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VOLUME 1, NUMBER 5

RECONNECTING DOWNTOWN POST-SANDY

DEC. 5 - DEC. 12, 2012

Harbor cruise and ferry lines swamped by Superstorm Sandy BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER

Photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Classic Harbor Line is offering “Cocoa and Carols” cruises through the month of December on its yacht, Manhattan.

Its glassed-in observation lounge lined with pine boughs decorated with small, white lights, Classic Harbor Line’s yacht, Manhattan, eased out of its berth at Chelsea Piers onto the Hudson River, for the first of its December “Cocoa and Carols” cruises to the Statue of Liberty and back. Outside, the lights of Manhattan and Jersey City glimmered in counterpoint to the lights within the cozy, heated lounge as a jazz trio played riffs on holiday music. But as the boat approached Liberty Island, a dark, pinnacled silhouette glowered on the horizon. Ellis Island was dark — completely dark — as Liberty Island would have been, too, if juryrigged LED lights had not been directed toward the Statue of Liberty. Though the Statue survived Superstorm Sandy unscathed, both Ellis and Liberty Islands were severely damaged and will not reopen to the public in 2012. No anticipated opening date has been announced. Statue Cruises, which previously ferried an average of 10,000 people a day to Ellis and Liberty Islands at this time of year, now is reduced to taking around 2,500 people a day on harbor cruises and has had to lay off 130 employees, with more layoffs to come. Among New York City’s cruise and ferry lines, Statue Cruises was not the only casu-

An unaccustomed quiet on Stone Street BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER A year ago at this time, or even six weeks ago before Sandy came calling, Stone Street’s restaurants would have been bustling with office workers at lunchtime and happy hour and with neighborhood residents at dinnertime. Now, though all of Stone Street’s restaurants have reopened, empty tables abound. Many large office buildings in the neighborhood are dark as

they will probably be for months to come. Many residents have moved away. On the two short blocks between Hanover Square and 85 Broad St., what is purportedly Manhattan’s oldest paved street is home to 13 restaurants with two more scheduled to open in February. Six of these restaurants are owned in whole or in part by the Poulakakos family. Five are owned or co-owned by Ronan Downs. The other two are singletons.

Most were flooded by Sandy, sustaining thousands of dollars in damage. The first of Downs’ restaurants to reopen was Beckett’s, normally a boisterous sports bar, which welcomed a few customers on the evening of Friday, Nov. 2. One of his other restaurants, The Dubliner, didn’t reopen until Dec. 3, and then it was cash only with a limited menu. Continued on page 2

alty. The offices of Classic Harbor Line were flooded with four feet of water on Oct. 29, courtesy of Superstorm Sandy. “It came above desk level,” said Capt. Sarah Greer. “Our monitors and computers were ruined.” She said they will cost $20,000 to $25,000 to replace. In addition to the Manhattan, Classic Harbor Line operates two sailboats from Chelsea Piers. All were designed and constructed by Scarano Boat Building in Albany, N.Y. When Sandy struck, the floating docks to which the sailboats were attached came off the pilings. Rick Scarano and his daughter, Chris, managed to save the boats but it was a close call, according to Greer. She also said that Classic Harbor Line suffered because there were a lot of cancellations for its winter harbor cruises. The Manhattan’s popular architecture tour normally involves a circumnavigation of Manhattan Island with members of the American Institute of Architects aboard to point out the sights. Because the Harlem River is currently closed, the route has had to be modified. The architecture cruises are still going out Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of December but are heading to the Brooklyn Navy Yard instead of going around the island. For the Continued on page 6

IN THIS ISSUE

GRANTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 TRINITY WALL ST . . . . 4 & 5 NEXT STORM . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

now Chelsea


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December 5 - December 12, 2012

Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Three restaurateurs gathered in Smörgas Chef at 53 Stone St. to talk about the impact of Superstorm Sandy and what their restaurants are doing to recover. (Left to right): Nelson Baez, general manager of Smörgas Chef, Ronan Downs, owner or co-owner of five Stone Street restaurants, with two more on the way, and Paul O’Connor, co-owner of Mad Dog & Beans.

Quiet Stone Street Continued from page 1

Downs estimates that the physical cost was $40,000 to $50,000 or more for each of his restaurants. “But we don’t really know yet,” he said, “because a lot of the machinery [that we reinstalled] could break down in a month’s time. We’ve already noticed that some of it has to get fixed. It’s all the corrosion from the salt water. But the loss of business is where we really lost. That’s around $150,000 for each store.” Stone Street’s other restaurateurs tell a similar tale. “A lot of damage was due to lack of electricity,” said Nelson Baez, general manager

of Smörgås Chef, a Scandinavian restaurant at 53 Stone St. “We lost $10,000 to $15,000 worth of food because we had to throw everything out. We lost some equipment as well.” On Saturday, Nov. 3, the entire staff of Smörgås Chef came in to help clean up. The restaurant reopened for brunch the next day, with a limited menu. Few people showed up to eat, however. Baez believes that between lost business, damage and food spoilage, the restaurant took a $50,000 to $60,000 hit for the week it was closed and the days of reduced business thereafter. The restaurateurs of Stone Street thought they had prepared for Sandy. They moved as much as they could to higher levels of

their stores and sandbagged their doors. But Sandy fooled them. The street itself never flooded. The water came into their basements from below, rushing through subterranean tunnels and drainage pipes. “There was no way to protect against what happened once Con Ed cut our power off,” said Downs. “We had pumps, but without power, they didn’t work. We brought generators in the next day, but by then, it was too late.” The problems were compounded because the telephones didn’t work and for most of the restaurants, the Internet was also down. Two Stone Street restaurants, Burger Burger and Pizza Pizza, depend on phone and Internet orders. Their delivery customers couldn’t reach them. Also, said Paul O’Connor, a partner in a Mexican restaurant called Mad Dog & Beans, “People down here didn’t have phones to order. They didn’t have Internet

to order, so even if you had a phone, even if you had Internet, all the buildings in the area didn’t. You were out of luck either way.” The Stone Street restaurateurs view these hardships as setbacks but not as a knock-out punch. Baez said that he, Downs and O’Connor have discussed trying to get more tourist business to make up for the losses due to closed office buildings. “We need to be proactive and not wait for the offices to come back,” he said. “Maybe some of the Seaport tourists would come here. We are also a historic street with landmarked buildings. At the same time, we might gain back some of our office business – so this might, in the long, run be beneficial.” Smörgås Chef and its sister restaurant, Crêpes du Nord, which opens onto South William Street, have joined forces with Mad Dog & Beans and with Downs and his restaurants to start an organization called Historic Stone Street to market the street. They have printed flyers advertising a 15 percent discount to their restaurants. “Hopefully, one positive thing that comes out of this — once we regain our business, — we’ll continue working together,” said Baez. He said that every week he and the others are seeing an uptick in business. “I’m not discouraged, but I do believe that the City has got to help,” said Downs. “They have to try to get people down here. They could show up and ask us how we’re doing.” He felt aggrieved that no one from the City had done that. However, he said that he had gone to see City Council Member Margaret Chin, who he had never previously met. “She was great,” he said. “I really liked her and I liked all her staff. She listened to us first. She was encouraging that grants will come.” Downs said the Stone Street businesses are “pretty strong but we’ve been very badly affected. I think people who don’t have businesses as strong as ours are in great jeopardy of not returning. And we could throw the towel in as well, but we’re not going to because I think we’re going to come back better and stronger than before.” Most of the Stone Street restaurants are open daily except for some major holidays and serve lunch, dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Downtown Alliance now accepting grant applications The Alliance for Downtown New York is now accepting applications for its Lower Manhattan: Back to Business Small Business Grant Program. The program is for retailers, restaurants and service providers affected by Superstorm Sandy. The maximum grant is $20,000. Completed applications are being processed on a first-come, firstserved appointment basis, for as long as funds are available. Proprietors can obtain applications, guidelines and directions online at http://www.downtownny.com/businessrecovery, by calling (212) 835-2755, by mail to the Downtown Alliance offices or

in person at the Alliance’s offices. Once applications and attachments are complete, they can be mailed back to Back to Business Grant Program, Alliance for Downtown New York, 120 Broadway, Suite 3340, New York, NY 10271 or submitted in person at the visitors’ desk at 120 Broadway, main floor, on the Nassau Street side of the building. Any visit to Downtown Alliance headquarters, whether to pick up an application or for a scheduled appointment requires preregistration with building security. Call (212) 835-2755 to be preregistered with building security. The guest entrance to 120 Broadway is

located on the Nassau Street side on the block between Pine and Cedar Streets and a picture ID is required. The Downtown Alliance contributed the first $1 million to the program. Most recently AT&T New York and Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation added to the fund. Other contributors have included Goldman Sachs, Trinity Church, Citibank, The Durst Organization, The Howard Hughes Corporation, the FiDi Association, and other Lower Manhattan business leaders. Qualifying businesses must be located within Flood Zone A on the south side of Chambers Street and below. They must have 50 or fewer employees and

gross annual revenues of $5 million or less. They must have been open for at least a year or have a five-year lease. They must be open at the time of application, or for those located in buildings closed for storm-related reasons, must be scheduled to open by April 2013. Businesses in that situation will receive their grants when they actually reopen. Finally, they must be able to document loss and replacement costs not covered 100 percent by insurance or other reimbursement for property, equipment or inventory loss due to up to 10 days of street closures, lack of utility service or related conditions.


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December 5 - December 12, 2012

TALK TO US! This is the fifth issue of NYC Reconnects. It is being published weekly as an insert in NYC Community Media’s other newspapers (Downtown Express, The Villager, The East Villager, and Chelsea Now). We would like to hear from you. Send us your comments about this publication and ask questions related to Sandy. We’ll try to get answers. Letters to the Editor are always welcome. Send email to Terese@nycreconnects.com. You can view NYC Reconnects online at www.NYCReconnects.com

Squadron on Sandy and what’s next

Terese Loeb Kreuzer Associate Editor, NYC Reconnects

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER

LOWER MANHATTAN:

BACK TO BUSINESS The Downtown Alliance recently announced a new grant program to support small retailers, restaurants, service SURYLGHUVDQGQRWIRUSURĂ€WVDIIHFWHGE\+XUULFDQH6DQG\ 7KHSURJUDPRIIHUVJUDQWVRIXSWRWRHOLJLEOH HQWLWLHVORFDWHGLQ)ORRG=RQH$VRXWKRI&KDPEHUV6WUHHW *UDQWDSSOLFDWLRQVZLOOEHDYDLODEOHRQRUDERXW November 30, 2012.&RPSOHWHGDSSOLFDWLRQVZLOOEH SURFHVVHGE\DSSRLQWPHQWRQDĂ€UVWFRPHĂ€UVWVHUYHGEDVLV To register and to receive information please visit www.downtownny.com/backtobusiness %URDGZD\6XLWH New York, NY 10271  www.DowntownNY.com

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New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents the 25th Senate District encompassing Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, has been trying to help Sandy victims connect with recovery information but has also been combing through the wreckage for ideas about what to do next. “The programs that we need today to fully recover do not exist,� he said. “It’s something that we’ve experienced before in this community. Part of the process is figuring out the need.� He said that it would be necessary to target City, State and federal programs around those needs taking into account the lessons learned from 9/11, from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and from tropical storm Irene that toppled parts of New York City last year. “There is no way that you go into a crisis like this with all the tools you’re going to need coming out of it,� he observed. While Sandy victims await further government action, he suggested that businesses and nonprofit organizations take advantage of the resources currently available such as the City’s Emergency Loan Fund. It requires no payments for the first six months and then offers a 1 percent interest rate for the following 24 months with no fees for participating in the program. Loans of up to $25,000 are available to be used to replace or repair equipment and facilities or as working capital. (For more information, go to www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness). Squadron believes that, “The broader problem is making sure that the cost of recovery is borne appropriately. It’s a piece

PUBLISHER Jennifer Goodstein

SR. V.P. OF SALES AND MARKETING Francesco Regini

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

RETAIL ADVERTISING MANAGER Colin Gregory

Terese Loeb Kreuzer ARTS EDITOR Scott Stiffler BUSINESS MANAGER/ CONTROLLER Vera Musa

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Allison Greaker Julius Harrison Alex Morris Julio Tumbaco ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Troy Masters

of what we still need to act on. When something like this happens, you have to make sure that insurance companies are taking their fair portion of the cost of recovery and not trying to shirk that responsibility, leaving the victims without hope or the government holding the bag.� On Sunday, Dec. 9, Squadron is hosting what he calls a “Resource Fair and Community Conversation� to address the questions and concerns of his constituents. He will be joined by representatives from City, State, and federal agencies, utility companies, and other organizations that can help with disaster assistance. Many programs have Dec. 31, 2012 deadlines, he noted. “We’ll also discuss opportunities to help out in Sandy’s aftermath, as well as how New York can prepare for future emergencies and recovery,� he said. He asserted that Lower Manhattan “absolutely must rebuild, and will, just as it has in the past. But it needs to rebuild understanding the risks. One of the things we saw was the surge was very destructive but the consequences were different depending on a number of factors that are in our control — how the buildings were built, what the immediate preparations were. There’s a lot we can do as we rebuild to protect ourselves and improve our position.� The Brooklyn session of Squadron’s Resource Fair will take place on Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St. in DUMBO. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Manhattan session will be held at Murry Bergtraum H.S., 411 Pearl St. To attend, email squadron.nysenate.gov or call (212) 298-5565.

SENIOR DESIGNER Michael Shirey

CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Arnold Rozon PHOTOGRAPHERS

CONTRIBUTORS Ira Blutreich Jefferson Siegel Jerry Tallmer

Tequila Minsky Jefferson Siegel Clayton Patterson

WEBMASTER Arturo Jimenez


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December 5 - December 12, 2012

Trinity Wall Street’s aid for Sandy victims BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER In the dim, tranquil light of Trinity Church’s sanctuary, around two dozen people sat on chairs flanking the altar and prayed silently or aloud for comfort in time of sorrow. Trinity’s “Blue Christmas Healing Service” on Dec. 1 was a departure for the 316-year-old parish whose hub is the mid-19th century brownstone church at the junction of Broadway and Wall Street. The service was partly drawn from Episcopalian liturgy, partly from a pastiche of psalms and prayers and candlelighting and music and meditation. Dressed in white vestments, Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee led the service, a box of tissues discreetly tucked under her chair. “We hope it will be helpful for people who will struggle through the holidays because of the losses they incurred from Sandy (whether loss of a loved one, or a home, a job, a business, or hope itself),” she said in an email prior to the event “We’ve never done this before here at Trinity.” In Sandy’s wake, Trinity Wall Street, as the parish is known, has tried to help in many ways — spiritual, practical and financial. On Nov. 10, Julian Wachner, Trinity’s Director of Music and the Arts, led the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque

Orchestra in a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, with the proceeds going to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The concert raised around $40,000 to aid Sandy victims. On the morning of Nov. 19, when Elizabeth Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, announced the launch of a program of grants for Lower Manhattan businesses damaged by Sandy, Rev. Mallonee and Rev. Dr. James Cooper, rector of Trinity, were standing right behind her. Trinity Wall Street was one of the major contributors that helped fund this program. When Community Board 1 wanted to call an emergency executive committee meeting in the aftermath of Sandy to get a sense of the extent of the problems facing Lower Manhattan and what C.B. 1 could do to help, Trinity Wall Street offered its church for the meeting. In addition, the parish is working with the Episcopal Diocese of New York to aid Sandy victims in Staten Island, the region of the diocese that was hardest hit. Trinity has been assisting the congregations of two Staten Island churches — Christ Church, which is near the Staten Island ferry, and St. John’s, which is close to Midlands. “Staten Island had so many donations.

Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Trinity Wall Street presented Bach’s Mass in B Minor performed by the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra conducted by Julian Wachner. The concert was free but donations were solicited during the Kyrie to benefit The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which would channel the money to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Continued on page 5

WE STAND WITH LOWER MANHATTAN Monday’s storm devastated Seaport homes and small businesses. We are learning what can be done to help our neighborhood. Visit our website for updates. newamsterdammarket.org

NEW AMSTERDAM MARKET


December 5 - December 12, 2012

Continued from page 4

Churches and parish halls were overwhelmed,” said Jennifer Chinn, program manager at Charlotte’s Place, Trinity’s drop-in space at 68 Trinity Place with free WiFi access, connections to services for people in need, and arts events such as poetry readings and plays. Chinn has been helping to coordinate the teams of Trinity parishioners and staff members who have been going to Staten Island almost every weekend to help sort donations and do the heavy physical work of pulling down moldy sheetrock walls and other forms of demolition. “People can help in various ways according to their skills and physical capacity,” Chinn said. Trinity has also been taking Brown Bag lunches to Staten Island — an extension of a program that it has been offering for three years in Lower Manhattan. Every Tuesday and Thursday around 150 Brown Bag lunches are given out in front of Trinity Church, mostly to homeless people and low-wage workers. The brown bag meals contain juice and water and food that doesn’t have to be heated such as tuna salad, chicken salad or lasagna along with cookies, fruit and crackers. All the Brown Bags are packed up by Trinity volunteers. When Sandy first hit, Trinity volunteers took thousands of these Brown Bag meals to people who needed food

Utilities must give refunds for Sandy outages New Yorkers who lost electricity, phone and/or Internet service because of Superstorm Sandy and the nor’easter that followed a few days later are entitled to refunds from their service companies says New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Cablevision and Time Warner Cable will remove video, Internet and phone charges for days without cable television service. After service has been restored, customers should notify them by email or telephone of the number of days of cable outages. A credit should appear on the next monthly bill, or at the latest, the one thereafter. Both cable companies will also replace without charge cable boxes, DVRs and remote controls that were damaged by the storm. To receive new equipment, customers should take the damaged units to any Cablevision or Time Warner Cable retail location. TWC customers needing to relocate can transfer their service to their new locations without paying installation fees. Verizon wireline phone service customers are entitled to a credit for the time their telephone service was not working. Notify Verizon by email or phone of the number of days of service outages. For those with

because they were trapped without electricity or elevators in their apartments in Lower Manhattan. Now Trinity is taking the Brown Bags to Staten Island. Also, Trinity will be helping Father Roy Cole of St. John’s Church in Staten Island to create a Christmas breakfast for his parishioners with presents and things that the children in his parish need. Trinity has welcomed this partnership, which Chinn says, enables Trinity to really be useful. So many people wanted to help in the aftermath of Sandy, she said, but their donations, though well meaning, were often not on the mark. “Clothes came up from Florida that people thought were cold weather clothes but they were for June!” she said. “We want to make sure that we’re listening to our partners,” she continued. “Their needs will change over time, even week to week.” Chinn said that Trinity will be on Staten Island for the long haul. “Whenever there’s a disaster and something happens, there’s a surge of excitement around helping,” she said. “Over time, that fades but people are still struggling. Our commitment is to be there as long as people need us.”

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bundled services, the credit should include lost Verizon FiOS Internet and video as well as phone service. For customers with traditional voice service, Verizon may choose to replace copper wiring with fiber-based FiOS. Customers can choose whether to keep voice-only service at the same cost or add on video and Internet services. Customers with no wireless service because antennas were affected by the storms can contact their wireless carrier to request a credit. AT&T Mobility is waiving late fees and voice and text over-limit charges for the period between Oct. 29 and Nov. 30. Also, customers of T-Mobile and AT&T can use either company’s network without being charged roaming fees. Verizon will not charge voice and text overlimit fees between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. Sprint is waiving late fees; overage charges for voice, text and data; roaming fees; and call-forwarding fees for Sprint services used between Oct. 29 and Nov. 28. Electric and gas meters don’t record usage during periods without power or natural gas service, so there will be no supply or delivery charges during the outage period. Also, through Dec. 15, 2012 ConEd, Keyspan-NY and Keyspan-LI are waiving late payment charges for customers who were unable to pay their utility bills on time because of the disruption caused by the storm. If Superstorm Sandy damaged electric equipment, a licensed electrician must certify that systems are safe before power will be restored.

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December 5 - December 12, 2012

Sandy scams In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, some people have tried to take advantage of desperate and dazed residents and business owners in the hardest hit communities. The scams include promises of discounted home repair help in exchange for upfront fees to phony inspectors who show up on the doorstep to people who promise “free grant money” or who ask for fees to help fill out applications for FEMA disaster assistance. The office of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has compiled a list of some of these scams. For more information, go to www.governor.ny.gov/ No fees for FEMA! There is never a fee to apply for FEMA disaster assistance or to receive it and there is no fee for FEMA or U.S. Small Business Administration property damage inspections. Be aware that the only ways to register for FEMA help are to call (800) 6213362 (TTY: 800-462-7585) or visit www. DisasterAssistance.gov (or m.fema.gov from a smartphone or Web-enabled device). Some scams to watch out for: Form completion services. Beware of people charging a fee to help you complete disaster assistance forms, such as FEMA or SBA, or obtaining assistance checks. These services are provided free through FEMA and the Red Cross. Phony Inspectors. Never let anyone in until you have verified they have the

appropriate credentials. Always ask for a telephone number so you can confirm the inspector is working for an authorized agency. Government Grant Offers. Be aware of entities offering “free grant money” for flood repair or disaster relief. A true grant is free and never requires any upfront fees or repayment. Check with a regional or state economic development office to see if they know of grant programs for which you might qualify, or contact your local social service agency for information or assistance. Advance Fee Loans. Advance fee loans are illegal. Ignore any company that “guarantees” you will receive a loan. Dishonest operators will charge a processing fee, and then promise they will find a lender. It is illegal to charge an up-front fee. Water Testing and Purifiers. Monitor local news media for instructions from health authorities regarding water safety and purification. Avoid offers for “free” home water testing, and be skeptical of claims that an in-home test shows your water is unsafe. If you have questions about the safety of your water, contact your local public health authority. If you think you have been the victim of a scam, you should consult a lawyer immediately. There are time deadlines to cancel sales and pursue legal claims. You can also contact the Department of Financial Services for insurance-related scams, or your district attorney or the Attorney General’s Office.

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Trucks on Peck Slip, Fulton Fish Market by Naima Rauam.

FULTON FISH MARKET ART Artist Naima Rauam’s fans look forward every year to her annual exhibit of watercolors and drawings depicting the old Fulton Fish Market — but this year the show almost didn’t happen. Her usual Seaport exhibition spaces had been wiped out. But the show must go on, and it will.

Rauam will hold the exhibit in the lobby level gallery of St. Margaret’s House, 49 Fulton St. (at the corner of Pearl Street), Dec. 12 to Dec. 20, from noon to 7 p.m. daily. There will be a reception on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.artpm.com, call (212) 964-8465 or email artpm@verizon.net/.

Cruise and ferry lines Continued from page 1

same reason, the route for brunch cruises, offered on Saturdays and Sundays, has also had to be modified. The Manhattan’s brunch season ends on Tuesday, Jan. 1. With these and other cruises offered through the end of December and a bang-up cruise on New Year’s Eve, Classic Harbor Line hopes to recoup the losses that Sandy dished out. Circle Line Downtown, which operates New York Water Taxi’s small, yellow boats that zip around the harbor and the stately, 600-passenger Zephyr yacht, had a mixed experience with Sandy. The boats were fine but New York Water Taxi’s home port in Red Hook was demolished. Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, also took a hit and has not reopened. New York Water Taxi has been running its boats from Pier 11 at the foot of Wall Street and night cruises have been cancelled. On the plus side, New York Water Taxi has been enlisted by New York City to operate a temporary commuter service between Staten Island’s South Shore and Manhattan. The service started on Nov. 26 and has been transporting a few hundred Staten Island commuters a day, with free rides to work aboard the ferries beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tickets for the service would normally cost $2 each way. “Politicians and residents on Staten

Island’s South Shore have been lobbying for a permanent, waterborne transportation option from this area for a while,” said Stacey Sherman, a spokesperson for New York Water Taxi. “We’re hoping that this offer will help us gauge actual interest so that we can assess the viability of a long-term service a little better.” NY Waterway ferries, also a common sight in the harbor, were sidelined on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 by Sandy, but by Oct. 31, most service had been restored. NY Waterway routes connect Manhattan with several places in New Jersey. NY Waterway also operates the East River ferries that run between Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Brooklyn. Because of debris in the harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard limited the New Jersey ferry operation to daylight hours at first, but by Saturday, Nov. 3, service was back to normal on most routes. The dock at Port Liberté in Jersey City was severely damaged and has not reopened. Several of the New York City harbor cruise and ferry companies are planning elaborate celebrations for New Year’s Eve. One way to support their efforts to recover from Sandy would be to buy some tickets. Classic Harbor Line, New York Water Taxi, the Zephyr and Hornblower Cruises will be plying New York Harbor on New Year’s Eve, with music and festive food and drink to accompany the fireworks.


December 5 - December 12, 2012

Dear friends, neighbors and our beautiful community, Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

New York harbor.

The storm next time BY ROLAND LEWIS PRESIDENT & CEO METROPOLITAN WATERFRONT ALLIANCE

Two hurricanes in two years. Any doubts that climate change is irrevocably transforming our region have been erased by Mother Nature. The meteorological knockout punch has delivered the clear message that the Earth has literally changed. While the storm is fresh in everyone’s minds over the next few months, we need to come up with ways to make the City more resilient and to protect the City from future storms. In addition we must work quickly with our Congressional delegation and other politicians to effect real change with real dollars. The money to pay for making our region more resilient will have to come from a regional and federal response. Funding will be a mix of local, state and federal money but the federal government has a basic responsibility. At the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, we’ve been talking about the transformation of the waterfront and the need to make it more resilient for the last six years. There are large and small steps we need to take including research to make sure that what we do is done intelligently. The game plan to revitalize and protect our waterfront outlined in the New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan adopted last year is still valid. We can have a vibrant, accessible harbor connected to the city that surrounds it and work to make our city more resilient at the same time. One of MWA’s main messages to New York City is that all upcoming studies and research on how to protect the waterfront must also include research on ecologically sound, decentralized projects that allow water to be absorbed or to enter and retreat from the city. These measures, such as green infrastructure, can simultaneously reap great ecological and quality of life rewards. It is important to protect our remaining wetlands and see them as ways to lessen the effects of

storm surge. Our region has lost tens of thousands of acres of wetlands over the years in the New York area and where possible, we should bring them back. Wetlands protection won’t stop storm surges, but it will mitigate the storm surges and absorb some of the water before it gets to land. MWA believes the City must commit to sealing, retrofitting, and making resilient waterfront infrastructure vital to the functioning of the City such as subways, telecommunications, energy, and electricity infrastructure and start thinking about changes to the building code. For example we can build incentives in the building code that encourage building owners to put vital structures such as generators and boilers on the fourth floor and non-vital structures such as parking lots on the first floor. There are some things we may not have even thought of as possible. For instance, during Hurricane Sandy, the GMD Shipyards used their large dry docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as catch basins collecting storm surge. As catch basins they lessened some of the storm surge in that area as millions of gallons of water were captured by those dry docks. The ferry system for which MWA is a great advocate was one of the unsung heroes of the recent storm. Within a day, the ferries were back up and running and an additional ferry line was added to the Rockaways to help commuters affected by damage to the public transportation system. The use of ferries after Sandy prove a waterborne system of transportation is great at providing redundancy by keeping people and even supplies moving within the metropolitan area during times of emergency. In the wake of the storm, we are correctly focused on emergency response, but we must not embrace a return to “normalcy.” We are not living in normal times. Hurricane Sandy may be the first storm of its kind to strike the New York City region, but it is not likely to be the last. The MWA is looking to make sure these strategies and others are a part of the plans for the City’s future.

It has been a month since Sandy swept through the city and took away our restaurant Barbarini Mercato on Front Street down at the South Street Seaport. Since then, we have been so touched to see so many of our friends, neighbors, customers and our community reach out to us in so many ways to help us in the recovery effort. The support has given us tremendous strength to look forward. However, due to the extent of the devastation to the area and the many limitations as a result, we have no choice but to look to the immediate future and work on a new project in Lower Manhattan. We have not given up on our old location, but need to find a way in the interim, to support our family of five. We hope for your continued support so that we can come closer to our goal of opening Da Claudio in the near future. Thank you to our dearest friends who encouraged us to move forward with this effort! We could not have gone this far without your love and support!

www.gofundme.com/1kynio Thank you,

Claudio and Linda Marini Thank you Francesco Regini and the Downtown Express for donating this piece!

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December 5 - December 12, 2012


NYC Reconects, number 4