Well, it’s Monday. One week after Sandy hit the East Coast. To a lot of people, life is back to normal… especially in Manhattan. Andrew and I left Hoboken on Wednesday because we had no power or water; the situation isn’t much better at our parent’s homes. Both have no power still and there are trees and live wires around everywhere. Gas lines are hours long and rationing is in place now in our county. It’s strange to be in a situation where you’re basically Laura Engels Wilder while at home… living by candlelight and bundling up to avoid freezing at night but then expected to be at work right away. Let’s just say it was extremely hard for me to turn on “work mode”. When I walked into the office on Friday I felt like an alien. Everything was going on like it was just another day whereas I was completely anxiety ridden, worrying about my family and the down power lines laying all over their street. Would the uprooted tree hanging ominously over my house fall? How would I get back to help? Will I be able to navigate the down lines after dark? Imagine the people who lost everything trying to cope in the aftermath of Sandy. Market week begins tomorrow and to be completely honest I’m worried about just how much I will be able to focus on handbags. It’s hard to think about the need for luxury items in a time when people don’t even have the bare neccessities. I’m typically writing about fashion here, so I felt it was only right to stop for a second and focus on the aftermath.
I am a Jersey girl, born and raised, and the devastation here is causing me to look at things in a different way. I’ve spent every summer of my life at the Jersey shore. Long Beach Island has a particular place in my heart. My Dad grew up spending his summers there, working on the slide at Pier Village and surfing in Beach Haven. When I grew up I “learned” to surf there too, always comparing tans with my brother, and enjoying the quiet and calm that comes with Jersey Shore summers. There’s something magical about that place and each year on the last trip of the summer I feel a pang in my heart. Little did I know that last trip this year would be the last time I would see it the way I’ve always remembered it. Long Beach Island is completely and utterly broken. There is sand covering the entire island, beaches are no longer beaches, and houses were swept into the ocean. There are similar situations happening along the entire East Coast, including Seaside Heights where that iconic roller coaster is now totally destroyed. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for the people who lost everything they worked so hard for all of these years.
How you can help: If you are in the area there are plenty of shelters that need donations along the Jersey shore as well as in Long Island, Staten Island, and in the Rockaways. They are looking for heavy trash bags, work gloves, and other supplies you would need to clean up a really large mess in your home as well as clothing and food of course! The Manzo family is also collecting food, supplies, and clothing for Sandy victims at Cafface in Franklin Lakes if you are in Northern NJ. A lot of organizations including FEMA are looking for volunteers if you have the time, you can see more information here and here. If you’re not in the NY/NJ area you can donate to the American Red Cross here, you can also donate to Feeding America here.