Thursday, November 01, 2012

UPDATED: Good, Local, Troubled

I'm getting more inquiries about how people who are not based in New York City can help. Know that The Red Cross is still a good choice. There are people in unpowered and otherwise damaged areas who are still having trouble getting basic food and clean water. Yesterday I posted about Masbia, a soup kitchen working to feed evacuees, and The Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC. I spent some time today thinking about what kinds of businesses are being hurt and how we can help them. Here's a round up of what I've thought of. Please add suggestions in comments and we'll keep promoting this entry so that people can see them.

Small theater, dance, and performance companies (and large ones) are in danger of closing for good. Many of them are in the unpowered and flooded areas. Even those that are not in those places are suffering small or nonexistent audiences due to the problems with transportation (shut down of public transport, gas shortages, gridlock). If you ever went to a show you loved here in New York City and can find the people responsible go ahead and donate to them. I'm sure they need it. Here are some that I've found.
 -Jimmy's 43 is where Our Chrome was going to make her playwriting debut and now they're hurting.
 - The Field is an organization that helps develop dance and choreography. You can donate to them as an umbrella organization or page through their list of members taking donations.
 - The New York Theatre website categorizes their listings by area so you can choose any show, go to the company's website and donate. Areas below 34th Street in Manhattan have no power.
 - Dixon Place is a great experimental performance place in many media.
 - TDF "brings theater to people and people to theater." That's a match made in heaven!
 - TCG is a national organization for theaters. You can support them directly or note some good people to support (like Fractured Atlas) in their Sandy Recovery Resources.
 - The Alliance of Resident Theaters works in a similar way to TCG so you can work your donations accordingly.
 - Dance NYC is talking about the impact of Sandy on dance companies. A donation to them would be helpful for dancers.
 - The Flea is a great downtown theater. They produced The Guys after 9/11. Getting this link reminds me to remind you that since a lot of these places keep their servers on premises it may take a little while to get through to their sites if they have no power or their servers are on generator power. Trouble with the website is a sign that they need more help not less.
 - PS 122 is one of the leading experimental performance spaces in NYC. I've performed there in a festival once and they've supported my friend, Ken Nintzel, a great deal. They also introduced me to LAVA, a dance performance group that makes my heart sing.
 - La Mama might be the leading experimental performance space in NYC. It has been held up to me as iconic since the moment I stepped foot in New York. 
 - HERE arts center is the outgrowth of Tiny Mythic Theater Company. They gave me a huge boost when I was graduating from college and their American Living Room series hosted many of my original pieces. They did not flood but are still without power.
 - BAX was my Brooklyn performing home for a while and I still love them. They did not lose power or flood and have been able to reboot their children's classes to relieve overloaded parents with kids a week off school but they are suffering losses in rental and performance income. They support theater, dance, music, education, and LGBTQ.
 - One of the companies that BAX helped to grow is CORA Dance. Shannon Hummel, CORA's founder, lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn which was flooded terribly. She could use some help.

 - You can always search Etsy by location. If you're doing some holiday shopping and are looking at Etsy, consider narrowing your search by New York, NY and helping someone in the area. Or Search by NJ or CT or anywhere else that was hit by the hurricane.
 - There's a market in a couple of locations in Brooklyn called The Brooklyn Flea. Many of the vendors are from hard hit areas and I'm sure the transportation issues will have an impact on sales in the coming weeks. You can search the vendors and show them some online purchase love.
 - Museums in the city will take it on the chin because of the loss of disposable income in the area, people donating their money to other categories, and a lack of tourism. Any museum can use the help, here are some great ones - The FDNY Museum, Museum of the City of NY, Ellis Island, MoMA, The Met, The Frick Collection, American Museum of Natural History, Transportation Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Tenement Museum, and anywhere else you can think of.
 - BWAC is a collective of artists. You can donate to them directly or to their members. 

Books (read: Alternatives to Amazon):
 - The NY Public Library covers Manhattan, The Bronx, and Queens.
 - Brooklyn Public Library
 - Indie Books NYC blogs about Independent book stores. Poke around to find any of the stores in flooded or unpowered areas. The ones in powered areas probably made out OK with neighbors needing somewhere to go but some (like my local Greenlight Books) also donated books to shelters to relieve boredom and stress for evacuees.
 - Books of Wonder is an iconic independent children's book store that was in financial trouble before the hurricane. They need our help more than ever so you can buy from them, donate to their Indiegogo or both. 

 - City Meals on Wheels and City Harvest are both working overtime to salvage food from businesses and get people fed.
 - The Greenmarkets of New York got screwed with last year's storms when farms were damaged and again with this one where flooded market locations and transportation issues will lose them money.
 - Spoonable is the caramel company I work for. It's a micro company making strides in growth. Some of her distributors were flooded or unpowered, we don't know what impact this will have yet.
 - Li-Lac chocolates is a long time favorite store of mine. They're back up and running at Grand Central but their downtown store is still closed. Around Halloween.
 - NY Mouth is an online only business that creates gift baskets and subscriptions of yummy stuff. Many of the products they promote come from places that have incurred damage. They are working hard to support their suppliers as well as donate to City Meals on Wheels and City Harvest. A purchase from them will help a lot of folks.
 - Many of the area food trucks have kitchens or storage in flooded areas of Brooklyn. I don't know if there's any way to help them but here's a way to keep an eye on them.
 - Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie is divine. They were making the Red Hook section of Brooklyn delicious a long time before a lot of other folks thought of it. Right now they're urging you to donate to the Red Cross while they assess their damage.
 - The Red Hook Lobster Pound is also taking stock. They combine my loves of New England, lobster, and New York and it'd be great to keep an eye on them, too.
 - I don't think Baked sells their desserts online but you could help by buying one of their books.
 - I don't drink coffee but apparently Stumptown Coffee is awesome and you can buy it online.

 - Even without a natural disaster the homeless pet issue is enormous. Now we've got other factors like leaking shelter roofs, displaced families, and a downturn in the local economy while we recover. Places like BARC, Sean Casey Rescue, The Humane Society, and the SPCA could use a boost.
 - When I first posted I left out Rescue Ink. Glaring error. They're on Long Island and their shelter took serious damage. These guys help out in dangerous animal situations across the country and now they really need help. 

One more:
 - One of the big independent photo and electronic supply stores, Adorama, is located in the unpowered area. They're back up with generator power and offering their store as a charging station for anyone who can get there. A purchase from them is a vote for all that is good in the world.

Thanks for asking, thanks for helping, thanks for caring. Like I said, please add places you think could use a lift. Be sure to include links. If you're waiting to hear from folks in the area remember that power restoration is very slow as there's so much to restore and flood clean up is required first. We haven't yet pumped all the water out of all the places. The cell towers are losing their back up battery towers and the volume of calls is enormous so cell service is getting worse instead of better. We know you're worried about us but communication is harder and we're starting to have to commute which is taking much much longer (for many, for me that will start next week). We'll be in touch as soon as we can.

For everyone who is still recovering but is able to read this, let us know how we can help! We love you and we're worried about you.


  1. Thank you for this. Reposting, promoting, and donating. "We love you and we're worried about you."

  2. nicely done, kizz. thanks.

  3. Debbie in AZ12:59 AM

    This is very kind and generous of you to pull all of this information together. I will choose one of these organizations/companies and make a donation. Thank you for caring so much about your city and community.