Michael Karlesky

A cabinet of wonders. Minus the cabinet. And possibly the wonders.

First an earthquake, then a hurricane. Next up... meteorite impact and volcano.

In the span of my first full week in New York, I've done the jitterbug with an earthquake and battened down the hatches with hurricane Irene.

In case you were wondering, yes, I'm safe and sound. Irene's real storming started pounding us last night at about 9 p.m. The worst of it was over this morning. We still have some strong gusts right now, but the sun made an appearance for the first time. All in all, Irene's impact was less than everyone feared. Still, I've been holed up in my apartment all weekend.

The majority of public transit is shut down until an unspecified time in the coming day(s). The trees were really bending last night and this morning; there's lots of branches and leaves and other debris strewn about. Various mudslides, floods, and downed power lines are keeping the trains and buses in their stations. That said, we never lost power at the apartment. Thank God there were no deaths in the city due to the storm — just light damange, inconvenient flooding, and power outages.

The photo above is Irene's aftermath tonight as seen from the roof of my building. Yes, Mom, this involved climbing up the fire escape, and it was still quite windy. It's fine.

The semester doesn't start until the week of Labor Day. I'm still juggling getting registered for classes. Lots of hoops to jump through and questions to get answered. My days (except perhaps for tomorrow) now consist of going to school and setting up a base of operations at my desk at my lab for school paperwork, remaining moving to-do's, orientation events, meeting people, reading, and preparing for classes.

I hope to get lots of reading done in the coming days as well as a little sightseeing. In particular, I'm looking at visiting the Sony Wonder Technology Lab and Federal Hall. New York City is like paradise for a technology geek and history nerd like myself.