Greetings from pre-Sandy New York, where we’re hunkered down in anticipation of a storm that’s growing scarier by the moment. The real wallop isn’t supposed to hit us until late afternoon, at the earliest, but you wouldn’t think that after looking outside and hearing the wind howl.
Low-lying areas of my town (Port Washington, on the north coast of Long Island) and the three surrounding towns have already been evacuated, and the sirens haven’t stopped this morning, which means trees and power lines are already falling. You can’t help but wonder, How can this get any worse?
But, obviously, it will. The offices of Restaurant Business, at the southern tip of Manhattan, lie in an evacuation area. The building’s management has alerted us that the windows have been secured, the doors have been locked, and the heat is off. Con Ed, the city’s utility company, plans to turn off all electricity in the area to limit the damage to generators if the brackish waters of the East and Hudson Rivers cover the tip of Manhattan as expected.
But enough about me. What about restaurants and how they’re fairing?
I’ve yet to venture out this morning to check the ones in my neighborhood, but I did make the rounds last night. They were expecting to shut for at least two days, but not because of a lack of customers. The problem was getting enough employees to form even a skeleton staff. All public transportation, as you probably heard on the news, has been shut.
There’s also the issue of getting supplies. Last night our takeout choice was practically pushing freebies on us, knowing the food would probably just rot over the next few days if power is lost. Many have also taped or boarded over their windows, so dining out was like eating in a war zone.
Stay tuned. I’ll try to post dispatches for as long as I still have power and an internet connection.
And wish us well.