Joggers and Shoppers Signal a Slow Return To Normal Life in New York

hurricanepic Joggers and Shoppers Signal a Slow Return To Normal Life in New York

Gateway shopping center in Brooklyn was (relatively) packed.

Cars are still submerged on Wall Street, regular subway service may not resume for weeks and huge swaths of Lower Manhattan lie in darkness, but small signs suggest that New Yorkers are more than ready to return to normal—or at least feeling a little stir crazy.

As soon as the rains stopped Tuesday afternoon, the streets of Crown and Prospect Heights filled with joggers, apparently undeterred by the fact that all New York City parks remain closed and that the sidewalks are littered with tree branches. And not all of them looked like the fitness gurus who can be found running in any squall. We spotted at least one runner pausing gratefully at the stoplight (most of them were working, although a few flashed yellow).

Bodegas, restaurants and bakeries drew crowds of hungry Brooklynites, even in neighborhoods where no one had lost power. Scratch, on Bedford Avenue in Bed-Stuy, contended with a line stretching out the door and a dwindling supply of baked goods in the late morning. Apparently, even one day of home cooking was one day too many for some. Roman’s in Fort Greene was also open for foodies with cabin fever, as was Marlowe & Sons in Williamsburg, which The Observer heard was also been packed with desperate gourmands before the storm struck on Sunday.

At Gateway Center in East New York, the Target and Home Depot were mobbed, although most of the other stores remained shuttered. Were shoppers worried about shortages in the East Coast supply chain or just looking to get out of the house? Even those who weren’t busy stimulating the local economy were out surveying the damage, blinking into the overcast sky as they studied the uprooted trees and leaf-damp streets.

kvelsey@observer.com