Hurricane Irene: Breaking Newzzz

Aug 29, 2011Breaking Newzzz


Locked up in the Essex House waiting for Hurricane Irene to pack her wallop seemed like a movie of the week. An eerie quiet fell on New York City and everyone held their collective breath as the afternoon rolled into evening. Evening led to midnight and as I had said the day Bloomberg was hunkering down the city is preparation for our Katrina, I knew that this was just gonna the a big bad case of not much. Kind of like what happened years ago, when we prepared for the worst and got nothing. Call me strange, but after hunkering down and the closing of all stores, I’d like to have a little drama. No deaths surely, but a few visuals like row boats down Fifth Avenue would be nice. Why else close Bergdorf Goodman?

Then you had the 24 hour news coverage of Hurricane Irene which was so banal. Each channel has the same thing: A newscaster in a bright colored rain slicker standing in front of a puddle, or the best visual they could find. Because it was live, they would say anything to fill the endless airtime:

“Lighting has lit up the sky four times. Really bright.”
“Irene is on Twitter.”
“I am going to a storm party. We are using glow sticks for ambient lighting.”
“Wind has died down. Not strong enough to knock me over.”

At 10:25 PM Mayor makes special announcement.

“My friend Mona is very tired.” Who cares.
“Don’t touch exposed wires.” Really?
“Stay inside till Sunday afternoon.” Why? It’s like sunny.
“Check on elderly neighbors.” Feel free to rummage through their medicine cabinets.

My take away from Hurricane Irene is the about this one statement that I kept hearing on all the news stations was the term “very real possibility”.  It sounds like an oxymoron, or  a justification for non-stop coverage for a bit of rain. The other thing that happened was that Dave Matthews Band had to cancel their concert. Now that is a tragedy.

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