I think so. NYC has definitely seen much stronger storms than Hurricane Irene. This is likely going to be much ado about nothing. Look up how strong Hurricane Gloria was in September 1985 when it threatened the city. It was a Cat 3 hurricane as it approached the NY area and hit Long Island as a Cat 2, with Cat 3 wind gusts. Or look up the Dec 1992 noreaster that flooded lower Manhattan and the PATH system. Those were serious storms. Irene is going to be more of a nuisance storm with some potential for serious river flooding if the rain is as bad as predicted.
The day will come when NYC is hit with a category 3 storm that hooks in from the Atlantic ocean. That will be the storm that really wreaks havoc on NYC in a way that will cause serious damage and be remembered for a long time. Hurricane Irene looks more like Hurricane Bell (1976), which was also hyped to death and did little damage when it finally reached the area as barely a Cat 1 hurricane. Irene might not even be a hurricane by the time it reaches NYC's latitude.