Here is the list of things I did while waiting for Irene:
Taped the basement windows, just in case.
Froze water in the freezer, just in case.
Watched half of Beaches on TV.
Watched half of Bride Wars on TV.
Found a bunch of decks of cards and played solitaire.
Made pasta for dinner.
Tracked the storm online.
Bugged my friends by sending them texts and emails asking them how they were enjoying the storm.
Chatted with my roommate.
Watched Bend it Like Beckham.
Talked to my cousin on the phone for a bit.
Ate ice cream.
Painted my toenails.
Painted my fingernails.
Ate more ice cream.
Cleaned the kitchen.
Watched 500 Days of Summer.
Went to bed.
Woke up at 4 am when Irene came.
Pulled my furniture away from one of the walls when I noticed the window was leaking on my desk.
Went and slept on the couch in the living room because the rain and wind was keeping me awake.
All in all, she wasn't bad to us at all. Just a few leaks in the apartment, which is great. The neighborhood was virtually untouched, except for several downed trees and one light, which I saw while walking around this afternoon. Central Park was closed but lots of people were jumping the fence to get in. We all had cabin fever.
Others in New Jersey, Westchester County, parts of Queens, etc. weren't as fortunate as we were. There are people without power, flooded areas, but luckily it wasn't as bad as they expected it to be. Some people are saying it was anti-climactic. Cynics are saying they told us so, that New York was over reacting. I say that it is better to be safe than sorry. That even though my home in upper Manhattan wasn't affected, there were people whose homes and neighborhoods were. The focus might be on Manhattan because it is Manhattan and because MTA was shut down, but there are other boros, the local news (which broadcasted warnings, updates, and other types of "fear mongering" reaches those who really did need the information.
Of course I will always remember where I was when Irene hit. I'm sure people will talk about how it was a big deal for nothing. And for me it was. I'm glad about that.
Hope all my fellow New Yorkers and East Coasters weathered the storm just as well!