The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

SEPTEMBER 2, 2011


Gas cans, bath plugs and more needed after Irene

EVE MARX PHOTO

Jessica Gattucci, a stylist at the Hair Wharf, said, “Lots of people are coming in for a shampoo. You feel better when your hair is clean, even if you can’t take a bath or shower.”

 
By EVE MARX

They say misery loves company, but within 24 hours after Tropical Storm Irene touched down in the Bedford area, many businesses were open and residents were getting out, many of them desperate for a hot beverage, companionship and a place to recharge their phones.

Table Market was hopping two days after the storm. Members of the town’s environmental group, Energize Bedford, were taking a break from a meeting they were having with vendors for technology and water usage. The entire group was gathered at Table’s table: Mary Beth Kass, Patrice Hauptmann, Maureen Cassidy, Benjamin Nalian, Jeff Friesen, Gary Suraci and director Tom Bregman. The out-of-towners were staying in a motel in Elmsford, where they were weathering the aftermath of the storm. “Probably with generators,” said Ms. Cassidy, who represents a group called Snugg Home.

Not a lot was open in downtown Bedford Hills. The lights were off at the Dawn Shea salon, but one woman was still having her hair done.

In Bedford Village, there was no power at all and most of the shops and businesses were closed.

In Katonah, the atmosphere was lively, almost carnival-like, for some merchants and shoppers.

“I’ve never seen the town this busy since I opened the store,” marveled Dina Altieri, of KD Studio. Not a lot of people were coming in for treatments or makeup, but she was selling candles to people whose power was still out. “They’re soy candles, so they burn very cleanly,” Ms. Altieri said.

Diana Tyler, owner of Kellogg & Lawrence Hardware in Katonah, said the storm started early in her store. “We started selling out of things Thursday and Friday,” she said, citing power outage essentials like D batteries, lanterns and gas canisters. “We were the only store open Sunday,” Ms. Tyler said, “so we became kind of a storm center.”

Over the next 48 hours after Irene passed through, Kelloggs & Lawrence had the two busiest days they’ve had in the history of ownership by the Tylers. “Gas cans,” Ms. Tyler said. “We made three runs up to our vendor to keep a supply in. The store had 507 ring outs on Saturday before the storm, a record. The most popular items on demand after batteries were cooktop stoves and, believe it or not, bathtub plugs.”

The Tylers and their staff also were providing a lot of counseling.

“Some of these camp stoves we sell are very sophisticated and complex,” Ms. Tyler said. “We had to make sure people knew how to use them.” She said they were also giving hands-on advice to homeowners on how to jerry-rig makeshift solutions to keep floodwater out. The hardware store also became a place for people to connect and help each other. A stranded out-of-towner came into the store, asking where she could find a B&B, and wound up going home with a customer who had a room to spare. “Can you believe how that worked out?” Ms. Tyler marveled.

Jordan Sheppard, an employee of Steger’s Paper Mill and a senior high school boarding student at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, said that batteries were the number one selling item — when she still had them. “A man came in and bought $41 worth of D batteries two days before the storm,” she said, effectively cleaning her out. Business, however, was nonstop. Lottery tickets and cigarettes were the big sellers, with lottery tickets far outselling smokes. “I think the price of cigarettes has put some people off,” Ms. Sheppard said. “Did you know in the city a pack is now $15?”

Ms. Sheppard’s mother, Melanie, owns Enchantments, next door. The family lives in Ridgefield, Conn., which they said was hit much harder than Katonah. Were dresses, blouses and skirts selling in the days just after the storm? Yes, Melanie Sheppard said.

“I’ve had people coming in to do some fall shopping,” she said, sounding a bit surprised. “But many people in the downtown area got their power back quickly, and they’re ready to get on with their lives.” She said a mover in her shop is a line of clothing by Chalet. “It’s a soft cotton line. It looks good with leggings or you can dress it up. It also comes in sizes XS to XL, and that’s a true XL.”

At Weintein’s pharmacy torches and batteries had rapidly sold out. No one, the makeup counter ladies said, was interested in makeup. The pharmacy counter was busy with people filling prescriptions, and people with no power who had medicine like insulin that needs refrigeration were asking the drugstore to hold their drugs. “Many of our regular customers have come in to ask if we could recharge their phones,” one of the pharmacy women noted. “That made me think I’d better recharge my own.”

Late Tuesday afternoon at Charles Department Store, Jim Raneri looked battle weary.

“We’ve been going nonstop,” he said. “Butane stoves, batteries, stove-top stoves — we’ve sold a lot. Also charcoal for the barbecue, buckets. Stuff to keep warm, since it was 55 degrees last night.” Mr. Raneri lives in New Fairfield and said he got his power back on Tuesday. “We’d never been out this long before,” he said. Talking more generally about the storm, he noted the public’s level of preparedness had slipped since 2005. “Remember Y2K?” Mr. Raneri said. “Everyone was very prepared for that. Kept good stores at home of batteries, bottled water, things they’d need to survive. That all slipped since 2005, when we got complacent. Now maybe people will go back to that ‘just in case’ mentality.”

Two days after the hurricane, Chris Marshall, working at Katonah Wine & Liquor, said the store was busy, but not unusually so. His work partner, Jordan Ellsworth, said that before the storm people were stocking up on their favorite alcoholic beverages “like they were never going to get out of the house again.”

At Sgaglio’s market, people were shopping for food to cook at home, coming by daily to buy fresh milk, bread or eggs.

At the Hair Wharf, Jessica Gattucci, a stylist and the owners’ daughter, said the salon had a steady stream of people coming in to be shampooed. “If you can’t bathe, the only thing that might make you feel normal and more like yourself is having clean hair,” she wisely said.

At Scoops, the ice cream shop, owner Judy Materi said, “People are going nuts.” On Tuesday afternoon the store was crowded with ice cream lovers of every age and stripe. The painter Ed Giobbi and his wife, Ellie, were among them, getting two single-dip cups. A 250-year-old tree had fallen during the storm on Mr. Giobbi’s studio, wrecking it, but his most important work was spared. “We’ve already been in touch with our insurance company,” Ms. Giobbi said.

Ms. Materi said when she opened the ice cream store on Monday, “I was slammed with business. Everyone had to leave their house and get out. Misery loves company, I guess.”

Noka Joe’s, the coffee bar, experienced two days of nonstop business. Many people were desperate for their caffeine fix. At Perks Coffee & Tea up the street, the table by the big plate glass window was in constant in use, with people on laptops trying to grab a bit of free WiFi off the professional building next door. For the WiFi, the Katonah Public Library was also fiendishly crowded.

At 5 p.m. outside at Perks, the usual afternoon coffee crew of Richard Satenberg, Tom Molito and Joe Mellusi were gathered in the sun. None of them had power or much impetus to go home.

Mr. Molito shared that “a big piece of oak furniture came through my roof,” and that it was his birthday. Mr. Satenberg said he thought people were coming to Perks in droves for the coffee, the company and to use the bathroom.

Mr. Mellusi related a night of failed romance. As he and his wife had prepared for bed in the candlelit darkness, “she strapped one of those miner’s lights on her head,” he said. “We have a lot of camping equipment, and she dragged that thing out.

“Not really my idea of sexy,” he added, a little woeful.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

 

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center;
    294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center;
    280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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