Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Yorkers Enjoy Beach before Hurricane

Calm before the storm:
More than 200,000 New Yorkers are under orders to flee a once-in-a-century hurricane, but many in the famed City That Never Sleeps are brushing aside danger -- and heading to the beach.

Hours after Mayor Mike Bloomberg ordered the evacuation from the low-lying Rockaway Beach, the sun-kissed coastline was packed with sunbathers and surfers as city dwellers took the dire warnings about Hurricane Irene in stride.

Roberto Luzuriaga, who was making a brisk business selling Italian Ice desserts to swimmers straight off the sand, echoed the views of many when he said that authorities' warnings were at times self-serving.

"It definitely is a concern, but sometimes things are blown out of proportion. Sometimes the people who make the calls just want to save their asses," said Luzuriaga, who is still debating whether to leave his nearby home.

Jeffrey Rose, a clinical hypnotist strolling the beach dipping onion rings into guacamole, said he was considering leaving the city on a business trip but was not overly concerned about Irene, which is set to barrel down by Sunday.
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