If you missed part 1, where I describe our experience of Hurricane Sandy, you can read it here.
The morning after the hurricane hit, we went for a quick wander to assess the damage. We didn’t stay out long as it was pouring with rain and was freezing cold but we did need food and were fortunate enough to find a shop selling bagels. It had the biggest queue ever but we had no other options. As you can imagine, supplies were running low and we managed to buy two of the last remaining bagels. When we left, people were stopping us on the street asking us where we had been to get food that was open so they were obviously desperate.
That evening we just hung out in the hallway with our laptops and phones plugged in, listening to music and chatting. It was quite a fun atmosphere really because everyone had to sit out in the hallway so it felt a bit like a school trip or something!
The next morning we woke up to blue skies and the news that the subways were still closed. We were starting to get cabin fever a bit so we decided that we’d just walk over the bridge to Williamsburg and Brooklyn instead.
Walking down to the Williamsburg bridge, we started to get an idea of exactly how widespread the power outage was. We couldn’t believe it. We walked for blocks and blocks (about 3 miles) and nobody had power. We felt so fortunate to only be staying 2 blocks away from working restaurants. It was very strange seeing so many closed restaurants and shops. There was literally nowhere to buy food or drink from.
The trek across the Williamsburg bridge was crazy. Obviously it’s the first time I’ve done it so I’ve got no idea how busy it usually is but at this time, it was heaving. Once we arrived in Williamsburg we walked along Bedford Avenue and had a peek in all the shops (they had power over there). For lunch we stopped in The Meatball Shop and had a huge meatball sub for lunch which was delicious. This was followed by an enormous ice-cream sandwich which consisted of two walnut brownie cookies with caramel ice-cream in between.
When we’d finished there, we walked to Brooklyn Heights (about another 3 miles). As you can imagine, by this point I was absolutely exhausted. We walked around a few streets to look at the houses and then had a quick walk down the high street. It seemed very nice but unfortunately I was far too tired to fully appreciate it.
I was taking any opportunity there was to sit down! (and yes, I’m wearing the same clothes as before – I only packed a small amount of ‘cold weather’ clothes and wasn’t expecting to be in New York for quite so long!)
We walked back to Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was again very busy, only made worse by the fact that there was work going on which meant that there were big boards down either side of the bridge, blocking the amazing view, and halving the size of the walkway.
We walked a total of about 13 miles that day! Luckily, about half way on the walk home, we managed to catch a free bus, which were running on a limited schedule, but free of charge. I’ve never been so happy to get on a bus!
As everywhere was still shut, we just grabbed some more cheap pizza and chilled out in the hotel, watching the crazy traffic out the windows. They’d re-opened the bridges and the traffic lights were still off and it was just mental!
The next day we just wandered around Manhattan again to see what was open. The library was still closed. Central Park was still closed. Luckily, a lot of the shops had re-opened otherwise we’d have been very bored! We spotted the infamous dangling crane and I gorged on red velvet cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.
That night we went to Serendipity3 for dinner. I’d never heard of Serendipity3 but my sister-in-law went when she came to New York and loved it. (Apparently there’s a movie called Serendipity and it’s the set for that?) Anyway, she’d told me about a thing they do called a frozen hot chocolate so I knew I had to check it out! The building itself is absolutely adorable and our waiter was fantastic. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone. I ordered a shrimp salad and I swear I had half the ocean on my plate!
We stopped off at the Apple store in Grand Central on the way back as we needed to get one of our laptops looked it and Grand Central was back to it’s usual busy self as some of the trains had started running again (to Williamsburg and Brooklyn as sod’s law would have it!)
The next day (Friday) was our last day in the city but our flight wasn’t until 22.40 so we had most of the day to do whatever we liked. We spent the morning packing and Nick ran off to Ess-A-Bagel one last time.
For lunch, Nick had heard of a ramen place called Totto Ramen that was meant to be quite good and popular so we walked over there. When we got there, there were about 30 people stood in the queue outside! So he added our names to the list and we got in line. Then we noticed they only took cash and we were down to our last few dollars which meant that we could only afford for one of us to have ramen. We felt bad that we’d be taking up two seats if only one of us was eating so I stood in the queue for an hour in the cold with Nick and when his name was called I trotted off down the road to a diner (I’m such a good wife).
I hopped into Cosmic Diner and ordered bacon and scrambled egg, which was exactly what I wanted and was gorgeous and some ‘lumberjack’ pancakes. I wasn’t quite expecting them to be quite so large when they arrived! There were three pancakes on the plate, all about the size of my head! But I smothered them in maple syrup and got on with it.
We had to get a private car to the airport as all the taxis were running out of fuel and just charging whatever the hell they liked. We got there in record time (about 20 minutes) and got checked in and settled down. I was so glad to be going home!
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Affinia Shelburne hotel for being so kind and accommodating and not kicking us out in the cold when we suddenly had to stay another 3 nights! All the staff were so patient and wonderful.