Gilles Peress. Breezy Point, Queens. The Day After.
Way back during Postcards IV, Gilles was heading to Florida when Hurricane Sandy struck the New York area. Florida, as a symbol of escape, took on a new resonance as he toured the battered boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and the fierce presidential election playing out scanned differently when viewed against the abandoned streets of the Rockaways.
On October 30, The Rockaways will be released in book form, for free, by the Concord Free Press. Readers will be asked only to make a donation to a charity of their choice, and to pass the book along to a subsequent reader. The New York Times has the details.
Disasters today are captured by a million cell phones, but Gilles does something else: He uses the temporary halt in the American messaging machine caused by the hurricane to reveal an underlying social structure, always present but difficult to see amidst competing narratives, and to make larger points about class, history, and the construction of the urban landscape.
Check out the book. It’s free, and more than worth it.