While many of us were in the grip of sheer panic yesterday, many of the 370,000 New Yorkers who live in Zone A, subject to mandatory evacuation, were decidedly more blasé. ABC News reports that between 20 to 50 percent of public housing residents—whose buildings were being shut down by the city—stayed put, despite Mayor Bloomberg's warning that it was "much too dangerous to stay." As an 18-year-old residing in the Hammel Houses who identified himself as "Moochie" tells the Post,"This is the projects. If you leave, your place will be empty when you get back. Your s--t will be gone."
Others thumbed their noses at the sky in style: 57-year-old Billy Drinkwater refused to budge from his 33-foot boat docked in Flushing Bay on the north shore of Queens, despite warnings from his friends. "I said, 'No, I'll go down with the ship if I have to.'" He stocked his small cabin with hot dogs, cigarettes, and a small generator that he didn't even need. "Some hurricane," he told the Times, "It's really not that bad."
Nate Lavey posted a short segment on Vimeo about Red Hook residents who refused to evacuate.
Those 8,700 citizens who showed up at one of the city's 100 shelters found that they were lacking a few comforts of home. "The food's not bad, but the problem is they don't have pillows on the cots, there are no showers and we're running out of toilet paper," one woman at the Shelter at Seward Park High School in the Lower East Side. Another man, a Battery Park Resident, lamented that his neighbors didn't have to go to a shelter: "They all went to their country houses." Hey Mayor, you'd see a lot more people evacuating if you sprung for some country-house shelters.