Eliana Polanco holds up a thank you note and $100 given to her by a woman she’d tracked down to return a handbag left behind at City Wings.
By Sabina Mollot
The mensch of the month award officially goes to Eliana Polanco, a cashier at First Avenue restaurant City Wings, who went above and beyond her duties in order to return a forgotten handbag to a customer.
William Hsu, a manager at the restaurant, contacted Town & Village to share the story which began on Sunday evening, April 3, when a customer left her handbag behind. It was soon found by Polanco, who then stayed over an hour past her shift, which ended at 11 p.m. to see if the customer would return. She didn’t yet know who the bag belonged to, but when no one came to claim it that evening, Polanco rifled through it in search of identification.
She then learned that the bag’s owner’s name was Lauren and she lived on 18th Street, so after her shift at the restaurant, at the corner of East 20th Street, Polanco walked over to the apartment building. Once there, however, she saw that it was under renovation and all the tenants had been moved to a midtown hotel.
“That’s when Eliana decided to come back to the store to wait for the customer because Lauren had also left both of her cell phones inside the bag,” Hsu said.
Sure enough, a frantic Lauren did come back, asking if her bag was there. Polanco said it was and also confessed to having had to look through it.
Former President Bill Clinton, at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center with Council Member Dan Garodnick and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and residents Herman Diamond and Doris Black (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
With the presidential primary a mere eight days away, Hillary Clinton’s campaign got a boost in Stuyvesant Town, when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, stopped by to schmooze and pose for pictures with voters.
The visit by the former leader of the free world on Monday was almost as guarded as he was, with the event kept quiet up until the last minute when word started to get around the neighborhood. At that point, the Community Center started to fill up much more than it usually would for afternoon bridge games, mainly with politically connected residents. However, many of the seniors who’d gone there earlier to play cards were still shocked to see a president campaigning on the property for the first time in decades. Then presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had also made a campaign stop in Stuy Town in 1960.
With secret service men in tow, who cautiously allowed tenants to tap Clinton on the shoulder or back while requesting photos with him and asking him questions, the former president eventually made his way around the entire community center.
When shaking his hand, one woman informed him, “You are gorgeous.” In response, Clinton said, “It’s been a long time since a girl said that to me.”
He also got a compliment of sorts from longtime resident Tony Koestler, who told him he looked better in real life than he did on TV. An unruffled Clinton agreed with the man. “Most people with round faces do,” he said.