Around the watchers, the city still made its everyday noises. Car horns. Garbage trucks. Ferry whistles. The thrum of the subway. The M22 bus pulled in against the sidewalk, braked, sighed down into a pothole. A flying chocolate wrapper touched against a fire hydrant. Taxi doors slammed. Bits of trash sparred in the darkest reaches of the alleyways. Sneakers found their sweet spots. The leather of briefcases rubbed against trouser legs. A few umbrella tips clinked against the pavement. Revolving doors pushed quarters of conversation out into the street.
Out of all the books I have read that are set in New York, Colum McCann has done the best job in capturing the everyday energy of the city.
The passage above truly describes the constant noise that accompanies that energy, so it was very eerie when the city fell silent while waiting for Hurricane Irene. Unlike Vermont and the Catskills, Manhattan was lucky enough to escape without serious damage and the precautions, some of which are seen in these photos, proved unnecessary.
The Atlantic’s In Focus has a selection of more professional images from Hurricane Irene and its aftermath.