New York Venues Still Without Power Days After Hurricane Sandy
The rain has stopped, but the entertainment industry is still digging out
Tropical “super” storm Sandy battered the East Coast Monday night (October 29), and though the 100-mile-per-hour winds and record-breaking waves have stopped, days later her effects are far from in the past.
At least 40 are dead in eight states, including 22 in New York City, as a result of the storm. Millions of New York residents, 750,000 in the city alone, lost electrical power in the largest storm-related outage in energy provider Con Edison’s history. The city’s subway system, shut down as a precaution, quickly flooded during the unprecedented tidal surges; partial service will return on Thursday.
As we’ve been reporting, Sandy has crippled New York’s entertainment industry. The Great White Way went dark, as all Broadway shows were canceled on the evenings of October 28, 29, and 30. Late-night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon went on with the show, but without audiences. The xx, Smashing Pumpkins, Ghostface Killah, and Journey were but a few of the acts forced to cancel or postpone Tri-State area concerts. Even stand-up comedian Louis C.K., known for his intense work ethic, called off two live performances.
Some venues in Manhattan, like Le Poisson Rouge, lost electricity. “We don’t have power, but we haven’t started canceling anything yet,” Dustin Nelson, the marketing director for Poisson, told Pitchfork. “Not sure about flooding right now.” Cake Shop also lost its lights, but will still open tonight, said Andy Bodor, the space’s co-owner and booker. “If we’re still in the dark tomorrow, we will still be open, séance style, candlelights, cocktails and maybe even a hand-cranked turntable for potentially actually scary Halloween thrills,” Bodor promised yesterday.
Roseland Ballroom made it out of the mess unscathed, according to Consequence of Sound. Rolling Stone reached out to the owners of other live show landmarks like the Village Vanguard, Arlene’s Grocery, and Terra Blues, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone to confirm what effects, if any, the storm had on those Manhattan mainstays. One borough over, in Brooklyn, 285 Kent and Glasslands suffered no damage, despite their proximity to the overflowing East River. “We were prepared, hoping nothing was going to happen, but afriad something would,” a staff member at 285 said. “We’re all really lucky, especially considering 285 is maybe 150 feet from the water. It’s minor compared to what happened.”
Other spots outside NYC weren’t so lucky. Long Island’s Jones Beach Theater pretty much drowned and Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar & Grill in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was left in shambles. Despite the mess, Hagar remained optimistic on Facebook, writing, “We will rebuild!”
Another Jersey venue, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, somehow survived the storm without much more than a wounded fence.
“We did quite well,” the venue’s general manager, Caroline O’Toole, told the Asbury Park Press. “We did a lot of prep work and luck was on our side. Except for some damage to our side fence, we’re OK.” She added, “It’s dry inside and all the history is preserved.”
Some of that success trickled down to Philadelphia, where the Electric Factory also reported no damage, and over to Washington, D.C., where the 9:30 Club and Black Cat (the latter of which remained open during the storm) went unharmed.
Sandy also stretched to the Midwest, showering the Great Lakes with heavy rain and high winds, some of which nicked the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Hall opened an hour later than usual on October 30, but the building suffered no structural or flooding damage.