In East Village, ‘Calm Before the Storm’ Followed By Fireworks

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Fireworks, presumably World Series-related, boomed over the East Village shortly after midnight, capping off a night of hurricane preparation and anticipation that was described as eery and sedate.

Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that portions of the East Village were subject to mandatory evacuation, with adjacent areas in Alphabet City also subject to potential flooding from Hurricane Sandy, expected to hit Monday night.

“Zone A,” which is under an evacuation order, includes the areas east of Avenue B from East 14th and Ninth Streets, and east of Avenue D from East Ninth to East Houston.

DNA Info reported that some residents of Campos Plaza and Baruch Houses met the order with skepticism, and chose to disregard it. Yesterday afternoon, when the Mayor toured a shelter at Seward Park High School, just 90 people had taken refuge there, The Lo-Down reported.

But many local businesses took heed. Stores like Astor Wine & Spirits closed early, as the subways were expected to halt at 7 p.m. Cinema Village East took down the letters on its marquee, as Taylor Davidson’s photo showed. IFC Center closed early as well. And East Village Radio suspended its live stream for the afternoon and evening.

One Twitter user noted an “apocalyptic feeling” in the neighborhood; others pointed out that the streets were “eerily quiet” and had “never been so dead.” @MikeNouveau remarked, “I wish East Village was this calm and serene every night.” (Maybe everyone had “gone surfing”?)

But it wasn’t complete calm: @Sevenlayercake noted trash cans rolling down the street and @KellyVanscoy observed trees already down. And @Aliciadrown wrote, “It’s all calm before the storm in the east village other than a man violently smashing a razor scooter on the ground/parking meters.” In addition, diehards like Ray’s Candy Store stayed open.

Locals shopped for provisions like beer, wine, cheese, bottled water, and “everything of everything.” Marco Diaz and Shannon Connellan photographed the packed aisles and check-out line at Key Foods. The line at Whole Foods was said to wrap around the store.

A sizable line was also seen outside of the Bowery Mission. Around 11 p.m., many were bedded down in front of darkened businesses on St. Marks Place.

The emergency shelters closest to the East Village are at Baruch College (155 East 24th Street) and Seward Park High School (350 Grand Street).

Public schools as well as N.Y.U. will be closed tomorrow, but The Local will bring updates throughout the day.

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