Though many New Yorkers envision landmark restaurant Tony Pier burning to the ground when they think of City Island after Sandy, residents want everyone to know the island is back up and running. NY1's Erin Clarke has the story.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on City Island despite the fact that the entire neighborhood was in evacuation Zone A during Hurricane Sandy.
"Reports of our demise were highly overrated," City Island Chamber of Commerce Vice President Paul Klein said. "So that people are afraid that restaurants aren't open and businesses are closed and we got flooded out."
Some restaurants were open the week of the storm, others got back to business the week after.
"There was very little damage to most of the businesses on City Island," Klein said. "The majority of the damage was to the boat yards and marinas whereas the restaurants sustained very little damage."
Now, six weeks later, the neighborhood is ready for the holidays.
"City Island is open for business," Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein said.
Business owners encourage people to come to the island, especially during the holiday season, because of the unique experience they'll get.
"We're going to serve hot wine," Bistrok SK owner Stephane Kane said. "It's a wine that is cooked with spices and ginger. It's nice, so we're going to offer it to the people in the street."
Visiting City Island they say, is like getting away from the city.
"We have three different galleries -- actually three or four galleries, a couple of antique shops," Klein said. "Things you won't find in the malls."
The island has handmade items, toys and gifts that are one of a kind as well as the seafood that City Island is so well known for and more.
"At the holidays especially there's a real sense of community and we have the lighting of the Christmas tree," one woman said. "Lots of families get together for special holiday events. It's very nice."
So if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the typical holiday shopping experience, City Islanders suggest you take a trip across the bridge and find out what makes this tight knit community such a gem during the holiday season -- and all year long.