Greenwich Village Recovers from Sandy

Earlier this week, Superstorm Sandy swept the East Coast, leaving all kinds of havoc in her wake. All of downtown Manhattan is still without power, an entire neighborhood in Queens burned to the ground, and there is flood damage all along the extensive coastline, especially in Brooklyn and Staten Island. I took a trip to Greenwich Village today to inspect the damage and document it for you (and haven’t had the opportunity to post it until now, see above re: loss of power).

Please note: we are canceling all tours through Sunday. See below for details.

Getting Around

7th Avenue South felt eerily normal yesterday. If you didn’t look too closely, you might not notice anything had happened. People were walking around, and while a few trees were down, for the most part the streets and sidewalks were clear. A closer look revealed that almost every single business was closed, with some brave bars and restaurants open by candlelight and accepting payments only in cash. This is the thriving avenue that usually hosts the epic Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, canceled this year for the first time since its inception 39 years ago.
All the stoplights below 39th Street are out of service, and while there are police officers directing traffic at many major traffic hubs, the majority of the intersections are a veritable free-for-all. Crossing an avenue — both in a car or on foot — takes luck, daring, and a serious dose of patience.

Debris litters the streets to a degree I’ve never witnessed before. As we discussed earlier this month, New York City is not the filthy place it’s made out to be. For the most part, businesses and the city itself do a good job keeping the streets clean. But with winds knocking everything over during the storm and then rain soaking the debris, it will take a lot of effort to get all the trash picked up.

Trees did less damage in Manhattan than in the suburbs; there are less of them,
and they tend to be smaller than their suburban counterparts.
But the big picture looked more or less normal. There were plenty of cars on the streets, and almost all of the signs, lampposts, and storefronts are no worse for the wear. The major obstacle now is getting power back to the stores and the subways running again so commerce in Lower Manhattan can get back to normal.
Pizza Roma was one of the only places open on Bleecker Street yesterday, with a limited menu (but all the food still smelled delicious). If you’re looking for an open restaurant in New York after Sandy, Eater has you covered with on-going updates from restaurants and patrons across the city. Look no further than that article for a good place to eat over the next few days. 

As for us…
Our office and building are fine, but we are still completely without power and subway service in Lower Manhattan. Because of this, we have canceled all tours through Sunday. Some reports are expecting power to return on Saturday morning. At that point, we’ll still need to check with all shops to see if they are ready for us. Stay tuned to our Facebook or Twitter pages for up-to-date information.
We will convert all the canceled tour tickets into gift certificates, which will never expire. If you would like to reschedule your tour for another date, please email us: info at foodsofny dot com.
Thank you so much for your continued patience and support, and if you are able, please consider assisting the East Coast in its on-going relief efforts.
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