EAST VILLAGE — City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilwoman Rosie Mendez will host a "Small Business Crawl" on May 29 to help the restaurants and shops that were affected by the Second Avenue gas explosion two months ago.
“Despite the horrible tragedy that occurred in this neighborhood recently, the East Village remains a vibrant and lively destination in New York City,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement, encouraging New Yorkers to visit the neighborhood.
The blast killed two men and razed three buildings after it ripped through the basement of a sushi restaurant at 121 Second Ave. on March 26. Authorities evacuated nearby buildings as a precaution and closed the streets and sidewalks to traffic.
“When the disaster happened, we worked really hard to get up and running again,” said Jimmy Carbone, who was forced to close his bar, Jimmy’s No. 43, for two weeks following the incident.
Although the roads have been reopened and the vacate orders mostly lifted, many people haven't realized that nearby businesses have returned, Carbone said in the statement.
Many of his customers, he added, “thought we were closed for good.”
“This event will help show everyone that this part of the East Village is up and running again,” Carbone said.
The crawl begins at 5:30 p.m. at the explosion site — the northwest corner of East Seventh Street and Second Avenue — with a moment of silence for Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locon Yac, who were both killed in the explosion.
Those who wish to participate can RSVP to crawl by emailing email@example.com.