Back on the edge of Bowling Green Park, a slightly rumpled middle-aged man in a sweatshirt and jeans surveyed the area with a proprietary air.
Arthur Piccolo, the chairman of the Bowling Green Association, a civic group, was trapped in Manhattan when the subways shut down. He had spent the previous two nights sleeping on his office couch, subsisting on sandwiches and yogurt and reading whatever was at hand.
“It’s been very … unusual,” he said dryly. “I’d prefer it if it wasn’t this way, but what are you going to do,” he added with a shrug.
Later in the afternoon he planned to make his escape: a three-hour journey by foot over the Brooklyn Bridge and on to home.
BY THE NUMBERS
18,100: flights to, from and within the U.S. that had been cancelled due to Sandy’s wrath as of Tuesday evening, according to FlightAware.
4.7 million: U.S. public-school students who stayed home Monday and/or Tuesday due to the storm, the Wall Street Journal reports.
$20-billion: the cost of property damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight estimates.
People who stayed in a Red Cross shelter Monday night throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States
The top wind speed recorded during the height of Sandy’s destruction
“Stay away from the parks, they’re all closed. Don’t go near damaged trees, beaches, sidewalks or sea walls. People have lost their lives. I know it’s fun to look and it’s fun to challenge nature but nature is an awful lot more powerful than we are and we just don’t need any more fatalities.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a Tuesday press conference
“We were quite surprised. We were waiting all day long and we saw nothing. In France we say ‘a lot of noise for nothing,’ ” French tourist Florence Buin told a Reuters reporter she was irritated that a Broadway show she wanted to see with her family was cancelled over what she dismissed as a mild storm
“We’re just happy to be doing a show tonight because the storm has forced a lot of shows to shut down production, including Maury. It was a little frustrating when Maury was like, ‘Jeff, the paternity test is in and you are … gonna have to wait two days for the results.’ Jimmy Fallon, during his Monday night audience-less monologue on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
How did Sandy get her moniker? The World Meterological Association (WMO) has six lists of names from A to Z that they rotate through. Sandy’s predecessor was Hurricane Rafael, and if there’s another this year, it will be dubbed “Tony.” In the past, the WMO has retired names if the damage wrought by those storms has been particularly deadly – it’s why we’ll never see Hurricane Katrina again.
Romney photo-op Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a storm relief event in Ohio Tuesday in which he encouraged people to bring in canned food and clothes to be shipped off to New Jersey. But he didn’t follow instructions. The Red Cross says those types of donations must be “sorted, cleaned, repackaged and transported” so it prefers cash – but where’s the photo-op in that?
Bill-payment relief One of the few good things to come out of Hurricane Sandy’s visit? You don’t have to pay off your credit-card bills so quickly. A slew of American banks are recognizing that it’s not easy to slosh your way through town to get to the bank and are waiving late fees on credit-card payments. Some, such as TD Bank, also won’t charge you their fee for using other banks’ ATMs.
New star emerges The “are they real or are they fake” online photos of storm damage are losing ground to the new social-media riff : the animated facial expressions of Lydia Callis. For the uninitiated, she’s New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sign-language interpreter, who has stolen the spotlight during the mayor’s recent media appearances. The proof is at lydiacalasface.tumblr.com.
Caffeine deprivation We’re certain millions of residents of the northeastern United States were snapping at their partners, hitting peak productivity only in the mid-afternoon and reporting fewer cases of bad breath than usual this week. On Monday, roughly 1,000 Starbucks locations between Virginia and Maine were closed. By late Tuesday, the majority had reopened but about 250 were still shuttered in New York and New Jersey.
Most cynical marketing stunt? It’s a toss-up between Bloomex flower delivery offering 50 per cent off bouquets as part of a “Hurricane Sandy Special” and American Apparel, which promoted the discount code “SANDYSALE” only in U.S. states affected by the storm.