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‘Private’ Bike Rack, We Hardly Knew Ye

IMG_0217Stephen Rex Brown All that’s left of the rack.

The bike rack on East Fourth Street that a scofflaw cyclist claimed as his own has been removed.

Kyle, the East Fourth Street resident who had his bike stolen from the rack last weekend, noticed that the rack was gone this morning. Sure enough, where once was an arched beam with “Private Bike Rack” painted on it there is now nothing more than six bolts in the sidewalk.

“It’s obviously a bummer that the bike rack had to go, but it’s better than having to put up with someone’s abuses,” said Kyle, who did not wish to give his last name for fear of a confrontation with the rack’s “owner.”

He added, “That guy probably wasn’t going to relent. If it were the bike rack or the guy, the only thing that would have changed is the rack.”

The Local is awaiting a response from The Department of Transportation, regarding whether it removed the rack between Avenues A and B. Back in October the department confirmed that it hadn’t installed the rack, and that it was illegal to claim it as one’s own. In fact, the department can bill whoever installed the rack for the expense of removing it. Of course, that seems unlikely given that the owner has never come forward, though rumors abound.

Update | 4:31 p.m. A spokeswoman for The Department of Transportation confirmed that workers removed the rack today, and that it had received no complaints about it since October. Read more…

Street Scenes | Container Painters

Chris and Veng, Robots Will Kill, sun dappledScott Lynch

H. Veng Smith (a.k.a. Veng), last seen painting a mural with schoolkids on Avenue D, was one of several artists who redecorated the construction containers on East Fourth Street over the weekend. See more shots at The Local’s Flickr group.

Sara’s Jewelry On East Fourth Street Closes Amidst Eviction

IMG_0395Stephen Rex Brown The shuttered store at 64 East Fourth Street.

Sara’s Vintage and Handmade Jewelry on East Fourth Street closed over the weekend, and the landlord says it is being evicted.

The store, which opened in 2008, sold vintage and antique jewelry as well as handmade jewelry by local designers, according to Yelp.

The store’s landlord said that it was far from an ideal tenant.

“They didn’t pay the rent for roughly the last six months,” said Valerio Orselli, the executive director of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association. “They are being evicted.”
Read more…

No, You Can’t Say Your Bike Rack Is ‘Private’

privateNoah Fecks

The city’s Department of Transportation confirmed late yesterday what seemed obvious: you can’t claim a bike rack on a sidewalk as private, even if you installed it yourself.

The Local submitted the oddball inquiry yesterday after reporting on the mystery of the “private” rack on East Fourth Street. A local plumber told The Local he installed the rack at the request of Flash Courier Service, and assumed it would be available to the public. But as it turned out, someone has claimed the rack as his own, and left notes warning that the “trespassing” bikes will be forcibly removed.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said that the rack did not appear in city records. “Still, even if a permit is issued for installation, that does not mean the bike rack is for the exclusive use of the owner if it is installed on a public sidewalk,” the spokeswoman added. Read more…

The Mystery of the ‘Private’ Bike Rack on East Fourth

private1Noah Fecks

Someone is leaving menacing messages on a bike rack on East Fourth Street, warning cyclists that they are not allowed to park on the u-shaped steel he claims as his own.

Four days ago, photographer Noah Fecks sent a snapshot to The Local, of two bikes parked at the rack between Avenues A and B with notes attached to them saying “This is a private rack — remove your bike or it will be done for you!” Yesterday, one of the bikes remained, bearing the same note.

But this is not just a run-of-the-mill case of an over-assertive cyclist claiming a parking space. A longtime local who identified himself as a plumber and welder, but asked not to be named, told The Local that he installed the bike rack for the landlord of 211 East Fourth Street, who he said ran Flash Courier Service out of the building. (The courier service indeed has an East Fourth Street address on Foursquare, but is said to be located on East Fifth Street on and elsewhere; today, an employee who said he did not have time to speak to The Local brusquely told us the company was located on Lenox Avenue before hanging up.) Read more…

The World Trade Center, Magnified On East Fourth

Ella Zhang Scenes from last night’s opening of the “WTC” exhibit on East Fourth Street.

A longtime photographer of Lower Manhattan has taken close-up photos of the World Trade Center and mounted them on a scaffolding on East Fourth Street, just out of reach.

Brian Rose, the photographer behind “WTC,” said he was inspired to prepare the outdoor exhibit after cleaning negatives of World Trade Center photos he took as long as 30 years ago. In the process of ridding the film of dust, he zoomed in on it and became mesmerized by the architectural beauty of the towers’ details.

“’WTC’ was never a project, it was found,” Mr. Rose said.
Read more…

Paint the Town White

According to I Love East Village, a local arts group is looking for volunteers to paint an entire block of roofs on East Fourth Street. The White Roof Project, working with Fourth Arts Block, says the project will demonstrate that white roofs lower the temperature in the area, which in turn reduces demands on the power grid.