Postcards to the Shore

A couple of months back when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, I shared information in this space about several individuals and nonprofits in this area who’ve been helping out in various ways. Part of the rationale was so that those who needed help might be connected to what they needed; the other part was to encourage those who might want to help, but who weren’t quite sure where to start.

To that end, I’ve launched a project called Postcards to the Shore, which I’ve set up as a means for people to share their stories of the Jersey Shore, in whatever form those stories take. If you’re reading this and you call New Jersey home — or maybe you’re a transplant to or from the Garden State, or you’ve just vacationed here — feel free to head over to and tell your story, in any way you’d like to tell it… through photos, video, fiction, memoir, haiku or koans. The site’s admittedly a bit sparse right now, but with your help (and your stories), it won’t be for long. Then tell a friend, and encourage them to do the same.

We don’t need to wait for the history to be written; we’re in the middle of it, living and writing it day by day. Our stories are our history, our testament, our love letters and our hope.


Humans of New York (HONY) Sandy Relief

I’ve been meaning to write something about Brandon Stanton, AKA Humans of New York (further known as HONY) for a dog’s age now. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that a: I’m a fan of good street photography, and b: I’m conflicted by a number of that genre’s current practitioners, whose work I sometimes find tacky and unneccesarily confrontational. Not so with HONY; I always got the impression with Brandon’s work that it was done by someone who had a real affection for the people he photographs.

Of course, photography can be a bit like acting; you don’t want to read too much into a photographer’s style or choice of subject matter, at least as far as what it might say about them as a person. Having said that, what I love and respect about the work I’ve seen on HONY is that it always seems to be done as much from the standpoint of what the photographer gives to his subject just as much as what he’s taking from (or of) them.

And as it turns out, I probably wasn’t all that far off in the first place. HONY is running a fundraiser on IndieGogo, in partnership with Tumblr. Details below:

Our Mission

Tumblr and Humans of New York are teaming up to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. For ten days beginning November 11th, we will be documenting and sharing the stories of those affected by the storm. We hope to show all sides of the story, featuring not only the victims of the storm but also the first responders and volunteers who are helping them recover. Hurricane Sandy revealed the power of nature, as well as the power of humanity. We aim to document both. By doing so, we hope to encourage YOU to contribute the relief efforts.

The purpose of this fundraiser is to collect donations. However, to spice things up a bit, Tumblr and HONY are teaming up to provide incentives and rewards for donating. Tumblr is throwing in some cool Tumblr gear, and HONY is providing prints and other goodies. We are covering these expenses ourselves so absolutely all money raised will be going to relief efforts.

Where the Money is Going

100% OF PROCEEDS will be going to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation– a highly respected, family-run charity which has been officially endorsed by many NYC officials. The money will immediately be used to provide much-needed resources to those areas hit hardest by the storm. Tunnel to Towers is very proud of the fact that no donations are being spent on overhead, and ALL hurricane funds are going directly to relief. 

Me again. Long story short: visit the Humans of New York website at, or look him up/follow him on Facebook or on Twitter. And if you’d like to donate, you can do so via (you may have to refresh the page a few times before it loads)