Pets rescued, stores closed due to manhole fire under Stuy Town

Firetrucks line First Avenue. (Photo by Henry Beck)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday at around 6 p.m., an underground electrical fire broke out in a service box inside a manhole under Stuyvesant Town, shutting down the businesses along First Avenue from 18th to 20th Streets.

No one was injured but the amount of smoke meant the stores had to evacuate — including the animal residents at Petland.

Carole Husiak, owner of clothing store Ibiza Kidz, was at work when the overhead began to flicker. At the time, she thought there was something wrong with the store’s bulbs, but a few minutes later, Stuyvesant Town employees ran in to tell her to turn off all the store’s power and evacuate.

“There were hundreds of firemen and trucks as far as you could see in both directions,” said Husiak. “I think they were anticipating an explosion.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Outpouring of support for separated immigrant families shown in drive

Ibiza Kidz owner Carole Husiak with Council Member Keith Powers by some of the donated items (Photo courtesy of Keith Powers)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Motivated by recent news stories of children getting separated from their parents at the country’s southern border, local moms have collected more than a hundred donations in the last month for the children who have been displaced in New York.

Stuyvesant Town residents Rebekah Rosler and Emily Anderson, who started a company called MomMeetUps earlier this year for expectant and new mothers, reached out to their network when the story broke at the end of June and directed residents to drop off items at local shop Ibiza Kidz, where owner Carole Husiak, herself a Stuy Town resident, has also been soliciting donations from charitable people in the neighborhood through a Stuyvesant Town moms Facebook group.

“It was a community effort and because I’m a central neighborhood shop, it was a good place to bring things,” Husiak said. “That’s how it evolved. Everyone kind of jumped on it because we’re incensed by all this.”

Husiak has previously worked with civic-minded neighborhood residents, helping a local non-profit organization collect items for Syrian refugees last April. Husiak told Town & Village at the time that the organization was having trouble finding space for the donations so she volunteered her store as a drop-off site.

Continue reading

Stuyvesant Town store selling dolls made by Syrian refugee women to benefit their creators

The dolls come in sets of three: a father, a mother and a child, and each set tells the true story of a different family. (Photos by John King)

By Sabina Mollot

This holiday season, Stuyvesant Town boutique Ibiza Kidz is hoping to spread some cheer to Syrian women refugees, by selling dolls they’ve made with 100 percent of the money from the sales going towards helping them and others who are in the same position.

The elaborately embroidered dolls, which have just made their debut in the United States, arrived at the kids’ clothing shop last Friday. They come in sets of three (a mother, a father and child) and are meant to tell the stories of real refugee families.

Each one comes with a story parents are encouraged to read to their children that Ibiza Kidz owner Carole Husiak describes as “reality in a meaningful, kid-friendly way.

“It demystifies and explains the concept of people starting a new home, not to frighten children but explain what some families go through,” she said.

Continue reading

Stuy Town shop a hub for clothing drive for Syrian refugees

Amber Lewis, founder of Greater NYC Families for Syria, and Pratima Vijayakumar, donations leader, stand by a stuffed mini-van. (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

To a casual observer, two parked mini-vans on First Avenue on Saturday morning might have appeared to be owned by a hoarder, considering they were jam packed with bags of clothing, piled high against windows and ceilings.

The clothes, however, were all donated items and on Saturday, they were sent to the nonprofit NuDay Syria, which ships it into Syria and Beirut for Syrian refugees.

The donations (three van-loads in total) were collected, mostly from Stuyvesant Town families, as a partnership between Greater NYC Families for Syria and Stuy Town children’s clothing store Ibiza Kidz. Greater NYC Families for Syria is a group of mostly parents that collects clothing donations for Syrian refugees.

Continue reading

Indoor places to take your kids when it’s just too hot outside

The pool at Waterside can be used by non-members who purchase a day pass.

The pool at Waterside can be used by non-members who purchase a day pass.

By Sabina Mollot

While the city is finally starting to see some relief after a too-long heat wave made even more brutal due to the humidity, the summer is still only half over. Sure, there a variety of local, outdoor activities for kids scheduled throughout the summer (See T&V’s Around & About section for details), but those can get rained out and other times, it’s just too hot to be out all day. So, this week, Town & Village is putting the spotlight on a few local places where parents can bring their kids for some recreation in indoor, air-conditioned bliss.

One is Ibiza Kidz, the new shop in Stuyvesant Town which has branched out from just selling clothes, shoes and toys to offering weekly puppet shows.
Not long after opening the store around the holidays, Carole Husiak, who owns the business with her husband Johnny, started looking at additional ways to use the space on First Avenue. She ended up deciding to host puppet shows on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. The shows quickly became draws to the point where some parents were opting to pay for a few in advance at a discount rather than just dropping in. (That would be $22 as opposed to the $25 drop-in rate, which includes admission for the adult accompanying the child.) There are also occasional book readings.

Husiak, who also lives in Stuyvesant Town, explained, “We’re going beyond the classic retail concept. By focusing on more than just the merchandise it serves the community so much better. That’s what I’m hearing from all the parents.”

Continue reading

Ibiza Kidz store opens in Stuy Town

Owners Carole and Johnny Husiak, who also live in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Owners Carole and Johnny Husiak, who also live in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Ibiza Kidz, a children’s shop for shoes, clothing and toys located in Union Square, has expanded to open a second location in Stuyvesant Town.

The new store, like the other location between 12th and 13th Streets on Broadway, is owned by a couple that lives in Stuy Town, Carole and Johnny Husiak.

Carole said the idea to expand to her own neighborhood came from the property’s leasing agents, Rose Associates, who approached her about the 1800 square foot space.

“The agent said, ‘we have a space and we feel the community would benefit and is in need of a children’s store,’” Carole said. “So we came and loved it. It was a no-brainer. There was an absence of this kind of shop.”

This was five months ago. Negotiations started soon afterwards but were then delayed due to the sale of the complex to Blackstone in October.

However, it was important to the Husiaks to be open in time for the holidays, so Ibiza Kidz, which now has a 10-year lease, opened its doors on Saturday.

The space is on First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. This was most recently home to a RadioShack and Ibiza Kidz will also have access to the basement.

Continue reading