Storm Stories

Some rain yesterday, eh?

I was out at the post office, or at least en route to the post office, when the skies opened. I ducked into the Gramercy Park Hotel because the rain was way too intense to handle–even when standing under the, oh, 20 foot by 20 foot GPH awning.

Wind. Thunder. Lighting. Hail. German tourists.

There probably was not a better place to take in the storm than the GPH: plenty of places to sit, food and drink to be ordered, even a pool table with balls and sticks right there on the table in the cozy bar–no quarters needed here, folks. I refrained from ordering something, as I figured those summer storms never last more than 10 minutes or so.

But I was there a good hour, much of which I spent watching Dhani Jones’ photo of the storm from his airplane seat go viral in social media. I only sprinted back to work, under a litany of overhangs and awnings and scaffolding, because I had to file a story before the day was over.

Even with those various barriers between me and rainfall, I was absolutely drenched…like, jump-in-the-pool soaked…when I got back to the office five blocks away. The mass of humankind that assembles under awnings during storms laughed collectively as I lumbered into the building, so wet that the drips dripping off me had drips dripping off them.

I got to my office, leaving a trail of moisture behind me, and opened that bottom desk drawer–with the hundreds of napkins, the Christmas wrapping paper, the extra mousepads, the half drank bottle of Tamdhu single malt our managing editor gave me when he left for another job two years ago and, most important, at least to this ramble, the spare set of clothes.

I was exceedingly thankful to have an office, and used the lock and the blinds to execute the head to toe wardrobe change. The middle stage of that transformation is a weird one when you can hear your coworkers talking.

I felt like a big dork walking out of the office in baggy jeans, second string sneakers, and too large to be in everyday rotation dress shirt, and heading to Grand Central.

The rain was steady on the walk, but no longer a soaker. The train ride home was, despite a warning from our friends at CleverCommute, uneventful.

Here’s how JerseyJim fared.

My luck ran out on my run to the train last night. Leaving the office in a dry patch without an umbrella, I thought I could make it to Penn Station for the 5:54 NJT Midtown Direct. I got about half way, and the downpour returned with a flush.

I promised myself that I’d pay top dollar to the first street-umbrella salesman that I found. Either they were all sold out, or the rain was just too curiously strong even for those entrepreneurs. It was a gamble, and I lost.

I shuffled past folks wearing plastic trash bags on their head, and
their entire body, seven tourists jamming into a town car, and tall men with golf umbrellas so big, that ought to require a permit.

Arriving for my train in Penn Station soaked from head to toe, but safe and on time, for my evening air-conditioned pocket back to New Jersey.


[photo: Dhani Jones]

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