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October 30, 2012

Did Wire Services, Big Media Overlook Homeless in Sandy Photo Coverage?

Saks Fifth Avenue

Goldman Sachs

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

Damaged crane dangling from $1.5 billion mid-town luxury high-rise

One57 is slated to be 90 stories tall when it is completed and it’s already attracted rich investors from Russia, South Korea and China willing to plunk down a minimum of $7 million for a condo in the building.

The dizzying tower at 157 W. 57th St. will put the Trump Tower to shame in terms of opulence, with floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular views, high-end appliances and master bathrooms the size of one-bedroom apartments.

Crowning it all will be a $90 million, 10,923-square foot duplex on the 89th and 90th floors.

Tourists were immediately drawn to the spectacle.

– Via: Crane collapse in midtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy storms into the East Coast (NY Daily News)

One of the most troubling aspects of the photo coverage of Hurricane Sandy in the onset, and then the onslaught of the disaster is the near absence of the homeless. Scanning through the major wire services and photo galleries of the larger corporate news organizations, there is an enormous amount of photography documenting the wind, sea and pelting rain, as well as the pounding effects on urban as well as outlying property and infrastructure. Regarding those citizens people relegated to the streets, however, apparently the homeless — as is true in this critical election we are in the closing days of — disappeared into the blind spot.

There are some articles to be found (HuffPo, NY Observer) focusing on the homeless. The accompanying photos seem to be snapped by local or amateur sources, however. If you were following the media photo stream, on the other hand, you’ll notice there is no shortage of images of the sandbagged or emptied New York Stock Exchange or America’s retail-industrial complex so professionally-protected.

Hurricane Sandy homeless Demotix

The notable exception, it seems, is a poignant photo essay (“Hurricane Sandy approaches New York City as homeless remain outside“), mostly taken in Harlem and Central Park, offered by the freelance photojournalist network, Demotix. Unfortunately, the best link for you to see it is on the Demotix site itself (click just above) because it doesn’t seem like any publisher of scale or reach chose to purchase it.

(photo 1: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images caption: A woman walks past a boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City on Oct. 29, 2012 as New Yorkers prepare for Hurricane Sandy which is suppose to hit the city later tonight. photo 2: Michael Appleton for The New York Times. caption: At the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan. photo 3: Eleazar David Meléndez/IBD Times caption: Sandbags set in front of the New York Stock Exchange in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. photo 4: Richard Drew/Reuters. caption: The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday morning, after stock and options exchanges and their regulators decided late Sunday that U.S. markets would be closed for the day. photo 5: Andrew Kelly/Reuters caption: A partially collapsed crane hangs from a high-rise building in Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy makes its approach in New York on Oct. 29, 2012.)

  • Marie

    I’ve been thinking about the homeless too. I’ve been remembering this man, Carlos and his tiny house under the subway. http://tinyhouseblog.com/humanitarian/tiny-house-under-the-subway/ I hope, hope, hope, he found better shelter before the storm hit and flooded so many tunnels.

  • http://twitter.com/marcsobel marcsobel

    I can’t help thinking that the green bags in front of Goldman Sachs are full of currency.

  • LanceThruster

    Reports of such widespread devestation most often make me think of this from Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    from: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/speeches/ike_chance_for_peace.html

    [begin text]

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.

    This is one of those times in the affairs of nations when the gravest choices must be made, if there is to be a turning toward a just and lasting peace.

    It is a moment that calls upon the governments of the world to speak their intentions with simplicity and with honesty.

    It calls upon them to answer the question that stirs the hearts of all sane men: is there no other way the world may live?

    [end text]

  • Cactus

    Appropriately enough, the ends of the bags in front of Goldman Sachs look
    like dollar bills. Although I’m sure they are $100 bills. It is Goldman Sachs,
    after all.

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  • SylvianKnolls

    I would like to point out the pitiful lack of sandbags in front of the NYSE. In a panned out view there are major gaps in the sandbag coverage. I know this was a H.A.A.R.P. created storm, meant to hit NYC financial district and Wash. D.C. Why? To sanitize through water their crimes against the people of this land. They were hoping this storm would ruin all the evidence of the money that has been stolen from the people and the land.
    When the subway tunnels are cleaned out the death toll will climb expodentionally. I am sure the homeless went underground when the weather became to much during the storm. At least their trials are over in this hell and they are in a much better place now. All the strife and uncertainties of survival are over for them. For those of us left, the battle is just beginning.

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