Ben Smith, editor: We had to rebuild the whole BuzzFeed site. When the site went down, people were filing stories and psting them to Tumblr and tweeting them, which was pretty natural. The shift to social distribution on Tumblr was pretty easy. Organizing a metro desk was harder. My kids are pretty much going insane, although they were excited about not having school.
Jean Shafiroff, philanthropist: I was supposed to go to two galas: Museum Studio Harlem and We Are Family Foundation. The first one was canceled, the second was postponed. I told the ones who postponed that people will understand, they just need to have a cocktail party after this blows over. Since I was a guest for Studio Museum of Harlem, I sent a donation anyway. My advice is, if you’re a guest, give a donation, even if it’s canceled. They need it more than ever.
Euan Rellie, banker: I flew home from Saigon via Hong Kong then Detroit, then I’m carpooling 10 hours to New York City. I’m sorry to have missed the action. Sandy’s kind of a bitch, and I intend to remonstrate with her. My wife and kids have sensibly checked into Soho House New York, which is replete with candles, flashlights and room service menus. Hey, Sandy: you can suck it.
Richard Kirshenbaum, advertising exec: About 3 in the afternoon on Sunday, I turned to my wife and said, ‘Everyone’s going to order Chinese at 7, and it’s going to be closed.’ So we pre-ordered Chinese, Japanese and pizza from Serafina. Just when everyone was starting to get hungry, the restaurants were closing down. I figure, if I have Chinese food and I can watch Homeland, I’m good.
Alison Brod, publicist: I was home on upper Fifth with my kids, sourcing out photos from our Kim Kardashian Halloween party at Avenue for Midori and hoping that my glass Hamptons beach house survived. My nanny was bored and loves to cook and so made us a multi-course New Orleans-themed lunch, an extensive Italian dinner and a bakery’s worth of desserts.
Kathy Grayson, art dealer: I just went to meet my neighbor Kembra Pfahler on Avenue C, and she gave me a bunch of penis candles and we looked at the flooding on Avenue D and then went home to read books by our penis candles.
Mallory Blair, publicist: The most important thing I did was activating all of my Sims to “cook large meal,” so they had provisions for the hurricane in case the power went out and my battery died.
Michele Gerber Klein, writer and arts patron: I worked on my book on Charles James. I watched a special on the Hunan snub-nosed monkey. Oh, and my holistic vet came over.
Joe Sheftel, art dealer and gallery owner: All seemed okay with the gallery, and the basement was dry. We had moved most of the art from the basement to be safe. No electricity or cell phones there. As for me, I cooked all day and had a dinner party in Williamsburg. Nothing too eventful, thankfully. It seems we are entering a new environmental phase. I am glad we are okay as a community.
Christopher Mason, TV host and writer: When the power failed, I was in the midst of writing a satirical song—a musical roast of an eminent financier—that has to be performed this Friday. Panic!!! My client had been sending me volleys of hilarious information about the birthday boy. Foibles galore. But the flow of hilarity halted abruptly when the electricity went kaput. Just before my iPhone reception fizzled, I managed to e-mail my parents in England to assure them I was okay. Next morning, I fled uptown to wifi and an iPhone charger at my client’s apartment. The song has to be written, but I’m still captivated by the scenes—on Facebook and TV—of the destruction Sandy hath wrought.
Andras Szanto, cultural consultant and writer: I looked out at the Brooklyn Museum, right outside my windows … thinking how wise its founders were to site the museum on the highest point in their city. Meanwhile, Chelsea sits in Flood Zone A. It’s hard not to read a metaphor in that about institutional mindsets and expectations.