My friends, Julio & Beatrice, owners of East Village restaurants Il Baggato & Il Posto Accanto are organizing a relief effort for those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy. Just as they did in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 the restaurants are looking for donations of food items and volunteers. They are planning to make deliveries to the hardest hit areas on Wednesday. Here is what they are collecting:
Cold Cuts (Ham, Turkey, Cheese, etc.)
Plastic Wrap/Sandwich Bags
Brown Paper Bags
Bring donated food items to their adjoining restaurants at 190 E. 2nd St. Between Ave A & Ave B. There will be workers there from 10am till closing.
Also, if you would like to volunteer to make and pack the foods please contact Julio Pena at JulioPenaNYC@aol.com
And please remember you can always make a Red Cross donation if you are not downtown and want to help the effort.
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It was actually a little surreal to look at the calendar today and realize that it’s Halloween. The Lower East Side of Manhattan, where I live and work, is indeed a spooky ghost town after dark these days. I’m pretty sure we won’t be seeing many little goblins and vampires tonight.
The aftermath of Sandy has left me with feelings from relief, gratitude and disconnection to worry, anxiety and determination. We have it bad Downtown…but…even without transportation, power, hot water or anything remotely resembling the ability to communicate with the outside world it pales in comparison to what is going on elsewhere. Our home is still intact. By the weekend our neighborhood should be back to normal. In a few weeks the subways and trains will be running. Patience is what will fix what ails us…that and the hard work of those responsible for putting us back on the grid. The same cannot be said for the folks out in Breezy Point or in Seaside Heights or in Staten Island. The Altantic Ocean took so much from them, for some everything. Recovery is so much more for them, much more than just alternate transportation, waiting it out, cooking by candlelight and taking sponge baths.
Cooking and eating is a big part of professional life for me ( of course with the occasional picture of the process) but has never brought more personal comfort, insight or perspective as it has in the last few days. I will cook in my cold, dark, spooky house tonight, Halloween night, and never be more grateful to have my family around me and the ability to keep them fed and safe. Hopefully, some measure of comfort will come to those who suffer the most tonight, and soon.
Here is a link for anyone who would like to help out.
Pumpkin image by sUz
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