Hurricane Irene: Some East Coast Residents Ride Out Storm With Parties

As Irene heads north, some are finding creative ways to pass the time.

Aug. 27, 2011— -- As most residents along the East Coast prepared for Hurricane Irene's impact, others were finding ways to pass the time by organizing get togethers and parties.

In the Manayunk area of Philadephia, The Spiral Bookcase store is planning to throw a hurricane party as way to get the community together and enjoy "each other's company."

"It was more of an open invitation -- invite people in if they are bored," Ann Tetreault, owner of The Spiral Bookcase told

So far, Tetreault is the only one going for sure.

"I don't know if anyone would even be around," she said.

Tetreault posted the invite on Facebook and her blog with a disclaimer: "fine print: Obviously, I care for your safety. So, really, I prefer you to stay safe in the comfort of your home than wandering down to the shop whilst a hurricane is a-brewing."

Loren Grush, who lives in the East Village section of Manhattan, is riding out the storm with some friends in the nearby Murray Hill area of New York because she had no place to go after her neighborhood was ordered to evacuate.

Grush said she and her friends decided to pass the time together by playing video games instead of going out.

"We're being safe, but also having fun," Grush said.

In New York, restaurants and bars are planning on hosting Hurricane Irene specials and parties.

"We're staying open as long as possible," said Quinn Hushion, the general manager at Prohibition, a bar on New York's Upper West Side.

"It seems like people are looking to party it up," he said.

Hushion said he is planning to shut down early to make sure his employees get home safe.

However, Hurricane Irene may be putting a damper on some previously scheduled events.

OM Yoga in New York City had planned a "Hurricane Evacuation Yoga Party" tonight into Sunday to offer a "12 hour yoga sanctuary for all evacuees in need of shelter," according to its Facebook page.

But due to evacuations and mass transit shutdowns in New York City, OM Yoga will be closed, according to its website.

Hurricane Irene slammed into North Carolina early this morning and was making its way north along eastern seaboard, expected to hit Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Delaware; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; New York; and coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts from late today through the day Sunday.

The storm has so far claimed five lives.

"It's going to be a long 72 hours and obviously a lot of families are going to be affected," President Obama said as he visited a federal emergency command headquarters today to thank workers.