Hurricane Sandy Turned These Photos Into Acid Dreamscapes

We’ve seen the cosmic visual effects that come along with developing a roll of 35mm film after its gone unused for year, but what happens when you leave a superstorm the likes of last year’s Hurricane Sandy to have its way with the artifacts of your purist medium? 

This, apparently. Now I wish I could say “Hurricane Sandy developed this guy’s film,” or some such punched-up header, but as whimsically dream-like as these images are, that likely isn’t the case. Their seemingly random development patterns could have been the result of floodwaters oxidixing the Kodachrome (or whatever brand equivalent) prints, true. But that’d be a stretch–the chances of water alone developing “any silver-based film, especially color film, and especially especially slide color film,” Reddit user brie-otch writes, are pretty slim. More likely the photos were already developed, leaving Sandy’s waters to warp the photos into gauzy, water-colored vestiges of their former selves.    


- by Brian Anderson

Shout out to WNYC Radio and @WNYCArchives - as part of their Hurricane Sandy coverage, they posted historic photos of famous NYC super storms, including the 1947 blizzard, which dropped 26.4 inches of snow on Central Park. They found this pic of our landmark 42nd Street Library (and poor, stoic Patience and Fortitude) in the aftermath of that storm, and we thought - considering that NYC is shut down and recovering after Frankenstorm - that it was appropriate to share. Remember, NYPL is closed on Oct. 30; stay tuned for the latest on reopenings. Meanwhile, New Yorkers and beyond, if you want to donate to the Red Cross so they can provide shelter, food, emotional support and more to those affected by Sandy, text the word REDCROSS to 90999, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to their website.

The New Normal

Sandy was exciting for exactly five powerless seconds.

Until the storm surge rushed up the street and you realized you probably should’ve accepted an invitation to spend the storm not-alone.

Also, you should’ve bought more ice.

Three days later, there’s still neither power nor fresh water below 30th St., but you’ve already fled for higher ground.

You’re presently living in a girlfriend’s living room with your best gays, and you’ve checked in with your family and on people like Phyllis.

Everyone’s living out of a backpack, but no one’s lacking—not when there’s toilets that flush, phones that charge and refrigerators that hum capably. In fact, no one can remember the last time they felt so conscious of—or grateful for—the luxury of friendship.

Happy Halloween from NYPL! An artistic staffer carved this amazing Library-Lion-O-Lantern last year using our logo (watch this video of him doing it - it’s pretty cool), and we thought we would share it again. Want to make your own Patience (or Fortitude) pumpkin and show support for the Library? Print out this stencil and get to work! Meanwhile, the Library remains closed this Halloween because of Hurricane Sandy. We are working to reopen tomorrow - in between trick or treating, stay tuned here for updates. And happy Halloween!

The New York Public Library (which has served the public for over 100 years - check out this photo from the early 1900s from our Aguilar branch) is proud to announce that it will open all but five of its branches on Monday, Nov. 5. Our Facilities team has worked around the clock to clear debris, repair minor damage and battle power outages to get the branches ready to serve New Yorkers, who have flocked to libraries in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to charge their devices, talk to neighbors, enjoy free programming, use free internet and more. It is a clear reminder of how important libraries are to their communities. Five branches – Soundview and Van Cortlandt in The Bronx, South Beach and Dongan Hills in Staten Island, and Hamilton Fish in Manhattan – will remain closed, but we are working to get them open ASAP.  Also, please note, NYPL has extended the due dates on 390,000 items due between October 26 and November 11 until November 13.

The New York Public Library is opening 62 branches on Nov. 2 from 11 am. to 5 p.m. That’s seven more branches than we were able to open on Nov. 1. The complete list of open branches can be seen on our website. Stop by, charge up your phone, use the Internet, read a book, talk to your neighbors and enjoy free programming (in fact, many branches are adding programs for children and teens, since they don’t have school). The 55 branches open yesterday were packed full of people - this photo from our Inwood branch, for example, shows a jammed community room, full of kids and parents listening to stories. This is the scene at all of our libraries, so come on down and join us. Please be aware, our servers are down due to power outages, so services will vary location to location (for example, some patrons may not be able to check out new materials). We will continue to combat power outages to get our servers back online and all of our locations open - stay tuned here for the latest. 

If there’s one good thing from this hurricane as everyone makes sure each other are safe, it’s that it’s bringing us all together. Tonight I’m sitting here with my parents playing cards (and so far I’m up by $1!)

I honestly can’t remember the last time I played cards with them, and I’ll admit - I’m laughing pretty hard and having a blast. Who knew they were so fun? Or that cards were fun?

Since I’m older now, I’m seeing this at a different perspective than I would have years ago. It reminds me of a journal entry I read this past year about over-working yourself or over-worrying about life’s problems to the point that you miss out on all of the important things. It said something to the effect of “When I look back at my life I won’t wish for another work day, or another scheduled appointment. I’ll simply wish I had just one more day to spend with the people I cared about most.”

So true.