A latte and a charge at Starbucks in Islip

The Starbucks Coffee logo in Mountain View, Calif.

The Starbucks Coffee logo in Mountain View, Calif. on Jan. 3, 2012. Photo Credit: AP

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At a Starbucks on Main Street in Islip Thursday afternoon, Ken Frey was one of nearly two dozen customers looking for more than just a latte. He also needed a charge -- for his laptop.

Without power since Sandy struck, he's relied on his wife to charge portable DVD players, cell phones and other electronic devices at her job -- all for the stay-at-home dad to have something to occupy his two young children, and to have a little sanity for himself.

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"Thank God for the Nintendo DS, that's all I can say," said Frey, 47, of East Islip.

Frey, an unemployed creative director, came to the coffee shop so that he could file for his unemployment benefits, and also to postpone a phone interview.

Without reliable phone services, he's loathe to keep the job interview appointment. As he spoke, Sydney, 5, and Ian, 4, sipped strawberry and cream drinks and ate a chocolate chip cookie.

"Do you have power?" Sydney asked someone talking to her father.

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Next, the family was off to wash clothes at a nearby laundromat, a task usually done at home.

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