Hurricane Rocks Coney Island!!

Wow, what a week for natural disasters in NYC!  Just a few days after the East Coast earthquake shook Coney Island, we received word that Irene was comin’ to town!  Irene was a massive hurricane which left a duanting path of destruction behind her as she swirled up the East Cost!!!   She seemed to have her sights dead set on hittin’ the big New York City and riding some rides in Coney Island (who could blame her?).  Word on the boardwalk was that she was mean, vicious and had claws that could tear the entire amusement area to bits!  It seemed as thought this was going to be the “Storm of the Century!”  And my boardwalk boutique, right on the ocean, seemed to be in a potentially dangerous position!  And so, we began doing everything we could to make sure our shop was safe!

Our first step in securing out beautiful pink ship was removing it’s sail!  Our gigantic, enormous sign is made of canvas. And we feared winds that Irene’s winds 100+ miles an hour would tear it to shreds!  Our handyman, Tom, texted me with a single word “Irene” and I knew what he meant.  The sign must come down for the storm or it will be torn to pieces!  So Tom showed up later that day and temporarily removed the sign for us!  (We love Tom!)!!  Our sign removal was on CBS’s nightly news and in the about preparations for Irene!

Here’s Tom removing our lovely sign!!  Here’s CBS filming it in the rain for their “Preparing for Irene” coverage!

Our next step was to ensure that all our merchandise remained safe and dry!  It was rumored that Irene would be showing up on the boardwalk at high tide!  This meant there was a frightening chance that there would be a surge from the ocean!  This could be extremely dangerous and cause terrible destruction and flooding.

I went to Home Depot to get plastic containers to protect our merchandise and materials to build shelves in order to get it all up off the ground.  Unfortunately  half of Brooklyn was also at Home Depot anxiously buying up supplies and preparation for the hurricane!  It was a mess!  There weren’t any shopping carts anywhere.  I pulled all my items together in an isle and began to ponder the unfortunate circumstance of getting all of it to the register!

as you can see, I would have had great difficulty making it to the register without his help!

I can’t say my past experiences with the staff at Home Depot have been all that positive… but this Home Depot employee changed my opinion!  He grabbed his awesome air lift hand truck and piled all my items on!   We were on our way to the long lines in the check out area when he asked if I could wait while he went to talk to his friend at the Returns Desk.  Well low and behold, he sweet talked the gal at the Returns Desk into letting me check out in her isle so I didn’t have to wait in the insanely long lines!  Not only that, but he helped me load everything into my car.  And THEN… and I’m not even kidding… he showed up at my shop later that day to see if we needed any help!  I don’t know if the words “Home Depot Angel” have ever been strung together in a sentence before…. but this man definitely was our Home Depot Angel!

All Our merch packed away and piled on top- just in case our shop floods!! A crazy mess of tee shirts, sparkling bling, unicorns and pink ice cream cones!

My fabulous employees were an amazing help in getting prepared for Irene!  We worked long into the night making sure all our merchandise was safe and trying to avoid having a Soggy Tee Shirt Sale next week!  In the middle of our preparations, I got a call from a tv station asking if they could interview me on the boardwalk during the deathly dangerous hurricane!?!  Now, I’m a sucker for publicity for the shop but that’s where I draw the line!   I declined and suggested we have the interview in a safer location, but they definitely wanted it to be out on the boardwalk, being blown by the torrential winds!  Crazy!!!

Here’s Ewa helping to pack all our cute merchandise up & pile to the ceiling to protect it from potential flooding!! Here’s our shop, fortified with a wall rigged out of our outdoor displays and sandbags to keep the water out!

Once everything was secured, we left the shop to weather the storm alone!!  Well… physically alone but with best wishes and positive vibes from hundreds of fans all over the entire globe!  We received tons of emails, Facebook posts and Twitter messages sending us love and wishing us luck!  The frightening warnings about hurricane had reached an frenzied crechendo and it all seemed to center around Coney Island as the potential spot for danger and destruction!  For the first time ever, there was an mandatory evacuation of all of Coney Island!   It was with a heavy heart that I left the store to evacuate that night… wondering what state it would be in when we met again on Monday!