On a New York City Street, Post-Its Sent to Sandy

By Megan Garber

When the power's out, people make their own kind of social media.

Gilad Lotan encountered this display on a New York street this morning:

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(Gilad Lotan/@gilgul)

The makeshift mosaic is decorating the window of Fishs Eddy, Lotan told me, a tablewear store at Broadway and 19th (just off Union Square). It's sort of amazing -- and not just because of the multiple languages used to scribble the messages. Or the wondrously petty complaint about Sandy ruining "notre shopping." Or the delightfully childish expression of gratitude for Sandy canceling school. It's also the crazy back-to-the-future quality of the collection. A social network spreading over a sidewalk: In lieu of tweets, Post-Its. In lieu of emails, hand-scrawled messages. A collage of notes directed to a storm, and to all those affected by its rage. 

The ancients, substituting superstition for science, made gods of the winds. Here we are, centuries later, coming together to make offerings to a hurricane. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/on-a-new-york-city-street-post-its-sent-to-sandy/264469/