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new york's alright if you wanna freeze to death

Day 67 of 365: a year in songs and photos

Song: Fear, New York’s Alright

A little over a year after moving here from California, he’s officially a New Yorker. Though he says he will NEVER be a New Yorker, he’ll always be a Californian and, you know, the sun always shines on Sacramento and everyone who comes from California shits gold and everything is bigger, better and brighter in California. Mmhhmm.

Of course, he complains non stop about the New York weather and it’s so cold and miserable. Anyone see the weather in Sacramento this week? HUH?

Every time he walks outside and it’s snowing or feels like 40 below zero, I expect him to come back inside, pack his bags and head back to the Land of Sunshine and Infinite Awesomeness (note sarcasm there).

Well, he’s got a New York license now, so I guess he’s staying 🙂

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dakota

We walked by the Dakota yesterday on our way to the museum. My fascination with this building has nothing to do with John Lennon, and only came to surface a few years ago when I read Time and Again by Jack Finney, a book about time travel that takes place in New York city, with the Dakota as a central location.

The book was quite profound for me, as it touched on several ideas I had running in my head for quite a while in relation to time travel and the fabric of the universe in general. They are ideas that are hard to describe to people, as talking about or explaining them usually bring shrugs or strange looks in response.

An excerpt from the book before I get into this any farther:

He said, “There are other essentially unchanged buildings in New York, some of them equally fine and a lot older, yet the Dakota is unique, you know why? I shook my head. “Suppose you were to stand at a window of one of the upper apartments you just saw, and look down into the park; say at dawn when very often no cars are to be seen. All around you is a building unchanged from the day it was built, including the room you stand in and very possibly even the glass pane you look through. And this is what’s unique in New York: Everything you see outside the window is also unchanged.”

[…]

“Picture one of those upper apartments standing empty for two months in the summer of 1894. As it did. Picture our arranging – as we are – to sublet that very apartment for those identical months during the coming summer. And now understand me. If Albert Einstein is right once again – as he is – then hard as it may be to comprehend, the summer of 1894 still exists.

Time and space. Have you ever visited an historical site? Have you ever stood where Paul Revere once stood or touched a wall that Edgar Allen Poe once touched? Have you ever looked at the trees in your backyard and wondered who was here before you, when those trees were just saplings?

It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, to feel the coming together of time and space, of histories, of past and present. I think if I sat in my yard long enough, facing the grouping of trees on the north side and maybe looking up, right into the branches and leaves so I can see nothing else, I could be back there, when this was all forest and woods. And if I sat just as long in the vast fields of the elementary school, at a time of day when there were no cars zooming by on the parkway that edges the school, maybe at that time of morning where it’s neither dark nor light, I could see the old potato farms stretch out before me. November 19 of long ago.

My parents’ house used to be an airplane hanger. Who’s to say it’s not still an airplane hanger, with each moment in time living on top of the other, each unaware that they ever stopped or started existing? Maybe time piles on top of itself and never really disappears.

I thought about these things yesterday as I stood in front of the Dakota and remembered the passage from the book. And I thought about them while in the Museum of Natural History, looking at artifacts that existed long ago, objects that were held or worn or used by people who existed centuries ago. How amazing is it to look at a dinosaur bone or jewelry from 1200 BC or 3000 year old sculptures?

If you try hard enough, if you are open to the ideas and tuned into the past, you can feel it when your feet touch upon a stone walk that existed in the 1800’s. You can feel the existence of the thousands of other feet that walked there before you. If you put your mind in the 1800’s, you can sense the people like ghosts. Except they aren’t ghosts. They are the past, living in tangent with the future and the present.

As I said, it’s not something that’s easy to explain and it’s certain to make some people think I’ve lost touch with reality. The idea that different planes of time can co-exist is something talked about in science fiction novels, but taken seriously by very few. I don’t know anything about quantum physics. I can understand very little of the mechanics of theories put forth on this subject. For me, it’s not a matter of equations and calculations. It’s just feeling. It’s the knowing that something existed long before you did and lived and breathed on the very spot you are standing on now. Who is to say it is that November 18, 1894, 1900 or 1776 does not still linger there? Perhaps reaching those dates from 2007 is a scientific impossibility, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t here, unfolding right on top of us, unseen.

I believe that every thing, living or inanimate, has an energy to it. A store, a car, a person. And when that person or object moves from one place to another, they leave some of that energy behind. There’s a store in the local mall that used to be a restaurant I worked in for years. It’s weird walking in there. I look around me and see not racks of DVDs and action figures, but tables and chairs and the people I used to work with. I could almost hear my name being called from the kitchen. It’s as if little ghosts of all the people who passed through the restaurant were still in that place, eating and drinking and cooking….It’s not a theory, it’s not a scientific fact. It’s my own way of connecting time and space. It’s what I feel connects us with the past, because the past never leaves us. It’s here, we just have to look for it.

Furthering that theory, it’s not even about the people or objects leaving the energy behind. The past and its energy is soaked up in everything it touches. So those stone walkways, the brick on your house, the tree in your yard, the dirt under your feet that goes on for miles, the walls of a school, the sign on an ancient building, the artifacts in a museum, dinosaur bones; they are all what binds us to the past, they make it possible (for me) to believe that if parts of the past remain, then past as a whole must remain also, surviving off the energy its remnants hold.

I’m sure I lost most of you a few paragraphs up and I’m sure more than a few of you are wondering if my brain is sleep deprived again (it is, but that’s another story). As I said, it’s a hard thought, a difficult concept to explain without sounding loopy.

But who can prove it’s not a real concept? Maybe a man can walk out of 1970 and into 1882, maybe not in a physical way where he can alter things or interact, but as an invisible presence, observing, just as the past is an invisible presence to us right now. Perhaps all it takes is an open mind and willingness to see that the past is still very much in the present.

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Tourist blogging. This is the modern day equivalent of showing people home movies of your oh-so-exciting vacation. Except here, you can just navigate away. It’s not like sitting on Uncle Jack’s couch, stifling yawns and wondering if Aunt Martha’s deviled eggs are going to kill you before the boredom of the Grand Canyon vacation slides does.

in a one horse open sleigh

The last four days have been a whirlwind. Todd’s parents have come and gone and we had a fabulous time together but man, I can’t wait to get back to a normal workday today. They exhausted us. In a good way!

We spend yesterday in New York City doing the tourist thing with them. It’s interesting – I’ve lived here 45 years, just 40 miles from Manhattan and I don’t think of it as anything special. I suppose I take it for granted because it’s right there. When we do go into the city, it’s usually with a purpose to go to a specific place or see a specific thing and we I don’t really look around and take everything in.

There is always that one moment of awe I always have when I walk out of Penn Station and onto the city streets. I stop, look up and smile at the magnificence of the city. And then move on.

It was so much fun to see parts of Manhattan through the eyes of tourists. I decided to let go and play tourist myself, trying to see the city and the sights as if I’d never seen them before. I absorbed every sight and took in every sound and really saw the landmarks and attractions as if they weren’t just something to pass on my way to a destination.

Todd’s parents have a neighbor who used to live in New York. He gave them a list of “must see” spots in the city. They did a tour bus thing on Friday, but the weather didn’t cooperate; it was rainy and foggy all day and the tour was somewhat of a bust. So, armed with a list of things to see and a beautiful, sunny day, we were on a mission to make sure Todd’s mom and dad got to cross everything off their list.

First stop was the Empire State Building. I was there once (I know, what kind of New Yorker has been there once?), about seven years ago and we spent all of ten minutes at the top. Honestly, it isn’t on my list of Things To Do. That whole fear of heights things doesn’t make it a attractive tourist stop for me, and when we arrived there and discovered the waiting time to get into the observatory was 75 minutes, I wasn’t at all thrilled. But, troopers that we are, Todd and I (and his dad, really – I think dad would have bailed if mom wasn’t so insistent on completing the list) waited and stood and waited and stood and eventually we made it to the 86th floor. And I got up my nerve and actually stood by the barriers and looked down. You can’t help it. The view is breathtaking. We had 25 miles of visibility before the haze settled in and it really was spectacular. Truth be told, it wasn’t worth the excruciating wait just to see New York spread out like a map in front of you. But it was worth the wait to make Todd’s mom so happy.

esb 1

Next on the list was a ride on the subway. Apparently, the neighbor told Mom and Dad P. that you can’t have the true New York experience without riding the subway. It’s not like they don’t have subways in California. They’ve ridden the BART plenty. But, it was on the list and had to be done, so we decided to take the 6 train uptown to Grand Central Station, which was also on their list.

33rd street

Well, that was exciting. But, it did save my back some extra pain, which was hurting ever since we decided to walk the last six flights up the Empire State Building to skip some of the line. Let me tell you, Todd’s mom is like a machine when she’s on a mission. The rest of us were lagging behind, sort of limping along and she was running on full steam the entire time.

grand central stationGrand Central Station. I had never been there before. Ever. I remember reading about the renovation a while ago, but it never occurred to me to actually go see the place. I couldn’t imagine what the interest would be. Well. I’m really glad we went. The architecture and design of GCS is truly amazing. Beautiful. Stunning. All those words. If you ever visit New York, I recommend that you stop there and just gawk at the intricate detail and the painted, vaulted ceiling and the absolute grandeur of the place.

From Grand Central we took the subway to Times Square. They had driven through that area on their Friday tour, but didn’t see much of it, so they wanted to walk around a bit. It really is a fascinating place. So many lights, so many signs, everything is flashing and noisy and standing right under the place where they drop the ball on New Year’s Eve, you might feel for a minute that you are standing in the center of the world and every motion and movement in the universe radiates from that very spot. Then you look around and realize there is nothing but chain stores and restaurants and you take a few pictures and move on to the theater district.

times square

We almost skipped this part because we were in a rush to get to Central Park before one of us (not saying which one) dropped out of this tourist race, but Mom P. saw the sign for Spamalot and got all excited at seeing the Shubert Theater, so we walked over. Good thing we did, because we stumbled upon Junior’s, a place my own mother – a frequent NYC visitor – is always raving about. Something about the most amazing cheesecake on the planet. So we took a little rest at the counter at Junior’s for some caffeine and cheesecake.

mmmmm

Yes. Yes, it was the most amazing cheesecake on the planet. I even dreamed about it last night. And I still have a little chunk of it sitting in a plastic container in my fridge and I just figured out what’s for breakfast.

Next up, the last thing on the list. Central Park. The last time I was in Central Park was St. Patrick’s Day, 1980. And I was a bit drunk and not at all interested in actually seeing the place as opposed to just finding a rock to pass out on. So yesterday it was like seeing it for the first time. So huge! So beautiful! Humming with roller skaters and sunbathers and children playing and live music…..the day was absolutely gorgeous; bright sun, warm, spring-like weather. There were people in bathing suits lazing on the rocks, hundreds of people on bicycles, a few people playing improvised jazz and old men playing checkers and a bunch of kids on a carousel. Surrounding the park are old, graceful buildings and modern structures, places with names like Trump and Helmsley, and you look at the people coming out of those buildings and wonder what they do for a living to be able to afford to live there. We saw all this on our horse and carriage ride, just another one of those New York institution type things I had never done before yesterday.

central park reflection

We took a cab back to Penn Station, and I slept most of the way back to Long Island, exhausted but satisfied that I’d finally seen the city I take for granted through the vision of a tourist. However, I didn’t quite fulfill my “vision of a photographer” thing, especially in Central Park. We were moving too fast the whole day to really take the time I like to take when photographing. So Todd and I are going back next Saturday when we’ll spend more time in Central Park and I’ll get some Times Square at night shots.

We had a great couple of days with Mom and Dad P. It was nice to see Todd and his parents together and it was fun observing which traits he gets from which parents (he is a healthy combo of the two of them, but is the spitting image of his father). They met my entire family and everyone loved each other. His parents are really so nice, so sweet and it all went so well that it was just another one of those instances where we look at each other when all is said and done and say “this was just meant to be.”

Anyhow, thanks to Todd’s parents for a wonderful weekend. We’re going to return the favor of a visit and head out to California in January.

Meanwhile, I still have a lot of my own state to see. I realized after yesterday’s touristy visit, that there are a ton of things right here on Long Island that I’ve taken for granted. I’ve got a lot of sight seeing to do.

more pictures here, though i still have a ton to upload.

* you do know where that title is from, right?

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tko and fight #2

Fine.
The phrase fight is over. You all win. It’s IN line.
I shall change my ways from hereon in.
But you can settle another argument:
Who is more arrogant: New Yorkers or Californians?

Update: Scoldy has more about this here. and here.

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breaking

While it is ok for me to announce that it is fucking hot outside, just for the sake of complaining, it is not ok for news programs to act like this is the most astounding breaking news in the last ten years and lead off every newscast with the temperature and do fifteen segments on what humidity means and why you should drink a lot of water and OH MY GOD WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IT’S THE HELLISH HEATWAVE, ’07!

It’s July.

In New York.

It’s hot.

This is NOT news.

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About two years ago, I read this book: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler. It was a good read, especially since the summer of 77 contains some of the most vivid memories of my childhood.

There’s a mini-series starting on ESPN tonight based on that book. I’m semi-excited to watch it. Excited because I know the story so well and it will be interesting to see it played out. And not so excited because I know the story so well and I know what often happens to “based on a true story” tv movies.

What follows here is a pretty long ramble of my memories of the summer of 77 (and it’s probably all I’ll have up here until tomorrow as we have a crapload of painting to do after work tonight). If you make it through the whole thing, thanks.

New York City in 1977 was in the middle of wild upheaval on all fronts, from the hunt for the Son of Sam killer and the citywide blackout to a brutal mayor’s race and the rise of punk rock, the zenith of disco and the zoo-like season of the New York Yankees.

Of all the years of my life – and that’s nearly 45 of them – 1977 is the year I could tell you the most about. It was a time so jam packed with intensity and emotion and drama – I don’t recall any other year of my life being quite like that one. Of course, I was barely 15 at the time and there’s enough emotion and insanity inherent in that alone to make the year worth telling about. But there was something so different about 1977, especially the late spring and summer. Especially in New York.

I was in the midst of my first year in the local Catholic high school. I had a new set of friends, a new way of life, a new outlook on the world. I would be 15 in a few months. Life was good. Life was mine.

Though we lived on Long Island, we weren’t that far removed from the glamour and excitement of New York City. Even at our young ages (and I doubt there is a Long Island parent today that would be as permissive as our parents were back then) we would sometimes take the train to the city on weekends and just walk around, using our allowance money to buy records and eat burgers at the Steak and Brew, where we tried to pass ourselves off as 18 year olds to get the free pitchers of beer that came with the burgers. No matter how good it was to be 14 or 15, it seemed there was always something better on the horizon. We wanted to be 18 or 19. We wanted to cruise around in cars and go to bars. We were jealous of the permissive lifestyle that was so prevalent in NY at the time – Studio 54 opened in 1977, punk rock was on the rise and bands like The Dead Boys were playing at CBGB’s – it seemed there was so much turmoil, yet so much excitement. It was all so glamorous in a decadent way, you couldn’t help but want to be caught up in it.

New York City was just coming out of terrible times – there had been a huge financial crisis (I’ll never forget the Daily News headline from when the president was asked to help bail NYC out: Ford to City: Drop Dead) and there had been a stretch when the South Bronx was literally on fire for the longest time. My father was a city fireman at the time and he was always talking about how there would be no fires left to fight in the area eventually because it was all going to burn down. Bushwick (Brooklyn), where my father worked, was no better. It was a constant battle to stop the fires and to stop the emotional fire that was spreading throughout the area. As the heat rose, tempers rose. There was a general feeling of unrest that made my father dread going to work. It wasn’t just the flames; it was the feeling that there was something else about to explode besides empty tenements. My parents discussed all this at the dinner table with us, and as we watched the nightly news together, we watched New York City almost die before our eyes.

So there we were in 1977 and the city was alive, much in the way Frankenstein was alive. There was so much happening, and we would sit on our suburban porches and be wistful about it. While we may have been able to get to the city on a weekend day, there was no way we would be able to take part in the nightlife that was going on there. Not at 14. As much as some of us wanted to stick safety pins in our faces and slam dance at CBGB’s or some of us wanted to wear glittery dresses and platform shoes and dance the night away, it wasn’t going to happen. And we knew that by the time we were old enough to enjoy this stuff, it would all be gone and there would be new scenes, so we lived vicariously through newspaper accounts and tales from older friends.

And then David Berkowitz came along and the aura of NYC seemed to dive headlong into a dark, ugly time.

When parents realized there was a serial killer on the loose, it was like life outside of school and home shut down. It didn’t matter that it seemed this killer only wanted young brunette women in the Bronx and Brooklyn and Queens – you know how parents are. Fear spreads as fast as rumors. So doors were shut and curfews were made and this layer of nervousness settled over us that spring and lasted well into summer. People talked about Son of Sam everywhere, in stores and at the pool in the dentist office, but they talked in whispers, as if saying his name out loud would be to call him into our safe, suburban homes.

I remember one friend’s mother – a holy roller who would make trays of cookies for us and serve them with religious tracts – moaning about how we deserved this, this day and age was so decadent what with it’s disco and punk rock and women dressing like whores. She pronounced whores so it rhymed with sewers. Dressed like hooo-ers. She was afraid the end times were coming and Son of Sam was just the harbinger of certain death and destruction and God’s wrath upon us.

Which it may very well have seemed to a lot of people that summer. I know I had my share of fear. While the summer of ’77 and all of its intensity and scariness played out on the front page of the Daily News every day, there were other, smaller things going on in my little world that just added to the thickness that was beginning to choke the life out of summer. A young woman who lived five houses down was murdered; thrown off the roof of an apartment building in Brooklyn by a jealous boyfriend. My friend Lori had taken to visiting her relatives in Queens that summer – she came home with stories that made me wonder if Mrs. Holy Roller wasn’t on to something – a girl who had been raped with a broomstick right in her own bedroom, by relatives. A shopkeeper gunned down by a 14 year old. And Lori’s 13 year old cousin, nine months pregnant and shooting up heroin. Now, I think about all those stories and I know that Lori was exaggerating some and making some up and maybe she liked to see the horrified look on my face. But then, in the midst of New York on the brink, in the midst of this general feeling of an uprising of evil and animosity towards anyone who didn’t walk the walk of the norm – animosity that bordered on hatred – I believed it all and it made me feel sick.

Between the oppressive heat and humidity and all that was going on around me, I felt a sick sense of dread that summer, but it was a dread tinged with a curious excitement. There was so much electricity in the air you could almost hear the crackling of static when you woke in the morning. And it was so damn hot, it was the first time that when my mother said this heat could make people crazy, I didn’t hear it as a cliche at all. It apparently was true.

The relentless swelter had gotten to all of us, kids and adults alike; we were short tempered and cranky and prone to starting fights over nothing. We were living on the edge and we all knew it. I think we aged five years that summer, all 14 and 15 but cynical and hardened in a lot of ways, from having so much death and tension and raw energy shoved in our faces every day, from the newspaper headlines to shell-shocked parents withhammering us with statistics and warnings.

We were living all this out with a soundtrack, huddled in the abandoned house next to the high school or in the sump or in someone’s garage every night, listening to this bizarre mix of the Ramones and Sex Pistols, Kiss and Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Queen. We were all revved up with no place to go, just some green grass and white picket fence kids both fearing the world we were living in and wanting so much to be an intrinsic part of all that fear, to be in there, at some punk club or on the quiet streets of Brooklyn, looking for a serial killer. We settled for drinking cheap beer and smoking stolen cigarettes and alternating our disaffected youth rock music with the sounds of baseballs being hit out of Yankee Stadium.

July 13, 1977 found us sitting in front of my house. Nature was offering us a freaky show of heat lightning and we stared at the sky for a while, entertained by nothing more than streaks of electricity bolting through the air. And then a weird thing happened. It was subtle, almost imperceptible from where we were sitting, but I noticed it and so did Lori. The night sky got darker. Something changed. It was about 9pm. By 9:30 or so, news of the New York City blackout had spread and we realized we had witnessed it in a way.

I remember my mother, in a state of near-panic, saying “this won’t be like 1965,” and it was only later on that I knew what she meant – the blackout of 1965 was calm and peaceful. The blackout of 1977 was anything but, and we could almost anticipate it, sitting in my mother’s kitchen listening to the radio for breaking news. I thought again of my friend’s mother. It was all coming to a head – Son of Sam, disco, punk rock, Abe Beame and money woes and rapes and murders and pregnant 13 year old girls on smack. Somewhere in Levittown, Mrs. Holy Roller was probably under her kitchen table with some candles and her rosary beads and the bible, waiting for Satan himself to bang down her door.

I was scared. Out there on Long Island, where we had lights and television and safety, I was scared. The news of the riots and looting and mayhem came in and my mother remarked that New York City was a sinking ship, a disaster of Titanic proportions. My father was at work in Bushwick and that panicked me, it even panicked my friends. This was the climax of everything, of all the turbulence and fear and the explosion we had been waiting for – or predicting – was happening.

I thought this would be the end of all it, in a way. I thought of the graphic my English teach had drawn on the blackboard just a few months ago, showing the movement of a story, with the climax as the peak of a mountain and then everything slowly rolling down the hill after that, towards the inevitable resolution. I expected that everything after the black out would be anti-climatic as the conclusion of this summer drew near. Although it was only mid-July, it was if summer was ending right then and there. I never wanted so badly to get back to school and normalcy and routine. I hated that there was more than another month of this floating feeling left, that time and all the empty space between July and September was pulling us towards something worse, something even darker. Maybe the blackout and the subsequent mess of arrests and broken glass was it. Maybe from here on, we could get back to the business of being kids who don’t think about things like men who stalk and kill. And we tried. We hung out, we listened to records, we went to the movies and started and ended teenage romances and some of us went to summer school during the day because we didn’t pay attention in 9th grade biology.

On July 31, Son of Sam struck again and broke us out of our complacent reverie. It’s not like we had forgotten about him – he was on the front page nearly every day and we were devouring every word from Jimmy Breslin, who had become this cult figure demigod; an agent to Satan to some who thought Breslin was giving the killer too much publicity, a hero to others who praised Breslin’s caustic, raw writing and his willingness to be a pawn in order to bring this killer into the open where he could be caught.

And finally, he was caught. August 10, 1977, with summer almost over, with back to school banners already hung in the windows of May’s department store. with all the hot, open days of freedom already taken from us, a killer was moved off the streets and into jail and the sigh of relief everyone breathed nearly cooled the air.

Somehow it fell to the Yankees to salvage 1977 for us. Ron Guidry, Mike Torrez, Sparky Lyle, Mr. October with his five home runs in the series, three in one game. Watching those games against the Dodgers, listening to the sounds of the cheers, New York seemed good again. It seemed whole. And then there was Howard Cosell on ABC during game 2 of the series, as another one of those Bronx fires burned out of control behind the Stadium and he intoned “There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” And that seemed to epitomize it right there, to encapsulate everything about that summer.

The Yanks won the series, Ed Koch replaced Abe Beame that November and New York, as always, recovered. But not without leaving its mark on some of us, even 14 year old kids out in suburbia who vicariously lived through the whole sordid summer, but felt every bit as if it belonged to them too.

It makes quite a story, anyhow.

Update: Bushwick Blog has more on this, including something I failed to include – why the Bronx was burning.

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Rock You Like A Hurricane

I really wish they (“they” being a myriad of people/organizations) would stop telling us that New York is “due” for a really big hurricane.

They’ve been harping on this for three years now. You would think they’d understand by now that as-yet-non-existent hurricanes don’t really have a travel itinerary. There’s no hurricane boss standing around saying “Ok, Hurricane Frank, you will head to NY in August of 2007.” It’s not like these things are flying into Kennedy Airport with their bags packed.

Yea, we’re due. The same way we are due for a blizzard of previously yet unseen terror. The same way we are due for a tidal wave that will sink Long Island into the ocean.

Oh, that reminds me. When I was in high school (centuries ago!), they used to tell us that Long Island was sinking an inch a year and pretty soon it would all be underwater and we’d have to find somewhere else to live.

We’re still here.

Why do the People In Charge Of Everything love to be such alarmists? Maybe they are in cahoots with Home Depot and they have an agreement that says every spring they need to announce an imminent, dangerous hurricane so people run out and by plywood and generators and stuff, and Homeland Security gets a cut of the action.

It doesn’t matter to me, anyhow. I’ve said this before: If a huge hurricane decides to make its way here, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not packing up my family and heading to higher ground. I’d rather take the chance and possibly die in my house than perish in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. Because, let’s face it. If there’s a mass exodus along those Coastal Evacuation routes they set up, it’s gonna take about seven hours for you to get from one exit to the next on the LIE. By the time the hurricane hits, we’ll still be bumper to bumper trying to get onto the Triboro bridge and I ain’t going out like that. I spend enough of my life cursing at the traffic jams on Long Island. If I have a choice between facing a hurricane in the comfort of my own home or making a lame attempt to flee the storm and dying in a sea of Expeditions and Suburbans, I’m going to opt for sticking my head under the covers and waiting it out in my bed.

Even if we survive, it’s not going to be anything like the aftermath of Katrina. Long Islanders are inherently lazy people. We can’t be bothered to loot and riot. Most people around here would spend the days after just worrying about how this affects their lawns or their golf plans.

Besides, there are more important things to worry about, things that the People In Charge of Everything are suspiciously silent about when it comes to preparation and planning.

Screw the hurricane alarmists. I’m ready and waiting for the coming Zombie Invasion.

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