Monday, November 5, 2012

Turning the clock back

One World Trade Center from the New Jersey Turnpike. Photo: JH.
Monday, November 5, 2012. It was sunny this weekend in New York. There were clouds passing over, but there was mostly sunshine. The first in a week. The clock was turned back an hour so it’s dark before six, and it got colder. Not very, but cold, especially for so many who have no heat even if they’re lucky enough to have a home. My friend Colette in Essex called me yesterday to tell me that they’d moved to a hotel because their cellar was flooded and their new oil burner conked out. They don’t know yet if it can be repaired.

Saturday I made the Zabar's trip, for the first time in a couple of weeks. Mid-afternoon, the streets were busy and the sky was blue overhead. As you can see, no sign of disaster.
Zabar's on Saturday afternoon.
Yet there are the thousands around New York and elsewhere who don’t have homes. Even those of us who experience some kind of hardship are better off if we have a home. It’s a week later now, and conditions are improving although slowly and not everywhere.

Friends and readers of the NYSD ask me if it was like 9/11. No. It wasn’t. In 9/11 everyone was worried about their own (future) safety. With the superstorm Sandy, many of us are fine now, while only a mile or two or three away, thousands of people are not fine.
Far Rockaway, Queens on Sunday afternoon. JH's brother, Jason, took this pic while volunteering yesterday afternoon.
JH has been looking into volunteer services and organizations who can use your support. This what he found that applies to any of us who have time or money to give. There is also the matter of the animals. There are a lot of homeless animals right now, and a lot of pets who are now a burden to their owners. Imagine if your dog or cats were suddenly homeless because of what happened to you. They need our assistance. Taking in a dog and a cat even if you have one can make a big difference.
Here is a short list of organizations that need your help:

Donations made through the The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City will support immediate aid needs – including water, food, and hygiene supplies – as well as long-term relief and restoration efforts. One hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief organizations and their efforts. To make a donation through The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, click here.

The Salvation Army is serving those impacted by Hurricane Sandy with food, clean-up kits, as well as emotional and spiritual care. Donate now to storm relief.

The Red Cross
has provided more than 23,000 overnight shelter stays since Saturday. If you would like to make a donation, click here.

In addition to deliveries to their regular network of agencies, City Harvest is working with FEMA to provide pallets of yogurt, bananas, and coconut water to distribution sites in some of the hardest hit areas of our city. Click here to make a donation.

The Food Bank for New York City
says the group needs over 100 volunteers a day at its main headquarters, which includes a warehouse and kitchen. The group is also working to place volunteers in areas that need them, and collecting non-perishable food donations, such as cereal, canned fruits and vegtables, peanut butter and water, for distribution. They ask volunteers to register online.

NYC Service is matching volunteers with opportunities to help. Visit their web site for more information.

Occupy Sandy has volunteer and donation sites listed by neighborhood.

The United Way of New York City is also looking for volunteers. You can fill out a Recover Volunteer Interest Form here.

If you would like to help out with animal rescue and fostering, pet food donation or volunteering at animal shelters in NYC, visit the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. You can also use the Twitter hashtag #sandypets for updated information on where help is most needed.
Someone sent me this aerial view of the city last Thursday night – all lit up and bright, until 34th Street, south of which was pitch black. Just five or twenty blocks from the light, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers live in that darkness. In that situation, nothing else matters. Meanwhile on the Upper East and West Sides, the restaurants – all of them – are crowded. A friend of mine just getting home from Europe on Friday afternoon called twenty different restaurants to book a table for Friday night. All booked. 9/11 was not like that.
An aerial view of the city last Thursday night.
What remains in the aftermath for many of us is the awareness of the danger this weather poses.

On the Social calendar, cancellations continue. Anthony Marx, the President of the New York Public Library announced on that the Library’s annual Library Lions Gala scheduled for tonight, has been cancelled. Not postponed.

New York Public Library Lion Fortitude.
The Library Lions is one of the NYPL’s biggest fundraising galas where several hundred guests dine in the Rose Reading Room and several prominent individuals are awarded the Library medal.

This year’s Co-Chairs were Anne Bass, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, H.R.H. Princess Firyal, Susan and John. Hess, Mr. and Mrs. John Paulson, Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn, Christine and Stephen Schwarzman, James and The Honorable Merryl H. Tisch, and Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wachenheim III.

While sixty of the ninety Library branches have been operating, The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street had been without power since last Tuesday and as of the time of cancellation, they couldn’t be sure when it would be restored.

This year’s Lions to be honored were: Martin Amis, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jennifer Egan, Annette Gordon-Reed, and President Nelson Mandela, whose extraordinary achievements have made our world more interesting, more beautiful, and more humane.

Contact DPC here.