Eleven weeks after Hurricane Sandy, much of New York City has reassumed a state of normalcy, but as the headlines fade some victims are still taking their first halting steps toward recovery, settling in for the long road ahead. That’s the case in post-Sandy Staten Island. Neighborhoods like Cedar Grove, a close-knit beachside community of working-class families, took on 12 ft. of water as the superstorm raged against Staten Island’s south shore.
Here, the shadow of the storm emerges in unexpected moments. On a crowded bus, phrases like “You’re a hero” and “We were wiped out” are spoken without a shred of irony. On the sidewalk, conversation fluctuates between anger and hope, laughter and tears. Neighborhoods have been transformed, but not destroyed; living in the “forgotten borough,” Staten Islanders are known for their self-reliance. Still, organizers feel that the government has left them behind following last week’s decision to pass only a small portion of a Sandy relief bill.
This site visit was organized by the Municipal Art Society’s Charting the Road to Resilience conference, a program held Saturday, January 12th, to create a dialogue concerning the Sandy response in New York City. Here’s a look at the ongoing recovery post-Sandy on Staten Island: