Sunday, December 30, 2012

Coney Island Struggles To Recover After Sandy

Coney Island Struggles To Recover After Sandy | ENR: Engineering News Record | McGraw-Hill Construction

The once-flooded homes they have been inspecting are now dry and stripped of damaged Sheetrock, says one crew member. "Things are a lot worse than what they appear to be in the news," he says. "Just about everybody needs a new boiler or water heater. ... We go into a lot of houses that have had nine feet of water in them." Even though the city is gaining ground, he says, repair work "is not something that will be done quickly."

A co-worker agrees, saying, "Most homeowners have already been in touch with FEMA and [a program called NYC] Rapid Repairs, so they at least have a game plan. But most houses have been abandoned." He estimates each house has at least $40,000 to $50,000 in damages

Friday, December 28, 2012

Robin Hood Foundation Grants for Hurricane Sandy in 2012: Millions Disbursed

Robin Hood Foundation Grants for Hurricane Sandy in 2012: Millions Disbursed (select this link to see a list of grantees)

The Robin Hood Foundation, founded in the 1990s as an antipoverty organization in New York City, made an immense commitment to Hurricane Sandy recovery in Brooklyn and throughout the city. Their name became almost a household word with the "12-12-12" blockbuster concert in December 2012 that sought to raise millions in recovery funds. But even before then, the foundation committed dozens of sizable grants from $25,000 up to $80,000 for dozens of nonprofit groups working in Brooklyn, based in Brooklyn, or who extended some services to storm victims and storm-battered communities in Brooklyn.
One concern with nonprofits and foundations is the question of how much money goes to overhead, and how much to actually helping the cause in question. One of the major features of the Robin Hood Foundation is that as a matter of policy, their deep-pocketed board of directors pays all administrative and fundraising costs. So, a hundred percent of all donations go directly to program, not overhead.

The list, provided by the Robin Hood Foundation, identifies the first "wave" of Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery funding in Brooklyn in 2012, during which $2,370,000 was granted to the organizations below for storm related work.

That period of time, during Thanksgiving and in the ramp-up to Christmas, was particularly poignant.(Read Thanksgiving 2012: Gratitude but Also Grief.

Robin Hood Foundation Grantees for Hurricane Sandy, Through Dec. 15, 2012

(The list does not include recipients of funds raised during the 12-12-12 concert.
Also, all descriptions of the projects listed below are based on information provided directly by the Robin Hood Foundation.)

Filmmaker debuts documentary about his family struggles on PBS

William Caballero and his parents, image from "American Dreams Deferred" (Courtesy William Caballero)Filmmaker debuts documentary about his family struggles on PBS


Growing up in Coney Island, NY, William Caballero describes himself as being an artsy, quirky and nerdy kid who got on everyone’s nerves. Although he always loved his Puerto Rican-American family dearly, he says he always felt like an outsider looking in.
William Caballero with his parents on his graduation from New York University in 2008. (Courtesy William Caballero)
William Caballero with his parents
 on his graduation from
 New York University in 2008.
(Courtesy William Caballero)

He had to look no further than to his not-so-perfect family for inspiration for his first feature-length documentary.  On December 30, “American Dreams Deferred” will be premiering in 26 states on PBS World Channel.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Real Estate Market Along Coast Upended by Hurricane

Real Estate Market Along Coast Upended by Hurricane -


John Vento knew exactly how much his home was worth. The retired New York City police officer put his two-family house in the New Dorp Beach area of Staten Island on the market for $580,000 in February. Soon after, he refused an offer of $510,000.

But that was before Mr. Vento and his wife watched from the top floor as 10 feet of water ruined the home in which they had raised their three children. Last week, he sold it for $279,000, less than half his original asking price, unable to wait for a better offer.

“I was fortunate to get what I got,” he said. “I’m 72 years old. What am I going to do? Wait until I’m 82? By that time I’d be living in a nursing home.”
The real estate market along the New York and New Jersey coastlines has been as upended by Hurricane Sandy as the houses tossed from their foundations. In places where waterfront views once commanded substantial premiums, housing prices have tumbled amid new uncertainty about the costs of rebuilding and the dangers of seaside living.

Homeowners have had to decide quickly whether to sell out or pour more money in to fix storm-damaged homes, as the real estate speculators who have descended on these areas make offers that would have been preposterous just two months ago.

Some owners have indignantly balked and even gone so far as to take houses that were already on the market off, waiting for values to rebound. But many others who lack the means or the desire to rebuild say they have no choice but to try to get out from under these properties for whatever they can.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Sanda

We've seen this before
On Christmas Day hundreds of parks department employees shoveled and swept the sand from the boardwalk.


Strong winds can easily blow sand onto boardwalk
There is more sand on the boardwalk than last week.  Much of the sand that was already swept off in earlier operations is back and the work to get if off is once again repeated.. 

This is sand that blew back across the boardwalk because

 a) the sand that was swept off the boardwalk was piled too close and too high on the beach near the boardwalk so strong winds easily redeposited the sand back to where it was taken from or/and
 b) no snow fencing to block and reduce the amount of sand blowing from the beach onto the boardwalk.  (existing snow fencing was destroyed by Sandy)

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

On Ravaged Coastline, It’s Rebuild Deliberately vs. Rebuild Now

AnnMarie Willis and her husband, Bob, have decided to rebuild in Breezy Point
On Ravaged Coastline, It’s Rebuild Deliberately vs. Rebuild Now -

The big thinkers have emerged in force since Hurricane Sandy. Environmentalists and academics call for a retreat from rising tides and vulnerable seashores. FEMA pores over flood photos, redefining the areas of highest risk. And city engineers and lawyers revisit building and zoning codes. All hope to ensure that whatever rises from the debris can survive future assaults by extreme weather.

But for all the policy debates, the actual decisions that will shape these communities are already being made by individual homeowners across New York and New Jersey, providing reason to be skeptical that any cohesive, unified vision of a rebuilt coastline will eventually emerge. Unable to wait for updated guidelines, let alone far-reaching plans — or unable to afford the new costs they may entail — many families and business owners are already acting in ways that will determine whether those more ambitious goals can be met.

Their responses range from faithful reconstruction to fatalistic retreat — and embody the essential tension of post-disaster recovery: rebuilding quickly, or rebuilding right.

City Rejects SFS and NBBL's Offer to Settle PPW Bike Lane Suit with New Traffic Safety Study

City Rejects SFS and NBBL's Offer to Settle PPW Bike Lane Suit with New Traffic Safety Study - Windsor Terrace-Kensington, NY Patch


Jim Walden, a lawyer representing NBBL and SFS, wrote Michael Cardozo a letter, the Corporation Counsel from New York City Law Department representing the NYC Department of Transportation, proposing to drop the suit if the DOT agrees to hire an independent expert to conduct an “objective study of traffic and safety impacts on Prospect Park West.”

If the study concludes that traffic and safety conditions have improved compared to the period before the bike lane was installed, “we will withdraw the lawsuit,” Walden’s letter read.

But, as Walden’s letter continues, if the study concludes that traffic and safety conditions have not improved, or in fact worsened, “then DOT will concede that the bike lane has failed to achieve its stated objective (calming traffic) and will remove it.”

Coney Island landlord cuts merchants a break

Coney Island landlord cuts merchants a break | Crain's New York Business

A Brooklyn developer is giving back to his storm-tossed stomping grounds.
Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt is offering to cut rents for four storefronts he owns on Coney Island by 40%. The idea is to lease the spaces to local Brooklyn merchants ahead of the 2013 beach season.
The spaces are small storefronts on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues. Market rate rent would usually be between $50 per square foot and $125 per square foot.
A Thor Equities spokesman noted that Mr. Sitt is from the Coney Island area and that he wanted to make sure his part of Brooklyn didn't get overlooked in recovery efforts. Though the area has recently seen a major revitalization, those efforts were set back by Superstorm Sandy. But as Coney Island cleans up and rebuilds for next year Mr. Sitt wants to do his part.
"South Brooklyn doesn't have all the same amenities that North Brooklyn has now," said the spokesman. "So we want to see who we can get for a really exciting 2013 season."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

For Hospitals In Flood Zones, Planning Of Infrastructure Now Vital » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive For Hospitals In Flood Zones, Planning Of Infrastructure Now Vital » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

For Minor Crimes, NYers Sentenced to Sandy Relief

For Minor Crimes, NYers Sentenced to Sandy Relief - ABC News

New Yorkers who got into minor trouble in Manhattan have been sentenced to Sandy.

Last week, 70 people who were given community service after pleading guilty to infractions like public drunkenness, open container violations or speeding were shuttled to Coney Island in Brooklyn to help with cleanup efforts after the devastating storm.

They raked leaves, shoveled mud and picked up garbage and debris. More than 1,000 bags of trash were collected in 732 hours of work. Swaths of Sandy-wrecked filthy streets and sidewalks were cleaned.

Sandy-Damaged Totonno's Pizza On Coney Island Still Struggling To Reopen

121912totonnos.jpgSandy-Damaged Totonno's Pizza On Coney Island Still Struggling To Reopen: Gothamist

Among the many restaurants and businesses struggling to recover after Hurricane Sandy is @Totonno's, the legendary Coney Island pizzeria that has been slinging pies since 1947. The restaurant took in four feet of seawater on the night of the storm, heavily damaging the floors, walls, machinery and infrastructure. Slice took an in-depth look at the pizzeria's rebuilding efforts and revealed the extent of the damage and how construction efforts have been hampered by unreliable contractors and the expense of the project.

@Antoinette Balzano, 3rd-generation owner of Totonno's and granddaughter to original owner Antonio "Totonno" Pero, told Slice she waited five weeks before anyone even showed up to survey the damage and make an assessment. Before then, Antoinette had been working at the pizzeria daily without heat or electricity, "where particles in the air made her cough and chairs were stacked up after having been tossed around like toys from a Barbie tea party," as described by the Times. When a company finally did come to check for growing mold, they bailed after just taking down the walls, asking for $6,000 in the process. Mold removal is just one of the expenses facing Totonno's, which is still waiting on a $150,000 loan to cover the cleanup and rebuilding process. Additionally, they face replacing both the air conditioning and heating units ($8,000 each), each purchased after the 2009 fire; retiling the oven ($5,000); plumbing and electrical work; replacing the Hobart mixer ($20,000), range, walk-in, and all other kitchen equipment, and repairing damaged portions of the walls.

All told, Antoinette expects total repairs to cost more than $100,000, a seemingly insurmountable cost considering the restaurant is still working to pay off debt from the 2009 fire that ravaged the building and closed the pizzeria for almost a year. They also recently discovered that their insurance—which covers interruption of business but not flood—will not reimburse them for anything. "These days, people would probably tell me, 'Antoinette, give up.' But I can't," Antoinette confided to Serious Eats. "All I do is go home to do my work and prepare for tomorrow."

While time and money may be able to repair the restaurant's structure, nothing can replace the family memorabilia—including Christmas decorations that belonged to Antoinette's grandfather—that served as a visual timeline of the pizzeria's 88-year history. Luckily, loyal fans of the pizzeria have stepped up to offer their services, from contractors to electricians to a carpenter offering to fix a family heirloom, all at greatly reduced costs. "We can't compromise the sentimental value. We want to make sure everything seen by the public remains the same," explained Rocco Ranaudo, the current contractor.

Totonno's hopes to re-open by mid-January

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Plastic planks approved for Coney Island boardwalk

Coney Island boardwalk needs a makeover (Photo by Allan Shweky)
Plastic planks approved for Coney Island boardwalk -

Plastic is the new wood, a judge has decided — at least when it comes to Coney Island’s boardwalk.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin Solomon has green- lighted the city’s plan to replace five blocks of the historic — but rickety — structure with concrete and recycled-plastic planks, according to court documents made public yesterday.

Some Brooklynites were quick to slam the decision.

“The Coney Island boardwalk is nostalgic, and it’s famous world-round,” fumed Todd Dobrin, president of a group called Friends of the Boardwalk.

“I don’t think tourists are going to come to see the Coney Island driveway.”

The Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance sued in June, asking the court to order the city to conduct an environmental review before replacing even one wooden plank.

Solomon sided with the Bloomberg administration, which insisted no review was necessary.

“We are pleased the judge found that the Parks Department complied with the law, thus allowing this project to proceed,” said Katie Kendall of the city Law Department.

The project would replace 50,000 square feet — about 5 percent — of the boardwalk on five blocks between Brighton 15th Street and Coney Island Avenue.

Solomon may have signaled his opinion at an October hearing when he hammered an attorney representing the alliance.

“I would say I know a little more about this than you do,” the judge, a former state senator from Bensonhurst, snapped.

Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, said he knew at that point he was fighting for a lost cause.

“The plaintiffs definitely felt that just from the judge’s demeanor that they weren’t going to get a fair shake,” Croft said.

“Sooner or later, the whole thing is going to be made of concrete. It’s a boardwalk; it’s not a sidewalk.”

Croft added that he had some concrete reasons for preferring wood.

Cement, he noted, “holds in the heat, and in the winter, it’s going to ice up and be slippery.”

Speaking of Sandy and its destruction of the Rockaways boardwalk, he remarked, “Of the areas that had jetties, the damaged concrete boardwalks were as impacted as the wooden ones.”

Ida Sanoff, a plaintiff, agreed.

“Those of us who live on the shoreline are very concerned about this,’’ she said. “This has nothing to do with memories or sentimentality. This has to do with safety. ‘’

Mayor Bloomberg, on the other hand, hardened his anti-wood position after the superstorm.

“I guess this settles the issue of wooden boardwalks versus concrete boardwalks,” he told a local newspaper after Sandy.

“There will be no more wooden boardwalks in Rockaway or anywhere else.”

Additional reporting by Rich Calder

A Brooklyn judge yesterday signed off on the city’s use of recycled-plastic planks — instead of wood — in restoring rickety parts of the Coney Island boardwalk.

* Project would replace 50,000 square feet of the boardwalk — about one-twentieth of its length — between Brighton 15th Street and Coney Island Avenue.

* Could serve as model for the entire 42-block boardwalk, except for the amusement area.

* City says any delay would have cost more than $7 million in grant money.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Young Americans Are Homeless

More Young Americans Are Homeless -

Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults.

Those who can move back home with their parents — the so-called boomerang set — are the lucky ones. But that is not an option for those whose families have been hit hard by the economy, including Mr. Taylor, whose mother is barely scraping by while working in a laundromat. Without a stable home address, they are an elusive group that mostly couch surfs or sleeps hidden away in cars or other private places, hoping to avoid the lasting stigma of public homelessness during what they hope will be a temporary predicament.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Concrete And Plastic Coney Island Boardwalk Gets Green Light From Judge

Sad day for old boardwalk screws
Concrete And Plastic Coney Island Boardwalk Gets Green Light From Judge: Gothamist

A Brooklyn judge ruled that the city Parks Department can replace a section of the Coney Island boardwalk with concrete and plastic without an environmental review. The plan to eventually replace most of the boardwalk with artificial materials has been bitterly contested by a small but dedicated group called The Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance, which filed a lawsuit against the city to stop the plan to replace a five block section of boardwalk, from Brighton 15th Street to Coney Island Avenue.
Judge Martin Solomon ruled that the renovation "does not involve substantial changes to the existing structure. The footprint of the boardwalk will remain the same and the substructure will be replaced with artificial materials. Second, it is a replacement or repair of the structure in kind albeit with artificial materials in addition to natural wood." Solomon also decided that artificial materials do not "constitute an impairment of the character or quality of important historical, archeological, architectural, or aesthetic resources or of existing community or neighborhood character." In his ruling, he said the changes were similar to replacing an athletic field with artificial turf, which is not subject to environmental review.

Rob Burstein, one of the most outspoken wooden boardwalk preservationists, tells us, "We're disappointed and our attorneys are reviewing it. We believe that especially in light of the damage from Hurricane Sandy, a full moratorium on concrete and plastic sections is urgently needed for the safety of the community. And in our opinion a full environmental impact study should be mandated prior to any design or construction, especially in light of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy."
We asked Burstein about Mayor Bloomberg's recent assertion that Hurricane Sandy put the nail in the coffin for wooden boardwalks. (In an interview last month, the mayor said, "I guess this settles the issue of wooden boardwalks versus concrete boardwalks. There will be no more wooden boardwalks in Rockaway or anywhere else.") But Burstein isn't buying it—he tells us:

"Contrary to Bloomberg's claims that in the Rockaways the concrete boardwalk sections fared better than wood sections, that is not in fact the case. Most media have not covered it, but both concrete and wood were either demolished or left sanding solely depending on whether they were to the east or the west of Beach 86th Streets. There were no rock jetties to the west, where boardwalk sections—both wood and concrete—were demolished. However, there were rock jetties to the east that helped the boardwalk, whether wood or concrete, remain intact."

Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, also dismissed Bloomberg's statement as "greatly misinformed." Now wooden boardwalk advocates are worried that changes to this five-block section of boardwalk will serve as a blueprint for a completely synthetic boardwalk—and the mayor's declaration would seem to support that theory. Burnstein says, "Whether it's Bloomberg's ignorance or his purposeful use of the hurricane to further the use of concrete, it's sad that it's being done when it's not based on facts."
Read also:
NY Times article on boardwalk controversy February 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The City's Lowest Household Median Income Neighborhood

A Glimpse Into the City's Lowest Household Median Income Neighborhood - WNYC
A Coney Island neighborhood that stretches along the waterfront is where the city's lowest median household income residents can be found. According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, households here take in around $9,500 a year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Long Branch Boardwalk Not Likely To Be Rebuilt As It Was Prior To Sandy

Long Branch Boardwalk Not Likely To Be Rebuilt As It Was Prior To Sandy - Long Branch-Eatontown Patch, NJ Patch


"Our concern is that if we build it back in the condition it was in prior to the storm, we're inviting a disaster," Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said. "We're inviting it to be destroyed if and when there is another storm of this magnitude."

"The intelligent thing to do is to build it possibly at a higher level with a more secure method of construction, but we don't have all those details now," Woolley continued.

Much of the city's boardwalk south of Pier Village was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The Pier Village portion of the boardwalk and the Promenade, which is made of concrete, survived mostly intact.

Coney Island Boardwalk Facelift Exempt From Enviro Review

Coney Island Boardwalk Facelift Exempt From Enviro Review - Law360

Law360, New York (December 14, 2012, 7:50 PM ET) -- A New York state judge has ruled that the reconstruction of part of the iconic Coney Island boardwalk is exempt from an environmental review, despite its plans to swap tropical hardwoods for plastic lumber and concrete, according to an opinion filed Wednesday.

Siding with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Judge Martin M. Solomon of the state Supreme Court ruled Dec. 10 that the project, which seeks to replace about 56,000 square feet of boardwalk, is not significant enough to require a review..

Lincoln students tag remnant of fallen tree

Lincoln High School students tagged what's left of a fallen tree that was impaled on the school fence.

Coney Island History Project Tries To Restore Memorabilia After Sandy

Coney Island History Project Tries To Restore Memorabilia After Sandy -

"The force of the water was so surprising," he said. "It came in through a locked metal gate, through closed doors, burst in, toppled everything into the water. So to come back and see all of this equipment and all of our files and our records floating in water, it was unimaginable."

Alliance for Coney Island raises megabucks for local Sandy victims

Alliance for Coney Island raises megabucks for local Sandy victims

Nearly 400 people attended the Coney Island Winter Celebration at the chic Italian eatery, raising $44,000 for Coney Recovers, a fundraising arm the Alliance set up days after Sandy hit the seaside neighborhood to help organize volunteer and relief efforts. Officials said the total raised by Coney Recovers is now at more than $214,000.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cumaru Decking Section of Coney Island Boardwalk Escapes Unscathed

hardwood decking coney island boardwalkCumaru Decking: Coney Island Boardwalk (full blog post)

(Excerpt from blog)
Cumaru decking FSC decking used on Coney Island boardwalk

Mataverde Cumaru Decking escapes Hurricane Sandy unscathed. It has been noted recently in newspaper reports that the devastating effects Hurricane Sandy had on large areas of the Northeast including the New York and New Jersey coasts particularly, did not affect the areas of the Coney Island boardwalk that had been rebuilt and repaired recently uising the FSC Certified Mataverde Cumaru decking. The Cumaru section of the boardwalk shown in the photo above was installed with recycled plastic sleepers and FSC Certified 100% Pure Cumaru Decking. The Cumaru decking boards were securely attached with stainless steel decking screws for additional fastening strength and durability. This strong installation method helped the Cumaru decking in this section of the boardwalk to escape the brutal wrath and battering of the vicious storm.

Harold Feinstein's Coney Island State of Mind – A Retrospective

Harold Feinstein headshotHarold Feinstein's Coney Island State of Mind –


At age 81, the photographer Harold Feinstein is developing cataracts. But he’s been wearing glasses since he was a boy, and he scoffs at the idea of surgery.
“Imagine someone telling me I’ll see better,” he said with an impish grin beneath his flowing white beard. Feinstein is not one for false modesty. Early in his career, he may have suggested that his favorite photographer was Henri Cartier-Bresson, or the British master Bill Brandt. Yet for most of his life, he says, his favorite photographer has been Harold Feinstein.

And with good reason. Feinstein’s decades-long obsession with Brooklyn’s Coney Island, where he began taking pictures as a teen novice in the late 1940s, produced several images coveted by the museum curator Edward Steichen for his landmark exhibition “The Family of Man.” (Feinstein declined.) Feinstein went on to a long career as a beloved teacher, and in the past decade he has published several monographs featuring dazzling color studies of tulips, seashells, butterflies and other natural wonders.

Coney Island Teenagers, 1949Now the photographer’s work has been collected in “Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective” (Nazraeli Press), a long-overdue collection of 80 of his finest black-and-white photos, ranging from the rich pageantry of Coney Island at midcentury to Feinstein’s candid shots while serving in Korea for the U.S. Army and to his later nudes and landscapes.
Feinstein’s uncanny ability to capture a wide range of human emotions — bliss, defiance, melancholia — in the fleeting facial expressions of strangers on the subway or on the boardwalk marked him from a young age as a gifted shutterbug. Later in life, when he began to explore the female form, as so many of his predecessors had done, his gaze was unfailing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Good News! Tom's Coney Island stays open on Boardwalk

Good news!  Tom's Coney Island plans to remain open for the winter as long as there are customers.  After Sandy Tom's is the only eatery on the boardwalk that is open during the week.  Some of the gift shops are open on the weekend but Nathan's is closed till the spring
There seems to be enough workers from the FEMA  Disaster Recovery Center at MCU field and the enhanced parks department staff to keep Tom's going throughout the season.
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Hundreds Turn Up For “Raoul Wallenberg Way” in Borough Park

Raoul Wallenberg 1944
Hundreds Turn Up For “Raoul Wallenberg Way” Borough Park Co-Naming Ceremony | Bensonhurst News Blog

From the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

More than 150 Borough Park residents, elected officials and ambassadors to Sweden and Hungary braved the rain yesterday afternoon on the first day of Chanukah to honor the legacy of great humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg at a street co-naming ceremony hosted by Councilman David G. Greenfield at the corner of 13th Avenue and 50th Street. As a result of yesterday’s ceremony, the entire stretch of 13th Avenue in Borough Park from 36th Street to 60th Street is now co-named “Raoul Wallenberg Way” in honor of the great World War II hero who helped save as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews from certain death in Nazi concentration camps.

Yesterday’s ceremony was the culmination of a year-long effort to honor Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy on his 100th birthday and came after the City Council approved the street co-naming earlier this year. Borough Park is home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors in the United States, and many local families are descendants of individuals saved by Wallenberg, making 13th Avenue a fitting location for this historic event. As a result, future generations of Borough Park and Brooklyn residents will know of Raoul Wallenberg and his heroic actions on behalf of others during the Holocaust.

A closer look at boardwalk damage

 The further west you walk on the boardwalk the worse it gets.  It is surprising that the Parks Dept has not closed off these areas because of the significant hazards that exist.  It seems that weakened and shifted boards can give way at any time.  Keep alert if you walk here especially past West 20 street.
It is bruised and battered but we are fortunate that it was not swept away.

The concrete base for the pilings shifted in the storm twisting the deck.
The even and seamless boardwalk deck is dangerously compromised.
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Rare view inside Child's Restaurant on Boardwalk built in 1924

Here is a rare view of the inside of Child's Restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk.  A group of workers opened up the entrances but wouldn't give any information on the purpose of their visit.  Child's Restaurant is a NYC Landmark.
Read Gothamist article in August 2012 on the exciting possibilities.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Sea Of Sandy's Damaged Cars

Abandoned and flooded cars sit in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 2. It's estimated that it could cost auto insurers $800 million to deal with all the claims from the storm.Next Post-Sandy Challenge: The Sea Of Damaged Cars : NPR (full article)

There is a lot of work to do; Sandy damaged or destroyed close to quarter of a million vehicles. These cars must be accounted for, moved and disposed of.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beach restoration proceeds carefully

Beach restoration has come a long way but broken and exposed boards create unsafe conditions.

 Many temporary workers have been hired by the Parks Department to clean the sand off the Boardwalk and remove debris that still littered the beach.  But equipment, such as bobcats, have not been visible on the Boardwalk to expedite the cleanup and I believe that more damage to the boardwalk may result if heavy equipment is sent onto an unstable deck.  All the labor is manual using shovels, brooms and wheelbarrows which is a slow process.

 I have been told that the boardwalk has structural weaknesses and it is easy to sense the uneven footing walking on many sections of the boardwalk.  Even areas on the beach itself hide pockets of instability in the sand that could affect heavier trucks.

Vintage photo: An early 1900s horse drawn ambulance

An early 1900s horse drawn ambulance with drivers and attendants at Coney Island Hospital
Twitter / NYCEMSwebsite: Vintage photo: An early 1900's ...

Why The Latest Delay To The Bike Share Program May Not Be The Last

bike-share-politiciansWhy The Latest Delay To The Bike Share Program May Not Be The Last | Transportation (Full article)

Much of the outcry about the delays with the eagerly awaited program has been due to a dearth of information about its progress coming from either DOT officials or the various companies involved in its stewardship.

City Housing Agency Was Overwhelmed After Storm

City Housing Agency Was Overwhelmed After Storm - (full article)

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.