The cafe, the pub and the storm

The River Cafe was an ideal location for an interview with historian David McCullough, but then Hurricane Sandy tore through the New York region

With the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, The River Cafe was an ideal location when Morley Safer interviewed historian David McCullough about the great bridge.

Sadly, by the time our piece aired, Hurricane Sandy had torn through the New York region, and the cafe -- located on a barge on the East River -- was torn apart and is still closed.

The cafe's closing is a single example of the great displacement and destruction that remains in the wake of this storm -- the loss of homes, businesses, income, employment, and a bit of history too. For 35 years The River Cafe had been one of the sweet spots in New York -- the site of many marriage proposals, weddings, anniversaries, and birthday celebrations.

But like so many whose lives were torn apart by the wind, flood, and flames, the cafe owners most likely count themselves among the blessed, because they and their employees survived the storm. Many others did not -- the hurricane death toll is now at more than 100.

That is why you still hear, so many weeks later, displaced people say: "But we're so lucky," because they and their families are still alive. But that doesn't mean they're not struggling.

As winter approaches -- foretold by the cold-snap that comes with Thanksgiving in the northeast -- there are still so many families living in shelters, so many jobs literally washed away -- like the 100 or so employees of The River Cafe.

It's a similar situation over in Belle Harbor, N.Y., where a fire brought on by the storm destroyed big parts of the neighborhood, as well as the nearby Harbor Light Pub where, as they say in "Cheers," everybody knows your name. When Scott Pelley reported on the damage and devastation in Belle Harbor, he witnessed the residents' determination to rebuild, as well as a clear need for resources.

For a list of charities where you can contribute to help those suffering from the storm, click here.

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