Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene passed through NYC last weekend. The TV news broadcast doom and gloom. Downtown Manhattan will be under six to twelve feet of water! New York hasn't been threatened with a hurricane like this in 100 years! The subways will be flooded! Will the Statue of Liberty even survive? Bloomberg Etc. pulled out all stops. The subways ceased running at noon on Saturday. The bridges were supposed to be closed in due order. There were forced emergency evacuations. Central Park and The Metropolitan Museum were closed. It was the first weekend of the Met Opera Live in HD Festival at Lincoln Center, and that was canceled. Even my dance classes were canceled. Which is sayin' somethin' 'cause Ballet Arts at City Center is like the postal service: they don't close for nuthin'.
Late Friday night I started to prepare. As I lugged a gallon of water up five flights of stairs, I decided to take a Hurrication. In my neighborhood the only time it's quiet is when it rains (car windows are closed, minimizing bass-osity; and street socializing becomes non-existent.) So I slept. And slept. And slept. I slept so long that I missed Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene. When I woke late on Sunday morning, there was a light drizzle and a moderate breeze. The power was on. And the only evidence of una tormenta was a small leak in my closet, and scattered vegetable debris on the sidewalk. Bloomberg, I said, you over-reacting numbskull.
But there were downed trees in Fort Tryon Park, and flooding in coastal areas was worse. Some parts of the city were without power for days. But for the rest of us, it was business as usual on Monday. Everyone (those poopers!) showed up to work. The blue sky thumbed its chin at Bloomberg, as if to say, it's still summer and you can't spoil my fun.
After work, I went house hunting (more, much more, on this later-- it could fill an entire book). The Poocherooni came along. He has a more highly developed sixth sense than I, and at this point I need his help. After beating the pavement, we drove slowly passed Lincoln Center. I had checked earlier about the opera broadcast, but the website was mute. But Monday evening to our joy, there it was: art broadcast on the big screen. Poochini lay exhausted on the passenger seat. I opened the car window. He sprang to his feet, poked his nose out the window, sniffed, and stared excitedly at the projection of Iphigenie en Tauride over Lincoln Center Plaza.
I certainly chose the right name for you, I said, as I drove toward a parking spot. The temperature was just right for sitting outside, the sky overhead was clear. I bought a gelato and found a seat. Poochini slurped up my leftover icecream and stared at the giant screen, true to his nature. It was as if nothing terrible had ever happened. It was the gift of art to us all.