Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Status Update

Calves still aching from Sunday (60 flights of stairs followed by a 5-mile walk) - but it was so good to be outside and free to meet up with friends, and I slept really well that night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

X Marks the Window (Irene Part 2)

I ventured outside around 1 p.m., after most of the flooding had subsided.  Here's what I saw in lower Manhattan.

A Visit From Irene (Part 1)

When we heard that Irene might stop by - in fact, that she was already on her way and could probably not be talked out of it or otherwise headed off at the pass, so to speak - we got ready. We heard that she might even stay a while, so everyone went shopping so they could really welcome her in style. Even though, if truth be told, everyone thinks she is a bit of a blow-hard.

* * *

The subways stopped at noon, and the word from City Hall to everyone in Zone A (low-lying coastal areas) was "Fly, you fools!"  However, our local 24-hours-a-day Duane Reade store in Zone C (elevated coastal areas) was open until 9 p.m.

So I went on safari at 7 p.m. to see what was popular for Irene's visit.  What follows is, in effect, an amateur supplement (and homage) to the original scientific study which provides the definitive baseline and analysis.

In downtown Manhattan, people want juice.  But not just any juice.  They want half-gallons of Tropicana, thank you very much:

Packing Tape and Fish Oil

What else do you need when you're hunkered down for a storm?  Packing tape and fish oil!!! 

Masking tape and packing tape are completely sold out. 
No one fell for the old "Scotch tape is every bit as good as duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape" ploy (see right).  However, it is not clear if even duct tape (let alone regular packing tape, which is much weaker) would make a real difference in a hurricane, at least according to the folks from Hurricane Tape.  If they are right (and if their "test" wasn't rigged for advertisement purposes), packing tape and fish oil are quite possibly equally effective against hurricanes. 

Fish oil is so worth it at $15.99 (above) or $17.49 (below right).

But the fact remains there are different theories on the effectiveness of making a big X on your window during a storm.  I was thinking of buying masking tape last night, on the theory that it would be better than nothing and easier to remove than packing tape (which I already owned), but fortunately my fellow consumers saved me from myself by buying everything out before I got there.  However, at 10:30 pm, after they shut down the elevators, I finally broke down and decided to put up X's on my windows with the packing tape left over from my move.  In fact, I went one better and made  big asterisks surrounded by squares.  I decided not to worry about the difficulty of removing the tape.  I also shut the blinds and the curtains.  After all, why not?  If I didn't do it, and the windows blew out, I'd really be kicking myself.

Overnight and this morning, the wind and rain were barely noticeable from my apartment, so I took down the tape around 7 a.m.  Turns out it came off without any sticky residue - there was a protective film of dirt on the inside of each pane.  So I now have slightly cleaner streaks of glass where the tape used to be.  The outside of my window panes remains FILTHY - the rain was (whether fortunately or unfortunately) not blown against the glass. 

But I digress.  Let's return to the safari.  What other trends can we see in a local Duane Reade?   Let's take a stroll down the paper products aisle and take a look.

Paper Products 

Irene is expected to be a little messy, so there was quite a run on paper towels. 

The paper products aisle.  Every roll of paper towels is gone.

That makes sense, I guess. Although it seems a little extreme, since ALL the paper towels were gone. Each and every one.  Good thing I still have another six or eight rolls left from my soap.com order back in March.

All those rolls you see in the photo on the left?  Toilet paper.  In abundance.  Yes, it seems we do not need much toilet paper in downtown Manhattan.  Why is this?  Glad you asked.

Or on second thought, maybe I'm not so glad you asked.  It is a good question, but...

I don't want to be unnecessarily graphic, but let's just say various types of laxatives and enemas were rather popular as well.

Bread and Water

Allrighty then. Moving on!

Bread is in demand, but not fancy crackers.

If you're going to be virtually imprisoned in your home, what foods are most symbolically appropriate?  You got it: Bread and water.

No more baguettes?!
We don't mind if our water is in liquid form (as long as it's not a weird lime flavor)....
...or if it is in solid form....
... just as long as we don't have to filter it ourselves.

Chips and Locusts

OK, let's take a look at the chips aisle. Everyone makes movies about zombies overrunning cities, but what about locusts?  Case in point:

A swarm of locusts, unreported amidst the storm coverage, cleared out all the chips.

No more chips left.  What's that blue-and-white locust-repellent stuff hanging down in front of the shelves?

Aha - chewing gum!  Look carefully at the two words at the top of the display.  I'll zoom in a bit to help you read it:
And let's zoom in just a little more on those two words:
A question, which the consumers have answered.