11-10-12 – PT 2 – Staten Island – Post Sandy/Athena

A few more pictures from yesterday that didn’t quite make the cut but I feel are worth sharing anyway.

People really do their best not to surrender, don’t they?

Thanks for paying attention and doing anything you can to help.

11-10-12 Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, Staten Island – Post Sandy/ Post Athena

9:00 AM gathering of volunteers

130 members of the Friends Seminary community (with help from many other members who cooked amazing amounts of food and provided a massive quantity of supplies) went to Staten Island today to help in the disaster relief efforts in Midland Beach and New Dorp Beach.

The “Chuck Wagon” or supply bus

We chose this particular community because Friends is partnering with PS 52 – an Elementary School which is displaced from their building and lost their library – and these areas are their community.

We were working with two organizations that have been on the ground since early on in the relief effort. A local catering company, Ariana’s Catering, has turned a small party hall into a collection center, food distribution center and all around comfort zone.

We the People, Feed The People

A motorcycle club,  The Hallowed Sons, came in the first day and have never left. They are a collection center, they make food on site and feed both residents and volunteers, and they coordinate volunteers to help residents remove debris and their destroyed possessions from their homes.

I saw some FEMA and some National Guard presence but no Red Cross in the area I was in. My belief is that without Ariana’s and The Hallowed Sons and other local groups, this disaster zone would be in a state of total collapse.

Approximately 1250 feet from the shoreline

Doing homework where you can

I saw too many people break down in tears today and be much too grateful for the little help we could provide.

I heard people whose homes were destroyed  say: “we could use the help but my neighbor needs it more than I do.”

I saw way too much black mold, too many destroyed homes, too many lives placed on the street, waiting for sanitation to come and cart away the container that held a child’s first tooth, the album that had the only pictures of long gone parents, the sofa bought with that first promotion.

I do have to give a shout out to the police, the fire department and especially the New York City Sanitation Department. Everyone I spoke to talked about how sanitation was always there, working through horrendous strain and removing everything on the street from moldy boxes to destroyed ranges, to beds and music cabinets.

To put this in perspective, this is one small community in New York City. There are many, way too many, more in Brooklyn, Queens, and in parts of Manhattan, and that is before I even mention Long Island or the Jersey Shore, Hoboken,  and on and on.  This clean up and repair is not going to be a matter of weeks or even months, but of years.  My home needs all the help it can get.

Occupy Sandy Relief NYC

I read something from a New Orleans blogger today and strongly recommend reading it. It is worth your while.

New Orleans Slate

11-7-12 Friends Does Its Bit

Yesterday I participated in The Friends Seminary Meal-A-Thon. The community (students, faculty, staff, administration and families) gathered in the cafeteria to make bag lunches (sandwiches, fruit, desert, drink) for people who are currently homeless on Staten Island due to Sandy.  The energy was intense and great.  Two hours of the afternoon had been set aside but so many people showed up that we filled every bag within about 45 minutes. The scene in these pictures may look a bit chaotic but it wasn’t. It was just filled to the rim with enthusiasm. The community also collected several hundred blankets to donate to a shelter in Chelsea that has light but no heat.

Saturday a number of the parents and High School and Middle School students will be going to Staten Island to set up pop up food stations and help residents clean the debris from their homes and streets.

Then I walked outside to go to my Photoshop class:

5:30PM – 43rd Street and 6th Avenue

Midnight – my street

11-1-12 Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown

I took a walk from 14th and 7th down to South Ferry today, mainly along the river. South Ferry is the southern tip of Manhattan, where you pick up the Staten Island Ferry (not running) and Liberty Tour ships (not running) as well as the terminus of the “1″ train (not running this far south) and the “N” and “R” trains (they officially stop at Whitehall – “N” trains not running this far south and “R” trains running only in Brooklyn).

I took the “1″ to Penn Station, then a random bus to 14th Street.

Walk with me.

New York Water – W14th Street near 8th Avenue

The Downtown Whitney construction site (according to several passersbye)

Don’t ask…

Chevy’s are survivors

Battery Park

North Meadow – Battery Park City. No power but keeping things watered…

1 World Trade Center

A lot of fishermen out today. Despite strong warnings of pollution in The Hudson and the Harbor, they were all intending to eat what they caught.

Fish on the line

The South Ferry area took a major hit

Waiting area for Liberty Boat

Army Corps of Engineers is all over the place

Penn Station as it has never been seen

10-30-12 Luck

This was/is a really bad storm.  As always in these situations some were lucky/fortunate and some were not. We fall into the lucky category.  Yes, there were very high winds and much rain in NYC, but in the end the issue was the storm surge.  We live on one of the highest points on Manhattan Island.  That is luck, not planning. We had several neighborhoods we considered after Abigail was born.  If the right apartment had appeared we might be evacuated or without electricity and with severe damage in our apartment or house. Of course, even those people are lucky.  Breezy Point, 80 (eighty!) houses burned to the ground, around the city, houses collapsing, cranes collapsing, patients needing evac from a hospital… random chance where you are at what time.  If we had not had the warnings from the Government weather satellites, this could have been much worse. As it is, repairs will run into the billions of dollars and  Atlantic City, much of New Jersey, Long island, Connecticut, suffered equally.  They cannot predict when the subway system will be back, so no idea when the kids go back to school or people can go back to work. No idea when they will get the power back on in downtown Manhattan, or on parts of Staten island, Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx.

8 hours before Sandy hit land – which happened at 8pm almost exactly at high tide and with a full moon – …

I was down at the river. The tide was ebbing…

The picture below is hardly the best picture I have ever taken but it shows how far the water overflowed the banks.  The fence in the background is the fence in the previous picture.  This is easily 100 feet and again I emphasize that we had it very easy.

They have closed all the City parks until further notice , probably because of this sort of thing.

The parks are closed but that doesn’t stop us…

I, again, want to thank everyone for their concern and notes. My family and I are fine. My city is not.

10-29-12 Sandy

I am not sure that I have ever posted pictures I did not take before but dangerous times call for dangerous measures…Thank you for all the messages of concern. We are fine because we live in Morningside Heights but as you can see much of the rest of the city is flooding. I have no pictures from Battery Park but the Harbor and the Hudson are cresting at 14 feet which is 9 feet above normal…

10-28-12 Oh Sandy NYC Style

Stranded at the drive in
Branded a fool
What will they say Monday at school?  (Nothing it is cancelled)
Sandy, can’t you see I’m in misery?
You made a start, now we’re apart
There’s nothing left for me
Love has flown all alone
I sit and wonder why, oh?
Why you left me, oh Sandy
Oh Sandy, baby, someday
When high school is done
Somehow, someway Our two worlds will be one
In Heaven forever And ever we will be
Oh please, say you’ll stay Oh Sandy
Sandy my darlin’, you hurt me real bad
You know it’s true
But baby you gotta believe me when I say I’m helpless without you
Love has flown all alone I sit I wonder why
Why you left me, oh Sandy?
Sandy, Sandy, why, oh Sandy?
Grease
 
 

New York City prepares for bad weather.