Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Red Hook, a day later

It was a sad walk. We took it yesterday afternoon, after 4pm. Just after low tide.

There were other hurricane tourists, too, cycling through the weird blue light of early evening.

I did not take the pictures I wanted to. I could not point my camera at people carrying their water-destroyed possessions out of their ground floor homes and basements, and adding to the pile on the sidewalks. I could not even take pictures of the countless generators pumping water from every second building. I felt like a vulture. If I carried a press badge, maybe. But I don't.

The water taxi parking lot was a disaster.

Poor little Mike Davis.

 The water had raised the long wooden dock right above its mooring poles, which it had slipped, before tilting akilter.

 Some studio and warehouse occupants had sealed well. Most had not.

Some golden rod survived the flood.

Fairway was shut tight and jettisoning dozens of shopping carts of food. Cereals, fresh meat, you name it. 

They are right on the water.

The president's escort flew by.

And as we walked home the soggy task of cleaning up continued. I could not imagine the devastation at Breezy Point, out past Fort Tilden - where so many homes burned on the sand bar. Vince has visited - or tried to - it was literally fenced in, right down  to the beach, and riddled with security gates: it is an anomalous series of communities in New York City, 99 percent white. Some of it is now quite black. I don't mean that glibly, either. It just is. [*Correction:  it was Sea Gate, another gated community opposite Breezy Point, on Coney Island; see Frank's comment.]

Fire trucks and ambulances blocked Van Brunt Street, where we had walked just an hour before, past men pumping water from a basement.

Everywhere there was the smell of leaking heating oil, of generator exhaust,  the coughing of the little engines, the gushing of water from thin pipes, the slopping sound of wet belongings slapping onto the pavement.

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