Last night, I took a tour of the neighborhood with a few friends to get out of our apartments. As much as we’re thankful that we were relatively unaffected by the storm, we are getting a little stir crazy from sitting at home.
We discovered that the Waterfront Crab House, one of the oldest restaurants in Long Island City’s and one of my favorite neighborhood institutions, was closed. As its name implies, the restaurant sits near the East River and, as one would expect, it was flooded by Monday night’s storm surge and tidal flooding.
I walked by there this afternoon to see how the restaurant had fared. It’s bad!
One of the cooks took me through the dining room, which was completely dark because the restaurant does not have power, to show me the kitchen. Even in near-complete darkness, I could see that the furniture was soaked. The wood floor not only felt wet but also warped, presumably from the water damage. When we reached the kitchen, I saw all of the appliances and shelves all across the floor, as if someone tossed and ransacked the room. The flood waters had reached high enough to float everything in the kitchen and redeposit on the floor as the water retreated. We could see that the water level had reached about three-feet above the floor.
It’s truly sad to see the local crab house in such a state. But I’m encouraged by two facts. First, they rebuilt after a serious 2009 fire. Second, there were about a dozen men and women working on the restaurant, draining the water from the basement and removing the seat cushions from the dining room chairs to air dry them. They look determined to rebuild. And I really hope they do, again.