Things to do on St. Patrick’s Day

The Irish Repertory Theatre has extended its run of “Crackskull Row,” which will be playing on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m.

By Sabina Mollot

This year, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, falls on a Friday, opening the options somewhat for those looking to celebrate even through the wee hours of the holiday.

And, as always, many venues are opening earlier than usual for those who want something to do before or after the parade in midtown.

At Kips Bay bar Paddy Reilly’s, there’ll be live music starting at 1 p.m. Irish rock tunes will be played by Craig and Tom Fitzpatrick from 1-4 p.m. and from 4-5 p.m. house band Raging Horn Pipes will take the stage. A staffer there also said guests can expect a few giveaways. There will be a cover charge that has yet to be determined, but the staffer said it would probably be ten dollars. Doors open at 9 a.m. and don’t close again until 4 a.m. Take note that the place has no kitchen, so anyone hoping for an authentic Irish meal may want to get a reservation in advance at Irish pub Molly’s Shebeen or Pete’s Tavern, which will also have a full Irish menu, for lunch or dinner.
Paddy Reilly’s, 519 Second Avenue at 29th Street, (212) 686-1210

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MS 104 packed for citywide girls’ chess tournament

Over 400 players were in attendance. (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Saturday, March 4, students all over the city from Kindergarten to 12th grade faced off at MS 104 in the All Girls NYC Chess Challenge. The tournament was held in honor of Women’s History Month and run by Chess in the Schools, a nonprofit organization that brings chess to New York City students.

The tournament, held in the school cafeteria, was separated into four rounds spanning most of the morning and afternoon, with a break for lunch.

Nine-year-old Peter Cooper Village resident Abigail Yang won a first place trophy for the Kindergarten-5th grade Championship section. Her school PS33 also won first place in both K-5 championship team NYC All Girls and K-2 championship team trophy. The PS33 Chelsea Prep team started in 2016 with five girls and now has 16.

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Women’s march a sign of the times

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By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, marches were held in Washington, DC and in other cities, including New York, in midtown. Women, as well as men and children, packed behind barricades along Second Avenue in the East 40s before marching through the surrounding streets. Marchers came in all ages and ethnicities, and while women’s rights was the main theme, some participants also led chants calling for Muslim, black and LGBT rights. Meanwhile, although many elected officials were in attendance, the biggest stars of the show were the inventive signs carried by marchers, some of whom also donned knit “pussy hats” with cat ears. Many of the signs involved digs at the size of President Trump’s hands and comments he’s made about women as well as countless vagina puns.

A few included were: “Keep your tiny hands off my cuntry,” “Viva la Beaver,” “Vulva la Revolucion,” “Power: Snatch it back” and “Hey PeeOTUS, this is your pussy riot.”

See our gallery for some of the signs seen at the New York march.
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Holiday run becomes fitness class due to snow

The fitness event moved to Oval Studio.

The fitness event moved to Oval Studio. (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Saturday morning, an outdoor holiday run that had been scheduled to take place in Stuyvesant Town wound up turning into an indoor fitness event, thanks to the arrival of the season’s first snowstorm.

Instead of running around the Oval, kids headed to Oval Studio for a fitness class and active games like tag. Free snacks and drinks were provided.

Attendees also brought gifts for a toy drive, and gave an optional $10 donation to raise money for Toys for Tots. The event was run by PopFit Kids, an organization dedicated to getting kids active and promoting healthy exercise habits.

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Mayor aims to create science jobs on East Side and in L.I. City

Mayor Bill de Blasio with other elected officials and speakers at an announcement at the Alexandria Science Research Center in Kips Bay. (Pictured) Dr. Vicki Sato, Dr. Harold Varmus, President of the Economic Development Corporation Maria Torres-Springer, Teeba Jihad, Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh (Photo by Michelle Deal Winfield)

Mayor Bill de Blasio with other elected officials and speakers at an announcement at the Alexandria Science Research Center in Kips Bay. (Pictured) Dr. Vicki Sato, Dr. Harold Varmus, President of the Economic Development Corporation Maria Torres-Springer, Teeba Jihad, Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh (Photo by Michelle Deal Winfield)

By Michelle Deal Winfield

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan that he says will create 16,000 new jobs in life sciences and bio-engineering in New York City.

He made the announcement at the Alexandria Science Research Center in Kips Bay, alongside local elected officials.

The mayor paid homage to former Mayor Bloomberg saying, “We are taking a page from the former mayor’s playbook. Mayor Bloomberg diversified investments to help set up the Cornell Tech Center on Roosevelt Island. It worked. The city will invest in emerging companies to create innovative approaches that will lead to improvements in the health industry. We decided to look for spaces on the East Side in Manhattan and in Long Island City.”

Maria Torres-Springer, president of NYC Economic Development Corporation said the project is expected to generate 9,000 jobs in the life sciences.

“Seven thousand new jobs will be created in related fields like marketing, advertising and training,” she said. “There will also be 7,500 jobs in construction to set up labs.”

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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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Strand to host Harry Potter-themed speed dating

Guests in costume at a July Harry Potter book launch event at the Strand (Photos courtesy of the Strand)

Guests in costume at a July Harry Potter book launch event at the Strand (Photos courtesy of the Strand)

By Sabina Mollot

Harry Potter fans looking to meet that special someone will have the opportunity to do so on Monday, December 12, when Union Square bookstore the Strand will have a Yule ball/Harry Potter-themed speed dating session.

The event was the idea of the store’s communications director Whitney Hu, a Harry Potter fan and a fan of “Puffs,” a satire show inspired by the book and film franchise that originated at the People’s Improv Theater but has since hit Off-Broadway.

Hu said she believes the Harry Potter angle, and the fact that guests are encouraged to come in costume, will help take the edge off what’s normally a very serious event; and she’d know. The Strand has already hosted several speed dating events that while popular (the last one sold out) are still nerve-racking for many attendees.

For this reason, Hu approached the people behind “Puffs” to help facilitate the event. Two cast members will be in character while facilitating a mingling session. While having a session for mingling might seem over-organized, Hu explained this as well. “We’ve had open mingling before. No one mingles.”

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America’s Parade 2016

Photos by Maya Rader

Photos by Maya Rader

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, the Veterans Day Parade, also known as America’s Parade, took place with around 25,000 marchers making their way from Madison Square Park up to midtown.

This year’s parade commemorated the 15th anniversary of 9/11, with special recognition of Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Post-9/11 veterans, as well as first responders. It also marked the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm. The Coast Guard was this year’s featured military branch.

Town & Village’s own advertising representative Sal Governale, who served as a member of the Coast Guard and is now a reservist, attended the festivities and noticed that among marchers there was some discontent. A number of veterans in attendance, Governale observed, were complaining bitterly about the president-elect. One concern was over Donald Trump’s widely reported critical remarks to the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier, made during the campaign.

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Families celebrate Halloween in Stuy Town

Five-year-old Julianne, 5-year-old Nathan and 6-year-old Aiden as Ghostbusters (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Saturday, October 29, hundreds of residents of Stuyvesant Town celebrated Halloween at the annual party for kids on the Oval. Activities included a haunted house, two bounce houses, face-painting, a bean toss and an obstacle course. Kids could also pick out their own pumpkin to decorate from a pumpkin patch on the lawn, or participate in other arts and crafts. Live entertainment included a band and a musician. Near the end of the event, a costume contest was held.

Doreen Straka, a parent who has been going to the event for five years, said, “It gets bigger and bigger every year.” Straka said her favorite activity is the pumpkin patch, and her daughter’s is the bouncy house.

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Nothing uncool about Geek Street Fair

Participants could participate in the construction of what would become a 10-foot-wide ball of hexagonal shapes with MoMath. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Participants could participate in the construction of what would become a 10-foot-wide ball of hexagonal shapes with MoMath. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Thursday, October 13, Google hosted its third “Geek Street Fair” at Union Square Park. The midday event, attended by students from nearby schools, included interactive booths where kids could see robots, get behind the wheel of a student-built racecar and play games with a science or tech twist.

Participating companies and organizations with booths included Flatiron’s Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), Google (which has an office in Chelsea), Facebook, Pinterest, The Cooper Union, First Robotics and Black Girls Code. At the Cooper Union booth, the racecar on display, which students raised $50,000 from sponsors to build, was a popular stop.

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Halloween events that are local, kid-friendly

Oct15 Dog Parade 2014

A canine in costume at the Tompkins Square dog parade in 2014

By Sabina Mollot

Fans of Halloween rejoice: The holiday can be celebrated locally at events for families that are happening on October 31 as well as earlier.

Read on for a roundup of parties, parades and more:

Tompkins Square Dog Parade
If you want Fido to be part of the festivities, the 26th annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is scheduled for Saturday, October 22 from noon-3 p.m. Costumes will be judged by TV personality Giuliana Rancic. Along with a chance to enter your dog into the competition for prizes, there will also be some goodies from event sponsors PetSmart and Beggin’ and pet adoption opportunities from local Petfinder rescue groups.
All funds raised at the event will support the Friends of First Run, the organization responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run. This year’s event is at a new location, the park’s multipurpose courts at Avenue A and East 10th Street.

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Local sites to be explored in Open House New York

Church of the Transfiguration at 1 East 29th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Church of the Transfiguration at 1 East 29th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Open House New York, an annual event that encourages conversations about architecture, public spaces and urban life, will be taking place throughout the city this weekend. Buildings and parks throughout the five boroughs will be participating and a handful of local institutions are opening their doors to the public, with no entrance fees at these participating sites.

Most of the open access sites offering tours this weekend are buildings, including historic landmarks and skyscrapers, but one unexpected offering includes the greenmarket at Union Square. The site serves as an info hub for the event all day on Saturday but is also featured as a site in itself. There will be a behind-the-scenes tour with GrowNYC, the non-profit organization that runs the greenmarket, at 10 a.m. on Saturday to meet some of the farmers who serve as regular vendors that bring fresh produce to New Yorkers.

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Stuy Town flea market will be postponed until spring

Oct9 flea market

Stuyvesant Town flea market

The long awaited return of the Stuyvesant Town flea market will be delayed by several months, management announced on Friday, due to expectations it will rain on Saturday.

In a notice to be emailed to tenants, StuyTown Property Services CEO Rick Hayduk wrote:

“With great regret, StuyTown Property Services has made the difficult decision to postpone tomorrow’s Flea Market until the Spring. The most recent weather forecast shows a high probability of rain coupled with wind gusts up to 25mph throughout the day. Trust we share your disappointment but the safety of residents and the SPS employees is and will always be our priority.”

Residents who were signed up to have a vendor space this weekend will get the first shot at a space for the spring flea. The date for the flea market has yet to be announced.

Despite the new flea coming at a price — much tighter restrictions on what could be sold, like no clothes or bags due to fear of bedbugs — residents still quickly lined up to participate. The flea was expected to have 525 vendors setting up around the Oval.

Hayduk said, “We’re saddened with this decision but seeing that the last Flea Market was over ten years ago, we don’t think another few months will take the excitement away.”

 

Stuy Town flea market will return on October 1

Oct9 flea market

Stuyvesant Town’s flea market

By Sabina Mollot

In May, Stuyvesant Town general manager Rick Hayduk said the community’s flea market, last held over a decade ago, would return, though in a much more limited fashion out of fear of bedbugs.

Then on Thursday, management announced that a date had been set — Saturday, October 1, though there won’t be a rain date due to the Jewish holidays throughout the month. The event will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Residents were told, via email, that if they want to participate as a vendor, the first 450 residents who apply by emailing fleamarket@stuytown.com will be notified of the details.

Those who do will be responsible for bringing their own tables and chairs and no non-resident vendors or professional dealers will be considered.

Vendors must inform StuyTown Property Services ahead of time of what they intend to sell, and risk getting their operation shut down if the items for sale don’t match those on the previously approved list. Vendor tables might even be inspected for bedbugs.

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Artist looking for ST residents to interview for art/history project

Walis Johnson, a filmmaker, artist and teacher at Parsons School of Design, is looking to interview residents of Stuyvesant Town who have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years or longer. The conversations will aid in her production of “The Red Line Archive,” a mobile art piece aimed at igniting public dialogue about the political, social and personal impacts of the 1938 Red Line Maps. The project will be part of the Art in Odd Places festival that takes place every October along the length of 14th Street.

Redlining refers to a federal map officially drawn in 1935 that selectively denied financing for housing mortgages, insurance and other services in neighborhoods demarcated by red shading on a map. Redlined neighborhoods became zones of disinvestment and urban neglect where services (both financial and human) were systematically denied to people of color and ethnic working class citizens.

For this years’ AiOP festival, themed “Race,” Johnson is working with photographer Murray Cox and NYU professor Aimee vonBokel to add information to the site specific exhibition about the area of 14th Street from First Avenue to Avenue C.

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