I went for a walk yesterday and looked at a lot of trees that had fallen down in my neighborhood. Some had fallen on and damaged cars, and others were simply snapped in half and blocking sidewalks. People stopped to take photos on their phones.
“I can’t believe this,” someone said.
I remember watching an M. Night Shyamalan film a few years ago where the twist (spoiler alert) was that the trees were basically killing people, which was a pretty hard thing to swallow—trees killing people? But trees have crashed through windows, and been ripped from the ground to crush people, killing people who were staying indoors during the storm like they were asked to do, or taking their dogs out for a quick walk. It makes a person feel a little helpless.
Secretly, I had been walking around hoping that I could make myself useful to anyone who needed help. I received a message from the city’s Public Advocate office telling me that they received my volunteer registration, and would find me some manual labor to do in the coming weeks and months as the city begins to clean and rebuild, which I will be happy to do when asked, but I was hoping for an immediate reason to get out of my apartment and try to do some good.
“How about you come over and we’ll make dinner?” a friend asked. “So that we’re not alone in our apartments?”
At the Fairway grocery store on 74th and Broadway, people wandered in simply because the store was open.
“I don’t need to buy anything,” a shopper said. “I just felt like I was going stir crazy staying inside. Maybe spending money will help the local economy?”
I asked the cashier, a young woman, how she got to work. “I took a cab,” she said. “I think I’m getting reimbursed for it. Stay safe out there.”
An updated list of how to help if you’re in the city:
We wanted to share with you a list of local drop-off sites for donations, from the occupysandy.com website. Please share this email by forwarding to your friends and letting them know of the closest site!
Astoria (items dropped in Astoria will be delivered to the Rockaways)
Location 1: 23-74 38th Street (closed for the night, MIGHT reopen tomorrow, please check back here for updates) Contact Leni: (347) 762-1648
Location 2: 33-33 87th St btw Northern Blvd and 34th Ave (closes 9pm) Contact Neha: (917) 392-9708
Chinatown (open Nov 1, 10am-5pm) CAAAV 46 Hester St Frnt A (212) 473-6485 firstname.lastname@example.org – email provided, but best to just show up to help or bring supplies!
Specific Requests in Chinatown: Water bottles C, D, AA, AAA batteries (and one 9 volt battery) Food (hot at lunch, non-perishable/bread/cookies) Some bottles of Ensure (Glucerna shake) for the elderly, vitamins for the elderly Generator (for shelter at 350 Grand St, Seward Park High School)
Rockaway and Far Rockaway Location 1: Firehouse on 59th street across from the train station. contact person: Jean Dupont 9179755623
Location 2: Veggie Island 96th Street and Rockaway Beach Blvd.
Location 3: Store Front Community Center B113 and Rockaway Blvd
Specific Requests in Rockaway and Far Rockaway (starred ones are most urgent): * Propane grille or camping style oven * Plates, cups, forks, bowls, spoons, etc * blankets, jackets, gloves, hats, anything to keep folks warm * cleaning supplies – buckets, squeegies, mops, bleach * masks, gloves for cleaning * socks * water * tarps * garbage bags boots electric stove gas stove satellite phones big paper, tape, markers pens, paper, notepads generators pumps camping tables gasoline gasoline containers percolator fire extinguishers walkie talkies i9 tablets projector/illuminator
Fort Green/Clinton Hill 45 Waverly Avenue just off of Park Ave in Fort Green/Clinton Hill (Hours for Nov 1: 10am-6pm)
Park Slope New Hope Church 120/122 16th St btw 4th and 5th ave Contact: Pastor Craig: (718) 768-5275
Red Hook The Red Hook Initiative 767 Hicks Street Contact: Mariya (347) 770-1528 (but please just show up!)
Specific Requests in Redhook: (Will be updated at redhook.recovers.org prepared food (including food for children) batteries flashlights power strips toiletries (including toilet paper and paper towels) utensils such as spoons and bowls jugs of water
Bay Ridge Residence 9108 Colonial Rd. Brooklyn 11209 #E9
Sunset Park St. Jacobi Church 5406 4th Ave Contact: Ronnie 646-353-5194
Specific Requests in Sunset Park: steamtable foil pans full or half size w lids blankets cleaning supplies tin foil saran wrap
Williamsburg (starting Nov 1, 10am) Residence 306 Leonard St, apt J1 (btwn Conselyea and Metropolitan) Contact: Jennifer (917) 586-4153
Bed-stuy Residence 136 Jefferson Ave, apt 2 11216
East Billyburg (Beginning Thursday Nov 1 at 12 noon) House of Yes 342 Maujer st Contact: Kae Burke (525)217-7209
Downtown Brooklyn NYCC 2-4 Nevins Street, 2nd Floor
Harlem Location 1: Residence 47 saint nicholas avenue #4d btw 112 and 113
Location 2: Residence 938 st Nicholas ave # 25 at corner of 157th and st Nicholas ave.
Lower East Side
Location 1 The Bowery Mission 45-51 Ave D 212-777-3424 contact: Claude Nelson or any “operations manager” on duty. they’re open 24/7 and in need of prepared foods, a generator and anything else you can offer.
Location 2 (open 11/1 3pm-6pm and 11/2 12pm-6pm) Goles 169 Ave. B btwn 10th and 11th
Specific Requests at Lower East Side: Generator (Requested at Bowery) Prepared Foods (Requested at Bowery) flashlights (Requested at GOLES) batteries (AA, AAA, D) (Requested at GOLES) non perishable food (Requested at GOLES) candles (Requested at GOLES) first aid kits (Requested at GOLES) vehicles or bikes with trailers (to bring supplies around) (Requested at GOLES)
Upper East Side (drop off center for Rockaway/Breezy Point/Broad Channel donations) Saloon York Ave between 83 and 84th st