Hurricanes destroy piers and boardwalks, in much the way fire destroys grasslands; it has always and ever will. The Boardwalk in Atlantic City has been destroyed by storm many times, and ever rebuilt, because they become something too important to who a city is to be done without. Hurricane Sandy smashed Seaside Heights, crushing the Funtown Pier and the Casino Pier which gave bunny_hugger and I our first perfect day together, and so many other happy and wonderful times after. A part of ourselves has been there always, and ever shall be. This has not relieved our grief.
Casino Pier as we knew it that first day was, in some ways, lost even before this. Part of an amusement pier's nature is to change, in eternal rotation, until one runs across a photograph of the place from decades before and realizes it's full of what used to be. Part of the nature of a delight like that --- amusement park, carnival, World's Fair, fan convention --- is that it does recede into memory and legend, with a few chance relics to hold onto.
I last visited the piers with bunny_hugger on New Year's Day of this year. We came back from it that day affianced, as a freak early-winter thunderstorm rolled in this odyssey year, to find that our diner, where we first ate together, had changed its identity in matching ours. If that time must be our last visit to the old Seaside Heights, then the old boardwalk and piers can recede into the untouchable perfection of our shared memory in tearful joy.
In personal business, my family is all well, to all reports. They've been without power more than 24 hours, but everyone's safe and sound.