Like the waves that crash on its beaches, time after time over its 100-year history Coney Island and its amusement parks have been razed to the ground by fire and flood, only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and return bigger and better than ever.
As the city gets repaired, a new problem is showing up -- people who are newly unemployed because of the storm. To me it seems pretty simple: we need to connect New York's unemployed residents with the work that needs doing.
Sometimes it seems strange to give thanks for what we have when so much has been taken away. I went to the Rockaways for the first time the weekend after Hurricane Sandy hit New York, and then again this past weekend.
The one thing about New Yorkers is that when a crisis hits we go all out -- and keep doing it. So many people are doing what they can: picking up sandwiches, ladling out chicken soup and brewing up some coffee -- nurturing the body and the soul.
Hurricanes are equal opportunity destroyers. The hooked-in have escape hatches when forewarned; a home on higher ground, friends with light and heat, funds for an extended hotel stay. But the rest stay put, through the cold, wet, and fear.
Ultimately, the directors and volunteers are on the same side. But, so many people are telling so many tales as to who's to blame, you can't help but feel caught in the web of complete chaos. Nothing is as it appears to be, and those poor folks need help.
Gather supplies, fill the car, hand donations directly to the people who need them and provide hope with your kindness and compassion. Speak to people -- ask their needs and gather contact information, and spread the word.