Considering the news reports I keep following non-stop, it seems that I’ve been really lucky with my experience of the storm. 

It all started Sunday morning - the first news of the day was the closure of the subway. Outside in the wind, people were rushing by with canisters of water and what seemed like months’ supplies of food. In the local supermarket, there were no available shopping baskets, and the queue started at the door. I spent a while contemplating what food to get in case the power went off (a lot of people seemed to grab everything on their way), and felt victorious when I found a basket for all the things I had been holding in my hands otherwise. Bread, water – all gone. The queue was over an hour long, but everyone stayed in line, a look of silent determination on all the faces

After that, all the developments were monitored from the apartment – with three people refreshing various websites, it felt like the hurricane headquarters. Or, perhaps, a small GSA embassy – I am sharing with two coursemates also interning in New York architecture firms. 

On Monday morning, I texted the Office Manager to see what the situation is: everyone should stay at home. When architects are not in studio, things are really serious.

With the wind howling and the lights flickering, it felt like we will experience the Day-After-Tomorrow scenes shown on the news at any moment. Luckily, no major incidents reached our area, and we had electricity and water all Monday. A two-minute visit outside was somewhat calming: strong winds and rain, but not unlike what we’ve grown used to during the three years in Scotland. Obviously, things were not as good elsewhere.

Tuesday was quieter, and it felt like everything is getting back to normal. Everyone was still at home, but the wind grew weaker, and the electricity seemed to stabilise. I managed to finally answer all my emails, and get some proper sleep. In the evening, when we were convinced that everything is over, and I was about to finish this blog post, the electricity was suddenly gone in the whole block. Screams, then a silence I have never experienced in New York. Neighbours checking on each other, sharing candle fire and speculations. Instead of just waiting in complete darkness, we decided to take advantage of this unique setting and use what’s left of our laptop batteries to watch a horror movie – quite an experience. 

Now, the power is back on, which is good because we’re trying figure out how to get to work in Manhattan without the subway – it is still flooded. Should be a fun journey. I will keep updating this post.

Wednesday update: One of the flatmates stayed at home - there's no power in his office, and nobody knows when it will be restored. The other flatmate and I found a bus to Manhattan - the journey was 3 hours long, the traffic unbelievable even though cars with less than three people are now (apparently) not allowed to cross the main bridges.

In Manhattan, every cafe with electricity is packed with people charging their phones/laptops, or using wifi. A lot of my colleagues are staying with friends and relatives because their apartments have no power/water; not everyone was able to make it to the studio. It's good to hear news from other parts of the city. People on bikes have to leave before the dark.

I left earlier as well. On my way from the studio, it seemed like getting a bus/catching a cab was impossible, so I walked in hope of finding something downtown. After 27th street, there was no electricity - a line between light and darkness. Walking through a completely dark Manhattan, past the silhouettes of people - some with flashlights, some in Halloween costumes - an inredibly surreal experience.Halfway though, I got a text from my flatmate saying he just got home after 4 hours in a bus - so I decided to keep on walking. Luckily, Brooklyn was lit so I could speed up.In the end, the whole walk home took 3 hours - quicker than the bus! Hopefully, tomorrow this will not be the case.

the famous Flatiron building, almost invisible