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Flatbush + Main Episode 18: Hurricane Sandy, Five Years Later

By Julie Golia

Posted on October 3, 2017

In Episode 18 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia consider what it means to remember and document Hurricane Sandy five years after the storm devastated many parts of Brooklyn.


02:37 – Histories and Ideas: Robin Michals
18:21 – Into the Archives: Julie May
32:06 – Voices of Brooklyn: Pam Harris

For complete show notes, go to

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Segment 1: Histories and Ideas

In segment 1, Zaheer and Julie speak to Robin Michals, Professor of Communication Design at City Tech and acclaimed photographer. In 2010, Robin began a project called Castles Made of Sand, in which she documented areas of New York City under threat from global sea rise. When Sandy hit New York City in October 2012, Robin’s collection of photographs allowed for a powerful “before and after” of the storm. Robin discusses the role of photography in educating the public about climate change, and the haunting experiences of chronicling the impact of sea rise in Brooklyn and beyond.

Here are two photographs that Robin, Julie, and Zaheer discuss in the segment:


These are the sea rise maps that Robin mentions.

Segment 2: Into the Archives

BHS’s Managing Director of the Library and Archives Julie May sat down with Julie and Zaheer to discuss BHS’s “Documenting Sandy” initiative that the institution undertook in the weeks after October 2012.

You can explore just a few of the collected images here.

Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn

Zaheer and Julie listen to the experiences of Pam Harris, a Coney Island resident, during he height of the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy. Pam Harris lived in Coney Island all her life, and was an active community leader who founded Coney Island Generation Gap, a non-profit youth organization. An advocate for restoring services following Sandy, Harris was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2015.

You can listen to the full interview on BHS’s Oral History Portal here.

Segment 4: Endorsements

Zaheer endorsed Linda Gordon’s book talk with Rick Perlstein about her new book, The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition. On Thursday, October 26, Rick Perlstein, described by Politico as “chronicler extraordinaire of American conservatism,” leads this conversation with renowned historian Linda Gordon, whose new book takes an in-depth look at the roots and ramifications of the KKK’s 1920s resurgence. Get tickets here.

Julie endorsed BHS’s three-part series celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State. In the series of conversations, Julie sits down with leading scholars and activists to consider the histories and legacies of women and the vote. Part 1 on Wednesday, November 1, features historian Deborah Gray White. Get tickets here. Part 2 on Monday, November 6, includes Christine Quinn and A’Shanti F. Gholar. Get tickets here. And part 3 on Wednesday, November 8, presents Joan Malin, Allison K. Lange, and Jamia Wilson. Get tickets here.

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