Hurricane Sandy in NYC: Gowanus Ballroom Throws A Much Needed Benefit Ball

November 21st, 2012 by Andrzej

This is Josh Young. The rusted metal behind him shows how high the water reached at the front end of Gowanus Ballroom when Gowanus Canal flooded during Hurricane Sandy. He’s been running this remarkable 12,000 sq ft art gallery/performance space for close to 3 years and funding it mostly from his metal fabrication company, Serett Metal.

Josh Young showing the waterline in Gowanus Ballroom © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Josh took a big hit when the Sandy came to town as it’s going to cost in excess of $150,000 to replace the damaged tools and machinery. Because he was next to Gowanus Canal, his insurance company wanted to charge $18,000 a year for additional flood insurance. As he was still in the process of making the space financial he couldn’t justify the expense, so he wasn’t covered when the water surged up out of the canal.

Car park at Gowanus Ballroom six days after Hurricane Sandy in NYC © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Entrance to Gowanus Ballroom with skip full of rubbish and Amanda Palmer performing at her Kickstarter wrap party © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

It swept in across the car park and was held back for a while by the roller doors that he’d shuttered and barricaded. But in the end the weight of the water proved too much and it broke through the doors with such ferocity that huge wooden beams were tossed about like matchsticks.

Gowanus Ballroom entrance room six days after Hurricane Sandy in NYC © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Metal sculpture designed by artist Alexander Arrecheahe in the Gowanus Ballroom after Hurricane Sandy hit NYC/Exhibition before the hurricane © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

The water reached five feet at the back end of the building and sat there efficiently corroding all of his equipment and machinery for over twenty-four hours. A large number of volunteers have helped clean out the space and equipment, but it’s going to take him quite a while to trade his way back to any kind of even keel.

Cleaning up tools in Gowanus Ballroom six days after Hurricane Sandy in NYC © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Main room in Gowanus Ballroom six days after Hurricane Sandy in NYC © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

But he is determined not to let this disaster sink the Gowanus Ballroom. And many of the people who he’s helped in the community feel the same way. So this coming Saturday there is a monster benefit being held at the Gowanus Ballroom and if you are in NYC, then you should definitely attend. And if you aren’t, then make a contribution via Paypal on the Gowanus Ballroom website.

Fire performance by Flambeaux Fire in the entrance room of Gowanus Ballroom © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Amongst a bunch of aerialists and fire performances by the phenomenal Flambeaux Fire, this is the schedule of performers for Saturday night at Gowanus Ballroom:

7:00pm – Sweet Soubrette

8:00pm – Big Volcano

9:00pm – ON

10:00pm – Shayfer James and Sara Zar

11:00pm – Will McEvoy

12:00am – Apocalypse Five and Dime

1:00am – Pendulum Swings

1:45am – Matthew Silver, the Great Performer

2:00am – Consumata

3:00am – Morgan O’Kane

Tell all your friends and come along to have a fantastic night which will help get Gowanus Ballroom back on its feet.

The mezzanine at Gowanus Ballroom / Morgan O'Kane performing © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Wood sculpture and aerialist at Gowanus Ballroom © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

I’ve written about Gowanus Ballroom in here before – specifically when Amanda Palmer held the wrap party for her historic successful million dollar Kickstarter campaign and when the truly remarkable Flambeaux Fire did a show there.

The mezzanine at Gowanus Ballroom six days after Hurricane Sandy in NYC © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

As can be seen in this picture of the mezzanine level, even the paperwork was damaged in the storm and had to be laid out for several days to dry.

Josh Young & Kristin Kunc talking with volunteers in the office at Gowanus Ballroom © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Josh Young & Kristin Kunc of Gowanus Ballroom in happier times © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

Josh is my oldest friend in NYC. We met when I first came here eight years ago and I've watched him build this amazing space into something valuable and worthwhile to a lot of people. He and Kristin are both good people doing good things. They need our help in whatever way we can give it. Come to the show on Saturday night and make a donation. It will appreciated and it will be used in a constructive way to rebuild this valuable resource for the community. I will be there wearing my top hat, so come and say hello.

Fire performer in Gowanus Ballroom © Andrzej Liguz/moreimages.net. Not to be used without permission.

The post Sandy pictures on this page are a selection from what I shot a week after the hurricane hit, to see the rest of the pictures in full size check this gallery in the reportage section of this website.

One Response to “Hurricane Sandy in NYC: Gowanus Ballroom Throws A Much Needed Benefit Ball”

  1. Tenar Says:

    I so love your photography. You just get better and better.

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