Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Most Ridiculous Morning

As I woke up this morning and peeked out the window through half open and bleary eyes, I saw that the world was looking pretty blurry, not just because of me, but because the window was smattered with raindrops. I didn’t really think much of it, except to wonder whether I’d have to lug an umbrella up the hill with me on my morning commute.
Stepping out my front door I heard a repetitive noise honk… honk… honk… honk. People in my neighborhood just don’t listen for their cars and leave the alarm going for hours, so I didn’t think much of that either. As I walked down my street toward Sip Ave, I thought it seemed a little too quiet though aside from the honking which, now that I noticed it, sounded more like a horn in distress, a “hooonhunnk” like it was wheezing from having honked for so long. Usually various horn honking is accompanied by the sound of traffic zipping up and down Sip Ave, as people try to beat the light, or just run the red light. Some other blog posting I’ll have to rant about Jersey drivers, and how I’m certain they are going to cause my untimely death. Looking ahead I saw a big semi truck stopped in the street. I thought it was just parked there, but I realized that it was in a line of cars not moving at all. Rounding the corner I could see the reason why no cars were going through the intersection. Three had already tried and stalled out in the middle of newly formed Lake Sip. I could see the water mark which was up to my hip on a nearby lamp post. The police were there and just opening the sewer to let it all drain. I cut through the Duane Reade parking lot on the corner and took hold of each pantleg and did the high-water tiptoe around the pool and cut through a dirt lot to get back on my way. I guess they don't call them high-waters for nothing. I thought I'd had my adventure for the day, and called Scott to tell him to wear his waders. When I got to the train station they said due to water on the track that the 33rd street train was running every 10 minutes instead of every 3 minutes. I do have the option of taking the World Trade Center train, but I figured 10 minutes wasn't a big deal. So I shoved my way onto the train and sprinted for a seat. Those things are hot property since it means you get to sit for 20 minutes and you don't get jostled every time someone else shoves onto the train. You also don't have to play surfer to try and hold your reading material while you stand, or even silenty fight over handhold real estate, ahh again that's a rant for another day. So I got on the train and grab a seat, but then we just sit there in the tunnel. We get to the first station and of course everyone who is already slightly late wants to cram and pack themselves in half reluctantly, the way you might try to stuff your winter coat into an already full suitcase for the return trip from the Bahamas in December. So with 3 stops full of people we start off again and stop again. I think the weather today was supposed to be somewhere near 100 degrees because of the humidity, so luckily there was some air conditioning, but after a while with people standing and no space for air to circulate, they just start wilting. I heard a call for a doctor from the other end of the car. Next to me a man in his 30s sat down on the floor and the people around him kindly offered him their water, and made some older man give up his seat. Approximately an hour later we pull into a station, and we're not in New York, we're still in Jersey. We had been rerouted to Hoboken. I love how so many people all in the same situation can sympathize with one another. You got to hear the universal groan, as we realized where we were, then the laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. I finally made it to New York, where I transferred to the subway thinking that it was probably just the Path trains that were running slow. At least I got on the first train that came, an F train, instead of waiting for my usual V train. I found out later that the V was not running and neither were most of the subways in the city. I finally got to work at about 10:20, and no one was sure how we were going to open the museum with only 4 staff members and an average of well over 1000 visitors. It all got sorted out, but it certainly made for a ridiculous morning.

I think in the end there was a possible tornado touch down in the area and 2 inches of rain in an hour. You'd think these Easterners would be used to a little water by now.


  1. holy cow what a day!! also, you're so poetic. or should i say eloquent ;). i was going to complain about how they decided to pave a major intersection during rush hour this morning, but i was only 10 minutes late because of that. craziness.

  2. LOL I read about it online in the NY Times this morning and thought about you. Damn you must wake up early the news said things were mostly fixed by 7 am!

  3. The news was very mistaken, unless they meant that things were mostly fixed by 7 am today (Thursday in the US) I think that is what they meant because trains still weren't running for my evening commute, but I just walked and avoided them.

  4. So, just for everyone, each subway in the city had problems with flooding somewhere along its line, save the 7 train. The pumps in the tunnels are designed to cope with a rainfall rate of 1.5 inches/hour, and the rain came in at a torrential 3 inches/hour. There's a huge outcry to fix this, but honestly if there's going to be a huge amount of money spent trying to fix a problem that can only occur every now and then, I think it's a waste of money. Also, that tornado touchdown was confirmed; it touched down in Brooklyn at 6:30 AM that morning (they issued a tornado warning at 6:28 AM... whoops)


Recap Defined

ri•cap 1 (rē-kāp') Pronunciation Key tr.v. ri•capped, ri•cap•ping, ri•caps
1. a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
2. To replace a cap or caplike covering on: recapped the camera lens.
3. Ri - a female given name: derived from Adrienne.