Sunday, November 4, 2012
Fallout NYC: The City of Darkness
Blackness. Its one of the most frightening things to see in the city. You dont even realize how pitch black it is until you go down a street with no cars driving, and you cant see your hand in front of your face. Luckily, my place in Williamsburg Brooklyn was spared any issues other than a 12 hour cable and internet blackout, but NYC was a bizzare and scary place to be this week.
90% of businesses closed, no subways, no lights, no cellphone service, no heat and water in many areas, and no gasoline anywhere. I saw people waiting in gas lines 5 blocks long, and cars that were abandoned when people ran out of gas on line waiting to get gas. Almost every gas station is still closed - not the 50% report I heard on the news. I called my friend who is a cab driver, who was working insane overtime. He said, "Forget it man. Drive to Connecticut, 2 hours there and back its faster than waiting in line and you wont risk the station running out before you get to the pump."
Driving around Brooklyn and Queens looking for gas a couple days ago, I had that surreal feeling you get sometimes when a game mimics life, or in this case, life mimics a game in such an uncanny manner that its unsettling. I had a limited amount of gas, I needed more, but looking consumed gas so I needed to be highly efficient. I had already gone to 5 stations with no luck. Balking at the prospect of running out miles from home and walking in the darkness, I drove home with a 1/4 tank. Im down to about 1/8 tank or less now just running some essential missions.
Is this reality? Or am I playing Fallout NYC?
And my meager problem of simply obtaining supplies and moving around the 5 boroughs was probably the best case scenario. My parents had to evacuate their apartment with no heat, power or water. My friend Dustin Yellin's studio and art spaces in Red Hook had flooded completely - he lost everything he had. A guy in NJ opened his front door to see his entire neighborhood gone, was swept a half mile out into the cold, dark bay, and miraculously swam back to break into a house, wrap himself in blankets to halt the hypothermia, and write a goodbye note (someone on a waverunner picked him up eventually). And far, far worse. I am very lucky to have such small problems.
Check out this time lapse video of Hurrican Sandy hitting NYC from a Brooklyn view.