Kyle is always saying how much all of you love my blog posts – Make Something Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Fun Facts Friday were all my ideas and I have spent so much timing sharing with you all, but never actually sharing much about myself. Well here goes:
I grew up on 74th street in Rockaway Beach, NY. The two bedroom apartment was on the 11th floor and if you looked outside to the right there was the most amazing view of the beach (that was just across the street). To the left was Jamaica Bay, and a great view of the NYC skyline. I learned to swim in the ocean, to fish and sail on the bay. I walked everywhere, and on days I couldn’t stand cutting through the projects, I would walk out of my way to just walk on the boardwalk. When teenage angst was overwhelming, I would sit on the beach (day or night, even in the snow) and just watch the waves until I was calm.
The media isn’t covering it very much, but Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Rockaway Peninsula. The ocean that Rockaway natives love, are proud of, that made us who were are , has shoved its way all the way across to the bay. The beach that The Ramones sang about has swallowed the city. All that is left of the iconic boardwalk is the supports. Over 100 houses burned down to their flooded basements. Well over 1,000 buildings have been condemned. There’s no public transportation in or out, no gas for those who have their own cars.
My own mother has been without power or running water for 5 days now. She has to walk down those 11 stories in the dark just to get outside. Today she walked all over Rockaway looking for the RedCross and FEMA sites that are rumored to be there, and there’s nothing. NOTHING.
A good majority of residents are either a part of NYPD, FDNY, EMS, or related to someone who is. Our community has given so much to NYC, by way of these services. We lost over 70 Rockaway residents on 9/11, inlcuding people who worked at WTC and FDNY/EMS personal dispatched. We’ve given so much to NYC, and NYC isn’t responding to this disaster nearly as much/fast as they should. It’s….. horrible.
We at Barley & Birch, in true world-changer fashion, are working on our own fundraiser. Details to come. In the meantime, keep an eye on my twitter posts for more information on what is going on back home, and how to help.
This was my view growing up.
All of that is gone now.