Brighton Beach after Hurricane Sandy (slide show)

A week and a half after Sandy pummeled New York, volunteers from Time Out helped Brighton Beach residents affected by the storm.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach fights to recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Click through for more photos, plus quotes from Time Out staffers about their experiences while volunteering.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Lauren Reddy, digital marketing publicist
    “The majority of the residents we met in Brighton Beach spoke only Russian. Though we struggled to communicate with words, their gratitude translated. Many people we met were equally as excited to see a friendly face as they were to receive food, water and blankets. Stressed after leaving my own powerless home, I was touched by the community’s resilience and cheer in spite of their circumstances.”

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Jenna Scherer, associate editor
    “The first thing we noticed when our bus drove into Brighton Beach was the incredible amount of sand that had piled up where sand wasn’t supposed to be—on the roads, on the boardwalk, piled in drifts like snow. A couple of kids were trying to make the most of it, using bits of refuse that littered the beach—wooden planks, milk crates—as improvised sleds. A loose chunk of boardwalk faced out toward the sea, its jagged edge leading off to nowhere.

    In spite of the devastation—apartment buildings with no heat or electricity, the creeping shoreline, the smell of leaking gas in the air—the residents were pulling together and pushing through. Everyone we met was extremely thankful and friendly. The Shorefront YM-YWHA and its volunteers are going above and beyond to help the community.”

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Christy Stewart, account manager
    “When disaster strikes, things can go one of two ways—people either turn against each other or band together. In the aftermath of Sandy, it has been beautiful to see New Yorkers do the latter.”

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Janet Caputo, social media marketing director
    “The selflessness of the affected residents was overwhelming. Many people living in buildings without electricity, heat or water refused extra blankets and food saying that there were other families with greater needs.

    William Dexter, our IT guy, was really the MVP of the day. Not only did he act as our Russian translator, he helped troubleshoot an elderly resident’s answering machine problems after helping her up six flights of stairs—all while carrying her walker.”

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, after Hurricane Sandy

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Brighton Beach fights to recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Click through for more photos, plus quotes from Time Out staffers about their experiences while volunteering.


On Friday, November 9, a group from Time Out went to Brighton Beach to volunteer with the Shorefront YM-YWHA, which is coordinating outreach efforts in the area in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Carrying everything from bagged lunches and bottled water to blankets and toiletries, we went door-to-door in buildings where the residents were still without power, checking in on people who were either unable to leave their homes or had extreme difficulty doing so.

The neighborhood is still in need of aid. If you’d like to help Shorefront in repairing homes damaged by water and debris, e-mail info@shorefronty.org. You can also give to the effort by visiting Shorefront’s donation page. Find other opportunities to pitch in at New York Cares, who coordinated our project with the Y.

Click through to see images of the scene in Brighton Beach, captured by Time Out online photo editor Virginia Rollison, and for impressions of the day from a few of the staffers who volunteered.


Users say

2 comments
orlando santos
orlando santos

I lived on brighton 7st in the 80s and loved it I now live in C.A, I still feel bad for everyone there .I HOPE AND PRAY that life gets better for every one (GOD BLESS)

orlando santos
orlando santos

I grow up on brighton 7st I now live C.A but I still feel bad for everyone there and I hope and pray that live will get better. GOD BLESS