(By Mitch Kahn)
After reaching out to Salmagundians who live in areas particularly affected by Sandy to see how they fared, I thought I’d share their replies with the general membership which has been so concerned. The majority of these tales came in via email, with the rest copied over from the SCNY Facebook Roundtable Group. In many cases situations have improved as infrastructure is slowly repaired. As I hear back from other members, I’ll add their stories to this post. Thanks to Beth Kurtz and Karen Loew for forwarding their lists of organizations and foundations that offer aid and information to artists affected by the storm. Be sure to check the additional stories told in the comments following this article.Thanks Mitch for your concern. We had to evacuate bc I live a block from the Atlantic and 2 from the bay. We’re @ my son’s in NJ and are ok physically BUT the ocean met the bay which means my house and basement as other homes are flooded – my studio is my whole basement sooo that sucks and the bridges and tunnels for me to get home to access the damage are closed. Also there were many fires in my area … living in Belle Harbor/Breezy Point may now have not been the best decision in my life … just have to take one day @ a time and try and recup. Patrick Antonelle, Belle Harbor, New York We won’t be in for the next two weeks. Our house in Seagate had a lot of damage and we lost our car. We are currently using our friends email connection. Jeff & Denise Berman, Seagate, Brooklyn, New York Mitch, Thank you for your concern! My house has limited damage: roof is destroyed and water was 6″ deep in the basement and the garage. The ocean came down my street with 3 foot waves and carried much “stuff” throughout my yard. But my house will be fine and I am fine. My daughter and her family in Staten Island also lucked out and suffered no damage to their home or to any of them. I hope you and others in the Salmagundi family fared as well. Alexandra Martin, Belmar, New Jersey Thanks Mitch. Most people have trees in their yards. We have one on our roof — but that is all, no electric yet but we are luckier than many. Just sent a plein aire painting to the club. No gas out here, so am depending on Fed Ex. Whitney B. Hansen, Sag Harbor, New York Hi Mitch, We are OK… We went to my sons house in Glendale, Queens a couple of days before the hurricane and the power stayed on. I’m going to stay here until we can get gas once we go back to the North Fork. Our Townhouse out in Long Island is ok. We lost power for about 30 hrs. And is now on. Hope it stays that way with the nor’easter coming our way. We are on the Sound on the North Fork but our development is up high so no floods. Thanks for asking. I sure hope all is well on your end! Best Regards, Joe & Lucille Occhipinti, Riverhead, New York Thanks so much for asking. Except for some water in the basement and a few days without electric, I did fine. Had to evacuate since I live near the water but was back in a few days. Hope all was well with you. Virginia Aschmoneit, Westhampton Beach, New York Dear Mitch, Fortunately I have been in Oxford, England since the 16th of October, I did not suffer from “Sandy.” My daughter, who also lives in Atlantic Highlands was without power until this past Sunday. No damage was done to our houses, but there was no light, heat any way to communicate by phone until she charged her phone on her car battery. Ferry service, which goes from our town to N.Y. was not running because the pier was demolished, and the national guard had to come in and try to restore power lines. Gas lines were enormous, and food was running out in the shops. At least in Oxford, it has only been raining every day since we arrived. The one day there was sun for about three hours, I ran out to paint….I’m not complaining, I know how lucky it is that I was here. Marge Levine, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
All in all we were quite fortunate compared to many friends and neighbors and I keep reminding myself of that as I toss books into the dumpster and mop up mud! That’s the long version! Sorry. I did pick up an 8 x 8 panel right before the sky fell and have a painting started but I really don’t know if I will have time to complete it by the new deadline. I’m sure you’re hearing similar stories (and worse) from others. It was such a huge system and so very many people have lost everything. Best regards,Lea Wight, Manasquan, New Jersey
LINKS TO AID FOR ARTISTS:
New York Foundation for the Arts: List of Emergency Resources
Joan Mitchell Foundation Sandy Assistance
The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation – Emergency Grant
The Pollack-Krasner Foundation – Sandy Emergency Relief Fund
Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+)
Foundation for Contemporary Arts – Emergency Grants
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.
Disaster Unemployment Insurance for the Self-employed
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Emergency Grants
U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
A THANK YOU TO THE STAFFWhen everything below 40th Street in Manhattan was affected by the severe power outage, I must call to your attention what Chris did during the crisis that was way beyond the call of duty. Out of kindness, thoughtfulness and concern he walked to my apartment on 21st Street and 3rd Avenue to let me know that the delivery date for the Members’ Show was being extended. He could not reach about 3 or 4 of us by e-mail or phone and he made provisions to ensure that we were all reached personally by someone. I must tell you how much I appreciated the information and his concern for and dedication to the club members that were hit by the outage. Bo Kass, New York, New York Additional thanks to Richard Cabral and Ken Fitzpatrick for their willingness to guard the fort overnight during the power outage that followed the storm. Chris Nunnally, House Manager, SCNY
I actually went out the night before Sandy and bought perishables to cook on my gas stove, only to find that the stove and oven didn’t work once the electricity was out. The hardest part was giving my really sick 21-year-old cat 10 pills and 2 transfusions a day by flashlight…;.
Laura – if it’s a gas stove with an “electric pilot light”, couldn’t you have lit the burners manually with matches?
I’m in Munsey Park on Long Island and day #10 no power and long lines for gas….I don’t have enough gas to wait in line…. We were fortunate not to have damage to our home, but the neighborhood is severely damaged. Huge trees have damaged dozens of home severely, some condemned now. We are told not to expect power til Sunday……two weeks. It’s cold and trying….but we are so lucky. Set up my easel by the window in the dining room and have continued painting……I think I’ll title this new painting “sandy.”
We are north of Boston, 12 miles. The ocean is at the end of our block, we are on a peninsula. Our little bungalow is usually safe from the huge nor’easters but this time about 12 feet of shingles ripped off our roof. But the big surprise is that the insurance doesn’t cover wind damage. But it was nothing compared to my friends in NYC.
I feel guilty and grateful for living in Baltimore, Maryland. No damage in my area but friends along coast had some damage and of course power problems. we think about our neighbors in New Jersey and our hearts go out to them. Know several folks now visiting here from NY & NJ