Thank you to everyone who emailed or called to find out how we did, indeed, survive the storm. Both Leslie and are were fortunate to live above 39th Street in Manhattan, and so did not experience flooding or power outages (although I did have one strange moment when it looked like the Hudson might come creeping up past 12th Avenue.) The same cannot be said of many of our friends, who lost power and water, had trees fall on their homes, saw their cars float out to sea, and, in some cases, are still waiting for the lights to come back on.
In the face of this disaster, it feels somewhat selfish to say that I did, indeed, spend a quiet week at home, safe, dry, and in the absence of the usual distractions (like, say, going to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, because the Starbucks in my neighborhood could not open without baristas) and, in fact, wrote a great deal. More importantly, I had free time to think and live with my characters and stories—when I was not listening to the sad news on the TV and radio—and unscheduled time is almost always a gift.
I’m back to work now, along with much, although not all, of Manhattan. Nothing looks quite the same—it’s a little scary to realize that a city that’s stood for 400 years is so essentially fragile. Sometimes we forget we live on an island. We are spending a lot of time sharing our stories, which makes us all feel better. And we are all making plans with much more seriousness for the next natural disaster – I have realized that one flashlight, even with backup batteries, does not cut it.
Just wanted to let you all know we’re fine, and that we’ll have a new post from Leslie later this week.