The silence now that the storm is passed is filled with the chattering of human voices, as the neighbors emerge from their houses and take photos of the damage. I peeked out the window before leaving the apartment this afternoon and marveled at the number of families trotting down the middle of the street that would otherwise be busy with city traffic.

The sidewalks are covered in a thick blanket of leaves, branches and shrubbery. Then, there are the downed trees. I am shocked by what I saw while walking around the 4 blocks we explored today! My street, 48th street, which connects Sunnyside to Astoria, is lined with old London Plane Trees┬áthat are pretty old for New York City trees. They swayed in the winds of the hurricane like little baby saplings in a breeze last night. And today when we went out to look at the damage, these monster trees simply fell, over pulling open the concrete and smashing everything underneath. It’s an awesome sight to see. There are 4 toppled trees on my block alone!

I haven’t ventured out of my area yet, but the photos I am seeing on the flooding and destruction in Manhattan is really scary. I can’t imagine looking out my window to see several feet of flood water. I remember wading across water that got to mid thigh here in Queens and being totally floored and jarred by the experience, but to have an entire neighborhood under water!?

I hear many people are still out of power, many are stuck in their homes until the water recedes, and many have lost their livelihoods to floods and fallen trees. I feel like all of this is somehow fake, like it’s some big ┬ájoke that will go away when I wake up tomrrow. I remember, in college, watching the movie “Cloverfield” with my then boyfriend and friends. The movie is about a huge extraterrestrial monster destroying New York City Gozilla-style. Watching that film in theatres I remember thinking how unimaginable it was to think that the seemingly indestructable city like New York could be destroyed. Apparently all it takes is a lot of wind and a 12 foot storm surge…

October 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm by Natalie Allen