Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association celebrating 50th anniversary

Stuyvesant Square Park these days is sitting pretty, in no small part due to the work of the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

When the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association was formed half a century ago, it began as many civic organizations do — as a response to a perceived threat to the community that the residents were willing to fight. In this case, the interloper was Beth Israel, which was expanding its footprint at the time, buying up brownstones in the Stuyvesant Square neighborhood to raze and turn into larger buildings.

Rosalee Isaly, the president of the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, who’s been involved in the group’s efforts since 1970, said neighbors were concerned about the expansion impacting their quality of life, especially when the hospital received a federal grant to turn an empty lot at the corner of Second Avenue and 17th Street to build a 40-story building to house its staff. The group, initially just three couples (including husbands who worked as attorneys), fought this tooth and nail.

Eventually that street corner became home to the significantly smaller Hospital for Joint Diseases, and Beth Israel built the 24-story Gilman Hall on First Avenue across from Stuyvesant Town to house its residents. (Gilman has since been emptied and sold to a California-based developer as part of the hospital’s downsizing plan.)

As for the three couples from Stuyvesant Square who made up the founding members of the SPNA, they were John and Mary Tommaney, Adrian and Marisa Zorgniotti and James and Carvel Moore. Isaly, who now owns and manages a couple of local properties and is also an artist, joined the SPNA upon moving to the neighborhood when she was a newlywed. She’s lived there since then with the exception of a few years in the 1970s when she and her family lived in Paris.

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Man knocks woman down, steals her bag on train at Union Square

 

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who shoved a woman to the floor and stole her bag aboard a 4 train at Union Square on Monday.

The victim, 48, told police that around 1 p.m. said she saw him harassing other men on the train, so she started recording him on her phone. He and the woman then got into an argument, which is when he pushed her and forcibly grabbed her bag, before fleeing the train. The bag contained $350 worth of items including clothing and the victim’s wallet.

The suspect is described as black, in his 20s-30s and was last seen wearing a baseball cap, glasses and all dark clothing.

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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Letters to the editor, May 31

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Creeped out by all the critters

I am one of the very privileged to own the title, “Stuy Town lifer.” And what a true blessing it is to live in this great place. I love it! And how wonderful and surprising, in this day and age, to see it getting better and better in so many ways. The ever-increasing beautification is most impressive to me and wholeheartedly welcome Stuy Town’s new self-proclaimed designation — “the oasis.”

I truly feel that breath of fresh air every time I turn the corner at 14th Street and Avenue A.

My favorite spot for reading or meditating is on the benches outside my building alongside Playground 12. The tree-shaded view of the Oval and the kids in the playground are idyllic.

But only for a short moment until the onslaught of squirrels and pigeons. The emboldened rodents are relentless in their jumping on the bench and crawling at my feet. (Think Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”)

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Administration for Children’s Services teens arrested for violent robberies

Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Multiple teens living at the Administration for Children’s Services building at 492 First Avenue have been arrested in connection with a number of separate robberies in the last week. Three teens arrested for choking and robbing a man on East 18th Street were also charged with a phone robbery in Chinatown and another group of teens were arrested after harassing a woman on the 6 train, police said. They reportedly grabbed her phone when she got off the subway in Kips Bay.

The three teens arrested for the violent robbery on East 18th Street attacked the man near Third Avenue around midnight on Monday, May 21, police said.

The victim told police that he was walking south on Third Avenue and was being followed by three men when he made a left turn onto East 18th Street heading towards Second Avenue. He said that one of the men then came up to him and asked for the time and after he said that it was 12:27 a.m., the suspect told him he had a gun and to give him everything he had. The victim said that he was then attacked from behind and choked, then lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, he noticed that his property was gone.

Police caught the first teen at First Avenue and East 18th Street at 1:34 a.m. the same day. Police arrested a second teen for the robbery inside the 13th precinct the next day at 6 a.m. and a third teen at 6:30 a.m. inside the ACS facility in Kips Bay. Police did not find weapons on any of the teens that were arrested.

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