Midtown back to business, Space Shuttle Enterprise exhibit damaged after Sandy

The protective structure housing the Space Shuttle Enterprise on board the Intrepid collapsed in the storm, exposing the craft to the elements.

It is the tale of two cities in New York, as some areas remain ravaged by flooding, while the streets of midtown Manhattan bustle as they would on any other weekday afternoon, the only indication of the hurricane a few shops and restaurants that remained dark and closed.

Midtown above 39th Street was mostly spared from power outages and flooding, while much of the city below remains dark. The minimal damage to some Manhattan neighborhoods have led to a quicker recovery than other parts of the city like the Financial District and Red Hook, Brooklyn, which are still experiencing serious flooding.

Hell’s Kitchen business owners were quick to reopen and cater to a crowd of New Yorkers eager to dine out or pick up groceries. Several restaurants had lines of people out their doors.

Southern Hospitality, a Ninth Avenue barbecue owned by singer Justin Timberlake, stayed open until 10:30 p.m. Monday and re-opened in time for lunch Tuesday.

“Structure-wise, the restaurant was fine, we didn’t really see too much flooding,” manager Josh Livesay told Metro. “We’re trying to get ahead of the curve, and get some people in here.”

The experience of Hurricane Sandy for those above 39th Street proved a stark contrast from people living in Zone A, who were evacuated from their homes. Midtown residents admit they were hardly affected, aside from transportation interruptions.

“We just spent a couple days inside,” Hell’s Kitchen resident David Ross said. “We are really thankful we had power and the internet stayed on.”

“We were just having lunch, and there were some people next to us saying they didn’t have power and they were charging their cell phones in the restaurant,” Nastascha Strang added.

Joggers and rollerbladers filtered onto the West Side Highway, resuming their fitness routines along the Hudson River, which appeared slightly higher than usual. Police sectioned off some areas of Pier 84 after several concrete tiles were damaged, causing a rippled effect to the walkway.

The protective bubble-like shelter that housed the Space Shuttle Enterprise exhibit on the deck of the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum collapsed during the storm. The shuttle’s tail piece appeared to be broken as it was exposed to the elements, though museum officials did not immediately confirm whether it was damaged.

UPDATE: Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of th Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, issued a statement, saying, in part:

The unprecedented levels of water flooded the main electrical transformers and both of our backup generators. As a result, power issues caused the Space Shuttle Pavilion to deflate. We currently are assessing the situation.

(Photos: Cassandra Garrison)

The bubble-like structure protecting the Space Shuttle Enterprise after it collapsed.

The West Side Highway is once again populated by runners and walkers.

A line of people waiting to eat at Five Napkin Burger stretches out the door at 45th Street and Ninth Avenue.

There was at least a 30 minute-wait for those wishing to dine at Southern Hospitality at 45th Street and Ninth Avenue this afternoon.

Some Midtown parks remained closed for hurricane clean-up.

The sidewalks of Hell’s Kitchen bustled as other parts of the city remained underwater.

Several neighborhood businesses remained closed Tuesday.


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