Back to Brooklyn.

We arrived in Brooklyn late last night after getting word that electricity had been restored to our apartment building. The elevators were still out which meant we had a long hike up to the 9th floor, but the relief of being back in NYC was worth it. I don’t want to be away right now.

This afternoon we headed out to drop off supplies for Sandy victims. The situation in the outer boroughs, where people—many of them elderly and immobile or financially unable to relocate—are living without heat and with a diminishing food supply, is becoming increasingly dire as temperatures drop. 20,000 of the 40,000 New York City residents expected to be displaced by Sandy are public housing residents. You may have heard that there is a gas shortage in NYC right now as a result of the storm (there are waits at open gas stations of 4–5 hours, and many stations are closed because they don’t have power), but aside from the resulting transportation issues that have been reported on, people are now unable to power generators. The disparity between recovery efforts in downtown Manhattan and in Queens and Long Island is dramatic. There are people in danger who need help NOW.

My friend Jenna has written a compelling post at Sweet Fine Day about the devastation she’s seen first hand, and what she and others have been doing to help. She has also compiled a GREAT list of local organizations that are providing direct assistance to those effected by the hurricane—donations to the Red Cross aren’t bringing relief fast enough. If you would like to help, please consider giving to one of these groups. Even if you can’t contribute, I urge you to read Jenna’s post—it paints a much truer picture of what’s going on here right now than anything you’ll see on CNN.

UPDATE:
Occupy Sandy has set up a registry through Amazon to facilitate the donation of the most-needed supplies in a very simple way. If you are not in NYC and would like to help, this is a great way to do it. Occupy Sandy volunteers are making daily deliveries to priority response areas. THANK YOU!

If you’re in DUMBO, Gleason’s Gym and Superfine—both on Front Street—are accepting donations of blankets (the most-needed item!), coats, water, non-perishable food, batteries, trash bags, diapers and other supplies on-site. Donated items will be delivered directly to those in need in outer-borough areas affected by Sandy.

The community effort I saw today in DUMBO is really heartening. A lot of small, independent businesses took a real beating from the storm, and ground-floor apartments (including the ones in my building) were destroyed. Those who fared well are helping out those who didn’t by making their showers, food, water and electricity available. Clean-up efforts and fundraisers are in full swing. DUMBO has the benefit of being an area that attracts a lot of tourists, so I’m hopeful that people will continue to visit! There are a lot of tech-industry and creative jobs in DUMBO as well, and the sooner those people can get back to work, the better. The DUMBO Improvement District site has info how to donate specifically to the businesses who suffered the greatest losses.

Damage and recovery at my favorite book store, powerHouse Arena. There were piles of water-logged, destroyed books on the sidewalk outside. I took a photo, but I can’t bring myself to post it…

One Girl Cookies is closed indefinitely due to extensive damage. Today they opened a pop-up shop a local children’s clothing store.

Galapagos Art Space was completely flooded, but managed to reopen yesterday after a massive clean-up effort. The before and after photos are amazing!

Jane’s Carousel survived in spite of the water that crept under the bottom of its enclosure. It’ll be a while before it’s operational again as the underground electrics were flooded under 5 feet of water, but the horses are fine.

✚ DUMBO is a really popular destination for wedding photos (barely a day goes by when I don’t see a bride or two posing outside my building), and it was nice to see that tradition continuing today. DUMBO will be just fine.

25 comments
  1. Melissa JaineNov 5, 201212:10 am

    I’ve never been to New York, and (apart from you :), I don’t really know anyone in New York. But for some reason I have always felt deeply for the place and its people, particularly in circumstances such as this. Being in Australia it is easy to feel helpless, but my love and thoughts and prayers (although you may not believe in such things?) are totally with everyone there. Thank you Anna for your updates, here, and on Instagram.
    love
    mel.x

    [Reply]

  2. ChrisNov 5, 201212:13 am

    I feel so bad for people who have lost their homes. Words fail:(

    Thank you for posting about this. I have an aversion to news sites and appreciate hearing reports from people like you who I (inexplicably I guess, cos this is the Internet) trust.

    [Reply]

  3. KariNov 5, 20126:57 am

    It’s so great to see a community coming together to help others out. Thank you for posting links on how to donate to people who are really hurting right now.

    No Sleep Til Brooklyn!

    [Reply]

  4. GwenNov 5, 20128:31 am

    Anna -Thank you so much for the frequent posts and updates. It’s nice to have somewhere other than the news to get an idea of how things are really going. Although I hadn’t even heard of Jane’s until your post about the storm, I was so relieved to see the horses survived unscathed. Your blog is a favorite of mine and I am so happy to know that you and your loved ones were unharmed and glad to hear your neighborhood is already showing signs of life again.
    Gwen

    [Reply]

  5. FionaNov 5, 20128:35 am

    Oh no! So sorry to hear about Powerhouse Arena. I love them. Wow, the water really made it a long way into the neighborhood. I also love One Girl Cookies (of course). Very relieved the carousel survived. I was really worried when I saw your photo.

    [Reply]

  6. JennyNov 5, 20129:08 am

    The Rescue Ink animal shelter sustained significant damage – they are in Long Beach. These guys do great work, they look tough but have hearts of gold
    http://www.indiegogo.com/rebuildshelter

    [Reply]

    Chris /

    thanks for posting their link!

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thank you, Jenny.

  7. DawnNov 5, 201210:17 am

    Anna,

    Thank you (and likewise Jenna) for your input and observations regarding this crucial matter. I would really like to pitch in and volunteer if possible. Do you know of any Sandy-related volunteer opportunities in the NJ/NYC region that you would recommend/endorse?

    Many thanks in advance!
    Dawn

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    Dawn, there’s a list of links to volunteer organizations if you scroll down to the end:
    http://www.sweetfineday.com/2012/11/the-side-of-the-storm-you-may-not-see-on-tv/

    From a personal standpoint, I know several people who are volunteering through Occupy Sandy:
    http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/

    chris /

    thank you for posting the occupy sandy link. i appreciate the people who are taking care of the tech stuff, allowing those of us who live internationally to help directly.

  8. kat kendonNov 5, 201211:19 am

    Anna, great post. As a pet owner/lover, I thought you might be interested in Red Paw Emergency Relief. Red Paw is the Red Cross for animals – we provide 24/7 emergency shelter, transportation and veterinary care to animals displaced by a house fire or other disasters like Sandy. While we are headquartered in Philly and primarily serve that region, we’ll be headed up to New York this weekend with trucks and trailers full of pet supplies for those affected by Sandy.

    Being displaced by disaster is something hugely stressful and difficult to manage – Red Paw is there so that disaster victims don’t have to worry about the safety and health of their pets while they get back on their feet.

    Today (11/5) you can text WISH to 80077 to donate $5 to Red Paw and our disaster relief efforts.

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thanks so much, Kat!!

  9. Moorea SealNov 5, 20121:01 pm

    I donated some clean up products & supplies to the Occupy Sandy :) Thank you for posting a link to their registry. I already donated some money to the Red Cross but I’m so much more of a hands on person and I’m so thankful I can invest money into actual things that will help people in the community with the cleaning up phase of all of this. Thanks for posting the link. Glad I can help from the West Coast. We send you lots of love <3
    xo Moorea

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thank you so much, Moorea. From everything I’ve heard, Occupy Sandy is really doing an incredible job in the areas that need it the most. xx

  10. jeannetteNov 5, 20121:15 pm

    my experience as a donor far away and also as one on the spot is that most orgs get a lot of unuseable donations they have no room to store, and that money can always be spent on what survivors need rather than on what people want to give away. two on the ground organizations working with the elderly stranded in elevator buildings, and public housing ditto, who could use money, are caaav and red hook initiative.
    it’s never been my experience that the red cross is there first or with even semi-adequate assistance.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nyregion/anger-grows-at-the-red-cross-response-to-the-storm.html?hp&_r=0
    caaav did and does heroic work with the LES elderly some of whom are still in jeopardy.
    http://caaav.org/
    same at red hook projects:
    http://rhicenter.org/2012/11/04/after-the-storm-sunday-morning-in-red-hook/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/nyregion/in-sight-of-manhattan-skyline-a-population-lives-forlorn-and-in-the-dark.html?hp

    and gerritsen beach:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/11/diy-hurricane-response-in-brooklyn.html

    thanks for this post.

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    Thanks, Jeannette, that’s a really important point. Aside from giving money, people should try to stick to the updated lists from relief orgs detailing exactly what supplies they are in need of. I do think that giving the current situation with a gas shortage in NYC, it can be helpful for groups doing ground work to receive actual supplies at the designated locations since it eliminates the need for a shopping trip—especially considering that places like Home Depot may not be receiving normal deliveries right now to replenish stock.

    When in doubt, people should check with the org of their choice and ask what they need most!

    jeannette /

    thank you, anna, i’ve never forgotten about your compassion since you rescued those animals up in newburgh (rabbits? dogs?) i can’t remember. (i once rescued a dog from the mother in law of the heroin king of bushwick. i loved that dog all her life, 14 years. we were soul mates. xxx)
    in the meantime, nothing is still happening at gerritsen beach — abandoned by the city — except the neighbors being heroic. here is the place to donate money for them:
    http://gbfd.net/2012/11/how-to-donate/

    love and thanks.

  11. SloaneNov 5, 20122:00 pm

    Thanks for the information about Occupy Sandy Anna. We just ordered batteries, diapers, a wool blanket and soap through Amazon. Good luck to all of the volunteers, sending our best from Los Angeles.

    [Reply]

  12. dianaNov 5, 20123:14 pm

    i just made a donation to the brooklyn recovery fund and bought some blankets from the occupy sandy wishlist. i’m glad i could help even though it may be a small contribution. best of luck! :)

    [Reply]

  13. Cori MageeNov 5, 20123:38 pm

    Thank you to you and Jenna! (I commented on her blog as well)

    Several news outlets and/or journalists are specifically telling people to donate to Red Cross instead of sending clothes, blankets, etc.

    Keep blogging/tweeting and I’ll keep sharing!

    [Reply]

  14. KariNov 5, 201211:27 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Regarding the Occupy Sandy Amazon wish list – do you know if UPS is having any trouble delivering the items? Are they getting through to that area at all? I just want to make sure that items bought are actually being delivered to the church in the Ship To address. I would hate to spend the money on relief items that then sit in some distribution center miles and miles away from the intended recipients.

    Thanks! x

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    I haven’t heard anything like that, Kari, but you can certainly check with Occupy Sandy to make sure. They’re very organized and on top of things, though, so I can’t imagine they’d suggest a shipping method that would be ineffective.

    Kari /

    Yes, that is what I was thinking, as well. I had friends that were asking about it so I figured I would check it out. Hoping that everything is running smoothly.

    Thanks!

  15. ChristineFeb 5, 20132:55 am

    I stumbled upon your blog via a post on notmartha.org. The photo of the bride in this post is almost the same angle as a location in one of me favorite movies, “My Man Godfrey.”

    [Reply]

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