Hurricane Sandy wiped out the Red Hook Fairway, but the massive grocery store won’t stay down for long. Here’s an announcement they posted today on Facebook: “WE’RE HIRING ADDITIONAL STAFF IN RED HOOK!! Red Hook is scheduled to open in March and we are currently hiring in addition to our employees returning.” If you’re interested in applying, go here. Can’t wait until this store is back in action!
Photo by greenelent
Here’s the rundown for this Red Hook apartment at 18 Dikeman Street: 1,345 total square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, private roof deck, balcony, washer/dryer unit and free parking spot. That’s a lot! The top-to-bottom reno will appeal to some but not all. It’s asking $4,500 a month. Think that’s realistic for an apartment a little east of Van Brunt Street?
18 Dikeman Street #3A [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
Can’t say we’re surprised! Today the Park Slope Stoop blog combed through the MTA’s notes from December’s Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting and found out the Smith-9th Streets station will not reopen until April of 2013. The station, which serves Carroll Gardens and the otherwise subway-less neighborhood of Red Hook, was supposed to open in the spring of this year, and then it was pushed back to fall of this year. The station first closed in June 2011 as part of work on the Culver Viaduct rehab project. The reason for all the delays? The project went over budget and, according to the MTA, the “contractor’s poor management, insufficient manpower and quality control, and other design issues” caused problems, too.
Smith-9th Streets Station: Closed Until April [Park Slope Stoop]
NY1 News ran a sweet story today about the annual tree lighting last night in Red Hook. Residents gathered in Coffey Park to light the 14-foot tree donated by the Chelsea Garden Center, which also teamed up with a local book club to donate toys and books for neighborhood kids. As Alice Tapia of the Red Hook Community Justice Center told NY1, “The community has certainly been through enough and it was a time to just keep on giving. The people who have suffered the most are the same people who are actually giving so I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Red Hook Holds Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Despite Damage From Sandy [NY1]
Photo by NY1
A New York Times investigation has found that NYCHA was overwhelmed by Hurricane Sandy, and left elderly and other residents stranded for weeks without heat, food or medicine. One person died falling down wet stairs, several suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from heating their apartments with the oven, and others suffered ill health by going without crucial medications.
An examination by The New York Times has found that while the agency moved aggressively before the storm to encourage residents to leave, particularly those who were disabled and the needy, both it and the city government at large were woefully unprepared to help its residents deal with Hurricane Sandy’s lingering aftermath. The city, which did not enforce its mandatory evacuation order, could not assess the medical needs of residents stuck atop darkened, freezing towers until nearly two weeks after the storm. It relied on ragtag bands of volunteers who quickly found themselves overwhelmed by the task of reaching, comforting and caring for trapped residents. And the seemingly simplest things, like towing portable lighting towers into the Red Hook public housing complex, took 11 days, all because the housing authority had not properly prepared for a major disaster.
The report found that the city in 2009 recommended NYCHA elevate critical equipment stored in basements and set up standby contracts for emergencies, but the recommendations were never carried out, perhaps for lack of funds. Above, temporary boiler installation at the Red Hook Houses after the hurricane.
Housing Agency’s Flaws Revealed by Storm [NY Times]
Photo by NYCHA
The “Silent Lights” art installation proposed for Hamilton Avenue near West 9th Street, right under the BQE where Carroll Gardens meets Red Hook, has got some attention already, but the artists group is still seeking donations to make it happen. According to Community Board Six, Artist Build Collaborative plans to liven up the dark path with arches that will light up with bursts of color from thousands of LEDs in response to ambient noise — most of it coming from the heavy traffic in this location. Pedestrians will be able to travel underneath the arches. While some of the proposal will be funded by the Department of Transportation, the artists still need to raise $20,000. If you’d like to contribute, you can make either a tax-deductible donation to Community Board Six or a non-tax-deductible donation straight to the artists. The group is currently testing the proposal and hopes to begin installation by March 31, 2013.
The Brooklyn Recovery Fund has announced the recipients of two $100,000 grants for hurricane recovery. So far the BRF has impressively raised more than $1.5 million. One of the grants will go to the Coney Recovers Initiative, a coalition of community development and human service groups in the neighborhood. The Coney Recovers Initiative plans to set up an office headquarters to organize longterm rebuilding and immediate needs and will provide job opportunities for local residents to help in the recovery. The other grant of $100,000 will go to the Red Hook Coalition. The RHC will use this money to give out micro-grants to small businesses, provide immediate social services, and support emergency food needs of residents. A coalition coordinator will also be hired to act as a liaison between the residents and government agencies. They will also set up a job training program. These grants were set up, according to the BRF, to “support the coordination of humanitarian services to residents as well as economic recovery activity for small businesses. The goal will be to build the capacity of neighborhood networks to help in the recovery and rebuilding effort and to strengthen the area against future crises.”
Photo by Strabanephotos
Early in November, a Red Hook tipster got in touch to say that her meter reader stopped working after flooding by Hurricane Sandy and the DEP was threatening to bill at a higher estimated rate unless she got it fixed. She writes that the DEP realized its error, three and a half weeks later, and recently sent out another automated notice. But, ironically, although her building is empty, without electricity, and not using any water, “The bill I got from them was, in fact, higher than the previous bill by about 50 bucks,” she said. Here’s the notice:
We would like to apologize for the email sent on 11/05/2012 asking you to contact us regarding your Automated Meter Reading (AMR) device. The email was generated automatically and was suspended shortly thereafter. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.
If you have any additional questions, please call 311.
DEP Customer Service Team
Of course, she has already asked DEP to review her situation, and the bill has only increased. Meanwhile, despite our tipster’s experience, Mayor Bloomberg has declared the city plans to waive standard fees for some homeowners whose water service was interrupted by the storm, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg also said that owners whose homes were red or yellow tagged as a result of Hurricane Sandy will not have to pay their water bills until June.
Owners of Storm-Damaged Homes Get Water Bill Reprieve [NY Times]
Red Hook Resident Now Has to Worry About Water Meter [Brownstoner]
DNAinfo reports on the surprising proposal of Brooklyn concrete magnate John Quadrozzi, who wants to transfer the toxic sludge removed from the Gowanus Canal to the Gowanus Bay in Red Hook to expand the shipping terminal he owns. The idea is that a larger, extended terminal will accomodate larger ships. Apparently the lowest-level contaminants from the Gowanus would be mixed with a concrete-like stabilizing material that would make it safe to use as landfill. Details on the cost, environmental issues, the legality of expanding the terminal, and what the EPA thinks are all pretty murky, so to speak. But as DNAinfo notes, “The canal’s designation as a Superfund site… grants the EPA broad powers that could permit it to simply give Quadrozzi the green light to create more property at the Gowanus Bay Terminal with the sludge and money that the EPA itself would be providing.” Quadrozzi also said he’d create a maritime museum at a ship that’s docked at the terminal.
Developer Seeks to Use Toxic Sludge as Landfill to Expand Brooklyn [DNAinfo]
Photo by Jim in Times Square
The three-story brick warehouse at 202 Coffey Street, on the corner of Ferris Street in Red Hook, just hit public records for $11.8 million. And we already know what’s happening to the 86,000-square-foot space! Last week Curbed posted interior shots of the building, which will be converted into five different artist studios, workshops and display spaces. The architects, Adjmi and Andreoli, plan to fix up the interior and reopen the windows. The conversion should be complete by late 2013 or early 2014. The architects are also undertaking the residential conversion of the New York Dock Company building on Imlay Street, which will be converted to condo units and artists’ studios. Update: The building developer is EST4TE FOUR, an international firm that specializes in creative spaces.
Inside Two Red Hook Conversion Projects [Brownstoner] GMAP
As of last week, tenants in the Red Hook Houses vowed to do something about conditions after Hurricane Sandy and what they perceive as neglect and unfair treatment from NYCHA, The New York Times reported Friday. The article did not address whether anything had changed later in the week once hot water and heat were reportedly restored to all apartments. Apparently the answer is no. NYCHA residents are planning a city wide action against NYCHA at its headquarters tomorrow morning, Brownstoner has learned. They are calling for NYCHA to cancel rent for November and December, to replace the NYCHA board with one led by community members, to improve transparency and accountability to residents, and employ NYCHA residents to repair buildings, among other things. The protest is scheduled for Tuesday morning from 9 am to 11 am at 250 Broadway in Manhattan.
In Public Housing, a Rising Clamor for Compassion [NY Times]
Photo by NYCHA
Yesterday Curbed posted exciting news about two Red Hook residential conversion projects in the works by the architecture firm Adjmi and Andreoli. The first is 160 Imlay Street, the on-and-off rental project at the former New York Dock Company warehouse. The architects instead plan to renovate the warehouse into a 72-unit mixed-use condo building with a market, restaurant and artists’ studios. The previously reported January finish date has been pushed back. The second project is at the three-story warehouse at 202 Coffey Street. There the architects plan for, in Curbed’s words, “Five separate artist studios/workshops/display spaces with the interiors somewhat spruced up and the windows, currently bricked over, reopened.” Completion date: late 2013, early 2014. Because work hasn’t started up at either site yet, Hurricane Sandy didn’t damage anything there.
Touring the Artistic Developments of Red Hook Future [Curbed]
Photo of 160 Imlay by Curbed
Social media might save Red Hook bars and restaurants. Businesses unable to reopen because equipment was destroyed by Sandy have turned to patrons to raise funds — and so far, it’s working, DNAinfo reports. Bait & Tackle, above, has raised $21,000 and surpassed its goal by $1,000 on Kickstarter. The Good Fork restaurant has raised more than $41,000 toward its $50,000 goal on GoFundMe.com. Kevin’s restaurant has turned to LuckyAnt.com for $3,000, and Red Hook Lobster Pound is issuing gift certificates via SmallKnot.com. Cafe and bar Fort Defiance has created “junk bonds,” aka gift certificates, worth half their cost on its own web site. “It’s a terrible deal for you, but we really need the money!” explained the site.
Red Hook Restaurants, Bars Ravaged by Sandy Appeal to Fans for Help [DNAinfo]
Photo by DNAinfo
At a community meeting in Red Hook Wednesday night, residents of the Red Hook Houses called for demonstrations, a rent strike, and a lawsuit against their landlord, New York City Housing Authority, because they have had no heat, hot water or electricity for more than two weeks, DNAinfo reported. The meeting, which took place at P.S. 27, was attended by about 150 people, including artists, business owners, Occupy Sandy members, Community Board 6 members, and church leaders. As of yesterday morning, 20 of 32 Red Hook Houses buildings still did not have heat or hot water, according to NYCHA. The agency did not perform a door-to-door wellness check on the project until 15 days after the hurricane. Red Hook resident and Deputy Attorney-in-Charge for Legal Aid’s criminal practice Tina Luongo said Legal Aid is exploring the possibility of a lawsuit against NYCHA.
Red Hook Residents Call for Marches, Strikes, Lawsuits Against NYCHA [DNAinfo]
Photo by DNAinfo
Fairway has made a video about the destruction and cleanup efforts in its Red Hook store. Above, Red Hook store General Manager Andy Zuleta shows where the water came in. They’re working to reopen as fast as they can.
Over the weekend, NYCHA worked to restore heat and electricity to public housing developments, and while progress was made there are still many buildings without those resources. As for the electricity status, NYCHA reports that “currently there are 33 buildings within six developments in Brooklyn (Coney Island, Gowanus and Red Hook) and Far Rockaway, Queens, housing approximately 6,847 people where electricity is still out.” In the Red Hook East development, ten out of 18 buildings housing 1,393 residents do not have electricity, and eight out of 18 buildings housing 809 residents do not have heat or hot water. In the Red Hook West development, seven out of 14 buildings housing 2,093 residents don’t have electricity, and seven out of 14 buildings housing 3,206 residents do not have heat or hot water. There are also eight buildings in Coney Island without heat, and one building in Coney without electricity. NYCHA has set up warming centers and plans to bring in temporary boilers to the developments needing them. The boilers are expected to come online over this week. The door-to-door operations servicing NYCHA residents affected by the storm are ongoing. Photo, above, shows damage from Hurricane Sandy in a Red Hook Houses West basement.
NYCHA Hurricane Sandy Update [NYCHA]
Photo by NYCHA
Red Hook still needs help! You can show your support next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at a literary benefit to rebuild Red Hook. Kurt Andersen, writer and host of the Peabody-award-winning public radio show Studio 360, will host the event. Musicians Steve Earle and Stew; novelists Joseph O’Neill, Sam Lipsyte and Rivka Galchen; nonfiction luminaries Phillip Lopate, Chuck Klosterman, Philip Gourevitch, Meghan O’Rourke, Deborah Baker, and Robert Sullivan; and other special guests will present readings on the theme of recovery and rebuilding. All of the evening’s proceeds go to the nonprofits Red Hook Initiative and Restore Red Hook. Tickets are $50 and you can buy them here.
A note came in from a Red Hook resident on Sullivan Street, now displaced on Long Island. Due to flooding, her meter reader stopped working, and the DEP cannot measure the home’s water usage remotely. They have told her they will bill at a higher estimated rate unless she gets it fixed.
My property on Sullivan Street was flooded about two and a half feet into the ground floor in the storm. While I have only a three-foot cavity under my property and no standing water, my power is still not on because of others on my grid. [I received a] ridiculous notice from the DEP that they are unable to access the electronic remote water meter reader and that they will dun my empty and powerless property at a punitive estimated rate.
The DEP notice is automated, but she never received a follow-up message acknowledging the widespread flooding in the neighborhood. Any other Red Hook residents having this issue — among the many, many other problems that have come up in the past two weeks?
An update on donations and volunteering:
*Much to its delight, Corcoran has been inundated with donations and has sent more than six carloads to a church organization distributing in the Rockaways and Breezy Point. Keep them coming, says Corcoran. The needs have changed slightly. There is a great need for cleaning supplies such as brooms, buckets, dustpans, mops and bleach.
*Above, so many people showed up to help out at the Red Hook Initiative in Red Hook over the weekend that volunteers were being turned away. Volunteers are still needed in the neighborhood this week, though. Just show up at 402 Van Brunt Street from 10 am to 5 pm. Supplies needed: water pumps, cleaning supplies, generators. Bring power tools if you are able. Also, needed at 173 Conover Street: cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes, candles, feminine products, blankets, batteries.
*If you want to help out in the Rockaways, Coney Island, and other areas still without electricity and water, drop by St. Jacobi’s church on 4th Avenue and 54th Street in Sunset Park, where Occupy is dispatching volunteers and supplies to the hardest-hit areas. Thousands volunteered over the weekend, and thousands more are needed this week, said the group’s Facebook page on Saturday. Volunteers with cars and gas are especially needed.
*New York Methodist at 501 Sixth Street in Park Slope needs blood donations. Please stop by today.
Occupy Wall Street, operating under the moniker Occupy Sandy, has been directly aiding the worst-hit areas in Brooklyn and Queens with supplies, shelter, and help cleaning out flooded areas since immediately after the storm. Occupy groups in Red Hook and Sunset Park were among the Brooklyn groups who were already very organized and active, and able to immediately start helping out and coordinating volunteers in Red Hook, Coney Island, and the Rockaways. Several news outlets have reported Occupy was faster to deliver direct aid than the Red Cross and other national organizations. Above, a photo of Occupy taking donations in Sunset Park. Incidentally, Occupy has set up a “wedding registry” on Amazon for anyone who wants to donate supplies.
Occupy Sandy Comes to the Rockaways [New Yorker]
Occupy Wall Street Preoccupied With Sandy Relief [Brooklyn Paper]
Is Occupy Outperforming Red Cross in Relief? [Slate]
Occupy Wedding Registry [Amazon]
Photo by Ellen Weinstat via Occupy Sunset Park