Mercer Street Hurricane Sandy
Everyday Life in SoHo

The Way We Were

Mercer Street, November 2, 2012.  It could almost be 1972

Sorry, folks, to be so brief this week.  I am actually writing this in the dark and hoping to do a driveby posting a Starbucks.  No telephone, no heat, no electricity.  Reminds me of the old SoHo days, actually.  We've been trudging up and down the stairs, walking what seems like miles to get groceries, and schlepping everything in the dark.  No streetlights, no cars, not a soul around.  This used to be a typical evening on Mercer Street, but I'm certainly not used to it anymore.  It's very Escape from New York around here after sundown.  Quite unsettling.

You've got to admire the resiliency of New Yorkers, though, in times of crisis.  A power outage sure brings out the McGuyver in everyone.  I saw someone charging her cell phone from a work light on a scaffold. That's what old SoHo was all about, wasn't it?  Making due with what we had.  Didn't we used to pirate electricity, phone service, and then later cable, through a maze of wires hanging out our back windows held together by tape?  The difference now is that we know what we're missing.  When we were kids, sleeping under a mound of blankets in a cold loft was life as usual.  Today, my daughter is wondering why she has to wear her fleece jacket to sleep.  She’s wondering why she can’t watch Feist and the Muppets on YouTube.

They say that we'll finally get power back Saturday night at 11 pm.  And none too soon.  It's one thing to be nostalgic about the good ol' days.  It's a whole other thing to have to relive them...

by Yukie Ohta
Nov 03 2012