Help Urban Oyster launch a new tour of Sandy-affected areas

The company's latest food-centered tour will focus on Red Hook, Dumbo and the South Street Seaport—and how those areas are rebuilding.

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Last fall, the folks behind food-centered tour company Urban Oyster were just beginning to work on a bout that would take attendees around the New York waterfront, focusing on neighborhoods like Red Hook, Dumbo and the area around South Street Seaport. Then, little more than a month after they began planning the new jaunt, Hurricane Sandy hit—and those very same coastal neighborhoods took a beating, with many businesses in Red Hook and the Seaport left in shambles after the floodwaters receded.

But Urban Oyster cofounder David Naczycz was undeterred—after he realized that those affected venues were rebuilding, the company doubled its efforts. The tour is set to debut in April, and to help with the costs of getting it up and running, Urban Oyster has launched a crowdsourcing campaign through Smallknot. "We felt that this tour was really addressing an issue that was timely and was something that people wanted to be able to support," says Naczycz. "We are planning to do a bigger launch than we have with our previous tours, and we simply need more money to do that well."

The trek will explore those three neighborhoods, stopping at several venues in each, including Baked and Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies (Red Hook); Bowne & Co. Stationers and New Amsterdam Market (the Seaport); and One Girl Cookies (Dumbo). Naczycz also wants to focus on the damage these businesses suffered as a result of Sandy. "One of the main goals of the tour is to raise awareness about the continuing need for support and the ongoing recovery efforts from Sandy," he explains. "Most of this stuff has fallen out of the news cycle, and we want people to be aware that many are still struggling; some still don’t have utilities, or their facilities are still unusable."

If you want to donate, visit Urban Oyster's Smallknot page for more details, as well as a breakdown of perks for those who contribute (including tickets for some of the group's more popular tours, private dinners and more). If you need more incentive, Urban Oyster will also donate a portion of proceeds from the tour to groups that are helping rebuild in Red Hook and around the Seaport—so your cash will help, in some small way, to get those neighborhoods back to normal.