A Sunny Saturday
Better news to report from my trip to Red Hook today. Maybe it was because it is the weekend and the sun is shining. Or maybe it was the rumors that power would be restored to the Red Hook Houses tomorrow. Or maybe the relief efforts are starting to make a difference. Whatever the case, it seemed to me that there was a more positive buzz in the neighborhood today.
Walking through the community, there were numerous signs of life and spirit -- public housing tenants using an AT&T truck to charge their phones, dozens of volunteers assembling for duty at the Red Hook Initiative, National Guard personnel distributing food to a small and orderly line of needy residents at Coffey Park, Defonte's Sandwich Shop open for business using an emergency generator, business owners along Van Brunt Street clearing out the debris from their storefronts, etc.
There was also activity at the Justice Center, where a small team of contractors was working under the watchful eye of a supervisor from the City's Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and two court officers. The cleanup effort will continue on Monday and will probably take a couple of weeks to complete. There are numerous details to work out before the doors of the Justice Center can be re-opened and the courtroom can begin hearing cases again. But at least we have taken the first steps down the road toward recovery.
The photo at the top of this post is from the front door of the Justice Center. And the photo below is from the food delivery efforts in the Gowanus Houses.
For more on Red Hook, check out these photos from WNYC or this article from the Village Voice, which quotes a (misidentified) Viviana Gordon from the Red Hook Community Justice Center.