Thursday, November 15, 2012

Literary Support of New York City

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard a few weeks ago, and changed many peoples' lives in a weekend. There has been huge support for the residents of these areas from across the globe, and an amazing website called Occupy Sandy Recovery keeps residents up to date with the recovery update. You can also donate to the relief effort and support in other ways. 

As this is a literary (and sometimes music) blog, I wanted to focus on two literary stories going on over the last few weeks. The first is from the amazing Chelsea bookstore Three Lives & Company, which survived the storm's worst, fortunately. I had the great opportunity to visit this bookstore a few years ago. Today, I received the monthly newsletter, which featured this inspiring recap of the last few weeks: 
Greeting from Three Lives & Company, 
It has been a tough time, a harrowing time, a heart-breaking time and it has been a time of beauty and grace. Sandy blew through and changed a great many lives. We are very fortunate to report the little bookshop made it through without any damage or flooding. We did lose power for the week and managed to make it to the shop for three of those days, opening the doors during the daylight hours to welcome neighbors as they went about their errands in a remarkably quiet West Village. As the temperatures fell through the week they showed up with ever more layers of clothing to ward off the cold and take a moment to use our working landline, swap information on locations to recharge a cellphone, or just to chat. Riding bikes across the Manhattan Bridge or making epic subway journeys from Queens the crew here made great efforts to make it to the shop and keep it chugging along, receiving boxes from the amazing folks at UPS, shelving books in the chilly near-dark, and remaining in great spirits.
Through it all our thoughts returned again and again to our neighbors in the far West Village and the folks in the Rockaways, Red Hook, Hoboken, Staten Island, along the Jersey Shore and the many places in between all affected by Sandy. Our concern and well wishes go out to them all. 
And, if we may borrow a sentiment expressed in a newsletter from the good people at Tekserve, as we slowly return to our regular concerns of our lives, when you head out to do your shopping please consider calling on the affected small businesses and restaurants that make our cities and neighborhoods so wonderfully unique and rich; whether cheese shop, bistro, espresso cafe, or clothing retailer, your support will be hugely appreciated by both business owner and employees alike.
The second story is about powerHouse Arena, the seaside bookstore that was not so fortunate. It was hit hard by the storm, and without flood insurance. The result is an incredible fundraising event on November 17th featuring dozens of the city's literary giants. Called Sandy Hates Books Hurricane Relief Fundraiser, the event is a 9 hour reading event featuring Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen, Jennifer Egan among many, many others. It is an incredible event, and I sincerely hope that the bookstore is fully operational in a short time.

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