Slow return to normalcy following Hurricane Sandy


Uprooted trees, the grind of generators and streets littered with debris. The clean-up following Hurricane Sandy has proven more troublesome than the brief event itself.

I made my way to Red Hook, Brooklyn, today to help pass out army food rations at Coffey Park. Like most low-lying areas in New York, the area is still without gas, water, food and power.20121101IMG_4013

Residents dragged muddy possessions from their basements to the street like ants building a mound. Swollen bookshelves, broken crockery, potted plants, dirt-stained carpet and rotting food scraps, the stench reminding me of a rubbish dump. One woman, huddled by a candle in the dark of her laundromat, came forward with a brilliant smile when we offered her food and water.

The pre-production for my 16mm short film MONKEYWRENCH has also been affected. With the main connective hub of the lower-Manhattan subway inactive, traveling around the city to gather props and check locations has been impossible. We decided to push the shoot back to the 10th & 11th November to allow both the city and many of our cast and crew members to recuperate.

Across New York City, tunnels, subway-lines and interstate trains have been crippled. A minimum of three people per car is mandatory to cross the East River bridges.

I’ve noticed a slight change in activity in my area of Williamsburg, and it’s not just the storm-saluting Halloween costumes: people dressed as such as sandbags, sporting Miami Hurricanes caps and perms to make Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy Olsson proud. Without the L train running in to Manhattan, people shop and socialize locally, increasing the pedestrian traffic and the sense of a village.

Here are photos from today’s outing in Red Hook!


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