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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Thank you – Over 250 toys donated to T&V drive

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Readers of Town & Village have once again made the holidays a little brighter for children stuck in hospital rooms as well as the families utilizing the outpatient clinics run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel by donating over 250 toys to this newspaper’s annual drive.

Gifts for kids of all ages were donated this year, from board games to books to stuffed animals to arts and crafts supplies to games sure to cheer any fan of Star Wars.

Town & Village’s partners on this longstanding community tradition are Blackstone/Stuy Town Property Services, the management of Waterside Plaza and M&T Bank on First Avenue and 23rd Street, who all provided convenient toy dropoff sites.

Bonnie Robbins, PhD, coordinator of children and family services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, has said in recent years the hospital has faced some difficulty in getting enough toys to meet the needs of patients. This is due to the economy as well as other factors like drives for larger organizations competing for the support of individuals as well as toy retailers.

The hospital’s clinics are located throughout the city with three in the Kips Bay/Gramercy area, and for many patient families, parents often have to choose between clothes for their children or toys.

Fortunately, the turnout of this year’s drive, Robbins said, will be a big help.

“We are enormously proud and grateful to be a part of this supportive, generous community,” said Robbins. “Once again residents and businesses have opened their hearts to our children. This very successful toy drive helps us to provide a happy holiday to our kids and families, and it would not be possible without the support of our fabulous neighbors.”

The staff of Town & Village would also like to say thank you and happy holidays to our readers, SPS, Waterside and M&T Bank.

The history of Rolf’s Christmas crowd pleaser

It’s almost impossible to get into Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy around holiday time unless you’ve made your reservation in October. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

It’s almost impossible to get into Rolf’s German restaurant in Gramercy around holiday time unless you’ve made your reservation in October. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Rolf’s, a German/Bavarian restaurant in Gramercy, has been known for years for its stunning display of antique dolls complemented with rows and rows of Christmas ornaments and lights strewn throughout the space during the holiday season.

But few know the history behind the tradition, which began 35 years ago and has since made the venue world-famous.

It was in 1981 when the original owner of the restaurant, Rolf Hoffman, died due to lung cancer at the age of 49.

Robert Maisano, who now owns the place, knew Hoffman and recalled how he very much wanted to keep the place a German restaurant, serving up heaping plates of schnitzel, sausages and potato pancakes.

Maisano hasn’t strayed from this mission, though the emphasis on transforming Rolf’s into a winter wonderland each year is his own.

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T&V’s last minute gift guide

By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Procrastinators who’ve left their holiday shopping until the last minute needn’t worry that they’ve run out of time to find gifts people will actually want. For those frazzled folks, T&V offers a last-minute gift guide, highlighting a few local shops and holiday market booths with goods sure to please even the pickiest family members.

Hatbox of cheese (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Hatbox of cheese (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

For the foodie
Beecher’s New York, 900 Broadway, between East 19th and 20th Streets, (212) 466-3340, beechershandmadecheese.com
A cheese monger at Beecher’s told T&V said that the company’s cheese curds are a unique and frequent gift because the squeaky snack is not always easy to find. The shop also sells pre-made gift sets offering a hat box full of cheese and crackers for $55. A couple of options are available with different varieties of cheeses, with one offering the shop’s popular fig spread.
For the lactose intolerant, the shop also has a handful of quirky sauces and spreads, including the fig jam, a rosemary and pear spread and caramel mustard. For the most adventurous lactose tolerant, the shop offers a chevre cheesemaking kit for $27.

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Stuy Town Christmas tree lighting

On Saturday, about 70 Stuy Town residents gathered at the Oval fountain for the annual Christmas tree lighting. Christmas Carolers kicked off the evening before the arrival of Santa Claus who led a countdown to the tree lighting with a “ho, ho, ho.”

Guests enjoyed free cookies and hot chocolate and cider and also picked up free necklaces and stuffed reindeer toys. Children got to take pictures on Santa’s lap nearby in the Oval Studio.

A Menorah lighting will take place on December 28.

Photos by Maya Rader

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Pictured:

Santa with Peter, a two-year-old resident

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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Families flock to Stuy Town’s Easter egg hunt

Stuyvesant Town’s annual egg hunt and other Easter activities took place on Sunday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Stuyvesant Town’s annual egg hunt and other Easter activities took place on Sunday. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Although the weather started out gloomy, the sun made its way out from behind the clouds to make for a pleasant day on the Oval for families celebrating Easter last weekend. The main attraction on Sunday was the Easter egg hunt starting promptly at noon, and although the Oval was split into two sections to prevent the older kids from swooping in and taking all the treats from the little ones, the event’s 4,000 eggs were still gone from both sides in a matter of minutes. A second hunt was planned at Playground 10 for any the kids who missed the earlier one. The event also included a bouncy house, crafts, a prize wheel, face painting and balloon animals.

Yosi of kid’s group Yosi and the Superdads put on a show right before the final egg hunt and four-year-old Matilda Magaldi enjoyed dancing along to the music.

“She’s like this every year, so enthusiastic,” said her mother Jessica, whose sister lives in Stuyvesant Town and who they’ve visited for the past three years for the holiday. “We already saw the Easter bunny. She wasn’t scared this time.”

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What to do on St. Patrick’s Day?

FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade will present an Irish trilogy of three and a half shows written and performed by Brian Fleming (pictured) on Monday, March 14 and 21 at Under St. Marks.

FRIGID New York @ Horse Trade will present an Irish trilogy of three and a half shows written and performed by Brian Fleming (pictured) on Monday, March 14 and 21 at Under St. Marks. (Photo by Johnny White)

Historic walks, theater, concerts and more

By Sabina Mollot

The one day of the year when everyone’s Irish is nearly upon us once again, and Town & Village has compiled a list of events taking place on March 17 and throughout the week that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or Irish culture.

The Irish Repertory Theater presents “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” a show directed by John Malkovich running from March 15 to April 3, including on St. Patrick’s Day at 7 p.m. This solo show featuring Julian Sands will explore the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet Pinter’s lesser-known poems and prose “devoid of pretension or glittery trappings.”

Tickets are $71 and the venue is the theater’s temporary home at DR2 at 103 East 15th Street, as Irish Repertory’s Chelsea venue undergoes renovations. Tickets are available online at http://www.irishrep.org.

Irish music can be heard throughout the afternoon and evening at Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar at 519 Second Avenue and East 29th Street, starting at 1 p.m. The first band is Triocha Bandits from 1-4 p.m., playing Gaelic music. The Itinerants play from 5-9 p.m. and regular Thursday night house band Irish Seisiun from 10:30 p.m. to closing. Both bands will play traditional Irish music and folk songs. Cover is $10. This event is 21 and up. For more information, visit paddyreillymusicbar.us.

Throughout the afternoon on March 17, Merchants House will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with “A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants with Bridget Murphy.”

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2015: A look back

A coyote (not the one pictured) was spotted in Stuyvesant Town in January.

A coyote (not the one pictured) was spotted in Stuyvesant Town in January.

By Sabina Mollot

Capped with yet another sale of Stuyvesant Town — this time with the highest price tag ever at $5.45 billion — 2015 was certainly an eventful year for the community.

Town & Village has taken a look back to find the top ten local events of the year.

1. The highly anticipated sale of course was a big one, with the deal being cheered as part of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign platform promise to preserve or build 200,000 units of affordable housing. The sale to new owners The Blackstone Group came as welcome news to many tenants due to its representatives’ willingness to listen to tenant concerns as well as a commitment to preserve 5,000 units of affordable housing. While for others — specifically, tenants in the other 6,200-plus units, the deal simply maintains the status quo of stabilized status with market rate tents. Blackstone has promised additional announcements early in the New Year, which hopefully will include a decision, made in cooperation with the city, of how people can get a lease to the affordable units as they become available.

2. Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, while always known as a bird sanctuary and a habitat for the world’s most well-fed squirrels, also managed to attract the attention of a coyote. The young female coyote, named Stella by Parks reps who rescued her, had been found wandering around the Avenue C side of the property near the Con Ed plant. She was captured by police officers, and then later released by the Parks department into a wooded area in the Bronx.

A Parks official T&V interviewed about the incident said that coyote sightings in the city are becoming more common, and she expected that this trend would only continue. Just a couple of weeks prior to the Stuy Town sighting, another coyote was found in Riverside Park, and in 2011, another coyote had wandered into Tribeca.

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THANK YOU: Over 200 toys donated to T&V drive

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Dr. Bonnie Robbins, coordinator of children and family services, with some of the toys at her office. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Dr. Bonnie Robbins, coordinator of children and family services, with some of the toys at her office. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Readers of Town & Village have once again made the holidays a little brighter for children stuck in hospital rooms as well as the families utilizing the outpatient clinics run by Mount Sinai Beth Israel by donating over 200 toys to this newspaper’s annual drive.

This year’s haul included an impressive mix of gifts for kids of all ages, including art supplies, science sets, a remote controlled helicopter, dolls and doll outfits, sports equipment and numerous cute stuffed animals.

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