Note: The Kerry Hills Grand Re-Opening has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 16.
I've written about Rockaway Beach before, so maybe you know that my mother is the proprietor of the Kerry Hills Pub.
And we all know by now the devastation that the community suffered during Sandy-- and afterwards, when it became more and more clear what would and would not be covered by insurance, what would and would not be deemed "worth rebuilding," what unpaid bills would and would not be deferred due to unforeseen circumstances.
When you visit Rockaway, you quickly realize that the community will indeed rise again; the singlemindedness is palpable. But you also realize, maybe even more quickly, that this rebuilding is happening one brick, one electrical panel, one furnace replacement, at a time.
This is as opposed to the impression that I think we’ve been led to by the media (and even each other, on social networks), that a megaconcert like 121212 would serve as a magic wand that, swept over the southeast shoreline of New York City, could transform a grim Kansas to a bright glittering Oz.
So there’s a long way to go.
I suppose this still counts as the dead of winter. But, maybe just out of a habit formed over decades of focusing on summer, the people of Rockaway Beach have their eyes set on the warm days ahead. That may be all they really have the power to do, and maybe one of the best things we can do is to keep them company in the process, and remind them that an event like this-- no high-end logos, no corporate sponsors, not even a stage-- is the only way that communities are really built.