In front of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) Center at 46 Hester Street, Billig met three other people, among the throngs of eager volunteers, who had both come from down the street and across the bridge to help their fellow New Yorkers. She teamed up with Ariel Bardi, who came from Park Slope after spending two days at Occupy Sandy’s relief headquarters in Red Hook; Stephen Cash, a long-time Lower East Sider; and Christina Reilly, a filmmaker who used to live in the Lower East Side and walked across the Williamsburg Bridge to her former neighborhood as soon as she’d heard about the relief movement. The four former strangers headed down the street hauling bags filled with water, food, candles, batteries and other supplies.
“It’s overwhelming to see how incredibly organized and mobile everyone can be so quickly,” said Reilly. “Not that it’s surprising. It’s an island full of type As, so you know shit will get done.”
Reilly also noted the ease that Occupy Sandy—once organized—was not only able to rally more than enough supplies but also had people to deliver it. Outside of the powerless enclave below 39th street, the life in the city seemed to be carrying on as if nothing had happened.
“There’s tons of stuff elsewhere, it’s just blocks away,” Reilly said. “It’s just moving it around and getting people to do the legwork, getting up all these stairs and everything.”