On Saturday, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein volunteered in the Hurricane Sandy-devestated Rockaways. And, yesterday, Madonna visited the Queens beach community.
Museum of Modern Art curator Klaus Biesenbach, who has a home there, has been rallying people (including celebrities) to help with relief and volunteer efforts at Aid for Rockaway. He only returned to the Rockaways last week—”my first night in rockaway post sandy…..very dark out here….”— and excitedly noted that stores were re-opening yesterday. He was with Madonna yesterday and later Tweeted, “thanks to madonna for volunteering and keeping the hopes up in the rockaways today!”
Over a week ago, Madonna included her name on a letter from New York artists to Mayor Bloomberg, which notes, “Demographically, it is very diverse and not a privileged area. In recent years, the Rockaways became an incredible inspiration and haven for the artists and creative community of New York. As the Rockaways are, at their best, a melting pot between the local community and the creative energies of the city, it is a location where New York is anticipating and creating the images and dreams we all live on.”
The signers, who include Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Lady Gaga, James Franco, Spike Jonze, Padma Lakshmi, Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright, and many others, also tell Bloomberg they “support the city in your amazing, monumental efforts in all boroughs to save our city and to encourage the creative communities in New York to invent exemplary ways of helping our neighbors and fellow New Yorkers!”
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were also spotted helping in the Rockaways over the weekend. Knicks star Amare Stoudemire also volunteered on Saturday.