Six Months After Hurricane Sandy: Photos Of Manhattan Then & Now

on April 29 2013 10:18 PM

Lower Manhattan is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy six months after the superstorm ripped through New York City and the surrounding region.

The power is back on nearly everywhere, and the damage is not as visible as one walks the streets of the Financial District, Lower East Side, East Village and other downtown neighborhoods as it was in the long, dark weeks following the October storm.

Scroll to the end of this article to view stunning before-and-after photographs of Sandy's wrath on Lower Manhattan.

But there is still much to be done, as many offices, restaurants, shops and residences remain shuttered and vacant, and as workers continue to labor 24 hours a day to get the city back to normal.

Some downtown business owners and employees, like Luke Shaljin, a clerk at the Pasanella and Son Vintners wine shop in the South Street Seaport area, tell stories of resilience and overcoming the many hardships Sandy brought to the region.

The interior at Pasanella and Son still bears a chalky-white, 6-foot-high watermark on its interior wall that offers a stark depiction of how the waters of the East River rose on the shop's stretch of South Street.

"This whole wall and all the shelves had to be taken down. Immediately after the storm we got to work getting back up and running," Shaljin explained from the pristine storefront that was back in business by the end of November.

Shaljin said that foot traffic is down and that many of the Seaport's businesses will never return, but that as summer nears and proprietors figure out ways to get back on their feet, the mood is improving and the area is coming back to life.

A construction worker and security guard working in the Seaport last week both said it is expected to be back to a semblance of normalcy (albeit with about half of store doors still shuttered) by June or July, though the recovery could drag into October based on a look at permits issued for the area.

"There's a lot of businesses that were pessimistic earlier on, but now I'm hearing good things," Shaljin said. "A couple of bars were not planning on re-opening, and now a lot of businesses are getting their plans together and are going to be re-opening."

That appears to be the case on the busy stretch of Financial District lunch spots running along Pearl Street from Cedar Street to Maiden Lane. Many of the restaurants and shops along that block have worked night and day to get back in business, and most have -- while new eateries are already cropping up to fill spaces that went vacant after Sandy.

One such restaurant is Roti Mediterranean Grill, which is slated to start operating within two months, according Antonio Maldonado, a worker with Unique Construction, an Albany-based company working around the clock to get the doors open at Roti.

"Everything's coming back to normal around here," Maldonado said. "This whole area was damaged but everybody's getting back to business. You know how much money these businesses miss when they're not open? These places some of them make six, seven, eight, nine thousand dollars in between 11 and 4 at lunch. Now you see why they want to get back in business as soon as they can."

Below is a selection of images depicting areas of Lower Manhattan as they appeared in the week after Sandy struck, and as they appear April 26, a full six months later, as well as a couple of images simply depicting the ongoing work to recover from the storm's rage.

Associated Supermarkets Before The Associated Supermarkets location on Avenue C in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan was heavily damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy.  International Business Times / Connor Adams Sheets

Associated Supermarkets After The Associated Supermarkets location on Avenue C in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan has recovered from Sandy and resumed business.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

The Plaza Shops Before Water inundated many low-lying areas of the Financial District as Hurricane Sandy swept across Lower Manhattan in October, leaving many areas, including The Plaza Shops, inundated with flood waters.  Reuters

The Plaza Shops After The water has been siphoned out of The Plaza Shops, but the underground shopping facility was still closed on April 26.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

South Street Ferry Subway Station Escalator Before Flood waters inundated the New York City subway system in Lower Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy swept through the region, shutting down a number of stations including the Whitehall Street stop.  Reuters

South Street Ferry Subway Station Escalator After The flood waters have been siphoned out of all New York City subway stops, but the South Ferry subway station was still out of commission as of April 26.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Midtown Crane Collapse Before A crane collapse on a building under construction in midtown Manhattan transfixed the media for a short period after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City  International Business Times / Mary Murphy

Midtown Crane Collapse After Work resumed on the midtown Manhattan building after the crane situation was addressed, and construction was continuing as normal there on April 26.  International Business Times / Mary Murphy

Restoring Power Before In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the power was out in nearly all of Lower Manhattan. Here a Con Ed worker worked to restore power on a street in the Financial District shortly after the storm swept through the region.  Reuters

Restoring Power After The power is back on throughout most of Lower Manhattan, but a number of buildings in the Financial District are still vacant due to lack of services, and workers continued to work on the power grid on April 26.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Pasanella and Sons Vintners Pasanella and Sons Vintners, seen here on April 26, in the South Street Seaport area of Lower Manhattan was back in business within a month of Hurricane Sandy.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

South Street Ferry Subway Station Before Flood waters inundated the New York City subway system in Lower Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy swept through the region.  Reuters

South Street Ferry Subway Station After The South Street Ferry subway station was still out of commission April 26, a full six months after Sandy struck New York City.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

IMGL3775 The South Street Seaport area of Lower Manhattan is coming back to life as work continues to get it back to its former glory after it was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

South Street Seaport The South Street Seaport area of Lower Manhattan is coming back to life as work continues to get it back to its former glory after it was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Roti Mediterranean Grill Laborers are working around the clock to get Roti Mediterranean Grill up and running six months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed many of the restaurants along its section of Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

IMGL3758c Laborers are working around the clock to get Roti Mediterranean Grill up and running six months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed many of the restaurants along its section of Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Paris Cafe Paris Cafe, in the South Street Seaport area of Lower Manhattan, was still in bad shape on April 26, six months after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Alphabet City Before Hurricane Sandy flooded many blocks of Lower Manhattan's Alphabet City neighborhood with several feet of water, seen here from the roof of a building on Avenue C.  International Business Times / Connor Adams Sheets

Alphabet City After Alphabet City, seen here from the roof of a building on East 11th Street near looking toward Avenue C, has mostly recovered from the damage wrought on it by Hurricane Sandy.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes

Lower East Side Street Art New pieces of street art went up in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood as it recovered from Hurricane Sandy's wrath.  International Business Times / Cameron Barnes