Brooklyn-Queens Vortex Open Thread

Photo: Jessica Winograd
Fifth Avenue at Degraw Street, Brooklyn. Photo: Jessica Winograd

The extreme weather event that ripped through parts of Brooklyn and Queens early this evening has left an impressive trail of destruction on sidewalks, streets, and yards — felling trees, crushing cars and probably bending a few bike frames. Service on the 7 train and the LIRR from Penn Station had to be suspended.

I watched the storm from Manhattan and rode home to Brooklyn at around 10:30. The bike right-of-way on Vanderbilt Ave was pocked with sludgy wet leaf matter and twigs. Even though I was on a heavy bike with fat tires, it was still kinda nerve-wracking. The occasional tree or enormous branch lying across the whole road seemed easier to handle — at least the cars had to slow down for those too. Ride carefully on Friday, folks.

  • Not known for its tornado’s, New York City was hit with an intense storm on Thursday, September 16, 2010 which did a lot of damage.

    Increasingly, stuff like this cannot be discounted and the president must start preparing for action against climate change on unprecedented scale.


    A lot more on the Sep 16, 2010 storm that hit New York City from Google News

    “The Associated Press – AFP – New York Times – Wall Street Journal
    all 463 news articles >>”

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Left the Streetfilms offices a little later than expected but knew I had some time thanks to radar on iPhone. Still – only made it in the door with about 10 minutes to spare before tv told us to go into the basement! No one did in the building. Saw the Naparstek house got hit with tree.

  • Geck

    Heading home form lower Manhattan at about 5:30 I decided it might be best to take the bike on the train because of all the lightning and thunder in the distance. Emerged in Park Slope after it as all over to scenes of destruction. Very eerie.

  • Moser

    J or L train was out so tons of people walking over the WB Bridge last night 6:30-ish.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The lesson is that a bicycle is the most reliable form of transportion, other than walking, provided the bridges aren’t closed, and the cyclist pays attention to the weather and has some departure/arrival time flexibility.

    The storm led to massive traffic and transit disruptions, but a cyclist could wait out the storm and walk the bike around downed trees. In my case I left work a little early, and was stowing my bike at home in Brooklyn when it hit. My boss, an LIRR rider, didn’t get home until 11:30 pm.

    After the previous Brooklyn tornado, I made the mistake of thinking that with the weather so unsettled, I’d better take the subway. Big mistake.

  • Mike

    There’s a huge, gorgeous, 100+ year old tree down on State St near Nevins — one of the most beautiful blocks in Boerum Hill. So sad.

  • Brooklyn

    Waited till about 6:30 before leaving work and rode home dry, remarkably enough. Trees down and damaged everywhere in Park Slope around Union Street. Riding through Prospect Park, the roadway past the Pavilion Theater was as is it had barely rained.

    This morning, commuting in, the aftermath was equally focused. The park drive from Lincoln Road to GAP was suddenly a mess. A huge tree was sheared off and lying fully across the roadway halfway up the hill — a great historical irony, since the hill is named Battle Pass after a tree felled there to stop the British invasion of Brooklyn.

    I was sad to see just about every tree on Flatbush Avenue between GAP and Fifth Avenue was damaged or gone. North of Fifth Ave, again, like nothing happened.

    I wonder about the health of city trees, judging from all the photos of uprooted trees and the thin, thin roots evident.

  • #6 Larry Littlefield, ” . . . bicycle is the most reliable form of transportation . . .”


    Human power scales right and adds a high level of resilience since it’s with you most of the time.

    When things are designed really well it usually takes a minimal of effort to get them working when things go wrong.

    That’s one of the major things wrong with conventional large vehicle transit.

  • From a bicyclist’s standpoint, the worst danger from trees is not from the branches on the road in front of you, but the ones on the trees that detach themselves while you’re underneath. I’ve had the experience of riding along, hearing a loud crack behind me, and seeing a big branch land on the spot where I was riding a few seconds earlier.

    Not scary enough to make me stop biking, but scary nonetheless.


Ghost Bikes Memorial Ride Marks Another Year of Loss

Grief, solidarity and resolve brought out two hundred New York cyclists yesterday for the third annual Ghost Bikes Memorial Ride, to commemorate cyclists killed by motor vehicle drivers last year. At the Canal Street & Bowery triangle by the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge bike path, Steve Hindy raised his empty arms in a pantomime […]

Mercedes Exploits the Daredevil Cyclist Stereotype

You might have seen it making the rounds over the last couple of days — the new Mercedes ad in which a bike messenger challenges a driver in one of the company’s luxury vehicles to a race from Harlem to the Fulton Ferry landing in Brooklyn. There are many irritating things about the ad, including […]

The Spatial Payoff of NYC Bike-Share

Last night’s Brooklyn Community Board 2 hearing on bike-share was hardly the “battle” anticipated by the Brooklyn Eagle. About 20 people testified after DOT presented the draft station maps for the district [PDF, pages 10-15], and almost all of them supported the bike-share program in general, with several residents expressing delight at the prospect of […]