Volume 81, Number 14 | September 1 - 7, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photos by Clayton Patterson

Clayton's Page

Storm and Mike’s shirts were all way overblown

Everyone shot photos of the fallen trees after the storm, so L.E.S. documentarian Clayton Patterson decided he’d get something different — the people. Photos, from top to bottom: A rain-soaked Brooklyn man at 10 p.m. Saturday realized the only way he was getting home was on foot — he missed the news that the transit system was shutting down; Lower East Siders walked along a curb through puddles, checking out the storm’s aftermath in East River Park on Sunday; the East River Houses workers who sawed up the downed trees on Grand St. As for his view on the city’s response to Irene, Patterson said it was overblown. “I’ve been in New York for more than 30 years,” he said. “It’s always the same thing — Queens, Long Island get hit; a few areas around here flood, like West Broadway and Canal St., sometimes 10th and C. It just wore people out — the hype,” he said. “All the old people down here were nervous. They thought it was the end of the world. ... And then there was that whole fashion plate thing: Every hour, the mayor’s got another shirt on. I mean, one time it’s a pink shirt, one time it’s a checkered shirt. In the past, every mayor during a disaster has worn some kind of emergency of Fire Department hat or jacket. It’s a hurricane — it’s not a fashion show. It never was a hurricane. He didn’t wear any emblems associating himself with the workers. He was the corporate leader.” Also, the documentarian asked, why wasn’t Rikers Island evacuated, too, if the flooding was going to be that severe? Patterson said artist Jerry Pagane, who lives in Zone A on E. Seventh St., came to stay at his place during the storm.

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