With no train and very limited bus service, I walk the 12 miles to Coney Island.
The ferris wheel and rides stand like sentinels, firmly planted, beacons to visitors and locals at Coney Island.
As far as I can see up and down the beach, the beige sand is a tangle of litter and no longer the pristine stretch of beach it was just 24 hours ago. Wooden planks, sections of a boardwalk, a portion of a staircase, paint cans on their sides, spilling their color, bottles, cans, gas cans, a welcome home sign, chairs, benches, a couch, clothing, free weights, mattresses, a tennis racket, toys, several televisions, a bicycle, and window frames are just a few of the items I notice as I gingerly pick my way down Coney Island Beach.
Here gathers the debris from Long Island, Staten Island, Far Rockaway and so many other hard-hit communities. This debris isn't trash, it's people's lives, people's livelihoods. Those of us who have come out to the beach have come on purpose; that is, to witness, to be witnesses.
Walking back to the bus station, Coney Island is a maze of police vehicles, ambulances, muddy roads and police lights. Few people are out walking now that dusk has settled and there is a ghost town feel.
Here's a video of the Beach at Coney Island, two days after Hurricane Sandy.