N.Y. seaport museum reopens after Sandy damage

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The South Street Seaport Museum in New York planned to reopen today with the launch of the exhibitions “A Fisherman’s Dream: Folk Art” by Mario Sanchez and “Street Shots/NYC,” a presentation of contemporary New York City street photography.

They will join ongoing special exhibitions “Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions,” organized by the American Folk Art Museum, and “Romancing New York: Watercolors” by Frederick Brosen.

“Superstorm Sandy may have dealt us a body blow, but we are getting back up on our feet: Today we’re proud to announce that the museum is ready to reopen and with fantastic new exhibitions,” Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel director of the Museum of the City of New York and president of the South Street Seaport Museum, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“In large part we are reopening as a statement of faith in our mission and community, and visitors will have to use stairs and accept heat blown in from heaters sitting on the sidewalk. But we are ready to welcome all comers.”

“The South Street Seaport Museum is the cornerstone of our wonderful seaport district — the 19th century buildings, the tall ship masts, the cobblestone streets and the view of Brooklyn Bridge that bring us back to NYC’s origin as the greatest port city on the Atlantic. Its reopening is a testament to hard work and a holiday present for all of us,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, chairwoman of Community Board 1. “This holiday season, I encourage New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe to visit the Seaport, stop by the museum and visit the reopened shops and the ships.”

The museum has been closed since Hurricane Sandy barreled into New York in late October, flooding the museum and damaging its cafe and gift shop, electrical system, elevators and escalator and inundating its historic letterpress show.

All collections and exhibitions escaped direct damage, but the loss of mechanical, heating and electrical systems shuttered the museum, along with much of the surrounding neighborhood, for the past month.

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