffee and walked to the East River Promenade near my apartment. I haven't spoken about this on my blog, but this past year, I have moved from my beloved house in Staten Island to Manhattan. I'll have to write a follow up blog post to talk about the move and why, but for now, here are some photos from my new neighborhood. I took this photo as I approached the promenade and saw  lots of people out and about and looking at the East River and the FDR Drive.
10am this morning, and looking North on the East River. Dark clouds, wind and rain still rolling in, but it looks much calmer than it was yesterday.
Looking South down the East River, you can see the 59th Street bridge in the distance. All the bridges and tunnels are currently closed, and no one can come in and out of Manhattan. Even the Holland Tunnel has lots of flooding as well. Governor Cuomo said in a news conference that the Hudson River flooded into the Battery Tunnel completely immersing it!
A sight you never see.  A completely empty FDR Drive on a Tuesday morning which is closed because of flooding.
This a pretty amazing BEFORE and AFTER shot.  The top photo I saw on NBCnews.com and was taken last night by a fellow New Yorker. The East River crested and completely took over the FDR Drive and flooded it.  The photo below it is the After shot I took this morning at 10:00 am when I walked to the promenade near my apartment. The photo is overlooking FDR Drive South and is in the same spot as the NBCnews photo except the other photo was on street level,  and I took the photo above on the promenade. What an insane juxtaposition!!

Dangling construction across from the promenade.
A view of FDR North. Empty!! A tree limb in the middle of the road. Usually at this time of day, it's bumper to bumper traffic!
A lot of people are doing the same thing I was and checking out the promenade over the FDR. 
The best news of all .... Our beehost sent us a photo this morning of our rooftop hive. We were so worried about the hive on the roof and on Sunday we came and secured it down with a crank strap. The crank strap that we put on the hive on Sunday prevented it from flying off the roof! Bees are safe and sound. Hooray!
One of the most amazing sights was this oil tanker that washed ashore in Staten Island. Talk about wind blewn! A 20 foot storm surge pushed this giant oil tanker ashore onto a city street near the shore! INCREDIBLE.  See the article here.

As fortunate as I feel right now for surviving Hurricane Sandy unscathed, I feel heartbroken for all those affected by this storm.  The people who have lost their lives, I am thinking about them and their families. Watching the news is humbling.  Mother Nature is fierce and definitely a force to be reckoned with. It makes me realize what I take for granted. Seeing all the photos and video of the destruction all around the Tri-State area where I grew up,  places I know so well and love so much, it makes me so sad.  From the destruction down at the Jersey Coastline, to the flooding in New York, it's just incredible to see how quickly a storm can cause so much devastation and destruction.  The first responders working through the night are amazing and just simply... heroic.  Rescuing people in flooded zones, putting out fires throughout the area, and putting themselves in danger to save others.

Despite the damages and destruction, I know that the people here will band together in the cleanup and rebuild better and stronger. Having experienced 9/11, I know that we are tough, and we are resilient.

To see some amazing photos taken by people throughout the Tri-State area, check out this slideshow.  It's pretty shocking to see the pictures from the storm, truly incredible photos.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tracking Sandy aka Frankenstorm

This is quite a storm that is hitting the Northeast Corridor. Sandy or "Frankenstorm" is pummeling us. Last year during this time, the week of Halloween, we were hit with a snowstorm! And now, we have a Hurricane.  Oh, my! Here is a snapshot of the latest Con Edison power outage.  Roughly 200,000 customers are without power now.  Luckily, it hasn't affected my neighborhood yet.  Here is the link for the Con Ed power map.
My friends told me to fill my bathtub with water in case there is a power outage and we have no running water. I don't have a bathtub in this new place, so I did the next best thing. I filled all my garbage pails with water. It's not for drinking, it's to flush the toilet in case there is no running water.
A lot of my family and friends are without power. In case my power goes out, I found all my flashlights, candles, and pain reliever in case of headache. Sandy, I'm ready for you.
I can hear the wind howling outside. The weatherman says it's gusts of 50 mph. There are reports of lots of flooding in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Jersey City and Hoboken. Prayers and thoughts for all those in the path of the storm. Stay safe out there!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gardening 101: Part 1

It's pretty much the end of the growing season.  I wanted to rewind to the beginning of summer, and talk about some of the things I did when the growing season started. I was way too busy to blog regularly, so this post is long overdue! I had a lot of extra seedlings that I wanted to give away and contacted my cousin Kathy out in Queens to see if she wanted any of the plants for her backyard. She said yes, and back in May I went over to her house and we did an afternoon of planting.
We planted 6 pots of Heirloom tomato seedlings. I gave her a variety of tomatoes ranging from Jaune Flamme, to Brandy wine and cherry tomatoes. Doesn't Kathy look so happy?
We also transplanted some heirloom pepper seedlings.
Here are all the seedlings transplanted!
We also sowed seeds of lettuce, radishes and snap peas.
Here we are reading the instructions of how deep to sow the seeds.
Carefully counting out radish seeds.
And planting them. These will grow so fast! Radish seeds all sowed.
And planting plenty of lettuce seeds! These seeds I got free from Super Sow Sunday on Gardenchat.
We planted lettuce in window box planters. They grow well in there.
Kathy is really into gardening, she especially loves orchids and has an amazing collection of orchids in her kitchen. She's been able to have them re-flower! I have to get Kathy to teach me how to get orchids to re-bloom, I have never had that happen before. I need to learn that trick.  I really enjoyed chatting with her about gardening! Gardening is definitely in our blood.
Serious beginner gardeners!! In the back, you can see all the pots we transplanted. I just realized we are all wearing black shirts! We're like a gardening gang! Go team gardeners! We dressed alike, but it was not intentional!
 It felt like we planted for hours! It was a lot of fun!
Handing out seeds to the helpers!
It is so much fun to share in the gardening "bug".
Stay tuned for the next blog post, I'll be writing about how well the plants did!!
(All photos taken by my cousins Mary and Kathy)

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