- Posted November 13, 2012 by
Coney Island, New York
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'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories
Hurricane Relief: Coney Island Style
In the shadow of Coney Island's iconic Parachute Jump, privately charted semis, Red Cross mobile units and National Guard trucks dispensed their goods and services yesterday. The site, a Municipal Credit Union parking lot on Surf Avenue, has become one of New York City's many hurricane relief distribution centers. Individuals and whole families with their blue, red, green and even pink shopping carts waited in line for hours on this otherwise beautiful mid-November day, waiting to receive food, clothing, toilet paper and other essentials that had been washed away by Hurricane Sandy.
As an observer of the scene, the juxtaposition of these basic supplies laid out on pallets against the backdrop of Coney Island's rides and amusements was stark. But it was Coney Island after all and rimming the asphalt lot were sites you were more apt to see at a carnival--and all for free. At one concession kids shot water in the clown's mouth. Another, which looked like it had gotten lost on its way to the San Gennaro Festival, was handing out sausage, onion and pepper sandwiches. Someone dressed as the Nestle Quik rabbit was passing out bottles of Quik and hugging children. There was also an acting company creating impromptu plays based on what families experienced during the hurricane. Even Miss New York showed up to pitch in.
You can't downplay or diminish the tragedies of individuals and whole communities, but in this parking lot in Coney Island yesterday volunteers worked with purpose and with gusto and aid recipients appeared as upbeat as possible, bearing up as well as can be expected.