As I belatedly type this on the eve of Hurricane Irene, after a day’s worth of panic from the radio (“If you and your children should find yourself near downed power lines, don’t touch them!” Thanks guys!), trudging through endless grocery lines, and now nervously wondering if the few people I know stuck in Manhattan made the last subway train out (deadline: 12:00pm), it all seems a bit extreme.
We on the East Coast are geographically fortunate, mostly avoiding natural disasters that plague the rest of the country. We’re on a major fault line, but it’s mostly inactive. We do get storms, but they’re weakened after moving up the coast. We’ve even had the occasional tornado, though with the dense build-up they’re rarely as destructive as those in the Midwest and barely touch down. So it’s a bit of a surprise having a hurricane follow an earthquake in less than a week.
The yin and yang of stereotypical New York mindsets, the high-strung neurotic and the blasè rock, are reacting about as expected. For every gallery owner panic-grabbing fontina and prosecco at Eataly screaming “I HAVE CHILDREN TO THINK OF!”, there’s a stoopfull of elderly Hispanic guys quietly chatting and playing dominoes (which they would continue doing whether the sun came out or a car exploded in front of them). Given how hectic day-to-day life in a crowded city is, either mentality is an acceptable coping mechanism, but it’s funny how few major disasters the city has to deal with. With the 10-year anniversary of September 11th drawing near that may seem strange to write, but it’s the 10-year anniversary, and how many large-scale terrorist attacks have we experienced since? Exactly.
Which brings me rather long-windedly around to this week’s pattern, from a state that’s no stranger to devastating natural events.
Stay safe, everyone.
On a random tangent, I declare the Allan Moore lookalike the Stevie Nicks of Kansas, for while the rest of the band plays 12 instruments each, he sings and plays tambourine. And sports a boss beard.