Police Watch: Men arrested for cornering woman, assaulting date in separate incidents

MAN ACCUSED OF CORNERING WOMAN IN BAR BATHROOM
Police arrested 35-year-old Ronald Alomar for alleged unlawful imprisonment inside the Oscar Wilde bar at 45 West 27th Street on Friday, September 21 at 8:15 p.m.

The victim told police that she was in the women’s bathroom in one of the stalls and when she was finished, she unlocked the door to leave. Upon doing so, Alomar allegedly walked into the same stall using his body to push the victim against the stall wall. The victim said that Alomar didn’t move but didn’t allow her to leave, using the front of his body to hold her in the stall.

The victim said that she ultimately wiggled her way out of the stall and Alomar allegedly fled but was caught at 28th Street and Sixth Avenue. The victim said that Alomar never said a word and never used his hands to touch her.

Alomar was also charged with harassment for allegedly spitting on an officer while inside the vestibule at Bellevue Hospital on Saturday, September 22 at 12:45 a.m.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Former Calvary rector Rev. Pike celebrates 80th birthday

Rev. Tom Pike with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison and and Gramercy Park executive assistant Alex Nguyen (Photos by Ira Fox)

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Pike, formerly the rector of Calvary-St. George’s, celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday, January 10 at the parish house.

At the event, a video tribute in Pike’s honor was shown, made by Alex Nguyen, Matt Veligdan and Kamel Boutros. Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison also made some remarks cheering Pike’s accomplishments as a religious leader and a community one.

“Our community has always counted on you for your wisdom, compassion and support,” she said. “We can’t thank you for all you have done for us and meant to us. We look forward to many more years of leadership and friendship.”

Continue reading

‘Cave’ at St. George’s becomes home to the arts

Program organizers Alex Nguyen, Dusty Brown, Arlene Harrison and Rev. Dr. Tom Pike (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Program organizers Alex Nguyen, Dusty Brown, Arlene Harrison and Rev. Dr. Tom Pike (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

An old furnace room in St. George’s Church on East 16th Street in the past year has become gathering place for New Yorkers to experience the arts on a budget. Known as the Cave, the space has played host to jazz concerts, literary readings and plays, and until recently the programming operated parallel to each other but separately. But the three organizers have now come together to create the Olmsted Salon with the combined goal of getting the community more involved in the arts.

“That’s the core of the program,” said Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, which has been working with organizers Alex Nguyen, Dusty Brown and Maria Bowler. “There are underserved populations and we want to connect people through art, culture and conversation.”

Continue reading

13th Precinct remembers 9/11 on 15th anniversary

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

Officers of Emergency Service Truck #1, the 13th Precinct, the K9 unit and NYPD retirees who returned for the WTC Remembrance Ceremony along with Gramercy Park Block Association President Arlene Harrison in front of the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street (Photo by William Baker/Courtesy of the PBA of the NYPD)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Officers of the 13th Precinct and residents of Gramercy commemorated the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center this past Sunday.

Officers gathered outside the precinct at 8:30 a.m. and observed a moment of silence at 8:46, the time that the first plane collided with the north tower.

Calvary Church on East 21st Street hosted one service at 11 a.m. on the day of the anniversary and invited Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, to speak about the parish’s partnership with the community in the days and weeks following the attacks.

Continue reading

Gramercy Park community activist Audrey Sisson Kasha dies at 88

A public memorial service will be held for Audrey Sisson Kasha on Thursday, June 30.

A public memorial service will be held for Audrey Sisson Kasha on Thursday, June 30.

By Sabina Mollot

Gramercy Park resident Audrey Sisson Kasha, 88, died on June 12, a month after suffering a severe stroke.

Kasha was for many years involved in her community, having been the one to suggest the formation of the Gramercy Park Block Association in 1993.

This was after another resident, Tim Harrison, was beaten by a roving gang on the street. The association, run by Tim’s mother Arlene Harrison, was formed the next year and has remained devoted to local safety and quality of life ever since. Meanwhile, Kasha also served as one Gramercy Park’s trustees, including for some time as its counsel.

Arlene Harrison said she’ll remember Kasha for her dedication and her skills as a writer and editor for much of the trustees’ and block association’s literature.

“Just when we thought our writing was in perfect shape for Audrey to review, she would find at least 15 errors,” Harrison said.

She was also a founding member of the Tilden Democratic Club, which she was very active in, both in going to meetings and petitioning.

Until her retirement over 25 years ago, Kasha, a resident of 60 Gramercy Park North, served as chief of staff for the now-deceased Democratic Assemblyman William Passanante, who represented the Greenwich Village area.

Harrison noted that Kasha was often referred to as Passanante’s “brains” by the Assemblymember himself and that they remained good friends for decades.

Kasha was also known for throwing dinner parties, where guests raved over her cooking, and for being an avid church-goer at Calvary. She also met frequently with a group of people, who, like her, had involvement in politics, called The Schleppers.

Kasha had a grown son, Matthew, who worked in the music industry, and died in 2005. She is also predeceased by her sisters Gloria and Maxine. Kasha has one remaining sibling, her brother Peter Kasha, whose five-year-old son Ethan and wife Zena Kasha was very close with.

She was buried last week in Warwick, New Jersey with a small service for family members. On June 30 at 6 p.m., there will be a public memorial service held at Calvary Church, located at 277 Park Avenue South and 21st Street. Reverend Jacob Smith will be officiating.

Stuy Town author delves into history of Gramercy Park and Union Square

 

Alfred Pommer in Gramercy Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Alfred Pommer in Gramercy Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town resident Alfred Pommer, who’s been leading historical walking tours of various Manhattan neighborhoods for over 25 years, has released a new book about two neighborhoods with particularly rich but different histories — Gramercy Park and Union Square. Pommer’s wife Joyce is the co-author of the book, Exploring Gramercy Park and Union Square ($22, paperpack, The History Press), which was released on October 26.

Together, the couple has also written another book, Exploring Manhattan’s Murray Hill, and Pommer has previously written two other neighborhood history books, Exploring New York’s SoHo and Exploring the Original West Village.

On his latest venture, Pommer said he had initially pitched the idea to his publisher of writing only about Gramercy Park, but was then asked to throw the adjacent neighborhood into the mix.

“I said sure,” said Pommer, who was intrigued by the idea of side-by-side profiles of a neighborhood known for its exclusivity as well as one known for being the pulpit of the masses.

“You have two different neighborhoods in Manhattan that have distinctively different heritages,” he said. “Union Square represents the working class, the common people, while Gramercy Park is much more elite and wealthy, and like many neighborhoods in Manhattan, they’re a block apart.”

The book delves into the past of each community, with Gramercy Park always having been known for its wealthy residents but also those who were creatively gifted.

Continue reading

Calvary-St. George’s gets new associate minister

Associate Minister Ben DeHart

Associate Minister Ben DeHart

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Calvary-St. George’s Church’s new Associate Minister Ben DeHart officially took up the position at the Gramercy house of worship on September 28, but the New Jersey native said that he’s still in the process of acclimating himself to the change of scenery.

“I’m still transitioning,” he said. “It’s been fun. During the first week I started to realize that I was kind of over stimulated, but it’s been nice not owning a car.”

DeHart ended up at Calvary by way of Pittsburgh, where he went to seminary. He was ordained there in 2012 and has lived in that area for the last 10 years, although he has only officially been a priest since January.

For the last few years, the church’s priest-in-charge Reverend Jacob Smith has been taking on most responsibilities on his own, so as associate minister, DeHart will be helping to ease the burden.

“Calvary has grown a lot in the last couple years,” he said. “Jake was really being overloaded for a while.”

DeHart will be responsible for pastoral care and new members ministries, going on hospital visits and working on events for newcomers like connecting them to devotion groups, as well as helping run the soup kitchen.

“I hold devotion groups in my apartment and that’s really nice because it’s small, about five to 10 people max,” he said.

He also spends some of his time visiting people who are homebound and stops by to see others who ask for visitations.

“I love doing that because I’m seeing their lives outside this place. You see the people behind the mask and they see behind mine,” he said. “In a self-sufficient place like New York, I have to take the initiative sometimes but people always appreciate that. I always have to have ears everywhere. It’s a way to get to know them very well. People share the most remarkable things, some very, very good and others very, very bad. Very few people get that opportunity to connect on that level.”

Continue reading