By Rachel Signer
We Green Rabbits all over the world but especially here in New York City sympathize deeply with those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. And a few within our network have been greatly impacted. Ben Flanner's new rooftop farm in the Navy Yard lost all its bees--they just floated away. Anne Saxelby's cheese warehouse in Red Hook--one of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn hit hardest by the storm--was badly damaged from the flooding. Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village was without power all week.
There were also many stories of resilience. Northern Spy put up a "sidewalk smorgasbord for the ages," according to co-owner Christophe Hille, serving "salads, sandwiches, grilled cheeses, roasted lamb shoulders, braised pork bellies, pork sticky rolls, biscuits, sauteed shrimp, whole roasted striped bass, roasted and stewed chicken, pork loin in mushroom gravy, polenta, black-eyed peas, bacon, cookies, and muffins," all for free, to neighborhood residents.
And last night, the Rabbits were back at Jimmy's No. 43, celebrating the election returns over beers.
But now that the election is over, it's time to return our thought to the destruction caused by Sandy. There is much needed in terms of clothes, supplies, comfort, and work in places like Red Hook and the Rockaways (volunteer opportunities listed here; also the Mayor's office has set up a relief fund), but also, don't forget about your favorite Lower Manhattan eateries: they lost a lot of business during last week and need our support!
The Times restaurant reviewer Pete Wells wrote a beautiful essay remarking on the uniqueness of Lower Manhattan's food offerings: "Nowhere in the United States is so much culinary tradition and innovation crammed into so few square miles as in the southern end of Manhattan."
Of course, there are people without homes and food all over New York and the Jersey Shore, and that's serious and urgent. But, Wells reminds us that many restaurants operate on a tight margin, and a week without profits is a difficult blow to the entire enterprise.
New York Magazine ran a post detailing how much some restaurants had lost; Northern Spy, for example, estimates $35,000 down the tubes for just that one week. "Right now, these restaurants, the people who own them and, even more, the people who work for them, need us. And we need them. Downtown’s restaurants show us who we are," writes Wells.
So, go out and reunite with your fellow New Yorkers over a beer and a plate of good, wholesome food at your favorite Lower Manhattan spot, like Jimmy's, Northern Spy, or Rosemary's, and share stories of how you got through the hurricane!