August 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene: What stayed open during the MTA shutdown

For reference when the next hurricane hits New York, here’s a short guide of what stayed open (in Manhattan) despite the whole subway system ¬†shutting down. These photos were taken Saturday around noon before Hurricane Irene’s arrival.¬†

Closed: The subway

That was a given. However, none of the above-ground pedestrian access to Central Park had been blocked off.

Still going: Horse-drawn carriages

Keep on truckin

Closed: The Museum of Modern Art

I know there’s an unquenchable desire to see those paintings of Campbell soup cans in person, but don’t tourists have access to the Internet to check if something’s open during a state of emergency?

Less naked: The Naked Cowboy

"Hey Biff, get a load of this guy’s life preserver."

Closed: M&M World

I imagine that if M&M World was on your list of must-visit places, its closing would be a particularly crushing disappointment.

Open: Forever 21 in Times Square

Gotta look nice for Irene.

Closed: The Apple Store

Yes, all of that white box has been there since July for other renovations. But that plywood barrier, that’s a special Irene decoration.

Closed: Subway magazine kiosks

Closed: Joe’s Shanghai

The main reason why I even ventured out on Saturday was to get one last serving of soup dumplings. Joe’s, and a surprisingly large chunk of Chinatown, was shuttered.

Open: Banh Mi Saigon

Vietnamese to the rescue! If you’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich before, there’s no reason to go any where else in the city but Banh Mi Saigon on Grand St. near Mott. $4.25 for the best value pork sandwich in the five boroughs.

Kind of open: Russ & Daughters

Open at 9am but closed at 12pm.

Closed: Starbucks in Times Square

So much for leeching their wifi to download all the movies and music you can before the storm hits.

Open: MUD Coffee

A sign on their sandwich board said they’d be serving coffee, beer and wine until the power went out.

Open: Karate Practice

I’ve seen this friendly gentleman doing stretches and poses in Chinatown for at least the last couple of years.

Open: Coyote Ugly

Still dancing (actually, most Manhattan bars and pubs seemed to be open)

Open: Cafe Habana

Mmmm….corn on the cob and mojitos. The Cubans know how to weather a hurricane.

(Source: Flickr / zokuga)

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