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. (Jan. 3, 2012) (Credit: AP)

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.

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


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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.

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

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