What Hurricane Sandy Did to Kensington, Coney Island and Brighton Beach (Photos)

coney island hurricane sandy, new york city sandy, brooklyn sandyI live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which was one of the neighborhoods least affected by hurricane Sandy. I never lost power, there’s no flooding on my block, but I was terrified last night when the nearby ConEd plant started emitting blue and green flashes of light along with tons of thick, white smoke. I was worried the plant was going to suffer an explosion like the one on 14th Street in Manhattan, and I thought for sure my house would get hit. Thankfully nothing of the sort happened, and I finally got to sleep around 2.

Tonight when I went outside for the first time since the storm, I noticed a huge tree had fallen on top of a car just one block over from me, and I suddenly felt immensely grateful for how relatively easy the hurricane experience had been for my daughter and me. The pictures of the damage in Manhattan were daunting, but the damage there seemed to be mostly flooding, so I assumed it would be easy to clean up. As stories of the fires in Breezy Point, Queens came across the news earlier today, I realized the situation in parts of Zone A was pretty dire, but it wasn’t until I flipped through these photos (below) of the Coney/Brighton area that my heart really sank. I feel terribly for the 80 or 100 families that lost their homes in Queens, but I’ve never been to Breezy Point so it’s hard for me to even conceptualize the loss. Coney Island, on the other hand, is one of my favorite places in the world, a place I have made a second home since I moved to Brooklyn a year and a half ago. I have so many memories of days at Coney and nights at Brighton, and to see the beaches and nearby neighborhoods in such disarray absolutely breaks my heart.

These photos are haunting and poetic, and they look as if they’ve been staged in order to send a message about capitalism, greed, destruction and the power of nature over all our petty attempts to rule her. But this isn’t an art project. This is reality, right now in Brooklyn:

nggallery id=’124375′

  • Tree Down in Kensington 1 of 25
    Tree Down in Kensington
    Massive trees were down all over the streets of Brooklyn, crushing cars in their wake.
  • Torn up sidewalk in Kensington 2 of 25
    Torn up sidewalk in Kensington
    Those roots are immense.
  • Crushed car 3 of 25
    Crushed car
    Ditmas Park
  • Alternate view, crushed car 4 of 25
    Alternate view, crushed car
    Ditmas Park
  • Broken branches 5 of 25
    Broken branches
    Ditmas Park
  • Smashed window 6 of 25
    Smashed window
    Ditmas Park
  • Flood 7 of 25
    Sea Gate
  • Jacked up 8 of 25
    Jacked up
    Coney Island
  • Yes, it’s on the mailbox 9 of 25
    Yes, it's on the mailbox
    Coney Island
  • Buried 10 of 25
    To give you some perspective, those meters are chest high on me and I'm 5'4". Coney Island.
  • Swings 11 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Torn up safety mats 12 of 25
    Torn up safety mats
    Coney Island playground
  • Flipped 13 of 25
    Sea Gate
  • Cyclone 14 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Boat 15 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Slow 16 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Sink 17 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Cooler 18 of 25
    Coney Island
  • Grandma’s House 19 of 25
    Grandma's House
    Headed toward Brighton, Coney in background.
  • Beach chair 20 of 25
    Beach chair
    Headed towards Brighton Beach.
  • Steps 21 of 25
    Headed toward Brighton, Coney in background.
  • Doghouse 22 of 25
    Brighton Beach
  • America 23 of 25
    Brighton Beach
  • Santa 24 of 25
    Brighton Beach
  • Car on fire 25 of 25
    Car on fire
    West Brighton

All photos via Flickr user Jarek Mazur.


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