South Street Seaport businesses damaged by Sandy want to reopen - New York News

South Street Seaport businesses damaged by Sandy want to reopen

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The South Street Seaport was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy and business owners say they are being forgotten.   

Two weeks after Sandy battered some Lower Manhattan businesses that had to close their doors as the flood waters rushed in. 

Those businesses are desperate to reopen and are hoping their regular customers will return. 

The open air New Amsterdam Market in the Old Fulton Fish Market is full of shoppers and the tourists flock to the closed South Street Seaport Mall. 

But the road to recovery is a bumpy one for owners of a small business like Acqua Restaurant. Daria Spieler and her sister Irina are determined to reopen in three weeks. Despite the odds they say they have no other choice. 

"Every single piece of equipment got ruined. Our basement is completely flooded. So it's all inventory," said Dari Spieler. "All the refrigerators, ice machines computers… everything is gone."  

The specialty shops underneath the South Street Seaport Museum were damaged by the flood and many of the independently owned businesses that give the neighborhood it's character have not yet been able to open their doors. 

"It's very important that the city keeps the unique neighborhoodsuch as the Seaport alive. It's a destination as people want to retrace the first step of Lower Manhattan," said Catherine McVay-Hughes, Chair of Community Board 1. 

At Pasanella Wines, they've put what's left of their inventory on sale. 

"The storm surge was so powerful it brought the flood waters to this level," said Owner Marco Pasanella.

Pasanella is planning to be fully stocked in a week. 

"We've just been 24/7 working at it," said Pasanella. "Rebuilding everything, but the real question is the neighborhood. So many people can't get back into their homes." 

If you want to help them, the business owners say the best way to shop at their stores and eat at their restaurants.

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