On Sunday, a couple of my photography friends joined Eileen and me as we headed to see how Sandy affected Coney Island. On the way we decided to pass through the Rockaway’s to see that area as well. We all know by now about the 100+ homes that were lost by fire in Breezy Point, the western end of the Rockaway Peninsula. We were not prepared for the destruction we found in the other parts of the Rockaway’s. No neighborhood was spared!
Belle Harbor is an upscale neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is a tight-knit, middle to upper class community located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula, the southernmost area of the borough. Belle Harbor is often used to refer to the area between Beach 126th and Beach 142nd Streets.
Belle Harbor has not been immune to tragedies. On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, bound for Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, crashed in the center of Belle Harbor, killing all 260 passengers and crew on board the plane as well as five people on the ground. Many of the passengers on the plane were from the Dominican community in Washington Heights. After consultation with the families in the Belle Harbor and Washington Heights communities, a memorial was erected at Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park the neighboring community to the east.
On our way across the Peninsula I decided to pass B 129 St. to see how the storm affected my friends who live on that block. Thankfully, there house looked fine from the outside (didn’t go inside) so we were all happy about that. We continued east toward Breezy Point and only traveled one block (B. 130 St.) to find the absolutely worst ruination that I can remember seeing in person in my lifetime. We took numerous images of the area which I will post in a future blog, but I think this video is a must see! I also would like to point out that when I ran into the NYPD officer he had just stopped two men (in the van) from attempting to loot some metal from the homes. Another interesting and what could have been an outrageous action happened on Monday, when the NYC Sanitation Dept., came down the street and issued ‘summonses’ to all the homeowners for not cleaning up their property. Later that day, the city said that the summonses were for record keeping only and that there was no penalty assessed.
As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments to my blog. More about Sandy will follow.
(Click on link below to watch video)