Luxury club opens in neighborhood destroyed by Sandy

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The haves will  likely be sitting poolside this weekend at the Sea Gate Beach Club in Brooklyn, while the have-nots will still be struggling to make their homes livable again.

This is a story of rebirth and heartache in one community with contrasting images almost seven months after it was ravaged by superstorm Sandy.

The Olympic-size pool is now filled with water, new cabanas have replaced the 100 or so swept away by Sandy.  Crews are working feverishly to have the thousand member club up and running for the unofficial start of summer this weekend.

pool

The colorfully striped beach-side cabanas form a backdrop for quite a different picture just down the street where the destruction from the storm is dramatically evident. 47 homes in the close-knit, gated community were severely damaged — nine had to be knocked down — after a 30 foot wave swept over the bulkhead.

Lou Rosen lost his home and four cars and at 56, he says he’s starting all over again and has no time to think about summer relaxation. He told PIX11 News, “There’s no summer for us. We lost everything in five minutes and it’s a slow process trying to put everything back together.”

At the beach club, the Tiki Bar is getting a fresh coat of paint, tables and chairs are getting power-washed, new cushions are being placed on lounges.  In contrast, chaise lounges lay amidst, twisted debris just a short dissonance away.

Manny Papir, who is the disaster relief coordinator for Coney Island and Sea Gate says people are frustrated the recovery process is taking so long.

Sal Argano, manager of the Sea Gate Beach Club  has no reservations about opening the beach club so close to so many reminders of heartache and losses suffered by so many in the small community.  He says many of the club’s members are victims of the storm. Residents of the community I spoke with said they had no qualms about the beach club re-opening while so many others are still struggling.

One homeowner sees it as a positive thing, somewhat of a rebirth after a storm that hurt so many.

4 comments

  • MahlonL

    The losses are devastating for anyone that was in Sandy's path, but why are you positioning the business as evil? They too are picking up the pieces and are working hard to save their business.

  • cls

    I feel for the people of the community, but I wouldn't label someone with a beachside home and 4 or more cars as "have nots".

  • Joe

    The business has to recover just like the home owner… Why is this news article playing people as victims and the business as bad? This is absurd.

    The people had ocean front houses. They knew the risks when they spent millions on these homes and all these cars. Im sure their bank accounts will help them recover just fine.

  • T J Phrummer

    Prove to me that this well-connected club for the idle rich didn't receive any tax dollars & I'll look upon their re-opening as something other than thumbing their noses at the rest of us.

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