Bus stop shelters on East 14th Street removed, will be relocated

 

 

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The MTA said the removals were because of impending work. (Photos by Hermann Reiner)

By Sabina Mollot

On July 1, an eagle-eyed reader informed us an unannounced removal of M14 bus stop shelters had occurred that day and the day before from Avenues A to B. We reached out to the Department of Transportation for an explanation and the agency responded via email Thursday evening to say the stops were removed due to impending work, but would be relocated this week.

The agency didn’t say what project the impending work is for, but Council Member Dan Garodnick said he was told by the MTA it had to do with the looming L train line repairs, which include building an Avenue A subway entrance.

According to the MTA and DOT:

The existing bus stops on the westbound side of 14th Street on the island at Avenues A and B have shelters which were removed this past Friday in advance of the two bus stops being relocated this week. Both of these stops which are on the west side of the intersection now and will be moved to the east side of the intersection. The bus shelters will not be installed at the temporary stops but will be replaced at the end of the project when the stops are relocated back to their permanent location.

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This pair has been stealing wallets from women at bars since October

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Female suspect

Police are looking for a man and woman who’ve been working together to steal women’s wallets at bars in Union Square, Kips Bay, Greenwich Village and the East Village. In numerous cases, the thieves have then withdrawn money from victims’ bank accounts at banks in the Bronx or made fraudulent purchases at stores.

The strings of thefts started in October, and according to police, the pattern is as follows:

On Friday, October 14 at 10:30 p.m., one or both suspects approached a 27 year-old female victim at Fiddle Sticks at 56 Greenwich Avenue near Seventh Avenue and swiped her wallet. Later, $800 from her account was withdrawn at a Chase Bank at 90 East 170 Street in the Bronx.

On Friday, October 21 between 6 and 10 p.m., one of the suspects stole a wallet from a 27-year-old woman inside V-Bar at 132 First Avenue and St. Marks Place. One or both of the thieves then later withdrew $1,200 in cash from her account inside Wells Fargo Bank, located at 3709 Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx. They also charged $357 to the victim’s credit cards.

On Saturday, November 19 at 8 p.m., a 35-year-old woman at Banc Café, located at 431 Third Avenue near East 30th Street had her wallet stolen from her purse, which had been hanging on a chair. The wallet contained $140 in cash and three credit cards. Police believe the male suspect later charged $136 to one of the victim’s credit cards at a Starbucks.

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Male suspect

On Wednesday, December 7 at 10:40 p.m., one or both suspects struck again at Republic Bar at 37 Union Square and East 17th Street, taking a wallet from a bag that had been on the floor. The victim later discovered that $1,100 was stolen from her bank account.

On Monday, December 12 at 7 p.m., a 28-year-old woman at Peter McManus Cafe at 152 7th Avenue at West 19th Street had her wallet stolen. The wallet only contained $14 in cash and a credit card, which was later charged for $520 inside a Duane Reade at 161 East 23rd Street.

On Monday, December 19 between 7:45 hours and 10:21 hours, a woman’s wallet went missing at Brazen Fox, located at 106 Third Avenue at East 13th Street. The wallet contained four credit cards and one debit card, one of which was used at a Duane Reade at 4 West 4 Street for $336.49 in goods.

On Friday, December 23 at approximately 7:15 p.m., one or both suspects stole a wallet from a woman’s pocketbook at Suite 36, located at 16 West 16th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The wallet contained $80 and two of the victim’s credit cards were later used to make multiple purchases.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 at approximately 9:15 p.m., a 33-year-old woman was notified that approximately $5,000 was charged to her credit cards by one or both of the aforementioned individuals.

The suspects are described as a white woman with long, blonde hair and a man.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Stuy Town sisters open Portuguese restaurant in former Yaffa Café space

Owners Raquel and Patricia Sanguedo (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Owners Raquel and Patricia Sanguedo (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

What started as the hunt for a new kitchen for a catering business turned into the debut of a Portuguese comfort food restaurant in Taberna 97, opened on St. Mark’s Place just after Thanksgiving by two sisters living in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

Raquel Sanguedo and her sister Patricia run Noz Catering, which provides services for the fashion industry. When looking around for a kitchen, they found out through Little Missionary’s Day Nursery director Eileen Johnson, a neighbor, that the space formerly occupied by Yaffa Café was available. In addition to the catering business, Raquel and Patricia own St. Dymphna’s, an Irish bar down the block, along with Patricia’s husband, Eric Baker, and the three own the new business together.

Raquel said that she and her sister didn’t necessarily have a lifelong dream to open a Portuguese restaurant — although they are Portuguese — but Baker had aspirations to open up a tavern. So when they found out about the space, it seemed like a good opportunity.

“I never thought I would own an Irish bar either but sometimes you just go with the flow,” Raquel said.

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Developer of old Peter Stuyvesant Post Office still hopes to build higher

Former Post Office space (pictured last January) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Former Post Office space (pictured last January) (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The developer of a planned residential building at the site of the old Peter Stuyvesant Post Office is still hoping to add an additional four stories to what was originally supposed to be an eight-story structure.

Benenson Capital Partners, whose request for a required zoning variance to do this was shot down in July by a committee of Community Board 3, will next be heading to the Board of Standards and Appeals.

While the community board’s unanimous vote in opposition to the variance was just advisory, a decision made by the BSA would be official.

The developer had previously argued that an additional few floors was necessary to make the project economically viable, due to costs related to underground water conditions at the site.

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Flatiron gets in the holiday spirit with SantaCon

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SantaCon participants got creative with their costumes as usual, including a group with real pine trees in their backpacks. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Revelers donned their best Santa, elf and reindeer costumes for the annual SantaCon pub crawl last weekend, which started in the shadow of the Flatiron building this year. Neighborhood residents let their opposition be known when the Santas gathered on the plaza at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and while the NYPD said there was no record of an arrest, NBC News noted that a handful of the protesters were escorted out of the plaza by police.

The NYPD also noted that no drunk or fighting Santas were arrested as in previous years, and while many in the community were not convinced of their noble intentions, organizers seem to be attempting to clean up the event’s reputation. Organizers on the plaza this past Saturday could be seen picking up bits of trash while the crowd started clearing out by late morning and one Santa berated a photographer climbing onto a planter, yelling at her not to be disrespectful of public property.

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‘Jew man’ graffiti seen across from Stuy Town

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who took this photo, said this is the first time he's seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community.

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who took this photo, said this is the first time he’s seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community.

By Sabina Mollot

As local elected officials have pointed out, bias crimes are on the rise since the election nationwide.

The community has been seeing its fair share too. Yesterday, Council Member Dan Garodnick snapped a photo of anti-semitic graffiti across from Stuyvesant Town.

“Hate crimes spiking since the election,” Garodnick tweeted on Monday. “This graffiti now appears across from StuyTown & local synagogue (Town and Village). We can’t let this become the new normal.”

Garodnick later said he had never before seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community. He also said this was the only recent incident he was aware of.

The graffiti, above the Papaya hot dog storefront on First Avenue and 14th Street, depicts the spray painted words “Jew man” accompanied by crude drawings of smiley faces with side locks, which are worn by religious Jewish men. It was spray painted large enough to be easily seen from across the street.

The incident comes three weeks after State Senator Brad Hoylman saw two swastikas scratched into the door of the building where he lives in Greenwich Village.

Additionally, a Muslim Baruch College student was harassed on the train at 23rd Street last weekend by men who were trying to grab her hijab and yelling “Donald Trump” and anti-Muslim slurs, according to a Daily News report.

UPDATE: According to a Stuy Town resident, the graffiti didn’t happen post-election. The tipster told T&V she first spotted the spray-painted sentiment in the middle of October.

PCV doctor named president of Mount Sinai Downtown

Jeremy Boal, MD, is the new president of Mount Sinai Downtown, which includes Beth Israel and the Eye and Ear Infirmary. (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Jeremy Boal, MD, is the new president of Mount Sinai Downtown, which includes Beth Israel and the Eye and Ear Infirmary. (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

By Sabina Mollot

On the heels of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s president, Suzanne Somerville, stepping down, a Peter Cooper Village resident who began his career as a resident in the hospital network 25 years ago has been named the president of Mount Sinai Downtown. This includes the current and future Beth Israel as well as the Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Additionally, Jeremy Boal, MD, who currently serves as executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, is being promoted to executive vice president and chief clinical officer. Though the transition has already begun, the appointment having been announced internally last Wednesday, he won’t be fully assuming the new role until January, 2017. Prior to his current role, he served as chief medical officer at North Shore LIJ (now Northwell Health).

Earlier this week, Boal spoke with Town & Village about community concerns such as potential loss of services from the neighborhood, the status of the medical giant’s real estate and the enhanced offerings that have been promised to patients at the future, much smaller hospital building adjacent to Eye and Ear.

Since 2003, Boal has been a resident of Peter Cooper where he lives with his family, which includes two daughters, one 13, the other 16.

The interview, edited for length, is below.

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ST service roads getting repaved

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The service road along East 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

As Town & Village reported last month, the service roads around Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village will be getting repaved as will any curb cuts in need of smoothing out.

That project, a result of ongoing complaints from residents to Council Member Dan Garodnick’s office, is set to begin this Friday with milling. The actual paving will be done from September 12-16.

The repaving is being funded by the Department of Transportation separately from related work being done this summer to make the islands around the complex more user-friendly to the disabled by widening the walkways. That project had a price tag of $200 thousand, which was allocated by the City Council.

Both projects have come after years of wear and tear.

“For too long, the city has neglected these crucial arteries serving the residents of ST/PCV,” Garodnick said, “and residents constantly navigate the bumps, pools of still water and general unevenness of these streets.”

He added, “I am very pleased that these upgrades are finally moving forward.”

The work will be done on the Avenue C, First Avenue, 14th Street, 20th Street and 23rd Street service roads.

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Elderly man fatally struck by ambulance at 14th St. and Second Ave.

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A man was hit by this ambulance as it turned left onto East 14th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

An 81-year-old man died after being hit by an ambulance on Monday afternoon as he crossed the street at the 14th Street and Second Avenue intersection.

According to police, the man, who was later identified as Gen Zhan, a resident of East 29th Street, was crossing as the ambulance was on Second Avenue, making a left turn onto 14th.

Zhan suffered severe body trauma after being hit and was taken to Bellevue, but doctors were unable to save him.

Later at the scene the ambulance’s emergency lights were still flashing although police didn’t have information on whether there had been a patient inside at the time of the accident.

One emergency responder said Zhan had actually gone against the light and hit the side of the ambulance, a blind spot, after it turned. He then fell back and hit his head. A police spokesperson said she didn’t have any information on whether he was going against the light. However, she said he had tried to run across the street, but didn’t make it and was hit while on the crosswalk.

Around two dozen cops and FDNY emergency officials responded to the scene and part of the intersection was closed to traffic for the remainder of the afternoon.

A rep for police said the matter was still under investigation, but no criminality was suspected. The ambulance driver, 22, remained at the scene. The case is being handled by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad.

Zhan was a resident of Renwick Gardens, an apartment complex for seniors in Kips Bay.

Woman attacked, another robbed in separate incidents near Stuy Town

July28 Robbery suspectBy Sabina Mollot

Cops are hunting two thugs who preyed on women in separate incidents, one an assault, the other a robbery, in the East Village near Stuyvesant Town.

In the most recent incident, on Wednesday, July 27, at half past midnight, at East 13th Street and Avenue B, a man followed a 33-year-old woman into her apartment building. He then told her he had a gun and demanded her property. The victim complied and gave the mugger her cell phone, debit card, jewelry and $35 in cash. The man then ordered her to lie face down and he tied the victim’s hands behind her back before fleeing the building in an unknown direction.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, 5’10”, 200 to 225 lbs.; and was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, black jeans, a black baseball cap and he had on a black backpack.

July28 Assault suspectThe first incident, which took place on Saturday, July 23 at around 1:45 a.m. in front of 208 First Avenue between East 12th and 13th Streets, started when a man grabbed a 37-year-old woman’s butt.

When she confronted him, he punched her in the face numerous times. Then he ran north on First Avenue.The suspect is described as white, 20 to 25 years old, 5’8″, 140 lbs.; and was wearing a dark colored shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents 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 tips online or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

One year after explosion, bills aim to prevent similar tragedies

Local elected officials including Council Member Rosie Mendez, Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and State Senator Brad Hoylman stand at the explosion site on Saturday with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Local elected officials including Council Member Rosie Mendez, Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and State Senator Brad Hoylman stand at the explosion site on Saturday with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Local politicians, East Village residents and former tenants of the collapsed buildings commemorated the first anniversary of the gas explosion on Second Avenue killed two people this past Saturday. The building collapse of 119, 121 and 123 Second Avenue and Seventh Street also resulted in the loss of 30 apartments, many of them rent-regulated.

In an effort to prevent similar disasters in the future, the City Council introduced legislation on February 24 through nine different bills. Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who was at Saturday’s event at the explosion site, is the lead sponsor of a bill that requires gas providers to notify the Department of Buildings within 24 hours of a gas shut off. This is in order to create transparency and hold city agencies accountable.

“A year after the East Village explosion, all that remains is three empty lots as a constant reminder of an avoidable tragic event that took the lives of two young men, rendered dozens of residents homeless, temporarily displaced hundreds of others from their homes and interrupted the livelihood of small business owners for weeks and in some cases months,” Mendez said. “We can never forget the tragedies that were avoidable and we vow to work to ensure that no one else has to suffer and endure what the families and our communities have.”

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Medical marijuana dispensary set to open Thursday

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, one of the 20 medical marijuana dispensaries that have been given the blessing of the governor to do business in New York State will open its doors in the East Village.

The company running this location, Columbia Care, announced that it was moving to 212 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues, last August.

As of Tuesday, there were still some details to be worked out — like what the medical pot will cost — but CEO Nicholas Vita said this will be decided by the time the venue, called Columbia Care NY, will open. Additionally, there will be some subsidies available for patients.

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Study shows far more heat complaints in East Village than ST

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Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

In case you’re wondering how your building, or the whole neighborhood for that measure, compares to others in terms of heat complaints, apartment listings site RentHop has compiled a map based on complaint calls to 311 made during the last heat season.

According to its data on unique callers, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents made a measly 56 complaints, in comparison with East Villagers who made over seven times that many at 396. The Murray Hill-Kips Bay area also had significantly fewer with 144 calls while Gramercy residents made 119 calls. Lower East Siders made 160, Chinatown 213.

The coldest New Yorkers hailed from lower-income neighborhoods such as Washington Heights in Manhattan (1,935 in the north and south sections) and Crown Heights in Brooklyn (1,382 in the north and south sections). But along with the East Village, another pricey Manhattan neighborhood where residents said they lacked adequate heat was the Upper West Side with a total of 629 complaints.

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Halloween events for kids, adults and pets

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

Dog at last year’s parade at Tompkins Square Park

The following local Halloween events start this weekend:

GREENWICH VILLAGE CHILDREN’S PARADE—NYU and Community Board 2 present the 25th annual Children’s Halloween Parade, the city’s largest free children’s event on Halloween Day, October 31. Parents and children aged 3-12 are invited to gather at the Washington Square Arch by 1 p.m. Children and families will march around Washington Square Park. After the parade, free trick-or-treat bags, games and rides await the children on LaGuardia Place. The event finishes at 4 p.m. The parade assembles along Washington Square North, near the Arch and ends at LaGuardia between Washington Square South and West 3rd Street.

FAIR FOR KIDS IN STUY TOWN—Stuyvesant Town will hold a “Halloween Spooktacular” event on the Oval on Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m. There will be a haunted house, a pumpkin patch, live music, face painting, crafts, candy and more for residents and their guests.

CARNIVAL AT LITTLE MISSIONARY—Little Missionary’s Day Nursery pre-school will hold a haunted Halloween party on October 31 from noon-4 p.m. at St. Marks Church and the Bowery, at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. There will be a haunted house, puppet show, music, games, cotton candy, hot dogs, face painting, scavenger hunts, creepy stories with Thea Taube and food and drinks. No entry fee, but tickets need to be purchased for food and activities. The music, puppet show and story time will be free.

PARADE FOR PETS NEAR STUY TOWN—Cauz for Pawz thrift shop will be holding its first Halloween parade for pets on Sunday, October 25 from 1-3 p.m. The pets will walk a red carpet and be voted on. The venue is the store’s new location at 333 First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. For more information, call (212) 684-7299.

DOG PARADE AT TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK—On Saturday, October 24 from noon-3 p.m., the annual Halloween parade for dogs will take place at Tompkins Square Park. There will be tons of prizes for dogs in costumes at this event, which will be held in the dog run, East 9th Street between Avenues A and B. There will also be local rescue adoptions. Rain date is Sunday.

PARTY FOR KIDS AT WATERSIDE—All resident Waterside children are invited to attend the annual Halloween party on Sat., Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m. at the Waterside Swim & Health Club, 35 Waterside Plaza and outside on the plaza, weather permitting. The event will feature face painting, a photo booth, a costume contest, a spooktacular number of games and activities and lots and lots of treats. Admission is free and open to resident children of Waterside Plaza. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

COSTUME BALL & PERFORMANCES FOR ADULTS—Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at E. 10th St., presents its 38th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Saturday, October 31. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required. Once inside, everything is free except food and drink, which are graveyard dirt-cheap. Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. These will include Hot Lavender Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine), a Latin Salsa Rock band. The Johnson Theater will also have aerial dance by Suspended Cirque. Outside, there are R&B and Dixieland bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public. Inside, there is theater all evening. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and indoor entertainment begins at 8 p.m. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment will start at  3:30 p.m. Outdoor entertainment is capped by “The Red and Black Masque,” an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight. Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets, Burlesque and Hellsouls. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade,” as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Reservations are strongly recommended. For tickets ($20, costume or formal wear required) or more information, call (212) 254-1109 or visit http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

Police on lookout for man who’s robbing businesses near Stuy Town and in the East Village

Robbery suspect

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man they say committed six armed robberies (and attempted a seventh) in the past few days at businesses near Stuyvesant Town and in the East Village.

In each of the incidents, he’s either pulled a knife or simulated a gun before swiping cash from the registers, cops said.

According to the police the pattern is as follows:

At 3:25 a.m. on Thursday, April 2 at One’s Fruit and Grocery, 315 First Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets, he got away with $400.

At 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, 2015 he returned to One’s Fruit and Grocery and this time made off with $950.

At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 5 at I.Q. Decor, at 242 East 14th Street and Second Avenue, he got away with $366.

At 3 a.m. on Monday, April 6 at I Green Market, 271 First Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets, he took $600.

At about 5 p.m. on Monday, April 6 at a book store at 66 Avenue A and East 5th Street he took $200.

Later that evening, at around 9 p.m., he headed to 13 Avenue A, home to New Up and Up Laundry, and ran off with $250.

At 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, he attempted to rob East Village Fruit and Vegetable at 229 Avenue B, police said, although this time he left empty-handed.

Police have described the suspect as white and in his 40s.

Chung Young, a woman who was working at I.Q. Decor when the store was held up, said the robber had pulled out a small knife.

Young, who was the only person at the shop at the time, which is owned by her mother, said the man told her, “Give me money and I won’t hurt you.” She complied, giving him all the money in the till.

Young said she was “scared a little bit” since she was alone in the store. She still hasn’t told her mother about the incident, since she didn’t want to upset her. “She’s on vacation,” Young explained.

Kevin Kim, a manager at I Green Market, also said the man had showed a knife. Though Kim wasn’t there at the time it happened, he said he also heard that the robber hid his face with a stocking.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are kept strictly confidential.