Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trashing New York: Hollywood vs. Nature

Not so entertaining when it’s for-real
Just like you, I’ve been staring incredulously at the news reports ever since Sandy became a superstorm and slammed into our eastern seaboard. Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, I’ve been through my share of hurricanes. There was Alicia in 1983, a terrifying ordeal; and most recently Ike in 2008 that leveled at least as much real estate as Sandy. And we all know what a complete job Katrina did on New Orleans.

Movie - "The Avengers"

But this is New York. New Yorkers aren’t used to hurricanes. It’s been decades since they’ve had to deal with anything worse than the garbage collectors’ strike. And even though Hollywood utterly destroys The Big Apple at least twice a year, it’s never been by hurricane.
Real - Lower Manhattan
Which brings me to my topic. It’s a question that’s been nagging at me ever since I saw The Avengers: just how many times has New York been hit by Hollywood?

Wikipedia responded with a list of movies set in NYC, beginning in 1908. I quickly lost count of those involving total annihilation.
Movie - "Day After Tomorrow"
Business Insider was a little more compact in its offering: “Check Out 15 Movies in Which New York City Gets Destroyed” by Kirsten Acuna.  Interestingly, very few are based on weather. The Day After Tomorrow (2004) scenario is spectacular flooding due to global warming. 2012 (2009) features end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it tsunamis inspired by global warming and solar activity.  Deep Impact (1998) is yet another flood story worthy of Noah, this time caused by a meteor strike.  And I suppose one must consider Knowing (2009) which is incineration by solar flares, therefore counting as a natural disaster.

Crane collapse on 57th St.
All the rest, as you can see, entail monsters, space aliens, and war. Oh my.

Even the very real horror of 9/11 doesn’t match the extensive destruction of Sandy - except in loss of life, of course. Terrorists will always win that one. But Sandy was a superstorm, a merging of three storm systems, the like of which has never been seen before.

So Hollywood may score oftener, but in the cosmic quiddich match, Sandy catches the golden snitch.

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