Friday Morning Call for Volunteers, Donations

Volunteers at Henry Street Settlement are organizing supplies this morning.

We’ve received many inquiries from folks wanting to volunteer their time and donate money and supplies. Here are a few requests for help that we have gathered; send details of other efforts to info@thelodownny.com and we will keep the list going.

  • The Educational Alliance has been visiting seniors door to door, delivering water, food and information and will be at it again today, including hot meals. They can use donations of the following items: bottled water, blankets, gloves, canned kosher soup,  AA, D and 9-volt batteries, flashlights, lanterns, battery-powered radios, baby wipes and Russian language newspapers.  Items should be dropped off at their office at 232 E. Broadway between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today. More details about the effort from their newsletter. They are also accepting financial donations here.
  • The Henry Street Settlement will also be focusing on visiting home-bound seniors today and needs help unloading a large amount of supplies delivered by FEMA yesterday. Just show up at their headquarters, 265 Henry St. any time today. More details on their Facebook page.
  • The Occupy NYC-backed effort, LES Recovers, is publishing a running list of needs on its website. They are seeking volunteers to knock on doors to distribute supplies and information at the following locations and times: GOLES, 171 Ave B between 10th & 11th St. Friday & Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; CAAAV, 46 Hester St. Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Smith Apartments, 46 Madison St. Friday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Aid Distribution for LES & Chinatown: Long Delays

Grand and Suffolk streets this afternoon.

We’re on the scene at distribution points for food and water across the Lower East Side and Chinatown this afternoon, and at two of the three sites we visited, the promised supplies have yet to show up for a planned 3 p.m. start time. Along Grand Street in front of the Seward Park Co-op, a long line had already formed in advance, and one of two planned supply trucks eventually arrived. However, at Confucious Plaza, several hundred people gathered and waited more than an hour before beginnning to drift away, empty-handed, when no help arrived. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Council Member Margaret Chin spoke to residents and reporters about the aid effort, which includes a million meals and bottled water from FEMA, as well as additional help from many community organizations in both neighborhoods, but the cause of the holdup was unclear. The scene was similar, but with bigger crowds, at the Smith Houses at Cherry and Monroe streets, where a crowd stretched for several blocks, almost to the river. At 4:30 p.m., most of the residents remained in line, hopeful.

The cavalry arrived on Grand Street a short time ago.

More photos after the jump.

Sandy Aftermath: Thursday Morning Update

Orchard Street at Canal, looking north, Tuesday night around 8 p.m.

On Day 3 post-Sandy, the LES remains in the dark and attention begins to turn to stretching provisions, caring for our most vulnerable elderly populations and keeping bored children occupied. Hang on tight, everybody, and please check on your neighbors, particularly if you’re in high-rises with large numbers of senior citizens who are house-bound by lack of elevators. Here’s what we know this morning.

Lower East Side Bar Crawl: Post-Sandy Style

Forgtmenot co-owner Abby Sierros was serving up candlelight, cold draft beer and steak frites last night.

The streets were dark and quiet last night, as most Lower East Side residents huddled in their homes or fled to friends and relatives, but for those who ventured out post-superstorm Sandy, food, drink and comaraderie were on tap at several bars and restaurants. Just as many locally owned coffee shops were functioning while Starbucks all over town remained locked up tight, the establishments that opened their doors to their neighbors last night were generally the ones owned by the neighbors. There were no honking taxis or stretch limos dropping off stiletto-clad visitors from outside the LES, no DJs on the scene, just locals chilling out with each other and killing time until life gets back to normal.

169 Bar on East Broadway ran a small generator and a big party.

At 169 bar on East Broadway shortly after 7 p.m., the beer-and-a-shot $3 happy hour special was flowing freely to patrons relieved to get out of the house for a while, and pleasantly surprised to find generator-powered lights, plenty of company and even a little food. At Forgetmenot on Division Street, co-owners Abbie and Paul Sierros had a system. Abbie was behind the candelabra-lit bar, cheerfully offering to cook anything from the remaining contents of her refrigerator: steak, french fries and eggs. Meanwhile, Paul kept the power coming via a long extension cord plugged into an electrical inverter in a van parked out front.

Sandy Aftermath: Wednesday Morning Report

After Sandy – a tree down on Rivington.

It’s Halloween Day in Lower Manhattan, but the annual costume parade in the Village is just one of the many casualties of Hurricane Sandy’s visit to the city this week. Many other events are canceled, including parties at the New Museum and the Museum of the Chinese in America. Here’s what else we know this morning.

Power: Con Ed is still estimating three more days until restoration (sometime this weekend).

Transportation: MTA buses began running on the LES yesterday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. They remain fare-free today. Subways remain shuttered “until further notice.” Newark airport opened this morning. JFK is scheduled to open at noon today. LaGuardia, with flooded runways, remains closed. Taxis and livery cars are operating and picking up multiple passengers for ride sharing.

Groceries/supplies/restaurants: Fine Fare on Clinton was selling groceries on its doorstep as of late yesterday afternoon. A bodega on Division Street was open yesterday evening, using power from a van parked outside its door. Several local bars and restaurants were open last night; we’ll have a story with details later.

Aid: A new effort backed by Occupy NYC organizers is rallying volunteers and donations to help the LES recover. More info here.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Tuesday Afternoon Update

The Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Essex Street at about 8:45 p.m. last night, shortly after a transformer explosion on 14th Street knocked out power to the Lower East Side.

It’s been almost 18 hours since the lights went out on the LES, and here’s what we know this afternoon:

Power: Con Ed announced this morning that it expects to restore power to Manhattan and Brooklyn “within four days.”

Transportation: All the East River bridges are reopened to traffic as of late this morning. MTA officials are hoping to have limited bus service operating by 5 p.m. today, and they will not charge fares. Roads are mostly open to traffic except where they are blocked by trees, but traffic signals are not working. Taxis and livery car services are operating, and have permission to pick up multiple passengers. The airports remain closed “until further notice.” Photos from LaGuardia show runways under water.

Hurricane Aftermath; East River

More construction debris along South Street just north of the Manhattan Bridge.
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Hurricane Aftermath: South Street

Construction materials being used for the East River refurbishment project are scattered on South Street.
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Hurricane Aftermath: South Street

Here’s the worst damage we have seen so far. Large pieces of wood from a construction site came crashing down at the intersection of Pike and South streets.
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East River Park Photos: Monday Afternoon

The amphitheater in East River Park drew onlookers this afternoon.

While Sandy chugged toward New Jersey this afternoon, local residents braved the wind and hard-spattering rain to have a look at the East River before dark. From Corlear’s Hook Park at Jackson and Cherry Streets to the Williamsburg Bridge, dozens of onlookers soaked up the scene with cameras, video recorders and phones. A pair of teenage boys skateboarded southward, laughing as they rode on the gusts. Along the park service road next to the FDR, NYPD officers in patrol cars used a bullhorn to tell cyclists and pedestrians the park was closed, but over on the river, no one paid attention.

Monday Street Scenes: LES Before the Deluge

Seward Park is locked up tight.

The windy, wet streets of the Lower East Side were not as busy as usual this morning, but not deserted, either. People sought coffee, walked dogs, unloaded produce trucks, delivered packages and scurried to work. Click through for a few more street scenes of Hurricane Sandy, Day 1.

Hurricane Sandy Closings: Sunday Night

Lower Manhattan, from Essex Street, as Hurricane Sandy approaches.

It’s Sunday night and only hours until the super-mega-Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy descends upon the Lower East Side. It’s a little windy and might rain, but it may be the last time you go out for a while, so by all means — go out!

We’ve got a little guidance to offer, however. We’re gathering information about closings, cancellations and delays due to the storm, and here’s what we know as of this minute.

Hurricane Sandy: Lower East Side Watch

The Lo-Down team is out and in the streets to bring you the latest LES-centric news about Hurricane Sandy’s tour of New York City. We’ve broken our coverage down for easy access and will be adding categories as we go. Click on the following links for the latest news for each topic area.

Stay safe out there, and stay in touch:

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