On Monday, the New York Times struggled again to strike the balance between Hurricane Sandy stories that are utterly depressing and Hurricane Sandy stories that are the fluffiest little fluffmonsters that have fallen asleep atop a cotton ball wearing bunny slippers (everyone ate candy during the hurricane; they're so bad).
Today's story was about a young creative couple from Brooklyn whose Red Hook apartment flooded almost to the ceiling (depressing). Hannah Kirshner and Hiroshi Kumagai are currently looking for an apartment that can accommodate both their chickens (fun and quirky) and their blogging/"seasonal mini-cookbook" publication needs (new media/old media).
Unfortunately, this story has a lot of dark meat.
While the Times never explicitly states this, it quickly becomes apparent that the chickens to whom so much of the article is devoted were, in fact, left to die by the seasonal mini-cookbook publisher who put so much thought into their names.
In advance of the storm, Ms. Kirshner locked her four chickens in an upper portion of their coop, about four feet off the ground, and then left the neighborhood to spend the night with relatives.
Growing up, 27-year-old Hannah Kirshner helped raise chickens on her family farm in Washington State. By the time she moved to New York, though, she realized that chickens could serve a higher purpose: "Mostly for fun."
She acquired four and gave them five names:
Chicki Minaj, Hillary Chicken, Black Betty and Salt Hen Peppa, who is also called Cookie Dough
However, while the chickens were certainly four feet higher than they might otherwise have been after Kirshner locked them in the top part of their coop, they were not what you might call, "not going to die."
Kirshner found out on Monday night that the chickens had been saved by the lot-leasing restaurant owners, which was cool. The restaurant owners even let the chickens hang out in their apartment until the coop could be cleaned and put back.
"Here's a chicken sitting on a coffee table," Ms. Kirshner said, displaying a photo on her iPhone.
How bad had things gotten when the chickens were moved indoors?
The restaurant owners had to wade into chest-deep water to save them.
Ms. Swenson, Ms. Byrne and another neighbor yanked the chickens out of their coop, which was bobbing away at a 45-degree angle, and carried them by their feet into their apartment.
While the fact that Kirshner just kind of left the chickens suggests that she probably wouldn't have waded through chest-deep water to rescue them, Kirshner also straight up admits that she might not have done that:
"I don't know if I would have done that," she acknowledged quietly.
Now Kirshner and her boyfriend, an artist and graphic designer, are looking for a place within biking distance of his studio. The ideal home should offer both a functional kitchen (so she can test out recipes for her blog and quarterly magazine), and space for both them and their chickens.
Of course, they also understand that, meh, they may have to get rid of the chickens:
"My chickens bring me a lot of joy, but I know we have to be realistic," Ms. Kirshner said.
"But man," she continued, "it would be nice" to be able to keep them.
According to twitter updates Kirshner has posted since the article was published, the couple has had no luck thus far finding a suitable residence.
They have, however, had "many offers for the chickens."