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Feliz dia de los Muertos + Sandy Aftermath

November 1, 2012

I resent that the hurricane and the general chaos of life prevented me from posting on Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year. But I couldn’t miss posting today to wish you a happy Dia de los Muertos, especially in light of the 38 New Yorkers who died in the storm this past week.

Image via What Is Reality Anyway. See last year’s day of the dead post for more beautiful images.

To speak frankly, death has always been a concept I felt deeply disturbed by (maybe because my life is so amazing, how can I stomach the thought of it ending?), but this Mexican holiday brought a very new perspective to the mix. The celebration of life, death, and the idea that our loved ones never truly leave us is a reminder of the beautiful cycle we all experience and that we always have a chance to connect our hearts to the ones we’ve lost.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! 

I’m hosting an event at Cantina Royal tomorrow night to celebrate the holiday and debut new artwork by Pachy Sarmiento. We’ll have sugar skull face painting, amazing Mexican food, and obviously lots of tequila. It starts around 9. Swing by if you’re in Brooklyn!

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As for Hurricane Sandy, Raffa and I were lucky enough to live a few blocks away from a major flood zone. Our neighbor’s roof was blown off in chunks and it landed in the adjacent lawn, but our building wasn’t damaged. We lost internet for a while—that was about the worst of it. I did a lot of hand-sewing while we waited for the OK to leave the apartment (approx 3 days).

In summary, we’re fine. We took a car into the city last night to go to Mehanata (one of the only bars open thanks to the generator), and celebrated Halloween with BBQ’d sausage and a crazed dance party. I can’t even explain the creep-factor of riding over the Williamsburg Bridge and seeing half the city in pitch-blackness, and then walking those pitch black streets with only the occasional cop car or open deli lighting the way.

However, some of my friends were not lucky enough to muse over the creep-factor or go to a party last night. I won’t go into detail since you’re all reading the news I’m sure—but flooding, power outages, and now even violent crimes and looting are plaguing parts of my city. I have friends who I can’t even offer a hot shower because they literally cannot get out of their neighborhood yet.

Count your blessings, and let’s all help however we can.

Ways you can help:

Aleta St. James  has the right idea when she asks people from all over the world to gather up and have a joint prayer/meditation to all of those impacted by the storm (not just those in New York, but everywhere). Sending your positive energy can make a huge difference, and it’s something you can take a moment to do right now, before you continue reading.

 Give to the Red Cross and Salvation Army disaster relief programs.

 Give blood! There are  blood drives popping up in the city as well, due to the cancellation of various drives in the wake of the storm. Blood shortages have been reported, so donate if you can.

 Consider what you can do for your neighbors. One photo I saw on facebook shows a family who set out a surge protector on an extension cord so people could charge their phones.

 Don’t joke about looting or violence during this recovery. It’s actually happening. People are being robbed at gunpoint and tricked into thinking “emergency workers” have come to help them when actually these are greedy, deranged people trying to take advantage of those in distress. Be sensitive.

 Greenpointers is promoting an awesome program for the Greenpoint soup kitchen, which you can read more about here.

 Physically donate your time to helping those in need. Check out this facebook page for information on how/when/where you can help.

jane's carousel under water

Stay safe guys! New Yorkers always pull through—those born here and those who choose to stay here. We’re awesome like that. I have no doubt this city will come back from the wreckage and shine more brightly than ever.

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