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The Local’s Most Commented Stories of 2012

From bagel burgers to shot dogs, from day care centers to donkey movies — these are the stories that got readers of The Local worked up this year.

UntitledDaniel Maurer FDR Drive near East 10th Street after Sandy.
Mary Catherine McSweeney, Brandon Verna and Kilo.

1. Pit Bull Still Alive, Had History of Attacks: “I don’t think that this dog having a history of biting people warranted a cop pulling a gun out and shooting it. There are restraint polls. Mace. Pepper Spray. They could have easily neutralized the dog. Also what if the cop missed and shot someone in the crowd that had amassed? What if the bullet ricocheted? This was police brutality and excessive use of force.”— joshua pape

The Bagel Burger

2. The Bagel Burger Bombs: “Josh must not have gotten this burger for free so he was confused, enraged and lashed out at the burger/bagel maker.”— Captain Read more…

The Local’s Most Popular Stories of 2012

A month-by-month rundown of what our readers were most interested in this year.

EvelynKonstantin SergeyevClean-up at MoRUS after Sandy


1. Last Call at Holiday Cocktail Lounge
2. Japadog Opens on St Mark’s
3. New Year Begins With Occupy Arrests, Motorcycle Accident
4. In Little Ukraine, Christmas Is Still Around the Corner
5. Death on L Train Tracks


1. Obscura Antiques to Reopen on Avenue A
2. The East Village Other Culture
3. Coen Brothers Take Second Street Back to 1961
4. Is This Porchetta Sandwich Now the East Village’s Best?
5. John Leguizamo’s East Village

Read more…

Write For The Local, and Join Us This Summer


Want to write for The Local? Good! We want you to write for us! Whether you’ve witnessed something amazing or amusing, we’d love to hear your East Village story. And we’d also like to know what you think we should be writing about. So, e-mail us – often!

And are you a high school or college student interested in reporting the neighborhood this summer? Then register for our Summer Academy. This summer, you can live in the East Village and learn the basics (if you’re a beginner) or the finer points (if you already have some experience) of multimedia community journalism from faculty members of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, which produces The Local in collaboration with The New York Times. You’ll be immersed in a professional newsroom environment and may even have the opportunity to appear in these pages. For more about the program, and to register, see here.

Charges Dismissed Against Reporter Arrested at Zuccotti Clearing

Today the district attorney dismissed the disorderly conduct charge against Jared Malsin, a reporter for The Local and a student at N.Y.U.’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute who was arrested while filming the clearing of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in November. “The D.A. said that they learned he was working press,” said Gideon Orion Oliver, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild who represented Mr. Malsin. “In light of that they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had a criminal intent.”

Looking for an East Village Apartment? Come See Some!

One of the few rentalsMeghan Keneally

Moving is a drag; as Off the Grid pointed out yesterday, even Allen Ginsberg had to do it a whole bunch (heck, your editor lives in one of his old apartments – found it on Craigslist). Maybe you’re looking for new digs in the neighborhood? The Local would like to show you some! Don’t worry, our apartment tour won’t take long; and you’ll get to tell us what you think of each place on camera. Fun, right? Okay, so send an e-mail telling us what you’re looking for and let’s talk. Who knows, maybe you’ll snag Iggy Pop’s old place…

Farewell and Thank You

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

As my last day as editor of The Local draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have joined our experiment in collaborative journalism over the past year.

Since our launch in September, many of our neighbors have accepted our invitation to tell their own stories about the community that we all share and the blog has served as a showcase for the richness of voices and images and perspectives that makes the East Village what it is. Even more of you have visited the blog or paused to leave a comment in our forums or speak with us via Facebook and Twitter. We are grateful to you all.

The hard work that we have put into the site speaks for itself — and by “we” I mean community contributors, NYU students, and everyone else who has generously shared their talents in this effort.

And happily that work will continue under the exceptional leadership of Daniel Maurer, who on Monday will formally assume the editorship of the blog with all of my best wishes.

To my neighbors and friends here in the East Village, to the extraordinary students whom I’ve had the pleasure of teaching, to my wonderful colleagues at NYU and The New York Times, again, thank you all.

Your Voices | On Four Loko

FourLoko_cansChelsia Rose Marcius

Our recent posts on bodegas in the East Village that continue to sell caffeinated Four Loko struck a nerve. Many readers took time to write in and express their thoughts on our investigation, and Gothamist picked up the story and republished similar articles twice.

The action wasn’t limited to the blogosphere either: The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius revisited the subject after the commotion, reporting that the State Liquor Authority planned to investigate the bodegas in question.

A common label, used both in the comments section and the Gothamist posts, was “narcs” and “snitches.”

“tacony palmyra” started off the name calling:

“Well, thanks East Village Narc! I’m sure the SLA or whatever authority is going to make sure these bodegas you individually identified will be in trouble if they find any, and now we get no more old school Four Lokos. Do journalistic ethics require that you play fun police?”

Read more…

Your Voices | Memories of Ray Deter

East Village Jazz Funeral (I)Roey Ahram Second line march for Ray Deter on Monday.
Ray DeterLinus Gelber Ray Deter.

As we posted earlier, Ray Deter, East Village resident and owner of d.b.a. bar, died July 3 after he was struck by a car while cycling. Monday, a New Orleans style second line paraded from the bar to his home, celebrating his life.

Yesterday, family and friends gathered for his memorial service at the New York City Marble Cemetery. Several have shared their memories of Mr. Deter’s work and life. Kim Davis, The Local’s associate editor, did not know Mr. Deter personally but respected his work, posting:

“It’s worth noting, however, the achievement of establishing an unassuming saloon on First Avenue as the premier destination for beer and whisky/bourbon connoisseurs in the city, if not the country. Preceding the current fascination with craft beers, d.b.a. has long offered an almost absurdly extensive list of brews.

I am sure Mr Deter was proud, and rightly so, of this achievement, and what a great pity it is that his enjoyment of it has been cut so tragically short.”

Read more…

Introducing the Blog’s Next Editor

Daniel MaurerDaniel Maurer.

The Local is pleased to announce that Daniel Maurer, co-founder of the New York magazine restaurant blog Grub Street, has been named the blog’s next editor, effective in August.

“Daniel emerged from a field of well over a hundred highly qualified candidates,” said Brooke Kroeger, the Institute director. “He impressed us with his ideas, his digital sophistication, his passion for this neighborhood, so often featured on Grub Street, and his proven know-how in mining information at the local community level.”

Mr. Maurer was an online producer and editor of nightlife listings at New York magazine before co-founding Grub Street, one of New York’s pioneering restaurant blogs, in 2006. While writing more than 7,500 posts over five years, Mr. Maurer grew the blog’s traffic steadily and helped expand it to five other cities. Grub Street New York was nominated for three James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards — it won in 2008 (for Multimedia Writing on Food) and then again in 2011 (for Group Blog) when Mr. Maurer was chief editor. It has also been nominated for a National Magazine Award and won a MIN Best of the Web award in 2007.
Read more…

Welcoming Our Summer Interns

The Local East Village 2011 Summer IntersTop row (from left) Khristopher J. Brooks, Joshua Davis, Ian Duncan. Second row (from left): Meghan Keneally, Laura E. Lee, Chelsia Marcius.

Earlier, we told you about the arrival of Todd Olmstead, who today starts work as The Local’s assistant editor for digital and community outreach.

We’d also like to welcome the members of the 2011 New York Times/NYU Hyperlocal Digital Reporting Internship class, who start work today.

You will see their faces in our community, and their bylines on our posts and we encourage you to follow them all on Twitter.

The interns are:

And follow The Local on Twitter @nytlev.

Your Voices | Aging in the East Village

Sunbrella HatLauren Carol Smith

A sampling of reader reactions to recent posts that have appeared on The Local.

Brendan Bernhard’s post about aging in the East Village — particularly his contention that our neighborhood is “one of the more trying places in which to grow old” — prompted a good deal of discussion in the blog’s forums.

Amelie wrote:

“I completely disagree with you. My father is 87 and has lived in the East Village all of his life. My father and his friend (who are old folks so called wondering around in the east village)… happen to love it here… they love the small cafes, they feel young and a lot of them do not want to accept their age. Being surrounded by young folks makes them feel young.”

Joelle Morrison said:

“I’m 72, a Lower East Side expatriate living in the wilds of Staten Island, but when I’m really old I intend to head back to my old nabe. If you can’t drive and want access to food, culture, books, parks, doctors, etc., you need Manhattan or Brooklyn. There are lots of older people living in my old nabe, you just don’t see them all over or out at night because they have a LIFE! They’re not tourists or students or dilettantes clogging the streets and barfing all over on weekends. They bring a sense of reality, solidity and presence to a neighborhood now in sore need of those things.”

Read more…

Welcoming a Conversation Leader

Todd OlmsteadTodd Olmstead.

We at The Local are pleased to announce the arrival of Todd Olmstead, who today begins work as the news blog’s assistant editor for digital and community outreach.

In this newly created role, Mr. Olmstead will help to facilitate a neighborhood-wide conversation through the blog’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. He will also be a regular presence in the neighborhood and engage with the site’s readers on a one-on-one basis.

Mr. Olmstead is a student in the Studio 20 master’s degree concentration at NYU Journalism where he studies the Web and innovation in journalism. Since coming to NYU, he has served as a community intern at Mashable and managed, home of Studio 20’s Building a Better Explainer project.

A graduate of Colby College, Mr. Olmstead previously lived and worked in Iowa City, where he covered the local music scene. His writing on music has appeared on Crawdaddy, Tiny Mix Tapes, Daytrotter, and his own site. Last fall, he was a member of The Local’s social media team.

“Todd has a natural understanding of the ways that we can use social media to extend the reach of our journalism and we’re thrilled to have him on our team,” said Richard G. Jones, the editor of The Local. “We hope that he’ll be a conversation leader and that he’ll help fundamentally change the way that the blog interacts with its readers in both the digital space and out on the streets of the community that we all share.”

Follow Mr. Olmstead on Twitter at @toddjolmstead.

More Voices on the 1991 Riot

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Yesterday, we told you about a post by the Neither More Nor Less blog that marked the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Memorial Day riot in Tompkins Square Park.

Bob Arihood, the author of Neither More Nor Less, correctly noted that we erred in indicating that the riot was sparked because of the park’s homeless population.

“This riot was not about a homeless encampment in Tompkins Square Park . It was the result of the enforcement of the ending time of a concert . the concert goers were mostly drunk . bottles had been stashed in preparation for a riot . Cops and drunks confronted each other and nature took its course”

And longtime resident Martin Johnson offered his recollection of the evening.

“The street and sidewalks were cluttered with the debris of a riot, and police with combat gear were everywhere. When I reached 9th St, a policeman stopped me and asked me where I thought I was going. I told him “home,” and that I lived on Avenue A near 14th. He asked if I had some ID or a utility bill to prove it. My Driver’s License uses my mailing address, so I told him I didn’t have anything other than my word (which had usually been good enough). He threw me against the side of the building which now houses Cafe Pick Me Up and told me I was lying and that if I didn’t get off of *his* block, he was going to shove his nightstick down my throat.

You can read Mr. Johnson’s complete account of the night here.

Join the conversation: Do you have any memories of the riot on Memorial Day 1991? Please share them in the comments section below.

Your Voices | Cyclists and Local History

Biker, Delancey Street, NYCAdrian Fussell

A sampling of reader reactions to recent posts that have appeared on The Local.

Brendan Bernhard’s recent post on his ambivalence toward bicycles prompted a range of reactions.

Dave, who described himself as a “committed cyclist,” wrote:

“I don’t get the NYC vibe (which is not limited to pizza deliveryemen and bike messengers, by the way) that all bad behavior on a bike is excusable because ‘hey man, I’m riding a bike’. When car and bike meet, car almost always wins. When bike and pedestrian meet, bike can win but at a cost to the rider. Better that we should all be more mindful of the other. And the police should enforce the rules of the road, regardless of the means of conveyance.”

Jody Oberfelder said:

“Everybody should look out for everybody. Share the road!”

Read more…

A New Addition

Stephen BrownStephen Rex Brown.

The Local is pleased to welcome Stephen Rex Brown, who today begins work as the blog’s senior correspondent.

Mr. Brown recently worked as the editor of the hyperlocal news site, Fort Greene Patch. In 2010, he worked for The Brooklyn Paper and won “Reporter of the Year” from the Suburban Newspapers of America.

He taught journalism in Monterey, Calif. to high school students for National Geographic Student Expeditions. As a graduate of NYU Journalism’s Global and Joint Program Studies, he holds a joint master of arts degree in Journalism and Latin American Studies. His work has appeared in The Brooklyn Eagle and The Times and he has held an internship with The Daily Beast.

In addition to reporting for The Local, Mr. Brown will also serve on the faculty of NYU Journalism.

“We’re delighted to have Stephen on board,” said Richard G. Jones, editor of The Local. “He’s a dynamic young talent with a solid grounding in hyperlocal journalism and an appreciation of the innumerable storytelling opportunities in the East Village. Our readers will benefit from his reporting in the field and our students will benefit from his work in the classroom.”

Follow Mr. Brown on Twitter: @LEVStephen.

Write the Neighborhood

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

If you see the phrase “East Village” after a byline at The Local, it means that the article is the work of one of our community contributors. These are people who live or work in the neighborhood, or have strong ties to it, and are willing to report on local news, talk about their interests and passions, or just inform and entertain us about aspects of East Village life. The Local is always looking for writers to join the party. Most of the articles we publish are around 500 to 600 words, but we are also on the lookout for brief, focused telegrams from the street.

You don’t need to be a professional journalist. We’ll provide help in getting your copy into shape if you need it. Interested? For more details, e-mail Kim Davis, The Local’s associate editor ( Add your voice to the choir.

Join Our Blogroll

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Our goal here at The Local is to expose our readers to as many different kinds of blogs as possible – but we can only do so if we hear about them. So we’d like to issue another call for you to submit the neighborhood’s best blogs to our blogroll.

Just visit the comments section below, leave the URL and we’ll consider adding it to the roll.

Your Voices | A Defense of Bike Lanes

Houston and Second AvenueAdrian Fussell

A sampling of reader reactions to posts that have appeared on The Local.

Several commenters weighed in on our post about the closure of Mara’s Homemade, a Cajun style restaurant on East Sixth Street. Many readers took exception to the assertion by the owner of the restaurant, Mara Levi, that – in addition to higher taxes and rents – the restaurant’s bottom line was affected by the installation last summer of bike lanes along First Avenue, which limited available street parking.

Michael wrote:

“Uhm, the neighborhood is exploding with crowded restaurants and bars and Missus blames the bike lanes for her business failure? Lame!”

“East Villager” added:

“This is not the fault of the bike lanes; it’s the fault of people who think they have a ‘right’ to street parking everywhere.”

“Trizzlor” wrote:

“If you’re in the East Village and your business goes DOWN because of bike lanes then you don’t understand your client base.”

Read more…

In Appreciation

The Hyperlocal Newsroom (Spring 2011)The students of The Hyperlocal Newsroom (from left): Claire Glass, Kathryn Kattalia, M.J. Gonzalez, Crystal Bell, Rachel Ohm, Ian Duncan, Grace Maalouf, Greg Howard, Mark Riffee, Kenan Christiansen and Hadas Goshen.

Today, we would like to extend our appreciation to the students and community contributors who have joined our experiment in collaborative journalism in recent months.

They have joined so many others who have shared their talents and energy with the blog. The site could not exist without them – and all of you who read and engage with The Local.
Read more…

Announcing a Summer Scholarship


This summer, a young scholar from the neighborhood, college-bound and interested in journalism, will have the opportunity to participate in N.Y.U.’s Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy, thanks to a full $5,000 scholarship.  The newsroom is the reporting engine of The Local East Village.

The Local is reaching out to schools within its coverage area, asking them to identify a high-achieving rising junior or senior, studying and preferably living in the neighborhood, a student who would not otherwise be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Summer Academy is a six-week pre-college program for rising juniors and seniors, being held in the newsrooms of the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at 20 Cooper Square in the East Village from July 5 to August 12.

The course in basic reporting or multimedia skills provides four college credits. As part of the program, there will be a newsroom atmosphere all week, where students can get editorial and multimedia support. A planned schedule is in the making of exciting age-appropriate social and journalistic activities, all covered as part of the program.

The centerpiece of the program is The Local East Village, the news and information site being published for the neighborhood collaboratively by the Institute and The New York Times.

More information and a video about the Summer Academy, can be found here.