Associated will get a lease extension, how long unclear

Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket will be getting a lease extension, the property’s management said on Friday, although it isn’t clear how long this arrangement will last.

Associated’s owners have hoped to remain open once the 14th street store’s lease expires at the end of the year, even with a Trader Joe’s expected to move across the street.

“We are reassured by this agreement that the residents of PCVST will have uninterrupted access to a grocer as the retail food landscape is expected to change on 14th Street,” said Rick Hayduk, CEO and general manager of StuyTown Property Services. “The owners of Associated have been long-term partners of the community and we’re grateful for their cooperation through this process,” he added.

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Tenants Association asks Blackstone to keep Associated in Stuy Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With the future of Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket once again up in the air, following Morton Williams’ decision not to sign a lease for the space, the ST-PCV Tenants Association has asked Blackstone to let the Associated stay.

The request was made over the Tenants Association’s concern that with a Trader Joe’s store as well as a Target eventually moving across the street from Stuyvesant Town, Blackstone would no longer feel obligated to keep an affordable supermarket in the complex, as the owner had committed to previously. But, the TA is arguing, Trader Joe’s, with its unusual and somewhat curated range of products, doesn’t offer a “complete grocery experience.”

The plea was made via a letter from Tenants Association President Susan Steinberg to Stuyvesant Town’s General Manager Rick Hayduk on Monday.

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Morton Williams reportedly won’t sign lease after learning Trader Joe’s will open across from Stuy Town

Associated Supermarket in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

That was fast.

A mere few days after employees at Stuyvesant Town’s Associated Supermarket were warned that their new employer (for at least a 90-day trial period) would be Morton Williams, the latter supermarket company decided it would not be signing a lease for the space, said Joseph Falzon, one of four owners of the Associated.

Morton Williams apparently decided to pull the plug after hearing that a Trader Joe’s would be moving across the street from Stuyvesant Town in the site that was formerly home to the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office.

The developers behind that under-construction residential building, Mack Real Estate Group and Benenson Capital Partners, declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesperson for Trader Joe’s did not yet respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for Morton Williams.

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Police Watch: Transgender woman killed, Man busted for bank robbery

TRANSGENDER WOMAN KILLED ON SEVENTH AVENUE
Police said that 59-year-old transgender woman Brenda Bostick was found unconscious in front of 343 Seventh Avenue on April 25 at 10:30 p.m. Police reported that Bostick was transported to Bellevue Hospital and died from her injuries last Thursday. Bostick was a resident of the BRC Shelter on West 25th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and had suffered head trauma.
Her death has been ruled a homicide and the investigation is ongoing.

MAN ARRESTED FOR CHASE BANK ROBBERY
Police arrested 52-year-old Charles Queen for robbery last Friday at 10:19 a.m. inside the Chase Bank at 501 Second Avenue at East 28th Street. According to the district attorney’s office, Queen passed a teller in the bank that read, “Don’t make a sound at all. This is a bank robbery. Need money now!!! Nobody will get hurt. Don’t make a sound.” The teller secretly alerted police and Queen was arrested.

WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER CAR FLIPPED ONTO SIDE
Police arrested 24-year-old Corey Kaminski for allegedly drunk driving after her car flipped on its side at the corner of East 24th Street and Lexington Avenue last Saturday at 4:32 a.m. Police said they were responding to a call about an accident when they found a car on its side with the driver still in the vehicle. Police said that Kaminski, who had been driving the car, had watery eyes, a flushed face and an odor of alcohol on her breath, but she told police that she only had a beer. Kaminski was taken to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for her injuries.

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Police Watch: Stuy Town ‘thief’ busted, teen arrested for threatening dad

STUY TOWN ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED, KNIVES FOUND NEARBY
Nineteen-year-old Andrew Kane was arrested for burglar’s tools and criminal trespass last Monday at 3:52 a.m. inside 323 Avenue C. Stuyvesant Town’s Public Safety Department told police that Kane was inside a vestibule at the building without permission because he isn’t a resident and he was allegedly standing near two knives that were on the floor. However, according to information from the district attorney’s office, Kane was actually seen in a garage and allegedly admitted, “I know I wasn’t supposed to be in there.” The complaint from the D.A. states that the knives at the scene had blades at least four inches long.

‘THIEF’ BUSTED IN STUY TOWN BUILDING
Police arrested 34-year-old Kenneth Samuels for petit larceny inside 447 East 14th Street last Tuesday at 1:19 p.m. Police said that Samuels was working with two people who weren’t arrested and stole property from an apartment. Samuels allegedly admitted that he had knowledge of the other two suspects who allegedly swiped property from the apartment. According to a complaint from the D.A.’s office, the alleged incident took place July of 2014 at a building on East 6th Street where the victim lived. The victim is a woman who’d invited two men she’d met at a bar to go home with her. At some point she fell asleep and when she woke up, saw that her iPhone, iPad and credit card were missing. Because any photos taken on her phone are uploaded to the woman’s laptop, she later saw a photo of someone who the D.A.identified as Samuels, who had visited her apartment the night prior, pop up on the screen.

TEEN PULLS KNIFE ON DAD
A sixteen-year-old was arrested for menacing inside 120 Lexington Avenue last Monday at 7:50 p.m. The victim told police that he asked his son to clean up ketchup that had spilled on the floor after an argument. He went into his son’s room to make him clean up the mess when the teen allegedly pulled a small knife out on him and the victim then called the police. The teen’s name is being withheld by T&V due to his tender age.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ‘MUGGING’ ON WEST 25TH
Twenty-year-old Kyle Matthews and 21-year-old Raliek Young were arrested for robbery last Saturday at 6:26 p.m. near 130 West 25th Street. Police said that Matthews and Young intimidated a victim so that he would give them cash and placed the victim in fear for his safety. Young allegedly fled but was caught at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street. The men were also charged with fraudulent accosting, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property.

‘PICKPOCKETS’ ARRESTED ON BROADWAY
Police arrested two known pickpockets for grand larceny and possession of stolen property in front of 913 Broadway last Tuesday at 11:07 p.m. Police said that Paul Neal, 31, removed the victim’s wallet from his bag while Daniel Velez, 26, acted as a lookout. Police said that the victim’s property was found on Neal.

SHRIMP ‘THIEF’ BUSTED ON THE SUBWAY
Police arrested 31-year-old Jorge Escobar-Adorno for theft of services and possession of stolen property at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 22nd Street last Tuesday at 12:20 p.m. Escobar-Adorno was walking east from West 21st Street and Sixth Avenue and allegedly entered the uptown 6 train station by crawling under the turnstile without paying the fare. When police searched him, he was allegedly in possession of eight bags of frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s that police said was stolen.

ASSAULT ON THIRD AVE. AND EAST 27TH
Police arrested 26-year-old Luis Corniel for assault at the corner of Third Avenue and East 27th Street last Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. Police said that Corniel punched the victim in the face, causing pain and a small cut. There was no information available about how the dispute started or if Corniel knew the victim.

WOMAN BUSTED FOR ‘DRUG DEAL’
Police arrested 64-year-old Marion Smith in front of 180 East 23rd Street last Wednesday at 8:35 a.m. for sale of a controlled substance. Smith allegedly sold a quantity of a controlled substance to an undercover police officer.

FIGHT AT BELLEVUE
Police arrested two people involved in a fight at Bellevue Hospital inside 462 First Avenue last Friday at 3 a.m. Abdiwahid Abrahim, 37, and Christina Grant-Crosby, 28, were both charged with assault. Abrahim allegedly broke Grant-Crosby’s finger and police said that Grant Crosby hit Abrahim with an umbrella. Police did not have any information about how the fight started or how Abrahim and Grant-Crosby knew each other.

CHASE BANK ‘TRESPASSER’ ARRESTED
Police arrested 41-year-old Gurey Rodriguez for criminal trespass inside the Chase Bank at 69 Fifth Avenue last Friday at 5:40 a.m. Police said that Rodriguez was inside the bank sitting on the radiator. He was allegedly not conducting banking business and signs there clearly state no loitering.

MAN ASSAULTED ON THIRD AVENUE
Thirty-year-old William Uihlein was arrested for assault last Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at the corner of Third Avenue and East 19th Street. The victim told police that he was walking south on Third Avenue when he heard someone yelling. He turned his head and Uihlein allegedly grabbed him and punched him in the face. The victim had redness and swelling on the right side of his face.

WOMEN NABBED FOR ‘THEFT’
Police arrested 47-year-old Macaro Gaunchaux and 35-year-old Theresa Haynes for grand larceny, possession of stolen property and jostling at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 28th Street last Wednesday at 3:11 a.m. Gaunchaux and Haynes were allegedly jostling the victim’s pockets at the corner. Police said that they snatched the victim’s credit card and then used it to make purchases. They were also in possession of cash and other items belonging to the victim, police said.
Gaunchaux was also later charged in an additional grand larceny incident at the 13th Precinct. Police said that she stole property from someone’s hotel room at the Marriott Hotel at 1535 Broadway at an earlier date.

MAN NABBED FOR ‘STOLEN’ CREDIT CARDS
Sixty-year-old Jose Huerta was arrested for grand larceny at the corner of East 14th Street and Union Square East last Wednesday at 10:50 p.m. Police said that on multiple occasions and at multiple subway stations, Huerta used stolen credit cards at MetroCard vending machines.

MAN NABBED FOR BIKE ‘THEFT’
Police arrested 39-year-old Robert Monfiston for burglar’s tools, petit larceny and possession of stolen property in front of 133 Fifth Avenue last Friday at 12:55 p.m. Monfiston allegedly removed boltcutters from his backpack, clipped a lock that was attached to a bicycle and removed the bike without permission. After he was searched, police said that he was in possession of multiple burglars’ tools.

MAN ARRESTED FOR UNION SQUARE ‘ASSAULT’
Police arrested 53-year-old Nicholas Rhodes for assault at the corner of Union Square West and East 16th Street last Sunday at 1:15 a.m. Rhodes allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing swelling to his right eye.

NYC spared the worst during storm

Plows make their way up First Avenue on Monday as New York braced for the worst. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Plows make their way up First Avenue on Monday as New York braced for the worst. (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Despite the dire predictions for a “potentially historic” blizzard that was expected to drop at least two feet of snow on the city this week, New York was spared most of Juno’s wrath in the recent storm, with a paltry 10 inches recorded in Central Park by Tuesday.

Without knowing beforehand that their preparations were mostly for naught however, area residents and politicians alike prepared for the worst. Local grocery stores could not be reached for comment on the state of their inventory ahead of the storm on Monday, but the Trader Joe’s on Sixth Avenue at West 22nd Street, packed on a regular day, had a line just to get into the store throughout the afternoon. An employee herding people in slowly said that it was about a five to 10 minute wait just to make it inside. Most likely due to the subway’s closure, many stores in the area weren’t open on Tuesday morning but some, including Trader Joe’s and Home Depot, had makeshift signs in the window early Tuesday afternoon noting that they would be opening later in the day.

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Gramercy food tasting festival to return

Paella is served at the Casa Mono table at the 2013 Taste of Gramercy event. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

Paella is served at the Casa Mono table at the 2013 Taste of Gramercy event. (Photos by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, a food festival and fundraiser that debuted last year by the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates (GNA), will soon return for a second helping on Irving Place.

The event, which was attended by over 400 people last year and had 20 restaurants participating, will be held this year on Saturday, September 13 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This time, there are 22 restaurants that will be offering tastings of their signature dishes, including the new Indian restaurant A Spice Lane and Almayass, a Lebanese restaurant. Also involved for the first time is Farm to Me, an organization that distributes farm products to retailers and consumers. The name, too, is new. Originally, the event was just called Taste of Gramercy.

Like last year, Taste will take up one block, Irving Place between 17th and 18th Streets. How much the event costs depends on how much attendees want to eat. A $30 ticket will buy tastings from six booths. (This is the early bird price through August, though. Tickets go up to $40 in September and $50 on the day of. An $80 ticket on the day of the event entitles an attendee to have a tasting from every restaurant. Proceeds from the event will then go towards expanding the healthy lunch options at two neighborhood schools: PS40 and School of the Future. Any unserved food will be brought to the Bowery Mission.

Alan Krevis, president of the GNA, said he’s hoping that the event will appeal to foodies around the city as well as people living within walking distance. “I think there are already more than just local people,” he said. “What we saw a lot of last year, because it was such a beautiful day, people would just happen to walk by and say, ‘This looks great.’ They were primarily neighborhood people, but we also saw a lot of people staying at the W.”

Gramercy Neighborhood Associates volunteers at last year’s event including Gary Horowitz, GNA President Alan Krevis and Antonella Napolitano

Gramercy Neighborhood Associates volunteers at last year’s event including Gary Horowitz, GNA President Alan Krevis and Antonella Napolitano

The tasting menus have not yet been decided on by the participants, but last year popular dishes included the meatballs, gnocci and eggplant rollatini from Paul & Jimmy’s, tuna tartare cannoli from The Stand and shrimp paella from Casa Mono, all of whom are returning in September. A few other participants are Ichabod’s, Giorgio’s of Gramercy, Ainsworth Park, Jack’s Sliders and Sushi and ExKI NYC. Water will be provided by sponsors Watermelon Water, Fogo and Trader Joe’s and coffee will flow at the 71 Irving stand.

What there won’t be are alcoholic beverages, with GNA board member Ellaine Day explaining the permits were just too difficult to get.

“That’s a nightmare of permits,” she said. “It’s very expensive to sell alcohol.”

“We don’t want to grow too fast,” Krevis added. “That’s why we stayed at the one street level, because we want to keep a handle on it.”

Meanwhile, Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood almost didn’t happen at all. Last year, when a GNA board member first suggested the idea to Krevis, he initially shrugged it off, thinking it would be way too big for a small organization like his to handle. “Honestly, it is a lot of hours for us to put in,” he said, “so we’re just focused on this event right now.”

As a result, another fall event the GNA is known for putting on each year, the Canine Comedy Parade, has been put on hiatus. “It needed a rest,” said Krevis. Instead, the GNA will be organizing an event with Baruch High School and College in October.

For tickets to Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood, visit gnaonline.org.