Diner quickly reopens on 23rd St. for blind customers

Malibu Diner customer Barbara Police urged Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to let the diner reopen. Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Malibu Diner customer Barbara Police urged Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to let the diner reopen. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Although the street was closed to foot and car traffic until Monday night due to the explosion, the owners of one business on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenue felt the need to reopen as quickly as possible.

The Malibu Diner has a close relationship with the residents of Selis Manor, a residence and social service agency for the blind farther east on the block, and diner owner Alex Grimpas said that it was important for nearby residents that they reopened quickly.

“We wanted to be open as soon as possible so (Selis Manor residents) know they’re not by themselves,” Grimpas said. “It wasn’t about making money but it was to help the community.”

Malibu has been in Chelsea for the last 40 years and Grimpas said that his staff is trained to serve the residents of Selis Manor, making sure their food is cut up and that they get discounted meals.

The diner started a program a few years ago with Selis Manor that uses a voucher system to provide at-cost breakfasts for residents, and they wanted to continue the relationship with the residents.

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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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East River flood protection plan extended to 25th St.

Meeting attendees in 2015 look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Meeting attendees in 2015 look at a model of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with a planned elevated park at the waterfront. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The plan to provide flood protection to the community along the East River has shifted design elements from East 23rd Street to 25th Street due to complications with the intersection in the original plan. The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency announced the changes to the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) plan in a task force meeting with Community Boards 3 and 6 on Tuesday night.

Representatives from the Office of Recovery and Resiliency as well as the urban design team working on the project have spoken at community meetings previously about the plan, the goal of which is to provide flood protection from Montgomery Street to East 23rd Street, incorporating floodwalls and an elevated park.

Carrie Grassi, Deputy Director for Planning at the Office of Recovery and Resiliency, said that the “tieback” was moved to East 25th Street because East 23rd Street is a technically difficult area.

“We’re trying to come up with an alternative that doesn’t make that intersection worse,” she said.

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Even without internet, homeless camps still a concern in Gramercy

A LinkNYC tower is used on Third Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

A LinkNYC tower is used on Third Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

Last Wednesday, the city yanked the internet from its new wi-fi stations following community outrage and news reports about the kiosks being monopolized by the homeless. As Town & Village recently reported, in Gramercy they’d be used for hours or even days at a time by homeless people who in some cases set up camps and according to one Post report, a Murray Hill resident was even treated to the sight of a man masturbating near her home while using a kiosk to watch porn.

However, even with internet access now scrubbed, some Gramercy residents are saying the kiosks are still hangouts for homeless people who in some cases drink at the sites and remain there for days on end. Their concerns were raised on Tuesday night at a meeting of the 13th Precinct Community Council, where the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney assured neighbors police were responding to such complaints, and increasing homeless outreach efforts.

One woman, Julie Block, complained that homeless people are a round-the-clock presence at 16th Street and Third Avenue. In response, Timoney said those individuals have actually since moved a block north to 17th Street. However, he also said there would be more efforts to get those people into shelters, in coordination with the organizations Breaking Ground and Urban Pathways. “We’ll have to go out there again,” Timoney said.

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Man made false bomb threat on L train

sept22-false-bomb-threatPolice are looking for a man who made a false bomb threat on the L train on Saturday. At around 5:45 p.m., the man, who was on the L after it left the Bedford Avenue station, yelled out “Bomb!”, then counted down from five and yelled out “boom!”

This was prior to the bomb going off in Chelsea at around 8:30 p.m.

A passenger took a picture of the suspect with her cell phone before she made an exit at the First Avenue station.

The individual is described Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, 5’10”; and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue pants.

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 at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.