Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's Mad Max In The Rockaways

Mayor Bloomberg and the geniuses around him in city government have spent an awful lot of time, energy and resources these past few days trying to get the NYC Marathon to run on Saturday.

Meanwhile in the Rockaways, things are very, very scary:

When night falls in the Rockaways, the hoods come out.

Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend against looters.

Thugs have been masquerading as Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) workers, knocking on doors in the dead of night. But locals say the real workers have been nowhere in sight, causing at least one elected official — who fears a descent into anarchy if help doesn’t arrive soon — to call for the city to investigate the utility.

 Further exacerbating desperate conditions, it could take at least a month to repair the the bridge that connects the Rockaways to the city subway system, officials said.

“We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,” said Danielle Harris, 34, rummaging through donated supplies as children rode scooters along half-block chunk of the boardwalk that had marooned into the middle of Beach 91st St.

“We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects.

Carly Ruggieri, 27, who lives in water-damaged house on the block, said she barricades her door with a bed frame. “There have been people in power department uniforms knocking on doors and asking if they’re okay, but at midnight.”

And another local surfer said he has knives, a machete and a bow and arrow on the ready. Gunshots and slow-rolling cars have become a common fixture of the night since Hurricane Sandy.

“I would take a looter with a boa. If I felt threatened I would definitely use it,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42. “Its like the Wild West. A borderline lawless situation.”

If you're going out to the Rockaways, they're asking for food, beer - and guns:

Further east in the Rockaways, hunger stalked the community as angry residents lined up for food deliveries and complained they were being abandoned.

Good Samaritans had set up makeshift food throughout the peninsula Friday, grilling food and passing out water, while the Red Cross and FEMA was nowhere in sight.

“We having nothing,” said Ann Manning, at an Edgemere playground where State Sen. Malcolm Smith had arranged to distribute thousands of lunch boxes from a company that supplies airports.
 “We have nothing. They’re hungry,” said Manning.
Grocery stores on the Peninsula are closed and some have been looted.
“We can’t exist,” said Manning. “We can’t buy milk. We can’t buy cereal. We can’t buy nothing.”
Shaheem Bush, 23, said there’s several hungry mouths in his darkened apartment in Far Rockaway.

“It’s cold in the house, no lights on,” he said. “Everything’s closed because people were stealing from stores. There’s no food. People are cooking on top of garbage cans."
Walter Meyer, 37, lives in Park Slope but often surfs in the Rockaways. He said it’s not the place it was before the storm.
"After sunset everyone locks their doors,” said Meyer, as he loaded up a solar panel from a factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to bring to local residents. "They're trying to find whatever weapons they can find. Some people are even using bows and arrows."
“If you are heading into the Rockaway beach to assist, there is a request for firearms, hot food, and cold beer. These next 24 hours are critical for these folks, the government has really let them down,” Meyer posted on Facebook Thursday. 

A horrific situation - and Bloomberg and his merry men and women were busy working on the marathon preparations, his endorsement of Obama and bringing teachers into work for the Superstorm Sandy PD Day By Candlelight instead of getting the subway up and running, the roads up and running , and food, water and supplies to these people.

While Bloomberg has no control over how long it takes LIPA to get the power back, he certainly does have control over those other things.

Where is the accountability for the mayor?

He was busy taking bows at a fancy schmancy Upper East Side restaurant a couple of days ago and applause from wealthy white people who never lost any power and had no damage from the storm.

He's been getting kudos from the clueless people in the media and on the blogosphere for how he's handled this storm crisis.

But if you're in the areas without power, without food, water and supplies, and you're trying to keep yourself safe with a machete or a bow and arrow, you know that Mayor Bloomberg and the city government have failed you.


  1. Glad you're calling attention to the crime going on post-Sandy, something that, from what I'm hearing, has been vastly underreported in the media. One reason for this has probably been that Bloomberg had wanted to paint a rosy picture in anticipation of the marathon. Have also heard rumors that the body count on SI has been underreported.

    1. I bet they're undereporting the body count. When they finally get around to giving the full numbers it will be weeks from now and they'll be hoping the media has moved on by then.

      I have heard that downtown Manhattan was bad - dangerous and scary in the dark.

      You can image what Rockaway, Co ney Island and Staten Island - so isolated from the rest of NYC - are like.

      Maybe the Mike Lupicas will stop saying what a great job Bloomberg is doing as these stories mount.

      But doubtful - it seems Bloomberg is made of teflon.

      Can you imagine how they would have treated this is Dinkins were mayor?

      Or Ray Nagin?