Plant Tragedy of the Day
LATE BREAKING NEWS: the National Weather Service now says there were TWO tornadoes. The one in my neighborhood was an EF0, with winds of 80 mph.
SLIGHTLY UPBEAT UPDATE: See photo on jump
Park Slope, Brooklyn, 6pm, today. The weather service isn't officially calling it a tornado yet, but I'm pretty sure it was. Though I've been in hurricanes and Signal 8 typhoons, I've never experienced anything quite like this before. The sky went green, then dark, and the wind whipped through so fiercely that my neighbor's a/c unit was blown in through the window and six feet across the hall!
Now my lovely, leafy neighborhood is a wreck of broken trees. The photo is from the end of my street. It's so sad, it feels like a death of a friend.
I spent the 5 minutes of the tornado frantically pulling the handle of my casement window so it wouldn't fly out (I'd had it open a crack before the storm came without warning, and the winds were so powerful I couldn't get it shut tight.)
My neighborhood is filled with photogs and videographers, so this extreme weather got full coverage on twitter, local blogs, etc. (The NYT has a gallery of reader photos up now.) This video in particular catches the eerie, scary feeling of the storm as it passes over the city of Brooklyn:
(Somewhat upbeat) UPDATE:
This morning I took a walk around the nabe and saw that the big gingko tree on the corner had snapped in two. Mounds of the sticky yellow berries that the Cantonese call "Bak Gwo" were smushed on the street.
What a pity, I thought. In Hong Kong these berries are delicious treats, added to soup and congee. I walked to get coffee, passed by ten minutes later, and spotted this lady:
From her accent, I pegged her as Toisan-ese (the farming province in western Canton). She was very happy. "The fruit isn't ripe yet, but you can still use the nuts. Two dollars a pound at the market in Chinatown!"
Well, I thought, at least there's some happy "fallout" of the Brooklyn plant disaster.
And the pragmatism of the Chinese people never fails to impress me.