Sandy’s Aftermath: Live Storm Updates - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com
The most popular place, unexpectedly, has become a Chase Bank on Third Avenue, which has been opening its doors to whomever comes, allowing them to bring their dogs inside, charge their phones, use the bathroom and Internet, and get free water and coffee. It has also become something of a tourist attraction.
As downtowners straggle in, some with piercings and leather jackets and mutts on rope leashes, clustering around power strips by the A.T.M.s at all hours, the Midtown tourists take pictures through the large picture windows, capturing what may be the closest they will come to the City of Darkness.
“They say, ‘Look at these poor people,’” said Agata Shultz, 19, who walked up from the East Village and sat on a heated window ledge reading philosophy in Polish and checking her e-mail.
“It’s like a zoo.”
Eric Liebowitz, a photographer who lives on 19th Street, sat on the floor of the bank in a ski hat waiting for his phone to charge. “We are the dark people,” he said.
“The people uptown have no clue what’s going on down here,” he said — and he was enjoying himself, in a way. “Come downtown!” he had just written in a text to a friend. ”You will never have an opportunity to see New York like this again — for another year!”