Free concerts will return to Stuy Cove after all

June6 Sean Mahony band

Event organizer Jo-Ann Polise cited endless paperwork as enemy number one to the concert series. (Pictured) A concert from a previous year at Stuyvesant Cove Park with Sean Mahony and the Swing Orchestra (Photo by Jo-Ann Polise)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Jo-Ann Polise, the main organizer of the annual summer concert series put on by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association, announced via this newspaper that after several years the music had come to an end. The reason, she explained at the time, was that despite the grants awarded to the group by Council Member Keith Powers, the city’s process for actually getting the funds had become so onerous, it was too much for an all-volunteer outfit to bear.

However, Polise has since changed her tune, saying the concerts will return — at least this year. After that it may not be possible to hold waterfront concerts for the next couple of years due to the planned East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.

The reason for the park association’s change of heart was twofold. First, since the SCPA had made the announcement, Polise found that she couldn’t go anywhere — even grocery shopping — without someone telling her how much the free, riverside gigs would be missed.

“We got a lot of responses; people were saying, ‘we’re so sorry,’” Polise said. “There was a lot of un happiness in the community.”

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Singer Garland Jeffreys’ tips for aspiring musicians

Dec28 Garland Jeffreys

Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, October 22, Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys will be performing a concert at a fundraiser for the 14th Street Y, where he, his wife Claire and daughter Savannah are longtime members.

It will be the first of a few local concerts coming up for the singer, following a recent tour through Europe to promote his last album, “14 Steps to Harlem.”
Now in the early writing stages for his next album, to be called, “Dash of Soul,” and fundraising for a documentary about his career, Jeffreys, 75, spoke with Town & Village to share tips for new and aspiring musicians.

“I’m always happy to talk to people who are starting out,” he said, adding that starting out means picking a musical direction to take.

“What kinds of songs do they want to write? Love songs, protest songs or a Dylan-esque area?” he asked. “They should work and work and work on the music and not take it for granted. I tell stories about different things, like race, like my childhood, my passions.”
In recent years, Jeffreys has been known to do many concerts in people’s homes, which he recommends doing as well as finding local venues like bars.

“If you’re starting out, anywhere is a good place to start,” said Jeffreys. “Just get your guitar and get your keyboard and get to practicing and that’s how your songwriting evolves.”

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The summer that was – A look back at community events

By Maria Rocha Buschel

Summer is quickly drawing to a close, with an autumn chill in the early morning air and school starting up again soon. And with the last unofficial day of the season, Labor Day, occurring yesterday, we thought we would share a look back at some of the summer activities that took place in the community.

This summer saw the return of the popular concert series on the Solar One stage at Stuyvesant Cove Park, with the only complaint some Town & Village readers had being that the series was too short. Performers also got in the summer spirit at Madison Square Park underneath the Fata Morgana canopy installation in an Afro-Cuban dance workshop and performance in July. In what is becoming an annual tradition, area residents were also able to enjoy the waterfront through the free kayaking events, hosted in Stuyvesant Cove Park for the final time for the season last weekend.

Click through for photos.

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Memorial Day concert at Stuy Town Community Center

On Wednesday, May 20, residents from Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town participated in a Memorial Day choral concert. A group of residents, under the direction of Scott Laubner, community center manager, and Audrey Joy, musical director, practiced for several weeks leading up the concert date. Audience members were encouraged to sing along to familiar songs like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “This Land is your Land.”

Hymns or fight songs associated with each service branch were sung and service men and women who served in a particular branch were asked to stand and be recognized for their service to the country. The chorus put on head scarves when the song “Rosie the Riveter” was sung as an homage to all the women who worked in the munitions factories during World War II.

Photos by Martin McCarthy

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these concerts, historic tours and other events

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum presents the tour, “Irish Outsiders,” in the restored home of an Irish-Catholic immigrant family. (Photo courtesy of Tenement Museum)

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum presents the tour, “Irish Outsiders,” in the restored home of an Irish-Catholic immigrant family. (Photo courtesy of Tenement Museum)

By Sabina Mollot
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on Tuesday, March 17, and for those looking for a way to celebrate the day when everyone’s Irish (that doesn’t necessarily involve pounding down pints of Guinness), Town & Village has you covered. Read on for information on some local events celebrating Irish culture and/or St. Patrick on Tuesday and throughout the week.

On Friday, March 13 from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., the Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, presents the “Spirit of the Irish Candlelight Ghost Tour.” On this candlelit tour, guests will learn the history of the house where eight people died, and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from those who actually experienced them. Many of the most peculiar occurrences have been related to the Tredwells’ Irish servants, and so this special tour will include the 4th floor servants’ quarters. The New York Times has called the Merchant’s House “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House.” Admission is $25, $15 for museum members. For more information, call (212) 777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org.

Mar12 Noel Hill

Concertina player Noel Hill will perform on Friday as part of NYU’s “Blarney Star Concert Series.”

On Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m., New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House presents “The Blarney Star Concert Series” with Noel Hill and Martin O’Connell. Concertina player Noel Hill, of County Clare, is known for revolutionizing the sound of the little hexagonal-ended squeezebox, bringing to it a repertoire and chordal accompaniment style borrowed from the uilleann piping tradition. For this show, he’ll perform with Martin O’Connell, a younger Kerry native who’ll play the two-row button box accordion.
Free admission to NYU students and faculty with a valid ID card. For non-members, a $15 donation at the door for the Blarney Star Concert Series is requested. Tickets are available at the door only; no reservations will be accepted. For more information, call (212) 998-3950.

On Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, March 15 at noon, Big Onion Tours presents a guided walk through the former “Little Ireland” district of the Lower East Side, between City Hall and Houston Street. This family friendly tour will explain why St. Patrick’s Day is more popular here than in Ireland. Stops could include: the founding site of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Al Smith’s home, the Five Points, the first Catholic church in the city, and sites associated with Tammany Hall, Thomas Addis Emmet, and many others. The group will meet directly in front of St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for full-time students with ID and seniors 65 and up. Paying in advance is suggested at www.bigonion.com.

On Sunday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m., the Merchant’s House Museum presents the “St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: A Tribute to the Tredwells’ Irish Servants.” This tour will invite participants to climb the house’s narrow staircase to the newly restored fourth-floor servants’ quarters and see where the Tredwells’ four Irish servants lived and did some of their work. The tour will explain why it would have been impossible to run a home like the Merchant’s House without them.
Admission is $10, $5 students and seniors, free for children under 12. Reservations not required. For more information, call (212) 777-1089 or visit merchantshouse.org.

On Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m., the Church of the Epiphany at East 22nd Street and Second Avenue presents a free concert with Epiphany’s Adult Choir and guest instrumentalists. The program will include Irish and St. Patrick’s Day related hymns from the chorus with more Irish and Irish-inspired music in a variety of genres from guest professional singers and instrumentalists, including drummers, flutists and harp players.

Stuyvesant Town fitness instructor Tim Haft will present two holiday themed classes (followed by happy hour drinking at Otto’s Shrunken Head for those looking to balance holiday debauchery with something healthy).
Haft will offer his weekly Punk Rope class on Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street. Admission is $12. His new MoshFit class, offered weekly at Otto’s Shrunken Head, 538 East 14th Street, will take place on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:15-7 p.m. Admission is pay-what-you-wish with a suggested amount of $12. Both classes will be followed by happy hour at Otto’s with drafts and well drinks priced at $4 (Monday from 8:30-11 p.m., Tuesday until 8 p.m.) For more information, visit punkrope.com/mosh-fit.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard Street, is offering a tour of the restored home of the Moore family, Irish-Catholic immigrants who started a new life in Kleindeutschland (now the East Village). The tour reveals how this family dealt with being “outsiders” at 97 Orchard, and how the Irish more broadly created a strong sense of American Irish identity through the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This “Irish Outsiders” tour, which is recommended for ages 12 and up, is actually offered daily a few times a day. On Tuesday, March 17, it’s given at 12:15, 3:15, 3:45, 4:15 and 4:45 p.m. For schedules on other days throughout the week, call (877) 975-3786 or visit www.tenement.org. Booking tours online is recommended since some tours sell out. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors.

Mar12 Da

Irish Repertory Theatre is currently running the show “Da,” at the theater’s temporary space at DR2 Theatre. (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

Irish Repertory Theatre, which stages works by Irish and Irish-American playwrights, is currently running the show “Da,” at the theater’s temporary space at DR2 Theatre, 101 E. 15th St., through April 5. “Da” runs eight times each week, including on St. Patrick’s Day, with Tuesday performances at 7 p.m.
In this play by Hugh Leonard, a man named Charlie returns to his childhood home in Dublin in 1968 after his father’s funeral only to find the stubborn patriarch’s ghost unwilling to leave the house. Immediately, Charlie and his father (his “da”) start bickering as they did in life. Town & Village theater critic Peter Von Mayrhauser recently called the banter “wildly funny,” noting that “playwright Leonard has a great ear for Irish blarney.” Director is Charlotte Moore. Tickets are $70 and can be bought online at irishrep.org or by calling (212) 727-2737.

Nude literary salon “Naked Girls Reading” will present works by Irish authors. (Photo by Angela McConnell)

Nude literary salon “Naked Girls Reading” will present works by Irish authors. (Photo by Angela McConnell)

Horse Trade Theater Group presents “Naked Girls Reading: The Emerald Isle,” on Wednesday, March 18 at from 8-10 p.m. at Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Pl. “Naked Girls Reading” is a monthly literary salon featuring readings by local burlesque performers and others who strip down to nothing.
This month, readers will share literature, history, musings and more by and about Ireland’s greatest authors: classics by Oscar Wilde and James Joyce; selections from contemporary authors; traditional folk tales and stories; and musings on the demon Drink by authors from Ireland and beyond.
Host Nasty Canasta will be joined by Evelyn Vinyl, Nina La Voix and Stormy Leather for this in-the-buff celebration, which they’ve promised will not involve green beer or foam leprechaun hats. Cover is $25 (two for $40). For tickets, visit www.horsetrade.info/under-st-marks.

The holidays in Stuy Town throughout the years

Santa (Town & Village publisher Charles G. Hagedorn) arrives at the Oval where he took over 250 photos with kids in 1949. (Photo from T&V archives)

Santa (Town & Village publisher Charles G. Hagedorn) arrives at the Oval where he took over 250 photos with kids in 1949. (Photo from T&V archives)

By Sabina Mollot
While much of the talk about Stuyvesant Town these days is about how much the place has changed in recent years, one thing that’s managed to remain the same is the community’s celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah.
Putting up Christmas decorations and a nativity scene on the Oval along with an ornamented tree has been a tradition for decades. Another longstanding tradition has been having Santa take pictures with residents, from kids to seniors. It was in 1949 when Charles Hagedorn, the publisher of this newspaper, donned a Santa suit to hear the Christmas wishes of over 250 children in Stuy Town. The appearance was sponsored by the Town & Village Camera Club with proceeds from each photo taken going towards the Town & Village Polio Fund for the Willard Parker Hospital. (A total of $253 was raised.)
In the Stuy Town community, other traditions during Christmas time have included tree lighting ceremonies, caroling and the occasional concert. Hanukkah too has also been recognized, celebrated over the decades with menorah lightings led by a resident rabbi and activities for kids and families.

Movies, folk dancing, Summer Streets and more outdoor events this week

This week the following, free events will be held outdoors in parks and other spaces open to the public.

 Folk dancing at Stuy Cove Park

July31 folk dancing

Folk dancing led by Christine Meyers

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association presents an evening of folk dancing led by Christine Meyers.

The session will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 7 p.m. at the park. No experience is necessary and all are welcome to attend regardless of age or fitness level. In the event of rain the event will take place on Sunday, August 3.

 

Movies at Waterside Plaza

Aug7 Bend It

“Bend it Like Beckham”

Waterside Plaza presents the return of RCN-sponsored movie nights on the plaza throughout August. Films will be shown on August 4 (“Bend it Like Beckham”), August 11 (“Kung Fu Panda”), August 18 (“Moneyball”) and (“Invincible”) August 25 at 8 p.m. (dusk) each night. No rain date. Event is cancelled if it rains.

Additionally, on August 16 at 8 p.m., Waterside will hold its first international food festival outside on the plaza. Event occurs rain or shine.

For more information, contact Yenneca Ketzis at yketzis@watersideplaza.com.

 

 Movies at Tompkins Square Park

AMPAS Gold Standard Series

David Bowie in “The Labyrinth”

Films in Tompkins presents screenings on Thursdays throughout the summer in the park, presented by Howl! Arts. See the Films in Tompkins Facebook page for updates.

On Aug. 7, “The Labyrinth” will be shown.

On Aug. 14, “Midnight Cowboy.”

 

Concert series concludes at Madison Square Park

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

Madison Square Park Conservancy will conclude the twelfth season of Mad Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series on Aug. 6 from 7-8:30 p.m., with a performance by Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. Concerts take place on the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park. The park is located at 23rd St. between Madison and Fifth Aves. Concerts occur rain or shine and are appropriate for the whole family. Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic (no chairs allowed. For more information, visit madisonsquarepark.org.

 

 Traveling theater in the East Village

“EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes A Selfie,” a musical comedy about a New York EMT worker, will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds. A local performance will be held on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. on First Ave. and 10th St. (Pictured) Foreground: Briana Bartenieff. L-R: Celeste Bradsher-Layne, Lily Frenaux, Terry Lee King, Justin Rodriguez, Primy Rivera, Danielle Hauser, Michael David Gordon (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

“EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes A Selfie,” a musical comedy about a New York EMT worker, will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds. A local performance will be held on Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. on First Ave. and 10th St.  (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

Theater for the New City presents “EMERGENCY!!! or The World Takes a Selfie,” a musical which will tour city streets, parks and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs from Aug. 2 to Sept. 14. The Sat., Aug. 2 show at 2 p.m. will take place in front of TNC, First Ave. and E. 10th St. The running time is one hour. Shows will take place at different sites in the five boroughs, returning to the East Village community for two performances in September. In this musical, a New York EMT worker is on a workingman’s grand tour of the world and decides to tackle global problems the way he does emergencies of his NYC beat. Every day, an EMT worker becomes inextricably entwined with the private lives of all kinds of New Yorkers, with all their personal crises. The hero of this play ministers to the widest variety of human beings, from vaudeville entertainers to ladies of the night to planet-saving protesters to occasional investigative journalists, one of whom makes him a sidekick for a worldwide expedition through trauma, violence, spying and accidental wars on a global scale. The music varies in style from bossa nova to hip hop to musical comedy to Gilbert & Sullivan.

Summer Streets

On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2013, more than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

A rest stop along the route will be located at East 25th Street and Park Avenue South. Additionally, the DOT will be offering free bike helmet fittings on East 24th Street and Park Avenue South on Saturday, August 2 from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fittings will also be offered during Summer Streets on August 9 and 16. For details, visit nyc.gov/summerstreets.

 

For even more events going on this week, including concerts, theater, kids’ events, art exhibits, burlesque and walking tours, see Town & Village’s Around & About section.

To find out about free events taking place throughout the city, see our Cutting Corners section.

For health related events, including free fitness classes, support groups and screenings, see Health and Fitness.

For events and services being organized by local houses of worship, see Religion in the Community.