Photo Of The Day: New Jersey Shore

photo of the day - New Jersey shore post-Sandy
David Elwood, Flickr

Last year’s Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the East Coast, especially around the mid-Atlantic coastline. New York and New Jersey beaches were hit hard, with scores of houses and even towns wiped out. Many places are rebounding, such as Coney Island, which opened officially for the season in April. Today’s Photo of the Day was taken this weekend in New Jersey by Flickr user David Elwood, who also took a shot of Coney Island’s Cyclone that we featured last summer. The roller coaster remains are a sad reminder that not everything is back to normal six months later. Many other beach towns have rebuilt and will be open for business this summer, so don’t count New Jersey out of your travel plans, they need visitors now more than ever.

Add your travel photos (Creative Commons, please!) to the Gadling Flickr pool to be featured as a Photo of the Day.

UPDATE: Several commenters have noted that the roller coaster was removed this week as part of the ongoing clean-up of the Jersey shore. A photograph captures a moment in time, and while this scene may not exist anymore, it’s still a powerful document of history.

Photo Gallery: Hurricane Sandy Damage In Brooklyn

Since Hurricane Sandy first hit the East Coast, photos of the devastating damage have headlined media outlets. Entire communities were lost to this storm, blocks were burned, Lower Manhattan was flooded and lives were lost. Red Hook, Brooklyn, was flooded with 5+ feet, destroying neighborhood homes and businesses. Photographer Ben Britz and I ventured out the day after the storm and collected these photos from Red Hook, Sunset Park and Greenwood Heights in Brooklyn. While the damage we saw didn’t hold a flame to the worst of it, this gallery aims to provide a glimpse into what life in some areas of Brooklyn looked like the day after the storm.

[Photo Credit: Elizabeth Seward]

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Nor'easter Storm Threatens New York as Areas Begin to Flood Again Just After Hurricane Sandy

Airbnb Offers Free Housing For Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

Last week, thousands of residents along the East Coast had their homes destroyed or were left without electricity and heat by Hurricane Sandy. This week brought yet another injustice as a vicious Nor’easter storm bearing snow and frigid temperatures left victims scrambling for shelter. That’s why we were heartened to hear about a just-announced partnership between NYC.gov and apartment rental service Airbnb to coordinate free housing for New York area storm victims.

Since the storm hit New York and New Jersey last Monday, Airbnb has seen a surge in last-minute bookings in storm-affected areas like Atlantic City, New York City and the Hamptons. As a result of the surge, Airbnb announced it was partnering with NYC.gov to waive all fees for all Sandy victims looking for shelter on the service and put in a new call for generous New Yorkers with extra space to donate extra rooms and couches to those in need.

Airbnb is one of several services that let savvy apartment owners make money off their unused space, but what sets them apart is the site’s emphasis on community. Rather than just a place to rent apartments, the site’s users can now help displaced New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents find help in a time of need. We hope more travel brands will look to this example and continue to encourage this kind of generosity and community among members.

[Photo credit: Randy Le'Moine Photography]

Hotel News We Noted: November 2, 2012

biltmore arizona exteriorarizona biltmoreWe’d like to begin this week’s column by sending out our thoughts to all of those who have been without power or homes since Sandy tore through the East Coast earlier this week. While we escaped the worst of the storm in D.C., we know that many of our friends and colleagues in the Northeast were not so lucky. We’ll be reporting on ways travelers can help throughout the coming weeks.

The hotel news, however, must go on. So, without further ado, here is this week’s issue of “Hotel News We Noted.”

If you’re interested in sending us newsy tidbits or comments, please do so via email. We welcome reader mail! We’re also seeking hotels and travel companies offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials for an upcoming special edition.

Storm Loss: $700 Million In Business Lost
A new Wall Street Journal article estimates that the one-day loss totals from Hurricane Sandy equaled 600,000 business trips lost and $700 million in associated spending loss. Significant, sure, but not compared to the $50 billion plus expected to clean up the damage as a result of the storm. Still, for the tens of thousands of travelers still stranded in airport hotels waiting to get home and those who are currently staycationing because their buldings lack power, we hope you get home soon.

Hotel Openings: In North Korea?
We all knew those crazy North Koreans were on a power trip. Now the AP is reporting (see the full story over on our friends at HuffPo) that the “world’s tallest hotel,” Pyongyang’s Ryugyong Hotel, will likely open next year. The 105-story hotel will partially open more than two decades after initial construction began, via a management contract with European hotel chain Kempinski.New Hotel Partnership: Gaylord Joins Marriott
Marriott now has a 14th brand. As of early 2013, Gaylord Hotels’ four resorts in the D.C., Orlando, Dallas and Nashville areas will be part of the Marriott Rewards program. Members earn 10 points per dollar spent at Gaylord Hotels on room rate only or two airline miles per dollar spent on room rate only. That’s a good deal for business travelers, many of who find themselves at these massive conference centers for events.

Haute Hotel Package: Holiday Prep at the White Barn Inn
Learn how to be the “Hostess with the Mostess” this holiday season. On November 10, The White Barn Inn, the boutique Relais & Chateaux property in Kennebunkport, ME, is offering guests a Holiday Workshop, complete with a baking class in the new bakery (with champagne, of course), lunch at the famed White Barn Inn restaurant where guests can try their baked creations, and a cocktail class by White Barn Inn expert mixologists to learn to make the hottest holiday cocktails of the season. Rates start at $760 for an overnight plus breakfast for two. Pricey, but if it gets you any closer to Martha Stewart-like fame for your domestic skills, the investment might be worth it.

Hotel Deals of the Week
It seems like even hotels are getting in the holiday spirit early this year. Arizona’s Biltmore is offering an incredible $89 holiday rate for stays booked between Nov. 2 and 9 for stays between Nov. 18 and Dec. 1 or between Dec. 14 and Jan. 1.

[Image Credit: Arizona Biltmore]

Video Of The Day: Time Lapse Of Superstorm Sandy Hitting New York City


Richard Shepherd
created this time lapse video of Superstorm Sandy hitting New York City by using images from the New York Times webcam, which has been positioned on the 51st floor of the Times building in midtown Manhattan since the start of the storm. The video shows the progression of Sandy from noon on October 29 until 9:30 a.m. on October 30. Keep your eye out for a shift at minute 0:42, when electricity went out and downtown Manhattan plunged into darkness.