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JOEL Joel's Blog

Suburban Brooklyn!


Suburban Brooklyn! 4Thanks to Sandy I had no power or water in my apartment last week so after a couple of days we decamped to my sister-in-law in Brooklyn. Brooklyn joined Manhattan to form the current New York City at the end of the 19th century because of a shortage of water. But, by itself, it is still one of the largest cities in the nation. I routinely mention Brooklyn this or that, and I think the images I usually show, and certainly the image that most of the nation sees, is a gritty industrial city with lots of old apartments buildings and slums. You know - kids in short pants playing stickball in the street. The reality is far more complicated. Brooklyn has a incredibly diverse housing stock and possibly one of the largest concentrations of late Victorian - pre-WW2 private houses in the nation. The houses range from tiny to huge, simple to baronial and everything in between.

I stayed at my sister-in-laws for two days until power and water were restored at my house. She lives in Flatbush and while walking around the area I was stuck at how nice the houses are. Unlike the waterfront areas of Brooklyn (and the rest of the tri-state area) which sustained huge amounts of damage and are still digging out, the only damage I saw in Flatbush were some downed trees, housing damage where trees fell against houses, and the odd thing blown off a house. Really very lucky. Here is a picture of the typical street we walked through. Thursday I also walked through downtown Brooklyn which is mostly luxury townhouses and more urban but I thought it might be nice for people to see the typical suburban side of Brooklyn.

PS - As of today we have reopened but our phones are still not working and the Internet is spotty. We are working to get the backlog of orders out the door and we are hoping things will get back to normal in a day or two. Please bear with us.
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11/06/2012 Don
Hey Joel,
Glad to hear you and your loved ones made it through a harrowing situation. We had huge waves but most of the water stayed in lake Michigan not in our basements and subway. Take care hope all is back up and running soon. Don
11/06/2012 Deryck Harnett
Keep on keepin' on!! I did not realize that a city like New York could be as vulnerable as Sandy made it look. I have gone through some bad storms, and even some hurricanes, but nothing remotely compared to Sandy. I guess it's a matter of 1 tree at a time.... We have plenty of patience and are more than willing to wait for everything to get back to normal.

11/06/2012 Tom Buhl
Joel, my heart goes out to those who are in distress along the east coast.

Thanks for the small glimpse of Brooklyn. You are right that so many of us have images created by limited focus media presentations. Been to mid-town Manhattan number of times, even working there for about three months in the early 1970s, but not familiar at all with the other parts of that area.

Best to you and other businesses and families as you move forward.
Hey Joel, Thanks for your comments. I lived in South Midwood Brooklyn during my childhood, The picture you took looks just like the street I lived on. For those that live in areas devastated by natural disasters the destruction is personal. No one can understand the emptiness, the exasperation, the anger. Time is the great healer. Power to the People!
11/22/2012 Jim Donohue
I have to agree w/robohh, the picture looks more like Midwood more than Flatbush.
03/13/2013 George

The picture looks like Flatbush to me. It might be the Kensington or Ditmas Park sections.
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