Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Unfortunately, since i last posted, there have been incalculable changes. One of the primary events was, of course, Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the east coast of the United States. It was tense.

Personally, what happened was we were in Virginia, we'd gone to Williamsburg on Thursday, October 25, and we were supposed to leave on Sunday, October 28, but we kept hearing reports about the impending hurricane, so we decided to leave a day earlier. We were able to change our reservations and we left a day earlier, and were we lucky! If we had stayed a day later, we might not have been able to get out of Williamsburg. By Sunday morning, the storm had reached the southeast coast; by noon, it had hit Virginia's coast, and that would have meant everything in Williamsburg would have been shut down. We would have been stranded. And what happened was so much worse than we could have imagined! Our neighborhood emerged relatively unscathed, but all around... Coney Island is one of the devastated areas, and so is Red Hook. The Rockaways remains a disaster area.

Since then, it's taken the city a while to get back to normal. Not that there aren't still areas that are beyond immediate repair. But the subway system was shut down on Sunday, October 28, and it took weeks before the system was operational (and it's still not fully functioning; a lot of the lines that run between Brooklyn and Manhattan are still not running). Who could have imagined that the Chelsea area would get flooded? All of lower Manhattan from 39th Street down was utterly shut down. Many areas flooded, and no electricity, no heat, no hot water, no phone service, no internet signal.

It turned out that Facebook was one of the major sources of communication during the crisis. People posted status reports, and that's how information was passed along.

But Facebook has been one way of maintaining contact with friends who no longer live nearby. And so it was that, on October 22, there was a post to say that Jeff Lunger had died. To say i was in shock is to put it mildly. During the early days of the New Festival, there were times when i saw Jeff every day. It was an excitement that we were able to share. But he moved to Jersey City, i moved out to Brooklyn... we kept in touch, and Jeff remained one of my best friends, but it wasn't as easy to see each other. At the beginning of September, Jeff sent one of those group messages, letting a lot of his friends know about some more footage he'd shot for the documentary he'd been working on. And then the next Facebook posting was about his death: he had been diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after he got back home, and the cancer was advanced and metastasized quickly, and he died less than four weeks later.

And yesterday, Larry was told that a friend, Brandon, had died. Three weeks ago, Brandon was diagnosed with cancer, but it was very advanced and spread quickly.

A lot has been happening. I'm trying to keep up, but sometimes you feel swamped.