The above video, uploaded onto Youtube by Victor Miranda, pans, zooms, and fades it way into our hearts with some beautiful scenes from Bay Ridge’s Shore Road area – including shots of the 69th Street Pier, ships navigating Upper New York Bay in the foreground of the Manhattan skyline, a group of frolicking squirrels in Owl’s Head Park, and the Shore Parkway Promenade.
Mayor Bloomberg held another press conference from the Office of Emergency Management [OEM] in Downtown Brooklyn just after 11 a.m. The mayor said that while damage is severe and ten New Yorkers lost their lives as a result of Superstorm Sandy, no first responders had died. The mayor praised the heroic work of rescue personnel during the storm.
Bloomberg vowed to keep shelters open, tweeting that the emergency lodgings would remain open until New Yorkers “can safely return to their homes.” He added that drinking water has been tested and, although safe, it has been treated with additional chlorine as a precautionary measure.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer also gave an update on federal efforts to aid in the city’s storm recovery, telling the press that President Obama would give local officials all the help they need. Schumer stated that, as is usually the case, federal reimbursement for storm damage would be at least 75%.
Bloomberg said that he would give updates as the day progressed, and continued to remind the city that parks are closed and public transit is still not running. He urged residents to use caution and not venture out unless necessary and only to help others.
In the continuation of a similar thread, let’s play devil’s advocate to that forgotten borough across the bridge.
When historians write about the tragic side of the Verrazano Bridge’s construction in the 1960s, it’s normally limited to the hundreds of Bay Ridge residents who were displaced from their homes by eminent domain and the all-powerful Robert Moses.
But what about the rural denizens of then-sleepy Staten Island – who would soon have to deal with becoming a sort of suburban Brooklyn exclave?
In the above Youtube Video, jazz composer and Staten Islander Alex Leonard sings a bittersweet bebop ballad from the perspective of the oyster fisherman – many of whom were the descendants of freed black slaves, farmers, and factory worker who called the largely rural island borough home before the great Brooklyn migration brought condos and McMansion-lined cul de sacs.
In the song, Leonard exhorts visitors to take the ferry rather than the colossal, car-centric span. I guess the Staten Island discount bought less goodwill on the island of Shaolin than Brooklynites commonly believe.
From a Southern Brooklyn perspective, one can draw certain parallels between the eradication of Staten Island’s pre-1964 pastoral landscape with the development of bucolic pre-1920s South Brooklyn.
While Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign used its sizable war chest for some major commercial airtime on CNN this past weekend, his underfunded challenger Democrat Mark Murphy attempts to go for the jugular with the launch of an attack ad. The 30-second television spot can be seen above.