We hope all our friends are safe and doing well and send our sympathy to those that experienced unimaginable losses.
Here’s our memories of the past few days leading up to the night of the storm when it all went black:
Saturday night we took our pit puppy Hudson for a long walk down Third Avenue and the Bowery to the Brooklyn Bridge and back along East River Park. We took some night shots along our way that now strike us as the calm before the storm.
On Sunday, city parks, the subway and New York in general started to close. A vendor was selling “Sandy Is Coming Emergency Flashlights” outside Coffee Shop Bar on Union Square’s west side. Business was brisk.
Con Ed set up a staging area on the park’s north side. Dozens upon dozens of trucks and staff waited around, with the utilities employees drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and generally casting a somber tone.
Union Square Park, still open, was desolate for a Sunday afternoon. Trash cans in lower Manhattan were emptied and turned upside down.
More and more stores started to close and some decided to board up as they day went on.
Monday saw rain and quiet take over the city. Here’s a usually traffic-snarled First Ave deserted.
The East River, just around the morning’s high tide, started coming over the retaining wall.
Looking north, towards the 59th Street Bridge, the river is clearly agitated.
Here’s a short clip of the water slowly making it’s way onto land.
The East River seemed to get higher the 10 minutes or so we were there.
Here’s a video we shot in the wind and rain showing the East River starting to get more and more angry looking. The water is typically well below the top of the wall.
Eventually the area was taped off by the NYPD and onlookers were sent to the sidewalk across the opposite side of Avenue C.
Even away from the water, on Avenue A, the wind had started to pick up.
The pedestrian bridge crossing the FDR Drive was police-taped off Monday afternoon but widely ignored. A dozen or so people were checking things out along the seawall. The seawalls seemed higher and newer here with the water still being held back.
Eventually patrol cars swept everyone back across the highway and the 10th Street pedestrian bridge was guarded by a patrol car repeatedly making loudspeaker announcements that the bridge is closed and you risk arrest. Toward Avenue D similar announcements were being made warning that you were in an evacuation zone.
Then night came and the wind picked up.
Trees came down. Awnings started dropping like flies…
And then the tide rose.
In the distance of this video, back on the left, you can see and hear the water looking white pouring up Avenue C and spreading out into the intersection of Avenue C and 14th Street.
Neighbors watched together from stoops as the East River rushed up 14th Street. A high-standing Con Ed truck is sitting in the water down by Avenue C shining it’s head lights towards the camera.
Back at the apartment, drying out, two shuddering explosions lit up the sky. Something was happening at the Con Ed power plant located at the far, eastern end of 14th Street.
Shortly afterwards everything went black. The East Village, seen in our video, shot from our apartment, was dark. The far-off light is from Brooklyn, still with power. The crew at Artichoke Pizza is seen on the right trying to secure their shop by car headlights. Sirens joined the wind noise.
Flashes lit up the sky towards the west. The stairs down 10 flights were pitch black. The corner of 14th Street at First Avenue was pitch black.
A convoy of ambulances travel north up First Avenue.
The water was now at Avenue B and rescue operations had started. Accounts of people trapped in elevators circulated through the crowd. We later learned the water had risen to historical levels and cars were floating into piles down along Avenue C.
Preparations being made to head out into the darkness and water of East 14th Street.
Our seven month old pit puppy Hudson sensed the overall anxiety and wanted to help…