People have been incredibly nice and social since the power went out on Monday night. No crime that we’ve heard of here in Hoboken, but our day has taken on some aspects of a post-apocalyptic society (minus the zombies). We get up every morning and make coffee in the drip Mr. Coffee (heat water in pan, pour it slowly into the filter/coffee chamber, let it drain), cook whatever we need to for breakfast (finished the last of the eggs and bacon yesterday, just as the fridge finally gave up and stopped keeping things cold; we’re on steel cut oats from here on out), clean up a little, and then head out.
When we go out first thing our focus is what most others is: where is there still power, and can we get any? Sections of Hudson and 11th streets never lost power during the storm, and many of those people have set up Charging Station: card tables with coffee and as many power strips as they can manage. You meet a lot of interesting people as you stand around talking, checking your battery meter every ten minutes or so, and hear what’s going on. I get the impression that Hoboken is getting a lot of press in the national and international news, but we’re not getting it here, obviously. The city just last night started running around police cars with loudspeakers telling us:
- water is safe to drink
- CVS downtown and A&P uptown are open
- trash pickup has resumed
We do get some news, and lots of emails and Facebook posts, but unfortunately Kristen and I are on AT&T, whose service has blown the proverbial big one. People with Verizon report good service, AT&T people report the same issues we’ve had of losing connections, full 5-bar signal but no data coming in, phone calls won’t even pretend they’re trying to go out. Verizon has had trucks all over town, charging and repeater station trailers in various locations, while AT&T has sent us two text messages, saying they know their service is sucking out loud, and they’re working on it. Our contracts are up next month; we’re switching to Verizon.
We got lucky. Some storage damaged in the basement, no wind damage to the roof or the rooftop deck. Kristen’s studio is a mess, I had to throw my body against the door a half-dozen times to get it open wide enough for us to get in. The floors are all raised wood, and it looks like a seascape made from tongue-and-groove, a carnival fun house. Fortunately everything of value was put up higher and was salvaged, the furniture that did get wet is all solid wood or metal and can be cleaned up. The biggest positive is that the studio across the hall from her has been vacant for some time, and the super said that we can move her into there while repairs are done on her place. Such a lifesaver that there are no words.
Stores are opening now, even some restaurants, setting up tables on the sidewalks with catering trays and sterno to serve food, or allowing people into darkened stores a half-dozen at a time. We walked over to Target in Jersey City on Thursday. They have power, and are mostly well stocked except for ice, and they take credit cards. Cash is starting to run low, so that’s a welcome bonus. We’ve got food to last another few days — everything comes out of a can or box now, though — and then we’ll be able to easily restock if power isn’t back by then.
The weather has gotten a bit colder, so more blankets on the bed at night, more layers when we go out, and we run the oven (yes, with the door closed) first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The good thing about the cold is that while the fridge has warmed up, we just stick milk, butter, eggs, yogurt, etc. outside on the deck, and it’s keeping quite well.
Power restoration estimates are looking like this weekend or Monday at best, a week from today at worst. We’re staying until at least Tuesday, as we can start clearing out Kristen’s studio during daylight hours, and we want to vote on Tuesday. Word is that there’s a NorEaster forecast for Wednesday, so if we don’t have power by then, we’ll likely go somewhere.
Thanks again for all of the concern and well-wishes, but we’re really okay here, and got off a lot easier than a lot in Hoboken (on our way to Target was walked through south-western Hoboken and the streets and sidewalks there are clogged with mud, homeowners lining the streets with water-damaged posessions), and a hell of a lot easier than those in south Jersey. We’ll be just fine, just a little behind on work, bills, and showers until the power comes on.
We just found out a restaurant down the street has power and is open, so we’ll be going out for some Italian food and a bottle of wine in a bit. It’ll be a nice change.
-Devin and Kristen