Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sandy Hates Books

Two days before the hurricane hit New York City I walked around the DUMBO area of Brooklyn. I walked past the Powerhouse Arena bookshop. Inside there was a group of people having a Halloween party. The books were positioned all over the shelves looking shiny and new, and the people inside were having a great time eating snacks and drinking champagne.

Two days later, the entire DUMBO neighbourhood was underwater. The beautifully restored carousel I love so much which sits on the banks of the East River was left unable to be used after the mechanics were destroyed by sea water, and as water poured into the Powerhouse Arena, many books became causalities of Sandy.

Two weeks to the day after I was last there I walked past the Powerhouse Area once again, on my way to take pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge (which I couldn't do, power is still out in the park so the whole area is closed down at night). As I walked past the shop I noticed a number of garbage bags sitting on the sidewalk. On closer inspection I realised they were filled with water logged books.

It made me so sad to see all these books which had to be thrown out after the storm, and as we're a reading and writing community, I just wanted to share these pictures with you. The shop lost hundreds of books, their computer system, their security system and the water even broke the door.

Despite putting the books up high off the ground on the Sunday before the storm, the water levels were much high than they ever imagined. What's worse is they don't have flood insurance. The shop is having a fundraiser  THIS SATURDAY in NYC to help recover after the hurricane. It's a day of reading, refreshments, book signings and book browsing (See last photo). As well as that, if anyone wanted to make a donation or anything I'm sure they'd be very appreciative. 

It's so sad, and I really feel for the owner of the store. Please watch the video I've embedded at the end of this post which shows just how badly the store was hit.










Here's a video of them cleaning up after Sandy


12 comments:

  1. This is SO sad. I'm glad there's going to be a fundraiser to help them get back on their feet. I used to live in Brooklyn, so it'll always have a special place in my heart!

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    1. Very sad! I'm not going to be in town for the fundraiser but I do hope they manage to raise a fair bit of money for it!

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  2. That's terrible! I feel awful for all of the people who were so badly hit by Sandy. I hope they get tons of people coming out for this fundraiser.

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    1. Me too! Sandy really wrecked some havoc :(

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  3. That's really sad--not only the loss of books, but the loss of business, and in turn livelihoods... not to mention the trashing of a place clearly loved by many. I hope they manage to raise enough to get back on their feet soon.

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    1. Absolutely. I was so protected in my little mid-Brooklyn bubble, whereas in other parts of the city (even just a few blocks from my apartment) there was total havoc.

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  4. That's horrible. So sad. Those pictures make it seem very real. Of course, losing books or any tangible item is not the same as losing people, but it still tears at your heart.

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    1. Agreed, it's still so sad to see something like this

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  5. Oh, very sad. It's sad enough to see people's homes wrecked, but I hadn't thought of something like this, all the loss from destroyed books.

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    1. Yeah, I hadn't thought about the impact of the small neighbourhood stores like the Powerhouse Arena - this guy... everything he put into this shop and now looking at so many thousands of dollars in repairs. It's so sad.

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  6. Oh man, that's terrible. What a waste. I hope they manage to get their business up and running again.

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    1. Me too! The poor owner in that clip looks so heartbroken!

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