A Recipe For The Stranded: Bake, Bake, Worry, Bake

Outside the Magic Futurebox the day after Sandy—desolate but dry. 

Outside the Magic Futurebox the day after Sandy—desolate but dry. 

Magic Futurebox sits in a warehouse in Sunset Park, half a block from Gowanus Bay and a short walk from some of the worst-flooded areas of Red Hook. During Monday night's hurricane, artistic director Suzan Eraslan sat in her apartment in Harlem, nervously scanning reports that a warehouse in their neighborhood had flooded and caught fire. To cope with the fear that it was their warehouse that had gone underwater, she continued to prepare for an upcoming production that was suddenly in doubt, altering costumes and baking furiously.

"I baked a lot of cookies," she said this weekend. "And yeah, I was nervous. I kept having this horrible feeling that everything was ruined by flooding or looting or that we'd forgotten to shut things down."

The cookies, whose recipe she eventually perfected, were intended to be given out during Bloody Lullabies for Brave Women, an "abortion fairytale" whose five-show run will benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund. Unable to travel from Harlem to Sunset Park, Eraslan and her co-artistic director Kevin Laibson had to wait until Wednesday to learn their theater's fate. 

"We worked as much as possible to keep from freaking out," said Laibson. "I was nervous about what the fallout would be for the show, but I was downright scared about whether we would still have a theater."

The damaged warehouse was not theirs. The Futurebox was safe. Originally intended to run just before the election, Bloody Lullabies has been postponed a week, and will now open on November 7th. Their tech week lost, Laibson and Eraslan will proceed with a "pretty bare-bones production."

"Our lighting designer is still stuck in New Jersey," said Laibson, "and our set designer is still without power and dealing with flood damage, so the director and I are here building the set and wiring some floodlights."

Because the show is a benefit, all the labor has been volunteered, and Laibson is wary of asking his crew to push themselves for unpaid work "until they can do so without incident." But because the storm has forced the shutdown of another of women's health clinics, he's hoping that Bloody Lullabies can draw enough of an audience to make a difference. 

To Work A Miracle, Look To The Stars

Here's to you, workers of ConEd.

Here's to you, workers of ConEd.

Scotty was a miracle worker. Everyone in Starfleet knows it. Engines at max capacity, but you need a little more juice? He'll squeeze a little life out of the old girl. Half his staff blown to bits by an explosion? He'll keep the engines humming and oversee triage. Warp core on the fritz, with the Romulans bearing down? It's a twelve hour task, but if you want it today, he'll do it in six. He's the oppositve of every mechanic you've ever met in real life. 

Long after he and Kirk's five year jaunt, Scotty came to visit the Enterprise-D. Now a captain, he takes advantage of his rank to seriously irritate Geordi LaForge—the chief engineer on the modern new ship. But at one point he gives a piece of advice that explains how he was always able to execute the impossible.

Lie.

Pad your estimates of how long or how difficult every important task will take. Your captain may need something right now, but if you tell him it will take a month and get it done in an hour, everybody's happy. 

Yesterday, ConEd did the Scotty trick. Knowing that nothing would enrage blacked-out residents more than missing a deadline for power restoration, they offered nothing but vagueness. Through the week, they kept mum about when power might return. By Thursday, they said that downtown Manhattan might be bright again Saturday. By Friday—late tonight, maybe. And then at seven o'clock last night, the lights came on nearly everywhere that had been dark.

The Scotty Trick. They learned from the best.

Park Slope's Littlest Looter

As the national guard contains looting on Coney Island, and thousands of police amble across lower Manhattan, making sure the inhabitants of the Chaos Zone don't get too rowdy, a very tiny, very adorable crime wave has swept the hitherto peaceful confines of storm-spared Park Slope.

I was in line at the Associated Supermarket on Fifth Avenue earlier this evening, replenishing my larder after a few days hiding from the rain. (Oh God, how I fear the rain.) A rather cute four year-old stood in front of me, clutching a tiny purse and looking every bit like a woman out running errands. Playing casual, she wandered over to the candy section, fingered a pack of Bubble Tape and then glanced at her mother.

And then came...the crime!

Little Miss Dillinger unzipped her purse, picked up the Bubble Tape, and slipped it in. She lost her cool when the zipper wouldn't close, and was trying to force it shut when Momma noticed.

"Put that back. Come on."

She put it back.

"You little sticky fingers. Come here. God, and you've got all that Halloween candy at home."

"There's no more Halloween candy! There's no more Halloween candy!"

About this time, the little girl started crying. I don't think it won any sympathy from Mom, but she avoided prosecution.