In light of the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, the state offered to buy out homeowners (at higher than pre-storm prices) in three hard-hit, low-lying Staten Island neighborhoods, with the idea that the houses would then be torn down and the flood-prone areas ultimately depopulated and returned to nature. As is the case with the other neighborhoods, the vast majority of homeowners here in Fox Beach, a section of Oakwood Beach, have decided to take the buyout and head to higher ground. Most of the houses still standing here are vacant, boarded up, and awaiting their date with the wrecking ball (or perhaps the Caterpillar 320B L hydraulic excavator).
This sign is the only remaining trace of St. John's Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, which was swept off its foundation by Hurricane Sandy and later demolished.
The second such creature we've seen
This LoBaido-painted trailer is (or at least was) the main center of operations of Guyon Rescue, a grassroots relief organization that grew out of two people showing up here in Oakwood Beach after Hurricane Sandy to distribute donated items to the community. The group became a neighborhood fixture in the months following the storm, but some neighbors have now grown tired of the trailer still being parked here after all this time. Two women who live across the street were complaining to me about this "eyesore" quite bitterly — but I guess it's a good sign of the neighborhood's recovery that people's lives are stable and settled enough for something like an ugly trailer sitting across the street to be worth worrying about.
Here at the SSG Michael Ollis VFW post, a LoBaido flag surrounds a plaque memorializing the Staten Islanders killed by Hurricane Sandy: 24 individuals plus "all unidentified victims".
For three blocks, this little drainage channel takes the place of Adelaide Avenue, severing Medina Street and Tarrytown Avenue in the process.
Welcome to the LoBraico family theater. Just pull up to the curb and tune your radio to 88.1 FM. Now playing: The Polar Express.
This marshside beacon (bird's eye view) serves as the front range light for the Swash Channel in Lower New York Bay. (The rear range light is located farther inland and at a higher elevation. When the two lights are aligned from a ship's point of view, that means the ship is correctly lined up with the channel and can safely proceed through it. Here's an example of what two aligned range lights look like.) The Elm Tree Lighthouse (which we saw earlier today) and the New Dorp Lighthouse served as the front and rear range lights, respectively, for the channel until 1964, when the tower pictured above became the new front light and the stately Staten Island Lighthouse, which was already in use as the rear light for the heavily trafficked Ambrose Channel, had a second light added to it so it could also function as the rear light for the Swash Channel.