|A dark Manhattan after Sandy–-by david_shankbone via Flickr|
Oh Sandy, can’t you see, I’m in misery…..
Forgive the pun, (or ignore it if you’ve never seen the 1978 film classic Grease), but that’s exactly how I felt when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City on the very day I attempted to move into my first-ever walk-up apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Before I go any further, I should address the question that any sane person would probably ask, “Why did you decide to move during a Hurricane?”
Honestly, while it probably wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, it was slightly justified.
I’d been living temporarily in a hotel for the past month in Midtown as I had just relocated from rural Vermont and had work in NYC, but no place to live – a rare situation for someone in New York. I hadn’t planned on living in a hotel, as I was supposed to leave from Vermont for a business trip, and come back to my new apartment in the city.
Unfortunately, that apartment fell through while I was away – so I ended up arriving with a laptop in one hand, and five days of professional clothing in the other. Fast forward through a month of hotel living without laundry, and you can see why I was desperate to find an apartment.
So when I found an open room in a newly renovated industrial loft in Williamsburg, I jumped at the chance not only to have my own space, but to finally be reunited with the rest of my clothing that had been sitting in “short term” storage. And when the landlord said I could move in before November 1, I went for it. I knew bad weather was coming, but I’d been in four hurricanes previously — most recently, Irene, which caused my home and possessions a great deal of damage in 2011. So what were the odds of another one interrupting my life just a year and some change later?
Well, it turns out the odds were pretty good, as I realized while hauling the umpteenth soaked box of space-bagged clothing up four flights of stairs. My boxes were soaked, my clothing was soaked, and the pounding rain was doing the leather interior of my car no favors.
|Flooded streets during Hurricane Sandy–-by shankbone via Flickr|
The sunglasses I was wearing at the time were great for shielding the rain from my eyes, but didn’t help to avoid the puddles I’d made in my repetitive soggy trips up and down the stairs. I ask myself how many loud thumps the neighbors must’ve heard when I fell — they must have thought I was drunk, in addition to plain crazy.
Fortunately, I did manage to move most of my stuff prior to the serious damage Sandy caused later that evening. As a seasoned veteran of multiple hurricanes (although how, I don’t know, as I’ve never lived south of D.C.), I was feeling pretty proud of myself as I neared the end.
Mother Nature seems to be a fan of irony rather than hubris, however, as I learned trying to move a framed picture of waves crashing into an island. Turns out the wave in the photo wasn’t the only thing crashing, as I learned when the 60-70+ mph winds caught the lightweight frame and sent it flying – smack into my face. A bloody nose was enough to tell me I should stop packing up and start hunkering down.
I added a bloody trail next to the soggy trail up my 89 steps, and spent a good half hour googling whether or not being able to wiggle my nose an inch in both directions means it’s broken (spoiler alert: it doesn’t). Meanwhile, I decided to jump headfirst into my role as a good New Yorker – I cracked open my last Vermont microbrew, filled my bathtub with water, and settled in on my makeshift pile of sheets and pillows I had tossed on the floor to watch the storm go by from inside.
|Despite Sandy, I completed my move to Brooklyn–-by Jaydensonbx via Flickr|
After a month apart, a hurricane wasn’t going to keep me from my favorite sweats. I declared victory against Sandy as I relaxed in my new apartment with my waterlogged belongings, and kept my injured nose elevated for the rest of the evening.
Suzie Dundas is a PR/Communications Media Consultant living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.