A year ago today, Hurricane Sandy had ruined homes, trees, and cars in Ditmas Park–and claimed the lives of 24-year-old neighbor Jessie Streich-Kest and her friend Jacob Vogelman while they were out walking Jessie’s beloved dog, Max. Max was injured in the incident and now lives with Jessie’s mother Fran who, in the best story to come out of the tragedy, has bonded with Jacob’s mother Marcia over the past year.
This afternoon, flowers and chalk messages surround a mosaic memorial on Ditmas Avenue between E 18th and E 19th Street where Jessie and Jacob were found.
Balthasia, Jessie’s own ode to Ditmas Park, was posted on the Jessie Streich-Kest Fund’s Facebook page yesterday. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy Jessie’s words and familiar images around the neighborhood, and join us in thinking of her, Jacob, and their family and friends today.
If you’d like to honor Jessie’s memory with a charitable act, you can donate to the Jessie Streich-Kest Fund, which awards scholarships to students graduating from the Bushwick School for Social Justice (where Jessie taught up until her passing), or Sean Casey Animal Rescue, who covered Max’s medical bills.