Sorry Brooklyn, you’re just not as cool as Queens today – because we had a TORNADO touchdown! Yeah yeah, there are rumors that Bushwick got hit too, but nearly 25k people in Queens are in blackout right now due to downed power lines, versus just over 500 in Brooklyn. Just sayin’. And that lone reported death, that was in Queens too – that’s sad, and it happened less than a mile from where I was working earlier today too.

Actually the whole scenario was not too pretty. Uprooted trees were strewn everywhere, and in Corona people were literally dashing across the streets with their babies clutched close, to get away from still-falling branches; nearly every street I passed between the NYSCI and the 111 Street stop on the 7 subway had a fallen tree on it; live electrical lines were dangling about; a bodega got one of its windows smashed in from flying debris; trash was thrown about as all the trash bins were turned over and spilled; and then at the aforementioned 111 Street subway stop, news spread fast that the subway was no longer working because debris – reportedly a ROOF that got torn off by the tornado – was deposited onto the train tracks and stopping trains from moving.

Here are some shots from damage immediately outside and around the New York Hall of Science, which is also host to the 1st annual World Maker Faire which opens in just two weekends! (Some good news I guess!)

where’d this tree even come from?

111 street – a normally timid street, now bumper-to-bumper:

Here’s where the real sh!tty part of the evening comes into play. Buses. You have to replace subways with buses. Not the best solution. Imagine, the commute home for probably 30-40k people, at least, cut short via mass train transit and replaced with bus lines and traffic jams. Not pretty. I stood on Northern Blvd. waiting for the Q66 for over 25 minutes; when the first bus finally arrived it was so full the bus was tipping over about 5 degrees from the weight of all the people on it. I waited another 5 minutes then became so frustrated I started walking. From 111 Street! I did not see one available yellow cab; a private cab was charging $5/mile; I got all the way to 56 Street before I finally jumped in an available black cab. I walked over 50 blocks before a cab even became AVAILABLE! Check out the lines for the buses below – they went down the block and around the corner!

All in all it only took me around 2 hours and change to get home today. Smashing – that’s life in the big city for ya!