Monday, March 15, 2010

MONSOON!!

Quote of the blog -

Allyson (about work): "This day exploded in my face."

****

My series of unfortunate, yet comical, events started Saturday morning when I realized I left my cell phone at work on Friday. I knew I'd want my phone so I decided to make the 25-minute ride to work. The weather was less than favorable - I woke up to waves of rain crashing against my window panes and wind howling around the corners of our building. I opened my curtains and peered outside, shuddered, grabbed my umbrella and went to work.

When I got home I sent my friend Alicia this text: "I'm having serious doubts about tonight."
Alicia texted back, "Why?"
My response: "I've been outside."

Alicia, Gaby, and I planned to attend a 20's-themed murder mystery dinner that evening. Despite the torrential downpour we decided we'd make it. We got all dolled up, took our biggest and sturdiest umbrellas, and caught the A train downtown towards Penn Station where we would catch the train to the event.

Well, we looked pretty cute in our 20's attire. The train was running on the local track instead of express and we were worried about catching our train at Penn Station on time. As we pulled out of the 86th street station a huge "BOOM!!" and accompanying flash of light echoed through the station. Our train was stalled. We were going to miss our train if we didn't do something. We decided to try to catch a cab.

We exited the station, our umbrellas at the ready. Our skirts whipped around our legs and the cold rain pelted us sideways. I held my massive umbrella close around my shoulders. *I heard the metal creak as it started to bend. Without warning the wind shifted direction and whipped the umbrella in front of me and blew it out like a whisk. I shreaked and my roommate Gaby and I watched as the wind ripped the fabric down the umbrella's metal skeleton ribs. I was drenched in 5 seconds - not that the umbrella would have made any more of a difference than the awning we stood under. The rain was pouring sideways. We waited for a cab on Central Park West across from the swaying and creaking trees in Central Park. I looked at Alicia, she was smiling- enjoying all moments as she is apt to do - and shaking with the cold. Gaby looked concerned and kept checking her phone for the time. The rain was torrential. It was as if Mother Nature was standing to the side throwing buckets of water on us.

We looked at each other, a ragtag group, hair soaking, rivets of water dripping down our faces, running mascara - and decided that we were done for the evening. We passed some MTA workers on the stairs back into the station. They yelled, "What are you DOING out? You could be home! Warm! Watching TV!" They were pumping water out of the flooding station.

Before exiting the station we looked like this:






After we looked like this:




I wish I could describe what the rain looked like at 86th. Torrential is the best word I can think of. It was still raining when we got off the train in our neighborhood but not as hard. The wind was still blowing. I had my camera out and took pictures of the discarded broken umbrellas on
the street. I still had it out when Gaby's umbrella blew out in the wind:

video


It was a good thing we came back home. We took a walk through the park across from our apartment the next day. I had read that winds of up to 80 mph had whirled through the city. We counted over 15 trees blown over and ripped up. It was eerily quiet and sad and beautiful all at once. Uprooted trees with bright roots stretched towards the sky. I've included a few pictures from the park as well. I'm sure the murder mystery would have been fun, but if we
had gone I might have guessed: Mother Nature, in the park, with the wind.

*The line about hearing the metal creak was an exaggeration. The rest is absolute truth (including the ripping fabric down the skeletal umbrella). My exaggeration was inspired by the non-exaggerated umbrella my boss showed me today. She had been out on Saturday and had held her umbrella directly in front of her like a shield - until the wind bent it to the side like a candy cane.






I'm not sure if the tree on the left was struck by lightning or if it was just snapped in half. I heard both theories.












The rounds of earth ripped up by two trees. They fell over and the tops of the trees are actually crossing each other. This part of the hill felt like something out of a fairy tale. It was beautiful and tragic.














The roots grew around a drainage cover. When the tree came out the cover came with it.

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