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Power Flows Back Into Haven Plaza, Knickerbocker Village

knickerbocker villageJoann Pan On Tuesday, Knickerbocker Village management said they will have electricity fully restored to its buildings by early Wednesday morning.

Two apartment complexes that were among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy are inching back to normality.

Residents at One Haven Plaza who last week were without power are in a better place today, as electricity is flowing to most of the building’s apartments, and heat and hot water have been fully restored.

But work remains to be done. “In some apartments, [electricity] is still not on,” said Daisy Lopez, site manager for Haven Plaza. “But we have the electrician here and he’s going to go around.”

The development’s management company, Wavecrest Management Team, has hired Enviro Waste, a hazardous waste company, to clean and sanitize flooded basements where power equipment was badly damaged. Electricians are also repairing elevator cables in the complex’s four high-rises, in hopes of getting an elevator in each building running by late tomorrow.

Until then, Ms. Lopez said, management is discouraging elderly tenants — some of whom were given temporary shelter at the Grand Street Guild, also managed by Wavecrest — from returning to their apartments.

Still, many evacuees have done just that. One sign of improved conditions: today was the last day tenants were provided hot meals.
Read more…

Richard Moses Celebrates 5 Years and, Hopefully, 300+ Historic Buildings

richard moses Richard Moses (right) at LESPI’s birthday bash.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission may well create a new East Village/Lower East Side Historic District encompassing over 300 buildings. But the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative isn’t waiting till then to celebrate: the group marked its fifth anniversary last night with bubbly and birthday cake at Smart Clothes Gallery on Stanton Street. Since preservation architects Richard Moses and Britton Baine – inspired by a screening of “Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery” – started the organization in 2007, they’ve gone on to become instrumental in the creation of a 10th Street Historic District and have led countless tours and discussions about neighborhood history and architecture. The Local chatted with Mr. Moses as he prepared for last night’s birthday bash.


You’ve garnered opposition from religious groups in the community in regards to landmarking. Have others opposed your projects and how do you handle the situation?


There were a few property owners who were opposed. They came out and expressed their opposition, but there wasn’t a huge number of them by any means; I would say a few.

It’s a tricky situation because emotions tend to run high on both sides. Certainly we’re sympathetic to concerns of religious institutions on the idea that they want their congregation to be thriving and we certainly want them to be thriving – we don’t want them to burdened. We feel sometimes that there’s a misunderstanding of some of the requirements of the Landmarks Commission and that there’s a different focus on short-term versus long-term goals. Read more…

Hot Dog Log: Free JapaDogs in Union Square, Two New Wieneries in LES

photo(365)Lauren Carol Smith

JapaDog, the Japanese hot dog joint that opened on St. Marks Place in January, is giving ’em away in Union Square.

Nodding to its humble origins as a Vancouver food stand, the brand set up a cart outside of Best Buy this morning and gave away beef and veggie dogs, topped with cherry mayo. They’re now going for $3.

Same deal tomorrow: free dogs from 10 a.m. till noon, then $3 dogs till 6 or 7 p.m.

Joshua Heeki, a chef and manager at the St. Marks location, said JapaDog hopes to eventually launch a more permanent cart somewhere in the city, but this one is mostly a publicity ploy. “We want the public to know about us a bit more,” he said.

In other wiener news, Bowery Boogie hears that Links is set to open tomorrow at 188 Allen Street, with another hot dog spot, Los Perros Locos, opening soon across the street.

Leah Cohen of ‘Top Chef’ Opens Pig & Khao With Fatty Crew

Interior shots: Alexa Mae Asperin. Food shots: Zandy Mangold.

“I’m sick of everyone doing pork belly,” says Leah Cohen, the former Centro Vinoteca chef best known as a contestant on “Top Chef.”

That’s why, at her new Clinton Street restaurant, she’s staying away from it. “We eventually want to do pork brains, ears and just everything,” she said.

Pig and Khao, her project with the Fatty Crew Hospitality Partners (Fatty Crab, Fatty ‘Cue) opened for dinner tonight, with a Thai-Filipino menu (below) inspired by the year Ms. Cohen, whose mother is Filipino, spent in Asia.

“Most of the cuisine that I had when I was traveling in Asia, like in Thailand or in the Philippines, the main staples were pork and rice,” said Ms. Cohen. At Pig and Khao (“khao” means “rice” in Thai), she’ll be braising, air drying and frying pork cuts such as head, face, butt and leg – with Thai accents of cilantro, lemongrass, basil and mint. Read more…

Mama’s Food Shop Owner Calls Revival ‘Bittersweet’

mama'sMelvin Felix

So what does the former owner of Mama’s Food Shop think about a new Mama coming to 200 East Third Street? Jeremiah Clancy, who bought the neighborhood institution in 2007 and closed it in July, said learning that the building’s landlord planned to take over the space was “bittersweet.”

Mr. Clancy does not own the Mama’s trademark, but wanted to distance himself from the new restaurant that his former landlord, Richard Freedman, plans to open with the possible name of Mama’s Eats and a similar menu of southern comfort food.

“This is a completely new business with a different owner,” said Mr. Clancy. “Even though he is serving similar foods, by no stretch of the imagination does that have anything to do with the Mama’s ethos, the Mama’s vibes and what was created over the past 15 years. This is something completely different.”

News that Mr. Freedman planned to give the space a significant upgrade including new bathrooms and an improved kitchen didn’t sit well with Mr. Clancy, who cited the burden of maintenance costs as a reason for the restaurant’s closing. “He’s making repairs on the space that I hemorrhaged the majority of my money on,” he said, later adding, “I loved that he sort of played a victim. He feels that property taxes are so high, but he still has the means to gut renovate a restaurant.”

Mr. Freedman, who also owns Mama’s Bar adjacent the restaurant space, said the new eatery would open in the next few months.

Police Say This Woman Swiped a Purse at Arlene’s Grocery

Suspect in theft at Arlene's GroceryN.Y.P.D. The suspect.

The police are on the hunt for a woman who stole a purse from Arlene’s Grocery on August 7.

The suspect allegedly swiped the bag hanging below a bar inside the music venue at 12:50 a.m. Police said the bag contained a cell phone, wallet, cash and credit cards.

Fall Victim Was Bound for Rehab

Carlisle Brigham, the 29-year-old woman who died from a slip down the stairs of 191 Orchard Street on Monday, was on the verge of entering rehab, The Post reports. According to the paper’s sources, Ms. Brigham’s father — who served under Mayor Ed Koch — was flying into the city to help her cope with her drinking, which had become a major concern. The Times also has more details on Ms. Brigham, who is described as a talented “starlet” who was “a natural fit with the society Web sites that featured photos of her snapped at galas, charity events and gallery openings.” Less than an hour before she was found dead, she spoke with her father.

Autopsy Determines Carlisle Brigham Died of Spill Down Stairs


The injuries that caused the death of 29-year-old Carlisle Brigham were “consistent with a fall down the stairs,” a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner said.

An autopsy revealed that the woman, whose father served as the city budget director under Mayor Ed Koch, died of “blunt impact injuries of the head and neck.” When news broke of the gory death at 191 Orchard Street yesterday morning, the police said that Ms. Brigham had been sliced across the neck (the amount of blood around her neck led to that theory, according to the Post). But the examiner’s report did not include anything regarding a cut.

UPDATE: Woman Fatally Cut Across Neck on Orchard Street

UntitledStephen Rex Brown A distraught man was interviewed by police at 191 Orchard Street.

A 29-year-old woman was slashed across the neck and died this morning.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that the victim was declared dead at Beth Israel Hospital about 10 minutes ago. She was found around 10:33 a.m. “heavily bleeding” from the neck and in partial cardiac arrest inside of 191 Orchard Street near East Houston Street.

Further details regarding how she died or if there are any suspects were not immediately available. A distraught man, pictured above, was seen speaking at length to investigators a half-hour after the incident.

Update | 12:52 p.m. A resident of the building who did not wish to be identified came upon the victim moments after a neighbor attempted to revive her in the hallway. “It was a big mess. There was blood everywhere,” the resident said.

According to the resident, a medic said the victim’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, as some initially suspected. “She had compound fractures in her arm and she was cut,” the resident said. The victim, who was wearing acid-wash blue jeans, had a Missouri drivers license in her wallet, which also still contained money, credit cards and an iPhone.

“She did not look like she was homeless or a hooker,” the resident said. “She had too many accouterments of the average American young person in her 20s: An iPhone and wallet full of plastic.”

The longtime resident added that it was unlikely the victim lived in the building.

“It’s pretty upsetting. I almost threw up.”

Update | 5:20 p.m. Lower East Side Slashing Victim Identified

Reward for Seward Park Shooter Raised Again

Sketch of Shooting Suspect

The police are now offering $32,000 for information that leads them to the man who shot a police officer in the Seward Park Houses on July 5. In the incident, Officer Brian Groves was patrolling the public houses when he came upon the suspect between the 18th and 19th floors. A brief chase ensued, and the suspect shot the officer, who narrowly escaped death thanks to his Kevlar vest.

Police Seek Sexual Assault Suspect

Sexual Assault suspect

A man sexually assaulted a woman on a rooftop near Clinton Street in the Lower East Side on August 3, the police said. The pair entered the building together at 2:50 a.m. and then the suspect, who is said to be 5-foot-5 and in his early 20s, assaulted the victim and fled. Just yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced the conviction of a 39-year-old man who was linked to a sexual assault in the East Village in 2008 thanks to a state DNA database.

Seward Houses Swept After Shooting of Police Officer

New York Police Department A video released today.

The Police Department canvassed the 179 apartments in the Seward Park Houses on Essex Street today, a show of force in the ongoing search for the suspect in last week’s shooting of an officer on patrol. The reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect has also been raised to $22,000, as indicated in the video above.

Random Slashing at Essex and Rivington

A 24-year-old man was sliced across the face for no apparent reason after leaving Famous Hakki Pizza at Essex and Rivington Streets this morning. A police spokesman said that the victim had just bought a slice and stepped onto the sidewalk when the unknown assailant cut him from his left cheek to the bottom of his chin at around 2:15 a.m. with a sharp object and then fled. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital. Check back later for further details.

Police Release Sketch of Shooting Suspect

Sketch of Shooting Suspect

Here’s a sketch of the suspect in this morning’s shooting in the Lower East Side that likely would have killed a police officer were it not for his Kevlar vest. The incident happened in the stairwell between the 18th and 19th floors of the Seward Park Houses at around 3:40 a.m. While on a routine patrol, Officer Brian Groves came upon the armed suspect, who shot him in the chest after a brief pursuit, according to a statement from Commissioner Raymond Kelly. The Lo-Down reports a heavy police presence in the neighborhood.

FDNY Medic Busted Selling Fireworks on Houston

This will put a damper on his Fourth of July plans.

A medic for the Fire Department was arrested early this morning after selling fireworks to an undercover officer, the police said.

The suspect, Anthony Baijnauth, was selling the fun — but illegal — explosives out of a large bag stashed in his car at Norfolk and East Houston Streets at around 12:10 a.m., the police said. After selling some of the fireworks to the undercover officer, the 24-year-old resident of Queens was arrested and charged with unlawfully dealing with fireworks.

C.B. 3 Report: B-Side’s Chip Shop, Bowery Beerhaus, 9th Street Espresso’s Brewski Bid

cb meetingEdna Ishayik

Community Board 3 may have set a record last night: with 27 items on the agenda  – including Ninth Street Espresso’s bid to serve beer, a pitch for a German beer hall on the Bowery, and a Starbucks location’s attempt to win back its sidewalk seats – the board’s State Liquor Authority committee meeting ran past 2 a.m.

The main event: the owners of B-Side are hoping to open a spot at East Broadway and Clinton Street that would be “totally different” than the punk bar on Avenue B and would include a chip shop purveying “the best fish, chips and falafel you’ve ever had,” according to owner Sivan Harlap.

In an e-mail, Ms. Harlap called the new venture a “grown-up version of B-side,” explaining that “there are things I am interested in now that I wasn’t that all interested in when I was 22 – craft beers, cocktails, thoughtful food, this new place will reflect those new interests.”

Speakers lined up to argue in favor and against the new watering hole that would be catty-corner to the Seward Park Cooperative. Some neighbors said they looked forward to having a place to grab a drink or a bite in an area that isn’t laden with bars and restaurants. But opponents, some of whom were concerned about loud noise, had collected over 600 signatures, partially through churches and schools nearby. Read more…

Beds and Blessings for Cabrini’s Elderly, But Uncertainty For Its Immigrants

CabriniStephen Rex Brown The Cabrini Center.

This week, dozens of residents and employees of the Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation will receive bottles of holy water with which to bless their new homes or offices.

The bottles are a parting gift to the 85 remaining residents of the nursing home at Fifth Street and Avenue B who will have to vacate by July 1 so that the building’s new owner, Benjamin Shaoul’s Magnum Realty Group, can go ahead with redevelopment plans.

Last month, Cabrini closed the adult daycare center that it operated on the Lower East Side, which gave nearly 40 seniors and some adults with developmental disabilities a place to eat, socialize and receive medical attention as needed during the day. Lorraine Horgan, a spokesperson for Cabrini, said that those people had been easily transferred to other programs; but a group of board members and employees is still working to ensure that English lessons, weekly food allotments, and legal services remain available to the 16,000 people who use yet another program, Cabrini Immigrant Services, each week. Read more…

Care to Drink in Some Theater?

claireChris Caporlingua The characters quaffed beer in “Claire Went to
France.” Now you can, too.

Having trouble getting the boyf to take in some local theater? This might convince him. “The Vitology,” a new three-act comedy from Ben Clawson, Artome Yatsunov, and Scott Cagney – playwright, director, and actor from “Claire Went to France” – involves a drinking game: audience members pick a character and every time the character drinks, they drink, too. The play, which runs July 5 to 14 at Under St. Marks, spans “a decade in the lives of the world’s worst best friends,” per a press release, so expect to take many a sip from the free beer you get with the $18 cost of admission.

And the Strange Dog Theatre Company isn’t the only one plying theatergoers with drinks. Bowery Boogie attended “Speakeasy Dollhouse,” Cynthia von Buhler’s new play about the murder of her saloonkeeper grandfather and found that upon arriving at the former Lower East Side speakeasy where the play takes place, audience members are offered cannolis and “special coffee.”

First Lakeside, Now Parkside Needs Help

Add Parkside Lounge to the long list of neighborhood mainstays that are soliciting donations to keep afloat. The East Houston Street bar seeks $10,000 to overhaul its performance space to include a new bar and better sound equipment. “With all the stuff that’s going on in the neighborhood right now, sometimes I get nervous. Some places have just completely changed their identities. I don’t want to do that,” operating partner Christopher Lee says in the video, filmed by the local fundraising company Lucky Ant.

The longstanding bar serves up cheap booze and an eclectic array of musical acts, much like Lakeside Lounge did before it shuttered at the end of April. Read more…

A Word With the 23-Year-Old Curator of ’93 Til Infinity,’ Closing Tonight

Photo on 2012-05-31 at 18.11 #3(3)Clayton Patterson Jessie Mac

At 23, Jessie Mac is one of New York’s youngest curators. Tonight at 9 p.m., her third show at Gathering of the Tribes, “’93 Til Infinity,” closes with a party featuring a screening of “Captured,” the 2008 documentary about photographer, curator, and local historian Clayton Patterson. The exhibition features Mr. Patterson’s early-90s photos of the Lower East Side amid floor-to-ceiling graffiti work by Mint&Serf of the Peter Pan Posse art collective. Ms. Mac spoke with The Local about working with Steve Cannon, the founder of Tribes who is fighting to hold onto the space.


How did you wind up as curator of Tribes?


I started working at Tribes a year ago as an intern when I met Steve Cannon. We cut a deal: if he taught me to curate I would dedicate my time to Tribes. It’s a non-profit so Steve is always in need of an extra hand. I never thought a blind man would be my artistic mentor, but I honestly would not be a curator without him. He taught me everything I know in the New York art scene. When people ask how he feels about not knowing what’s on the walls in his own space he says I’m his eyes. But I would have no direction without him. Read more…