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Arabella 101 on Avenue D Almost 100 Percent Full

Suzanne Rozdeba

Arabella 101, the new rental building that began leasing apartments last August, is almost filled to capacity on Avenue D, where luxury apartments and new businesses are quickly and dramatically changing the landscape.

Today The Local got a tour of the 78-unit building, located at 101 Avenue D between 7th and 8th Streets, where only three apartments are still up for grabs. Green, and seeking LEED certification, Arabella 101 offers studios for $2,400-$2,995 a month, and one-bedroom apartments for $2,800-$3,400 a month (although half the units are at an “affordable” rate).

The apartments, which feature bamboo flooring and stainless-steel Whirlpool appliances, are located above The Lower East Side Girls Club. Sean Sorise, the property manager for the building, being developed by The Dermot Company, said they plan on co-hosting events with The Lower East Side Girls Club, and building a “strong partnership” together. Read more…

Kim’s Video to Open ‘Alternative and Interactive’ Pizzeria on Avenue D

101 avenue dNicole Guzzardi 101 Avenue D

If you read this week’s Voice and thought Yongman Kim’s scheme to relocate the entire Kim’s rental collection to Sicily was pie-in-the-sky, get this: the Kim’s Video mogul tells The Local that he plans to open an “alternative and interactive pizza store” on Avenue D.

Kim’s Video Makes a Pizza, as the venue will be called, will be located at 101 Avenue D, in a new building facing the Jacob Riis Houses that is home to the Arabella 101 rental apartments (it’s also the future home of the Lower Eastside Girls Club).

Mr. Kim said the pizza parlor and wine bar would “intermix the new business and the old using the Kim’s Video mentality and personality.”

If that sounds similar to Two Boots, Mr. Kim thinks otherwise. “My restaurant would be a full-sitting restaurant where young and night owls gather and talk about music, films, art and other cultures,” he told The Local.

The switch to pizza follows what Mr. Kim said was a decline in the video business that started in 2001 and worsened in 2005. “Digital has hurt my business and so has the Internet. It is what caused me to close most of the Kim’s locations,” he said, adding that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to go digital in 1994 (well before Netflix, he pointed out). “I was preparing the Internet venture side of my business. I organized my team and it didn’t work,” he said. “It failed over and over again.” Read more…

Tension in Alphabet City After Residents Clash With Police

As Alphabet City copes with its second stabbing in a week, many are still talking about a chaotic incident last weekend that is said to have increased tension between residents and the police.

A fight involving a father, his son, and a police officer last Saturday grew into a melee that took over Avenue D and spilled into a police station house, said residents of the neighborhood. Videos obtained by The Local offer a glimpse into the clamorous street scene.

The Local spoke with several people living in the Jacob Riis Houses or nearby who said they had heard that a 14-year-old boy and his father were stuck in the head by a police officer. Ashley Serrano, another 14-year-old who was involved in the tussle, said that the father’s face was bruised and cut. “They made his whole face bleed,” she said.

“It was a hot night out there,” said Lieutenant Steve Nusser, one of the officers of Police Service Area 4 who responded to the incident. “There was a fight between a couple people, a crowd of people came over, and the cops I’m sure did something to halt that action, and it escalated from there,” he said. “When the crowd surged, some people came to the PSA [station house] and we had to control the crowd. Some were out of order.” Read more…

Early-Morning Shooting in Alphabet City (Updated)

Police at Lillian WaldSuzanne Rozdeba A police car outside of the Wald Houses after gunshots back in January.

A man walked into Bellevue Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right leg around 1 a.m. this morning, the police said. The victim refused to provide a description of the person who shot him in the vicinity of Avenue D and East Sixth Street, due to what a police spokesperson said was his uncooperative nature.

In January, gunshots were heard in the same area near the Lillian Wald Houses, a month after a 19-year-old was shot in the leg further up Avenue D, in the courtyard of Campos Plaza II.

Know anything else? E-mail us.

Update | May 13, 7:45 p.m. Captain John Cappelmann said the shooting was “the result of an unknown dispute. We don’t have a solid motive at this point.”
Asked whether it was gang-related, he said, “That’s one angle that we’re looking at.”

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Graduate

Woo!Peter Boothe

A few weeks ago, NYU seniors from Avenue D to West Fourth Street washed their greasy hair and used their parents’ credit cards to buy something nice-looking for the penultimate of college events — graduation. For what seemed like way too many days I stood in line behind glossy moms in white ankle pants at H&M, mingled with round, red-faced Dads on the F train, and dodged double decker tour buses barreling through my streets, working overtime to accommodate all of the neglected aunts and uncles.

I wanted to run and hide, not because I was jealous of all the checks being picked up by parents at Mercadito, nor because those parents then gave their little graduates some “beer money” before they stepped into a cab to retire to their Times Square hotel. Not even because I’m scared of other people’s grandmas (which I am).

No, I wanted to get the hell out of the East Village during those days because from what I could see, all parties involved with the occasion seemed extremely unhappy and unhopeful, both for their own futures and for the futures of everyone around them. Yes, even commencement speaker Bill Clinton.

It reminded me of the misery of my own college graduation. My Dad cried, which I thought was sweet, but my mother assured me he was having a reaction to looking at his bank account. Last week, when I saw a silver-haired man in a Pebble Beach baseball cap painfully clutching the brunch menu while waiting in a throng of other silver-haired men outside of Peels, I assumed it was a similar situation.
Read more…

On Ave. D, Homeless Brace For Snow

Homeless on Avenue D IChelsia Rose Marcius Felix Gates, 57, shoveled stranded motorists out of snow piles during December’s snowstorm. For many of the East Village’s homeless, the inclement weather can bring new opportunities to make money by performing odd jobs.
Homeless on Avenue D II

Snow for the homeless of Avenue D is a mixed blessing. They can earn quick cash shoveling out stranded motorists, but it is not enough to get them off the streets.

Take Abraham Rosado, for example.  Mr. Rosado, who’s 56, has earned money during winters on Avenue D by shoveling snow. To keep warm, he seeks out sidewalk grates and liquor stores.

It is a wearing routine when the temperature dips below freezing and, according to, Mr. Rosado will have more such days to endure. The last week of January is forecast to include a few more days of snow and possible rain with little sun.

That means Mr. Rosado may make a small profit wielding his shovel. But it also means that the only sustained periods of relief from the outdoors that he will likely be able to count on will come during dinner hours at a local soup kitchen.

Many of Alphabet City’s homeless helped commuters last month plow through piles of snow in exchange for a small fee.

Others like Shea Darnell Belle, 30, a homeless man born in the East Village, said they offer assistance for free, or next to free.

“One lady had me shovel out her car,” he said. “She asked, ‘What do you charge?’ and I said, ‘What you can afford.’”

Felix Gates, 57, who sells cigarettes on the corner of Avenue D and Ninth Street, watched during the late December blizzard as some motorists struggled to restart engines that sputtered and stalled. Some of those people left their cars unattended for a few days until the snow was cleared. Their misfortune ended up providing a boon to some homeless men and women who managed to get inside the vehicles and use them as temporary shelters.

Others, of course, slept outside, even in frigid temperatures.

“Many of them sleep on the steps, on stairways before the police tell them to go to a shelter.” Mr. Gates said. “You see people move from one spot to another, just trying to stay warm. I’ll be glad when it’s all over.”