Holiday gifts for $30 or under found at neighborhood stores

Necklaces with pendants fashioned out of real flowers on display at HE Boutique (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With Christmas coming and Hanukkah too — this weekend in fact for the latter — local stores are now in full holiday mode, with shelves stocked with a surprising amount of bargains, not to mention hard to find items. For those unsure of where to start looking, Town & Village has compiled a list of interesting gifts found at neighborhood stores, all costing $30 or less.

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Greenway project near Waterside postponed to 2019

 

The bike lane outside of Waterside Plaza (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

After announcing in September that work would begin this fall on improvements to the Greenway on the East Side between Waterside Plaza and the East 34th Street Heliport, the Department of Transportation confirmed this week that it has been put on hold until next year.

A spokesperson for the DOT did not have specific details on when next year the work would begin but said that the agency expects to start work when the weather gets warmer and to complete the project by next summer.

DOT originally presented the project to Community Board 6 two years ago in November 2016 with plans for the bike lanes north of Stuyvesant Cove Park leading up to Waterside Plaza, past the United Nations International School and the Water Club, up to the heliport at East 34th Street, reconfiguring the lanes to make them more visible and separate cyclists from vehicle traffic.

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Man had shotgun in car outside club in Flatiron, cops say

Neighborhood Coordinating Officers Eric Demery and Brittany Vera with others from the 13th Precinct, standing by the confiscated weapon (Photo courtesy of the 13th Precinct)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested a man who was allegedly in possession of a shotgun in front of a Flatiron club last weekend.

Police were informed by witnesses that there was an intoxicated man nearby, possibly armed, in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Aleksandr Tsoy, 34, was allegedly sitting inside his car while parked in front of Taj Lounge at 48 West 21st Street on Saturday, November 24 at 9:53 p.m.

When officers arrived at the scene, Tsoy was sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine turned on. Police removed Tsoy from the car and found that he allegedly had an odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot, watery eyes. A test at the scene determined that Tsoy’s blood alcohol content was 0.10, police said.

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Effort underway to make apt. renovations less noisy and dusty

Worker doing dustless masonry cutting through an air conditioner opening (Photos courtesy of Empire Core)

By Sabina Mollot

At Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, about 275 apartments are gut renovated each year, with 35-70 going on at any given time, depending on the season.

While this can boost the value of the property for the owner, for residents of adjoining apartments, the apartment transformations just mean weeks of ongoing noise from power tools and dust clouds that permeate the air.

Fortunately, Empire Core Group, the company that oversees the gut renovation of apartments in ST/PCV, done by contractors, has, within the past year primarily, begun using new tools aimed at reducing both the noise and dust levels as well as the time needed to complete the jobs.

Rick Hayduk, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager, said the effort came as a result of management getting bombarded with calls by residents who live in apartments near those being worked on.

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Letters to the editor, Nov. 29

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Funding Amazon vs. NYers in need

To the Editor:

I wondered why our Democrat mayor and governor, who never agree on anything, were both thrilled to give such an enormous handout to Amazon’s owner, the richest man in the world. Despite a desperate need for funds to put towards the welfare of over 100,000 homeless NYC students and the aging homeless population, some of whom you can see every day on the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street, and the benefits of free health care and higher education for NY State residents, and even for more mundane items such as repairing the ever-increasing potholes in NYC, despite all this our, Democrat leaders have chosen to grease the palm of the wealthiest of the wealthy one percent. I found the answer to this conundrum on the pages of T&V.

“Tenant PAC spokesperson Michael McKee…believes Governor Andrew Cuomo will be working behind the scenes to fight tenant-friendly laws” (“Democratic lead too big for attempts at power grabs,” T&V, Nov. 15) and “He expects Cuomo to continue to portray himself as pro-tenant while also trying to keep his real estate donors for his long-rumored run for president.” (“What a true blue NY State Senate means for tenants,” T&V, Nov. 15)

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Teen mugged in Peter Cooper Village building

Dec6 Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By  Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.

Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.

One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.

The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.

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Police Watch: Alleged subway ‘grinder’ arrested, Men charged with assault outside Food Emporium

ALLEGED SUBWAY ‘GRINDER’ ON 6 TRAIN ARRESTED
Police arrested 64-year-old Mohamed Abdel Rahim for alleged sexual abuse inside the Union Square station on Tuesday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. Rahim allegedly thrust his erect penis onto the victim’s buttocks while they were on an uptown 6 train. Police said that Rahim and the victim did not know each other.

MEN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT OUTSIDE FOOD EMPORIUM
Police arrested 43-year-old Kitwane Parkinson and 39-year-old Alexander Rivera for an alleged assault on Monday, November 19 at 4:25 p.m. in front of 10 Union Square East. Parkinson and Rivera allegedly kicked and punched the victim inside the location due to an argument they had earlier in the day. Police said that the victim had bruised lips.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF STEALING WALLET FROM HOLIDAY MARKET VENDOR
Police arrested 32-year-old Dominique Elgin for an alleged theft that took place in Union Square earlier this month. A vendor at the Union Square Holiday Market told police that she left her purse on a chair in her booth on Sunday, November 18 and around 5:50 p.m., she noticed that her wallet was missing from the bag. Police said that Elgin had allegedly used the victim’s credit card. She was busted on Wednesday, November 21 at 7:20 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct.

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Police say teens behind two Kips Bay muggings

Robbery suspects 2 and 3

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a team of teenage muggers who they say violently robbed two people on the same evening.

On Tuesday, November 20 at 6:10 p.m., two teen boys and two girls approached a flower stand vendor in front of 390 Third Avenue at East 28th Street. They asked the vendor for change for a five-dollar bill, only to forcibly swipe the cash from the 37-year-old victim after slamming him against a wall.

Then, 20 minutes later, the group (without one of the female suspects) strolled up to 428 Third Avenue at 30th Street, where they approached a delivery man on his bike. They asked the 19-year-old victim for change but then pushed him into a wall while trying to grab money from his pocket. However, they ended up fleeing empty-handed.

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Shoplifter threatens Target employee with box cutter

Nov29 Target robbery suspect

Target robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who threatened a Target employee with a box cutter when he was caught shoplifting at the store at 500 East 14th Street.

On Friday, November 23 at about 2:45 p.m. the man strolled into the store and proceeded to take diapers, body wash, lotion and deodorant without paying, police said. When he was confronted by a store security worker, the man pulled out the box cutter, while warning the victim, “I will cut you.”

He then fled with the merchandise.

The suspect, who was seen on fuzzy surveillance video, is described as being about 5 ft 6 ins. tall. He is being sought for robbery.

Anyone with information about 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) or visit nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.

Thirteenth Precinct cop recognized for service

Thirteenth Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, Police Officer John Considine, 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala and 13th Precinct Executive Officer Ernesto Castro (Photo courtesy of the 13th precinct)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A veteran cop at the 13th Precinct who helped roll out the recently launched community policing program was recognized for his service on Tuesday.

Police Officer John Considine, who has worked for the NYPD for the last 16 years, received the award at the monthly meeting held by the 13th precinct Community Council from Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, the precinct’s commanding officer.

“This is for all his hard work and for helping with the NCO (Neighborhood Coordinating Officer) rollout, which was a success,” Hellman said. “He’s selfless, hardworking, committed, any good adjectives you can think of, they all describe John,” Hellman added.

Considine has been at the 13th Precinct for his entire tenure so far with the NYPD since starting on patrol in July 2002. After being on patrol, he joined the grand larceny team and later worked with the crime and crime prevention units before joining community affairs.

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Man steals bag from L’Express

Theft suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who swiped a bag from a woman who works at L’Express restaurant at 249 Park Avenue South.

Police said the man strolled into the Flatiron restaurant on Monday, November 19 and when the victim left work at 6:15 p.m. she noticed her bag was gone. She then learned that the thief used her debit cards at various locations. The bag also contained $300 and personal papers. Police had no description of the suspect, but a couple of surveillance videos show a man with short, dark hair and a hat.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Squirrel causes blackout in upstate NY

A squirrel-related blackout is unlikely to happen here, Con Ed says. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Just when you thought all squirrels did was chomp on unsuspecting children in Stuyvesant Town and damage trees with their incessant gnawing, they’ve also begun causing massive power outages.

According to a story in the Daily News, officials upstate discovered that a pesky squirrel caused a string of power outages that left more than 10,000 in the dark last weekend.

“The rodent somehow managed to make its way into a substation in Lancaster, a Buffalo suburb, Sunday, knocking out three substations, New York State Electric and Gas said,” the News wrote. Fortunately, for the residents in the area, power was restored three hours later.

But with the threat of more extreme wintry weather ahead this weekend, Town & Village turned to Con Ed to ask about the possibility of such a thing occurring in a certain Manhattan neighborhood that has not only a power plant but an abundance of Eastern Greys scurrying about.

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Glowing sculpture debuts in Flatiron

“Happy,” the seasonal installation at the Flatiron Plaza (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership officially debuted the public art installation “Happy” to kick off the holiday festivities in the neighborhood this past Monday evening.

Architect Benjamin Cadena designed the installation through the fifth annual Flatiron Plaza Holiday Design Competition with the Department of Transportation arts program and the Van Alen Institute.

Cadena said that he wanted to design something that felt warm during the colder months but also that would cheer up passersby suffering from the winter blues.

“With the cold winter, I wanted to make a space that looks and feels warmer but I also wanted to project a positive object that makes you feel good,” he said. “I also wanted to do something a little different from the past installations and define a specific space, embracing the whole plaza.”

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Homeless encampments are on the rise in New York, study says

A homeless person sleeps at the corner of First Avenue and 14th Street (pictured in 2017). (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As affordable housing continues to disappear in New York City, homeless encampments on the street are on the rise, one study is showing.

RealtyHop, a house and condo sales listings website, has released a report that tracked encampments throughout the city in each neighborhood based on 311 data and the most recent annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Based on the stats, in total, 5,120 encampment complaints were reported from October 2017 to September 2018, 11 percent more than the previous year. The results also show that encampments are mostly a Manhattan problem, with Midtown-Midtown South having it worse than any other neighborhood in the borough. That said, the problem does seem to be on the decline in that area with 402 complaints, which, while extreme, is 201 fewer (half the number) than what was reported in 2017. Another homeless hotspot is the West Village, with 275 complaints in 2017 and 260 reported in 2018 as of October 31. The numbers get lower as neighborhoods get farther away from the city center.

The study had a formula that “de-dupes” or ignores duplicate complaints (more than one from one address on the same day).

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MTA aiming to restore parking on E. 14th St., add pedestrian spaces

L train construction site on East 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With preparations for the L train shutdown already months in progress, 14th Street residents are now seeing changes to create the incoming busway, increased pedestrian spaces and accommodations for bicyclists.

Residents and local business owners have also expressed concern about the shrinking sidewalk space on the south side of 14th Street right by the First Avenue station and the loss of parking in the same area due to the preliminary work by the MTA.

However, Kaitlin McCready with NYC Transit said at a recent Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting that the agency is aiming to reopen the south side of East 14th Street by the end of this month, and restore parking there in the next several months, ideally by next January.

The Union Square Partnership also sent out updates at the beginning of November, noting that implementation for a shared street on University Place will begin this month. Shared streets are roads where pedestrians and cyclists share space with slow-moving vehicles, and the shared street on University will be between East 13th and 14th Streets. The additions will include creating curb extensions on University Place and East 14th at the southeast and southwest corners, as well as at the northwest and southeast corners of East 13th Street.

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