Story and photos by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer
It was the most interesting traffic jam many on the bus had ever seen.
Vehicles from the National Guard filed by, as did fuel trucks and vehicles from the Department of Sanitation, their hulls leaking brown ooze onto the blacktop. Families in cars piled with bags—canvas bags, garbage bags, sleeping bags—looked like they were going camping.
But they weren’t.
They were going to Far Rockaway, as were northern Manhattan’s Octavio Blanco, Anthony López, and Candice Lai-Fang.
The packed bus this past Sat., Nov. 10th was made even tighter by bags filled with donations they were carrying. The traffic cause for a ride that took over 30 minutes to get from Flatbush in Brooklyn to Far Rockaway.
The three had already spent an hour and a half on the subway, starting out on 181st and Fort Washington Avenue.
But Blanco, López and Lai-Fang were not there to complain; they were there to help.
Blanco had posted a call for fellow volunteers on Uptown Collective’s website, and López and Lai-Fang responded.
Blanco had been to Far Rockaway earlier that week, and was moved to action by the devastation – as were others.