Darien and I are fortunate to live in Astoria not just because of all the great restaurants, but because we’re far enough from the East River, etc, and high enough that we suffered no ill effects from Hurricane Sandy. Our neighborhood seems to have sustained relatively little damage, though mass transit hasn’t been an option until today, and that’s been limited to buses only since the MTA is still hard at work cleaning up flooding in the various subway tunnels.

There were a few downed trees, this one being the worst of them.

As we walked up to it, of course, our first reaction was to shout, “Facebook!” and take pictures. Thusly:

This morning, I hoofed across the Queensboro Bridge so that I could submit this week’s payroll for the day job. Although the CFO had offered to pay for a car for me, after I saw this, I knew I only had one option. Every entrance to the bridge was locked up, and things just weren’t moving.

So: to the bridge!

The last time I made this walk was in December 2005 when the MTA went on strike and I lived in Astoria for the first time. I was temping at the time, and marginally more (chronically) broke than I usually am now, so I needed to get into Manhattan to be a (*shudder*) receptionist (I hate phone work) for an architect in Midtown. Those few days are a story unto themselves (and slightly scandalous, but we don’t talk about those things here, now do we?).

From up on the bridge, you wouldn’t really know that a major natural disaster had just ravaged New York.

I made it into Manhattan in record time, listening to Andy Lee‘s recording of William Duckworth’s Time Curve Preludes along the way (an excellent group of pieces excellently played!), and did the whole walk from central Astoria to 56th & 6th in just over an hour, passing only one sign of the storm.

Well, not the only sign….

That infamous dangling crane? Yeah, that’s one block away from the office, and visible from a few feet down from the entrance.

The street was cordoned off to all but those who live or work there. I was allowed to pass, and consequently got payroll in with hours to spare! (Though not without having had NUMEROUS nightmares about it last night…) I’ve been a hero at the sparsely-staffed office all day since I single-handedly made sure that everyone was paid. And there was much rejoicing.