The Platano Turns 2
So this is what’s up: A couple days ago, NPR had a puff piece about the two year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy and, puff-ness notwithstanding, I was a little floored – has it really been two years? Time flies, I suppose, especially when you experienced the storm on the periphery. Like, right on the rim – 100 miles north of the city in Rhinebeck and by and large on the edge from a logistics standpoint. We didn’t even lose power, which is surprising since when you live in the forests of the Northeast, an especially strong sneeze can cause an upset to the grid that may take upwards of 11 days to rectify. Or at least that was the case back in ’87 – though in that case, the especially strong sneeze was more like three inches of snow in the first week of October. In this case, we didn’t even lose internet. Most of the storm was spent streaming Moonrise Kingdom, for crying out loud. So yeah, no flooding, no washed out boardwalks, not much really. The surge up the Hudson caused some coastal flooding and a couple boats were knocked off their moorings and jackstands, but even then the damage was negligible. In fact, the only true inconvenience of the storm for me involved the Platano Verde. Sometime during the onslaught of Sandy, I finally decided enough was enough and it was time to head south back to Costa Rica to prepare for the Central American Biennial and Pau and I’s wedding. Earlier in the year, I’d cobbled together a fur-covered prototype of what would one day become the Platano Verde and figured that in order to recoup the cost of airfare and give us some income in the field, it would make sense to go production with it. Pau designed the artwork, largely involving smooching some actual green plantains between saran wrap in the scanner. I cobbled together the circuit boards from my notes (the prototype found a home with a friend in Oakland, Ca. a few months prior), shelled out for enclosures and jacks and ordered the adhesives… right before the storm hit. Let’s talk logistics. When the northeast is experiencing a gasoline shortage, UPS gets weird. And it only gets weirder when even a trip to the local office involves wading through the parking lot in ditch boots. Not to draw out the description, everything arrived eventually, albeit about two days before I split south and sleep was sacrificed for solder. And, as usual when such events occur, things got interesting, but in the end turned out okay. And with that, the first batch of Platanos were born. 2 years ago. on the back of a superstorm. Figured I’d at least tell the story. We sell them in the usual places. They’re $89, which is fairly inexpensive considering the current economic state of things – hell, go use your left over gasoline savings and pick two up – one for home, one for the car or something. Figured I’d pontificate while I have a second on a cold, windy autumn Sunday in Charm City. How are you doing?