Get ready…we are inside a week and counting until I hit Island time again. I hope to bring you the sights, sounds and dolphins. Seems my little blog has shifted from a day to day adventure to one of my favorite island…I hope you will not mind my temporary and infrequent bursts of love and creativity.
Excuse me while I go clean some lenses.
Okay folksi lost interment but the phone. I have been told delayed gratification is much more rewarding than instant…let’s home my following posts live up!
until then know that LBI IS ALIVE!
My morning started out innocent enough. Simple home cooked breakfast, eggs, bacon an orange and coffee through my Chemex. Beau and I took a walk and it was stunning out. We romped on the beach. He was turning circles of excitement.
I have been coming down to LBI most of my life and it is a certain truth, you need until Tuesday to release whatever your mainland shackles are. Tuesday brings bright bliss. Not the “oh I forgot to check email kind.” but you finally start engaging with the island on island time. That is usually the day when you can loose hours on the beach just staring ahead at the water. And that was what I did.
Don’t get me wrong, the reminders of Sandy are all around.
But all you have to do is look up or out and you feel the hope the island has.
In the afternoon I attended the TOWN HALL With Gov. Christie, Please excuse the next section…this is more of a stream of conscience of sights and sounds I took in. This is no way is hard reporting nor meant to be minutes representation.
The community center is packed with good people who are concerned. Concerned with what they are to do. The surrounding communities need our help as much the island. LBI is much more than the 18 miles…it is Stafford, Beach Haven West, Manahawkin…etc etc.
Awaiting Gov Christie…Bobby Darin playing in the background. The conversation around me while I wait has shifted to those that have lost their like due to heartache caused by Sandy.
Despite the frustrations, these are communities that are pulling together. “You play the piano in the church? I knew that was you, how are you?”.
After a near hour of waiting the announcement comes, “Please take your seats.”
There will be anIntro video, brief remarks & the dun dun dun q&a session.
Someone in the bleachers requested that we say the Pledge of Allegiance. The Governor’s staff obliged. The crowd spoke with one voice not unlike the videos of Boston crowds. “One nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.” finished with applause.
Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable now playing.
Then the unmistakable sounds of helicopter low over the building is heard.
That’ll be the Day playing.
The Governor walked out to a standing ovation. These people are hard hit and yet they have great deal of respect and faith in him. That is evident.
The Governor opens with speaking about you can get detached…this is why he does these town hall’s to stay grounded and informed… today is number 107 since Sandy hit six months ago.
His dad is here…at least 3 Christie’s in the room.
His dad is 80 too.
1.8 BIL appointed by fed gov to NJ for recovery efforts.
1855 sandy hm housing support
1855sandy bz. Business support
RREM Housing Program 150k grant to reconstruct renovate elevate or mitigate home
Low to mod income- 750mil large multifam houses…apartments will be built.
Business grant 50k working capital
No interest loan 100k to 5mil…zero interest
Money to towns public facility improvements
In 3 weeks $25 mil tourism marketing adv program. Designed much my little blog here is to say come back, we are open for business! Target markets include Boston Montreal NY Phil Baltimore!
He is bridging tourism…thinks the Jersey Shore in 2014 fully back and thriving. This is incredible considering how much is not back online after Katrina. I was in New Orleans 18 months after Katrina. The old gal was running, but not even close to 100%.
This is only the first packet of $ aide.
“Small biz are the heartbeat of the jersey shore!” He wants people to stay…to maintain the flavor and character of each town and community…the local people make the decisions not Trenton or “god forbid in Washington” on how to come back.
ANNOUNCED: Dune system from Cape May up the whole coast to protect not just the shore line but the communities behind them.
Getting everyone back in their homes and businesses is the priority! “If your living relatives you probably have had it by now.”
Affordability in nj. Significant changes to pension and benefit system…the changes in pension…your contributions this year…600k less. Making the system stronger.
Increasing the retirement age.
Cut taxes…says he inherited 13 BIL of deficits. Paid off all the debit.
Last yr proposed income tax cut because you know how to spend your money better than I do.
He is charismatic and humorous.
We are building these dunes…we are building them whether you consent or not
The bullshit moment. Please just google it.
30 billion in damage…lifetimes memories washed away…we are not going through that again so you can see the ocean from the first floor.
The dunes systems are not theory…we saw…they work!
One of the more poignant moments…
Young man from S Amboy talking about small towns without tourism.
Christie promised to come to S Amboy…middlesex county for first phase of buyout…take out entire neighborhoods.
The young man says they call the Governor, the Incredible Hulk. Christie says he is called much worse in trenton.
The Clark Brothers, two boys want to ask questions. The Governor brings up Scooby Doo gate. Again google it, Colbert hysterical.
The first boy asks, Are you going to try to open LBI schools…”Yes, all schools will be up and running by September.”
The next Clark bros asks what are you doing to help people who have not received insurance money?
The Governor asks which home or flood? Homeowners state…flood fed
After each question a card was given out…but more importantly, frank answers. This man does not guild the lily. He also knows how to answer with the smartest statement. “I don’t know, but we will find out.”
I know our Governor is a polarizing individual. But seeing him live one thing comes through loud and clear. He knows NJ. He cares about NJ. You may not agree with him and he is fine with it. Years ago I saw a Senator in a local debate to return to his seat on the hill. This man could have rested on his family’s name. I was deeply moved though how well he knew his state and constituents. I certainly didn’t agree with everything he said, but I knew he deserved that seat; which he held until he died. My respect for Senator Ted Kennedy has never wained since seeing that debate. It is that kind of knowledge and commitment I see in Governor Christie.
I leave you with one parting shot. I was on my way to have dinner at Buckalew’s in Beach Haven. And the sunset was simply…we you determine for yourself.
I started the day with the must yummy breakfast at Uncle Will’s Pancake House. I opted for the crepe special, strawberry and papaya dressed with the famous Uncle Will’s coconut sauce. PURE HEAVEN. Some of you who follow LBI News on Facebook, know Uncle Will’s Little Piggy have been not only a fantastic conduit to information on the island post-Sandy…but also a wonderful ambassador of fun, mirth and holiday spirit. I can’t wait to go back.
The I meandered down to How To Live where I bought The Love Song for Long Beach Island and a LBI Strong T-shirt. I may have to wear that tomorrow when I go to hear Gov. Christie speak.
Today, like much of NJ was cold gray and wet…and yet…I never tire of the sea. So majestic and graceful in it’s natural state whatever the weather brings. I am thankful for the front row seat.
This little video captures just a glimpse of what I was mesmerized by all day. I thought it was only fitting to find the perfect song, sung by another Rosanne…Rosanne Cash accompanied by Joisey’s own Bruce.
As I anticipated, I struggled to decide what to document and what not to document.
I drove the whole length of the island yesterday. As expected, Holgate was a quieting sight. The fact that no life was lost is a testament to how well the preparation for the storm was executed. In addition to that, what struck me most was every block or so …were holes. A blank spot where a home or business or trees stood. These holes are pockets of devastation of dreams. But for every dashed dream that lays in ruin, there are scores more dreams being rebuilt around it. There is definitely a spirit of enthusiastic renewal that permeates the island. It was all overwhelming.
The island has been evolving constantly since I first visited in the 1970′s. Business come and go, small capes evolved into piered monstrosities and the huge homes north of Ship Bottom slowly became less and less visible from the Boulavard as landscaping and vegitation grew to provide desired privacy. These were slow changes…every season brought a “Wow, look at what they built there” or “Dang, they closed?” But this season, A slow ebb and flow of life. Sandy has brought with her instantaneous change. A revolution of events and environment that is palpable.
But as has been said before and more eloquently than I can, LBI is Alive and ready for visitors.
I had a fantastic dinner last night at The Black Whale. The places was rockin’. A wait for seats both in the dining room and the bar. I met a lovely couple from Doylestown, PA who were on “a reconnoissance” trip down to see if renting this summer would be feasible. They are so excited…I imagine they are booking their rental now.
Tonight, I sampled the Pinziminio Trattoria. A terrific dinner of scallops and salmon with Tuscan flair. My waiter, Robert and I had a really nice conversation about the recovery efforts and about the spirit of the island. They are working very hard down here to make sure more good times are head for locals and visitors alike.
As I mentioned, I struggled with what to document. I sat on the beach for a spell today and noticed all the wild life going about there business and realized that capturing this beauty was the best thing to show. The life and love that renews us all.
More to come…
I return to Long Beach Island. This is my first trip to the island since Sandy devastated her shores.
I am excited to see old friends both aquatic and on the land.
Readings From The Northside, (http://exit63.wordpress.com), as always, is showing our feathered, shelled and swimming friends are back and frolicking in full swing.
The LBI is Alive Campaign has been fantastic and I know I will be enjoying delicious delights and buying my usual fare at many a familiar place.
However, I would be lying, if I did not acknowledge a slight tinge of anxiousness.
Maybe anxiousness is too strong a word. Let’s just say there is an air of slight unease as I pack and prepare tonight.
It has been my intent since Sandy hit, to document my experience of returning to the island. As some of you know, LBI is the one constant in my life since I was eight years of age. What will be missing, or altered that I am not aware of? I know the famous Shack succumbed to the devastation last Halloween. But I am less concerned even with missing landmarks. I am concerned about seeing the people altered. I have been reading The Sandpaper, the local Island news through the months, watching the stupendous rebuilding effort. Yet, there has been a subtle undercurrent of struggle amidst the herculean rebuild. The force of Sandy is very different, but I felt this same uneasiness after 9/11 when a house guest wanted to go and see ground zero. I don’t want to document my Island experience because of sight seeing curiousity. I want to support those who build and lovingly nurture this resilient and hearty community. I don’t want to ogle the devastation that still stands, but I know I must see what has happened and capture my feelings and those of anyone near who will kindly share. I am painfully aware I am not a native. My intent is not to exploit…yet I fear, inadvertently, that is what I will do.
We shall see what this week will bring.
a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/karmardav/4937534013/” title=”Sunset at Hills Beach by osvchic, on Flickr”>
Dang woman! You been honing your skillz!
Next entry is from Stphoto…
what a great shot…the light, the fun. Classic Summer Night.
I can almost smell the citronella! I really love the patterns in the last image…a pure light shot.
Finally, me and the lensbaby tried for a more abstract impression of a summer evening…walking down an avenue, lights from the shops glowing, perhaps the smell of a little bistro tickles your nose as you pass by the open windows. You here snippets of songs as youngsters drive by with their windows down. A moment so fleeting on the edge of summer that it is a mere memory by the time you realize it’s here.
Really, I was just trying to set up a shot that I am less than thrilled with.
OKAY October Challenge….Due the 15th of October…
Ready for it…
Interpret as you will.
And choose your favorite because there is only one photo allowed this time.
Let me leave you with one last summer night pleasure…
I can’t here these songs that I don’t think of summer nights and all the light delights they hold.