Because the last couple of months have been busy I haven’t really had a chance to catch up with a lot of the pictures I shot around Hurricane Sandy, so the next few days I’m going to be posting images from that time. Starting today with the amazing Thanksgiving I spent out at the Rockaways giving away food with my very cool daughter Sharna (aka Sshh), the always remarkable Winkel and the lovely Lamia.
We met at Winkels place in Dumbo at about 10am and headed out to the Rockaways with his van full of food that had been donated by the mother of a friend of Winkels. It took almost an hour for us to get out to Veggie Island, the home away from home for Occupy Sandy Relief, the offshoot from last years Occupy Wall Street movement.
After checking in at Veggie Island, which already had more than enough food, we made our way to a Housing Project that had flooded during the storm and donated some food there which is where these two pictures were taken.
We moved on to a center established by the Long Island Power Authority and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) where food and basic essentials were being handed out to local residents.
Our next stop was on a street corner that local residents were using to give away Thanksgiving Dinner. We finally pulled out the Turkey Costumes from the back of the van, to the absolute delight of the kids. And their parents.
We drove past a clothing distribution spot and got ut to give a bit of a turkey dance, before moving onto a Church Hall where volunteers had just finished serving lots of people.
I recognized actor Lauren Vélez from her role as Maria LaGuerta on Dexter, the TV show about a serial murderer who works at Miami Metro Police. She was very cool and told me that she’d grown up at The Rockaways and her family all still live there and she was happy to be back with them and helping the local community which had been so devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
After stopping off at a couple more places we made our way back to Veggie Island where we’d heard legendary punk poetess Patti Smith was going to be performing towards the end of the day.
Patti put on a great show for the 50 or so volunteers who packed into the Veggie Island tent, including a fantastic a’capella version of Because The Night, the big hit she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen.
It was an amazing Thanksgiving – and on my part I thank Sharna, Winkel and Lamia for contributing to such a great day. In many ways the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in the seven years I’ve lived in the USA. The Rockaways are still in a mess and if you live in NYC or the local area then I’d suggest you go out there to do some volunteer time as it will much appreciated by everybody living there. And maybe I’ll see you out there as I certainly plan to go again. But probably won’t be dressed as a turkey next time. If you want to see more pictures from this day then you can find them in this gallery on this website.