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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A New Year, A New Post, and maybe a new Shorty Award Winner ! #KONYH !!!

Haven't posted in a while, but New York City is still flowing with the actions, movements, and people who are still fighting to keep this city a place to be and live...and I'm still trying to capture all those moments....also I was nominated for a "Shorty Award", which is very cool, so if you dig my photographs that I post on all my Social Media and you have a Twitter account, hope you feel like voting for me. I'll provide more links at the end of the post.  

Idle No More Washington Square 

                                              Art Sheep Grazing in a Gas Station in the Village

                        Sometimes going over the bridge on the train can give you the best scenes in the city.

                             ...and sometimes just walking down the street can introduce you to a new friend.  

                              Turning The Tide to help those still hurting from the Hurricane Sandy

                                                Spider Man doing his thing in Times Square

                 She traveled all the way from Spain to revisit her old city and sport her Easter Bonnet.

                              The last thing I thought I'd see one day was a trapeze set up at the seaport !
                                                        Thats me !! Yeah right !!! lol

                    No matter what Mom was saying about stay outta the fountain, he just wasn't having it !!

                                            Big Bird always good for a laugh and a smile

                                                     No Angry Birds in Union Square

                        The never ending street talent is beginning to bring people back to Ground Zero

                                                   ....and Comic Con always cracks me up !!

                      I have a Facebook friend named Robin, I wonder if this was her way of saying hello

           Sadly, the murals of the 5 Pointz like this one were washed over, but the art will live doubt

                                                Old meets New as the skyline is changing

               Activists working hard all year round  to bring the crooks of Wall St to a well deserved jail cell

                  Coney Island fought back after the devastating Hurricane to welcome back everyone

              Staten Island marched for justice too from the lack of response and help to their community

                                                St Patricks Day brought many smiles

...and to see Newtown show up after their tragedy, showed the strength and resilience of some powerful youngsters who braved the parade through the snow and showed what character truly is. Well done.

                Nothing like walking by Union Square and seeing husband and wife duke it out in public

                                                  New York City...where my monarchy exists :)

So just click here VOTE KING OF NEW YORK HACKS to bring you to my Shorty Award page where you can Nominate/Vote (Nominate & Vote are the same thing :) )  for me to win in the category Photography !!! You do need a Twitter to do this, but sharing my page is also much appreciated !! OK, thats enough of my shameless plug Ha !!! You can also visit my journalist sight if you'd like to view some of my work not linked to this page. Here it is Demotix Edward.

Add caption

So thanks in advance for any help in the voting, and I'll be posting regularly for the rest of the year at least once a month and hopefully much more on this blog. I post almost daily on Facebook so friend me if you haven't and you will see MANY photographs of NYC that you haven't seen on this blog. Anyhow, right now I'm still recovering from wrist surgery and hope to be back in action very soon...but what do I know, I ain't a doctor...I'm just The King...wait for it.........of New York Hacks.

Much love to you all ~ Edward :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Concrete People

 I have a lot to write in the near future and I will update on many of the events here in NYC and the progress of our recovery from Hurricane Sandy which I believe will take a very long for now this is the little I have to post about..The beach parking lots are used to sift through demolished homes and load the debris filled with lifetimes of memory into the dump trucks to be carted off into the abyss of a memory.

 Cedar Grove Community Hub which has been running a tent that has fed, clothed, renovate homes, and help their community in every way possible has been a source of strength for the people recovering and an inspiration to Staten Island who has seen these dedicated volunteers make leaps and bounds to acquire the essentials to keep people surviving in their damaged homes...they could use any donations of Sterno fuel, Food Pans, Food, etc...Like their page and contact them if you can help, or me and I'll get it to them. Thank you. #KONYH

 An excavator works in the distance to remove remnants of homes and begin to rebuild all that was destroyed due to Hurricane Sandy, as this lone staircase in the marsh is a reminder of how much has been lost in New Dorp beach Staten Island. 

 A lone tree swing tire pronounces the void of the houses swept away by Hurricane Sandy and the lives that were forever changed because of the devastation...Kissam Ave Staten Island where 14 of 17 homes were swept off their foundations forever changing the landscape of the coastline. 

 Its hard to believe this is the calm harbor that only a few months ago swept in and took homes and lives changing our lives once again...forever.

 ...and yet the beauty of the sea still exists and brings us hope.

 Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...

...and lots of Concrete people helping to put this city back together again...the most common phrase from all the affected areas and people I've spoken to who are at wits end dealing with the Gov't and Insurance agencies is "We take care of our own"...and thats how progress has happened so far...Concrete people I tell ya.

I may not be as hard as concrete, but linking up with everyone else and helping recover is what makes us all concrete in this jungle we know as New York City....but hey, what do I know, I'm not a contractor...but my taxi is pointed forward towards the future with a heart full of hope as I remain...

Edward...The King of New York Hacks.

Peace out peeps.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aftermath...Hurricane Sandy.

 After the Hurricane hit I was without power for close to two weeks...when I got internet access back I began my search to find what to expect in the coming months ahead and came across a blog written by Sam Jasper over at the New Orleans Slate which 3 months later was the most spot on advice I've ever read, and have experienced every bit of what he mentions in his blog post titled Unsolicited Advice to the Northeast in the Aftermath. It is a must read for everyone who have never experienced a disaster and a reminder to those who have. Here is a list of what he advised and we are still experiencing daily here in New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey.

Expect unexpected consequences.  ~ I have seen a man burn alive, many fires, reckless automobile accidents, suicides, and the list continues as recovery has only just begun.

Have patience.  ~ As difficult as it is, being patient is how we slowly recover and keep stress at a minimum. I refer to this everyday being a New Yorker.

Try not to slug your Insurance Adjuster. ~ I would add to this FEMA, SBA, and a host of other agencies who treat people as if they are trying to rip them off...which refers me back to have patience. ;)

Advocate for your Area. ~ Without the help every community created for themselves, many more people would have died. We can't rely on the officials and that has been made very clear to all involved. People who care more about profiting from this than helping have been halted by people organizing and advocating. So true. Get involved. 

Allow yourself time to cry. And cry. Then cry some more. You'll be crying unexpectedly for a long time. ~ Holding grief in is not healthy, and the rebuilding, the devastation, the lack of help, just keeps adding up and a release is a healthy way to grieve and continue forward in this journey.

Don't be afraid to ask for help, you'll need it.The mental health issues related to this will not show up in force for a couple of months.  ~ I have been in conversations where people, men and women just break down into tears with the constant stress that pushes people to the there for people, I have made so many new friends...Hug people...touch them..pat them on their back..tell them a joke...stay positive and keep moving forward...we must.

Watch your elderly family members. ~ This resonated with me and I checked in on various neighbors who are elderly and some who nobody knew they were home and were too proud to ask for help. Watch all the elderly, keep checking in on them, many won't leave their homes without power and are still waiting for help...I have also met many people who have lost an elderly family member since the storm hit. ITs not over by any means, this advice was so spot on and helped my community and is still helping. 

Your little ones will be scared, deeply and for a long time. ~ Children are scared for there mothers and fathers, themselves...whats going to happen to them is what they ask me when I interview some of them or play some games with them at relief centers....they are young, and its a lot to understand, slowly programs are being made available, but it is still not what our country is capable of, and I will write about this furter in my next post, which will address everything we are going through in depth.

Retain your sense of humor. ~ Laughter is the best times like this making people smile or laugh is worth its weight in Gold to get through the day one moment at a time.

Accept what people give you. Don't let your pride get in the way.  ~ When the Red Cross trucks first came around the neighborhood, many people felt guilty taking anything... being they had power back or at least had gas learn pretty quick as Sam advised in his post to accept help , just say thank you and be grateful...because those who came directly to local relief centers which were tents or tables in the middle of the street have saved peoples lives and have touched so many by doing the right thing for each other.

Be prepared for assholes.  ~ I'll use Sam's quote because it is EXACTLY how it has played out.
"There will be those who make outrageous assertions about your character or your home from behind a screen as they sit comfortably a thousand miles away. They will say it's God's wrath for having gay people among you. They will say you're idiots for living at sea level. They'll make all manner of racist comments. They'll say that rebuilding boardwalks and homes on the shore or the barrier islands is wasteful folly. They'll call you freeloaders, opportunists, and worse. For every bit of great kindness you receive, there will be an equal amount of venomous hatred. Ignore them if you can or defend if you must. Understand that idiots will come out of the woodwork as fast as the volunteers who show up to help you. They are hateful cowards. Say what you must to them, unless ignoring them is easier on your psyche." 
So true, and brilliant advice. 

In closing there is hope...This was the first house raised in Staten Island  to prevent against future stome it was lifted about 10 feet higher, the neighbors and recovery workers cheered...and for a moment, everyone was happy, and hope in a people was raised along with the home. 

Staten Island, New York, and New Jersey Rising Through The Ruin.

 I've enjoyed many communal dinners since the storm helping and volunteering...Sam's advice has certainly came in handy every day and I hope in some way passing this on it does for you as well. Sam also had a quote on his post that someone read during his Thanksgiving dinner which is a passage from “Ulysses” by Tennyson I'll leave you with because it is so appropriate.

“Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Stay safe, strong and high in spirits peeps...We have a long battle ahead, but we will get through this and I'll keep bringing it to you as I take it all in and recover myself. God Bless All. 

 Peace out peeps~ Edward #KONYH 



Monday, December 31, 2012

#KONYH Street Photography NYC 2012

Video of my Street Photography from 2012 to the tune Lascia ch'io piangia by Chloe... Hope it brings you a smile folks... Enjoy :)


So many memories good and bad in 2012, this short video was just a fraction of the poignant moments frozen in New York City this year...I may not be Martin Scorsese or Robert DeNiro...but I still have my hack license as I remain and report NYC to you in 2013...The King of New York Hacks.

Have a safe New Years, please don't drink and drive.

Peace out peeps. See ya next year :) ~ Edward #KONYH

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Columbus Day, Hispanic Day...Hurricane Sandy & Thanksgiving in a #KONYH Minute

 I was planning on visiting all the parades in October beginning with Columbus Day, following with the Hispanic Heritage Day Parade, and ending on Halloween for a great collection of photography to share...but Halloween was cancelled...and then the Marathon thankfully...families were living on the beach having lost everything, all resources were needed no matter what anybody tells you. Myself being from Staten Island as I wrote about in my last blog post in September...we were hit again very hard, this time not by a terrorist, but by Hurricane Sandy..

I'll be brief ( yeah right !, I tried..but I posted 40 pics with my thoughts, its worth it, would i lie to you ? )  with this post because I was affected by it personally and was without power for about 2 weeks with flood and lots of other damage...then between helping family member, friends, volunteering in the communities...on top of just trying to make it through the day has kept me from posting here...I've done it on Facebook as often as I can, but my blog is where I started and where I will continue to update always... I hope you enjoy the photos from the good NYC times of October, but be warned some of my Hurricane pics are graphic, and show that we don't all have 9 lives.

I'm not going to go into detail about the Hurricane, but I will tell you it has been DEVASTATING...and I've personally seen and heard many life and death stories associated with that night, and the recovery that is still ongoing...With all the warnings & Maps of vulnerable points along the New York City and Long Island shores, most agencies have failed...The people have been doing it themselves from day one...but that's for another post...and I don't want to discount the tons of help that came from all over and is still coming.

Wonder how many storms ole Columbus saw as he sailed his way here...

Being half Italian this dog looked at the King right away and gave me the ole Italian nod...
DOG: "Howyadoin' Paisan ?"
King: " Meet me in Little Italy after the parade for a big bowl of Italian Snausauges"
DOG: "You're all right King, even for a half a paisan"

 Most of the children on the Pinocchio float already took off their hats &noses, I was near the end of the parade and the kids were having a great time and tired of wearing the costume...but not this beautiful Italian Pinocchio, she was so proud to be Italian and looked right into my camera and WAS Pinocchio...gotta love it ay paisans ??

 Then a week later the Hispanic Heritage Day Parade which recognizes all Hispanic heritages from Argentina to Venezuela and has floats and dancers for every one is a brilliant and really fun parade...if that doesn't convince you, these three Hispanic beauties will....see what I'm sayin ? ;)

...and no matter who sees the King on the streets, they just feel like dancing with me !!

From this young beauty !!!

 To this young beauty, the King was a lucky man on Hispanic Heritage Day :)

 We've come a long way from Columbus as a proud and of of NYPD's Hispanic Finest represents with pride...No she didn't give me her number but did tell me she's a good shot..nuff said lol

Even Ernie Anastos came by from the Kidney Walk to attend the parade...Ernie is one of the most famous newscasters here in New York City, he is Greek and I always see him in the Greek Parade, so it was cool seeing him here...I've met Ernie a couple of times and always goof with him about his on air flub about "fucking a chicken"...BWAHAHAHAHA..yeah , you read it right...I'm serious, here's the YouTube link  Keep Fuckin That Chicken  , its hilarious and he always has a great sense of humor when I ask him about chickens !! Very cool dude.  :D

 ...and Mexico had a beautiful Senorita getting the whole crowd going with that huge flag !!

 ...and then, a couple of weeks later when I heard the storm warnings..I went to the shore to see the prior High Tide and judge how bad it might get...the waters were much higher than usual, and I warned my family members that we'll be in for real one, and lets hope for the best...the tide hardly went out for low tide, and thats when I knew it would flood, but didn't think we'd have the surge that came with it...nobody saw that coming...except one North East Weather guy, a teacher I follow on Facebook named Steve Turk who's FB page says "Weather predictions so accurate, you would think that Mother Nature and The Amazing Kreskin had a baby and named that baby Steve Turk!" He aint kidding !! The Weather of Steve Turk who was spot on and said the TIDES: MAJOR CONCERNS....MAJOR!!!! ..and ...THEY WERE !!  Follow him !!

I went and saw the tides, and I was concerned, as they kept rising...

 This was the first sight I saw when I left the morning after the storm..I lost power at 2:29 PM the prior day, and it was a long night...just beyond this boat is the ocean, it placed it onto this person's backyard almost unscathed...and yet when I walked near the sea wall, the water was still crashing and I saw the remains of a demolished boat's remains floating...

 These waterfront condos were annihilated...

 Every block I walked to had a boat or boats dropped all over the place...this crashed through a concrete sea wall and was left in the middle of the street...the house owner told me if it weren't for the damn boat he might have had a lot less damage from the surge...he told me he watched it coming thinking it would enter his house and just veered off...fate.

 At the end of this street used to be one of those guardrails that are bolted deep down into the concrete...its gone, but I saw it up the street in front of someone's garage...there was a statue here too, that was there since I was 8...helluva surge to rip that up...

 This beach home was half ripped into the sea as if a giant shark took a bite out of it...I delivered the paper to this house when I was a kid, it was a farm with chickens...

 When I took this picture a wave came in and wet my feet...thats how close the water was still...

 ..and then as I went to streets that were at a lower sea level, more and more damage occurred...

An entire Marina of docks and boats were ripped up from across the harbor and  went through homes like torpedoes...

 People were happy to be alive as half of the deaths in New York City were from Staten Island....

 It was surreal seeing boats on top of cars and homes while walking the streets...

 This is a field filled with rooftops that were swept off the top of their homes by the surge...

 Like little toys placed randomly, nature has power...boy does it have power.

 Wreckage was everywhere I went...the atmosphere was utter devastation....

 I was finding dead animals caught and buried buried from the outgoing tide...RIP Cat.

 Welcome mats on a porch once attached to a house that held a lifetime of memories...swept away..

So many memories...just...swept away...

 Spent some time in Midland Beach trying to help peeps that need it and next to a house I spent some time at was this one..This is the home of James Rossi, an 85-year-old Midland Beach resident who didn’t make it out alive. There was a memorial to “Jimmy” on his front door with a sign that says "RIP JIMMY we love you " and some tribute candles on the stoop. He was a retired longshoreman who told his neighbors he was leaving, but stayed to tough it out on his own...he drowned. RIP Mr. Rossi.

 ..the recovery continues and is a long way off from normalcy my friends...People are displaced, with no where to if you can help NYC , please do we need it...but give to people you know are really helping...thats my recommendation, not to the large agencies with CEO's who have 7 figure salaries...

 Is spite of it all the day after, I saw this flag, and it was reminiscent of 9/11..and gave me hope.....

 ...and for a brief moment during this recovery that in my opinion will take years...Thanksgiving Day was not cancelled..and with all the volunteering and community help since the storm, I met a great many people who were making sure that many of the displaced were getting hot meals, and I took my own break and went to see my family in Queens, jumped off the subway for some quick parade pics, then to the best dinner I had in a month cooked by my Aunt God Bless Her...She had to take in my cousin's entire family as their house was devastated too...Thank God my family was lucky to have places to go, I've met people camping on the beach...Never would I think NYC would react so poorly to this..but again, thats for another post...

Even the subway train was decorated for Thanksgiving and its newest balloon...

 I wasn't happy that they took Snoopy out of the parade this year, but Papa Smurf made lots of kids smile too...but c'mon , Snoopy ??? I guess a lot of people felt like that when Bullwinkle was retired.. ;)

Elf on the shelf instead of Snoopy ???
OK, I never grew up with this guy creeping me out on the shelf,  so maybe I'm really out of the loop,
but this elf looks like he's taking a poop !!! Bwahahahahaha !! Snoopy Rules and is potty trained !!!

 This picture below really wasn't there, and for those who know me understand it was just my Anatidaephobia playing tricks on me. Should any of you know a cure please let me in on it.

 Ronald McDonald skating down 5th Ave is kinda funny since the fast food workers were striking the other day and walked out of all the fast food places for higher wages...can't blame them, work in a food place but have to be on food stamps...nuff said..Cool balloon, but I eat at local burger joints since they cost the same and are better quality..oh wait, thats also for another post ;)

 ...and Santa always makes the crowd go wild...but all I felt like was a photographer this year...thinking about all the people I've met and the hell we are all going through together...and thats how we have to look at it, they are in hell, so we are too until we can bail everybody out. Hmmm bail out...the banks got a check pretty quick, how about the people who lost it ALL  ?? What do you think Santa ?

 Lives were lost, property lost, memories lost...Lost is how a lot of people feel right now a month later in this picture below it explains so much, a mattress, a child's toy, an boat where it doesn't belong amongst ruined homes...

 These were the remains of the boat I told you I was looking down at from where the surge placed the othe boat almost unbroken....fate is fickle indeed.

 ...and the name of the boat is just the opposite of what we'll be doing for the long winter ahead, but with the help of the people,  hopefully one day we can again ...

 This was the flag that was on the ground earlier, I knew I couldn't leave it on the ground so I tied it to the bow of the boat, and it was there a day later when i took this picture and met the owner of the boat who was  happy to find his vessel, and used the gas left in it to fill up his car and a few family members cars who were helping him...its been a roller coaster month as you can see, and the ride isn't over...

 ...but as I look into the horizon I have faith that we'll recover, but not without the help of many or the Government doing the right thing by all who have been damaged...Physically, mentally, & Fiscally, all the people with damage need help.... this is a new 9/11 for NYC... so as we look into the horizon, we must hope...and more than ever help...

In closing, I posted this on Facebook the other day, but I'm going to post it again here...I think its significant in some way... perhaps so you can see the person who instilled values into me that make me react to people in need, and my want to help people, as my father did and still does...together, they made the original dynamic duo taking care of me and my bro.. 

 I am fortunate...

So the reason I posted it here again was,  the other day would have been my Mothers 70th birthday had it not been for that damn disease Cancer...she kicked its ass often...(and mine heh heh heh, I did deserve it :) ) and she went into remission twice during her battle...


Tough as they come I tell ya. 

She woulda held Hurricane Sandy off, or at the least softened the blow.

She had two favorite quotes, but in the last month I have done my best to live by one, "Be an Angel Practice Random Acts of Kindness" which she had as a bumper sticker on her car to remind others of...I did some acts that were known through the month, but coupled them with as many random ones that I could and will continue to do so... hoping it made me whole for her birthday, and as a person (I'm a work in progress) ...She taught me well, and my Father continues to do so God Bless him...I am a very lucky person...these are the things you think of when you see up close, people lose EVERYTHING...just swept New york go hug your loved ones and come back...serious...well, don't stop reading, call them over and hug 'em. Heck, do both  ;)

 ...shame she never got to see me crowned as King, but I know she's watching anyway ;)  and...thats called faith...another item I owe her & my father for  :)  ...and faith is what I have in the future because of them, no matter what obstacles lie in my way....or anybody else. Faith. Hold on to it.

How my Father caught this beautiful gal ?? You'll have to ask him that one :)  ...although he'll probably tell ya its the charm I inherited from him...heh heh heh ;)  Love him.

I may not be as good as my Mom, or my Dad... but like i told ya, I'm a work in progress, and if you feel like donating to a real cause that is helping the people of Staten Island and New York City, I recommend the link below to which I know for sure is going to people who need it the the King on this one.

We need help, and are rebuilding, recovering , and relying on others just like the World does when it happens to them.

Please Donate:
OLQP Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. by Ingrid Gumb

I may not have a balloon made of me in the Thanksgiving Day Parade...yet, ( Hellloooo Call Macy's Please ) .. but no matter what hits NYC I'm here to report it to you with the truth I remain, one lucky son of a gun,  Edward...

The King of New York Hacks.

Much <3 and Peace Peeps..and Thank you all who have donated through my Facebook page, I can never repay you for your kindness but will do my best. Cheers. #KONYH