Updated: 5 Stuy Café applies for wine and beer license (application withdrawn)

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5 Stuy Cafe (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Update at 12:15 p.m.: Cooper Cafe has withdrawn its application and will not be at Community Board 6’s Thursday meeting, CB6 has told us.

By Sabina Mollot

The operators of 5 Stuy Café have applied for a wine, beer and cider license and the application will be among one of several to be discussed at a Community Board 6 meeting on Thursday evening.

Liquor and beer and wine licenses are granted or denied by the State Liquor Authority, but community boards have an advisory role.

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association mentioned the upcoming meeting in an email blast to tenants on Monday evening. It will be held by the CB6 Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the board office at 211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1404.

Meanwhile, Stuy Town general manager Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that after learning about the application, he would be requesting that it be withdrawn until the details are vetted by StuyTown Property Services. The café is run by a third-party operator called Cooper Café LLC.

Susan Steinberg, the president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, said the association has not taken a position on alcohol being served at the café.

“We acknowledge the many tenants who have requested the option of having a glass of beer or wine with their food,” said Steinberg. “We also acknowledge the many tenants who are concerned about the possible consequences (increased noise and commotion) that might arise as a result of the wine and beer license. An applicant who comes before the Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee of Community Board 6 will need to assure Board 6 and the public of their procedures to contain noise and nuisance. (Disclosure: I am Vice Chair of that committee; I can ask questions but will have to abstain from voting.)  Assuming the application is approved, if management is unable to contain behavior after a few months, the TA will come down hard.”

Performance on ice in Stuyvesant Town

man holding woman

On Sunday afternoon, Stuyvesant Town residents gathered at the ice rink for a performance by the Ice Theatre of New York. Following the outdoor show, attendees of all ages headed out onto the ice for some skate time of their own. The (residents and guests only) ice rink will remain open for the season through March 3. Tuesdays are free admission days for residents though this doesn’t include skate rental.

Photos by Sidney Goldberg

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Update: Bronx Zoo rep thinks lizard’s fake

The Department of Conservation said this lizard won’t be able to survive long in the cold. (Photo by Valerie Nilsson)

Update: We showed the photo of the lizard to a source at The Bronx Zoo who believes it is a fake due to the way it’s positioned.

By Sabina Mollot

Earlier in the week, Valerie Nilsson, a woman walking through Stuyvesant Oval spotted what appeared to be some kind of lizard in a patch of grass. However, the three-foot-long creature appeared to be so still she wondered if it was a toy or prop someone had put there as a prank. Later noticing it was gone, she posted a photo she took of the lizard on the local Facebook group Stuyvesant Moms to ask if anyone else had seen it.

So far, no one had and Stuyvesant Town management has said no one has reported it as a missing pet.

Town & Village sent the photo to the New York State Department of Conservation, where a spokesperson said based on the photo it appeared to be a Monitor Lizard in the Varanidae family of lizards.

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UPDATED: Two attempted robberies on Oval

Dec7 ST Christmas security booth

Security booth at Stuyvesant Oval (pictured December 2017)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuy Town’s Public Safety department is on the lookout for two male suspects who attempted to rob an older man as well as a couple in the Oval early on New Year’s Eve morning.

A Town & Village reader alerted us that as he was walking around the Oval at around 12:30 a.m., an older man was mugged by two people. Fortunately, the victim was able to get help from a couple of other people who happened to be around. The reader noticed this happened near the security booth, which was unmanned at the time.

Asked about this, Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk confirmed the incident, but said the victim wasn’t touched by the suspects.

According to Hayduk, they’d approached the man on the Oval and said, “Give us your money.” The resident refused and continued to walk away and they didn’t chase him. However, the pair then tried the same thing with a nearby couple, who also declined to turn over their money, and the would-be muggers fled empty-handed towards First Avenue.

“The first resident immediately reported it to Public Safety who canvassed the area (officers on foot and by video) to no avail,” Hayduk said, adding that the resident asked management not to call the NYPD.

Hayduk added, “The Oval booth is only occupied when the officer is seeking shelter, otherwise that officer is patrolling the Oval or the immediate vicinity.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect management’s statement that there was no physical contact between the suspects and the victim.

Man wanted for package thefts, vandalism in Stuy Town

Package theft suspect (Photo courtesy of StuyTown Property Services)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

In what seems to be an ongoing battle to stay a step ahead of local package thieves, a couple of buildings in Stuyvesant Town were hit recently by a man who management also believes is responsible for some graffiti.

StuyTown Property Services notified residents in an email this week that a man has been stealing packages and vandalizing apartment doors, most recently “piggybacking” into 649 East 14th Street on Monday. Packages were subsequently reported missing from the hallway and management believes that the man also vandalized a number of doors in 17 Stuyvesant Oval.

A resident confirmed to Town & Village last Friday that a delivery man had been running loose in the building, staying inside for 40 to 50 minutes last Wednesday, during which he drew penises on three apartment doors on two different floors and “trashed” the second floor, ripping open multiple packages, although it was unclear if anything was stolen from the boxes. The resident noted that the doors had been cleaned and repainted by Thursday.

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ST-PCV tenants meet District 4 City Council candidates

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By Kristy Ye-Ling

On Saturday afternoon, crowds came out for a meet and greet in Stuyvesant Oval with nine City Council candidates hoping to replace Dan Garodnick next year.

The representatives at the event, which was organized by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, were Rachel Honig (D), Jeffrey Mailman (D), Keith Powers (D), Bessie R. Schachter (D), Marti Speranza (D), Maria Castro (D), Barry Shapiro (D) and Vanessa Aronson. Republican Rebecca Harary, who’s an Orthodox Jew, couldn’t travel on the Sabbath but had a representative there.

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Neighborhood not on board with nixing Stuyvesant name

Following the Confederate monument controversy in Charlottesville and other Southern cities, debate has been swirling around New York City statues that could be considered symbols of hate, including The Peter Stuyvesant statue in Stuyvesant Square Park. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

While states in the South wrangle with whether or not to remove statues of Confederate soldiers, the controversy over monuments has moved closer to home for New Yorkers, with a group of Jewish activists advocating for the removal of Peter Stuyvesant’s name and monuments from city property because the former director-general was anti-Semitic. However, residents of Stuyvesant Town and park-goers in Stuyvesant Square this week weren’t having it.

“It’s all a waste of time,” said longtime Stuyvesant Town resident Don Burkett. “It’s all of this politically correct nonsense. All the problems in the country and they’re worried about a statue.”

The New York Post along with a handful of Jewish media outlets reported last week that the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center is demanding the mayor remove all mentions of Stuyvesant from city property in a bid to remove “symbols of hate” from the city.

“It would be like if they wanted to rename Gramercy,” said Peg Reilly, an artist who has been living on Avenue C for the last 20 years. “Who cares at this point? It’s history.”

Residents of Stuyvesant Town and park-goers in Stuyvesant Square alike said they weren’t even aware of Stuyvesant’s anti-Semitic proclivities.

Stuyvesant was said to have resisted Jewish refugees from Brazil from settling in New Amsterdam, and was also known to have been against additional religions other than his own, the Dutch Reform Church, such as Quakers and Lutherans. He also wouldn’t allow Jews to fight in the volunteer militia but then taxed them to have someone else fight in their stead.

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Peter Stuyvesant Little League to debut division for disabled kids

For Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk, the effort is also a family affair. Daughter Jordan (left) is the divsion’s co-chair and daughter Jamison (center) will be a player. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With baseball season about to begin, the Peter Stuyvesant Little League will be debuting a new division for players with disabilities.

The Challenger Division is open to would-be players of any age up to 18 with any type of physical or intellectual disability, and was the idea of Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk.

One of Hayduk’s three daughters, 11-year-old Jamison, has Down Syndrome, and had participated in a Challenger Ball team where the family lived prior to moving to the community, in South Florida. However, there was no local division — until now.

Jeff Ourvan, president of the PSLL, explained that the reason such divisions exist (as opposed to just letting kids with disabilities play on any other team) is for their own safety.

“Some of the kids, I understand, have some fairly restrictive physical disabilities,” explained Ourvan. “Obviously we can’t have those kids playing against 11-year-olds who throw 50 miles per hour. So it’s mostly from a safety perspective.”

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Stuy Town man arrested for dealing meth from apartment

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town (photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested an alleged meth dealer living in Stuyvesant Town last week after using the social networking app Grindr to track him down. Harold Gondrez, 65, was arrested in his apartment at 9 Stuyvesant Oval last Thursday at 6:15 a.m. Police had gotten a warrant to a search his apartment  after an undercover officer allegedly bought meth from him multiple times.

The officer who was investigating the case with Narcotics Borough Manhattan South made initial contact with Gondrez through the smartphone app, which is geared towards gay and bisexual men.

Police routinely conduct investigations in which they visit internet sites where drugs are known to be advertised for sale, according to law enforcement sources, and methamphetamine use is prevalent in the gay community. Drugs are typically advertised in coded language that police have come to recognize.

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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 13

Ice rink is still noisy

What chemicals are in the blue barrels stored in the ice skating rink? Are they hazardous? Fire engines responded to a call at 19 Stuyvesant Oval on Friday evening, October 24 around 8 p.m. (if not then Saturday evening). They were doing a sweep from the top floor on down. Response was perhaps to an odor of gas (not clear on the details of why they came, but I did overhear someone say it was due to the skating rink).

Follow up to the new tented recreational area on a playground that has been a basketball and volley ball court:

Welcome to my world! Those residents who are concerned about the noise level surrounding the new tented recreational area on playground, come to my apartment adjacent to the ice skating rink and you will find out what kind of noise levels that are in store for you! Every afternoon and mornings as well on weekends or holidays you can hear the screams and shouts of unsupervised children as they skate and slam into the boards for hours on end.

Where have you been, Tenants Association and our fave councilman Dan Garodnick regarding the constant disturbing noise level due to construction and deconstruction of the rink each year for months at a time and the daily noise level of the Zamboni cleaning the ice surface? There should be staff members on the ice at all times providing supervision and monitoring the children’s activities and keeping down the noise level. And please don’t scream out “Off the ice!” when a session is completed.

Why don’t they make a bubble or tent over the rink and keep the sound level enclosed as they are now providing at the tented recreational playground? Are we any less worthy of consideration in our neck of the woods?

And how about instead of being charged ridiculous MCIs in perpetuity, how about a rent reduction for the decreased quality of living due to the greed of making money on previously free playground space? Thanks for your consideration.

Richard Axel, ST

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Halloween event for kids in Stuyvesant Town

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Nate and Robbi Marmur with their children Ellery and Gorel, dressed up as Peanuts characters.

On Saturday afternoon, hundreds headed to the Oval for Stuyvesant Town’s annual Halloween fair for kids. Thanks to sunny skies and weather warm enough for kids to wear their costumes sans jackets, the crowd was even bigger than usual. This year, the free event also included live music, a pumpkin patch, crafts, bounce houses and a pop-up haunted house. There was plenty of creativity from families for costumes, including Peanuts characters (complete with Lucy’s psychiatric help stand), a homemade sanitation truck, a Day of the Dead character and some attendees also dressed up their dogs for a pooch costume contest.

The next big event scheduled to take place in Stuy Town will be the opening of the ice rink on Halloween. Kids who come in costume will get in free.

(Click through for more photos from the event. All photos by Sabina Mollot.)

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Pols sound off over noisy Oval concerts

Better Than Ezra

Better Than Ezra

By Sabina Mollot
Following two concerts that were held in Stuyvesant Town last week, including one by alternative rock group Better Than Ezra, local elected officials are calling on CWCapital to keep the noise level down during future events.
While noise complaints from residents living in Oval buildings following concerts or other big events on the lawn are nothing new, this year there apparently were more complaints than usual.

This was noted in a letter sent to CWCapital Managing Director Andrew MacArthur, which was signed by Council Member Dan Garodnick, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and State Senator Brad Hoylman. The letter was dated Tuesday, July 29 and in it, the politicians noted that “people complained from as far away as 272 First Avenue and 524 East 20th Streets,” about the loud music, “despite their efforts to tune it out.”

The letter added that there didn’t seem to be a way for frustrated tenants to complain to “resident services,” and recommended that management figure out a direct way for tenants to be able to reach someone with their concerns.
“On this, and other issues, we would welcome a more user-friendly mechanism for tenants to raise a concern with management,” Hoylman, Kavanagh and Garodnick said.
A spokesperson for CWCapital didn’t respond to a request for comment by T&V’s press time.

The concerts, part of Stuy Town’s returning Music on the Oval series, were limited to just the two concerts this year. The Better Than Ezra concert attracted a crowd of 700 people, according to management’s figures. Last year, the series included a performance by Soul Asylum, known best for the 90s alternative hit “Runaway Train.”

Upcoming events in Stuyvesant Town include film screenings, which are running most Wednesday nights through August 13 for residents and their guests. The next film to be shown is “The Sound of Music” on August 6 at 6 pm. On August 13, “Lego Movie” will be shown at 5 p.m. followed by “Fast and Furious 6” at 7 p.m.

UPDATE: The Tenants Association also released a statement, via email to neighbors, about the noise concerns.

Outdoor concerts taking place this week

Several free, outdoor concerts are scheduled for this week. Read on for details.

The Rutkowski Trio at a concert last year at Stuyvesant Cove Park

The Rutkowski Family Trio at a concert last year at Stuyvesant Cove Park

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association 2014 Concert Series continues with Paul Sachs, Amy Allison and Dave Murphy on Monday, July 21 from 6:30-8 p.m. Rain date is July 22. Later in the week on Wednesday, July 23, the Rutkowski Family Trio (pictured), joined by friends and vocalist Lisa Gary, will perform a repertoire of traditional jazz from 7-8 p.m. The rain date is Thursday, July 24. All concerts in the series are free and take place in the park at 23rd Street and the East River.

 

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Better Than Ezra

Music on the Oval has returned to Stuyvesant Town. All ST/PCV residents and their guests are invited to attend two concerts on Wed., July 23 and Thurs., July 24 at 6 p.m. both evenings. On July 23, Better Than Ezra will perform. Big Wake will open the show. On July 24, Ed Kowalczyk will perform. Sylvana Joyce + The Moment will open.

 

Jon Cleary

Jon Cleary

The Madison Square Park Conservancy presents Mad Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series, featuring award-winning performers in a range of genres  such as jazz, soul, R&B, funk, folk, world, Americana, and bluegrass.  On July 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. Jon Cleary will perform. Concerts take place on the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park.

 

Waterside Plaza will conclude its summer concert series, “Music Under the Stars” with a performance by Nu D’lux on July 23 at 7 p.m. There will be a beer and wine bar, with snacks available at the concession stand or hardier fare at the Robbins Nest cafe. Seating is limited. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

For information on even more concerts and other events taking place in the community, see Town & Village’s Around & About page. For information on free events taking place this week throughout the city, see Cutting Corners.

Events in the community this week

The following community and entertainment events are taking place this week.

Gramercy quality of life forum on July 15

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Manhattan Community Board Six and Gramercy Neighborhood Associates are co-hosting a community forum with representatives from NYC agencies, moderated by City Councilmember Rosie Mendez on July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Agencies will include New York County District Attorney’s office, NYPD’s 13th and 17th Precincts, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Parks Department and Department of Homeless Services.
It will take place in the School of the Future at 127 East 22nd Street between Park Ave and Lexington Avenue. Panelists will address quality of life issues in the Gramercy neighborhood, including homelessness, safety, traffic and sanitation. Residents can submit questions prior to the forum or in written form during the event.
For more information, contact events@gnaonline.org or office@cbsix.org.

 

Lectures, dance lessons, kids’ events at Stuyvesant Square Park

Tango lesson at Stuyvesant Square Park (Photo by Ute Lechmig)

Tango lesson at Stuyvesant Square Park (Photo by Ute Lechmig)

The Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association presents the following upcoming events at Stuyvesant Square Park:
Lunch and Learn events take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wednesday events, from 12:15-1 p.m., are hosted by NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Horticultural Therapy and Integrative Health Programs. July 16: Mind body movement (meditation), July 23: Herbal tea party.
Thursday events, from 1:15-2 p.m. are hosted by Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Jannie Wolff. July 24: Health and the uses of herbs.
Chair yoga Tuesdays with Birgit Nagele take place on July 15, 22 and 29 from noon-1 p.m. on the northwest lawn.
Tango Sundays with Esmerelda take place from 6-9 p.m. (beginner lessons at 6 p.m.) at the west fountain.
The NYC Parks Department presents “Play Mobile” on July 15 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
For updates and additional event information, visit spnanyc.org.

Movies on the Oval

Movies on the Oval has returned with a double-feature most Wednesdays through August 13 for ST/PCV residents and their guests. On July 16, 5 p.m. “The Croods,” 7 p.m. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

 

Music Under the Stars

Kaissa

Kaissa

Waterside Plaza’s summer concert series, “Music Under the Stars,” has returned with Wednesday concerts at 7 p.m. each night. There will be a beer and wine bar, with snacks available at the concession stand or hardier fare at the Robbins Nest cafe. Seating is limited on the Plaza. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.
July 16, Kaissa will perform. Hailing from the Republic of Cameroon and its vibrant culture, singer Kaissa has become an unmistakable representative of African music. Rain date is July 17.

 

 

July10 David Hershey Webb 2013

David Hershey-Webb and Friends at Stuyvesant Cove Park last year

David Hershey-Webb and friends will return to Stuyvesant Cove Park to perform original folk, country rock and R&B music on Monday, July 14th at 6:30 p.m. The show is part of the free summer concert series presented by The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association. In the event of rain the performance will take place on Tuesday, July 15.

For even more events going on including outdoor concerts, theater, comedy, kids’ events and more see T&V’s Around & About section.

For free events happening throughout the city, see Cutting Corners.

For local fitness events like free yoga in Union Square and qi gong at Waterside, check out T&V’s Health & Fitness listings.

For the latest programming and special events at local houses of worship, there’s also the Religion in the Community listings.

Perv grabbed butts of two women, one in Stuyvesant Oval, one on E. 14th Street

By Sabina Mollot
Police are looking for a bearded creep who grabbed the buttocks of two women as they were walking in the hallways of their buildings, one in Stuyvesant Oval, the other on East 14th Street.

The first incident was on May 18 at around 3 in the morning, when the unknown man grabbed a 24-year-old in her building on East 14th Street, then took off.
Police think the same man struck again on June 15, this time at around 2 a.m., touching a 22-year-old woman’s buttocks at Stuyvesant Oval, before running away. The exact addresses were not specified.

The suspect has been described as being 25-35, 5 ft. 10 ins. tall and weighing 175-200 lbs. His race isn’t known. He was last seen wearing a black sports jacket black dress pants, a light colored dress shirt, with black dress shoes. A surveillance video shows a man with a beard entering a Stuyvesant Town building.

When asked why police waited until July to make the incidents public, a spokesperson for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said it may have taken this long to determine that the two complaints were linked.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, in Stuyvesant Town on Friday, distributes fliers about the groping incidents. (Photo by Laura Morrison/Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman, in Stuyvesant Town on Friday, distributes fliers about the groping incidents. (Photo by Laura Morrison/Senator Hoylman)

Meanwhile, State Senator Brad Hoylman and a couple of volunteers distributed fliers to residents on First Avenue outside of Stuyvesant Town on Friday.  By the time they were done, about 1,000 fliers were handed out. Though a few residents had heard about the groper, most were surprised when he told them, Hoylman said. So far, no fliers have been put up in ST/PCV buildings, but Hoylman said he was told by police at the 13th Precinct that Stuy Town’s Public Safety department would be putting them up.
“Awareness is really a big part of this,” said Hoylman. “Not just in catching the perpetrator, but alerting residents so they can take appropriate precautions, and also showing solidarity with the victims.”

Brian Moriarty, a spokespeson for CWCapital, said, “Public Safety has worked closely with NYPD since the incidents and has provided its full cooperation.”

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.

Note: The post has been updated to include statements from Senator Hoylman and CWCapital.