One year ago tomorrow, on October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy smashed into the eastern seaboard. We watched with disbelief from sunny So Cal. I had been in New York for the black out of 2003… and although that one was nothing compared to 9/11 and Sandy, I know what it’s like to be in that city when all hell breaks loose. It’s like nothing else.
Every time something tragic happens in NYC, we east coast ex-pats get antsy. Living in New York breeds a certain brotherhood/sisterhood bond that doesn’t break when you skip town. It stays with you and cosmically drifts you closer to others who have that bit of concrete jungle in them, no matter where you end up. So with that established, it only made sense that we at ART from the ashes (with two ex-New Yorkers on the front lines) would yearn to do something to support the recovery efforts. However, what we could do was in question as 2,700+ miles is no easy road trip from LA.
After visiting Red Hook, Brooklyn in the spring of 2012, we knew that was our place. Not only is it the home of our dear friend, Miki Tanaka, who lost just about everything as a result of the storm; but it also spoke to us in the way the community rapidly bonded together immediately after the storm to support each other. As we walked the streets and stopped into businesses along Van Brunt St, we felt very much like we belonged there.
Today we launched the Red Hook Bracelet. Designed by Red Hook jewelry designer Miki Tanaka and available through ART from the ashes, proceeds from the sale of the bracelet will benefit The Artist Volunteer Center, which was formed by Brooklyn artist Jason A. Maas in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
I’ll spare you the need to strap on your reading glasses to have to read more of my words and leave you with this fine short film, produced by some pretty awesome dudes. It will tell all that one needs to know about the project.