|Three Shows Help In Sandy Rebuilding Effort|
David: This article comes from nypost.com By Andrea Morabito
It?s been nearly a year since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the greater New York City area ? and the ongoing rebuilding effort is the focus of several special TV episodes this week timed to the anniversary.
And for the shows? hosts, the story is personal.
On Spike TV?s ?Bar Rescue? (Oct. 27, 10 p.m.), nightlife expert and Long Island native Jon Taffer takes on the show?s biggest renovation project yet with the Bungalow Bar and Grill in Rockaway Beach, NY ? which got hit with $350,000 in damages and lost six months of business.
?From a national perspective you see Governor [Chris] Christie walking up and down the Jersey Shore all the time. I didn?t see that kind of exposure going to Long Island and what happened on the island,? Taffer says. ?When we had the opportunity to go to Long Island and make a difference there ? not only in that one bar but to bring public attention to it ? we couldn?t resist. We had to do it.?
Anthony Melchiorri, host of Travel Channel?s ?Hotel Impossible,? visits Seaside Heights, NJ in a two-part special that concludes Oct. 28 at 10 p.m. The long-running ?This Old House? (PBS) is airing an eight-part series ? the next episode airs Thursday night ? showing the rebuilding of three homes on the Jersey Shore.
?I travel a lot, so I wasn?t able to do a lot of the great things that my neighbors did,? says Queens resident Melchiorri. ? I just had a need to try to help.?
For the business-turnaround shows ?Bar Rescue? and ?Hotel Impossible,? the Sandy-wrecked establishments offered a different, more immediate challenge than other episodes ? instead of taking on a failing business fraught by mismanagement, they were helping owners down on their luck.
That brought unique challenges. On ?Bar Rescue,? entire plumbing, electrical and roofing systems had to be replaced, as well as building a brand-new kitchen. On ?This Old House,? some municipal services weren?t ready for rebuilding, new FEMA maps hadn?t been drawn and there was a shortage of labor because of the widespread damage.
And while reality shows often trade in over-hyped drama, the Sandy-themed episodes bring many emotional, teary moments. After the first motel he tried to help turned him away, Melchiorri sought out three other deserving hotels affected by the storm. ?The emotion is real and it?s raw,? he says.
The hosts also hope the episodes can function as a public service (Taffer shot a PSA with Spike TV to benefit the Empire State Relief Fund) showing how much work still needs to be done and the human impact ? in addition to making compelling TV.
?When people see the extent of the damage along the East Coast from Sandy I think they?re going to be blown away. That is very relevant to people, this area is still very challenged,? says ?This Old House? host Kevin O?Connor.
?We?re going to be telling stories about these homeowners and their resilience and who are moving forward in the face of great adversity.?
?This Old House? gurus Richard Trethewey (l), Kevin O?Connor and Norm Abram at the devastated Jersey shore.
Photo: Courtesy of Clifford Nash
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