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BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Village’s 6th and B Garden hard. An enormous willow tree was sent falling diagonally across the Avenue B green oasis, shearing off two other trees’ branches on the garden’s south side as it came crashing down. The superstorm’s winds also blew off the stage roof’s fiberglass panels, leaving them scattered all over the place.
The panels were gathered up and tacked back onto the roof frame, but it was just a makeshift job.
So, last Sunday, 6th and B held a “Raise the Stage Roof” party, with the target of pulling in $2,500 to install a sturdy, new, polycarbonate canopy.
Roger DeGennaro, the garden’s event committee chairperson, explained that a watertight roof is needed to keep the wooden stage below from rotting and also to protect its electrical system.
Gracing the stage last Sunday were the Hayes Greenfield Trio, Marni Rice of Mad Juana, Maya Caballero, Joff Wilson of the Bowery Boys, Rick Eckerly and Alan Merrill, who, in 1975 while in the band Arrows, wrote the classic rock anthem “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll.” Merrill was the lead singer on the infectious rockin’ riff, which didn’t chart due to poor promotion. But in 1981, the song was famously covered by Joan Jett.
The 6th and B bash also rocked some great grub courtesy of Gruppo Pizza, which donated 20 large pies; Veselka, which contributed sandwiches; Metropolitan Market (a.k.a. Met Foods), which helped out with hot dogs, hamburgers and condiments; and Veniero’s, which contributed cookies.
Afterward, Sally Young, the garden’s president, reported the fundraiser had been a good haul.
“We’re halfway to our goal,” she said. “We’ll do some garden rentals and other stuff, but we’ll get it done.”
Trees whose branches were sheared off by the falling willow also need pruning, she added.
They hope to install the new roof by July.
“It will look very similar to what’s up there now, but it’ll be strong, much stronger,” Young said. “Hopefully, it’ll withstand another hurricane.”