Dispatch from Brooklyn: Hurricane Sandy edition

Hi there. Meg here.

A brief intermission from all the girl crushin’ to use this blog as a tool for help.
I am happy to report that my apartment and neighborhood were pretty much unscathed by the hurricane (we never lost power or internet or water–maybe some downed tree limbs but that was the worst of it). I am extremely lucky. 
Most subway service has been restored, but since I bike everywhere, that hadn’t really affected me either.
Lines for gasoline continue to run blocks and blocks long–people running out of gas to simply refill, people sleeping in their cars overnight to just get 10 gallons worth, people getting in fist-fights over folks cutting in line for gas–I even saw a delivery guy on a scooter siphon gas from an SUV! I think this speaks to a larger issue about our dependence on oil and global warming–but I digress to get into that in this at the moment…Tensions are running high on the roads (more than usual for New York) but conversely the amount of cyclists on the road has increased ten-fold (yay bikes!). 
But despite the price-gouging and transit nuttiness and gas ridiculousness…it’s amazing to see the community come together. Saturday I rode my bike to drop off winter coats and hats and gloves and socks after being turned away from 2 other drop-off sites (their were inundated with donations). NYC Marathon runners donated their hotel rooms to displaced families and evacuees and even pitched in helping clean-up. I have friends that are now fostering a sweet dog named that was abandoned during the storm. I also have friends that rode their bikes down to Breezy Point in Queens (where hundreds of homes were lost to a 6-alarm fire or else flooded completely) and knocked on doors until someone allowed them to help clean up:

“We spent 3 hours in a retired teacher named Kate’s home cleaning out sea silt and removing everything below the water line in her home which was over 2 feet!”

Both of some of my favorite summer spots Rockaway Beach and Coney Island, have lost their boardwalks completely. Those beach communities are also without electricity and heat (and last night it was in the 30s). Staten Island was hit the worst (being dubbed “the lower 9th ward” after Hurricane Katrina’s most blighted part of New Orleans). A lot of elderly residents are trapped in high rises without power. The devastation is unreal. Who knows how long the city will take to recover from this, but it’s a resilient city and undoubtedly we will move forward as everyone is doing what they can to help.

That said, in lieu of any holiday presents this year to family and friends, I have donated $ to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund (100% of every donation will be used to support storm recovery efforts in Brooklyn communities and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy) and encourage you to do the same to any of these other organizations:
If you don’t live in the tristate area and you feel like donating just isn’t direct enough, help fulfill this Staten Island assemblyman’s wish list:
I’m so very lucky that me and all of my NYC family are safe. Please feel free to reblog this on to anyone that might care to help out from a distance.
I heart NY more than ever.