Watching the Manhattan skyline shimmer over Jamaica Bay had always been one of the charms of life in the Rockaways. But now, when the Empire State Building winks on each night, those lights feel almost like a punch in the gut.It felt that way to the two women caked in the sandy silt that still blankets most streets here, as they trudged up Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Saturday, pushing shopping carts they had dug out of wreckage piled beside the boarded-up C-Town Supermarket.The women, Monique Arkward and her neighbor Eyvette Martin, pushed the carts more than 40 blocks from their battered bungalows to St. Francis de Sales Church, where they had heard — by word of mouth, since phones hardly work here — that they might find bottled water, batteries and some measure of warmth.“We’re living like cavemen,” Ms. Arkward said. “It’s like we’re forgotten. It’s like they say, ‘O.K., when we get to them, we’ll get to them.’ ”The Rockaways, a narrow peninsula of working-class communities in Queens, have become one of the epicenters for the simmering sense of abandonment felt in still-darkened areas of New York City, and out into the suburbs and beyond, including large swaths of New Jersey and Long Island, where the lack of power was made more problematic by persistent gas shortages.Around the city, particularly in places already sensitive to the afterthought status conveyed in the Manhattan-centric characterization “outer boroughs,” the accusations of neglect seemed colored by a growing belief that the recovery from Hurricane Sandy has cleaved along predictable class lines. That sentiment was captured in a much-publicized street-corner confrontation over the weekend when residents shrieked their frustrations at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as he visited the Rockaways on Saturday.“It’s all about Manhattan,” said Nora McDermott, who lives in the Rockaways, as she stood in a relief center on Saturday. “It was unbelievable, to see Manhattan get power,” she said. “Was I surprised they got it quicker? Not really. But I was like, ‘Damn.’ ”...Every one of the over 115,000 residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel is still without power, according to the Long Island Power Authority, which services those areas. And it will be several more days before the seawater-soaked substations along the Rockaway Peninsula are repaired or a workaround is in place. The substations power neighborhoods like Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, a community largely of firefighters and police officers where over 110 houses burned down on Monday night.But even once the substations are repaired, each flooded house must be certified on a case-by-case basis by a licensed electrician before it is deemed safe to flip the switch, said Lois Bentivegna, a LIPA spokeswoman.Even though some residents acknowledged the risks of living along the ocean, the contrast between Manhattan’s thrumming power lines and the snail’s pace of recovery was hard to bear.At an American Legion hall in Broad Channel, Paul Girace, 66, stewed as he ate a meal of bow-tie pasta and canned beans provided by relief workers on Saturday.“They got electricity already?” Mr. Girace said. “It’s par for the course. Who is the population of Manhattan? The wealthy people. Who screams in Bloomberg’s ear? The wealthy people.”George Wright, 61, agreed. “You know Manhattan is going to get turned on first, because let’s face it, this city operates from Manhattan,” he said. “They can dry that out and get it going. Over here, it got ripped to pieces.”Near Shore Front Parkway, Bobbi Cooke, 51, and her sister Gwen Murphy, 62, who are caring for their disabled sister in a darkened apartment, had run through their stash of lighters, batteries and candles.Without electricity, Ms. Cooke said, they could not use A.T.M.’s to get money to buy what little food was available.But what she said she was most desperate for were answers.“Since the day it happened, and afterwards, we’ve all had to fend for our selves,” Ms. Cooke said. “We need to know when we’re going to have gas, light, electric. Everywhere is getting something but us.”“We’re totally knocked out of the world,” she said.Ms. Murphy joined in. “We’re like an orphan,” she said. “It’s like we don’t even exist.”
I've written this over and over during this crisis, but I'll write it one more time.
Bloomberg doesn't care about these people - at all.
And neither do the people on the Upper East Side who were applauding Bloomberg for the "great job" he was doing on the storm response when he showed up at an expensive steak house for dinner.