‘Taste’ returns on Sept. 16

Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, an annual street food fair/fundraiser held by the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, will be celebrating its fifth event on Saturday, September 16.

Around 20 restaurants from the neighborhood will be involved, offering tasting of signature dishes, under an open sky. The event, as always, takes place along one block, Irving Place between 17th and 18th Streets, from noon-4 p.m.

The money raised from the event goes to two local schools, School of the Future and PS 40.

Alan Krevis, president of GNA, said the event has grown each year in terms of how many tickets get sold, with mostly local people attending as well as some visiting from out of town.

“It’s grown tremendously,” said Krevis. “Last year we sold almost 400 tickets, so it is changing. We’re getting all the foodies. It’s becoming a destination.”

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When things were looking up

CHAMPIONS OF BREAKFAST–In Stuyvesant Town, residents headed out to the Oval on Monday to witness the eclipse, many of them with homemade tools fashioned from cereal boxes to safely view the solar display. (Photo by Susan Turchin)

On Monday afternoon, crowds of people in the path of what was dubbed the Great American Eclipse spilled out onto wide streets, into parks and onto building roofs to experience the partial blotting out of the sun. Armed with either special eclipse glasses or homemade viewing devices made by cutting pinholes into cereal boxes or even using spaghetti strainers, those watching turned the activity into a community event, sharing viewing tools and mutual awe.

Click through for more photos of New Yorkers taking in the eclipse.

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Weekly historic walks bring Flatiron District’s past to life

Miriam Berman on a recent tour (Photo courtesy of 23rd Street/Flatiron Partnership/BID)

By Sabina Mollot

During the summertime, residents of Flatiron have come to expect an array of things to do in the neighborhood that are all free, from tech lectures on the pedestrian plaza to morning kids’ concerts in the park to outdoor fitness classes. But there’s one event that takes place every Sunday all year long and that would be the free guided historic tour of the district.

The walk, sponsored by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership/BID has three guides who work on rotation. One of them is Miriam Berman, who gives tours about twice a month and in 2001, wrote a book about the community, Madison Square: The Park and Its Celebrated Landmarks. Other guides are Mike Kaback and Fred Cookinham.

Recently, Berman spoke with Town & Village about the BID’s long-running event, some surprising facts about the Flatiron neighborhood and her own interest in the area, which she refers to as Madison Square.

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Local restaurants participating in Restaurant Week

A meatball dish at Bread and Tulips

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

This year marks the 25th anniversary for NYC Restaurant Week and a number of Union Square, Flatiron and Gramercy establishments are have been participating in the event. Restaurants participating in the event are offering three-course lunches for $29 and dinner for $42, not including beverages or gratuity. Restaurants participating offer a special menu from Monday through Friday, with Sunday optional, and a handful here are offering special menus for lunch and dinner on Sunday as well. The event kicked off on July 24 and is running through August 18.

Click through for a selection of neighborhood restaurants participating this year.

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Dyke March celebrates 25 years of protesting

Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Women and the occasional man gathered on Fifth Avenue for the annual Dyke March at the end of last month, commemorating the 25th year for the protest.

The march originated in Washington, D.C. when groups organized protests the evening before the LGBT March on Washington in April 1993. The New York Lesbian Avengers, a group formed the year before to elevate issues important to lesbians, helped organized the logistics of the march and due to its success, organized a march in New York that June.

Organizers bill the event specifically as a protest and notably do not obtain permits for the march, which heads down Fifth Avenue from Bryant Park to the fountain in Washington Square Park.

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Pride Parade was part celebration, part protest

Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The annual Pride Parade marched down Fifth Avenue from 36th Street down to the West Village at the end of last month, with the event doubling as a protest against the Trump administration.

Although the organization also had its usual presence as a group later in the parade, the American Civil Liberties Union’s appearance as one of the grand marshals at the very beginning set the tone early as representatives carried “Resist” signs, which appeared throughout the march from various other participants and groups.

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Fireworks and a message of unity on July 4th

Fireworks on the East River (Photo by Edward O’Rourke)

By Sabina Mollot

On July 4, thousands gathered at Waterside Plaza to view the fireworks from windows as well as outdoor areas on the complex. This year, with the barges centered solely on the East River from 24th to 41st Streets, the complex got an even more enviable viewpoint than usual. The roughly 25-minute display sponsored by Macy’s showcased 2,200 effects per minute from each of the five barges.

The event even drew a visit from Mayor Bill de Blasio who stopped by before the fireworks to discuss immigrant rights on Independence Day. He spoke about the travel ban and how if people are feeling disenfranchised by the Trump administration, they could fight back by remembering that New York is an immigrant-friendly place.

De Blasio, who began by saying it was his first time visiting Waterside, called it “pretty amazing. I’m seeing everything good about New York City in one place.”

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Section of Stuyvesant Cove Park inspires short dance film

Dancer Megan Nordle performs at Stuyvesant Cove Park.

By Sabina Mollot

Recently, a Stuyvesant Town journalist and artist found inspiration in a section of her neighborhood that’s so small it’s likely to get overlooked even by people who pass it by all the time.

That plot of land is a rocky outcropping of the shoreline that’s covered in sand and a known hangout for ducks and geese.

Karen Loew, who refers to the spot in Stuyvesant Cove Park as “the beach,” first found herself drawn to it for a simple reason. She liked it. But after learning about the controversial history of the location as well as the park itself from a neighbor, Loew knew she wanted to film it. She went on to put together an exhibition of photography as well as a short, dance film, called “No Man’s Land,” that will be shown at the 14th Street Y this summer.

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Artists will interact with installation at Madison Sq. Park

A sculpture by Josiah McElheny will become a performance space. (Photo courtesy of Madison Square Park Conservancy)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the arrival of Madison Square Park’s new summer installation next Tuesday comes a handful of artists who have created performance pieces to interact with the work in week-long residencies. Prismatic Park, a sculpture by artist Josiah McElheny made of glass tile and wood creating individual performance spaces for the artists, offers a translucent sound wall for experimental music, a reflective floor for dance and a vaulted pavilion for poetry.

Artist MC Hyland, who will be doing the first poetry residency for the project from July 4 to 9, won’t be using the space for typical poetry readings but decided to expand on a project she’s already been working on that is more interactive than straight performance. Hyland has a degree in book arts in addition to an MFA in poetry, and when she went back to school for English literature recently, she started reading more poetry by William Wordsworth, who wrote some of his work about walking and talking with friends.

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Residents welcome flea market’s return

Near First Ave Loop

The first Stuyvesant Town flea market to be held in 17 years was well attended by vendors and shoppers.

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, thousands gathered around the Oval for the long awaited Stuyvesant Town flea market, last held before 9/11.

After the attack on the Twin Towers, management cancelled the annual market, citing homeland security, but then never again held another one. This led many residents to suspect the reason had more to do with the timing as the property was going market rate and the decades-long tradition was suddenly being seen as too low brow.

However, if the event’s comeback crowd was any indication, community members welcomed the opportunity to make a few bucks cleaning out their closets.

There were 510 vendor spots around the Oval, stretching north and south towards the inside of the First Avenue and Avenue C Loop roads. There were also a handful of vendors alongside the 14th Street and 20th Street Loops and even inside Playground 11. There weren’t many no-shows for vendor spaces (two percent according to management’s count), although at least one empty spot this reporter passed by was quickly scooped up by someone with a stash of handbags. It isn’t clear how long this would-be vendor was there though since selling bags was against management’s rules. Other rules, aimed at preventing bedbugs, forbid the sale of clothing and furniture.

Jade Lee, a longtime resident who’d set up her table early, said she’d made lots of sales of books and trinkets within the first hour.

“I just wanted to get rid of things in my apartment but half of it’s gone,” said Lee, who was stationed close to First Avenue.

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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

i-heart-ny-edit

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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