PIER 40 DODGES DISASTER:
Despite widespread alarm when Con Edison shut off power to protect Lower Manhattan from Hurricane Sandy, the Hudson River Park Trust could only breathe a sigh of relief. Pier 40, the deteriorating pier near West Houston St., narrowly avoided catastrophe during the storm. Madelyn Wils, president of the Trust, said that while power could be shut off in most of the Hudson River Park’s buildings, they were unable to do so at Pier 40 because the substation was very old. “We’re very lucky that Con Edison turned off power for the whole area,” Wils told us on Thursday. “If they hadn’t turned it off, the transformer would have exploded and that would have started a fire. It could have been a disaster.” The storm did extensive damage to the pier’s ball fields, although the turf was already nearing its end. This is only one of many problems plaguing the structure of the pier, which turned 50 years old on Oct. 24. Long before Hurricane Sandy, the pier was in dire need of repair.
GIRLS CLUB STANDS STRONG:
Hurricane Sandy also did plenty of damage to the East Village and Lower East Side. But one valuable resource that survived untouched was the new building for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, located on Avenue D between E. Seventh and Eighth Sts. Lyn Pentecost, the Girls Club’s executive director, told us that the 30,000-square-foot facility — which is still under construction and is scheduled to open next fall — stayed “dry as a bone” throughout the storm, much to the delight of the organization’s staff and board. But Pentecost also shared the sad news that the buildings of many East Village families whose daughters participate in the Girls Club’s programs did not fare as well. She said that the organization plans to go to work on rebuilding those flooded apartment in the near future, and we’ll certainly stay updated on all of their efforts.
MEETINGS, EVENTS – BLOWN AWAY:
A Community Board 2 public forum on plans and ideas to save Pier 40, scheduled for Mon., Oct. 29, was postponed around noon earlier that day as Sandy was bearing down on the city. The forum was rescheduled for Wed., Nov. 7, at P.S. 41, at 116 W. 11th St. On Monday, Kelly Magee, Councilmember Margaret Chin’s communications director, reported that a public hearing on the proposed Broadway-Soho Business Improvement District, scheduled for Wed., Oct. 31, was postponed. Waterfront Community Day at the Lower East Side’s Pier 42, originally scheduled for Nov. 3, was also postponed. Last but not least, Lower East Side Pickle Day was also cancelled.