As Hurricane Sandy's first angry winds started whipping the Bayshore, some locals couldn't resist coming outdoors to experience her power firsthand.
There were long lines at gas stations, and the parking lots of supermarkets, liquor stores, diners and bookstores were jam-packed by people seeking the need to do somthing, or be with someone, in these anxious hours before a bully of a storm.
Along the sandy beaches of the Raritan Bay, cars came in and out of the shallow parking lots like a revolving door. People stepped out onto the boardwalks to look across to New York, and experience the strong wind, salty sea air, and boiling, grey-brown choppy waves. They did not stay outside the car for too long.
In Keansburg, local businesses boaded up storefronts. Earth moving machines pushed up sand barriers along the beach. At Ideal Beach, entranceways to the beach were blocked by new dunes.
Where flags were left to fly, they were flying in frantic attention, unable to relax by the forceful gusts.