A week with Sandy – Day 6

NoHo, Saturday November 3rd

At 4am in the morning on Saturday, the apartment lit up as Christmas tree: power is back! I switch off the lights and while I get back to Morpheus’ world, my neurons start processing what I learnt through this experience:

  • Smartphones with touchscreen, apps and 4G connectivity are cool gadgets for 20 hours; traditional mobile phones with a tiny display,15 keys and GSM connectivity are useful communication tools for 5 consecutive black out days.
  • An old radio powered by batteries is more than a decorative object.
  • Candles can be used to generate light and not only to create a romantic atmosphere.
  • You can get a decent phased shower with 15 cups of water.
  • Flushing the toilet on the sixth floor of a building is a more complex and exhausting task than pushing a button.
  • A power strip can be a tool to build a community and make friends.
  • Even without lights, New York is an amazing a place to be.
  • You can survive without TV, Internet and other media as long as you can share a red wine, memories and ideas with a good friend.


233 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 

“Granita” is the only case where it is acceptable to enjoy espresso in a paper or plastic cup.

Vito made the best espresso granita. He was able to compress an incredible amount of caffeine and coffee flavor into a single cup. I don’t know how this was possible. I imagine him in his secret granita lab, shooting ice and coffee against each other, and observing them melting and reshaping in a new type of element: espresso granita. The scientist at the CERN in Geneva, should consult him on how to improve the performance of their particle accelerator.

His granita didn’t need any improvements: it was molecules of iced coffee melting in your mouth. The whipped cream was only unneccessary noise. If you had a cup of that granita in a summer night, you knew that you’d stay awake until the morning of the next day. That was a much better way to stay wake than drinking a can of redbull or other similar drinks.

Even though Grom’s granita does not reach Vito’s heavenly peaks, it is still the closest and best espresso granita experienced in New York (so far). The ice is thinly shaved and blends seamlessly with the espresso. The espresso is too sweet, perhaps a concession to the tourists that line-up at the Bleecker Street location. That’s a pity: the contrast between the whipped cream and the unsweetened espresso can be memorable. I also found some melted granita at the bottom of my cup, probably because it was the end of the day and the granita was not perfectly frozen.