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The Sandy Five (NYTimes) 'What you eat in the dark doesn't count...'

De orkaan Sandy heeft natuurlijk heel wat offers gevraagd. Dit is een luchthartig stukje uit de NY Times over hoe mensen hun stress hebben weggesnoept..

Het blijft 'leuk' om te lezen hoe de Amerikanen er altijd een schepje bovenop doen. Het land met de zwaarste mensen ter wereld...maar: de rest van de wereld volgt gestaag....


VETERANS of dorm life are familiar with the “freshman 15,” the proverbial dozen-plus pounds that new college students pack on as they adjust to campus life.       

After a week of Chips Ahoy!-foraging and stress-bingeing in darkened apartments, downtowners who finally caught a glimpse of themselves in the mirror after the lights went on realized that they had succumbed to a highly localized version: the “Sandy Five.”       

“I can’t even talk about it — my jeans do not button,” said Emily Marnell, 31, a publicist who cited both boredom and anxiety as a reason she fell victim to odd, middle-school-kid cravings for junk food after her Gramercy Park apartment went dark.       

“I went through Duane Reade and was grabbing Double Stuf Oreos, whole milk, Twix, Twizzlers, Sour Patch Kids,” she recalled in horror.       

A tightening of the waistband hardly counts as a crisis in a region where so many have endured actual devastation. Indeed, few people who lived in the part of the city that some were calling “SoPo” (south of power) would have dared complain about tilting the scales after surviving the fury of a Category 1 hurricane that buffeted a large swath of the eastern United States.       

Still, the extra pounds provided evidence of a disaster-psychology mind-set that took hold during Sandy: in times of crisis, New Yorkers discovered, food fills an emotional need, not just a physical one.       

Blame a sense of desperation. Downtown residents, who escaped to the City of Light of Midtown and above, often gorged as if they did not know where their next meal was coming from. Many, in fact, did not.       

Amber Katz, a beauty writer who lives on East 23rd Street and made daily forays north for a shower and a hot meal, said: “I have never eaten more fries in my life than I have during this week. It was every day.”       

“I was totally stress-eating,” added Ms. Katz, 32, who wearied of her subsistence diet of peanut butter and bananas while at home. “I had places to go during the day, but my friends uptown weren’t forthcoming with invites to stay overnight, even for one night. I was looking for comfort.”       

With any sense of daily routine shattered, many afflicted residents came to believe that the old rules no longer applied. They ate and drank what they wanted, tomorrow be damned — a phenomenon familiar to any seasoned traveler.       

Times Square, with its teeming chain restaurants, suddenly looked as intoxicating as Montparnasse to beleaguered residents of Chelsea and SoHo, so on forays there, they partied with End of Days abandon.       

Other downtowners searched for food like post-apocalyptic survivalists, hoarding whatever they could find — cheap Chinese, bad pizza — on food runs to civilization. Back home, they hungrily doubled up on portions, knowing that leftovers would not keep, anyway.       

Preparedness, in some cases, only made things worse. Like a good Girl Scout, Andrea Lavinthal, a 33-year-old editor, loaded up at Whole Foods, thinking that she could be holed up in her Union Square apartment for days as the storm raged. But she did not anticipate a power failure that rendered her refrigerator useless, meaning she either had to consume or toss her perishables in short order.       

“Waiting for the storm seemed to make everyone want to do three things: watch ‘Homeland,’ eat and tweet,” Ms. Lavinthal said. “Once the power went out downtown, the only thing left to do was eat — and eat.”       

Suddenly, the svelte editor was gorging like Falstaff, whipping up (on her gas range) five-egg omelet breakfasts or roast-chicken-with-every-vegetable-in-the-crisper dinners.       

“It was kind of like the movies,” Ms. Lavinthal said, sheepishly. “What you eat in the dark doesn’t count.”       

“I’ve never been so grateful for my jeggings,” she added.

Geplaatst: 09-11-2012 09:32:04  |  Reacties: (1)  |  Terug