ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — I can’t imagine in war-torn parts of the world that people live like this every day, sometimes months, even years: crowded housing, electricity only a few hours a day, no hot water or no water at all, food shortages, no cars, little clothing and so forth.
I know I sound like a spoiled American, but I’ve never taken these things for granted. I think I’m like most people. We’re simply used to so many conveniences, I guess we don’t realize how much we depend on them until they’re gone.
As fast as city workers clear a street — and they’ve been doing a fantastic job — it’s filled up again in a day or two.
FEMA even hired local residents to help out with the pick-up. One day, I saw at least 15 young people following Department of Public Works trucks because regular employees could not keep up with the amount of flood-damaged goods.
Huge industrial dumpsters were placed in the middle of residential blocks for easy disposal of items; then, periodically, special trucks took everything away.
The Red Cross has been distributing clean-up supplies, school supplies for children, water and, one day, I even saw a Red Cross truck delivering hot meals to anyone who wanted one.
FEMA employees have been going door-to-door making sure people have much-needed information about where to go, who to call and what to do in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. No one could give me an exact figure, but I’ve seen FEMA employees all over the city, even in the library, where they told me they were seeking out people who have been displaced, because often they can’t find people once they’ve left their residences.
Speaking of residences, there are so many people now living with relatives, friends and neighbors, people are saying the extended family household is back to being the norm.
Our current recession and collapse of the housing market had already forced many people to move in with others, not unlike when our grandparents first came North seeking better employment, housing and educational opportunities.
Our grandparents expected to live with relatives or family friends, however, until they could get on their feet. More recent generations are not used to this; everyone has his/her own place, own car, own this, own that. This may be one of the few good things to come out of a disaster — we are reminded how much we truly depend upon one another and how grateful we are, even for the little kindnesses of others.
Donations at Schools and Churches
Atlantic City's Texas Avenue School received so many donations of money, food, clothing and household items that they sent the surplus over to Our Lady Star of the Sea and Jethro Presbyterian.
After being devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the Chelsea Area location recently re-opened with a completely new facility to continue its mission, a mission now more than 150 years old.
As usual, there’s a plethora of events scheduled during February — Black History Month.
There was a reason why I dedicated my book, Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside, to all the families in Atlantic City, in addition to my own grandparents and children — I knew they had similar stories to tell.
Judge Nelson Johnson's latest book 'The Northside,' on Atlantic City's history of African-Americans, is missing key components says community leader. Johnson's previous book Boardwalk Empire was turned into the 2010 HBO series, the second season of which is filming now.
From Pop Lloyd to Pattie Harris to Nucky Johnson and the Northside, not to mention Nina Simone and Sam Cooke and other entertainers' connections to Atlantic City and region.
His white hair tufted beyond tolerance, the minister stepped into the barbershop and its buzz of bonhomie. Combs raked scalps, scissors snipped furiously, and the scent of lilac water suffused the air. Twenty minutes later, the clergyman stood from the pedestal-chair and surveyed his reshaped dome. The dark skin of his forehead glistened below the white fringe. He paid the barber and paused on the black rubber mat. “Am I good for another dime?” The barber grinned. “You bet.” And so he did — 10 cents on number 357, a wager to be rewarded only if the digits corresponded, respectively, to the last number on each of the day’s win-place-show handles at Aqueduct Racetrack, some 90 miles to the north. The “numbers,” or “policy,” game was a lottery before lotteries were legal. Nearly everyone in town played it even...
All money raised through a $10 cover charge will be divided and dispersed among two non-profit organizations — the Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center and the Ocean City Repertory Theatre — each of which was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The South Jersey shore community — along with celebs from across the country — come together for post-Sandy relief and to let folks know Atlantic City is open (and the Boardwalk) for business.
Not heeding pending-storm evacuation orders is never a wise move, but it can afford a better appreciation for what workers are up against when making barrier islands safe for return.
"Since the national media showed so many images of a city underwater and a broken Boardwalk, we launched the 'Can DO AC' blog. It includes pictures of the city ready and open for business."
Watch the video of Atlantic City Mayor Langford on CNN Nov. 1 accusing Gov. Christie of a 'double standard.'
The latest Sandy storm coverage for the Atlantic City, New Jersey area.
"I could almost guarantee that the ones who wanted the mayors to let them return home would also be the ones to protest if they had been put in danger by returning too soon. "
Men on the Move in A.C.
Amiri Baraka Remembered
My Response to '12 Years a Slave'
Community Updates – Fall 2013