By Anessa V. Cohen

The newspapers have been full of stories of economic changes. Where you sit in their prognosis depends on how lucky you have been this past year.

One article will focus on the economy’s upward swing, and then the next article will tell you of all the people still unemployed and hoping and praying to get a decent-paying job. Since these articles seem to be evenly divided, it seems to me that everyone is guessing and the newspapers are tossing a coin to see which side they are going to promote on a given day.

The same may be said about those trying to recover from Superstorm Sandy, of non-blessed memory. Some have rebuilt and moved back into their homes–probably burned out from dealing with the insurance companies and then mortgage lenders before even dealing with the repairs and reconstruction of their homes, but have rebounded stronger, smarter, and more resilient than before the storm. Others are still fighting through the system, trying to get through the maze of bureaucracy while living out of suitcases in temporary rentals–ups and downs at the throw of the dice, like the economy.

We all know who the losers were during Sandy. I decided to throw a little levity into this article and talk about winners from Sandy–probably who the newspapers are referring to when they report a little boon to the economy.


Contractors. Honest and crooked, licensed and unlicensed, contractors all made out like bandits during this once-in-a-lifetime “flood” (excuse my sarcasm) of endless contracting jobs.

Insurance adjusters from down South. Most of these adjusters had only heard of New York as a place on the map where they never intended to visit, but now were going house to house with the authority to give professional estimates as to how much everything was going to cost–and then used southern pricing from Louisiana as opposed to New York pricing for insurance claims.

JFK Airport. They closed (or opened, depending whom you ask) their floodgates and so had no flooding.

ABCs. Everyone living on the last block next to the lake on Arbuckle, Barnard, and Church who had not a drop of flooding while everyone else was under water.

New York car dealers. These dealers never had it so good, even in their dreams, selling out every car they could get their hands on to replace the thousands of waterlogged cars that were probably sent to Africa for the used-car lots there.

Car-rental companies. They made money up the wazoo, but could not take the time to be more sensitive or polite to those who were number 750 or 900 on a wait list for a rental car.

Gas generator retailers. Some retailers had no compunction about raising the prices on generators hourly once they saw how people were suffering.

Boiler and hot water tank manufacturers and retailers. Some of these retailers never in their wildest dreams imagined making the sales they did this year.

Mold and mildew specialists. Their phones rarely rang prior to Sandy.

– – –

The envelope please? The absolute first-place winner and prize goes to . . . the white vans going door to door sifting through the garbage for iron and other metal to salvage. By far they made off with the biggest haul of this fiasco. Even contaminated metals were worth their weight in gold, and these guys made off with enough of the stuff to sit back and retire–and they get extra points for “greening the environment” since everything they collected was recycled! v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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