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Flatbush Flashback

Semi-Normal

AT&T store on Wall Street near Water Street, where flood waters reached a height of ten feet. Photo by Mary Lyn Maiscott.

Life in downtown Manhattan continues to return to semi-normal in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. By "semi-normal," I mean subway service and mail delivery have not been fully restored, PATH trains are still completely out, supermarkets have not been fully restocked, some people still don't have heat and hot water, and further downtown, by the Battery, where damage was heavy, as this picture shows, water is still being pumped out of basements.

But lower Manhattan's problems don't amount to "a hill of beans" compared to what's happening in parts of Long Island, Staten Island, New Jersey, and especially the Rockaways, where 20,000-40,000 people have been left homeless, and there appears to be a Katrina-like humanitarian crisis brewing. And, as you may have heard, there's an election tomorrow. All of which is to say, it seems inappropriate to get back to book business as usual.

As longtime readers of this blog are aware, I’ve never shied away from discussing politics, though I tend to limit those discussions to issues that relate directly to Beaver Street. I have, for example, written at length about the fact that my former porn publisher, Lou Perretta, has donated money to Tea Party icon Scott Garrett, a New Jersey congressman who’s up for reelection tomorrow, and—as Jersey residents should note—has voted to drastically cut funding for FEMA’s disaster relief.

As for the presidential race, I mean really, what can I say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times? Of course I support Obama, and the less said about Romney, the better. I don’t think anything I say here could possibly change anybody’s mind as far as who to vote for. But I do urge you to get out and vote, no matter where you are and who you support. Because if you think there’s no difference between the candidates, then you’re a fool.

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