Crowd comes out for Taste of Stuy Town

Dan and John's Wings (Photos by Maya Rader)

Dan and John’s Wings (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Last weekend, the weekly Stuyvesant Town greenmarket wasn’t the only way to get fresh food on the Oval. On Saturday, September 24, about 450 people gathered there for the Taste of Stuy Town food festival. The food was free for all Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper residents at the now-annual event.

Attendees were given a little cardboard box in which to place their samples, then walked by the stands and got their food from vendors like Five Stuy Café, Crif Dogs NY, Big Mozz Sticks, Dan & John’s Wings, People’s Pops, Wonder + Well drinks and Butter Lane cupcakes.

Sean Rodden, a worker at Dan & John’s Wings, said, “Today’s been crazy successful for us. We just keep looking up and that line just doesn’t stop.”

There was also live music by the band Jeff Slate & Friends.

Click through for photos from the event.

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Stuy Town flea market will be postponed until spring

Oct9 flea market

Stuyvesant Town flea market

The long awaited return of the Stuyvesant Town flea market will be delayed by several months, management announced on Friday, due to expectations it will rain on Saturday.

In a notice to be emailed to tenants, StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk wrote:

“With great regret, StuyTown Property Services has made the difficult decision to postpone tomorrow’s Flea Market until the Spring. The most recent weather forecast shows a high probability of rain coupled with wind gusts up to 25mph throughout the day. Trust we share your disappointment but the safety of residents and the SPS employees is and will always be our priority.”

Residents who were signed up to have a vendor space this weekend will get the first shot at a space for the spring flea. The date for the flea market has yet to be announced.

Despite the new flea coming at a price — much tighter restrictions on what could be sold, like no clothes or bags due to fear of bedbugs — residents still quickly lined up to participate. The flea was expected to have 525 vendors setting up around the Oval.

Hayduk said, “We’re saddened with this decision but seeing that the last Flea Market was over ten years ago, we don’t think another few months will take the excitement away.”

 

IRS scammers get even nastier

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

As Town & Village has reported on from time to time, since November of last year, residents of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village area have been targeted by scammers calling them, pretending to be from the IRS or the Department of the Treasury. However, the scam calls have been an ongoing problem not just in the neighborhood but around the country.

While the perpetrators, believed to work from overseas, have been very hard for police to track, a representative from the Crime Strategist Unit, prosecutor Kaitrin Roberts, said it’s been a top priority for local as well as federal officials.

Roberts spoke at last Tuesday’s meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, where a question about whether the 30 or so community members in the audience were familiar with the scam drew quite a few chuckles in response.

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800 ST/PCV residents who qualify for SCRIE/DRIE haven’t enrolled

City pushing rent freeze programs on East Side

Last Thursday, Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha and Council Member Dan Garodnick announced that citywide, eligible seniors and disabled tenants aren’t taking advantage of an available rent freeze, especially in Stuyvesant Town and along the East Side of Manhattan. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Last Thursday, Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha and Council Member Dan Garodnick announced that citywide, eligible seniors and disabled tenants aren’t taking advantage of an available rent freeze, especially in Stuyvesant Town and along the East Side of Manhattan. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Thursday, the city rolled out what’s it’s calling East Side Rent Freeze Month, a series of events in October aimed at getting eligible New Yorkers signed up for programs that would exempt them from rent hikes, including MCIs (major capital improvements).

The reason for the push was that in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village alone, 800 eligible tenants have yet to sign up for the programs. According to Jacques Jiha, the city’s finance commissioner, the number of eligible people citywide is 80,000, and many of them are East Siders.

“The East Side of Manhattan has the highest number of eligible participants,” said Jiha, as he stood outside Stuyvesant Town’s Community Center with local elected officials and tenants for a press conference. “During the month we’ll sign up as many eligible seniors and people with disabilities as possible.”

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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 29

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

An alternative to fines for dog piles

The following letter was originally published as a comment on Town & Village Blog in response to the letter, “Sidewalks (better) get a lot clearer,” T&V, Sept. 22.

If people pick up after their animals (and by the way, they should also use water from a bottle to wash away remnants) what is the problem? People should take responsibility for their actions without everything being put into law. Fines never work.

Let’s try something new that would also affect people who are too busy making $$$, or too busy reading their (not so) smartphones: community service cleaning up poop and other messes throughout the city. Rather than paying fines, the inconvenience to their selfish lifestyle may have them reconsider having an animal in the first place.

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Police Watch: Man arrested for 2015 murder, Woman mugged in Union Square

MAN ARRESTED FOR 2015 MURDER AT LILLIAN WALD HOUSES
Police arrested 22-year-old Shaquille Fuller for murder and criminal possession of a weapon last Thursday for a homicide that took place in 2015. Police responded to an assault in front of the Lillian Wald Houses at 20 Avenue D near East 3rd Street last February 23 around 4:33 p.m. and discovered that a 33-year-old man had been shot four times. EMS responded to the scene and took the victim to Beth Israel Hospital, but he couldn’t be saved. The victim was later identified as Shemrod Isaac.

WOMAN MUGGED, BEATEN WITH SKATEBOARD IN UNION SQUARE
Police arrested 22-year-old Brittany Middlebrooks last Thursday after she allegedly attacked another woman at Union Square Park on September 12 around 7 p.m. Middlebrooks allegedly hit the victim in the head and body with a skateboard, causing her pain, bruising and swelling. The victim also noticed that her cell phone was allegedly missing after she was attacked. Middlebrooks was arrested for assault and robbery.

TEEN BUSTED FOR ROBBERY AT THIRD AND EAST 14TH
Police arrested a teenager for robbery and possession of stolen property at the corner of Third Avenue and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 3:49 p.m. The teen approached the victim and said, “Give me your phone or I’m going to hurt you.” The victim complied and handed his phone over, and the suspect made the victim reset his phone. The teen then fled but police searched the area and arrested him. Police said that the teen attends the Green School and his name is being withheld due to his age.

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Rendering, details announced about new building for R&S Strauss site

Rendering of 644 East 14th Street

Rendering of 644 East 14th Street

By Sabina Mollot

Progress is being made to turn the former R&S Strauss site into a residential building.

Opal Holdings purchased the site of the former auto parts shop – across the street from Stuyvesant Town at 644 East 14th – in July.

The owner has since secured a $52 million first mortgage loan. The announcement was made by Madison Realty Capital, the firm that provided the financing, who also provided some details about the future building.

The plans for 644 East 14th Street include 50 residential units, 8,064 square feet of retail space with 200 feet of frontage on 14th Street and Avenue C, and 21,575 square feet of community facility space. Residential units (it wasn’t clear if they’d be co-ops, condos or rentals) will offer contemporary finishes and large balconies with East River views.

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Opinion: The choice in this year’s election

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Historically presidential election campaigns pick up steam around the first day of autumn in the final weeks before Election Day. However this year’s race for the White House has been anything but predictable. There was an abundance of smoke and fire all summer, not to mention mudslinging. It has already become ugly.

It is near impossible to anticipate what will happen during these final six weeks or the outcome on November 8, other than only Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can become the 45th President of the United States of America. In this crazy election cycle, with more twists and turns than a scary Stephen King novel, there is little to predict what will occur in the coming days, not after all the precedents and political traditions that have already been obliterated. This campaign is the most uncivil and abnormal that we have ever seen.

With all due respect to those who find both candidates unpalatable and plan to either sit out the voting or cast their ballot for a third party candidate, that is a cop out. It may make some feel better by not voting for either candidate, but it will not make the nation better. It ignores the reality of American politics and worse yet, it leaves it to others to decide America’s leadership future.No third party candidate has ever come close to winning the Presidency and that will surely not change this year.

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Elderly woman knocked down for her bag near Union Square

Robbery suspect

Robbery suspect

Cops are looking for a female mugger who knocked down a 90-year-old woman in a failed attempt to snatch her bag.

Police said on Tuesday at around noon at 5th Avenue and West 12th Street, the suspect approached the elderly victim from behind and tried to grab her duffle bag from the front of her utility cart. When the victim tried to stop her, the other woman knocked her down to the ground and continued to pull at the bag. The victim was able to hold onto it though and the robber gave up, fleeing eastbound on East 12th Street. The victim suffered lacerations to her right arm and right middle finger. She was treated at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, and has since been released.

The suspect is described as white or Hispanic, with a tattoo on her left arm. She was last seen wearing a black tank top, red pants, black shoes and she carried a black purse.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Soapbox: Men’s group talks things over in PCV

The group’s members, pictured at a recent get-together

The group’s members, pictured at a recent get-together

By Jack Goldfarb      

The conversation flows freely for the seven retired professional men who meet in a Peter Cooper Village apartment twice a month to talk about whatever is on their minds – a gabfest known in New York slang as a shmooze.

The gathering is not a group therapy session, nor an “organ recital” for airing health problems, but these knowledgeable guys are seldom at a loss for words during their two-hour get-togethers.

Rotating their venue in their 20th Street building, these men have come from a wide diversity of careers:  Milton, a presiding Appellate Court judge, Henry, a chemical engineer, Ira, an endocrinologist, Steve, a director of community relations, Lou, a Wall Street trader, Clyde, an educator, and Jack, a travel writer.

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T&V’s search for the best burgers

The vegetarian edition: By Chloe vs. Shake Shack

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

T&V is on a quest to find the best hamburger in the neighborhood but for this installment, we wanted to check out the options available to vegetarians. Any self-respecting meat lover knows that vegetarian alternatives often pale in comparison to the real thing, but sometimes if the healthier option doesn’t try too hard in its imitation, the result can be moderately satisfying. We tried two meat-free offerings at local lunch spots this week.

By Chloe’s Guac Burger (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Chloe’s Guac Burger (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Chloe, Guac Burger ($10)
Anyone looking for a sandwich with the texture, consistency and taste of a juicy beef burger, be warned: this is not it. But the black beans make the sandwich a filling meal, even without a side of fries, and the spices blend together well for a tasty lunch. By Chloe specializes in vegan fare and this sandwich is no exception. The whole wheat bun that comes standard with the guac burger can be swapped out for a gluten free bun for an additional $2.50.

The burger itself is made of black beans and sweet potato and it’s topped with a corn salsa, tortilla strips, avocado, tomato and red onion.

The chipotle aioli has a nice kick that is tampered down a bit by the cooling avocado. The veggies in the burger all tasted fresh and the corn in the salsa also offered a nice balance to the spiciness of the sauce, with a sweetness and a bit of crunch.

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This explosion scared everyone we interviewed, at least a little

Neighbors Ted Goldman and Marshall Blass had differing views. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Neighbors Ted Goldman and Marshall Blass had differing views. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

After the explosion in Chelsea that injured 29 people, and the arrest of a man believed to be behind the attack and another attempted bombing nearby, in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, residents told Town & Village they were naturally concerned about their safety — but not enough to panic.

Peter Cooper resident L. Infantino said she was at a movie theater on West 23rd Street near the explosion site a half hour before the bomb went off.

“I was very lucky,” said Infantino, who’d been out with a friend. The incident left her asking questions about why that location was chosen, and she’s guessing that it’s because it was close to the subway and PATH station, where the bomber could have made a quick exit.

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Two men wanted for questioning in Chelsea bombing

Individuals wanted for questioning

Individuals wanted for questioning

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD and the FBI are asking for the public’s assistance in locating two individuals wanted for questioning in regards to the Chelsea bombing.

The men were seen on surveillance video when they allegedly took a piece of luggage from the sidewalk on West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, removed an improvised explosive device from the bag and left the area, leaving the device behind but taking the luggage. Police said that they took the bag on Saturday between 8 and 9 p.m., the same hour that the explosive device detonated on West 23rd Street.

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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 22

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Sidewalks (better) get a lot clearer soon

On September 13, the Board of Health met and passed the following with respect to Health Code 161.03 which bears on dog waste on sidewalks and other public places:

Ҥ161.03 Control of dogs and other animals to prevent nuisance.

(a) A person who owns, possesses or controls a dog, cat or other animal shall not permit the animal to commit a nuisance on a sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway, sidewalk, lawn, garden or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall [or], stairway or entranceway of a building abutting on a public place.”

I’m told this statement of the regulation will go into effect around October 21.

The new statement makes clear that 161.03 applies to both public and private property.  This means that dog owners in STPCV would have to abide by the same rules by which other dog owners in the city are charged to abide. That is, dogs must be curbed, the waste picked up and discarded.

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Driver plows into cars, synagogue on East 20th Street

The jeep crashed through the building's front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

The jeep crashed through the building’s front gate. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A woman seemingly lost control of her jeep and crashed it into the front gate of the Chabad of Gramercy Park synagogue on Wednesday evening.

Minor injuries were reported after the accident, which happened on East 20th Street near First Avenue at 5 p.m.

At least six cars were damaged as a result, with one bystander describing the accident as a “domino effect.”

Andres Gomes, whose vehicle was damaged, said that the incident was confusing because the driver who set off the chain reaction appeared to be driving erratically, pulling her vehicle forward, then putting it in reverse before driving forward again, hitting multiple cars with each change of direction, before she backed into the gate.

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