common / SandyEdition

Beachcomber

There was some stencil art of a sad looking boy on the remains of a burned out home on Beach 129th Street. Some people said the street artist Banksy is the one who put it there.

James Brennan, born and raised in Rockaway, made a great success of himself with restaurants in San Diego. After the storm he raised money and then purchased supplies like generators, heaters, bleach, batteries and pumps. He helped hundreds of families. He’s a guy who clearly never forgot where he came from.

Celebrities were spotted during the cleanup and relief effort. Madonna, Michael Stipe, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Chelsea Clinton, and Knicks player Tyson Chandler were among those who helped. Former President Bill Clinton visited as well.

Many adjustors and FEMA reps commented on the effort being made by locals in the days and weeks after the storm. Noting that they had been at other disasters around the country and the world, they told locals, in essence, “You people don’t fool around. You get right to work. Not like other places where they wait for help.”

Governor Cuomo made a visit to Breezy Point a few days after Sandy. Unlike most governors who visit disaster areas often, Rockaway never got another visit from the former Queens resident.

Future archeologists will find waterlines and Sandy-relayed comments written on foundation walls, right behind new sheetrock that has gone up in recent months. Many homeowners marked the storm’s appearance in this way.

The Sugar Bowl in Breezy, lost in Sandy was reincarnated with containers for the summer of 2013. The pared down version was called The Sugar Cube. There’s one sore point that is hard to forget. The tolls on the bridges were suspended but just for a month. Volunteers and displaced people had to pay tolls to get back and forth from the mainland. It was like paying for the privilege to get to a disaster area.

The Mayor put together the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) to produce a report on how to create a more resilient New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. We’ll check back in a few years to see if subsequent administrations followed the plans. This report might actually have a lot to with how people eventually view Bloomberg’s legacy.

Peter Brady took that amazing photo on the front cover. And even more amazing, a few hours later he put on his firefighter turnout gear and pushed through ocean water to fight fires on the Boulevard.

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