AR Workshop owner Jill Zadie opened up in Gramercy on Third Avenue in March. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Heads up, crafters: there’s a new workshop space in town. A new location for national company AR Workshop has opened on Third Avenue and is offering DIY classes for projects in the retail space formerly occupied by clothing shop, Second Time Around.
The new spot in Gramercy that opened this past March is run by Murray Hill resident Jill Zadie, who has been living in the neighborhood for the last eight years and is originally from New Jersey. Her store on Third Avenue is the first location in Manhattan for AR Workshop and it was actually when she was visiting friends back in New Jersey that she first attended a class in one of the locations there.
“I just fell in love with it, and I said I wish they had this in Manhattan,” she said. “Then the owner of that workshop told me they’re a brand new company that is not in Manhattan yet and you should look into it. So I looked into it.”
Zadie, who is a corporate attorney by trade, said that she was drawn to the company because of their commitment to empowering women, giving back to the community and having a space for families to spend time together.
Following Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh’s easy victory at the polls last week for the downtown Senate seat he wanted, two Democrat candidates have expressed interest in filling the now vacant 74th District Assembly seat.
One of them is Harvey Epstein, a tenant representative on the Rent Guidelines Board and the project director of the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center. The other is Mike Corbett, an aide to Queens-based City Council Member Costa Constantinides and a former teamster. Marie Ternes, a communications consultant who previously worked for then-Congress Member Anthony Weiner, said she is considering running.
Corbett, Epstein and Ternes spoke with a Town & Village reporter this week, although Ternes declined to be interviewed at this time since she hasn’t yet made a decision on running.
It’s expected that there will be a County Committee vote held by each party to determine who will get onto the ballot for a special election. However, it’s still unclear when the vote will be or when the election will be, since a special election must be called by the governor. Another possible, though unlikely, scenario is that there will be a primary in June when there’s a Congressional primary, or even later.
Council Member Dan Garodnick with Mayor Bill de Blasio at a recent town hall (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
If you missed the recent town hall with Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted by Council Member Dan Garodnick, you can still share your thoughts with the mayor at another town hall on October 12 at 7 p.m. to be hosted by Council Member Rosie Mendez.
The event is intended for residents of the Council District 2, encompassing the neighborhoods of East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill and Rose Hill. Along with Mendez, co-sponsors are Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Community Boards 2, 3, 5 and 6, Grand Street Settlement, Henry Street Settlement and the Loisaida Center. Along with the mayor, commissioners and NYPD representatives will be present.
Mendez, in an email to constituents, has also mentioned the following rules: Each constituent who is called on to ask a question will be able to ask one question. No signs will be permitted into the event. Chanting is not allowed.
TWO WANTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY AT BUBBLE TEA SPOT
The NYPD is on the lookout for two men who tried to rob a bubble tea shop in Flatiron.
On Friday, August 11 at 7 p.m., two men entered a Coco bubble tea spot, located at 38 Lexington Avenue and East 24th Street. One of the men approached the counter, simulated a gun with his hand under his sweatshirt and demanded cash from the register. However, they ended up fleeing the location without getting any money.
The first suspect is described as black, 20-30 years old and was last seen wearing a blue head scarf, white hooded sweat jacket, green knapsack, blue jeans and black shoes.
The second suspect is described as white or Hispanic, approximately 20-30 years old and was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, gray hooded sweat jacket, white T-shirt, blue jeans, sneakers and was walking with a cane.
Anyone with information in regards 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 Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Stuyvesant Town leasing office (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police busted a woman and her son for attempting to lease an apartment in Peter Cooper Village and in Murray Hill with an allegedly stolen identity last Tuesday. Christine Thompson, 48, and 19-year-old Christopher Vlado were arrested inside the Stuyvesant Town leasing office at 252 First Avenue after the pair went through the application process for apartments at 370 First Avenue in Peter Cooper and at 12 East 37th Street in April.
Thompson and Vlado allegedly toured the apartment in Peter Cooper Village on April 14.
The DA’s office said that Thompson went into the Stuy Town leasing office on April 22 and applied for the Peter Cooper apartment, allegedly presenting herself as the victim whose ID was being used. She reportedly signed the application that day and returned to the leasing office last Tuesday to sign the lease agreement. According to the DA’s office, Vlado sat with Thompson while she went through the application and pointed out where she needed to sign the victim’s name. She allegedly signed the victim’s name 33 times on the lease agreement and provided management with 12 money orders, each with the victim’s name in the signature.
Cops are on the lookout for a thief who’s been raiding lockers at Manhattan gyms for cash, clothes, laptops and other electronics since last September.
Police are currently aware of 14 thefts downtown, midtown and in Murray Hill and Chelsea as well as one incident in Gramercy, all at different locations of the New York Sports Club.
In the Gramercy incident, on October 13, the thief stole a 22-year-old man’s credit cards and keys from an unlocked locker at the New York Sports Club at 113 East 23rd Street near Park Avenue South. Based on surveillance photos, the white, very short-haired suspect is easily able to blend in, arriving to each place in workout gear or in casual clothing.
The first gym hit was the NYSC at 1221 Avenue of the Americas and 43rd Street, where the man made off with a backpack from an unlocked locker. He also took the victim’s shoes, headphones, credit cards and clothing.
Police say he stole 14 times from different Manhattan locations of the gym.
Back in October, the commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney warned the community at a meeting about a rash of gym locker thefts. New York Sports Club, he noted, was an especially popular target. He recommended that gym users get master locks that require keys.
Anyone with information about the gym thefts 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 Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Parent Mitch Horowitz said this man urinated on the street and then lingered by a schoolbus, smiling at the kids inside.
By Sabina Mollot
Residents of Kips Bay have long complained about homeless men in the area being out of control but on Friday morning, the antics of one bum managed even to shock locals when he dropped his pants and peed across the street from a school.
Around two dozen fourth graders were outside the school on East 33rd Street, PS 116, when it happened, as was one boy’s father, who was there to chaperone a class trip.
The parent, Mitch Horowitz, watched as the man exposed himself and urinated, not bothering to face away from the kids outside. “He was not even standing next to a wall,” said Horowitz. “He was in full view of passersby and kids who were lined up outside.”
Fortunately, Horowitz said, he didn’t think any of the kids happened to see this, since they were busy talking amongst themselves about Pokemon and other matters.
“Thank God for childhood,” said Horowitz. “They weren’t scrutinizing things going on across the street like I am.”
Stuyvesant Town resident Kate McHugh has replaced James Hayes as principal at Epiphany School. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
After nearly four decades, The Epiphany School will have a new principal.
Former principal — and now school foundation president — James Hayes left the position in June to much fanfare and a 200-person flash mob.
Taking over for him is the former assistant principal, Stuyvesant Town resident Kate McHugh, who joined the school 15 years ago as a science teacher. She is also a graduate of the Catholic school, which now has 560 students.
During a recent interview, McHugh said she’s not planning any major changes, just tweaks to the current curriculum with the goal of doing what it takes to make sure students are confident, both in their faith and in being prepared for the realities of the day’s highly technological world.
“We’ve increased the amount of technology a lot in 15 years,” McHugh said, “mirroring what’s going on in society.”
In case you’re wondering how your building, or the whole neighborhood for that measure, compares to others in terms of heat complaints, apartment listings site RentHop has compiled a map based on complaint calls to 311 made during the last heat season.
According to its data on unique callers, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village residents made a measly 56 complaints, in comparison with East Villagers who made over seven times that many at 396. The Murray Hill-Kips Bay area also had significantly fewer with 144 calls while Gramercy residents made 119 calls. Lower East Siders made 160, Chinatown 213.
The coldest New Yorkers hailed from lower-income neighborhoods such as Washington Heights in Manhattan (1,935 in the north and south sections) and Crown Heights in Brooklyn (1,382 in the north and south sections). But along with the East Village, another pricey Manhattan neighborhood where residents said they lacked adequate heat was the Upper West Side with a total of 629 complaints.
Revelers at an East Village bar during a previous year’s Santacon (Photo by Allegra Kogan)
By Sabina Mollot
Santacon, the annual event in which revelers stumble from one watering hole to the next while dressed as Santa, is apparently not a pub crawl at all.
So say the organizers in an open letter to local elected officials who on Monday, in their own letter, had asked the organizers to rein in the massive event, and publicly disclose its route ahead of time.
Santacon’s letter was signed by the group’s attorney Norman Siegel and nameless “NYC Santacon organizers,” who wrote, “Santacon is not a bar-crawl as you call it. Thousands of your constituents participate in and enjoy Santacon.”
The organizers have steadfastly remained anonymous. This letter, sent to the media via email, came from “Kristopher Kringle” and an interview with a head organizer in Gothamist would only reveal that he was a 40-year-old resident of the East Village.
The letter also claimed that the organizers had disclosed the route for this year’s event, which takes place on Saturday, to the NYPD.
Kidz Central station founder and CEO Lauren Pohl said she got the idea for the business when searching online for classes for her daughter. (Photo by Priyanca Rao Photography)
By Sabina Mollot
It was three years ago when Lauren Pohl, a Kips Bay resident and mom, started a website aimed at listing all the elusive classes for kids in the city that she’d discovered were actually kind of hard to find. She learned this one day when Googling music classes for her daughter wound up being an unsuccessful effort, leading to disorganized or otherwise useless information. She was fortunately able to find the information she needed through friends’ recommendations.
However, at the time, Pohl, a corporate attorney who had been doing much of her purchasing online, through sites like diapers.com and FreshDirect, thought to herself that there had to be an easier way to find classes and camps for kids.
When it turned out that there wasn’t, she started her own company, called Kidz Central Station. Since then, what was a one-woman operation has grown into a booming little business with five employees, four of whom are full time. The company’s name is a nod to the Grand Central neighborhood, since in the beginning, the service was focused on the nearby neighborhoods of Murray Hill, Kips Bay and Gramercy.
In the streets surrounding the men’s shelter at Bellevue, neighbors in recent months have been snapping photos of homeless men when they spot anything that seems alarming, whether it’s public lewdness or aggressive behavior. The photos often get sent to local police and homeless officials and sometimes on the neighborhood Facebook page 33rd and Third (And Beyond).
Now, those residents should have any easier time chronicling their complaints, thanks to an app created by a Murray Hill data engineer and programmer. The free app allows users to post their photos onto a map, which then lets other users know, through pins, the locations where particular homeless people are camping out in real time. It also offers a variety of hashtags for users to choose from depending on the situation, such as #aggressivebegging or #needsmedicalattention. So far, midtown has been the most heavily tagged area.
Police are looking for two men on bikes who swiped two women’s iPhones in Gramercy and Murray Hill.
Both incidents took place in June, but police released the information, along with surveillance photos of the robbery suspects, on Thursday.
On Tuesday, June 16 at 9:15 p.m., a 28-year-old woman was walking in front of 459 Park Avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets, when the men rode up on their bicycles and snatched her iPhone 6 as she was using it. The suspects then pedaled away.
On Monday, June 22, at 5:05 a.m., a 24-year-old female was walking in the vicinity of Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street when the suspects rode over to her and stole the iPhone 6 from out of her hand. The men then fled the scene.
There were no reported injuries in either incident.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES), then enter TIP577.
Peter Stuyvesant Little League’s new president has written a book on coaching youth baseball. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
The 750 members of the Peter Stuyvesant Little League have a new leader after its president for the past five years, Peter Ramos, recently decided to end his run.
The new president is Jeff Ourvan, a literary agent and nonpracticing attorney who has three sons, two of them who are current league members. Ourvan is also the author of a book called How to Coach Youth Baseball so Every Kid Wins, which was published by Skyhorse in 2012.
This week, Ourvan stopped by T&V’s West 22nd Street office (his own office is just a couple of blocks away) and discussed his goals for the league as well as the significance of Little League to the kids who participate, playing baseball, softball or tee-ball.
“Little League for boys and girls is extraordinary,” said Ourvan. “If you’re eight or nine years old, this is what you live for.”
He added that his oldest son who’s now 15 and had played in Little League, still enjoys baseball and is even hoping to get into college with a sports scholarship.
On getting kids to want to play or just keep playing as they get older, Ourvan said the trick is to get them out of their comfort zones just a little with each practice and game.
“It’s creating an environment where a child can have fun but also challenge themselves,” he said. “Anyone can play.”
He also said parents’ support is crucial. This means not just dropping their kids off at games and practice but also playing catch with them.
Goal-wise, Ourvan said one of his priorities is to get more parents involved in coaching, which, as a 10-year-veteran of the volunteer practice, he is certainly an advocate of.
“It’s amazing to coach your own kid; it’s like a rite of passage in parenthood,” he said. “It’s fun to be on the field again giving support. And coaches have families and we work so we’re flexible.”
Ourvan has been on the board of the PSLL for the past five years, and on his moving up to president, he admits it wasn’t a hotly contested battle.
“Nobody wants the job,” he said. But he was also quick to note that the league is a relatively well-oiled machine with many parents eager to help out whether it’s by being in charge of concessions or handling the league’s insurance. There are also around 200 coaches.
“The league opened my eyes to the community of Manhattan,” said Ourvan, who lives in Murray Hill. “There’s so much of a family community feeling that I don’t think we noticed before we had a family. For parents, (little league) is a social opportunity and it’s fun.”
Another goal for this year is to keep older kids from leaving the league which tends to happen once players hit high school age. At that point, they’ll sometimes prefer to play on travel teams with their schools. However, Ourvan said he hopes they’ll stick around as coaches or umpires.
“A lot of these kids have younger brothers and sisters still in the league,” he said. “So we want to be able to retain some of those kids.”
The third of Ourvan’s goals for the league is to get it more competitive. Two seasons ago, the PSLL won a district title and he’s hoping for a state championship in 2015. He’s confident about player improvement since some of the league members will have an edge they didn’t have before, which is pre-season practice time at the newly tented Playground 11 in Stuyvesant Town. The spacious, heated tent, which has been branded by CWCapital as “The Courts at Stuy Town” opened recently and is currently housing a few winter sports programs.
Before its opening, management had approached the league to see if its members would be interested in a baseball clinic there, and Ourvan said they agreed without hesitation. While there is a fee for participants to cover the cost of pro coaches and some new equipment, the PSLL is not being charged for the space by CW. The clinic began on December 5, with around 160 kids showing up, and it will run through March.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for us,” Ourvan said, explaining that due to the cold winters in New York, it can be difficult for local kids to compete with Little Leaguers in other states like California or Florida who have more time outdoors. “To now have the extra months is going to be a huge help for our league.”
That said, he made sure to add it’s not about winning titles or games, but seeing kids improve and develop confidence. He recalled how last year one of his son’s teams had been struggling all season only to end up coming close to winning a big game.
“They almost made it to the finals and they were crying that they didn’t win,” said Ourvan. “They believed they were going to win. It ultimately was an amazing victory because they did their best and if you do your best you win.”
The 2015 season of Little League begins in April and registration for the Peter Stuyvesant Little League opened on Wednesday. Registration currently costs $175 per player and $150 for additional siblings. After January 10, the cost goes up to $200 per player and $175 for siblings, and can be done online at psll.org.