Post-Sandy Lodging Options: Air BNB or Cory Booker’s Bed

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It's been said that Newark Mayor Cory Booker is acting as a one-man disaster-relief crew, and while he's out delivering blankets and picking up people's prescriptions, he's invited his neighbors to camp out in his house and even sleep in his bed. Here in New York, the mayor hasn't extended the same offer, but others are making their homes available — some for a modest fee and some apparently for free — on Air BNB, which has waived its own fees for Sandy-relief pads. But you can bet none of them are going to be as fun as Booker's. The Observer's Hunter Walker checked in on the mayoral slumber party and despite the circumstances, it sounds downright homey.

“He brought us DVDs, he’s bringing in food … he came by brought us popcorn and then brought us trick-or-treat candy. He’s been back and forth checking on us and calling … You know, ‘There’s beds, get in the beds, bring your covers.’ Everybody wanted to camp out that’s what we were doing and, you know, we slept over last night,” Ms. Bell said.

Along with popcorn, the menu at Mr. Booker’s house consisted of chicken, fish, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, corn bread and candied yams from King’s Family Restaurant. According to Ms. Bell, “we ate good.” The DVD selection focused on movies for the mayor’s younger house guests.

“There were kids, so everything was age appropriate. We watched Spiderman, we watched Kung Fu Panda, Happy Feet,” Ms. Bell said. “And he brought – the kids had Play-Doh, and coloring books and stuff–supplies. We kept each other entertained, trying to keep each other’s spirits up.”

Though Ms. Bell said Mr. Booker allowed his guests to sleep at his house, including in his bed, she’s not sure the mayor got any rest himself.

Sadly, we're not holding out hopes for a similar situation at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's houses here in New York. He's just got a different style — robber baron style — and besides, everybody would be too terrified of breaking the antique tables and $40,000 sconces to get any rest.