Easter egg hunt gets an early start in Stuyvesant Town

Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The snow held off for Easter Sunday but the enthusiasm of young Stuy Town and Peter Cooper residents couldn’t be contained during the egg hunt on the Oval, prompting management to send out an apology Monday morning because the hunt started earlier than scheduled, causing some families to miss out.

Moms on a local Facebook group complained they arrived to the hunt on time and were disappointed to learn that it was already over.

The email included an apology from general manager Rick Hayduk, who noted that management attempted to avoid this very problem by segmenting the hunt into specific age groups but a miscommunication resulted in the older kids starting the hunt before the scheduled time.

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Things to do on St. Patrick’s Day

The Irish Arts Center will hold a free event all day offering classes in Irish language, theater, cooking demonstrations and children’s activities. (Photo courtesy of the Irish Arts Center)

By Sabina Mollot

St. Patrick’s Day is on Saturday, March 17. For those looking for a way to celebrate beyond the parade and local pub crawls, a number of businesses and organizations are offering concerts, plays and historic walks as well as Irish culture classes and family activities throughout the week. Read on for more information on events leading up to St. Patrick’s Day as well as the day of. 

IRISH HISTORY TOURS–Merchant’s House, 29 East 4th Street, is a museum with a mission of educating the public about the domestic life of a wealthy merchant family and their four Irish servants from 1835-1865.

The house is offering several “ghost” tours, this month, including on St. Patrick’s Day. Tickets can be purchased online at merchantshouse.org.

On Sunday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m., there will be a walking tour, not in the museum, but the Noho area. In this “In the Footsteps of Bridget Murphy” tour, participants will learn about the world of Irish immigrants, who flooded into New York City in the 19th century to escape famine and hardship in Ireland. In 1855, approximately 24,000 Irish immigrants worked as servants for wealthy families like the Merchant’s House’s Tredwells. Tour is one hour and $15.

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Teens recall racist experiences

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963. In recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Monday, January 15, Town & Village intern Kristy Ye-Ling interviewed fellow students at Gramercy’s School of The Future, asking if they had ever experienced racism.

Joseph Dennis

Joseph Dennis, Senior

“There was one time I was getting on the train to school and there was this Indian lady and black lady getting on together. But then the Indian lady wanted to sit and said, ‘Oh I don’t want to be near these brown people.’ I felt like I could’ve done something about it because obviously we’re in the 21st century and it’s annoying to keep on having racism brought up every single day.”

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Gramercy Park packed on Christmas Eve

Photos by Ira Fox

By Sabina Mollot

On Christmas Eve, carolers came from far and wide to celebrate the evening at Gramercy Park. Christmas Eve is the one day of the year when the gated park is open to the public, and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association and park trustee, estimated that there were over 1,000 people in attendance. Some, however, couldn’t fit into the park where police were manning two open gates.

“Everyone eventually got in, but the park was packed and (police) said no one was complaining,” Harrison said. “Everyone seemed very delighted to be there.”

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Holiday gifts for $30 or less found at neighborhood stores

Boyar Gifts owner Tali Alexander demonstrates how what appears to be a bottle of wine opens to become a wine-opening kit. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With Hanukkah here and Christmas around the corner, time is running out to get holiday gifts, but fortunately there are plenty of options available at neighborhood stores. In fact, this year more than ever, we can’t recommend shopping locally enough. Read on for Town & Village’s ideas for gifts $30 or under, all found at local, brick-and-mortar stores.

  1. Forget candles and picture frames and find a quirky home gift at new boutique Boyar Gifts, 383B Second Avenue between East 22nd and 23rd Streets.

One recommendation from shop owner Tali Alexander is the store’s five-piece wine kit, $25, which at first glance appears to be a bottle of red wine, but is actually a set that includes a stopper, opener and other bar accessories. Alexander noted this has been especially popular as a housewarming gift. “Most of the time you buy a bottle of wine and then it’s like, ‘How do you open it?’” she said.

Other popular gift items are trinket trays for displaying jewelry or other small items, that read things like, “You the Mensch” and “Matzah matzah man,” $15, and one set of three trinket trays shaped like Russian nesting dolls, $25. A set of five decorative tins of Kusmi Parisian tea is $15 while mugs with various sayings, including, “Who are these kids and why do they keep calling me Grandma?” are $15.

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Town & Village holding holiday toy drive

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel in last year’s drive (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Town & Village is holding a toy drive to help make the holidays brighter for children undergoing medical treatment during the holiday season as well as the children of families in outpatient programs run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

Gifts will be accepted for children of all ages as long as they are new. Items for older boys are especially in high demand. No toy weapons, please.

Partnering with Town & Village on this effort are:

Stuyvesant Town Property Services, accepting toys at Resident Services, 276 First Avenue on the First Avenue Loop Road
Waterside Plaza management, accepting toys at the management office, 30 Waterside Plaza, and the Swim & Health Club, 35 Waterside Plaza
M&T Bank, accepting toys at the branch at First Avenue and 23rd Street.

Deadline to donate has been extended one day to Friday, December 15. Toys should be unwrapped.

Residents celebrate Stuyvesant Town Christmas tree lighting

Dickensian Carolers stroll through Stuy Town. (Photo by David DuPuy)

On Friday evening, residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting on the Oval. Highlights from the event included Dickensian Carolers singing as well as General Manager Rick Hayduk reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Prior to the lighting, cookies and hot beverages were served.

In addition, Santa Claus will soon make his annual appearance on Monday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 13 from 5-7 p.m. for residents who wish to take pics with St. Nick. The venue is the ice rink (no rink admission required for photos).

The Hanukkah menorah lighting will take place on Tuesday, December 12. Rav Shoshana Mitrani Knapp will lead the blessings at 6 p.m. The menorah lighting will be followed by dancing, music, donuts and hot beverages until 7:30 p.m.

Click through for more photos

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Veterans Day celebrated in Stuyvesant Town

Flags on lawn2 Kristy

Residents place flags on the Oval lawn. (Photos by Kristy Ye-Ling)

By Kristy Ye-Ling

Despite frigid temperatures, around 150 Stuyvesant Town residents gathered on the Oval on Saturday morning for a Veterans Day ceremony held by management. General Manager Rick Hayduk welcomed everyone in brief opening remarks and introduced a few veterans. Then, residents had the opportunity to place American flags on the Oval lawn. A total of 7,008 flags were planted to express gratitude towards the servicemen and women who lost their lives since September 11th, 2001. Additionally, yellow paper was tied in bands around the trees in the area where residents (eventually hundreds) wrote thank you messages to veterans.

One of the veterans in attendance was former Navy personnelman Daniel Murphy, who shared, “I was in the Mediterranean three times, the Caribbean four times.” His most memorable experience was having President Kennedy on his ship during the Cuban crisis where he led a flotilla of 86 ships as a flagship.

 

 

Crowds come out for Halloween in Stuy Town

On Saturday afternoon, families from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village packed the Oval for the complex’s annual kids’ event for Halloween.

At any given time around hundreds of costume-clad celebrants milled around, picking pumpkins to decorate, dancing to music by the Alex Alexander Band or getting their faces painted. There were also carnival games, two bouncy houses and a haunted house. Management estimated the total figure of guests coming through at over 3,000, even with wristband-only access for residents and their guests.

Photos by Sabina Mollot

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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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Moms we interviewed said they don’t want stuff on Mother’s Day

By Sabina Mollot

With Mother’s Day taking place on Sunday, May 14, Town & Village’s email inboxes have been flooded with press releases from various companies that are all convinced what moms want just happens to be what they manufacture and sell.

However, based on responses we got from women about what it is they actually want for Mother’s Day, it turns out all the PR people who pitched us were wrong. Those we spoke with, while they watched their kids at playgrounds or just strolled with strollers through Stuyvesant Town, said what they want is some quality family time. Others admitted they could use some much needed time to themselves.

Shorn Burke, a mother of a 12-year-old and a seven-year-old, said she needed the latter. “Rest,” said Burke, without hesitation, saying she worked long hours as a babysitter. “A peaceful day. A quiet day. Just relaxation.”

Kate Raizenberg, an interior designer, when asked, said she would be happy with any kind of effort.

“Anything,” she said, “but,” she added, “I know I’m not getting anything.” With her one child being a baby, she instead is hoping for a chance to sleep in and would also like for her family to take her to brunch. “That’s what I’d like to do,” she decided.

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Easter in Stuyvesant Town

Crafts table (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Easter Sunday, children and their families celebrated in Stuy Town with an egg hunt, potato sack races and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The annual event also included arts & crafts tables, two bouncy houses and gigantic foam building blocks to play with. The egg hunt started at 12:15 and ended pretty soon after that with no egg left behind. According to management’s figures, around 2,500 people stopped by throughout the duration of the event.

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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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Young physical rehab patients at NYU get a little ballet therapy

Ballet dancer Savannah Lowery gives a demonstration of how ballet steps can be adapted to upper body movements to children at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center.

Ballet dancer Savannah Lowery gives a demonstration of how ballet steps can be adapted to upper body movements to children at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

For the young patients undergoing treatment at the pediatric unit at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center, the opportunity to experience “The Nutcracker” is a new one. That is, experience by learning some of the steps from a dancer from the New York City Ballet, as opposed to being merely an audience member.

For the young patients undergoing treatment at the pediatric unit at NYU’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center, the opportunity to experience “The Nutcracker” is a new one. That is, experience by learning some of the steps from a dancer from the New York City Ballet, as opposed to being merely an audience member.

As part of a program hosted by the NYC Ballet, soloist Savannah Lowery visited a small group of patients at the East 17th Street center earlier this month, going over the story of the timeless ballet and helping the kids adapt the steps into upper body movements since many are confined to wheelchairs.

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Stuy Town holds menorah lighting

 

Phoyos by Maya Rader

Phoyos by Maya Rader

By Maya Rader

Stuy Town residents celebrated Hanukkah, Festival of Lights, at the Oval on Wednesday evening. The event was kicked off by East End Temple Rabbi Dennis Ross giving a blessing and lighting the candles on a menorah constructed on the Oval lawn.

After the lighting, attendees enjoyed cider, hot chocolate and doughnuts provided by Five Stuy Café. Yosi, from the band Yosi and the Superdads, played Hanukkah-themed music. Children gathered around him and danced to songs like “I Have a Little Dreidel.”

Children also decorated their own menorah-shaped napkin holders at a table nearby. The young event attendees were also treated to toy dreidels and gelt.

 

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