Not Ready For My Closeup, Max


Two months after Hurricane Sandy, Google Street View is not going down so well in hard hit areas…particularly in Staten Island.  Residents there are furious over the “establishing shots” that Big G’s film crew is taking of their obviously devastated neighborhoods. While some claim that such mapping will draw attention to this extensive and lingering devastation, most disagree; in the course of its photographic cruising, the colorfully painted Street View car usually zooms in on bleak and annoyed faces amid the ruins.

Google’s Street View car was first reported by the New York Post as it made its way past a number of homes that were totaled by the storm. Some local residents told the Post they worried that the photos of the damage could decrease property values in the area, while others said the move was insensitive.

A statement from New York City’s mayoral spokesperson indicated that city officials had collaborated with Google to document the devastation as a means to fundraiser. NY Mag

A month ago, I drove over to Staten Island to satisfy my own bit of morbid curiosity. The damage I saw was truly bad.  Whereas the destruction in some neighborhoods (mainly in the South Beach and Tottenville sections…low-lying areas situated near bodies of water: the Outer Bay and the Arthur Kill respectively) is extreme, other neighborhoods were hardly damaged at all. Additionally, a common sight is often of one house being utterly demolished while a house right next to it is perfectly intact. This is the case throughout NYC wherever Hurricane Sandy did its worse.