Friday, November 30, 2012

New York City Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek Help

New York City Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid -

Once the gilded retreat of the Vanderbilt family, Sea Gate, like other gated communities in New York, preserved its exclusivity with the promise that the residents would assume the costs of community upkeep, maintaining their own streets, parks and sewer systems and even fielding the distinct Sea Gate Police Department.

The special status endured, through occasional controversy and political efforts to open the streets to the public, because of the community’s self-sufficiency.

But the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy to Sea Gate, in Brooklyn, and another gated community, Breezy Point, in Queens, was so monumental that residents who are already struggling to figure out how they will pay to rebuild their homes say they cannot afford to pay the additional cost of repairing communal infrastructure. So neighborhoods that have long held the rest of the city at arm’s length now seek the financial embrace of the city, state and federal governments.''

Hurricane Sandy victims scream at Councilman Recchia at CB meeting

Read entire article====>Hurricane Sandy victims scream at Councilman Recchia during sewer project discussion • The Brooklyn Paper


Residents have been demanding the city update the neighborhood’s infrastructure for years, claiming that sewers constantly overflow during big storms.

“If we get a hard rain, a tough rain, we’re going to get that water again. And it’s not good,” said CB13 member Ronald Stewart.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, sewer backups washed out most of the neighborhood’s residential streets, say residents, who claim the People’s Playground wouldn’t survive another major storm if it didn’t get the upgrade the city promised.

“We can’t survive to 2016 if we get another Sandy!” resident Kenny Jones said. “Why is Coney Island taking so long?”

Recchia (D–Coney Island) asked the more than 20 community members attending the meeting to be patient, claiming that the city wants to complete the project as soon as possible.

But Recchia’s pleas fell on deaf ears — ears deafened by audience members shouting at the council’s Finance Committee chairman.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Property Tax Relief Initiatives for Homeowners Impacted by Sandy

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Property Tax Relief Initiatives for Homeowners Impacted by Hurricane Sandy | | Brooklyn NY News

Brooklynites outraged that President Obama doesn’t visit

Hundreds of Coney Island residents wait in line
for help after the storm

Brooklynites outraged that President Obama doesn’t visit Sandy-scarred neighborhoods • Brooklyn Daily

(Excerpt from above article)
President Obama skipped Brooklyn in his tour of Hurricane Sandy-slammed neighborhoods on Thursday, outraging residents in the borough that cast more votes for the commander in chief than any other part of the city.

“He should’ve made one stop, just to get out and say something, let people know ‘hey, we’re here,’ give them some reassurance,” said Coney Island resident Alberto Rodriguez, an avid Obama supporter who has been cleaning out Sandy-flooded businesses along Surf Avenue. “When people see a big figure, it means a lot for them.”

Brooklynites in other storm-battered neighborhoods were similarly miffed at the President’s decision to fly over Coney Island and Rockaway as he made his way to Staten Island.

“We really don’t know why he didn’t stop by Red Hook,” said Frances Medina, a coordinator with the not-for-profit Red Hook Initiative, which has handled much of the recovery effort in the washed-out neighborhood. “People are saying that we’re okay, but there are still buildings without power and heat. The situation is not done.”

Nathan’s Famous Won't Reopen Till Spring 2013 Because of Damage

Select===>Nathan’s Famous to Reopen in Spring 2013 after Hurricane Sandy • The Brooklyn Paper

Hold the mustard!

Nathan’s Famous won’t reopen its Hurricane Sandy-battered Coney Island eatery until next spring, this paper has learned.

The super storm that ravaged the People’s Playground last month forced the iconic frankfurter emporium to close for the first time in its 96-year history, company officials say.

“Nathan’s has begun the process of rebuilding and anticipates reopening this spring, before the summer season,” vowed a spokesman for the nationwide company, which began with a small hot dog stand at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues.

Nathan’s grilled dogs — and much of its equipment — ended up under water when the Oct. 29 hurricane hit the Boardwalk. The company wouldn’t comment on the extent of the damage, but did say its losses were comparable to other Surf Avenue mainstays, which had fluid from the sewers bubble up into their businesses and destroy their interiors.

“Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to the Nathan’s facility as it did to many other residences and businesses in Coney Island,” the spokesman said.

But those who like to celebrate the anniversary of their nation’s birth with the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Championship needn’t panic: the restaurant reported that its beloved battle of gluttonous gladiators is still on the menu for next summer — which contest organizer and promoter George Shea said was a hopeful sign that the beloved restaurant — and the storm slammed amusement area — will reopen soon. “The truth of the matter is that the hurricane was devastating to everyone, and there are many other Nathan’s locations where you can get the same food, but the one in Coney Island is the one people come to every summer, and right now they are rebuilding,” said Shea.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at

ConeyRecovers — Resource page

#ConeyRecovers — Resources

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Images

Please select the above "Sandy" tab to link to a photo library of images from Hurricane Sandy and recovery and relief efforts.  The photos include Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Ocean Parkway.

Workers in protective clothing enter a ruined Coney Island Emergency room.

Leaving MCU Park with goods while others wait on long lines for their turn.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joins some of our youngest volunteers today. Sadly the young girl on the left lost her home to Sandy in Belle Harbor but she wanted to come to Coney Island to help others whose lives were also upended by the storm. These kids were awesome.

Endless lines at MCU park in Coney Island where an army of volunteers distribute truckloads of donated clothing and food to residents of this ravaged community. A long day among wonderful people who are making a difference. We live in a great city

Damaged Sheepshead Bay footbridge to Manhattan Beach.

Trees fell on the memorial stones of the Holocaust Memorial Park but seemed to survive intact.

Seniors fighting for applications to get money to replace spoiled food
Flooded and abandoned cars are towed away over two weeks after Sandy struck.

Water line below mural on Brighton Beach Avenue and Ocean Parkway
Dance and Music Shop on Surf Avenue discards damaged piano with other trash.
Lago Furniture worked hard to reopen but the water line where the ocean slammed onto Surf Avenue remains.

Coney Island Hospital emergency room is on life support

Grimaldi's Pizza of Coney Island after Sandy's unwelcome visit

Water line just north of Brighton Beach Avenue

Small stores on Neptune Avenue lost much.
Small bungalos in Brighton Beach suffered.
Trees knocked down onto Ocean Parkway homes

After Hurricane Sandy, Fighting to Save the Flavor of New York

Select to read====>After Hurricane Sandy, Fighting to Save the Flavor of New York -

Hurricane Sandy shredded the Atlantic Seaboard, flattening entire neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey, and it will take a long time to tally the full measure of that devastation. In a symbolic way, though, the storm’s assault on restaurants like Totonno’s tore at the very heart of the New York experience.

Totonno’s is just one of scores of beloved haunts, old and new, that have been struggling in and around the city, in areas like Brighton Beach and Howard Beach, Red Hook and Hoboken. These are the restaurants where toasts are raised to newlyweds, where candles are blown out on birthday cakes, where locals unload their troubles at the bar, and where street food is occasionally elevated to art — or at least a rowdy, pugnacious history lesson.

For many New Yorkers, they are the places that left the first emotional imprint of what dining ought to feel like. Ask someone from Nebraska — or France, Brazil or Japan — to free-associate a bunch of dishes that come to mind when hearing the phrase “New York food,” and there is a high probability that pizza and hot dogs will top that list. And when one longs for pizza and hot dogs, yearnings naturally turn to Coney Island, where two places that helped popularize them, Totonno’s and Nathan’s, were so ravaged by the storm that they have temporarily shut down.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sandy reveals deeper issues

Each day the line of people snaking through the MCU parking lot out onto Surf Avenue waiting to pick up donated goods made me wonder. As the issues of Sandy fade(power, heat, water) why do the lines still grow each day. I believe that the issue in the Coney Island community has more to do with chronic poverty and the pressing needs of people who are living on such a razor thin edge and not just a sudden collapse because of a rare weather phenomenon. In some of the areas affected on LI, SI, parts of the Rockaways it was the storm. In Coney Island and other parts of the Rockaways it was a lethal combination of the storm and deep-rooted poverty. Sandy tipped over that fragile lifeboat, The waters will recede in time but the sands of poverty will remain where every tomorrow is still uncertain.

Friday, November 9, 2012

After the storm

3pm on Election Day...
a lonely and shuttered Nathan's is a symbol of the desolation of the Coney Island amusement area after  Sandy's visit.