Life is such a cacophony of beauty/horror right now.
The holidays are coming, and I thrive during the holidays. There’s the beauty.
The horror is that two weeks ago my city was hurt badly. This morning I wept openly on the subway reading this article from the New York Times about the 8 who died in Midland Beach on Staten Island. The other day my buddy Johnny Iuzzini (who, like many chefs, is doing some great volunteer work out there) tweeted this video on what’s happening in the Rockaways that sent chills down my spine. I can’t stop watching it. Another video – NYC Dark – captured how eerie and foreign lower Manhattan felt during the blackout.
I’m not suffering-by-association. I’m incredibly fortunate that my apartment didn’t even lose power and I only lost two days of work from lack of transportation.
But this is my city, man. And my city is hurting.
Because of my health there are some things that I am just not able to do. Sometimes it render me feeling helpless, but I’m not even going into what they are for fear of sounding ungrateful.
I need to contribute.
So last week I did what I was able: amongst other things I wrote a series of three pieces on what a group of four chefs are doing to help out with what they’re calling the “NYC Food Flood“. The chefs (who also took big losses when their restaurants we closed due to blackouts) are taking turns bringing their skills to those in the hardest-hit areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The pieces – an introduction to the NYC Food Flood, a narrative on dining during the blackout at one of the chef’s restaurants and coverage of the fundraising dinner that raised over $20,000 for their efforts – went up on Serious Eats NY last week.
I also organized one on a Gnosis, a chocolate company based out of Queens that is donating 5% of profits this month to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief, on Easy Eats magazine’s blog, which I edit.
If you have a few minutes, please check out the pieces, available at the links below. And for other ways to help, check out the links that Venessa at Gnosis compiled for us.
For those of you in the NYC area who are looking to volunteer, here are a list of organizations who could use your time and energy:
- Google Crisis Map (shows nearest shelter/evacuee centers)
- New York Cares
- NYC Service
- Food Bank for New York City
– Follow the hashtag #sandyvolunteer on Twitter
For those of you who are looking to make donations, here are a list of organizations who are doing great work specifically to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy:
- Red Cross (text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10)
- Red Cross Blood
- New York Blood Center
- Operation USA
- International Medical Corps (helping those affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba)
- Salvation Army
- Save the Children (text HURRICANE to 20222 to donate $10)