Baby the morning after Hurricane Sandy.
By: Diana Bradley
My son arrived about two weeks before Hurricane Sandy touched down in NYC. After the storm, NYU Langone – the hospital where he was born — had to be completely evacuated after its backup power system failed.
I can’t imagine experiencing a hurricane, and then being evacuated while in labor is much fun. I was so close to being in just that situation, and that will always kind of give me chills.
But going through a hurricane and its aftermath with a newborn is no walk in the park either. The night the hurricane struck, my husband and I had a slumber party in the living room with baby, as that was the safest room (besides the bathroom), if disaster really struck and a tree fell on the house or the windows shattered.
As a side note, my English husband had been given a
genius tip from his native New Yorker boss that you could always test the seriousness of a NYC storm via Chinese takeout – if they were still delivering to people’s houses, then it really wasn’t so bad.
Of course he had to go ahead and tryout this theory, and so he ordered some Chinese food at the height of the storm, when the eye was directly above us. The poor delivery guy actually made the journey to our apartment. The moment my husband opened the door to him, it almost flew off its hinges, and the delivery guy caught it midway with catlike reflexes. He probably deserved a heftier tip than we gave him for risking his life to bring us food that night.
Anyway, the storm came and went. We survived, unscathed. Our lights flickered a lot. But we never lost power.
Even so, I spent the next two days fearing our power would suddenly cut and worrying myself sick about different scenarios that would cause: How would I sterilize baby’s bottles? How would I heat his formula? How would I keep him warm?
Fortunately, we never had to figure out the answers to these questions.
But many other families weren’t so lucky. More than 15,000 homes were destroyed and hundreds of lives were lost.
One NYC landmark that really took a beating was Coney Island, which sustained $1 million in damage.
The Bradley clan decided to pay a visit for the first time since the storm. Actually, last time we were there, baby was still baking in the oven.
Family selfie on the way to Coney.
Expectations weren’t high. But as soon as we arrived, we were greeted with what seemed to be a cleaner, shinier Coney Island. Bright new signs adorned establishments that had been there for eons.
We breathed a sigh of relief when we spotted Nathan’s – an institution that is basically the area’s main identity. It looked exactly the same.
My husband celebrated with some goopy cheese fries and a hotdog. But alas, I was wearing baby, so just had to sit there drooling and staring as he ate.
The weather wasn’t the greatest, so we didn’t really stop long to take in the sights on the beach.
We took a little wander across the boardwalk and around Luna Park.
It was busy. The park looked unchanged. Baby began a pointing frenzy and stared open-mouthed at people whizzing by on all the rides. Really looking forward to when he is older and can enjoy the rides himself.
We swung by Williams Candy before leaving and grabbed a couple of candy apples for the road.
And on our walk back to the train, spotted a man outside the Freak Show shoving a screwdriver all the way up his nose. This is living.
I would have to say the highlight of the day was seeing a man wearing the same exact outfit as our son. What a little trendsetter.
It’s incredible to think of all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes this past year to ensure the Coney Island experience still lives on. And it truly does.
I just hope these efforts weren’t in vain; meteorologists predict that a storm stronger than Sandy may strike this autumn.