Carroll Street the day after Sandy. We lost some trees, and gained one, laying down, in the park.
It seems a world away, the day that Superstorm Sandy hit our city, flooding Red Hook, the Gowanus area, Dumbo, South Street Seaport, and other shoreline areas, and washing away beachside communities. Tuesday is the one year anniversary. While the storm brought devastation and havoc to thousands, and killed 44 people, it also served as a wakeup call to city leaders. Sustainable planning, and building with an eye toward future storms, is now on the forefront of our minds. Of course, it’s rough going for property owners in Red Hook and other shoreline areas who now face higher insurance rates and building restrictions.
In Carroll Gardens, the storm left us a little gift: The felled tree on the President Street side of the park that kids just adore climbing on. Remember those first days after the storm, when it felt so surreal, with the throngs of kids playing on the tree, going nuts, until the police finally shooed them down? And we all wandered around in the calm after the storm, grateful, until so many in our community sprung into action to help out in Red Hook.
In recognition of the anniversary, it might be a good idea to visit some of our beloved local shop owners who lost so much and are still are working to rebuild their homes — like George Esposito, of Esposito’s Jersey Pork Store butcher shop on Court between President and Union, and Bill, by far the best locksmith in our area, of A-One Locksmith at Court between Wyckoff and Congress. Both live in shoreline areas and had their basements and first floors completed flooded during Sandy.
Bill and George are prized members of our community, reasons to love it. Both work very hard to keep open the type of small, extremely high-quality small businesses that make greater Carroll Gardens one of the best places to live anywhere. Both men lost family photos, heirlooms and so much more in the flood waters. So go buy some meat, and get a key made, and say Hi and thank you.
Funny story about Bill of A-One Locksmith — who can be seen hanging out most days working on Soduko and waiting for a call to spring into locksmith action. I wanted to do a feature on him a while back, as this old-timey, quiet little shop is plucked right out of central casting for small town 1950s America. He said, at the time, “Thank you but I’m going to have to pass. I have enough business as it is. I don’t want things to get too hectic.”
Here’s to Bill and George, and to keeping things not too hectic.
Check out WNYC’s good piece Tuesday on what’s changed, and what’s stayed the same, in NYC since the storm: http://www.wnyc.org/story/6-things-have-changed-5-havent-sandy/.