Pair arrested for package thefts in Stuyvesant Town

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police arrested two men for alleged package burglaries from a number of buildings inside Stuyvesant Town during the early morning hours of Christmas Day last week.

Police said that 19-year-old Rahul Cuya and 32-year-old Justin Irizarry broke into six different buildings between the hours of 1 and 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, December 25 and took packages from the lobbies.

Cuya and Irizarry allegedly got inside 245 Avenue C at 1 a.m. and stole packages from inside the building. Shortly after that, the two men reportedly got into 277 Avenue C and stole packages. Police said that Cuya and Irizarry got into 651 East 14th Street around 1:15 a.m. and stole packages from that building before breaking into 271 Avenue C and allegedly stealing packages from inside that building as well. Police said that the two suspects also got inside 281 Avenue C and 645 East 14th Street around 1:40 a.m.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Letters to the editor, Dec. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Transparency needed on NYCHA ‘fix’

The following is an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio:

On Wednesday evening, December 12, Mayor de Blasio announced on TV that he’s getting $24 billion to fix apartments in public housing or New York City Housing Authority. Funding, he said, will come from federal, NY State, NY City, as well as from city land and air rights sold to developers.

I’ve been writing and talking to elected politicians for years about not selling our NY City land because they are only temporary employees elected to administer our property and all necessary services for the well-being of the real persons who reside in NYC.

The land should be rented to developers for 80 to 100 years and air rights should be very well-studied; then, the elected mayor selects qualified persons to verify and/or be sure that all is working well, according to signed contracts before the jobs have been performed.

Continue reading

L train neighbors slam MTA over noise, debris and mysterious goo

Dec13 L train Epstein

Assembly Member Harvey Epstein with L train construction zone neighbors and disability advocates in front of the MTA’s headquarters (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While most New Yorkers are approaching April with a sense of dread because of the start to the 15-month L-pocalypse, for those who live around the East 14th Street construction site, the nightmare has been going on already for quite some time.

Recently, local elected officials were able to secure some concessions from the MTA in response to neighbor concerns like additional lighting along the sidewalks where views of the street are obstructed by construction barriers, a commitment to install air quality monitors along the street and reopening of the sidewalk on the East Village side of the street, where stores have been cut off from foot traffic.

However, many concerns have remained, such as noisy work that goes on from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., as well as on weekends, clouds of debris that have caused some neighbors to fear for their respiratory health and equipment-packed streets that have led to an obstacle course for the disabled. Residents have also been left to wonder about the presence of an unidentified, glowing green substance in one of the many dumpsters that regularly get trucked in and out of the site.

Continue reading

Tiny owl spotted in Stuyvesant Town

Northern Saw-whet owl in Stuyvesant Town

By Sabina Mollot and Maria Rocha-Buschel

Guess whooooo recently visited Stuyvesant Town?

A resident spotted this brown and white owl on Monday as it perched on a railing by the mezzanine of 525 East 14th Street. He told Town & Village that he’s seen lots of different birds in the neighborhood but the owl was an unusual find in the city. The resident, Mario, who didn’t want his last name mentioned, also noted that he wasn’t expecting to capture this little guy on camera in broad daylight but pulled out his phone and managed to get some shots of the obliging raptor.

Upon seeing the photos, Anne Lazarus, a longtime birder who leads bird watching tours in Stuyvesant Town and Stuyvesant Cove, identified this visitor as a Northern Saw-whet Owl, noting the lack of ear tufts.

“The Northern Saw-whet Owls have been showing up this year,” said Lazarus, adding that a few have been spotted in Central Park. Additionally, despite its size, the owl seen in Stuy Town is not a baby, but an adult, with Northern Saw-whets being one of the smallest owl species in North America. They are comparable, size-wise, to robins.

Continue reading

Teen mugged in Peter Cooper Village building

Dec6 Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

By  Sabina Mollot

Cops are on the lookout for two muggers who held a resident of Peter Cooper Village up at gunpoint on Tuesday night.

Police said the victim, who is 16 years old, was walking home at about 11:10 p.m. when he was confronted by the pair in the vestibule of 510 East 23rd Street.

One of the robbers pulled out what appeared to be a real gun while demanding his property. The victim then turned over $90 in cash and his iPhone and the muggers fled towards the FDR Drive.

The suspects were described as male and black, one wearing a blue hoodie and black sweatpants and the other wearing grey shoes gray sweatpants and a black coat.

Continue reading

Some parks are still closed after snowstorm knocks limbs off trees

Nov22 gramercy park clean-up

A worker secures a tree in Gramercy Park after a snowstorm caused a still undetermined amount of damage in the park and other parks. (Photos courtesy of Gramercy Park Block Associaton)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Unexpected heavy snowfall last Thursday caused damage to trees throughout the neighborhood, resulting in park closures through this week, long after all the snow from the storm had melted.

Arlene Harrison, the president of the Gramercy Park Block Association and park trustee, sent an email to park neighbors on Friday noting that the park would be closed until further notice, and included photos of several downed tree limbs inside the park.

“Park caretakers who have been working here for decades said that it was the worst single hit to the park since they’ve worked here,” said Harrison, who made the decision to padlock the park gates for safety reasons until the debris is cleared. She said that the park could reopen by the end of the week but it had to remain closed until the crew can determine that it’s safe.

She added that the crew was pruning on the western side of the park right before the storm so there was the least amount of damage on that side, but five trees in the park were “ravaged” because of the wind and heavy snow.

Continue reading

Robber threatens First Avenue CVS employee with needle

Robbery suspect

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who, when caught shoplifting at the CVS store across from Stuyvesant Town, threatened an employee with a hypodermic needle.

The man strolled into the store, located at 253 First Avenue, on Wednesday, November 14 at 8 p.m. and began throwing items from the shelves into a garbage bag. When an employee confronted him in the aisle, the man pulled out the needle and told the worker to “step back.”

The man then fled with about $170 in merchandise.

The suspect, who is being sought for robbery, is described as black, in his 30s, about 5 ft. 8 ins. and 180 lbs. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a white sweatshirt, a black jogging jacket, a black skull cap and black sneakers.

The day I almost dumped water on JFK

Rosemary Heath at work during the September primary

Confessions of a Stuy Town kid turned local poll worker 

By Sabina Mollot

Rosemary Heath, Town & Village’s advertising representative, is also a Stuyvesant Town lifer and for the past three years, has been a poll worker at local elections.

Prior to Election Day today, Heath spoke with Town & Village about what it’s like to work at the polls, and how she got her first taste of politics at a young age. She was four when President Dwight Eisenhower campaigned in Stuyvesant Town in 1956 and eight when then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy did the same — and almost got a pot of water dumped on his head from Heath’s window.

When JFK came to campaign in 1960, it was at the corner of First Avenue and 20th Street in front of what is now Hane restaurant (then Plymouth, a women’s clothing store).

Continue reading

Stuy Town Halloween events for residents

Halloween display in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

StuyTown property Services presents the following free Halloween events for residents. Guests are asked to bring their resident IDs.

Family Halloween Fun-Fest

On Tuesday, October 30 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on the Oval, families are invited to come in costume to the annual fair, which this year will feature five bounce houses for various ages, carnival snacks, a craft area with rubbed art, buttons, crowns, puppets, murals, a balloon-filled pumpkin patch with mini pumpkins for decorating, live music and guest entertainers with magic and mayhem.

Editor’s note: This event has been rescheduled from October 27 due to a predicted nor’easter.

Continue reading

Singer Garland Jeffreys’ tips for aspiring musicians

Dec28 Garland Jeffreys

Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, October 22, Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys will be performing a concert at a fundraiser for the 14th Street Y, where he, his wife Claire and daughter Savannah are longtime members.

It will be the first of a few local concerts coming up for the singer, following a recent tour through Europe to promote his last album, “14 Steps to Harlem.”
Now in the early writing stages for his next album, to be called, “Dash of Soul,” and fundraising for a documentary about his career, Jeffreys, 75, spoke with Town & Village to share tips for new and aspiring musicians.

“I’m always happy to talk to people who are starting out,” he said, adding that starting out means picking a musical direction to take.

“What kinds of songs do they want to write? Love songs, protest songs or a Dylan-esque area?” he asked. “They should work and work and work on the music and not take it for granted. I tell stories about different things, like race, like my childhood, my passions.”
In recent years, Jeffreys has been known to do many concerts in people’s homes, which he recommends doing as well as finding local venues like bars.

“If you’re starting out, anywhere is a good place to start,” said Jeffreys. “Just get your guitar and get your keyboard and get to practicing and that’s how your songwriting evolves.”

Continue reading

(UPDATED: Suspect arrested) Man chokes, sexually assaults woman in Stuy Town

Update: Police have arrested a man who was staying at the Armory Men’s Shelter on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Melvin Collins, 36, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with burglary, sexual abuse, criminal obstruction of breathing, forcible touching and assault.

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who followed a woman into a building in Stuyvesant Town on Monday morning.

The victim, a 42-year-old woman, had entered 315 Avenue C when a man followed her inside at about 8:10 a.m.

Once inside an elevator, the man started groping and kissing her, police said. The woman then ran out of the elevator and the man chased her, and tried to pull her into a stairwell. The attacker then got on top of the woman and choked her. He took off however, fleeing down the stairs when the victim started screaming.

The victim suffered scratches to her neck and was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

The suspect is described as being black, 30-35 years old and about 5’7″ to 5’9″, with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark long sleeve shirt, dark sneakers with white soles, and a baseball hat.

Neither he nor the victim are residents of Stuyvesant Town, according to management, and security has been beefed up in response to the incident.

“StuyTown Property Services has provided NYPD with video and is fully cooperating in the apprehension of the suspect,” said Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. “Public Safety presence has been heightened around the two communities. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.”

Woman last seen at Beth Israel after making suicidal statements: Cops

Oct11 Victoria Chavez

Victoria Chavez

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a woman who they say had made suicidal statements and then disappeared from Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where she was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

Victoria Chavez, 26, a resident of Brooklyn, was last seen on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. leaving the hospital located at 281 First Avenue across from Stuyvesant Town. Police said she left on her own accord.

She is described as being approximately 5’4″ tall, weighing 125 lbs., with a thin build, brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing a white dress and gray socks.

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 at http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

This week in history: Recalling before Stuyvesant Town was built

In the September 23, 1948 issue of Town & Village, Harry Delman, who was the very last person to leave the area that was getting razed to make way for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, along with his wife and 10-year-old son spoke about the day they moved out.

Delman, who owned a shoe store at 233 First Avenue, recalled how in May of 1945, cranes lifted huge planks of wood and pile drivers banged away while he and his family lugged suitcases through a dust cloud as they walked out of 441 East 15th Street, never to return. However, the Delmans ended up moving to Stuyvesant Town, not far from the address they had vacated.

Delman said the ongoing construction noise of ripping and tearing didn’t bother him since most of time he was out during the day. He recalled how his apartment faced the East River, offering a view of ships coming and going up and down the river. “There was no activity on the streets and it was like a country atmosphere,” Delman said.

ST/PCV apartment lottery reopening

ST buildings

By Sabina Mollot

The last time the Stuyvesant Town apartment lottery opened was in January, with slots only being made available for applicants in the upper tier of income levels, meaning those who earn a maximum of 165 percent of the area median income. As part of owner Blackstone’s deal with the city in 2015, as apartments have become available in the complex, half become market rate while the other half become available to lottery tenants. Of the lottery apartments, 90 percent of them go to tenants earning up to 165 percent of the AMI, the other 10 percent going to those earning a maximum of 80 percent of the AMI.

However, the lottery is once again reopening, and this time, applicants in both income tiers are eligible to apply for apartments, which are available in a variety of sizes in Stuy Town as well as Peter Cooper Village. The deadline to apply is October 11 and applications can be done online at stuytownlottery.com. To request an application by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Wait List, Peter Stuyvesant Station, P.O. Box 1287, New York, NY, 10009.

Continue reading