For community orchestra, the mission is low cost music

By Sabina Mollot

The Greenwich Village Orchestra at a recent performance. (Photo by Adi Segal)

For the past quarter century, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, a group of over 60 musicians from around the city, has been devoted to playing free or low cost symphony concerts. The full orchestra, which performs the most often at the auditorium of Washington Irving High School, around six times a year, also sometimes plays at Rose Hall at Lincoln Center as well as Manhattan churches and parks. The next performance will be at Washington Irving at 40 Irving Place on Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m.

Jeanne Poindexter, an East Midtown Plaza resident and viola player, has been with the orchestra almost as long as it’s been around, and like the other participants, was never a pro musician but had a background in music. Members include architects, accountants, carpenters, advocates and retirees.

“Some people play freelance, but most people make their living doing something else,” said Poindexter, a PhD and retired professor of biology. “They’re just people who learned to play a youngsters and didn’t want to stop playing.”

Though having always played, Poindexter still studies at the Third Street Music School where her daughter also took classes.   “You need someone to constantly criticize your playing — that’s what keeps you playing well,” said Poindexter. Continue reading

Streets a sea of green on St. Patrick’s Day

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While this community has certainly had its legitimate concerns about excess bars and rowdiness, in particular on St. Patrick’s Day, most of the celebrants Town & Village ran into on Saturday afternoon appeared to be partying responsibly.
Pictured here are some of those revelers at various watering holes and other spots in the East Village and Union Square areas, while dressed in their holiday best.

Photos by Sabina Mollot

Letters to the editor, Mar. 22

Guterman plans deserves a chance

To the Editor:
ST/PCV residents would be well-advised to consider the Guterman plan, which could be in their best interests. First, the plan would yield very attractive valuations.  At $315 a square foot, the mathematical price of a one-bedroom apartment (745 square feet) would be $237,000.  A two-bedroom would be $320,000. (That’s an average value, so actual pricing could be lower for unrenovated apartments, and higher for renovated units.)

Additionally, Guterman proposes minimal resale restrictions.  Therefore the value of a tenant’s investment would be maximized.  The TA on the other hand, requires condo purchasers to subsidize New York City’s future public housing needs. Therefore, under Guterman, tenants would make a 20 percent down payment (amounting to about $45,000), and they would gain an investment worth $300,000 in equity value.

The three-year holding period proposed by Guterman would no doubt be acceptable to most tenants.  In return, our neighbors and friends would gain the ability to create a valuable “retirement account” in the form of home ownership. Our long-time tenants deserve nothing less.

Guterman also brings a track record:  Guterman Partners has apparently done dozens of successful conversion transactions, while Brookfield has completed none.

In London in 1620, there was a man named Hobson who operated a stable.  You could borrow any horse you wanted, as long as it was the one closest to the door.  Thus, a “Hobson’s Choice” is really no choice at all. The Tenants Association has pledged “to maximize tenant choice” in all respects. However, they present us with a true Hobson’s Choice:  no choice at all. To maximize tenant choice and maximize tenant value, we and the TA should take review Mr. Guterman’s proposal.

Name withheld, ST Continue reading

Dunkin Donuts ‘groper’ arrested

Sketch of suspect, Kerry Abrams.

A 54-year-old man, who allegedly touched an 11-year-old girl inappropriately two weeks ago in a Dunkin Donuts located at 361 East 21st Street, was arrested yesterday, according to the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. Kerry Abrams, who lives at 201 Second Avenue, was charged with sex abuse.

During the incident, which took place at 11:30 a.m. on March 7, Abrams allegedly touched the girl inappropriately and fled the scene. There were no reported injuries.