USP wants to modernize Union Sq. station

The Union Square Partnership proposed a few technological enhacements for the subway station at a Community Board 5 meeting. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The neighborhood BID for Union Square wants to help make the chaotic station more navigable for commuters and tourists alike and this week offered some suggestions to Community Board 5. Union Square Partnership director of economic development Monica Munn said that the impetus for the plan is partially due to the changes the neighborhood will be undergoing with the upcoming L train shutdown but also is a push to generally modernize the station.

“(The L train shutdown) is not just about changes happening above ground,” she said, referring to the planning related to bus and street improvements to mitigate the 15 months without the L train. “We’re thinking about what needs to be done to mitigate that as much as possible but we also want to think about modernizing as much as possible.”

Representatives from the Partnership presented the suggestions to members of Community Board 5’s transportation and environment committee this past Monday.

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Fire breaks out at Union Square building

Photo via Google Maps

By Sabina Mollot

The FDNY is investigating a fire that broke out at a high-rise building in Union Square on Monday morning.

Eighty-four firefighters from 26 units responded to the “all hands” fire at 8:10 a.m., but according to the FDNY, it was under control in 31 minutes. The fire was on the seventh floor of the commercial building, 25 East 15th Street on the west side of Union Square Park. A spokesperson for the fire department said it is standard for that many firefighters to respond to any fire at a high-rise. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still being determined.

After putting out the blaze, the FDNY sent out an emailed alert to warn New Yorkers to expect smoke and traffic delays in the area as well as emergency vehicles.

Pants-less pranksters brave extreme cold this year

Participants on the N train

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday, despite frigid temperature, straphangers with an exhibitionist streak ditched their pants and all other leg coverings to take part in the annual No Pants Subway Ride.

Always held on a winter day, the flashmob prank, held for the 16th time, is organized by the group Improv Everywhere. The route technically began at Foley Square and ended at Union Square, but participants of all ages could be seen at other subway stops as well. With the wind chill, the temperature was in the single digits.

Originally begun with just seven cold-tolerant men, the underground leg show now draws thousands and also takes place in other cities and countries. Participants, who dress appropriately for the winter other than their bare legs, always act as if they simply forgot their pants and don’t have any clue why so many others have forgotten them, too.

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Man’s head knocked into Q train at Union Square

Dec21 Assault suspect2

Assault suspect 1

By Sabina Mollot

Police are hunting two men they say punched a man so hard his head got smacked onto an incoming Q train at the Union Square subway station.

According to the cops, on Saturday, December 16 at around 3 a.m. the two suspects approached a 41-year-old man who they didn’t know on the platform and the three of them got into an argument. They then began punching him in the head, which caused him to fall to the platform floor and his head to be struck by an arriving southbound Q train. A police spokesperson couldn’t say if the man, who survived, hit the side or the front of the train as it barreled by.

Dec21 Assault suspect 1

Assault suspect 2

The victim was taken to an area hospital where he is being treated for lacerations to the head, multiple fractures to his face and the base of his skull, and bleeding on the brain. A police spokesperson said his condition appears to be stable.

The suspects, if caught, would be charged with assault. They are described as a Hispanic man and an Asian man.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Female bag thief preying on women at Union Square Starbucks

Nov16 Bag theft suspect2

Theft suspect at jewelry store

Cops are looking for a woman believed to have stolen wallets and bags from women at Starbucks as well as Gemma restaurant inside the Bowery Hotel. The thief apparently takes bags and wallets that their owners have hung on the backs of their chairs and uses their credit cards.

Two of the incidents took place at the Starbucks at 10 Union Square East.
On Saturday evening, October 14, a 24-year-old woman was having coffee when she realized her wallet was missing. She then discovered her credit card was used at a nearby Taco Bell at 18 East 14th Street.

On Monday morning, October 16, a 25-year-old woman at Starbucks realized the bag she’d placed on the floor next to her had disappeared. In this case, there were no unauthorized charges.

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Man with cane grabs woman’s crotch at Union Square subway station

Nov16 Forcible Touching

Forcible touching suspect

Police are on the lookout for a cane-carrying man who grabbed a woman’s crotch at the Union Square subway station.

Police said the victim, 43, was standing on the platform while waiting for a southbound 4 train when the man approached her. He then grabbed her before fleeing the station.

The incident occurred at 4:30 p.m. on October 11, though police only released the information on Friday.

The suspect is Asian, 50-65 years old with a medium complexion and is 5’8″ tall. He was last seen wearing a black hat, gray colored pants, dark colored shoes and had a cane.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782)

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Police Watch: Man strolls into woman’s apt. to pee, Teen stabs victim on train, slashes another

MAN BARGES INTO WOMAN’S APARTMENT

TO PEE, THEN ALLEGEDLY MAKES THREATS

Matthew Pryblyski, 25, was arrested after allegedly breezing into a woman’s apartment at 149 West 14th Street, where he then headed to her bathroom and began to pee. The woman, who doesn’t know Pryblyski, said she told him to get out, and he responded by picking up a lamp and allegedly waving it around in front of her in a threatening manner. He also told her, “Shut up, you Arabic bitch. I am going to sue you,” according to a criminal complaint. Police said it is unclear how he got into her apartment in the incident, which occurred last Saturday night. He was arraigned on November 5 and his next court appearance on charges of burglary, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon is on December 20. Town & Village reached out to Pryblyski’s attorney, but did not hear back.

HIGH SCHOOL GIRL ATTACKS TWO WITH

SCISSORS AT UNION SQUARE SUBWAY

Police arrested a teen who, on Halloween night, slashed one teen with a scissor at the Union Square subway station and stabbed another on the train. The victim who was slashed said he was trying to get away from the girl, whose name is being withheld due to her age, when she slashed his wrist, causing a very serious physical injury. On the train, she also stabbed another male victim in the neck, hand and back. The incident may have been part of a larger fight. The alleged assailant attends Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island.

POLICE IMPERSONATION IN KIPS BAY

Police arrested Gerardo Torres, 30, after he allegedly pretended to be a cop to gain entry to a building at 334 East 26th Street last Monday morning. Police said he told a security officer there that he was an officer conducting an investigation at the location and even went as far as providing what appeared to be an NYPD-issued business card. The security officer didn’t buy it, however, and Torres was charged with impersonating an officer and criminal trespass.

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Thief grabs phone from woman at Union Square subway

Cell phone theft suspect

Cops are looking for a thief who snatched a woman’s cell phone and took off at the Union Square subway station.

According to police, the suspect approached the 25-year-old victim while she was standing at the “Q” platform, on Saturday, September 30 at 7:15 p.m. When the woman tried to get her phone back, a second suspect blocked her path.

That individual, a 15-year-old from the Bronx, was caught at the scene by officers.

His partner is described as male, black and last seen wearing a gray hooded sweater, blue jeans and black sneakers.

 Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Harvest in the Square raises $367G for park

A seating area alongside the tent (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Supporters of Union Square Park and devout foodies from around the city gathered at Harvest in the Square, the Union Square Partnership’s annual food festival and fundraiser that this year raised $367,000.

The event, held under a tent in the park on September 14, offered guests tastings from 50 restaurants in the area. The event featured neighborhood newcomers such as Nur, Bowery Road, Daily Provisions, Fusco, Ando and others, in addition to mainstays like Aleo, Blue Smoke, Union Square Café, Blue Water Grill & Metropolis and more.

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Rose crystal tower goes up in Union Square

Tower as seen from the west (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

A new tower has just risen in Union Square, but unlike when this normally happens, there will be no howling about zoning and affordability.

The tower is actually a sculpture made out of nearly 350 rose-colored crystals and it debuted on Friday morning at an island east of Union Square Park.

“Rose Crystal Tower” was the creation of Dale Chihuly, whose career in the arts has spanned 56 years. It was done in partnership with Marlborough Gallery, the Union Square Partnership and the Parks Department, and will remain on view through October 2018.

At a ceremony unveiling the sculpture, which will be lit up at night through 16 lighting fixtures, Parks Commissioner Bill Castro noted the installation was part of the 50th anniversary for the city’s program of putting art in public spaces. At this time, over 1,300 artists have had their work on display through the program in 2,000 installations.

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Man threatens to shoot victim in Union Square

Aug24 robbery Union Square

Robbery suspect

Police are hunting a robber they say threatened to shoot a man who was stuck in traffic in Union Square.

According to police, the victim, a 35-year-old man, was in his car on East 13th Street between Broadway and Fourth Avenue, when the other man opened the rear door and got in. He then demanded money, threatening to shoot the victim if he didn’t comply. The victim turned over his cash and the mugger fled the car. It isn’t clear if he actually had a gun.

The incident occurred on July 21, but police only released an advisory on Thursday night.

The suspect is described as black with a dark complexion and 30-35 years old. He was last seen wearing a white short sleeved shirt, black and blue baseball cap and dark sunglasses.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Woman steals phone, then punches victim for taking it back

July20 robbery

Robbery suspect

Police are looking for a woman who attacked her victim at the Union Square subway station when the other woman confronted her for swiping her phone.

It was on Tuesday afternoon, when the victim, a 27-year-old woman, was going down the stairs to a 4 train platform when she noticed that her cell phone had just been swiped from her bag. The woman then confronted the pick-pocket and managed to get her phone back. The suspect put up a fight though, grabbing the victim by the hair and punching her multiple times in the head. She then fled the subway station.

The victim refused medical attention.

The suspect, who is wanted for robbery, is described as Hispanic, approximately 30 years old, 5’3″ tall, 100 lbs., with straight long brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a multi-colored dress.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Police on lookout for woman who shoved and robbed senior on 6 train

July 13 Purse snatch

Robbery suspect

Police are looking for a woman who knocked down an elderly woman to snatch her bag on the 6 train.

 

On Thursday, July 6 at about 8:30 p.m., as the train was in Union Square, the suspect grabbed the 75-year-old victim’s bag from the floor of the train. When the victim tried to stop her, the younger woman pushed her down to the ground and dashed off the southbound train.

The victim lost her cell phone, bank cards and approximately $100 in cash.

The suspect is described as black and last seen wearing a black hooded sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers.

 Anyone with information in regards to this incident 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 www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Man slashed on the back outside Union Square subway

June22 slashing

Slashing suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who slashed a stranger on his back near the Union Square subway station on Saturday.

According to police, at 11:40 a.m., the victim, a 29-year-old man left the station with his fiancée when the other man snuck up behind him and slashed him with an unknown object. The victim chased his attacker back into the subway but the suspect managed to get away by darting onto a northbound 6 train.

Prior to the incident, the suspect was seen at the Myrtle/Wyckoff subway station, cursing at random passengers, cops said.

The victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment to his injury, which wasn’t serious.

The suspect is described as Hispanic with a light complexion, approximately 35-40 years of age, and was last seen wearing a camouflage shirt and dark sunglasses.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

 

WIHS to get facade fixed and neighbors worried about noise

Councilmember Rosie Mendez

Councilmember Rosie Mendez

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The School Construction Authority is planning a major project to repair and renovate the façade of the Washington Irving High School building and neighbors are already concerned about how long they’ll be dealing with noise from what is sure to be a lengthy project.

The neighborhood residents made their views heard at a meeting hosted inside the school on Monday by Council Member Rosie Mendez.

Due to the constraints on construction for schools, the work on the building can only be done on nights and weekends, which concerned residents who live on adjacent streets who have already been dealing with periodic construction noise from the school, even though this major project has not started yet.

Joseph Bova, chief project officer for the SCA, specified that nights and weekends meant 4 p.m. to midnight during the week and as early as 8 a.m. on weekends, although due to objections from residents at the meeting, he said there may be flexibility on the weekend start time and he noted that only clean-up would happen between 11 p.m. and midnight.

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