Cobtree Blog

Dedicated to Miriam E. and Robert A. Dorn

SUNDAY MORNING 9AM-December 2, 2012

Here follows a copy of my friends weekly blog which I thought would be nice to share with everybody.

Forgive me for seeming to dwell on the recent hurricane, but I wanted to share something quite positive about my experience just yesterday on the Rockaways (Long Island south shore community hit hardest).

I had an occasion to spend a brief afternoon in the Rockaways yesterday, helping our son, Dave, move back to Brooklyn from his apartment in that devastated area.  I was struck by the amazing presence of NYPD and NYFD personnel, and scores of iridescent-vested volunteers helping all over the Rockaways as well as Cross Bay Boulevard which is one of the major access roads.  Without any exaggeration, there were literally hundreds of police cars and patrol men/women all over the place, especially at every single intersection.  Now, the power has been back on for over a week and yet, there they are still, expediting traffic, helping folks, keeping order, etc.  The devastation is extensive, boats piled up on top of each other, ruined cars rusting and clearly now junkers being cleared away by heavy equipment.  Sand everywhere, household debris (furniture, sheet rock, insulation, siding, etc. etc. piled high at the curbs) and contractors all over the place.  While there were place that were hard to get around due to all the debris and service vehicles, there was at the same time a prevailing sense of order and almost tranquility.

I was in and out of his apartment building, loading a work van and my car and many people, apparently residents, passed by.  Most of them said hello and a couple of them asked if they could help me load a dresser into the van (David had gone inside and it appeared as if I were attempting to lift the dresser myself, which I was not). But the point is, people were as friendly or perhaps even friendlier than I have ever seen them in New York. It reminded me of San Francisco a little, an extremely friendly city. I wanted to drive down to the Breezy Point area (where my Deb spent most of her childhood summers) where the 110 homes burned, but felt that one more onlookers car would not have been appropriate.

I credit Mayor Bloomberg with the extraordinary extended service of NYPD and NYFD in this situation. But I also credit the residents themselves. Even my son’s landlady was extremely understanding and accommodating as David requested breaking his lease so he could move closer to work in Brooklyn. It will be some time before all the apartment buildings and houses are repaired and back to normal. FEMA has also had a major presence as it systematically processes claims and helps many people, owners and tenants alike.

Wow! The helpful and cheerful spirit that abounded yesterday in the Rockaways was heartening and even inspirational.especially after people have endured such loss and major disruption.

Have a great week everyone.

Bob

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