Archives: New York

before irene

A year ago in late August I had a vacation unexpectedly extended by the approach of hurricane Irene. I was in Manhattan visiting friends and got stuck there an extra two days when all the flights out of JFK were cancelled. I spent the 27th during the day walking around taking pictures of deserted streets. All the bridges and trains were closed, so everyone who worked on the island couldn’t make it in. It was like 28 Days Later, only instead of fast zombies there were only tourists with nothing to do. Even the shows were cancelled.

That storm didn’t amount to much. It became an opportunity to go out drinking an extra night. Some lovely things happened in the wake of that storm.

This year it’s a different story.

I’ve been following friends’ tweets as everything that was feared before Irene has come true with Sandy. Dreading the possibility that, stuck without electricity, they will one by one fall off of the web and I won’t know what happened for days.

Here’s hoping all are well. I’ll be visiting November 10th.

A little levity from a Brooklyn friend’s Instagram feed yesterday:

Instagram Photo

Remember when I asked if anyone was making a certain kind of building?

Well, check it out!

Consider the Hearst Building, by Norman Foster & Partners, which opened in August, becoming the first building to receive a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating in New York City.

The diagrid (a diagonal grid building structure) frame of the tower used 20% less steel than a conventional frame for the same sized building, and more than 90% of the steel contains recycled materials. The roof collects rainwater that is used to irrigate trees and plants inside and outside the building.

High-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems use outside air to ventilate and cool the building 75% of the year. And the list goes on.

Neat, huh?