Jaded New Yorkers prepare for Sandy 'just in (the worst) case'
Better safe than soaked, starving and lightless.
That was the attitude of Sunday shoppers fortifying themselves with supplies against the heralded "Frankenstorm."
"Just because it's overhyped doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared," said Jeff Tsou, 39, loading up on sandwich meats, potato bread and canned soup at the Gristedes on Eighth Ave. and 54th St. "This is stuff I'd eat anyway," rationalized the scientist who lives in midtown. The shelves where the large bottles of water were customarily kept in Gristedes were empty by Sunday, compelling Tsou to load up on flats of daintily sized bottles of Evian and Fuji water.
New Yorkers, reluctant to accept worst-case scenarios after last year's Irene storm didn't reach catastrophe status, resignedly went through the motions of hurricane preparedness while cracking disaster jokes mocking their own actions. "It's the end of the world so I don't want to be present for it," said David Coats, 26, about the flats of Corona and Blue Moon beer weighing down his shopping cart at the W. 34th St. Kmart.
"I was thinking of having my second annual Certain Hurricane Death Party," added Coats's room mate, Ben Taborsky, 25, a foreign exchange trader. For Irene -- another weather event that came with a big "batten the hatches!" drum roll in August 2011 -- Taborsky had a party and walked through Times Square when the "eye" of the storm was supposed to hit. "It was quite pleasant," he recalled.
Software programmer Christine Evans, 39, was evacuated from her second-story home in Battery Park City just hours before, and curious as to whether she would receive any rent rebates for the time she was forced to be off premise. Taken in by a friend outside Zone A, Evans said she wouldn't begrudge Mayor Michael Bloomberg if his prognostications about the "serious and dangerous storm" turned out not to be true. "He has to plan for the worst because the repercussions of not doing so would be worse," than an unnecessary evacuation, she reasoned. Evans's 5-year-old daughter, Natalie Conlon, conceded that lightning "scares me a lot," but of equal concern was how a giant storm would affect her much anticipated trick or treating foray on Wednesday.
"If I can't go, I'll just buy candy!" she said.
"Thank you for letting me know the plan," her mom deadpanned.
Sandy put NYC visitors at the mercy of high-priced hotels and broken ticket promises.
A trio of Finnish women visiting New York for a month wondered how Sandy would affect their plans to fly back to Helsinki on Tuesday. In one way, Sandy was yet another lesson in how everything in NYC just seems, somehow, bigger than things any place else. "In Finland, the storms are not as big as here," said Lilli Pynnonen, 27, a graphic designer. But no matter what the heavens threw at her and her companions -- Jehovah's Witnesses all -- they were ready. "When I feel insecure, I pray. And then I get a calmness," said Pynnonen.