Statement Released by Knickerbocker Village

Tonight Knickerbocker Village, Inc. has emailed the following statement:

The management of Knickerbocker Village has been working around the clock to care for our residents and restore building services in the wake of this unprecedented storm. We have overcome enormous challenges, only to face multiple setbacks due to the configuration and age of Knickerbocker Village and its infrastructure, as well as limited supply of resources in the New York area. Regardless of obstacles, we have not, and will not, spare any expense or resource to get the buildings and their systems back to normal, and our residents safe and comfortable in their homes.

Knickerbocker Village Electrical Power Could Be Restored This Week

Knickerbocker Village.

It looks like there might soon be relief for the residents of Knickerbocker Village, most of whom have been without electricity and heat in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  In the past couple of days, elected officials and the heads of two non-profit organizations have been working intensively with the city and building management to accelerate the repair timetable. Now it looks like some electrical service could be restored over the weekend, with full restoration to all 12 buildings sometime next week.

Knickerbocker Village’s owner, AREA Property Partners, is replacing electrical components in several equipment rooms. One room has already been repaired, which explains why some apartments now have electricity. Another room, swamped by flood waters, has not sufficiently dried out.  An electrical fire that occurred several days ago was apparently the result of damp conditions in this area.  There are hopes that some buildings can be brought back online tomorrow.  A building manager told residents today that he expected full electrical power by the middle of next week.

Op Ed: How We Can Help LES Proprietors Post-Sandy

Many businesses on Clinton Street were shuttered for a full week after Hurricane Sandy hit the Lower East Side.

Thanks to Lo-Down reader and local resident, Kristin Anderson, for sending us her thoughts on the importance of supporting our community in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

I’m lucky. No personal damage. No property damage. A few days of discomfort and inconvenience. But once I had my power, heat and hot water back, and the dust from Hurricane Sandy had settled, I started to think about our neighborhood. Particularly our small business owners. Particularly those who lost not just a few days of business but a significant amount of perishable goods for which they had already paid. The major relief efforts are going to the people and places who suffered significant damage, as they should be. But that doesn’t mean that others didn’t take a blow. For those close to us, who is there to help them in a pinch?

Sure they can apply to FEMA, but that is really just for a small business loan, not reimbursement. And who knows how long it will take to get that processed. They can write off a business loss, but that is only a percentage of the cost so isn’t reimbursement either. But they had to buy replacement inventory, immediately, in order to re-open and serve us once again.

Forget the semantics; there is no difference between a small business and a small business owner. What hurts the business hurts the owner; the man or woman you know behind the counter. These are the people that make the LES my favorite part of NYC. Of the world. They are my extended support system, keep me fed, and keep my environment friendly and interesting. The convenience and variety they supply allow me to concentrate on my business and make my living (I work from home).

A Few More Weekend Events

Photo by Tom Caravaglia

Local businesses are dusting themselves off and opening back up for the weekend.  Here are a few of the happenings:

  • Taylor 2, Paul Taylor’s internationally acclaimed dance troupe, is performing a free concert at Abrons Arts Center on Sunday at 3:00pm. The program features Taylor’s classics Airs and Company B. Doors open at 2:30 and seating is first come first served.
  • Gallerist James Fuentes’ latest show, ‘I’m Not Pregnant,’ a two-person exhibition featuring Lizzi Bougatsos and Thornton Dial, opens this evening with a reception from 6 – 8:00pm.
  • Experimental Cocktail Club on Chrystie Street has added live tunes to their environs. Tonight, DJ Maseo (De La Soul) is spinning.


A Few Ways to Support the L.E.S. This Weekend

Here are a few special events happening this weekend. If you know of more ways to get out and support our neighborhood as we continue to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, email us here, post them on Facebook here, or send out a tweet to @LoDownNY on twitter.

  • The Lo-Down is helping to sponsor a pet drive in areas where organizations are leading the efforts for human aid but have few initiatives for pets. LES residents can drop off pet items on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Ruff Club, 34 Ave. A in the East Village, from noon to 3 p.m.  More on this here.
  • A long list of Lower East Side and East Village merchants (including Economy Candy!) are offering families a chance to have Halloween “Take II” this weekend.  They’ve teamed up with the people at Nightmare Haunted House to give candy away to Trick ‘r Treaters between 4-7 pm on Saturday, November 10th.  When you see a sign inside a window that says “Participant Location” you know that’s a spot that you can Trick ‘r Treat. More on this here.

Fatta Cuckoo Offers New Friday Lunch Options

Our friends at Fatta Cuckoo are reminding people to visit Clinton Street and help boost morale for small businesses, post-Sandy.  They have started a new Friday lunch service, offering up tasty sandwiches for $10 (take-out available too).

LES BID Creates Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

Later this week we’ll have a report from Friday’s workshop for small businesses seeking assistance in overcoming the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy.  But here’s one tidbit announced at the event by the LES Business Improvement District. They’re creating a relief fund — offering grants to businesses impacted by the storm.  A fundraiser in support of the program will be held at the DL (95 Delancey Street) November 27. Tickets will range from $25-100.  Small businesses on the Lower East Side will be able to apply for relief through the fund. We’ll have more details about the fundraiser and the fund in the next few days.


Speaker Silver Releases Statement Calling Con Ed Delays “Unacceptable”

State Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver is out with a press release and a letter to the CEO of Con Ed, calling the utility’s delays on restoring steam heat unacceptable.  Here is his statement:

I understand that we have suffered an unprecedented storm and extensive damage. However, it is unacceptable that so many New Yorkers, including my Lower Manhattan neighbors, are still without heat and hot water a week and a half after Hurricane Sandy hit. Con Edison must prioritize residential buildings when it comes to restoring steam heat. This is an essential service and we cannot allow our residents, particularly our families and our seniors, to suffer any longer.

You can read the full text of the letter here.



Happening Now: Hurricane Aid Workshop

We’re at the Houston Street Center, where a large crowd has turned out to find out how to apply for small business disaster aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Knickerbocker Village in the Dark

We have been keeping a close eye this week on Knickerbocker Village, the nearly 1600 unit affordable housing complex that’s still mostly without power and heat in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours visiting with residents, checking out a warming center set up by Hamilton Madison House and trying to determine just how much longer the repairs on the development’s decimated electrical systems are likely to take.

The complex, which spans two city blocks on Monroe Street between Catherine and Market, includes around 700 tenants over the age of 60. There are a couple dozen home-bound seniors who require daily attention. On Tuesday, a 101-year old woman, Pao Chu Hsieh, died in a fifth floor apartment after experiencing trouble breathing. Hsieh, who did not live at Knickerbocker Village but was staying with her son, died of natural causes, according to the Medical Examiner.  But news of her death has caused many at Knickerbocker Village to focus on the risks to the elderly population, living for an extended period with no heat.

Good Morning!

Just in time for the weekend, we’re getting a respite from the biting cold. Sunny today with a high of 53.  Partly cloudy tomorrow with a high in the mid-50’s.  We’re expecting to see temps in the 60’s by Sunday.