Police Watch: Man arrested for Campos Plaza ‘murder,’ Stabbing outside W Hotel

MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER OVER CAMPOS PLAZA SHOOTING
Police arrested 23-year-old Campos Plaza resident Theodore Holloway for murder on Wednesday. Police said that Holloway shot Elliot Caldwell, 23, last Thursday around 10:44 p.m. in front of 635 East 12th Street near Avenue C. When police arrived, they found Caldwell, unconscious and unresponsive, with a gunshot wound in his back. A EMS team took him to Bellevue, but he couldn’t be saved. Local blog EV Grieve reported that Caldwell grew up in Campos Plaza and would frequently come back to visit.

STABBING OUTSIDE UNION SQUARE W HOTEL
Thirty-year-old Francisco De La Rosa was arrested for assault and weapons possession in front of 201 Park Avenue South last Wednesday at 6:05 a.m. De La Rosa allegedly stabbed the victim in the hand and stomach with a gravity knife because of an argument they were having. Police said that the victim had a cut on his right middle finger and the right side of his stomach. When police searched him, they found that De La Rosa was in possession of a gravity knife. The victim was transported to Bellevue and police said that surveillance video is available from the hotel.

HOUSE CLEANER BUSTED FOR ‘THEFT’ FROM GRAMERCY PARK APARTMENT
Police arrested 56-year-old Diane Connif for grand larceny last Monday at 5:35 p.m. inside the 13th Precinct. Police said that Connif, who was hired by the victims to clean and take care of their apartment, swiped jewelry and other items from their home at 32 Gramercy Park South. According to the District Attorney’s office, Connif entered the apartment on March 20 to clean and the victims said that when they got home later that day, they noticed that a Social Security check and other mail was missing. The victims said that jewelry was also missing from the bedroom. Police said that Conniff admitted that on a date between February 29 and March 20, she took a checkbook, a Social Security check and valuable jewelry, but claimed she took the items to keep safe for them. The DA’s office said that the jewelry was valued over $50,000. Police said that both victims are senior citizens over the age of 85.

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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.