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In Sandy's Wake, Chinatown's Powerless Island

Posted on November 14, 2012
NYC Chinatown Sandy aftermath Photograph by Katja Heinemann

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, residents of Knickerbocker Village, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, still live in apartments without electricity, heat or hot water. The complex, situated between the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge, consists of twelve 13-story brick buildings surrounding two courtyards and is mostly inhabited by Chinese immigrants and the elderly. At least one building in the 1930s 12-building low and middle income housing complex have no cooking gas, and garbage chute compactors are backed up and non-operational. It might take weeks to repair or replace the development's boilers, so steam heat may not return to the apartments until sometime in December. Tempers are beginning to flare, with tenants calling for a rent strike, and assorted flyers laying blame on both management and the official tenants' organization.

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