Back in Brooklyn!

For those who haven’t guessed (or, perhaps, even thought about it), I was out of town for most of August on a series of adventures. Not the least of these involved getting to work on the day I left, which happened to begin with Brooklyn’s first tornado of record (see Brooklyn Eagle article here).

Being awakened by thunder and rain several hours earlier did not prepare me for the chaos created by this storm. I had heard that the morning commute might be difficult, but upon arriving at the Newkirk Plaza subway station I learned that there was no service whatsoever on the B or Q lines, and many others in Brooklyn as well.

photo by Flatbush Gardener

The reason in our case was fallen trees on the tracks, a problem that would not be solved any time soon. After discussing options with my fellow thwarted travelers — should we take the bus to a different subway line? (No guarantees it’s working either.) A car service to Manhattan? (None available.) Skip work and go out for breakfast instead? Followed by the beach? (Not an option for me, though well-utilized by others!) — I determined that the only truly reliable method of getting to lower Manhattan would be by bicycle. Given the weather (already hot and humid at 10am) and the need to lug a significant amount of equipment to my meeting, this was not appealing and I dragged my feet for some time before succumbing to logic. In the end my travel time was less than an hour (I am NOT a fast rider) and provided an opportunity to survey the damage to my neighborhood along the way. This turned out to be quite shocking: along my route alone there were at least a dozen trees down, several cars destroyed, and streets blocked with debris (Flatbush Gardener has more photos and analysis of the damage). But bicycle turned out to be by far the best mode of travel that day, and even gave me a small workout in preparation for one portion of my upcoming travels: a sustainability-themed bike ride/camping trip in Oregon…

(to be continued!)

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