Since the hurricane hit the derby has taken a bit of a backseat to “getting back to normal.” Jane and Geralyn have been donating a lot of time and effort to helping out Gerritsen Beach and Rockaway areas, and if you’re still looking to help out check out the resources in Jane’s excellent post or this site OccupySandy.org to find out what you can do to help. Me, Dave Cole, Ben, Potter, and a few other friends went down to the Rockaways last weekend and the damage down there is really horrifying. From the moment we crossed the bridge into Howard Beach there was no power and traffic slowed to a crawl near the toll booth as we got a up-close look at the damage the storm did to people’s homes. Trash piled ten feet outside houses was universal through and through, boats on the median, and swept-out cars littered the road. People strangely seemed to be in decent spirits and there was a lot of helping each other out with free hot meals and donations to go around. The biggest need we found was blankets and coats, though few people turned away the food, water, and other necessities people donated. Just to be down there and be around people who nearly lost their homes when the waters came really hit hard. And now we have this snowstorm to deal with.
Admittedly, Ben and I went fishing after the hurricane, climbing our way through the wind-torn path of iron, razor wire, and broken concrete back to the Green Street Pier. It’s more of an obstacle course than it used to be—that’s putting it lightly. The pier itself, as we all figured, was absolutely decimated. The huge wooden planks that once lined the deck were mostly gone, leaving only the skeletal iron ribs underneath. You can literally crawl under all of them to the rocks on the north side of the pier. The fish didn’t seem affected much by the storm and the familiar pops and splashes still snapped in the night. Ben and I being the terrible fishermen we are lost a few schoolies and a few lures to all those remnants of Greenpoint’s industrial age. The wreckage of the pier didn’t stop me from attempting a few punk rock rescue missions to get back lost plugs and, conceivably, one properly motivated individual could probably still get out to the end of the pier, but even I’m not dumb enough to try it.
So far the striper board looks like this:
1. Jan Gorz, 43″
2. John Ruffino, 38″
3. Mike Arvan, 36.5″
You may have noticed I didn’t put up a Sidebet for this week, and with the weather being so shitty I’m just going to double up for a this Saturday-end of Derby Sidebet. Our meetup this weekend will be on North 5th Pier on Sunday at 3pm. We will be having a chili cookoff over at the Ale House afterward too. There’s still plenty needed down in the areas of Brooklyn and Queens that were affected by the hurricane, so don’t be shy about donating time, clothing, food, necessities if you are so moved. People down there really need the help.
Also, due to the storm we were late in getting the shirts, so we should have those tomorrow. I have a list of people who didn’t get theirs yet and I will have shirts for you guys and will contact you to figure out how to get them to you. Sorry for the hassle and thanks for your patience. In the meantime, let’s stay warm and pitch in to help out our fellow NYC’ers.