Stuy Town resident making Shakespeare easy

(From left to right) Actors Tommy Walters, Benny Salerno and Ethan Fox with director Catherine Lamm (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Longtime Stuy Town resident and theater director Catherine Lamm wants to make the Bard accessible for even the most Shakespeare-averse, with a new production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Players Theatre debuting on March 12.

Lamm said that this is the first Shakespeare play she’s done that’s so playful and “loose” and she’d like to direct others to be as accessible to theater-goers who might be Shakespeare-phobic, although she said the format likely wouldn’t work as well with some of the more serious plays.

“This is very playful and very interactive and I don’t think it would work for Julius Caesar, but it would work for the comedies,” she said.

Lamm said that she’s seen probably over 100 productions of the play, including a hip-hop production at Edinburgh’s theater festival that used only a small amount of the original text and a lot of their own interpretation.

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Stuy Town teen reported missing

The teen was reported missing from Stuy Town on February 12.

The New York City Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a person reported missing on Wednesday, February 12 in Stuyvesant Town.

Police said that 16-year-old Sarah Sitorus was last seen at her apartment at 11 Stuyvesant Oval around 1 p.m. last Wednesday. She is described as 5′ 3″ tall, 140 pounds. She was last seen wearing all blue clothing.

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 or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Former Stuy Town resident writes book set in the neighborhood

Wayne pictured in his Stuyvesant Town apartment in 2012 (Photo by Christopher Gabello)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Former Stuy Town resident and author Teddy Wayne used his former home as inspiration for a new novel set in and around the property that is set to debut on February 25.

The novel, “Apartment,” is set in 1996, about seven years before Wayne moved into the neighborhood, so he conducted some background research on the neighborhood to make sure the details were accurate, such as whether or not the fountain was on the Oval then and if certain businesses in the area were open at the time. But Wayne said it was the environment in the neighborhood and the property that inspired him to examine the loneliness of these specific city dwellers.

“It was a formative place in my 20s,” he said. “I wanted to write a novel that revolves around this apartment and explore a friendship through this confined space.”

The story follows an unnamed narrator who is attending an MFA program while living in an illegal sublet in Stuyvesant Town, and he offers a spare bedroom rent-free to a classmate.

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Ave. A entrance for L train opening outside Stuy Town next week

A new entrance for the L train on the north side of East 14th Street at Avenue A is expected to open on Monday. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town will soon be getting its long-awaited subway at Avenue A when a new entrance for the L train opens on the north side of East 14th Street next week. The MTA and New York City Transit announced last Saturday that the north entrance at Avenue A for the First Avenue station is expected to open by Monday, February 10.

Shortly after the new entrance opens, the north side entrance at First Avenue and East 14th Street will be closed for renovations.

The First Avenue entrance on the south side of East 14th Street is currently scheduled to reopen in April, while the entrance on the north side should reopen in May. A representative for the MTA said that the entrance on the south side will take longer than the three months on the north side because of additional work at that entrance, including several structural steel beams that needed to be removed and replaced.

According to the L project newsletter, the L train will be accessible in both directions through this new entrance at Avenue A once the trains start running on one track only for the weekend work beginning on Friday, February 14 around 9:45 p.m. Subway riders should use the Avenue A entrance on the north side to access the train in both directions on weekends and on weeknights during single-tracking while the work on the First Avenue entrances is being completed.

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Stuy Town native writes book after surviving cancer

Alexa Cucchiara (Photo by Brian Edsall)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuy Town native Alexa Cucchiara is excited to be graduating from college next spring, but she has more reason to celebrate than most: she is doing so after surviving cancer and writing a book.

Cucchiara was a sophomore at Marist College in Poughkeepsie about two years ago when she started not feeling well and got a swollen lymph node about the size of a golf ball around her collarbone. She went to the doctor to get it checked but it wasn’t until September 2017 when she was about to start her junior year that a doctor confirmed that she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and would need chemotherapy.

“I turned 20 and then six days later I started chemo,” she said. “I would always joke around and would say, no, this is preparing me for adulthood. I would try to embrace it and have fun with it, even when I lost my hair and everything.”

Now studying at Fordham University in the Bronx to be closer to her family and network of friends who supported her while she was sick, Cucchiara at first couldn’t believe she had cancer and even when her doctor recommended surgery and chemotherapy for treatment, resisted the idea that she would have to leave school to recover.

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Town & Village holiday gift guide

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The holiday season is well underway and while more and more people do their gift shopping online lately, Town & Village has compiled a guide for local residents who want to support local businesses when picking up what they need for family members and friends.

For the kiddos

Pillows at Ibiza Kidz (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Kids of all ages can find something to cure their boredom at Ibiza Kidz at 340 First Avenue in Stuyvesant Town. Owner and Stuy Town resident Carole Husiak said that some of her most popular items for kids and even adults are the squishable pillows depicting cutesy anthropomorphic food characters. Available characters include a dog/hot dog, pizza, ice cream and others, but Husiak said that the stuffed avocado is the most popular.

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Christmas trees lighting up throughout the neighborhood

Stuyvesant Town celebrated their tree lighting on the Oval last Wednesday night. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Christmas season is in full swing throughout the neighborhood this month, with a number of areas celebrating the holiday with Christmas tree lightings, including Stuyvesant Town’s tree on the Oval and Madison Square Park, which holds the title of oldest tree lighting in the country.

StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk lead the annual reading of “Twas The Night Before a StuyTown Christmas” at the tree lighting on the Oval last Wednesday night, with a local twist on the Christmas classic, and Lucy & the Goossettes performed Christmas favorites throughout the evening while hot chocolate was served to the hundreds of residents who attended.

Santa Claus made an appearance at the lighting before the main event, when residents flipped the switch for the occasion.

Councilmember Carlina Rivera was on hand in Madison Square Park the following night last Thursday to help kick off the holidays for NoMad. The park has been celebrating the tree lighting for more than 100 years.

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Letters to the editor, Dec. 12

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Charged for new door

Recently I had to call 911 for a medical emergency. NYPD also came with them and proceeded to breakdown down my door, even after my telling them I could answer the door. Stuyvesant Town then made me pay $1,700 for the new door. That was my tuition money for Baruch College for a year. I am trying to finish my degree, even though I am elderly and disabled now. I couldn’t believe I had to pay for the door. Technically I didn’t break it. And you know Stuyvesant Town charges you for any damage you cause in the apartment. I did not cause this damage. I should have never been charged for this. Can anybody help?

Name withheld

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Woman arrested for stealing Stuy Town resident’s phone

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police arrested 33-year-old Anne Delacruz for allegedly stealing a man’s phone in Stuyvesant Town at the end of September. 

Police said that Delacruz was involved in a fight in front of 605 East 14th Street on September 22 at 11:32 p.m. when a Stuyvesant Town resident in his 30s attempted to break up the fight and separate Delacruz and the person that she was fighting with. The victim said that in the process of trying to break the fight up, he was assaulted and Delacruz allegedly stole his cell phone. 

The victim told police that Delacruz punched him in the face, neck and back, causing bruising, redness, scratches and substantial pain, then she allegedly grabbed his phone from his hand. 

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Police Watch: Pair arrested for trespassing in Stuy Town, Teen arrested for 14th St. robbery

PAIR ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING IN STUY TOWN
Police arrested 19-year-old Jose Lopez for alleged criminal trespass inside 453 East 14th Street on Monday, September 30 at 10:43 a.m. The victim told police that Lopez and a teenage girl entered the building by following a resident who opened the door at the location. A tenant called public safety about people in the stairwell and a public safety officer reportedly approached Lopez and the girl on the 12th floor around 9 a.m. that morning.

Police said that the pair then fled down the stairs to the 9th floor, where the officer was able to stop them. The girl allegedly said that she was at the building visiting a friend, but did not have the last name of the friend and did not know the address of the building she was in or the apartment number of the alleged friend. Signs posted along the walls of the location before entering states no trespassing.

TEEN BUSTED FOR EAST 14TH ST. ROBBERY
Police arrested a teenager inside the 13th precinct on Friday, September 27 at 12:15 p.m. for a previous robbery.

Police said that the incident occurred in front of 349 East 14th Street on July 14 at 8:40 p.m. The teen reportedly reached into the victim’s pocket from behind and the victim then struggled with the teen when he realized that his wallet had been stolen. Police said the victim was in his 60s.

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Teen arrested for Stuy Town robbery charged with previous murder

Suspect David Young

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police have arrested 17-year-old David Young in connection with the robbery of a Stuyvesant Town senior on September 16 around 7:40 p.m. in front of her apartment at 430 East 20th Street and have also charged him with a homicide that occurred in the Lower East Side this summer.

Young was charged with robbery inside the 13th precinct on Tuesday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. and following his arrest, was charged in connection with the homicide, which police said occurred at the Lillian Wald Houses at 20 Avenue D on July 13.

The robbery in Stuyvesant Town occurred in front of 430 East 20th Street on the M level adjacent to Playground 1. Police said that Young and a teenage girl were outside the building when the victim was walking towards the door attempting to get inside. Young reportedly told her that his phone was dead and wanted the victim to help them get inside, and when she said that they needed to call security, one of the teens allegedly said that she wouldn’t help them because they were black.

The victim then turned to walk away from the building and the teens allegedly grabbed her from behind, knocking her to the ground before grabbing her purse and fleeing the scene. The teenage girl, a resident of Good Shepherd Services on East 17th Street, was arrested the following day. Young was caught last Tuesday.

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Associated closing in Stuyvesant Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town on East 14th Street will likely be closing by the end of this year, StuyTown general manager Rick Hayduk announced in an email to residents last Friday afternoon.

Hayduk noted in the message that management has been working with the store in an attempt to keep the market open through the holiday season, including by offering free rent, but the store reportedly still would not be able to guarantee that it could stay open through the end of the year.

The owners told management that the competitive environment for supermarkets, both locally and due to online ordering, led them to the decision to close.

Norman Quintanilla, who has been the manager at the store for the last 16 years, told Town & Village on Tuesday that they have notified employees that the last day would be December 10, but the store will likely end up closing by the end of November.

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UPDATE: Teen arrested for robbery in Stuyvesant Town

Suspect David Young

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A 17-year-old girl was arrested for assaulting a senior while she was trying to get into her building in Stuyvesant Town on Monday evening. 

Police said that the victim, who is older than 65, was walking up to the building at 430 East 20th Street around 7:40 p.m. on September 16 when she spotted the teens, a boy and a girl, standing outside the door. As she approached the building, she said that one of the teens told her that his phone was dead and wanted her to let them inside the building. 

The victim said that she told them they needed to call security if they wanted help getting inside and one of the teens allegedly responded, “You’re not opening the door because we’re black.”

The victim said that she then turned around to walk away from the building when the teens grabbed her from behind and knocked her to the ground before grabbing her purse and fleeing the scene by heading west. 

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Teens wanted for robbery in Stuyvesant Town

430 East 20th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police are looking for two teenagers who reportedly robbed a woman while she was trying to get into her building in Stuyvesant Town yesterday evening. 

The victim told police that she was walking up to the building at 430 East 20th Street around 7:40 p.m. on Monday, September 16 when she spotted the teens, a boy and a girl, standing outside the door. As she approached the building, she said that one of the teens told her that his phone was dead and wanted her to let them inside the building. 

The victim said that she told them they needed to call security if they wanted help getting inside and one of the teens allegedly responded, “You’re not opening the door because we’re black.”

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Flea market founder dies at age 86

Dolores Dolan

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Longtime Stuyvesant Town resident Dolores Dolan passed away at age 86 on Sunday, September 1.

A former news clerk at the New York Times as well as a model, Dolan was the Stuyvesant Town resident who originally pitched the idea of a flea market to management about 45 years ago, and also encouraged current management to bring the market back.

Town & Village spoke with Dolan when the flea market initially returned to Stuy Town. She was excited about the prospect and said that she was considering setting up a table herself.

“Maybe it’s time for me to get rid of some of my stuff,” she said when management announced the market would make a comeback in 2016. “That’s the idea and hopefully other people have an interest, but it’s also a social thing, particularly when the weather’s nice.”

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