Friday, November 9, 2012

Cupcakes: A Post-Storm Memoir--Day 4

Our second full day without power began on Halloween.  Schools were again closed.  We wondered if anything was open.  Just sayin'--I have lights and heat now, but there are still thousands in this area without, and people who lost everything.  Recovery efforts continue.  This is what was going on in our tiny corner of the so-called "frozen zone."
The dog spa gal greeted the few trick or treaters on the street with puppyish enthusiasm.
7:00 am:  Woke up and burst into tears.  Have had a hard time dealing with the thick, early dark.
The next thing I did was put a piece of paper on the building's side door for my neighbors to sign:   Who is here?  Who is staying in the building?  Who can I contact in case of an emergency?  A neighbor scrawled on it, "This is not safe to put up."  S/he was right.  I sheepishly took it down.

I'm dealing with the realization that we have no power, no heat, no phones, limited food.  The kids and I shared a bed last night to keep warm.  A. is at work way uptown for the first time.  I sent him out with a list:  more batteries, a radio, tapered candles that will throw out more light.

11:00 am:  I set up our camp chair and I'm sitting in it while S and her friend (N!--who has decided to have Halloween with S after all--her mom and her walked down and yelled through our window to let us know) watched Ferris Beuller's Day Off using what is left of the power on our laptop.

This was N and S's day(s) off.

While they watch, I hand-sew S's s'more's costume, hand-threading the needle by candlelight--our apt never gets much light.

Noonish:  Having nothing else to do with schools closed and wanting to get out and get back before dark, we set out trick or treating.

"I don't know if anything will be open or have candy," I warn the kids, dumping the few pieces I had purchased at the bodega the morning before into their sacks.  Between this and the hand-sewing by candle, I felt like Ma Ingalls, preparing her girls for the first grim Christmas on the prairie.

Overall, we had a subdued Halloween in a neighborhood that is anything but subdued on a normal Halloween. While usually there are throngs of adults and kids alike in costumes, swarming the streets, trick or treating at the local shops, this year almost no one was out and nearly everything was closed.  Around the neighborhood we saw more damaged, mangled awnings, store signs that had plummeted to the ground.  The wind had pushed some of these several storefronts away.  Along Ave C, where the East River and the East Village had become one, cars were still askew, having been lifted by the storm surge, and then set back down again once the river receded.

The places that were open . . . well, I was very touched that they had made any kind of effort.  And while not all of them had candy--they gave N and S what they had:  one of the owners from Veselka let them choose a cupcake each, after initially turning them away empty handed.

Other candlelit spots that were open:  Ciao for Now (who had hot coffee, five cupcakes, four cookies and some bread to sell, plus candy to give away), Grupo (making pizzas from a wood-fired oven), Mud Cafe, and the dog spa, Unleashed, who doled out candy from a large dog's bowl.

I think we were all pretty moved.

Cupcakes instead of candy from Veselka.
The owners of 7A couldn't serve bacon or anything else.  They were, however, generous with candy.
Mud Cafe's hand-written sign.

The line for coffee at the Mud Truck extended down the block.
We heart Ciao for Now.


  1. "threaded a needle and hand-sewed by candlelight"--dude, that's straight out of . the cafes providing whatever they had as treats made me teary. what a bittersweet day. thanks so much for sharing these details.

    1. supposed to say little house on the prairie.