A Londoner in New York part 6: Hurricanes and Hipsters

Hipsters. Fucking hipsters. Only they could make a hurricane more bloody irritating than it is already, and with the whole no power/not being able to leave the apartment for days on end, it is bloody irritating enough. Mid-hurricane, we decided to have a little wander up to the roof because seeing Manhattan without power is just something you have to do when the opportunity presents itself. I’d been reluctant to leave the safety of indoors during the first day, much to the dismay of my far more adventurous housemates, who had gone for a wander to “check out the flooding.” There are times in life when you have to just say no to being hit in the face by a flying bin, and I felt as though that was one of them.

But after the power outage struck that evening, I thought the roof was a safe enough place to feel adventurous when really not being that adventurous at all, so up we went for some high wind related funsies. What made the experience less funsies, however, were the hipsters using this meteorological fuck up as an excuse to be really bloody hipster-ish. Up they trotted with their alternative hats and non-prescription glasses, practically shitting themselves with excitement thinking of all the fun they could have uploading their photos onto their Macs and playing around with the colour settings. I was then sadly dragged in on the act, and made to take a photo of them IN THE HURRICANE so that they could “quickly put it on Instagram.” Really? Really, hipsters? Is Instagram honestly your biggest priority right now? Everyone else on the roof was doing that thing you do when you watch fireworks (the occasional ooh and aah, interspersed with silent appreciation), but they had been there for all of five seconds before the Kodak moment had ensued and they were planning how many social media sites they could shit all over with their hipster hashtags.

It seemed sort of fun and exciting when the power first went out, but it was only by the next day that I realised what a mess the city was in. Given we had no internet at home, and I had no phone reception whatsoever (still don’t on both counts), I was kind of oblivious to what was really happening outside. But yesterday, I decided to make the hour and a quarter long walk uptown to my friend’s place (who, incidentally I couldn’t tell that I was coming given the lack of phone signal), as doing that was a far greater alternative to sitting around all day. What I accidentally forgot, however, was that as around 99% of Lower Manhattan is still without power, walking home at night time would be a rather terrifying experience. It’s honestly hard to imagine a city like New York completely black on every corner to the point where you can’t even see the hands in front of your face, but that walk back was pretty bloody scary. How on earth I even navigated myself back in the darkness from so far across town given my geographical ineptitude is nothing short of a miracle.

We’re likely to be without power and subways for at least a week, which may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re washing yourself with several day old water by candlelight, it feels like a reasonably big one to be honest. Of course, it’s nothing compared to the devastation that has hit so many parts of the city, but the hurricane has been quite isolating in some ways, and the lack of working traffic lights anywhere near where we live makes the roads of New York even more ridiculous than usual. We’ve been having a lot of vodka related fun in our apartment block, though, so every cloud.

When I’ve not been hiding from the storm, I’ve been trying to do some babysitting on the side to reel in some extra funds, although this has been largely unsuccessful. I was offered a full day of work in the Bronx, which was “one block from the ghetto” to quote its owner, and I did contemplate this for a while, thinking that I could just man up and be the strong independent woman Beyoncé has been telling me to be for all of these years. But then I remembered that I’m about as ghetto as a crayon, so I quickly declined. Lots of people genuinely do get shot in the Bronx on a daily basis, and I had tickets to see Alanis Morissette the next day, so it just seemed like it would have been bad timing.

It has been a pretty awesome week for live music, actually, and watching Joan Jett perform live from about 10ft away was the highlight of my life in NYC so far for sure. Less good was the Alanis Morissette gig, though, where I was enjoying bopping along to Ironic (the only song of hers I actually know) when AN ACTUAL MAN WIPED ACTUAL PHLEGM ON MY ACTUAL SHOULDER. This is not a joke. I mean, who the fuck does that? It was an Alanis Morissette gig for one, so the number of bodily fluids flying around was at the bare minimum (just the way I like it). But my elation soon turned to trauma as I saw an palmful of the yellow stuff on the shoulder of my cardigan. The fact that I am an avid cardigan wearer should, in my mind, alert people to the fact that I would not appreciate having their mucus rubbed all over it, but lo and behold, some people are obscenely selfish and disgusting.

So life has been pretty weird on all counts lately, but life in New York is still awesome, and although the Halloween Parade has been cancelled tonight (for the first time in 39 years!), we’re off to Bette Midler’s Halloween Party to see Blondie perform. Let’s hope Sandy doesn’t manage to fuck that up too! Until next time…

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