Archives for posts with tag: Hurricane Sandy


by Dan Barry, New York Times, 11/17/12

If you take a walk along the altered coast these days, you will find snapshots and photographs everywhere, scattered like leaves shaken from family trees. Here, a wedding pose. There, a baptism scene. Just beyond, the moment that a shirtless man on a chaise longue laughed into the sun.

Freeze-frame pieces of private lives, they were once displayed on a bookshelf, or pinned to a corkboard or kept safe and secret in a box under the bed. Then Sandy, the storm whose casual name belied its fury, swept these moments up and left them in the sand and muck of places like Great Kills Park, where a part of Staten Island now uneasily meets the sea.

Some of the rain-damaged photos look like the sweetest kindergarten art project, with grit and leaves adhered to damp squares and rectangles. Some look psychedelic, with the human and the inanimate swirling into one. Each photograph has become a new kind of memento: an image of one moment redefined by another.

If this open-air photo exhibition has a theme, perhaps it is that nature’s dominion makes precious all things — not the photograph, but the living moment it all too inadequately has captured.

The time we went to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone. The time we gazed into the fresh-seeing eyes of a newborn. The time we traveled to a place so foreign that we simply had to photograph the sign: Welcome to Montana.

All these bits of time have been scratched, blurred, transformed. That red convertible we were so proud of looks as though it is about to be struck by a meteor. And every moment — the prom, the dance recital, the snowman’s construction — is painted now with bright yellows and rich reds and burnt oranges, the colors of our storm-tossed autumn.

PHOTO: Found photo, post-Hurricane Sandy, Staten Island, NY. Find a gallery of found photos at the New York Times website.



Yesterday, I posted the above image (painting by Gustave Courbet), saying Hurricane Sandy brought it to mind. Today, I saw the image below — an uncanny resemblance.


Rocco Douso vs. Hurricane Sandy, 5:30 p.m., October 30, 2012, Bayside, New York. (Photo: Rocco Douso)


After Hurricane Sandy, a swan makes its way down a flooded street in Lindenhurst, New York. (Photo taken on Oct. 30, 2012 by Jason DeCrow/AP)


Poem by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music – like the rain pelting the trees – like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds –
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?


Winds from Hurricane Sandy washed this boat onto the tracks at the Metro-North’s Ossining Station in Ossining, New York. (MTA New York photo via AP)

Many post-Hurrican Sandy sights are surreal — just in time for Halloween. I can imagine the above scene of the boat on the train tracks in a Stephen King book! Maybe one is in the works.


The above photo called to mind the great Surrealist — Belgian painter René Magritte (1898-1967).

Growing up in Chicago, I frequently visited the Art Institute, home of one of Magritte’s most discussed works “Time Transfixed” (included at right) — and was always fascinated by this painting (who wouldn’t be?).

According to Magritte: “I decided to paint the image of a locomotive . . . In order for its mystery to be evoked, [and] another immediately familiar image without mystery—the image of a dining room fireplace—was joined.”


Siding has blown off a house in Scituate, Massachusetts due to high winds from Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters


“The Artist on the Seashore at Palavas” by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)

Many of the photographs taken before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy have reminded me of favorite paintings, including the one above by French artist Gustave Courbet.


Morning on Pier 86, New York City, October 30, 2012.

(Photo by Mike G, via New York Times)


A dog looks out from an open window as its companion takes pictures from a car parked near the seawall in Scituate, Massachusetts. Photo by Elise Amendola/AP, Oct. 29, 2012. 


East River (New York City) by Edward Hopper (1920)

The calm after Hurricane Sandy in New York City made me think of the above painting by Edward Hopper (1882-1967).