New York Update

The bad news is that, after the latest collapse this afternoon, the wind shifted. The acrid smoke is now heading north. It burns the eyes and the throat rapidly. I first encountered it at 122 Street, about eight miles from the disaster; it’s not fun.

All subways are running now, but slowly. I still can’t make long distance calls, and even local calls got spotty again.

With the mayor suggesting that those not at work get out, there was a weekend sense on the streets and in the parks (that was before the smoke). There were even some smiles.

The city has been overwhelmed with volunteers, so the excess have formed cheering squads to thank the rescue workers and provide them with water and snacks. The campaign office for one of the candidates for public advocate (number two executive in the city) is down the block from me. The windows were plastered with the latest info on what’s needed, hotlines, etc. One of the posters was issued by a rival candidate; it went up anyway.

Some stores are still closed, and the ban on traffic into Manhattan kept The New York Times out — it was neither delivered nor at newsstands. The freakiest thing I encountered today was the fact that security was keeping people out of Riverside Church! I was up there because WNET, the local PBS station, wants to create some sort of ecumenical concert on Sunday – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, etc. Riverside specializes in that stuff.

Except below 14th Street, schools will open tomorrow.

We’re getting there.

TTFN, Mark

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