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January                             2013
BIG news! REALLY Big!

The following is a press-release that has gone out this month to all performing-arts related publications, but we wanted you to hear it here FIRST!:

NEW YORK, NY - Ripley-Grier Studios, the world's largest rehearsal and multi-purpose space is proud to announce it will open ten newly constructed studios at its 520 8th Avenue location this winter. As we know affordable, professional Manhattan meeting and rehearsal space is in extremely high demand. Many theaters and schools can no longer afford their own venue as commercial rent and real estate prices rise. To meet this growing demand and with the performing artist in mind, all studios are brand new, individually climate controlled, built with eco-friendly materials and designed with Feng Shui principles. Many have expansive, breathtaking Manhattan views that look out toward the Hudson River. Clients can look forward to spaces as large as New York's famous Broadway stages all the way down to the intimacy of private warm-up rooms, and of course all 520 studios have access to the world famous Butch's Cafe Oasis and Rose's Catering services. Artists rejoice!

Patricia Ripley and Butch Grier established Ripley-Grier Studios 26 years ago in a five-room walk-up on the Upper West Side. Today the company has expanded to 64 studios in four different Manhattan locations: 520 8th Avenue, 939 8th Avenue, 131 West 72nd Street as well as its Voice Over Studios located on the 10th Floor of 520 8th Avenue. Famous for its rehearsal rooms, classes and auditions, Ripley-Grier Studios offers space at an hourly rate to meet the ever-changing needs of artists and business people alike.  Voted Best Rehearsal Space by Backstage readers' Best of New York for an undisputed 8 times running, Ripley-Grier is still owned and operated by its namesakes and continues to provide their legendary customer service, professional space, the latest equipment and above all a home for artists.

New studio spaces will be available as early as February and are available to book now by calling Stas at 212-799-5433 ext 203. A dimension and price guide is available now HERE.

We are excited to once again raise the bar on rehearsal and audition space in the city. Check out our work-in-progress photos on the left.

john norman
Director of Ops
Ripley-Grier Studios
Hurricane Sandy, Part 3 

Thank you for your contributions, we are continuing to raise money this month.

Sandy the Next Phase                                                                 Patricia Ripley

We walked around our neighborhood, checking the roads and the homes. It was going to be a long recovery. We were traumatized; the whole town was traumatized. What was next? We assessed our damage and tried all our systems. The only thing that worked was the stove, we lit it with a match; we could cook. We moved all our food into the freezer to save what we could. We looked at the smashed garage door with 5 feet of water in the basement; it was going nowhere. All our neighbors were in the street cleaning up. A couple from up the street came with big black trash bags, (soon be the most common sight in town); they helped us clear our front porch and patio of debris & washed up dune plants. A huge pile of trash began to build at the end of our street. A man came by handing out peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. We snarfed them down

We had no radio or TV to find out what had happened and what was to happen; no cell phone service. Butch went over to Shayne's house and jump-started their car. It ran for a few blocks, then the airbags exploded. The water had rushed in up to their windows with the surge and then two hours later, gone. We tried to start our neighbor's car, the one that had floated into the street, to no avail. It was toast.

As we began to clean up our yard we found parts of the boardwalk, dune debris and our neighbors' gear, which had floated in from their yards and garages. A cooler had washed into our yard; we cleaned it to store our food in it on the back porch. Butch said some of the roads were passable so we drove over to the firehouse cell tower. We parked nearby and got enough service to call the studios. They were closed for two days. The subways were down. No one could get to us including our clients. The city had taken a big hit.

We charged our phones in the cars, in the Cruiser without being started; the Volvo had to be running. We had filled the tank in the Volvo before the storm and the Cruiser had a tank. I began to remove the sand from the back yard, thinking I could save the lawn. We worked for 10 hours that day: raking, shoveling and dumping it in places where it had been displaced in the yard, Jeannie helped. It got dark; we were cold, wet and "sandy". We cooked soup & noodles. Everyone slept together in our bed, including Savannah our cat. It was tough trying to fall asleep, but we knew tomorrow was going to be hard work so we got a few hours. We got up it was cold but sunny. We worked another long day til after sunset. Mid-day we took a break and a walk. The National Guard was everywhere in camouflaged Hummers. Helicopters were buzzing all day and night. We got food from the Red Cross mobile truck. We were vegetarians but the meatball sandwich went down without a second thought. We sat on a curb in the sun, ate and contemplated.

By the 3rd day I told Butch we needed to get our family out of town. We put Shayne's family in our Volvo, we in the Cruiser and caravanned into Manhattan. The Cruiser was running out of gas so we parked it on West 82nd St. in front of our old apartment. We put Jeannie in the Volvo with Shayne. Butch and I took the subway to 520. Butch drove the Volvo to the upper West side to park it, but it failed and had to be towed to a shop.

That night we all went to a local Irish pub for dinner. We were exhausted but we had a warm place to sleep and food. We were now officially homeless. It was the 1st of November and a new chapter began, one of recovery, which included endless paperwork, phone calls, emails, interviews, FEMA applications, lawyers and insurance forms, another story in itself. Next the cleanup and the future....to be continued ....