Friday, September 17, 2010


I am not used to weird weather. I mean, I'm from California. Earthquakes? Yes. Wildfires? Sure thing. TORNADOS? No way. Until today.

It was all overcast and humid all day, and then, around 5:30, things got weird. It got dark. Fast. And then, the rain started. It was immediate, and torrential. It came down in sheets, and was blown sideways down the street. As I ran through my apartment closing my windows, I could hear people yelling and swearing on the street. The sky had turned green. Very ominous.

I ran into the hallway to make sure my landlord was okay, and our upstairs neighbors came down, and the skylight started leaking, and it was PANDEMONIUM.

I checked the weather and there was a tornado watch in Park Slope. PARK SLOPE. The warning lasted until 6:00 pm, and it was about 5:55, and I had movie plans, so...

And as I walked to the subway, I saw this madness on the streets of Park Slope.

This is 4th Ave. The heavy metal trash cans and other apartment debris were mostly cleared from the street, but, no one had moved these giant branches. Cars were just going around them.

This is 8th Street. It was impassable. People were just milling around, looking surprised and confused.

I took the subway two stops down, and things were totally untouched. Trash in cans, branches on trees. It was...weird. Weather is weird.

I saw It's Kind of a Funny Story, and stayed for the Q&A afterward with the writers/directors. The movie was a gem. A GEM. It takes place in Brooklyn, which always seems a little incestuous, but, really, I love it. The movie opens in October, see it.

UPDATE: It's the next morning, and I just went running through Park Slope. 6th Ave is a disaster. There's yellow caution tape everywhere, and I heard sirens the entire time. A helicopter has been circling above Park Slope all morning. Prospect Park is MAYHEM. Giant, mature trees are UPROOTED. I saw a tree split in half. IN HALF. The front window of Brooklyn Industries was broken out. Branches are everywhere. People are just wandering around with their cameras, looking intimidated. I've never seen anything like this.


  1. this is pretty cool.
    i can say that, because you didn't die.
    if you'd like, i can be a guest writer about my tornado experience. sadly, i have no terrified pictures of me from the photo booth i hid in.

  2. What the hell is a tornado doing in New York City?!

  3. Didn't anything like this happen in Rexburg? This can't be your first storm-so-bad-some-trees-are-knocked-down experience. Can it?

  4. Sounds a lot like the storm that happened upon us at the DCI (that's Drum Corps International) meet in Omaha in the middle of july. Yes, it's freaky-scary. And tornado sirens give me the willies. Glad to hear you're safe. For the moment, at least.

  5. Holy crazy storm! I'm glad you are all okay, and that you got some awesome pictures!

  6. i just read your update, to which i exclaimed:
    "brooklyn industries? noooooooooo!"

  7. Annie, I would love to hear your tornado experience. And, you can guest write ANYTIME you want.

    Liz, tell me the hell about it.

    Mike, no, I've seen trees knocked down by wind before, but, not like this. Not giant trees uprooted and smashed down on cars. Not debris strewn all over. Tyson has a photo album linked on his facebook page which as some pretty amazing photos.

  8. Ashley, what do you mean for the moment? Do tornadoes return to the scene of the crime? Is that thing going to come back for me? It was my first experience with the green-like-a-dragon sky.

    Sarah, tell me about it. I left without my camera, but, had to go back and get it.

    Annie, don't worry, the windows are out, but Bklyn Industries is still in business.

  9. How sad! Mostly for the trees that will never recover. When a tornado freakishly hit SLC several years back and took out a couple of bars but skipped the temple (probably folk lore, I never saw the bars), seeing the downed trees made me cry. Hundreds of years gone in a second. I mean, I know I'm dramatic, but really. It's crazy.

  10. When you consider the topography and proximity to converging land features and waterways it actually makes sense.

  11. Not to mention the Sarducci Effect.

  12. Sus, I know what you mean. I keep thinking of that too. Especially in the park, it's like a tree war zone.

    GK, your need to be the smartest person on the blog...ugh.