VA Medical Center could be re-named after woman war hero

Margaret Corbin took her husband’s place at the battle of Fort Washington in Manhattan after he was fatally wounded.

By Sabina Mollot

On Friday, Manhattan Congress members announced legislation to rename the Manhattan VA Medical Center after Margaret Corbin, a Revolutionary War hero.

Corbin fought alongside the Revolutionary Army and was the first woman to be recognized for her military service by the United States. With this bill, the facility would be renamed to the “Margaret Cochran Corbin Campus of the New York Harbor Health Care System.”

When asked about the bill, a spokesperson for the Manhattan VA, located at East 23rd Street between First Avenue and Asser Levy Place, said it would be premature to comment.

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Teen robbed for his phone in NoMad

Dec13 NoMad robbery

Robbery suspect

Cops are on the lookout for a man who robbed a 16-year-old of his phone last Thursday.

The victim told police he was in front of 110 East 30th Street at around 8:30 a.m. when the robber snuck up behind him and forcibly grabbed the cell phone from his bag. The man then fled south on Park Avenue South. The phone was said to be worth $500.

The suspect is described as black, 35 years old, 6’01” tall and 200 lbs. He was last seen wearing all a red hoodie, green coat and tan pants. Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

‘Groper’ arrested in Union Square was on parole for murder

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested a 63-year-old man on parole for murder for allegedly groping a woman inside the Union Square subway station last Wednesday. Police said that Wilfredo Gonzalez was on a downtown 4 train at 4:28 p.m. on November 28 and was allegedly grinding and pushing his groin area on the buttocks of a woman while the train traveled from Grand Central to Union Square.

When police approached him and attempted to place him in custody, he allegedly flailed his arms violently and attempted to run away to avoid being arrested.

Police said that Gonzalez has three prior arrests for forcible touching and is a registered sex offender. Information about Gonzalez’s sex offender registration is not available through the online registry because he is a level 1 offender. The law permits the registry to make available information online only about level 2 and 3 offenders, which are for more serious crimes.

Gonzalez was previously convicted of forcible touching in June 2018 and February 2012.

Police did not have further information about the murder for which Gonzalez was on parole.

He was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for the recent incident in Union Square.

Owner of Flatiron store Fishs Eddy talks shop in nonfiction graphic novel

Julie Gaines chronicles her store’s ups and downs in Minding the Store, which was illustrated by her son, Ben Lenovitz. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Anyone considering opening a small business in New York City, or who simply enjoys frequenting them, may want to check out a new graphic novel on the subject, written by the owner of quirky Flatiron home goods store Fishs Eddy.

Julie Gaines, who opened the shop with her then boyfriend, later husband, Dave Lenovitz, 32 years ago, has written the book, published by Workman (a division of Algonquin) and titled Minding the Store with illustration by her son Ben Lenovitz.

Released on November 29, it’s now available at her store on Broadway (along with other book retailers) for $22, and tells the history of the business through its ups and down from the shuttering of American manufactures that made its dishware to, in recent years, growing competition from online retailers. It was the latter problem that prompted Gaines to hire a CEO to help counter dwindling sales, only to end up feeling even more stressed and eventually undermined by his corporate drill sergeant approach to running a store.

“He actually bullied us,” said Gaines. “That’s what this book is about. He terrorized us.”

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Tiny owl spotted in Stuyvesant Town

Northern Saw-whet owl in Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Guess whooooo recently visited Stuyvesant Town?

A resident spotted this brown and white owl on Monday as it perched on a railing by the mezzanine of 525 East 14th Street. He told Town & Village that he’s seen lots of different birds in the neighborhood but the owl was an unusual find in the city. The resident, Mario, who didn’t want his last name mentioned, also noted that he wasn’t expecting to capture this little guy on camera in broad daylight but pulled out his phone and managed to get some shots of the obliging raptor.

Upon seeing the photos, Anne Lazarus, a longtime birder who leads bird watching tours in Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Cove, identified this visitor as a Northern Saw-whet Owl, noting the lack of ear tufts.

“The Northern Saw-whet Owls have been showing up this year,” said Lazarus, adding that a few have been spotted in Central Park. Additionally, despite its size, the owl seen in Stuy Town is not a baby, but an adult, with Northern Saw-whets being one of the smallest owl species in North America. They are comparable, size-wise, to robins.

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Editorial: Give Stuy Town’s drivers a break

As Town & Village reported this week, a number of community residents have gotten parking tickets or even towed for parking in spots along the newly designed 20th Street east of First Avenue that used to be legal.

While the city has already made the choice to justify the permanent loss of 12 parking spaces in the interest of enhanced traffic safety (an important issue to be sure) it’s unfortunate that this plan was enacted with almost no heads up to the community (unless you count a tweet in September by the Department of Transportation, followed by an article in this newspaper after residents noticed the sudden loss of parking spaces).

It is also unfortunate that this lack of communication extends between city agencies. Ideally, there would have been a message given to the NYPD that parking spaces that are no longer legal were legal up until very recently and that perhaps motorists parking where they have always parked might be deserving of a grace period, as Council Member Keith Powers is asking for.

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Santa Con is coming to town on Saturday

Santa Con revelers, pictured in 2016 at the Flatiron Plaza (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Love it or hate it, Santa Con is here to stay in New York City with the next yuletide pub crawl scheduled for this Saturday, December 8.

Whether you hope to participate (for a $12 donation to charity) or just avoid the red-and-white-clad revelers, the organization that runs the event has begun listing the participating venues on its website. The actual route isn’t usually revealed until 24 hours before the start of the event, where men and women have made a tradition of dressing like Santa, elves, reindeer and in other holiday-inspired attire.

The venues are mostly clustered in the East Village, as well as midtown, mostly in the 30s with a few in Flatiron and Union Square. Some of the venues on the south end of the route include The Phoenix, Nowhere Bar, Crocodile Lounge, SideBar, Plug Uglies, Coyote Ugly, The Continental, Vazac Horseshoe Bar, Machos NYC. In Flatiron, there’s Taj, 230 Fifth Avenue rooftop bar and Slate. In midtown, they’re Feile, Rattle and Hum, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, Blarney Stone, Jack Doyle’s and Rick’s Cabaret.
For the full list, visit santacon.nyc/route.

20th Street re-design has residents ticketed, towed and just plain ticked

The newly laid out street east of First Avenue, with two protected bike lanes, has confused drivers and worried pedestrians. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The traffic safety enhancement project along 20th Street, east of First Avenue, which has so far included creating two protected bike lanes on the north side of the street and moving a bus stop to an island outside the bike lanes, apparently isn’t making neighborhood residents feel any safer.

In fact, many residents have been complaining to Council Member Keith Powers that they’re now more afraid for their safety now that they have to cross the bike lanes to catch the bus. Additionally, at least 15 drivers have contacted Powers to say they’ve gotten tickets, usually for $115, for parking in spots that were legal up until very recently. A few people have also been towed at an additional pickup fee of up to $225.

The project, which began in October, was aimed at making the streets safer in anticipation of increased bike and pedestrian traffic to the Stuyvesant Cove ferry landing once the L train shutdown begins on April 27.

But from what Powers has been hearing, the general response has been that the work seemed unnecessary.

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Letters to the editor, Dec. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More bike regs would go a long way

To the editor,

Thank you for researching and publishing (in your Nov. 29 issue) data that’s been collected re: bike/pedestrian accidents in New York City (“Stats on bicycle/pedestrian crashes”).

I frequently cross at 23rd Street and Second Avenue. As at other major cross streets bicycles have their own traffic light which is rather adorable (red, yellow and green icon of a bicycle). Many, perhaps half, of the bicyclists ignore it, if they see it at all. It’s particularly evident when there is a left turn signal for downtown traffic to turn to go East on 23rd to the FDR. That includes many trucks and at least one bus route.

I’ve seen vehicles having to deal with a bicycle weaving about in front of them as they turn. More frequently the bikes zip outside their lane to continue straight down Second in the middle of the street.

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Man robbed for Balenciaga shoes at Gramercy hotel

Dec6 Shoe robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By Sabina Mollot

A man was robbed for a pricey pair of kicks at the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy last Saturday.

Police said the 26-year-old victim was in a second floor public bathroom at the hotel at about 4 p.m. when two men approached him and demanded his Balenciaga shoes.

After being threatened, the victim turned the pair, worth $300, over to one of the robbers, who is described as being white, in his 30s, 5 ft. 11 ins. and about 180 lbs.

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Cops on lookout for L train masturbator

Dec13 public lewdness

Public lewdness suspect

Police are looking for a man who was seen masturbating on an L train at Union Square on Monday, December 3.

The victim, a 29-year-old woman, said that it occurred at around 12:45 p.m. as the man stood close to where she was. The victim snapped a photo of the suspect before she left the train at the next station.

The suspect is described as white and 25-35 years-old, and was last seen wearing all dark clothing.

Anyone with information in regard 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 Crimestoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Police Watch: Man choked woman on bus, Teen busted for stolen credit cards

MAN CHOKED WOMAN ON BUS, SPIT ON COPS
Police arrested a 30-year-old John Doe for alleged obstruction of breath in front of 489 Second Avenue on Saturday, December 1 at 1:19 p.m. The victim told police that the man approached her while she was on a bus and took his thumbs, pressing them to her neck while pressing her face against the window. The man was also charged with harassment. The man was also charged with resisting arrest and harassment for allegedly spitting on two officers who were attempting to arrest him.

ACS TEEN BUSTED FOR STOLEN CREDIT CARDS
Police arrested a teenager for possession of stolen property inside the ACS facility at 492 First Avenue on Saturday, December 1 at 1:37 p.m. Police said that the teen was in possession of six credit cards that didn’t belong to him.

MAN ARRESTED IN UNION SQUARE FOR ALLEGED MIDTOWN ROBBERY
Police arrested 30-year-old Dejuan Gore at the corner of Union Square East and East 14th on Monday, November 26 for an alleged robbery that took place in Midtown in October. Police said that Gore and another person allegedly robbed the victim inside the subway station at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue on October 17 at 8:45 a.m. The other suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing pain and swelling, while Gore reportedly took cell phones from the victim.

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Town & Village holding toy drive to benefit Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Gifts donated to Mount Sinai Beth Israel in 2016 (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 is:

Stuyvesant Town Property Services, accepting toys in bins located at Resident Services, 276 First Avenue on the First Avenue Loop Road and the Peter Cooper Village kiosk at 22nd Street and First Avenue

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Opinion: Public advocate: Use it or lose it

By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

After Letitia James is sworn in as the state’s new attorney general, there will be a special election in early 2019 to replace her as New York City’s next, and sixth, public advocate. But is that really necessary?

The position of public advocate, which pays $165,000 a year, was created when court ordered changes were made to New York City government in 1989. The powerful Board of Estimate was declared unconstitutional and abolished, transferring much of its responsibilities to the more democratic City Council.

The office of president of the City Council, a citywide elected position, was also eliminated and in its place the office of speaker of the City Council was created with significant new powers. Subsequently the citywide elected position of “public advocate” was created in place of City Council president. But its duties were ill defined and vague. It was given virtually no authority over anything.

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Cauz for Pawz holds animal art show

Artist Mary Alice Orito with Cathryn Duhigg, founder of Cauz for Pawz (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, November 12, Cauz for Pawz, a thrift shop that benefits animals, held its first art exhibition/benefit, showcasing animal-themed works by Mary Alice Orito.

Collages made from different kinds of paper ranging from the shredded insides of securitized envelopes to slick catalogues for furniture created fur, feathers and whiskers on portraits of dogs, cats and birds.

Digital paintings of cats were also on display along with throw pillows with images printed on them from the original pieces. While some of the art came down following the opening, other works from the show, “My Menagerie,” remain available for purchase at the shop.

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