Monday, November 12, 2012

2 weeks later: The lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy in the East Village


On East 11th Street and Avenue B yesterday. Photo by Goggla.

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On East 11th Street near Avenue C Saturday. Photo by Shawn Chittle.

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East 14th Street near Avenue C yesterday.

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Avenue C just past East 14th Street yesterday.

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Near East 10th Street yesterday.

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Avenue C at East Ninth Street Friday night. Photo by Andrew Adam Newman on Ave C.

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East Eighth Street near Avenue C yesterday.

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East Ninth Street near Avenue C Saturday.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The frightening thing is that this event will likely accelerate the gentrification of the far EV. It's been my cynical fear for some time that this mayor wants to lay claim to all the NYHA projects for development by his buddies, and this catastrophe can certainly help the push in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Yes. That's the fear. The greed will stampede.

Anonymous said...

I used to wonder about eventual gentrification, about how the Wald and Riis projects represented some prime EV waterfront property. Now I'm not so sure. I think people will be skittish about renting or buying even towards Ave C--it's flood zone A and who among us does not expect another similar flooding disaster?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if I had money, I would be buying uptown, not in Alphabet City. It's just too risky to be that close to the water. Even if you live in a fancy high rise on the top floor you are still screwed when the salt water floods the lower levels and destroys the heating and other systems.

Marty Wombacher said...

Those photos are heartbreaking.

Thomas said...

Knickerbocker Village residents are still without power, heat, hot water, phone service, mail delivery, garbage collection and internet service. Residents of Knickerbocker Village are outraged at James Simmons, Vice President of the multimillion dollar international investment group Area Property Partners, and Vincent Callagy, Property Manager of the complex. At issue is the company’s failure to have basic preparations in place to deal with the flooding of basements.

One resident said “ A few guys wearing sweatpants with no flashlights showed up in a van with a few small pumps and began the job. They would work one pump in one area, then dismantle the pump, and move on to another area. It was a joke! Obviously, Area Property Partners did not want to spend the money to hire a crew with the resources to pump the water out. As a result, sea water had more time to damage the building’s mechanical and electrical systems.

Also at issue is the Owner’s failure to make any effort to communicate with anxious tenants until over a week after the storm. Confused security guards were unable to give residents accurate information because Area Property Partners Vice President James Simmons and Vincent Callagy Manager were nowhere to be seen. Volunteers bringing badly needed supplies were told to leave the property. Garbage is piled in front of the building. Lobbies, hallways and stairs remained dark until a few days ago.

It took over a week for the management to open a warming center. Vincent Callagy was overheard bragging about the money spent on a few folding tables in the center, and reminded shivering tenants that they should be grateful. Callagy was also reported to have called police to harass a resident who was taking photographs of the devastation.

Despite their claims, management has not provided tenants with the “comforts” like blankets and checking up on tenants etc. Instead, they instruct security guards to remove any notices posted by desperate tenants who want to organize and find out why Area Property Partners has remained callous and indifferent to the needs of residents. Many tenants say perhaps FEMA and other municipal agencies can help with the recovery.

Area Properties and Management are covering up their incompetence by saying “it’s an old building”, “it was a big storm”, and “we are all in this together”. However, residents believe that if basic, intelligent decisions were made early on, the situation would not have gotten out of control. The health and safety of the residents has been compromised.

Many residents are saying that after the recovery is completed, there is strong agreement that residents will reach out to government officials and legal organizations to investigate the business practices of Area Property Partners and their employment of a management team that quite frankly, is incompetent. Area Property Partners perhaps will earn much money from federal emergency aid, while tenants at Knickerbocker are told to pay their rent on time.

Many residents have finally decided they could not take it any longer and have left their apartments temporarily to live in safer, healthier environments


Anonymous said...

My buddy works in one of the major office buildings downtown, and they have money and resources, and they're shut down for at least six months but probably longer. What a mess. Given that climate change is very real, and Manhattan is vulnerable, this is a massive problem. Buildings are going to have to be redesigned to withstand flooding. Not that that is going to do shit for the people who are suffering now. It's just terrible and not everyone who lives in Knickerbocker and these other buildings have relatives to get them out.

Shawn Chittle said...

My original comment got lost in the Blogger biosphere but it said in effect that moving NYHA projects ain't gonna happen.

Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

Goggla said...

@Thomas - thanks for the info. I went down there over the weekend to see what I could do, but couldn't find anyone to talk to who was informed about anything. A resident told me today people are acessing upper floors by using the elevators in the one building with power, taking them to the roof, and then climbing down dark stairs in other buildings. That doesn't sound safe to me. Is there a way to find out who needs help getting themselves and/or things like groceries up/down the stairs? It's upsetting to know there are people in there who need help.

Thomas said...

@ Goggla Thanks for your concern. Managers are making it difficult for "outsiders" to know the real crisis going on. Hence, the lack of information (fear of lawsuits)and security guards who basically know nothing. There is a meeting tomorrow at 6pm. Not sure where, but many representativse of elected officials promise to be there. Sheldon Silver may have full information.
PS The owners of Knickerbocker Village own many properties around the world, including the Time Warner building
@ Shawn Chittle- Knickerbocker Village is NOT NYHA. Nevertheless, people who use words like "ain't going to happen" are part of the problem, not the solution.

Goggla said...

@Thomas - thanks again. I found a flyer that says the 6pm meeting tonight will be at PS 1 on Henry btwn Oliver and Catherine Streets. Sheldon Silver, Nydia Velazquez, Scott Stringer, Daniel Squadron and Margaret Chin are all supposed to be there.

Anonymous said...

Shawn Chittle, read this and then tell me why you think it already hasn't started:

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-09-24/news/34066235_1_nycha-tenants-nycha-chairman-john-rhea-developers