April 22, 2014
The Redemption Song of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

The wrongfully convicted boxer was a cause célèbre for the likes of Bob Dylan. But he built his true legacy after he was released from prison.
Read more. [Image: Mario Suriani/AP]

The Redemption Song of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

The wrongfully convicted boxer was a cause célèbre for the likes of Bob Dylan. But he built his true legacy after he was released from prison.

Read more. [Image: Mario Suriani/AP]

November 26, 2012
Seawater and Small Buddhas: 2 Days in the Basements of the Rockaways

On Wednesday, we worked at the home of a woman I’ll call Bettina. I barely met her. But here is a selective inventory of things removed from her basement:
three couches, waterlogged, of different sizes and colors
a small wooden Buddha doll
several telephone books, thoroughly waterlogged
two separate, still sealed, bottles of allspice
a photo album, muddied, containing pictures of a young man growing progressively older
a chamberpot, child-sized, set inside a miniature toilet
pictures of a Catholic saint
two televisions, one flat screen, one monstrously heavy, both enormous
a live turtle (one of a pair, we were told)
an overturned refrigerator, which reeked so strongly when cracked open that we evacuated the basement and called in the fire department for fear of a gas leak
The basement had three bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, a laundry room, and a kitchenette. Now it has seven ambiguous rooms, each stripped bare of walls and flooring.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Seawater and Small Buddhas: 2 Days in the Basements of the Rockaways

On Wednesday, we worked at the home of a woman I’ll call Bettina. I barely met her. But here is a selective inventory of things removed from her basement:

  • three couches, waterlogged, of different sizes and colors
  • a small wooden Buddha doll
  • several telephone books, thoroughly waterlogged
  • two separate, still sealed, bottles of allspice
  • a photo album, muddied, containing pictures of a young man growing progressively older
  • a chamberpot, child-sized, set inside a miniature toilet
  • pictures of a Catholic saint
  • two televisions, one flat screen, one monstrously heavy, both enormous
  • a live turtle (one of a pair, we were told)
  • an overturned refrigerator, which reeked so strongly when cracked open that we evacuated the basement and called in the fire department for fear of a gas leak

The basement had three bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, a laundry room, and a kitchenette. Now it has seven ambiguous rooms, each stripped bare of walls and flooring.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

November 8, 2012
laughingsquid:

Map: How New York Tweeted During Hurricane Sandy

laughingsquid:

Map: How New York Tweeted During Hurricane Sandy

November 5, 2012

Sorrow and Hope in a Visit to Staten Island After Sandy

[…]Griffin told us, “I saw very few people from FEMA. A woman who’d broken her hand drove by screaming, asking where a Red Cross was, and no one could tell her where to go. What was overwhelming was the number of Staten Islanders helping other Staten Islanders. All of these people are helping each other in a way I’ve never seen.”

See more. [Images: Elizabeth Griffin]

November 5, 2012

In Focus: Hurricane Sandy: One Week After Landfall

A week ago today, superstorm Sandy powered ashore, making landfall in the U.S. and wreaking havoc across the northeast. Damage estimates now reach as high as $50 billion, which would make Sandy the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history. At least 113 lives were lost across 10 states, and more than 1 million people are still without power across New York and New Jersey. Where the damage was worst, aid workers, National Guardsmen, soldiers, and groups of civilian volunteers arrived, bringing supplies, beginning cleanup, providing what was needed — in many cases, neighbor helping neighbor. Collected here are images of Sandy recovery from just the past weekend, showing what has been accomplished so far and the massive amount of work that remains to be done. See also the earlier entry: Hurricane Sandy: After Landfall.

See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]

November 2, 2012

Grim Scenes From New York’s Flooded Subway System

If you want to see what a difficult task the MTA faces in the coming days, look at these photos the agency posted on Tuesday to its Flickr account. The damage is incredible. The South Ferry subway station is a dark Venice with waves lapping at platform edges. Out on the Rockaway line, repair crews face yawning holes in the ground and the occasional washed-up boat on the tracks. If you’re wondering why the transit agency didn’t prepare for the tidal surge with sandbags and the like, they did: It just didn’t make much of a difference against the storm’s brutal tides.

Read more. [Images: Flickr]

November 2, 2012
The New York Marathon’s Generators Could Power 400 Homes in Staten Island (But They Won’t)
[Image: New York Post]

The New York Marathon’s Generators Could Power 400 Homes in Staten Island (But They Won’t)

[Image: New York Post]

November 1, 2012

In Focus: Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath 

As the remnants of Hurricane Sandy dissipate over northern Canada, the full scale of the damage left in her wake is becoming apparent. At least 56 people in the U.S. were killed and another 67 in the Caribbean. Cost estimates have ranged as high as $60 billion so far. More than 4 million people remain without power, as crews from across the country converge on the Northeast to restore electricity. Hard-hit sections of New York and New Jersey have begun cleanup, with some restoration of transit and services. The morning commute into Manhattan today was chaotic, as many New Yorkers attempted to return to work by car — many were turned back due to an order that inbound cars carry at least three people. Collected here are images of Sandy’s trail of destruction in New York and New Jersey. See also the earlier entry: Hurricane Sandy: After Landfall.

See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]

November 1, 2012
The 2011 Report That Predicted New York’s Subway Flooding Disaster

Last fall, as part of a massive report on climate change in New York, a research team led by Klaus Jacob of Columbia University drafted a case study that estimated the effects of a 100-year storm on the city’s transportation infrastructure. Considering MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota’s comments today that Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the subway was "worse than the worst case scenario," it seems pretty safe to put Sandy in the 100-year category. In that case, assuming the rest of the report holds true, the subway system could be looking at a recovery time of several weeks, with residual effects lasting for months and years.

Read more. [Image: LDEO, Columbia University]

The 2011 Report That Predicted New York’s Subway Flooding Disaster

Last fall, as part of a massive report on climate change in New York, a research team led by Klaus Jacob of Columbia University drafted a case study that estimated the effects of a 100-year storm on the city’s transportation infrastructure. Considering MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota’s comments today that Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the subway was "worse than the worst case scenario," it seems pretty safe to put Sandy in the 100-year category. In that case, assuming the rest of the report holds true, the subway system could be looking at a recovery time of several weeks, with residual effects lasting for months and years.

Read more. [Image: LDEO, Columbia University]

October 31, 2012

A Visual History of New York City’s Fictional Destruction

This week, Hurricane Sandy struck New York to become one of the city’s most devastating natural disasters on record. Officials from both energy monolith Con Edison and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have called it “the worst” in their respective 189- and 108-year histories. I feel incredibly lucky to have survived with virtually no damage and no power loss, but thousands of people across the river in Manhattan, including many friends, haven’t been so fortunate. How jarring it is to see this magnificent city, always so proudly imbued with its own myth, brought uncomfortably close to the scenes and landscapes we’re so used to seeing in apocalyptic fictions.

Read more. [Images: Louis Guglielmi, Mental Geography, 1938, Yale University Press]

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