Have Refrigerated Meat, Will Travel: In Wake of Hurricane Sandy, Jake Dickson Wanders the Upper East Side

Journalist Nancy Matsumoto has an unexpected post-Hurricane encounter with artisanal butcher Jake Dickson (of Dickson’s Farmstand Meats) on the Upper East Side.

Inside his roving truck, Dickson and his meat remain chill, despite the disaster.

It’s been surreal, sitting out Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath of death, destruction and displacement from the leafy confines of the Upper East Side.

Just a few miles away, homeless people are wading through sewage or picking through rubble trying to salvage a few mementos, while up here, irate commuters stuck in traffic or waiting for the reduced-schedule Madison Avenue bus is about as bad as it gets. An incident early yesterday morning, though, brought the disaster closer to home.

On my power walk to the gym, I spotted a familiar face smiling at me on the corner of 84th and Lex. I waved and said hello, and a split-second later, put together face with name. It took a moment because the bearded visage was totally out of geographical context. What was downtown artisanal butcher, Jake Dickson, the guy behind Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, doing on the Upper East Side, drinking coffee and loitering on a corner with his wife Jen and fluffy white Italian Spinone, Olive?

Of course, I realized, the Chelsea Market vendor must be among the tens of thousands of displaced downtowners, like the Greenwich Village friend who arrived yesterday afternoon to camp out in my apartment.

In Dickson’s case, though, much more than a carton of spoiled milk is at stake…

Read the rest of this story here on Nancy Matsumoto’s blog.


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Nancy Matsumoto is a freelance journalist who writes about health, food, arts and culture. Her advice to other food-loving parents: Think twice before you introduce your 12-year-old to Kobe beef burgers. Photo Credit: Jennifer Rowsom