Daily Inspirations and Adventures

I’m Thankful For Our Home

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As you know, Mike and I were lucky enough to become first time home owners in May.  We first saw pictures of the condo on our brokers website.  It was in a part of Brooklyn that we stepped foot in probably once or twice in our lives . . . but we just knew it was perfect.  We went to see it in person for ten minutes, late one January night.  We weren’t in love with it but knew we would eventually be . . . so the very next day, while I was in California . . . Mike was in Florida and our broker was in New York we agreed on a price and the deal was done.  We spent the next few months dreaming about what it would be like to live there . . . then a month painting, installing new lights, new doors, new bathroom fixtures, new furniture and a walk in closet . . . and moved in.  I love the backyard, the kitchen island, how big the bathroom is, how I can sit in the sunroom and watch TV and feel like I’m outside.  I love that our car is safely parked two floors down . . . that our neighbors look out for each other . . . that the neighborhood has blossomed in the few months we’ve been there.  But mostly, I love that its 100% ours.  I would be completely heartbroken if anything were to happen to it.  That was even more apparent this weekend . . . when I spent a day in the Rockaways. 

The Rockaway section of Queens is a quirky little beach town a few miles outside of Manhattan (the NY Times recently did a piece on the town that I recommend checking out).  It’s known for pretty good surf and is easily accessible via subway.  Its home to many different kinds of people but there is a large population of blue-collar workers . . . police officers, firefighters, carpenters.  The homes are small, the sense of community is big.  The entire town was completely devastated by Sandy.  The ocean met the bay  . . . every house was flooded . . . cars floated away . . . the boardwalk disintegrated.  Breezy Point, which is a part of the Rockaways, was where more than 100 homes burned to the ground while a flood kept firefighters from reaching it.

Kim (a co-worker), Masha (her running friend) and I all volunteered to spend our Saturday helping residents in the Rockaways with Team Rubicon.  As we crossed the bridge, and passed Breezy Point, we came upon a huge parking lot filled with trash (image from Gawker).  This isn’t a pile of chicken bones, dirty napkins and takeout boxes.  In this pile are wedding photos, stuffed animals, family heirlooms that have lasted decades.

We completely gutted two houses that were right near the beach.  When we left the houses were beams and cement floors. Here is the beginning of the trash pile.

You’ll notice that the streets are covered in sand and abandoned (and salt water filled) cars are just pushed to the side.

During our mini lunch break we walked up onto the boardwalk.

Here are two pictures from Gawker.

Here is one of the men that we helped (along with our Team Rubicon captain). He went to check on his downstairs tenant during the storm and was immediately washed down the street by the current . . . only to be saved by being pinned to an abandoned car.  He’s lived in the Rockaways his entire life and was so thankful to have us there.

A very satisfying day . . . but we only helped two homeowners . . . there are thousands more that are in need.

Written by bevanddara

November 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

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