Hurricane Sandy got the best of me here in New York City. I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to see what it was like at night. It was a scene straight out of the movies. Manhattan south of 39th st, that is. Previously I said it reminded me of Gotham in Dark Knight Rises. But I must amend that statement. It was more like the post apocalyptic cities we see in The Walking Dead. Many streets illuminated only by the moon, which happens to be nearly full. Cars would pass by from time to time; but not near often enough to make one feel at ease.
I ventured out of my apartment around 2am and took a cab down to Houston and Broadway. At first I was hesitant to get out, for the 39 blocks previous there was nothing but shadows, police cars and cabs. But my curiosity was ignited. With the light of the Chrysler building to my back in the distance I began walking down Broadway and came back up on Lafayette. No mass of halloweeners crowding Broadway. It was the exact opposite of Fashion’s Night Out. No line of hypebeasts waiting for the next product drop from Supreme on Lafayette.
But strangely the food carts were still there. I wonder if they ever left. I asked them why they stayed; but not a single one of them could speak English, rather frustrating. So I moved on…
I made my way up through Astor Place and Union Square. There were no Occupiers, not even homeless people; although it seems they are often synonymous. I could see the lights of Grand Central and the Metlife building shining without issue. But the blocks leading up to them were pitched black. ‘Holy shit,’ was all I could say.
I moved up to the Flatiron building. One of the city’s most iconic buildings. But few New Yorkers know it to be completely dark. They only know of the lights and lifestyle symbolized by Times Square 20 blocks to the north. New York City is two different cities. There is the New York City we all know and then there is the dead zone.
The entire experience was surreal. To have the streets that millions share every day and night nearly to myself was one of the most unforgettable experiences I have ever had. At first it was uncomfortable, but it quickly grew on me. It gave me time to reflect on this great city and my time in it thus far. And my friends, although we have hit a bit of a speed bump, New York is still, and will continue to be a great city.
For those who have lost loved ones, property and possessions my condolences and sympathy goes out to you.
I took pictures until I couldn’t feel my hands. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.
Stay Safe NYC,
Justin L Jeffers
PS – if you choose to use these photos for your own purposes, please provide adequate and appropriate link backs and credit to FYGblog.
Another fine set of photographs Justin. Some of them brilliant such as the Flatiron building. What I find amazing is that you felt safe enough to do this at 2.30 am in a blackout. This is a tribute to law and order in NYC as not so many years ago you would have been crazy to do something like this. By the way how do the food cart people understand your order if they can’t speak English?
[…] and beautiful, with many streets lighted only by the colored flashes of passing police cars. These photos by my friend Justin L. Jeffers give some idea of what the city looks like in deep night. You can […]
Great article and photos. A uniqe experience, to walk that far in Manhattan in darkness and alone. You caught both Dippers above in the final Flatiron Building photo.
[…] Hall and into Soho. The sky was a different story on Thursday night than it was on my adventure Wednesday night. It was overcast and the lights from midtown and Brooklyn reflected off the clouds to provide an […]
Thank you for taking us back with your haunting & evocative images. There are so many communities that are still torn apart from the disaster named Sandy.
AS A FORMER NEW YORKER AND A CURRENT PHOTOGRAPHER I LOVE THE PHOTOS…HAVING NYC TO YOURSELF IS A RARE TREAT…..I GO FOR FASHION WEEK IN SEPTEMBER AND THOROUGHLY ENJOY IT……ONE CANNOT IMAGINE A HURRICANE IN THE CITY……ALMOST UNHEARD OF…..