How to Not Die Going to Lunch


The Story:

It’s a weekly occurrence that the Innovations team heads out on Friday afternoon for a group lunch where we reflect on the week that was and begin thinking about winding down for the weekend ahead. It is a nice break from our hard work and gives us a great opportunity to fraternize, which is something we don’t get many chances to do otherwise.

Sounds pretty good, right? Well 98 percent of the time, it is. But there was one day where we should’ve exercised better judgment and I know there was not a soul at that table that would disagree.

Some of us had been keeping an eye on Beau Dodson’s radar ( – a fantastic resource for all of your atmospheric inquiries) since we have kids in schools and daycares and the local weather-folk had been pretty fervent in warning us to keep an eye (and ear) out for what the day could produce.

Despite the ominous clouds, colorful radars and quiet nay-saying, we agreed to keep our weekly tradition and head to Tribeca. Even worse, half of the group opted to walk since it wasn’t raining and “didn’t look bad” according to one or more parties.

The combination of the later-than-usual lunch and the general public’s common sense made for a quiet restaurant. The banter was minimal as we all slowly grew more transfixed with the radar on their TV screen while taking bites at a seemingly increased pace. Finally, we all finished and paid and began to consider our exit plan.

By now, the intense reds and purples of the radar had inched right to our locale. The wind was now whipping and large raindrops splattered on the road.  Of course, no one was walking back in that mess.  The only driver already ran out to grab his compact car to collect whoever was interested in piling in.  Ignoring the Tribeca staff’s suggestion to wait it out with food and beverage, we piled into the compact like Vienna Sausages in a Matchbox Car.

It was a very uncomfortable half mile that couldn’t have been more cinematic if we had scripted it out ourselves.  We had five minutes of panic (obvious), frustration (every red light), terror (winds strong enough to rock a fully packed clown car) and of course, drama (fighting with the wind to pull the office door closed while being pelted with nickel-sized hail) before cramming into an interior room and stinking it up like a wet dog within seconds.

We grew a little closer that day…

The Take Away:

We may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but sometimes we do need one to tell us when not to go outside.  The storm we experienced was not the worst of what the region saw that day, which was quite serious and could’ve ended up badly for us. Needless to say, we now keep a much closer watch on the Weather Observatory website and heed those warnings as they come. We strongly recommend that you do the same!