Tag Archives: Hurricane Irene

Irene and Lee Have Left Quite a Mess in New York Harbor…

By Vladimir Brezina

These tropical storms have certainly stirred things up! Hurricane Irene came through ten days ago and deluged the entire region, and a couple of days ago Tropical Storm Lee repeated the performance. This morning, looking out of the window on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, we saw a strange sight in Hell Gate…

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A Post-Hurricane Swim Into the Record Books

By Vladimir Brezina

NYC Swim‘s premier long-distance swim, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, has become an institution in the world of long-distance swimming.  But its younger sibling, the Ederle Swim between Manhattan and Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is still growing, full of surprising twists and turns.

In October 2010, the top two finishers in the Ederle Swim were Lance Ogren and Liz Fry. This year, each of them went on to swim their own exclusive version of the Ederle Swim. In June 2011, Liz completed an unprecedented 35-mile double Ederle Swim from Manhattan to Sandy Hook and back. In an amazing swim, she set records not only for the overall course but for each of the two individual directions as well.

A few days ago, in August 2011, Lance set out to break the record—now Liz’s record—for the Manhattan to Sandy Hook direction.

I was one of the two kayakers accompanying Lance on his swim. Here are some photos and a brief account.

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It’s Not the Wind, It’s the Rain

By Vladimir Brezina

So, Hurricane Irene has come and gone.

In Manhattan—certainly in our corner of the Upper East Side—she hardly happened. Yes, there was quite a lot of rain (in Central Park, almost 7 inches), but not all that much wind. Walking round the Central Park Reservoir yesterday afternoon, I didn’t see a single tree down. (As compared, for instance, to the hundreds brought down almost exactly two years ago by a single violent thunderstorm, the scars of which are still visible.) There were torn leaves scattered everywhere, and the Reservoir was much fuller than usual. But that’s it.

In the rest of Manhattan, too, reporters were hard pushed to show anything really dramatic. The water lapping over the seawall at the Battery was shown over and over.

As a result, New Yorkers feel let down, and worse. The readers’ comments in the New York Times are running heavily against Mayor Bloomberg for ordering major precautions—massive evacuations, a shut-down of the entire transportation system—that, according to the Monday morning quarterbacks, were an absurd overreaction that was obviously motivated by the Mayor’s desire to compensate for his underreaction to last winter’s snowstorm. And where do we get a refund for the two lost days on our Metrocard?

Be that as it may, that’s taking a very narrow view of how catastrophic Irene in fact was.

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But It’s Not 2012 Yet!

By Vladimir Brezina

I thought we had a few more months until the end of the world

But this week we’ve seen a scenario unfold that is straight out of a Hollywood end-of-the-world movie. After Tuesday’s earthquake, we now have Hurricane Irene bearing down upon us. It seems determined to devastate the entire East Coast of the United States. Millions of people are fleeing for their lives, entire cities are grinding to a halt, awaiting the deluge…

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