It’s been an unusual week for us at Food Republic, though all in all our team was extremely fortunate amidst all the heartbreak around Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. A few lost power and got displaced from their homes, some had trouble finding a place to work. But we’ve been able to keep the site up and running and go about our lives with relatively minor disruptions.
Many of our neighbors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut haven’t been so lucky. During the first few hours of the storm on Monday, I walked out to grab some milk and spotted a discarded George Foreman mini-grill on the sidewalk. I liked the contrast of the grill and the grooved cement, so I snapped a photo and posted it on our Instragram page; I’d hoped the grill would d be one of the few casualties, and that the storm would spare NYC. No such luck.
Many of our colleagues at other sites are posting restaurant openings in the Tri-State area, and Eater is keeping a running tab on restaurants around the country that are donating proceeds to Red Cross in the wake of the disaster. Restaurants and other businesses are really starting to suffer, as power has been down all week. We’ve been running interviews with Brooklyn and Manhattan chefs whose restaurants are taking a major hit from this storm and its aftermath; many are in Lower Manhattan, which looks, at times, like a ghost town. The Huffington Post ran this heart-wrenching story on one of my favorite NYC institutions, The River Café in Brooklyn, and the peril it’s facing as a result of damage from the storm.
Last night, while dealing with some mundane bookkeeping, I noticed that my bank card rewards points can be used to donate money to the Red Cross; many programs offer this option. I was happy to pass up a free gift I don’t need to contribute to disaster relief. As service gets restored and trains start running in New York City again, the media will mostly shift the story to how resilient New Yorkers are, but out in the Rockaways, on the Jersey Shore, in Connecticut and on Long Island, many people will continue to suffer as they struggle to rebuild their houses and their lives. If you’re able to help, you can make donations to American Red Cross Disaster Relief or eat out at a restaurant that’s trying to recover (in the Tri-State area) or that’s helping the cause from afar.