me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Report from Aftermath Central

Strangest disaster situation ever. Where I am, like a ghost town: no lights, no hot water, growling sump pumps everywhere. Starting late yesterday, a few restaurants open -- candles on the table, gas ranges or wood-fired pizza ovens in the kitchens. Might as well be open: everything they can't cook by tonight they'll have to ditch tomorrow, except dried pasta, flour, canned goods. Twenty minutes walk from here, power's on and everything's practically normal. I have no radio, so I ask my neighbors what's going on, but nothing is. Con Ed says 2-7 days for power to come back. That's not really useful information.

Some snapshots for you, verbal, not visual. Visually, there's really nothing to see.

1. Went for a drive early yesterday morning with my super, a young Korean guy. He had the company car, wanted to check out the neighborhood, invited me along. Went to three clients of his company's, Korean delis: his dad's, among others. None were open, but all had half a dozen tough-looking guys inside, who'd been there all night, sleeping in shifts. Why? These are 24-7-365 places; they never close. They don't know how to lock them. Two couldn't find their keys, and the third had the key but they couldn't make the lock turn.

2. By yesterday afternoon, every liquor store I passed had re-opened, with signs: Cash only. One person at a time.

3. Buses are running and are free -- Metrocard vending machines are in the subways and you can't get to them. But below the Great Power Divide there are no traffic lights, so I'm not sure, besides the 14th St. crosstown, what's running down here. In fact, nothing's running, they'd be inching.

4. Some birds re-appearing in the yard behind my apt. Squirrely and at least one other of his family, and -- a black squirrel! New to this block, certainly to this backyard. Park three blocks away lost a huge tree. Wonder if this guy had his nest there, is looking for a new location? Speaking of Squirrely's nest, lucky it fell a few weeks ago. It would definitely have come down during the storm, and they would have been in it.

5. Gasoline-powered sump pumps for at least 24 hours now, non-stop. Amount of water being pulled out of basements is staggering. Basement apartments west of me totally flooded, everything trashed.

6. High-water level means at the surge, my bench was underwater. Underwater, covered by a foot of river. Underwater. High tide today a little higher than usual, but nothing abnormal.

7. Landlines work, and my Verizon cell phone never stopped. Thank you, Verizon. But there's no landline voicemail, for some reason, though there is on the cell phone.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm going to take this computer up to my friend's place across the Great Divide and get it powered up. I'll get online there and post this, check my email, and head back to Casper the Friendly Ghost Town again. OMG -- it's Halloween, isn't it? Son of a gun.

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