Even McDonalds is Closed: One Biker’s Post-Sandy Journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan

Today is November 1, 2012, three (give or take) days since Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City.  Duty called on the Upper East Side of Manhattan today, so I decided to bike from Crown Heights, over the Manhattan Bridge, and up the east side of Manhattan to Grand Central.  And back. The following is a photo essay of the ride:

(Below): Heading north on 1st Ave, between 4th & 5th.

(Below): The view up 1st Ave, mostly powerless, little traffic.

(Below): You know the circumstances are difficult when the golden arches aren’t lit.  Along 1st Ave.

(Below): Bike lane foliage.

(Below): Deez pizzerias, can’t hold ‘em back.

(Below): Approaching midtown.  Man rifles through days-old trash as bikers ride by.

(Below): The trees are electric! New York Citians power up along 42nd, near GCT.

(Below): From GCT, only the 4/6 trains are running local (GCT is the last stop heading downtown) when I was there ~3:15.  The trains were packed, though not so unlike most days there.

(Below): Upper East Side now, along 3rd around 80th.  Poor little sapling.  UES, to note, is business as usual, the status quo of therapists-row, specialty grocers, and possible Woody Allen sightings.

(Below): NY’s Finest.  Really, though, bless ‘em.  Traffic would be at a standstill without them out there right now.

(Below): Piled-up trash along 94th between Park & Lex.

(Below): MTA is gratis today, and seemingly, for the foreseeable future.  This is GCT around 6:40.  On the left, passengers enter for free.

Question: Do monthly cardholders have their passes extended, so that the time they purchased isn’t penalized?

 

(Below): These are shots heading south on 2nd Ave.  Once I hit, say, 34th, the city went numb, black.  Stuy Town, East Village, Chinatown—fugetaboutit.  It was a terrifying ride through sheer blackness.  There are no lights, street or signals.  Zero.  For bikers, I suggest a front and back light, along with a flashlight for turns.  And a helmet.  Saw a woman downed, shell shocked.  This was/is no time for show-offs.  Really.  It was invigorating, but extremely dangerous.  We’re talking everywhere.  The City has plenty of issues on its hands, but this has got to be climbing up the list.  Halfway over the Manhattan bridge, the lights turn on.  Before that, it’s a clattering of “on your lefts” and bike bells and taking it slowly.  Good luck.