The Flatiron BID is responsible for the public plazas adjacent to the Flatiron building. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership will be hosting the first of multiple meetings next Thursday to get public input on a proposed expansion for the business improvement district (BID).
Executive Director James Mettham said that one of the goals of the proposed expansion is to fill in the gaps since the BID was first established in 2006 and create a more cohesive district that reflects the neighborhood.
“Part of the effort about expanding is to say look, Flatiron is growing, but the NoMad and Sixth Avenue corridors have changed pretty drastically as well,” he said. “We feel that there’s a symbiotic relationship between the neighborhoods and what’s good for one is good for the other.”
The BID’s current boundaries are generally 21st Street to the south, Sixth Avenue to the west, 28th Street to the north and Park Avenue South to the east, although there are some blocks that extend the district to Third Avenue near Baruch, and other parts of the district on the western side are cut off mid-block before Sixth Avenue.
TEEN BUSTED FOR ROBBERY FROM TAXI
Police arrested a teenager for a robbery at the corner of East 27th Street and First Avenue on Thursday, July 4 at 9:11 p.m. A cab driver told police that the teen entered his green taxi through the front passenger door, attempting to punch the driver in the face, and proceeded to grab money from the victim’s front shirt pocket and his cell phone from the car before fleeing on foot. Police said that the teen used to live in the Administration for Children’s Services facility at 492 First Avenue but no longer resides there.
MAN NABBED FOR UNION SQUARE WALLET-SNATCHING
Police arrested 25-year-old Peter Cangelosi for an alleged theft from inside the Union Square subway station at Union Square East and East 14th Street on Tuesday, July 2 at 9:10 p.m. Police said that on June 17 around 11 a.m., Cangelosi allegedly asked for a MetroCard swipe into the station. After the victim swiped him into the subway, Cangelosi allegedly snatched the victim’s wallet from his hand and ran into the station. The victim told police that he chased Cangelosi but lost him inside the station. When the victim contacted his credit card company, he found that there had been multiple attempts to use his card.
Police said that the victim viewed a blind photo array on June 24 and identified Cangelosi as the person who grabbed his wallet and Cangelosi allegedly identified himself on surveillance video from the station. Cangelosi was charged with grand larceny and identity theft.
Police arrested a man in NoMad for allegedly attempting to bribe city officials in exchange for passing a gas inspection last week.
Yonghuang Zheng, 49, allegedly offered cash to two Department of Buildings inspectors in exchange for passing a gas inspection at 52 West 28th Street on Wednesday, April 3 at 2:50 p.m.
According to the district attorney’s office, an inspector saw that the set-up in the building was not up to code and there was no licensed plumber at the location, which is required for gas turn-on inspections. Zheng then allegedly offered the inspector money in order to pass the inspection and said, “Please do not fail me. I will take care of you.”
Cops are on the lookout for a burglar who swiped an iPad and other things from Bazar, a tapas bar/restaurant in NoMad on Saturday, December 22.
Police said he was seen entering the restaurant located at 31 West 26th Street through a front door at about 6:10 a.m. and then proceeded to take an iPad Touch worth $200, and tools including a drill, bottles of Windex and a box of gloves. There was no sign of forced entry. The suspect, based on a fuzzy surveillance photo, is a black man last seen in a blue beanie hat.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.
Cops are on the lookout for a man who smashed the glass of a Kips Bay synagogue’s message board in the wee hours of the morning.
The incident occurred on Saturday, November 10, but the information was only released by the NYPD on Tuesday night.
Police said that at around 3 a.m., the man broke the board at Congregation Adareth El, located at 133 East 29th Street and Lexington Avenue, with his elbow, then proceeded to keep walking down the street, heading east.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned man with a beard; last seen wearing a dark colored hooded sweater, a dark colored jacket, dark colored pants and light colored sneakers.
Anyone with information in regard 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 CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Cops are on the lookout for a man who robbed a 16-year-old of his phone last Thursday.
The victim told police he was in front of 110 East 30th Street at around 8:30 a.m. when the robber snuck up behind him and forcibly grabbed the cell phone from his bag. The man then fled south on Park Avenue South. The phone was said to be worth $500.
The suspect is described as black, 35 years old, 6’01” tall and 200 lbs. He was last seen wearing all a red hoodie, green coat and tan pants. Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.
A 16-year-old has been reported missing after last being seen on Tuesday, November 20 at 1 p.m. at the Redbury Hotel at 29 East 29th Street.
Eunmin Han, whose residence was listed as the hotel, is described as Asian, approximately 6’2″ tall, 150 lbs., with a thin build, brown eyes and black hair.
Anyone with information 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 CrimeStoppers website nypdcrimstoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
This building on Sixth Avenue and 24th Street was once home to Koster & Bial, a music hall where scantily clad dancers would spend time with guests in private rooms. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
While these days, the neighborhoods of Flatiron and NoMad are known for their newly built, trendy hotels and an increase in families moving into the neighborhood, what few who even live there know is that at one time it was home to numerous houses of ill repute, gambling dens and saloons.
This was during an era that spanned from about 1870 to 1910, with the area then commonly known as the Tenderloin. It was also called Satan’s Circus, or at least it was by the Tenderloin’s most vocal critic, Reverend Charles Parkhurst of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, while slamming it in a Sunday sermon.
Over a century later, that swath of the city can still be explored — or at least the area that once housed those infernal brothels as well as hotels and dance halls where much of the action took place — through a weekly walking tour.
The tour, coordinated through the Museum of Sex on Fifth Avenue, is led by Robert Brenner, a veteran New York tour giver. He is also an almost 30-year resident of Chelsea, in a section of the neighborhood that was once within the confines of the Tenderloin, the boundaries of which have shifted over the decades.
Administration for Children’s Services facility in Kips Bay (Photo via Google Maps)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police arrested five teenagers who used to live at the Administration for Children’s Services building for an alleged robbery that took place last Wednesday at the corner of East 30th Street and First Avenue, a block away from the facility.
Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Nazairo, 18-year-old Eahquan Cleaves and 18-year-old Amias Bettis, as well as a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, approached a man in his 40s in the early hours on August 29 at 12:05 a.m. Police said that Nazairo punched him in the back of the head and the jaw. The teens then allegedly grabbed the victim’s headphones and demanded his wallet.
Cleaves was arrested at the corner of First Avenue and East 30th Street, and Nazairo, Bettis and the two younger teenagers were caught at Second Avenue and East 27th Street after police searched the area.
The suspect is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
The suspect is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
Police are looking for a man who’s been scrawling swastikas and penises on doors in apartment buildings in NoMad, Chelsea and Lower Manhattan.
Police said the man began his crude graffiti spree on Sunday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. when he strolled into a residential building on Madison Avenue and East 29th Street, went to the 48th floor and drew a swastika on two of the doors and a penis on another door. He added the tag “Max G was here” on another door.
Police are looking for two men who attempted to rob local Chase Banks in separate incidents.
On Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m., a man strolled into a bank at 501 Second Avenue and 28th Street, approached a teller and passed a note demanding money. The teller didn’t comply, though, and the suspect fled the scene. He was last seen walking southbound on Second Avenue.
The would-be robber of the Kips Bay bank is described as being white, 35-40 years old, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build. Police also said he had a light complexion with blisters around his mouth and a tattoo on his neck. At the time of the incident he was wearing blue jeans, a beige baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt and a black hooded jacket.
Police are also looking for a man who tried to rob a Chase Bank in NoMad on Friday, but left emptyhanded.
Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services, the Human Resources Administration and non-profit organizations focusing on homelessness participated in the panel, which was facilitated by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (far right). (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Recently, the city has begun using hotels in Flatiron and NoMad as temporary homeless shelters, and the practice has area residents outraged.
New shelter neighbors gathered at the American Sign Language School last Tuesday evening to voice their concerns about the shelters as well as the homeless population in general.
A number of residents at the meeting insisted that they were empathetic to the homeless and acknowledged that it is a small percentage of the population that is causing problems, but many who spoke said that safety was a serious concern.
“The risk doesn’t come from the 70 percent of the homeless population who are working poor, who are just trying to get by,” Third Avenue resident Thandi Gordon-Stein said. “We’re worried about the other 30 percent who are convicted criminals and sex offenders. When you add so many facilities in one neighborhood, it becomes a danger. They say we should call 311 or the police but that’s not working.”
Many at the meeting said they were worried that the neighborhood could become oversaturated with homeless facilities. Matt Borden, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Homeless Services, argued that the decision to use hotels in Flatiron and NoMad was based on the so-called “Fair Share Criteria,” which is supposed to prevent neighborhoods from getting saturated with shelters and making sure other areas are home to some. According to the data from DHS, which examines the homeless population within community district lines, Community Board 5 is under the city average of 1,016.