Brooklynites Calm as Winter Storm Approaches

By Alan Neuhauser on February 8, 2013 12:26pm | Updated on February 8, 2013 1:43pm

 Snow turned to rain in New York City late Friday morning, Feb. 8, 2013. The storm, predicted to bring 10 to 14 inches of snow by Saturday, is expected to worsen by early Friday evening.
Snow turned to rain in New York City late Friday morning, Feb. 8, 2013. The storm, predicted to bring 10 to 14 inches of snow by Saturday, is expected to worsen by early Friday evening.
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DNAinfo/Joseph Tabacca

RED HOOK — The forecast snowstorm that has the city on edged arrived slowly Friday morning in south Brooklyn.

Even as snow flurries fell in Midtown Manhattan, spurring Mayor Michael Bloomberg to urge New Yorkers to stay home and use mass transit, only rain and sleet pelted Red Hook, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene and nearby neighorhoods.

"We're just hanging out," said Judy Daly, a resident of the Red Hook Houses.

The housing development went weeks without heat or power following Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29, but Friday morning, steam, gas and electricity were still flowing through the buildings.

"I just took the elevator to pick up my mail," Daly added. "The buses are running fine, everything seems fine so far."

Residents in the neighborhood sought refuge from the cold and rain in coffee shops, downing hot drinks and stocking up on chocolates and pastries for a weekend spent indoors.

"We've got a nice long line," said Renato Poliafito, co-owner of Baked on Van Brunt Street. "People plowing through breakfast, plowing through treats, and stocking up on sweets."

Across the street, Dry Dock Wine & Spirits saw an influx of customers Thursday night, when the storm forecasts were at their most dire.

"People were coming in yesterday, like, 'I came to get my blizzard booze,'" said manager Brandy Rounds.

If the rain does turn to snow, Rounds added, "we're worried about melt-off. But so far, so good."

Business was slower at Smooch in Fort Greene, which saw fewer customers than normal Friday morning.

"People seem they're on their way to something. They're in and they're out, like they're trying to get things done and go home," cook Roxanne Rainford said.

Resident Lou Sones, managing partner of The Brazen Head Bar in Boerum Hill, said he was bracing in case the storm worsened — temperatures are expected to drop and winds are predicted to increase about 4 or 5 p.m., and the storm is forecast to cause a 3- to 5-foot surge that could cause minor flooding in some areas.

"My kitchen is still gutted anyway. The renovations haven't started yet," Sones, who suffered $70,000 in damage to his home after Hurricane Sandy, said. "For the bar, I often like to stay open in these kinds of things, because people like to cozy-in and ride out a storm. That's how we did it in the old days."

And with The Brazen Head not closing until 4 a.m., Sones may have to make contingency plans.

"I might have to sleep at the bar," he said, adding that in 12 years, he's slept overnight at the bar roughly 15 times. "My porter will shovel and salt, but he leaves for his other job at about 11. After that, somebody has to shovel and salt, because we're liable."

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