East Villagers made 275 rat related complaints to 311 last year.
By Sabina Mollot
New York City’s rat population has grown in recent years, making their numbers roughly the same as 20 percent of the human population here. And as they’ve increased, so have complaints about the critters, by 10 percent, from 2016 to last year.
But their numbers (250,000 to millions in 2017) also vary by neighborhood, or rather complaints to 311 about the aforementioned rodents do.
Community Grocery & Candy store on East 14th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Police are looking for a man who slashed another man on the cheek during a fight on East 14th Street west of First Avenue.
The two men had gotten into an argument inside a store that turned physical, police said, spilling out onto the street. At one point, one of the men took out a sharp object and slashed the 54-year-old victim. Police said both individuals are “known to the neighborhood,” though they don’t know the name of the suspect and haven’t arrested him.
The victim was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released.
The suspect is described as Hispanic and about 6 ft. 2 inches tall and was wearing a long, leather coat.
Patch, which first reported on the incident, said the suspect ran off after the assault. EVGrieve posted a photo of the police investigation outside the Community Grocery & Candy store, where an employee told a T&V reporter he didn’t have information about the incident.
Following Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh’s easy victory at the polls last week for the downtown Senate seat he wanted, two Democrat candidates have expressed interest in filling the now vacant 74th District Assembly seat.
One of them is Harvey Epstein, a tenant representative on the Rent Guidelines Board and the project director of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center. The other is Mike Corbett, an aide to Queens-based City Council Member Costa Constantinides and a former teamster. Marie Ternes, a communications consultant who previously worked for then-Congress Member Anthony Weiner, said she is considering running.
Corbett, Epstein and Ternes spoke with a Town & Village reporter this week, although Ternes declined to be interviewed at this time since she hasn’t yet made a decision on running.
It’s expected that there will be a County Committee vote held by each party to determine who will get onto the ballot for a special election. However, it’s still unclear when the vote will be or when the election will be, since a special election must be called by the governor. Another possible, though unlikely, scenario is that there will be a primary in June when there’s a Congressional primary, or even later.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.”
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.