New York City has seen a few hurricanes and tropical storms. Nothing like the southern coastal states but maybe that’s the problem. We’re not always prepared.
This past Saturday, we were visited by Tropical Storm Henry. That horrible bitch. It came quickly and wreaked local temporary havoc.
When you happen to be on an out of town job at the same time the governor calls a state of emergency, you’re particularly fucked.
I was managing a wedding in Tarrrytown NY, what the natives call “up state”. Really, it’s the outer suburbs but anything north of the Bronx, even just outside, is considered way too far.
I was in Tarrrytown, or if you’re into regional folklore, Sleepy Hollow of headless horseman fame.
It was a typical wedding, nothing out of the ordinary except that some guests made a point of leaving early. Like, before last call at an open bar. That’s strange.
I didn’t think anything of it until one of the waiters asked for takeaways for his table.
“They want to take dessert home so they don’t get stuck in the hurricane.”
I had no idea there was a hurricane coming. I don’t have TV anymore so any news I get is through yahoo and based on my searches.
“There’s a hurricane coming!?”
“No, it’s already here.”
That’s when I looked outside and noticed the sky lighting up like dessert storm.
I went outside and heard rolling thunder that was drowned out by the 90’s boy band hits the couple requested for their after dinner dance set.
Nothing I could do but forget about it. Weddings can only be stopped by pre vaccine Covid. I’d worked through many.
As if on cue, 11pm on the dot, it started to rain in Tarrrytown just as we were walking to the shock less bus that transported us from 96th & Westend in Manhattan in a mere 30 minutes, and there to take us back… or try.
The further south we got, the more it rained.
We must’ve been traveling directly under it.
By the time we got to Yonkers, the Westchester county city just above the Bronx, the bus was going way too fast in at least two feet of water.
All our phones were getting ominous warnings about flash flooding that could cause “loss of life”.
I looked back at my co workers. Normally they’d be sleeping or fixed on their phones, Facebooking, texting, what have you.
Now they were wide eyed and sitting straight up looking at the sheets of water hoping the driver could actually see where he was going.
I felt I had to say something.
“Don’t worry, these warnings are for Bergen county in Jersey.” Good leadership tactics on my part.
“Yeah, that’s where I’m going.”
My co worker I forgot lived there was sitting behind me.
We were all thinking the same thing.
It would really suck to die on the way home from a fucking catering job.
1 hour and a half later, we were back at 96th & West End.
Thankfully, it wasn’t raining there, and the streets were not flooded.
The streets weren’t flooded.
I got out with every intention of calling an Uber and done with this whole thing.
When I got a block east to Broadway, I should’ve known something was wrong.
Way too many people hugging the walls of the buildings or standing by the curb looking from their phones to the street.
I called my Uber to Brooklyn. It was going to cost $129.00.
I caught the eye of a woman next to me with the same look of disbelief and held my phone up. She held hers up, $250.00, going to Staten Island.
She was fucked.
I accepted the price and after a few seconds of “Connecting you to a driver”, I got a message saying there were no cars available.
I decided to just take the subway, on a good night that would take up to two hours, but what the fuck else could I do?
I saw my co workers standing outside the turnstile.
It turns out, there was no water in the streets, but ALL the water was underground. On the tracks of all the 1/2/3 trains.
Nothing either way.
We paired off based on residence, east, west, north, south.
I found my partner, south east Ron. We decided to walk toward the crosstown bus and try to catch a cab along the way.
There were of course none and an abnormal amount of desperate people waiting for the bus.
I convinced him to Uber with me to his address then I could get the Q, a mere 20 minutes to my stop in Brooklyn.
A mere $75.00. 😳 It was brilliant and nothing could go wrong….
Part 2 available now!