A New York State of Mind (Day Two)

We spent a lot of time in transit today, partly due to traffic and partly due to poor direction. We unloaded water, feminine products, lemon soda, adult dipers, and dipers at a church that was, well, somewhere. Ill confess, I slept through most of the car rides (though I’ll admit further that I’d likely have no idea where I was either way).

From there we were led back to the Rockaway. Everything was covered in sand and nothing had power. A group of people gathered around the truck as soon as we opened it, we didn’t need to do any kind of promoting. Surprisingly, everyone was most interested in getting clorox. It makes sense, I guess, because all their homes have been flooded with salt and sewer water. Disinfecting is probably high on the list of needs.

It was like a trip to the beach, if the beach were terrible.

From there we returned to the first church and handed out hot meals. Now, I haven’t participated in a lot of hot meal give-a-ways, but I’ve participated in a few. There always seems to be one thing, one item that we’re giving away, that no one wants. Today it was black beans. The hot meal we were handing out consisted of spicy chicken, rice, black beans, and corn. No one, and I mean nine out of ten, did not want the black beans. What’s wrong with black beans? I tried them. They were delicious.

We visited NYSUM (New York School of Urban Ministry) after, it’s doubles as a hostel and several of the members in our group were staying there. It was kind of beautiful, and like most of the places I’ve been walking around through, it has a great view.

There’s still a lot of Queens that has no power, and a lot of debris that’s just piled on random corners. I started a collection of pictures of trees on things. It’s gotta be horrible, to come down stars and see a tree on your car.

It’s been a strange experience, to visit such a big city but to be confined to cars and churches. Tomorrow, as it turns out, is a free day for me. I’m actually going to explore the city by myself, which is only somewhat terrifying.


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