New Yorkers initially calm in face of Hurricane Sandy, then worries set in
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As Hurricane Sandy aimed straight for them, promising to hammer the place they live with lashing winds and extensive flooding, New Yorkers seemed to be all about nonchalance on Monday morning - an attitude that didn't last into the afternoon.
Throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, few store owners had even bothered to board up their buildings. There was little taping of windows or buying of sump pumps.
Many New Yorkers, who watched last year's Hurricane Irene taper away without taking a big toll on the city, seemed unfazed by predictions of major damage that even the most conservative of meteorologists have been making.
At most, many bought flashlights, lugged home bags of bottled water and stocked their shelves with food. Others took pride in snubbing Sandy altogether.
You want to know what I have in my fridge? said Chris Conway, a 41-year-old who lives in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, not far from the Hudson River. Four different kinds of Tabasco and one jar of A-1 steak sauce.
Further south, though, the mood was more serious. Outside the Goldman Sachs headquarters building in Manhattan's Battery Park City, part of a low-lying area of the island evacuated on Sunday night, workers were blocking the entrance with sandbags piled up five feet high. A few employees, wearing Friday casual-style clothes, were coming and going through the revolving door. There were no residents to be seen.
A Duane Reade drug store, across the street from the landmark Trinity Church, was still well stocked - except for beer and sandwiches, which had been picked over. The same was true at delis throughout the city. In Jackson Heights, Queens, the shelves were stripped of bottled water at Met Foods.
Outside the shuttered New York Stock Exchange, which was barricaded with some sandbags, Anne Ngo and Evy Suwono were out for a stroll but found little drama. It's a bit of a letdown, actually, said Ngo.
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