Gramercy Neighborhood Associates holds annual art show

Alan Krevis

Gramercy Neighborhood Associates President Alan Krevis (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

On Tuesday, June 19, artists and their friends and followers packed the Salmagundi Club in Union Square for the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates art show opening. Around 60 artists showcased 90 pieces, mostly paintings and photos, at the venue, where art could be viewed from Monday to Friday last week.

Later, the GNA announced that it was one of the most heavily attended events ever at Salmagundi.

The art show is an annual event though this year it returned after a two-year hiatus and this was the first time it was held at the Salmagundi Club. Most of the artists were residents of Gramercy or Stuyvesant town, though the exhibit was open to others as well.

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Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood returns

Guests at Taste of Gramercy

Guests at the Taste of Gramercy (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

On Saturday, September 24, about 400 people gathered on Irving Place between 17th and 18th Street for the Taste of Gramercy food festival. There were 22 vendors, most of them from neighborhood restaurants. Caitlin Azzolini, a worker at a stand for the Italian restaurant Paul & Jimmy’s, said the restaurant has had a stand at the event for the past four years. She said the event is a “really great opportunity to be supportive of the neighborhood.”

The Paul & Jimmy’s stand served homemade meatballs and sauce.

Julie Fox, an attendee of the event, commented, “It’s nice to get samples from all of the places.” Her friend, Jess Panos, continued, “I really liked them all, especially the lobster roll and the truffle gnocchi.”

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GNA holds annual community exhibit at Arts Club

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By Sabina Mollot

The Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, which curates an exhibit at the National Arts Club each year featuring works by local artists, said that this year’s was the biggest show yet with around 100 works on display. This year’s show will also be the longest, having kicked off on March 15 and running through March 25 in three out of five of the club’s gallery spaces.

Sixty-six artists and photographers participated this year, mostly from Gramercy and Stuyvesant Town. (Full disclosure: One participant was the person writing this.)

On the night of the opening reception for the show on March 17, Alan Krevis, president of the GNA, figured there were about 300 people in attendance, as he peered over the sea of heads. This is normal for the GNA’s art openings.

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Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood returns

Staff with Florian, a participating restaurant; Beth Tominello from the Fireman’s Hospitality Group, the restaurant’s parent company; James King, general manager; Brando D’Oliveira, executive chef and Emil Holzwarth, cook, serving the restaurant’s Sunday meatballs (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Staff with Florian, a participating restaurant; Beth Tuminello from the Fireman’s Hospitality Group, the restaurant’s parent company; James King, general manager; Brando De Oliveira, executive chef and Emil Holzwarth, cook, serving the restaurant’s Sunday meatballs (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Saturday, Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, the annual food tasting festival and fundraiser, took place under a sunny sky on Irving Place.

This year, 20 restaurants participated and the event’s organizer, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates, sold 325 tickets. GNA President Alan Krevis said it was the best year so far — this was the third time the event was held — though he declined to share how much money the event raised. Net proceeds will be going to two neighborhood schools, PS 40 and School of the Future.

Meanwhile, the crowd of mostly neighborhood residents sampled dishes like rabbit meatball sliders from Ichabod’s, lobster rolls from Burger & Lobster, house cured Tasmanian sea trout from Barbounia and yellow tomato gazpacho from Adalya.

At the event was Claude and Shelley Winfield, residents of East Midtown Plaza, who said they’re regulars at many Gramercy restaurants, like Ponty Bistro and Casa Mono, and always on the lookout for new ones to try.

“Shelley and I try to support the neighborhood restaurants, otherwise you lose them,” said Claude, also the second vice chair of Community Board 6.

“If you use places in your area, all your streets are lit,” added Shelley. “A lot of people don’t know that.”

At TOGN for the first time was another couple who live in a building on the block where the event was taking place, between 17th and 18th Streets.

After sitting down at one of the streetside tables, both Liz and Mark Mindlin said they were impressed with all the options.

“The food is delicious so far,” said Liz, who added that while they often go to restaurants in the neighborhood, the event was the first time they’d heard of The Stand, a nearby comedy club and restaurant. “The food was very good,” she added.

A few of this year’s participating eateries also said the festival has been helpful in getting the word out about their businesses.

A returning restaurant was Ichabod’s, where Courtney Oakley, the director of events, said the event sometimes attracts foodies visiting from out of town (the W Hotel is nearby) as well as people from other neighborhoods.

She added, “This is something Brooklyn has always done very well, different festivals with great food. It’s wonderful that we’re having more of them in Manhattan.”

Greg Azzollini, one of the owners at the family-run Paul & Jimmy’s, agreed. “Just a few minutes ago I met someone who said he’d been in the neighborhood for 10 years and never tried us and now they’re going to come for dinner,” he added. “Plus it’s a nice way to meet other restaurant owners.”

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GNA and friends clean up Augustus St. Gaudens

On May 16, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates and friends and supporters of PS40 held a Clean and Green event aimed at cleaning up Augustus St. Gaudens, the playground next to PS40 on Second Avenue. Numerous kids from the neighborhood were among the volunteer crew and there was also a caricature artist and balloon artist at the event. Additionally, a Latin music band who’d been busking on the subway played an impromptu concert.

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NAC gets packed for GNA art show

East Midtown Plaza residents Shelley and Claude Winfield stand by Claude’s portraits of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, which were made out of beads.

East Midtown Plaza residents Shelley and Claude Winfield stand by Claude’s portraits of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, which were made out of beads. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday night, the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates kicked off its annual community art show at the National Arts Club, featuring 85 works by nearly as many artists. The art included paintings, drawings, prints and photos as well as some multi-media pieces.

At a reception packed with over 300 people on Tuesday night, GNA President Alan Krevis said he was “thrilled by the turnout and the quality of work is amazing.”

Most of the artists were residents of Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy and many were members of local civic groups.

One artist, Claude Winfield, also a Community Board 6 and Tilden Club member, had created beaded portraits of John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.

Winfield, of East Midtown Plaza, said his beaded works take anywhere from 20-40 days “over a span of time” to create. He uses African seed beads, explaining that various colors have different meanings. “Like a teacher would wear beads that are yellow and green,” he said. Winfield discovered the art form when he worked as head docent at the Museum for African Art and became inspired by a show there.

“Before that I did lithographs,” he said.

Also in attendance was former GNA President Edith Charlton, who said she’d been the one to start the event, although she couldn’t quite remember when. She believes it’s been running for at least 10 years though. She recalled how the club’s president at the time when she pitched the idea, O. Aldon James, was very receptive to it.

“It worked well and they’re even selling pictures now,” said Charlton. “I’m pleased it’s continuing.”

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