As we all got to experience, the city was basically shut down last Thursday thanks to a pesky blizzard. With Mayor de Blasio having urged New Yorkers to stay off the roads and public school children getting a day off, things weren’t too bad as far as emergencies are concerned. In Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, residents were warned employees would be slower to respond to service requests with workers having to prioritize snow removal. Fortunately once the snow stopped burying the ground below, kids who braved the cold did get some well-deserved play time.
MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING HIS MOTHER IN STUY TOWN APARTMENT
Police arrested a 48-year-old man for assault inside his Stuyvesant Town building last Sunday at 4 a.m. The victim told police that she got into an argument with the suspect, who is her son, when he allegedly hit her on the hand with an unknown object, causing swelling to her wrist.
Police said that the suspect, whose name is being withheld by Town & Village to protect the victim’s privacy, then punched his mother repeatedly, causing swelling to her forehead, and he allegedly bit her nose. Police said that he also turned off her breathing machine. The victim told police that her son turns off the oxygen on her breathing machine on a daily basis and she is in fear for her life. The son was also charged with endangering the vulnerable elderly.
Marynia Kruk, a spokesperson for Stuyvesant Town management, said, “StuyTown Property Services is aware of the incident. Our Public Safety team responded and notified NYPD, and as always will cooperate with their investigation as needed.”
MAN ARRESTED FOR METH, BURGLARIES
Police arrested 32-year-old Matthew Cherette for trespassing and criminal possession of a controlled substance inside 111 West 16th Street last Monday at 5:53 p.m. Police said that he was trespassing inside the building and when he was searched, was in possession of two clear plastic bags of crystal meth.
When he was arrested, police found that he was wanted in connected with three other incidents, including petit larceny and two burglaries. Police said that Cherette also took a credit card that had been mailed to a resident from the lobby area of an apartment building on January 24 and allegedly used the card to purchase gift cards at CVS. Police said that he also removed an envelope containing cash from a hotel room. He allegedly admitted to police that he had taken the envelopes and said he had a gambling problem. Police said that he also identified himself on surveillance video from CVS.
By Sabina Mollot
Following the announcement that the Stuyvesant Town lottery would be reopening for would-be residents in the upper income tier, Town & Village asked a few market rate residents and former residents as well as others for their thoughts. The market raters we spoke with seemed to think that while the rents weren’t exactly cheap, the lottery was still welcome news. However, those unaccustomed to paying those kinds of rents were wary of labeling the available units as affordable.
After hearing what the rents were for one and two-bedrooms, Larry Watson, a former Stuy Town resident who moved out last year, said he thought the deal sounded better for the two-bedrooms.
He’d previously paid $3,900 for a converted two-bedroom.
“If you look at the price for a studio anywhere in Manhattan, it’s $2,000,” said Watson, “so it’s an $800 leap for a one-bedroom, but for a two-bedroom it’s an extra $1,300. So you get the value in a two-bedroom, but not a one-bedroom. I’d say it’s a decent offer,” he said.
By Sabina Mollot
The lottery for below-market apartments in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is reopening.
On Monday, Blackstone announced that those who missed out the first time could try again during a one-month window.
This reopening is specifically for applicants in the higher-income bracket for one and two-bedroom apartments since those are the unit sizes that are most common throughout the property. However, the original waiting list is still active for unit types not included in the current lottery as well as one and two-bedrooms.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
A Stuyvesant Town woman was attacked inside her apartment by a man she met on the street earlier that night at the end of last month.
Police said that the 52-year-old victim met three men in the neighborhood on the night of January 22 and invited them back to her apartment at 5 Stuyvesant Oval around 12:45 a.m. Two of the men left the apartment shortly after to buy cigarettes and once they were gone, 23-year-old Shadi Torres allegedly grabbed the victim and threw her to the ground.
According to the District Attorney’s office, Torres also attempted to pull down her pants and allegedly attempted to strangle her, putting a hand around her neck and forcefully squeezing her throat, causing substantial pain and swelling. A criminal complaint said that the victim attempted to call 911 but Torres grabbed the phone and threw it against the wall. When the victim tried to call 911 on her cell phone, Torres allegedly grabbed the device and ran out of the apartment. It was unclear if the victim’s phone was recovered.
By Sabina Mollot
With the majority of New York City residents not having voted for Donald Trump, the televised inauguration, which happened on Friday, wasn’t exactly must-see TV, at least not for too many people in Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy.
This became clear during the pre-inaugural ceremonies when this reporter, attempting to get some local reaction at Cooper Town Diner on First Avenue, was told “no comment” repeatedly.
But out of those who did comment, most, unsurprisingly, weren’t happy.
Josh Thompson, a Stuyvesant Town resident and Democrat candidate for mayor, once previously told T&V he considered Cooper Town to be his second office. But on this day, he was taking his food to go.
Asked for this thoughts, Thompson, an avowed “Obamacrat,” said he had recorded the inauguration of President Obama in 2009 and would go home to watch that instead.
“I’m going to do that for the day,” he said before rushing off.
By Sabina Mollot
It was 35 years ago when Gael Greene, a food critic, read in the New York Times that many seniors would be going without meals on Thanksgiving weekend. Greene immediately called chef and cookbook author James Beard, who, along with the city’s Department of the Aging, worked together to raise enough money to get 6,000 meals delivered to the homes of the elderly in time for Christmas. The project, Citymeals-on-Wheels, didn’t end there, though. It continued to ensure that New York’s senior citizens wouldn’t have to go without meals on weekends or holidays when senior centers are closed. Demand for the service has only increased since then, with 18,000 homebound elderly currently benefitting from the program each year.
Seventy of those individuals live in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, an increase from 2014 when there were 47.
To qualify for the home deliveries, seniors can’t be physically able to shop or cook for themselves. For that reason, the organization has also become a lifeline for isolated individuals.
More than 60 percent of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Nearly all need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66 percent use a cane, 39 percent use a walker and 16 percent use a wheelchair.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Quik Park, which operates the parking garages in STPCV, recently announced that customers would face a fee unless they enrolled in the online payment plan that automatically charges the monthly bill to a credit card or bank account, but according to Councilmember Dan Garodnick, his office has learned that this new policy will not be implemented.
Garodnick had sent a letter to StuyTown general manager Rick Hayduk and Quik Park CEO Rafael Llopiz last Wednesday regarding the new proposed policy, arguing that online payment would adversely affect the high senior population in STPCV. Garodnick also noted that concerns about the proposed policy were especially high given that Quik Park had also increased its rates earlier this year.
Llopiz did not respond to a request for comment on the policy.
By Sabina Mollot
Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys has been keeping busy lately.
The veteran musician, now 73, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in November.
Additionally, his early hit song “Wild in the Streets” was recently featured in the Netflix original series “The Get Down” and was also included on the official RCA soundtrack for the show.
Then, last Tuesday, Jeffreys launched a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign aimed at producing a new album and a documentary about his career.
The doc features Harvey Keitel, Laurie Anderson and Graham Parker, all singing the Brooklyn-born crooner’s praises. The album is expected to be released sometime in the spring.
Finally, in keeping with what has become an annual tradition, Jeffreys will be performing at Joe’s Pub at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. His 20-year-old daughter Savanna, who’s also a musician, will open the set with some of her own songs and the father and daughter will also perform a duet.
Reached at home, Jeffreys spoke with Town & Village about the aforementioned projects and a European tour planned for 2017.
By Maya Rader
On Saturday morning, an outdoor holiday run that had been scheduled to take place in Stuyvesant Town wound up turning into an indoor fitness event, thanks to the arrival of the season’s first snowstorm.
Instead of running around the Oval, kids headed to Oval Studio for a fitness class and active games like tag. Free snacks and drinks were provided.
Attendees also brought gifts for a toy drive, and gave an optional $10 donation to raise money for Toys for Tots. The event was run by PopFit Kids, an organization dedicated to getting kids active and promoting healthy exercise habits.
On Saturday, about 70 Stuy Town residents gathered at the Oval fountain for the annual Christmas tree lighting. Christmas Carolers kicked off the evening before the arrival of Santa Claus who led a countdown to the tree lighting with a “ho, ho, ho.”
Guests enjoyed free cookies and hot chocolate and cider and also picked up free necklaces and stuffed reindeer toys. Children got to take pictures on Santa’s lap nearby in the Oval Studio.
A Menorah lighting will take place on December 28.
Photos by Maya Rader
Santa with Peter, a two-year-old resident
By Sabina Mollot
Police are on the lookout for a man who snatched a bag from an 80-year-old woman in Stuyvesant Town on Monday.
At around 12:30 p.m., the woman was approached by the man on the sidewalk in front of 278 First Avenue. He asked her which way Fifth Avenue was and when she pointed in that direction, he grabbed her purse, which had been in a basket in her walker, and fled towards East 18th Street.
The thief got away with $400 in cash and various credit cards. The woman was unharmed.
The suspect is described as being white and six feet tall.
On Tuesday, police from the 13th Precinct stopped by the Stuyvesant Town Community Center to drop off some fliers listing safety tips like not hanging bags in walkers.
Paula Chirhart, a spokesperson for StuyTown property Services, said management has surveillance footage of the incident and has beefed up security in the area.
By Sabina Mollot
As local elected officials have pointed out, bias crimes are on the rise since the election nationwide.
The community has been seeing its fair share too. Yesterday, Council Member Dan Garodnick snapped a photo of anti-semitic graffiti across from Stuyvesant Town.
“Hate crimes spiking since the election,” Garodnick tweeted on Monday. “This graffiti now appears across from StuyTown & local synagogue (Town and Village). We can’t let this become the new normal.”
Garodnick later said he had never before seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community. He also said this was the only recent incident he was aware of.
The graffiti, above the Papaya hot dog storefront on First Avenue and 14th Street, depicts the spray painted words “Jew man” accompanied by crude drawings of smiley faces with side locks, which are worn by religious Jewish men. It was spray painted large enough to be easily seen from across the street.
The incident comes three weeks after State Senator Brad Hoylman saw two swastikas scratched into the door of the building where he lives in Greenwich Village.
Additionally, a Muslim Baruch College student was harassed on the train at 23rd Street last weekend by men who were trying to grab her hijab and yelling “Donald Trump” and anti-Muslim slurs, according to a Daily News report.
UPDATE: According to a Stuy Town resident, the graffiti didn’t happen post-election. The tipster told T&V she first spotted the spray-painted sentiment in the middle of October.
Church uses humor to connect with community
By Sabina Mollot
It’s not unusual for signs in front of churches to have uplifting messages. Often they’re lifted from biblical passages. Other times they’re behavioral suggestions, and if there’s room, there’ll be a bingo schedule included, too.
But in Gramercy, one church has managed to stand out from the parish pack for the messages on its signs, which have become so popular, they’ve actually boosted membership.
That church would be Gustavus Adolphus, a 150-year-old Lutheran church where a recent sign suggested: “Come, search for Pokemon — stay, find God’s grace.”
Another, inspired by pop song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor, read: “We’re all about dat grace, bout dat grace, no Devil!”
And another reminded passersby: “That love thy neighbor thing — I meant that — God.”
Last winter, during particularly frigid temperatures, a sign pointed out, “On the bright side, we haven’t seen a mosquito in months.”
The signs, which get changed around twice a month, are the brainchild of the church’s pastor, Christopher Mietlowski, better known to his flock as Pastor Chris.
UPDATE: The cafe is expected to reopen Thursday morning, according to Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk. Hayduk said in an email to residents on Wednesday evening that the cafe was reinspected earlier in the day.
By Sabina Mollot
5 Stuy Café, which opened in Stuyvesant Town last summer, has been closed since Saturday afternoon, following an inspection by the Department of Health.
The café, despite recently scoring an A by the city, managed to rack up 50 violation points from eight violations. They included infractions such as food items being held above the allowed temperature of 41 degrees to having foods that were from “unapproved or unknown source or home canned” to “inadequate personal cleanliness due to an outer garment being soiled with a possible contaminant,” according to details from the inspection. Six of the reported violations were deemed critical.
Others included hot food items not held at or above 140 degrees, a food protection certificate not held by the supervisor of food operations and proper sanitation not provided for utensil ware washing operation.
The department notes on its website that the inspections scores may not be final, since restaurant owners are entitled to challenge them.