Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Crain's: It's Katrina In New York

More misery in the outer boroughs:

The lights went back on Saturday in lower Manhattan, prompting screams of sweet relief from residents who'd been plunged into darkness for nearly five days by Superstorm Sandy. But the joy contrasted with deepening resentment in the city's outer boroughs and suburbs over a continued lack of power and maddening gas shortages

Lines snaked around gas stations for many blocks all over the stricken region, including northern New Jersey, where the governor imposed rationing that recalled the worst days of fuel shortages of the 1970s.

But nowhere was the scene more confused than at a refueling station in Brooklyn, where the National Guard gave away free gas. There, a mass of honking cars, desperate drivers and people on foot, carrying containers from empty bleach bottles to five-gallon Poland Spring water jugs, was just the latest testament to the misery unleashed by Sandy.

"It's chaos, it's pandemonium out here," said Chris Damon, who had been waiting for 3.5 hours at the site and had circled the block five times. "It seems like nobody has any answers."
Added Mr. Damon: "I feel like a victim of Hurricane Katrina. I never thought it could happen here in New York, but it's happened."

Mr. Damon, 42, had already been displaced to Brooklyn from his home in Queens, where he still lacked power, as did millions outside Manhattan—from Staten Island, the hardest-hit borough, to Westchester County and other suburban areas.

Domingo Isasi was in a gas line in Staten Island, and minced no words about the divide between Manhattan and the outer boroughs.

"The priorities are showing, simply by the fact that Manhattan got their power back," he said, adding that Staten Islanders are used to being lower on the list.

"We're the bastard kids who keep getting slapped in the head and told to shut up," he said.

So many neighborhoods have been forgotten about - Far Rockaway, Coney Island, all of Staten Island, Gerritsen Beach, Sea Gate and now Roosevelt Island:
Since Hurricane Sandy struck on Monday, more than 500 largely elderly and disabled patients had been living without heat or power in a public nursing facility and hospital on Roosevelt Island.
For four days, Coler Nursing Facility patients had been marooned in unlit rooms, fighting the cold with extra blankets and socks.

Power was partially restored to the facility on Friday evening, according to a Bloomberg administration spokeswoman, and this afternoon it has been fully restored, she said. Space heaters are being used, and heat and hot water is also set to be restored this afternoon as temperatures are expected to drop to the 30′s tonight. Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, D-Manhattan, who represents the area, said she had been “very concerned about the patients” but that residents had “generally expressed” a desire to stay.

As tropical storm Sandy hit Monday evening, the backup generator and boiler system both failed at Coler, a 1,000-bed facility on the northern tip of the island that sits in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Earlier, more than 100 of the most vulnerable patients (many on ventilators) had been evacuated to Goldwater Hospital, another chronic care facility on the island, which is operating on backup power, according to the mayor’s office.

But some 550 residents had remained at Coler without heat or power. A source provided The Insider with photos taken inside Coler on Friday. They show a nurse walking through the children’s unit, and a dim hallway in the adult patient unit.Residents had food, and had been given extra blankets and socks, according to Ms. Lappin. Staff had been monitoring room temperatures and, when needed, moving patients into the warmest available space, Ms. Lappin said.
Katrina indeed - and our Mayor Nagin is still prancing around like he's the hero of Hurricane Sandy.

Fix this, Mr. Mayor.
Fix this.


  1. Here are my question sfor New York City residents:

    Why is it that a city that takes enormous pride in its cultural sophistication and political savy is led by a complete bonehead, blowhard Mayor? After all don't the the voters get the government that they elect and ultimately deserve? What is wrong with the electorate in NY city?

    1. Good question.

      Last Marist poll I saw had Bloomberg under water 45%/52% in approval. That's nowhere near the kind if hostility he saw after the Bloomberg Blizzard of 2010 when his approval dipped into the 30's. I've never quite understood why it is people don't despise him the way they despise Giuliani. I guess Bloomie is just better at hiding his fascist tendencies, so unless you're paying close attention to him, you'd realize what an authoritarian asshole he is. But he truly is incompetent too - witness CityTime, the 911 system mess, the Bloomberg/Boxer Day Blizzard, the school reforms, and now the Sandy recovery.

  2. I don't know Anon. As a New Yorker I wouldn't say that the great majority of New Yorkers are culturally sophisticated. Many are immigrants just trying to make it here and provide a life for their children - I hope no one takes offense to my statement. There's nothing wrong with not being culturally sophisticated. My father wouldn't know a Picasso from a Merisi but the guy could outwork many manually. My grandfather didn't speak much English but laid sewer pipes and water maines across the city for well over 30 years. My father and nonno helped build this great dity. The point being that many real New Yorkers (much of Manhattan is not New York - sorry) aren't really aware of the political nuances of the times. Maybe they give too much trust in the "American way" and believe ignorantly that politicians in this country will always do the right thing. Maybe the ones born here and educated here are just into other things and don't pay attention to the "blueprint." I don't know. The thing about New Yorkers being culturally and politically savy is a myth - just as it is a myth that New York baseball fans are the most knowledgeable when it comes to baseball - it's total BS. I mean there are countless Yankee fans who actually believe that the Yankee Red Sox rivalry is the greatest of all time. LOL!

  3. By the way RBE, your last line about the mayor fixing "this" reminded me of one of Chaz's last posts on the storm. He can't truly fix this. Certainly he can try harder and show more interest but he can't fix it with a wave of the wand which for some reason reminds me of teachers. I may be way off here and I would love a response from you telling me in your opinion if I am but, I see it that here he is the mayor finding it hard to deal with such a tragic and devastating situation and he can't fix it entirely yet he asks teachers to fix the tragedy of poverty and other socio economic problems. Am I way off here? Keep up the great work.

    1. He certainly could have taken all the time, energy and resources he put into the NYC Marathon, the Obama endorsement, the idiotic Superstorm Sandy PD Day By Candlelight and other efforts he has made since the storm to make it seem as if things are normalizing in the city and put that into getting food, water, and supplies to people in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Staten Island, et al.

      Instead of having his DOE minions work overtime to find places for teachers to go to yesterday for a useless PD day (many of the schools didn't even have enough computers up for teachers to work on!), he could have had his DOE minions alleviate the horrors at Graphic Arts and make sure the squalor is cleaned up.

      He certainly could stop spending time and effort on his Bloomberg SuperPAC (which continues to throw money into races for Tuesday) and put that money into something useful - food, water, supplies and energy instead of political ads.

      And finally, he could refrain from offering an endorsement in the 2012 race (which no one outside of the elite media assholes cares about), stop lecturing about global warming and humbly go about doing the best job he can do in a very tough circumstance.

      My anger at Bloomberg comes not from his inability to fix the problems in one wand wave.

      My anger comes in that he doesn't seem interested in solving some of these problems because he doesn't actually give a shit about them or the people suffering from them.

      He is ho-humming this response just the way her ho-hummed the Bloomberg Blizzard of 2010.

      You can bet if these people lived on the UES or the UWS, he'd be focusing 100% on them.

  4. Mayor Bloomberg makes the wrong decisions in part because he doesn't check his facts. If only he were held accountable to his own data then Mayor Bloomberg would have been "fired" by the voters of NY. Imagine Dnald Trump telling Bloomberg, "BLOOMBERG YOU ARE FIRED." Then let Bloomberg walk a PERP walk in front of the press cameras.