By Philip Newman
On the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the Museum of the City of New York has brought back vivid recollections of the incredible destruction wrought by the storm in a display of 200 photos, including one shot by TimesLedger Newspapers Photo Editor Christina Santucci.
Santucci, who was one of the first photographers to reach Broad Channel and the Rockaways after Sandy hit, returned many times over the next months to document the wreckage left behind by the superstorm. Her photos chronicled the disruption of lives, the loss of homes and the leveling of businesses on the vulnerable waterfronts of Queens.
Her picture in the exhibit shows a large beach house in Belle Harbor which has been split open like a doll house. The kitchen is exposed with the counters, floors and appliances at odd angles like the objects in a cubist painting.
“We sent out a call last winter for photos taken after Sandy,” said museum Director Jeff Simmons. “We received nearly 10,000 images and spent many hours studying them and finally paring their numbers down to 200.”
The result was the exhibit “Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy,” which is on display in the museum, at Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in Manhattan. The exhibit opened Oct. 29 and runs through March 2.
Covering almost an entire wall is a monumental blowup of a smashed house in Belle Harbor.
The photos come from rank amateurs with elementary cellphones to veteran professionals using the latest imaging equipment and processes. The museum also acknowledges the important role the camera phone has taken in photojournalism.
Among the 200 photos on display are:
• an aerial shot looking down at a huge square of black in Breezy Point, the remains of more than 100 houses destroyed
• a queue of at least two city blocks of people carrying gasoline cans in the hopes of buying scarce fuel shortly after the storm struck
• United Sikh volunteers distributing food in Far Rockaway
• a photo of an Arverne resident who described how a torrent flooded his house and how he stood on a chair as the water rose, then a table and finally a floating bed.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-260-4536.