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23 August 2011

Quake a Reminder: There's No Place Like NY

FORDS, N.J. — So at about 1:30 this afternoon, I decided to take a nap since I hadn't slept well the night before. At around 2 p.m., I was in as deep a sleep as I can remember, when suddenly, I thought I felt the bed swaying. Dare I say it was like one of those motel beds that takes quarters?

I remember it happening for about a minute, and then I was right back to my sleep. Yet I remember thinking to myself, "Was this a dream?" 

It wasn't until I awoke an hour later that I realised it wasn't that dream I was thinking about. 

"Did you feel it Kev?" my aunt Annie asked me on the phone. "So it was an earthquake. I thought it was a dream. I was in the deepest sleep."

But a dream it wasn't — it was a 5.8 or 5.9 earthquake that centered around Richmond, Va.

For me, there wasn't much need to panic. I could tell, based on my so-called "dream" that it was a minor quake. Yet the strangest of things happened whilst it was happening. Many people in my neighborhood didn't feel a thing, including George, my landlord. He was 10 feet away from where I was at the time, too. 

Over at PathMark, the local supermarche, some of the girls at the courtesy desk told me they felt it, while others didn't feel a thing — and they were standing in just about the same spot. Strange.

In Middletown, N.J., my aunt Annie tells me there's a long crack along the ceiling of her home — so she must have gotten it harder than others.

Over in Manhattan, meanwhile, throngs of people, not even thinking it could be a quake, immediately took to the streets in instant evacuations. What was perhaps most refreshing about these evacuations was that not one was planned. No one had to be told to go. People simple packed up their things and got the hell out of wherever they were

It was all done orderly. There was no chaos. There were no complaints whatsoever.

And as we approach the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, this was an incredibly relieving sign. 

All in all, it was quite a strange day. It's certainly one I'll remember for a long time. 

And it's also a day that reminded the world: There's no place like New York during a time of crisis.

What happened to you during the quake? Share your stories in the comments section.


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