01.05.2009 19 °C
Having spent a day completely homeless after being evacuated, and moving from one Red Cross van to another in search of food and shelter, we were kindly taken in by one of our flatmates girlfriend, who thankfully had a spare room. We had attempted to go and pack our bags that afternoon, and were escorted inside by a police officer, who said not to worry about getting all our gear, just enough for overnight, as our flight wasnt until the following afternoon and the whole place would definitely be clear by then.
We returned the next morning to find the whole block still crawling with police and emergency services. Our flight to London was at 6pm so we had plenty of time, and went and grabbed a coffee... After mucking around for a couple of hours we went up to the building to get our bags and passports for the flight only to be told that the building had been declared unsafe ten minutes before, and therefore nobody was allowed in!
After explaining that everything we owned was inside and our flight was leaving in a few hours, we got absolutely nowhere with the cops, who flatly refused us access. We were getting desperate and asking everyone if there was any way we could just get in for 5 minutes, but they thought the place could come down at any second, and we would have to wait until they declared it safe. Which could be 2 days. Great.
After spending an hour or so completely maxing out, and imagining being stuck in Manhattan for the rest of our lives (there could be worse things), we finally happened upon Officer Harrison. At least we though he could be a cop... I mean he was dressed in a cops uniform, but he had a peroxide blond mohawk and was completely covered in tattoos. We confirmed he did actually work for the police department, and he said “I dont care if the buildings falling down, you cant miss your flight... ill take you up.” What a champ!
He went and asked his boss, who said no.
But Harrison lives life by his own rules, and so we went anyway. No one messes with a guy covered in tatts and a police uniform.
We hurriedly packed our gear while Harrison made himself at home on our couch. It is quite possible that he isnt a cop at all and just wanted to case the place for later. Whatever though, the main thing is we got our gear and made it to JFK.... Thankyou Officer Harrison, you legend!
After the heart rates went back down, we were calm enough to board the plane... It could have been the anxiety, it could have been the airplane chicken... either way, the trip across the pond was mostly spent in the toilet. Brilliant start to our two months in the Mother Country!....