Inhuman Swill : Queens : Page 3


| No Comments

It must be a year now since we moved from our old place. Last week we received a whole mess of holiday cards, automatically forwarded from our old address, from folks who apparently didn't get the memo about our change of address.

Today, though, I got word from a friend that a holiday card they had sent to the old address was returned as undeliverable. This means two things:

  1. Our 12-month forwarding order has just expired.
  2. There is no longer a house at 23-33 31st Avenue where the mail carrier can deposit unforwarded letters.
Yes, our old house is gone. Not a brick remains. It's now a giant hole in the ground surrounded by a tall plywood fence (though the Google satellite image, off by a couple hundred feet, still shows the happy house unmolested). We need to go take some pictures.

I hope there's no critical snail mail out there on its way to the wrong address, because it ain't gonna reach us.

Full entry

Hard times at Kabab Cafe

| No Comments

I was half-listening to WNYC this morning as I made the last preparations to leave, when suddenly I heard my friend Ali's voice on the radio. We had noticed that his restaurant, Kabab Cafe, has been closed since the blackout, and we keep stopping by to see if it is open yet.

Here is a transcript of the radio story.

I am going there for my birthday next week, should it be open yet by then, and would whether or not the place had had so much trouble. Those of you we've taken there will understand!

Full entry

Street hockey!

| No Comments

I'm trying out the new tag with this little video Laura took on Sunday afternoon. When your street is blocked off for blackout repairs, what else are you going to do but...

Full entry

The blurb in this Gawker

| No Comments

The blurb in this Gawker entry literally made me laugh out loud. And the video's not so bad either:

Queens Politicians Stick "Kick Me" Sign On Mayor's Back

Full entry

And we're back

| No Comments

When I was walking home from the subway last night, I rounded the corner to see ConEd crews working on my very own street. My pulse quickened. Before I reached home, a neighbor had called out to me that our power was back.


I ran around the apartment (after greeting the ecstatic pup) turning on everything. Then I turned most things back off, not wanting to tempt fate. I text-messaged Laura, who confessed to getting a little misty at the news.

This morning, I shaved for the first time in a week. There was light in the bathroom!

Full entry

Heckuva job, Burkie!

| No Comments

New York Times: Mayor Continues to Defend Chairman of Con Edison

"I think Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city," Mr. Bloomberg said. "He's worked as hard as he can every single day since then, as has everybody at Con Ed. And it’s easy to go criticize but once this happened, Con Ed has been doing everything they can to bring it back. And I don't think that I could have gone in and done any better."
First of all, doing everything they can to bring power back is not the sole criterion for doing a good job. Con Ed failed miserably at preventing this disaster, and then they underestimated the scope of the problem for days. That doesn't exactly merit thanks.

Second, who cares if Bloomberg couldn't have done a better job? He's a broadcast mogul and a (sometimes decent) mayor. He's not the head of a major metropolitan utility and never has been. So forgive me if I'm making a jacking-off gesture in Bloomie's direction.

And third, as someone on the Times message board observed: "You're doing a heckuva job, Burkie!"

Full entry

Still without full power

| No Comments

The first photo says it all:

Gothamist: Queens Blackout, Day 8

Full entry

No end in sight

| No Comments

Hell, at night there's very little of anything in sight:

Power Failure Lingers as Storm Slows Repairs

The police presence in the neighborhood is very impressive. So are the ConEd work crews we've seen plowing through the roadbeds of many streets in Astoria. I saw a crew on Steinway Street up to their shoulders in the street, flinging dirt out of the hole with shovels. Huge bundles of electrical cables snake out of open manholes and down the street, sometimes buried in trenches of fresh asphalt, sometimes out in the open. The mayor's command center is set up in the parking lot under the Triborough Bridge in Astoria Park, along with dozens of police vehicles. Sirens are the most common sound in the neighborhood, next to birdsong.

At least the weather is relatively cool today, but we groan every time it starts to rain, especially during the thunderstorms, because who's going to be working with electricity in the rain?

Full entry


| No Comments

I'm afraid we're not surprised by this, but at least everyone seems to be paying attention now:

Queens Blackout May Last Through the Weekend

And it only took four days of complaining!

(Via Laura.)

Full entry
William Shunn