Sunday, November 4, 2012

Staten Island, After the Storm

I had hoped to be able to share stories and images from my return visit to one of my favorite New York City beaches, South Beach on Staten Island.  Much to my dismay, I couldn't get anywhere near the beach, as Park Rangers steadily patrolled the area.  They shared with me that the beaches are not just littered, but completely unsafe, with vials of blood, used needles and other hospital trash scattered across the sand.

Not all of the beach was lost, which means it stands a chance of recovering, but the process of cleaning up will not happen soon, due to the severity of the unsafe conditions and special consideration this beach will require.

I spent the first part of the day helping to clean a small park, and then walked around for an hour, witnessing more of Hurricane Sandy's destruction.  Walking by a shelter, I asked if they needed help and my question was greeted with enthusiastic cheers. I spent the rest of the day sorting through donated clothes and food supplies and talking to members of the Staten Island community.

The pain so clearly showing on the faces of the individuals and families coming to the shelter for assistance is too fresh for me to write about at this time.  Taking photographs of anything or anyone in the shelter would have been a perverse intrusion, so I have none to share.  I do, however, have a few images and a couple of videos from earlier in the day.

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