Hurricane Sandy hit home. No really it HIT home! I'm a Coney Island Brooklyn girl... born and bred. Growing up I was ALWAYS on the beach from sun up til sun down. I shared Coney Island with my children this summer. Not the Luna Park Coney Island but all the way down to 35th street where I was raised. We walked the beach and enjoyed the last bit of summer fun.
Yesterday evening while heading home I asked my husband if he would stop by my hometown so I could get a look for myself. You hear things but somethings you just want to witness with your own two eyes. Last night I was literally bought to tears. I couldn't take any pictures on my phone because my home town was pitch black.
The only visible light was from the police cars that were parked on every corner. Where were the news vans that were flocking to Sea Gate (a private gated community at the far western end of Coney Island at the southwestern tip of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It contains mostly single-family homes, some directly on Gravesend Bay.) They had to pass the NYCHA houses (where I grew up) to get to Sea Gate. They had to see the buildings in the dark. They had to see the people looking for help and relief.
Many people have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, but I want to know why so many neighborhoods are forgotten? Is it because of the large populations of minorities? I hate to make everything a race issue but sometimes I wonder. Other neighborhoods that are home to minorities or low income families aren't getting any coverage either. I don't see any news about Red Hook or RedFern houses on Far Rockaway. Again I understand that millions of dollars have been lost by home and business owners. But are the low income individuals who are trying to make it not worth coverage?
I found this article on New York Times and thought this summed it up pretty well....
In Coney Island, the Rockaways, and Red Hook, more than 15,000 public housing units still lack heat, hot water, or electricity, according to Steven Banks of the Legal Aid Society. "We're into the second week of this," he said in a New York Times editorial today, "and there is no real urgency to get it fixed ... No can-do New York attitude here." But Mayor Bloomberg insists those people are not forgotten, explaining on the radio this morning that power should be back by tonight, with heat to follow by early next week.
This was written two days ago and 'tonight' is long gone.
I checked the web in hopes that I could find someone going above and beyond to help people in my hometown and I could only find this interview from Hot 97.
I'm sad, at a loss for words and not sure what I can do to help. This weekend however help is what I shall do. Some way some how.
Keep Coney Island and all other places affected by Hurricane Sandy in your prayers. Many people are displaced and need a helping hand.
Until next time...