Blacked-out lower Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, looking northeast, with the tower of the Empire State Building poking up in the background
It's an anniversary that has been looming ominously for, well, going on a year.
As it happened, yesterday I was in New Jersey's "Mile-Square City" of Hoboken, on the mostly flatland lip of land below the southern end of the bluffs that rise above the state's Hudson River shoreline, on a wonderful 5½-hour Wolfe Walkers walking tour with the incomparable Justin Ferate, and wherever we went -- at least until we finally reached the high ground overlooking the river where the Stevens Institute of Technology was built, with those spectacular vistas across to Manhattan and up and down the river, and on to the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge -- there were tales of the horrendous flooding from Superstorm Sandy.
In many cases, happily, the flooding stories were accompanied by subsequent stories of gradual restoration and/or rebuilding and reopening. But there were also the cases of not-yet-restored, including the very start of our Hoboken excursion, where the beautiful Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal designed by Kenneth Murchison, where connection was once made between trains running to the west and the ferry link to Manhattan. The terminal, which now connects NJ Transit's light-rail lines with the nearby Hoboken station of the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) subway line, remains largely closed, including the famous vaulted Waiting Room.
As Justin pointed out in the course of the walk, big storms plowing the Northest tend, for reasons of local geography, to pass over the stretch of coast surrounding New York Harbor, producing the double whammy of a storm like Sandy -- inflicting damage, yes, but not of a kind we're accustomed to.
This scene of course plays out all through the New Jersey-New York-Connecticut coastal region, and of course with special severity in the unprotected shore areas that took the hardest hits, where loss of life was highest and rebuilding has been a maybe-yes, maybe-no proposition, with the prospect of permanent changes in land use and lifestyles.
I thought of sharing some of my memories of the storm days and the aftermath weeks, but they're so much milder than the fates suffered by the hardest-hit folks that somehow they don't seem appropriate. So I was pleased to see an e-mail this morning from the Municipal Art Society with information about a remembrance tomorrow which is called either "Light the Shore" or "Light Up the Shore," depending where you look.
Join Sandy-Impacted Communities to Light Up the Shore!(Note: No information is provided about Connecticut events, and with a quick search I couldn't find any. But whose to say that Nutmeg Staters can't follow the same prescription as Staten Islanders? "Light a candle with your neighbor in the closest waterfront to your community.")
On Tuesday October 29th -- the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy -- groups from across the region will be lighting up the coastline to acknowledge the impact of the storm and the on-going resilience challenges we collectively face. Groups in Staten Island, Red Hook, Lower East Side, in Connecticut and all down the Jersey shore will join together with flashlights and candles along the coast. The goal is to have the entire Sandy-impacted coastline illuminated!
All communities are welcome to join their friends and neighbors and line the coast in solidarity for a resilient future! Information about specific community meeting spots and times are shown below:
MANHATTAN, LOWER EAST SIDE
Time: 6:45pm to 8:15pm
Where: East River Park
• 10th Street (GOLES) will be meeting at 10th Street and Avenue D at 6:45pm to walk to the East River.
• 6th Street (Henry St.) will be meeting at BGR on 6th between FDR and D to walk over at 7ish to the East River.
• Houston Street (FEGS) will meet at Houston and Avenue D at 6:45pm to walk over.
Time: Meeting at 6:30pm, candle-lighting at 7:45pm
• Brighton Beach: Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Ave.
• Canarsie: Canarsie Park 84th & Seaview (6:30pm -- interfaith service; performance by local elementary school and gospel talent; 7:45pm -- candle-lighting)
• Coney Island: West 8th Street & Riegelman Boardwalk (by NY Aquarium, on boardwalk side). Contact: OHEL / Project Hope Rachel Heller, email@example.com
• Coney Island (2): Stillwell Avenue & Riegelman Boardwalk Point
• Coney Island (3): Coney Island Pier, W. 21st Street & Riegelman Boardwalk
• Coney Island (4): Kaiser Park Pier, W. 33rd St. & Bayview Ave
• Dumbo: corner of Main Street & Plymouth @ entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Point of contact: Alexandria Sica Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Gerritsen Beach: Meet at 7pm at the end of Gerritsen Avenue, on the Shell Bank Creek shoreline. Candle-lighting at 7:45pm
• Red Hook: Coffey Park, Verona St. between Richard St. and Dwight St.
• Red Hook (2): IKEA, 1 Beard Street (join Portside and friends at the water’s edge)
• Sea Gate: Sea Gate Association Beach 42 and Surf Avenue. Contact: 917-586-7006 or email@example.com
• Sheepshead Bay: 2801 Emmons Avenue
Where: Light a candle with your neighbor in the closest waterfront to your community in Staten Island.
[See the link for information about an earlier Walk Along the Boardwalk, Community Supper, and Interfaith Servic of Remembrance.]
LIGHT UP NEW JERSEY
• Raritan Bay Waterfront Park, 1 Kennan Way, South Amboy (NJ 101.5 with Raritan Bay Federal Credit Union)
• Keansburg (NJ 101.5)
• Asbury Park Boardwalk: Keansburg 9/11 Memorial , Main Street and Beachway (NJ 101.5 with CentraState and First Atlantic Federal Credit Union)
• Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant, 300 Ocean Ave. Point Pleasant Beach (94.3 The Point with United Teletech Financial and Zarrilli Homes)
• Bradley Beach, 900 Ocean Ave. (94.3 The Point)
• Seaside Heights, 800 Ocean Terrace (105.7 The Hawk with NJ Outboards and Walters Homes)
• Chef Mike’s ABG in Seaside Park, Island Beach Motor Lodge, 24th and Central Ave, South Seaside Park (92.7 WOBM with Chef Mike’s ABG, Jersey Shore Crawlspace Enhancement, Classic Kitchens,Island Beach Mortor Lodge, Marine Max and DelPrete Construction)
• Mud City Crabhouse, Long Beach Island, Manahawkin, 1185 East Bay Ave. (105.7 The Hawk with Modular Factory Homes Direct)
• Lucy the Elephant, Margate, 9200 Atlantic Ave. (Lite Rock 96.9)
• Ocean City Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace (Cat Country 107.3 with South Jersey Gas)
• Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, 2500 Boardwalk (97.3 ESPN / WPG 1450 with Atlantic City Electric and Xfinity)
• Laguna Grill & Rum Bar in Brigantine, 1400 Ocean Ave., Brigantine (SoJO 104.9 with Prudential Fox & Roach Real Estate, the "LePera Team"