This is the story of how to gain 15lbs in one week of a weather disaster…
Sunday, October 28
It started out innocently enough. Lunch with Sam at a local favorite on a somewhat soggy October Sunday. I had the country salad with a perfectly poached egg on top. Sam, having given up her vegetarianism, had the Luxemburger.
We had a few drinks as we read the doomsday warnings in the NY Post and Daily News. The headlines were daunting. They screamed ‘There’s No Place To Hide’ and ‘Play It Safe & Evacuate’ – But since there was no place to hide, we weren’t sure where to evacuate to. We were told it was a ‘Monster Storm’ and wished a ‘Happy Hell-Oween’.
We went item by item down the list of things we were instructed to have in our ’emergency’ kit – some we had, some we didn’t. We had a few questions about the list:
- Did some loose bandaids and a tube of expired Neosporin count as a ‘First Aid kit’?
- What am I supposed to do with duct tape even if I did own some?
- Besides my stock of canned artichoke hearts, what other ‘canned goods’ should I have in my pantry?
- What’s the conversion between gallons of water and liters of Evian? Evian was on special at the Stop & Shop, so I bought a lot, but I’m not sure I had 1 gallon per person per day. Also, there was no mention of how many days I would need.
- If I packed a ‘go-bag’ where was I supposed to go…I mean, there was no place to hide from this monster super storm!
While at lunch, we learned that the Mayor had ordered a complete shut down of the City’s subway system at 7pm followed by a complete shut down of the bus system by 9pm. The elimination of public transportation coupled with the doomsday forecasts forced all NYC businesses and schools to announce they would be closed on Monday.
So, there was like no work on Monday….but no way to get out or home to meet people? I knew very early on that Sandy was evil.
That night, after Sam caught one of the last subways home, I met some upper west side friends for dinner. First, we went to Barcibo for wine and some amazing meatballs.
Dinner at PJ Clarke’s followed – cheeseburger, duh.
I walked up CPW and noted the signs posted outside each entrance to Central Park: Park Closed Due To Storm Conditions. I worried about the tents and bleachers that were erected for the NYC Marathon – how would they withstand the winds?
I noted all of the stores that were closed or closing early. I witnessed dozens of people carting bottled water out of Food Emporium. (Food Emporium never closed. Never – amazing).
Every restaurant and bar was closed and it was only 2pm. Even Cafe Luxembourg who the day before promised to be open, was closed. I decided to stroll up Columbus for a few more blocks before giving up and going home. I know, crazy, I cook and have a lot of food in my apartment…but, the threat of being cooped up there for the next unknown number of days drove me to fight the winds and rain which had started and find a place to eat.
AG Kitchen was open. I hadn’t been there yet and there was one seat at the bar…It was packed. Maybe because it’s relatively new and very good. But most likely because it was the ONLY thing open.
I mixed with the people – sharing stories of preparedness with the couple to my left who lived on a very high floor of an apartment building nearby. Chatting up the pair of building utilities management guys from ABC who had been brought up from DC to help ensure that ABC would have power throughout the storm. I jokingly asked if I could stay at the station if I lost power….they didn’t really get my humor.
I had a pretty decent bowl of roasted tomato soup and grilled cheddar cheese.
I had started comfort food eating…and Sandy had yet to arrive.
At around 2:45pm a tree fell in front of the restaurant blocking the entrance and almost taking out a couple and their dog. Once the manager at AG Kitchen and some other guys got the tree moved. It was time to go home.
I was home in time for the winds to really pick up and the heavier rains to start. I kept in contact with my friends via text or phone – comparing winds and rains and talking about what we thought might happen.
It was bad. Like scary bad. The winds were bowing the windows in my 14th floor apartment. They were literally moving…almost like breathing…like the walls in a haunted house of a scary movie. I called and asked the door guy to check with the super to reassure me that the windows were built to withstand winds of 80 mph and higher. I wasn’t the only panicked resident who called.
The lights flickered…twice.