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New Yorkers prepare for possible Judgment day

May 21, 2011

This is the last and final stop, New York.

Scarf down one more H&H bagel, take one last stroll through Central Park, and read this, the final issue of your favorite daily newspaper — for the world, and more importantly, the city, is ending at 6 p.m. today.

For weeks, Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping, 89, has been saying that with the help of Scripture he was able to calculate that May 21 is Doomsday — although he made a similar prediction in 1994.

Many New Yorkers laughed off the notion that the Rapture would begin today, that earthquakes would destroy all five boroughs and that there wouldn’t be any cabs — Mayor Bloomberg even offered five tips for how Armageddon would affect the city and promised that alternate-side rules would be suspended.

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Boris Petreski of New Jersey warns commuters at Penn Station yesterday, the eve of the 'Rapture.'

ANDREW KELLY
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN: Boris Petreski of New Jersey warns commuters at Penn Station yesterday, the eve of the “Rapture.”

But like Jor-El on the eve of Krypton’s destruction, the true believers pleaded with the rest of New York yesterday to make preparations for the first day of the rest of their afterlives.

“I’m afraid for all the people who don’t believe the world is ending,” said Amy, 27, one of those holding end-of-the-world signs at Union Square.

“I’ve paid all my bills, but I haven’t gone on a shopping spree. I can’t take it with me, so why buy more things,” she said. “Only my father believes me, the rest are like everyone else.”

Some have made more drastic preparations.

“My sister called me from down in Jamaica saying my cousins are selling their homes,” said Sasha Jackson, 23, of Manhattan. “People are selling their possessions. It’s crazy. The fanatics are creating pandemonium. Does the church have a plan for when this all falls through?”

The massive citywide ad campaign claiming that today was the end of the world prompted opportunists to take to Craigslist to try to score real estate from those anticipating they’d be in heaven by tonight.

“If you’re someone who will be saved and you live in a higher end apartment in one of the more desirable neighborhoods in Brooklyn I’d be interested in subletting until your return,” one ad stated. “Please, no studios.”

Others admitted that the prospect of End Times did have them a bit jittery.

“I’m kind of freaking out because I’m flying tomorrow, but I guess being in the air is the safest place to be during all those earthquakes,” said Rhys Fagan, 21, a student.

Retired Staten Island transit worker Robert Fitzpatrick, who spent $140,000 on the end-of-the-world ad campaign here, said the Rapture is no time to have a last laugh.

“Many people will die and continue to die until Oct. 21st,” he said. “That’s why I am handing out magnets.”

Short-term planning

* The end of New York as we know it will commence at 6 p.m. today.

* The first time zone to be affected will be New Zealand, at 1 a.m. EDT.

* Those worthy of salvation will be taken to heaven, along with the spirits of believers already deceased.

* Their pets will be left behind.

* Those still on the planet will not be so lucky: Earthquakes and tsunamis will destroy much of the Earth.

* “The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until Oct. 21, 2011, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.”


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