Red Hook got walloped by Sandy on 10/29/12, but the spirit that was most visible at the one-year anniversary, the Sandyversary, was moxie and mirth.  Cheeky illustrations popped up in a few places.   

Waterline with fish at the home of Chief Urban Designer of NYC's Department of City Planning. He is designing a way to flood-proof ground floors in the future.   

Waterline with fish at the home of Chief Urban Designer of NYC's Department of City Planning. He is designing a way to flood-proof ground floors in the future.  

 There are a lot of chicken coops in Red Hook, and chicken jokes and costumes abounded.  References to the Great Chicken Rescue conducted by the gals of the winebar home/made, Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson, appeared on their store window, on Heba Deli's next door, and the bartender’s costume at the Red Hook Volunteers Party.

Barnacle Parade

An underground parade, the Barnacle Parade, was organized on short notice. Satirical costumes ridiculed the insurance industry, referred to blown out transformers, jerry jugs, diesel oil spills, and Gowanus Canal overflow. A float depicting a generator loomed over it all. A huge, blue tarp, shaken by a dozen people, was a lo-fi illustration of Sandy’s flood waters. 


RHI - Sandy One Year Acknowledgement Anniversary Dinner

We were pretty busy with the parade and our role in the Light up the Shore, so we missed most of Red Hook Initiative's event. If anyone wants to send photos and copy our way, we'll post them!  The proceedings concluded with a visit by Bill de Blasio, now Mayor of New York City, who had a lot of media in tow.



Coffey Park candlelight vigil

A vigil organized by Monica Byrne, Rachel Forsyth, Martha Bowers and others started near 7pm. A pleasant twenty minutes or so of chatting and candle-lighting occurred while the crowd gathered, some of them from RHI's event above. Reginald Flowers asked everyone to form a circle  ("this is a Red Hook circle," someone quipped looking at our misshapen round in the park) and to have a moment of silence. The silence ended when the Hungry March Band, invited by PortSide NewYork with the help of Dan Wiley of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez office, struck up a tune and stepped out to head towards IKEA.



Light Up the Shore

PortSide NewYork was the Red Hook organizer for Light up the Shore, a harborwide event including NY & NJ, where people lined up with candles and flashlights at 7:45pm, the hour the waters started hitting our city.  On this, we coordinated with The Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group, who was helping to arrange gathering spots all over Brooklyn.

The Hungry March band led a group of about two hundred people, New Orleans style, towards the waterfront with teens on skateboards and bikes dancing and popping wheel out in the front.  As the throng turned on to Van Brunt Street at Pioneer, a big cheer erupted from the rump remains of the Barnacle Parade partying in front of Bait & Tackle

IKEA graciously invited the community to come to their waterfront and donated 200 candles, hot Glogg (a Swedish beverage that tastes a lot better than it sounds!) and cookies. Fairway donated hot cider and cookies. Father Claudio Antecini of Visitation Church spoke followed by Carlos Menchaca, now our Councilman.  Carolina Salguero of PortSide said "there is a request for group hug, hug someone you know and some one you don't," and after a bout of hugging and more chatting, the crowd filtered away into the night.


Red Hook Volunteer

The dynamic duo of Monica and Leisah hosted a party at their new venue Atelier Roquette, to honor the recovery work of the Red Hook Volunteers and help them raise money. Over 50 attended what felt like the relaxed after party for a day of Sandyversary events, with some people shuttling back and forth between the Bait & Tackle party and the Volunteers.  The Mother Earth Band (made wholly or mostly of Volunteers) played.  Red Hook is truly blessed to have had this contingent of young people make their way to NYC after the storm and find Red Hook and stay to  help us out. Three cheers to the Red Hook Volunteers!