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Executive Editor Josh Raab Layout Editor Anita Isola Chief Financial OffierCory Schwartz Production Assistant Romina Hendlin

Contributing Photographers Adrian Fussell Andre Malerba Cassie Giraldo Cory Schwartz Daniel Tepper Gaia Squarci Johnny Milano Josh Raab Vittoria Mentasti

Cover Photo: Adrian Fussell Rockaway Park, NY JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2

March’13


Letter From The Editor For this, the second installment of Jay Peg’s Photo Publication, nine recent graduates of the International Center of Photography Documentary and Photojournalism Program set out to look at how the recovery has progressed in the five months since the storm. What has changed from the photos we saw in November? What remains the same?

I took the images and edited them into a single comprehensive photo essay. This approach allows for the larger scope of the issue to flourish. The essay is divided into two sections: The main section is accompanied by an essay by New York Magazine writer John Knight, which ties the images together weaving the moments they capture into a complex story. The closing section takes a more experimental approach to portraiture, pairing the images with FEMA rejection letters and pages from child psychology handouts, making the viewer all too aware that those affected could have been just about anyone.

Sandy coverage is as important now as it was five months ago.  The recovery effort seems to have reached an apex where short term solutions are either being replaced by long term solutions or by nothing at all.  The major cleanup is nearing an end, and for so many the long slow road to recovery is only beginning.  Simultaneously, there is widespread renewal as businesses reopen their doors and families move back into their homes.  My hope is that this issue will help make people aware of the continuing struggles Sandy has caused and will serve as an unbiased document of this page in history. ~Josh Raab

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Photo: Cory Schwartz Long Beach, NY

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After the Storm

A sense of home in the months after Hurricane Sandy Text by John Knight (Writer at New York Magzine Former Editor in Chief of Once Magazine)

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What is home? Something warm. Something safe. A point of reference. It holds us in and keeps what we don’t want out. It is a place from which to depart knowing that it will be here upon our return. Home is a sanctuary of what we know, a place where comforts lie, the collections of all our stuff.

It is a point on the map to which you can point and say, ‘I know that place.’ Home is sacred. Home is strong.

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Photo: Cory Schwartz Long Beach, NY

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But recently home has been threatened. They are fighting for home. Now home is broken. Home is gone. One of the photographs in the opening page of this photo story is of a chair beneath an array of cement pillars. The ground is covered in dirty snow, the cement the color of ashes. And the chair—black wooden frame with an upholstered pink cushion—is entirely out of place. Beyond it the columns draw the eye up from the chair to focus on a blank horizon. Like a hallway of mirrors, except here there is no reflection. Just a zeroing-in on nothing.

A chair like this belongs in a home. No one will want to sit in it, here.

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Photo: Andre Malerba Rockaway Parkway, NY

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Photo: Josh Raab Fire Island, NY

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Photo: Josh Raab Belle Harbor, NY

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Photo: (L&R) Adrian Fussell Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo:(L-R) Daniel Tepper Staten Island, NY Josh Raab Chadwick Beach, NJ

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Photo: (L-R) Josh Raab Ocean Grove, NJ Cory Schwartz Ocean Grove, NJ

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Photo: (L-R) Adrian Fussell Rockaway Park, NY Josh Raab Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo: Josh Raab South Seaside Heights, NJ

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Photo: Josh Raab, Lavallete, NJ JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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Photo: Josh Raab, Fire Island, NY JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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Photo: Adrian Fussell Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo: Andre Malerba Rockaway Park, NY

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In another image we are looking out from a dark room at the ocean. Past a broken fan and a struggling pine tree, a woman walks on the beach. The ocean is the color of precious stones. Hard to believe now that it could ever be so angry. But the ocean is so much bigger than this little room. Will it stay out there?

We don’t want the ocean in this home.

Photo: Andre Malerba Rockaway Park, NY


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These photographs are of a mundane process; it doesn’t take long for destruction to become old news. We expect to watch the house being crushed by wind—the lump of shredded wood on the sand is less exciting. The slow, honest cleaning and clearing and rebuilding is a dull process to watch and yet it may take years for the Sandy victims to regain the stability swept out from beneath them. Just like Katrina survivors and Tohuku survivors and Haiti earthquake survivors, Sandy survivors are now those people who have to rebuild. And it’s a hard story to hear again and again: that there isn’t enough money, that politicians are squabbling, the insurance doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, and that people are still homeless.

Yet four months after the storm touched down, decimating the eastern seaboard, these people are still homeless.

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Photo: (L-R) Josh Raab, Rockaway Park, NY Johnny Milano, Chadwick Beach, NJ

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Photo: (L-R) Gaia Squarci, Midland Beach, NY Adrian Fussell, Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo: (L-R) Josh Raab, Rockaway Park, NY Gaia Squarci, Staten Island, NY

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Photo: (L&R) Josh Raab, Rockaway Park, NY

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Naturally the answers are not clear-cut. There are more cleaning crews and a few construction sites. The occasional bulldozer deletes a heap of wood and metal, or pushes ocean-bottom back towards the ocean. But for the most part, those with damaged or destroyed homes are still at the beginning of the process. Tent cities are becoming routine. Insurance companies are digging in their heels and have been slow to fill claims. FEMA often bears the brunt of frustrations. Mostly, as the cold grey months of winter drag on, residents have returned and are weighing their options. Waiting, and rebuilding, and waiting. This is, after all, their home. Some stand with determined eyes, defiant and ready to replace windows and measure out new beams. There is an opportunity for some to make it better than it was before, to fix problems and to be prepared for the next storm. In doing so, some residents can imagine a home that is even more theirs; in rebuilding this place, they are making the statement that it is where they will stay, no matter what. New boardwalks, new frames, new beams—our home is worth it. JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2

Others faces are less certain. Despite the determination, many still find themselves at the mercy of third parties. Sheila Elliot was recently denied a FEMA grant because not enough damage had been done to her home. Her flood insurance company refuses to pay for damages, and so far she has only been approved for $3,000 of homeowners insurance. She estimates there is hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages that need repair. And then there is the unknown. What do you do when only your stoop is left, adorned with a rusty iron handrail? This dead ground used to be a home, but now it’s just dead ground. Not home. Can you replace something so completely gone? Without help, many lack the resources to be so determined. Things are less certain. These people pass their nights in makeshift tent cities and find their meals in crowded long halls of plastic tables. And of course there are still many abandoned homes strung with caution tape, spilling sand like guts and chewing broken picture frames in the teeth of splintered wood. Is anyone coming


back? The volunteers come. They are the hardest working because one does not need to wait for paperwork to start shoveling sand. And there is so much shoveling to be done. Aching backs from broken stacks of old boardwalk strings and tender tender feet ready for a warm shower. The recovery that has occurred, though small, has been the work of these volunteers who see the need and leave their homes to help.

Photo: Josh Raab, Staten Island, NY #43


Photo: (L&R) Josh Raab, East Rockaway, NY

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Photo: (L,R) Johnny Milano, Seaside Heights, NJ Josh Raab, Jersey Shore, NJ

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Photo: Adrian Fussell, Rockaways, NY #49


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Photo: Josh Raab, Fire Island, NY #51


Photo: (L-R) Cassandra Giraldo Rockaway Beach Boulevard, NY Josh Raab Staten Island, NY

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Photo: (L&R) Josh Raab, Rockaway Beach, NY

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Photo: Daniel Tepper, Staten Island, NY

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Photo: (L-R) Daniel Tepper, Staten Island, NY Adrian Fussell, Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo: (L-R) Gaia Squarci, New Dorp Beach, NY Josh Raab, Belmar, NJ JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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Photo: (L&R) Adrian Fussell, Rockaway Park, NY

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Photo: (L-R) Gaia Squarci, Staten Island, NY Josh Raab, Midland Beach, NY

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But what comes through in these photographs more than anything, is that this is a recovery. All the signs are here: determination, hope, fear, frustration, labor, resignation. These are the trappings of people coming to terms with something they couldn’t control, and searching for solutions still within their grasp. Home will never be the same again, but there will be a home. In the shadow of New York City, a broken boardwalk might as well be stretching out to the world: Don’t forget about us.

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Photo: Daniel Tepper, Staten Island, NY

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Photo: Daniel Tepper, Staten Island, NY JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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Faces of the In some of the portraits that I’ve made, there are accompanying pages from a printed guide that was designed to help children cope with the psychological effects of a hurricane. On others you will see scanned documents provided by the victims themselves on their ironic and frustrating encounters with FEMA or insurance companies. My decision to attach these pages grew from the desire to take an extra step with the images coming out of Sandy. By the time the end of the year came so many people had been overwhelmed with images of destruction and pure chaos that I felt the longer these images flooded our senses the more ineffectual they became, due in part to their immediacy in terms of the type of news and also in terms of the desire of many to dig deeper and see more of what’s actually happening. Being personally effected by Sandy and having it constantly surround my everyday life really pushed me to make an extra push in really trying to engage an audience in a different way that would be more enthralling than static images. The decision to include JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


Misplaced these specific pages from a “children’s guide” was made based on its simplistic irony and unintentional condescension when applied to adults. For instance, the “Help Will Come” tear-out on the portrait of Albert and its simple logic of “if you need help, it will come” is ironic in that for many of the people in these portraits the help did not come. Granted that the necessities of food, water, and temporary shelter were more often than not effective in its distribution, much of the livelihoods of these victims are in pieces, and their desire to get their lives back on track is being muffled by inept insurance companies and government conditionalities. -Johnny Milano

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ALBERT SILBERMAN Albert Silberman, 70, lives off of his Social Security and was unable to afford homeowners or flood insurance, but since he suffered damages in Hurricane Irene and received FEMA assistance, he was denied by FEMA several times on the grounds that they had previously instructed him to purchase flood insurance. Weeks after his wife passed, Hurricane Sandy ripped through his Lindenhurst home, forcing him onto temporary FEMA housing assistance and the uncertainty of a future home. JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2

Photos on 70-83 by Johnny Milano


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GAIL MILANO My mother walks up our driveway with a mask on to prevent the inhalation of spackle dust from the sanding of sheetrock inside our home.

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CARLA SMITH Carla, a resident on Bayview Place, in Massapequa lived in this home with her husband, a retired FDNY. They were still recovering from Hurricane Irene when Hurricane Sandy tore through several homes at the end of Clocks Blvd, inside a small cul-de-sac.

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RALPH & HOPE LAMAGNA Ralph and Hope in their home in Oceanside. Ralph and Hope are among thousands of Long Islanders who have yet to receive their full settlements from the government-run National Flood Insurance Program. Most have gotten some money to start rebuilding. But nearly half of all Sandy-related flood claims filed in New York remain outstanding. (February 1 2013) JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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Anette Sturmann Following Hurricane Irene, Anette Sturmann was successfuly approved to apply for a grant to allow for the raising of her home. Due to buearaucratic ineptness, her application was lost several months later, and come summer 2012 her application was pushed towards the bottom of the pile. By the time Hurricane Sandy arrived, her home had still not been raised, and suffered several feet of flooding.

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HOWARD FAMILY Anette Sturmann with her husband Patrick Howard and daughter Margot Howard in their home.

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Sheila Elliot After Hurricane Sandy, Sheila Elliot was told by FEMA that her home suffered “inadequate damage”. Although Sheila does have flood insurance, her insurance has been of little help or support, and as of February 13 2013, she has not seen a dime from her flood insurance, and received a whopping $3,000 from her homeowners insurance.

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Photo: (L&R) Vittoria Mentasti, Staten Island, NY

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The following portraits were shot at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island, where many families who have lost their homes are hosted.  Some families have been put up by FEMA while others have been rejected and are paying for themselves. Some have been there since November, while others arrived in January. Everyone has a different story but all are struggling with the FEMA bureaucracy. -Vittoria Mentasti

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Photo: Vittoria Mentasti, Staten Island, NY JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


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For those of us not deeply affected by Sandy, it is easy to forget the storm’s impact. These photographs not only remind us, they locate a community within the ruins and question the way that physical structures— houses and boardwalks—are essential to our sense of self. What happens to us when these structures are taken away? There is evidence here that much still remains and though fixes will not be quick, these places will retain their identity. The photos maintain that there is much needed here, but they also speak to a resolution that is frequently the result of a natural disaster: The determined solidarity of so many is not to be overlooked. Juxtaposed against broken houses, these people have declared what this place means to them.

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Photo: Vittoria Mentasti, Staten Island, NY

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Contributing Photographers

ADRIAN FUSSELL

ANDRE MALERBA

CORY SCHWARTZ

CASSANDRA GIRALDO

DANIEL TEPPER

GAIA SQUARCI

JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


JOHNNY MILANO

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VITTORIA MENTASTI

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Photos of Photogs

ADRIAN FUSSELL

ANDRE MALERBA

CORY SCHWARTZ

CASSANDRA GIRALDO

DANIEL TEPPER

GAIA SQUARCI

JayPeg’s Photo Pub. Issue #2


JOHNNY MILANO

All Questions, Comments, and Criticisms:

joshraabphoto@gmail.com JOSH RAAB

VITTORIA MENTASTI

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Jay Peg's Sandy Revisited Issue