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Recalling A Couple’s Activism

When Paul and Monica Shay were gunned down July 2 in their country home in Montgomery County, Pa., it quickly became clear to those who knew the couple that their loss would be felt especially deep in the East Village.

What longtime friends remember most about the Shays — who lived on East 10th Street — is their roles as leaders in the fight for housing, which in the 1980’s and 90’s included frequent clashes with the police during demonstrations for the rights of squatters in and around Tompkins Square Park.

“There’s a short list of people who when they say, ‘let’s do something,’ they mean they’re going to do it,” said Seth Tobocman, an activist artist and friend of the Shays.

“Kathryn and Paul were always on that list,” he continued, referring to Ms. Shay by her nickname.

Since the shooting, crowds of friends and neighbors have twice gathered publicly to remember the Shays, most recently July 9 in Tompkins Square Park.

Ms. Shay died July 7, while Mr. Shay remains hospitalized and in critical condition. Three other victims include Mr. Shay’s nephew Joseph Shay, the younger Mr. Shay’s girlfriend Kathryn Erdmann, and her 2-year-old son Gregory Erdmann. Ms. Erdmann and the elder Mr. Shay are the lone survivors.
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The Day | Pausing to Remember

Goods BratTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

We begin the week on a somber note. The neighborhood paused in remembrance Saturday night, as friends gathered for a vigil in honor of Monica Shay, an East Village resident and Pratt Institute professor who was killed last week. The event turned into a protest of sorts as participants celebrated Ms. Shay’s longtime community activism. Ms. Shay’s nephew and a toddler were also killed in the shooting. Ms. Shay’s husband and another victim in the shooting remain in critical condition.

Two other members of our community will be celebrated and remembered tonight. Friends and family will gather in Queens for a visitation for Dominique Philbert, who died last week. Mr. Philbert worked with his father, George, at Bikes by George on Fourth Street.

In traditional New Orleans fashion, friends of Ray Deter, the d.b.a. bar owner who died from injuries sustained in a biking accident, will take part in a second line funeral march beginning at 7 tonight — a fitting tribute for Mr. Deter who also owned two bars in the Big Easy.

The Day | Something’s Missing

3rd Eye BlindTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

Watch where you step for the next couple of days. EV Grieve reports that someone in the neighborhood has lost a pet turtle. According to a flier posted on a pole at Ninth Street and Avenue C, the turtle is a red-eared Slider named Claudius. So, if you spot a random turtle crawling down the street, call 917-319-3975; it might be Claudius.

Also on Grieve: the management team at Sidewalk Bar & Restaurant says the bar aims to re-open Aug. 5 after being closed for repairs since March. The bar is known for its open mic nights; the owners proclaim Sidewalk holds the longest-running open mic night in the city. EV Grieve has snippets of an e-mail interview with the open-mic night leader Ben Krieger who said, “It looks like things are finally getting close to completion.” Mr. Krieger also wrote, “From what I know, the menu should be the same, but stripped down to about a third of the size, mainly the items that were selling. Prices should be about the same.”

And finally, East Villagers mourn the death of a long-time resident and Pratt Institute professor. The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius reports that Monica Shay, 58, a resident of East 10th Street, died Thursday after being shot in the head last weekend at her country home in eastern Pennsylvania. Mrs. Shay is the third person to die in the shooting; her nephew Joseph Shay and a 2-year-old boy died shortly after the shooting occurred. Two other people, including Mrs. Shay’s husband, Paul, remain in critical condition.

Third Victim of Pa. Shooting Dies

Monica Shay, 58, a resident of East 10th Street, died today after being shot in the head last weekend at her country home in Bechtelsville, Pa. The authorities said that Richard Geisenheyner — who was later killed in a standoff with the police — shot Mrs. Shay, her husband Paul, her nephew, Joseph Shay, Joseph Shay’s girlfriend Kathryn Erdmann, and Ms. Erdmann’s 2-year-old son Gregory; Joseph Shay and the toddler died before help arrived. Neighbors and friends held a vigil Tuesday outside Mrs. Shay’s home at 263 East 10th Street hoping for her recovery.
Chelsia Rose Marcius

Vigil Held for Local Family Shot in Pa.

IMG_2500Chelsia Rose Marcius Nicholas Heyward, 54, of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, a member of the October 22nd Coailition to Stop Police Brutality.

Old friends, neighbors and passersby gathered by the front stoop of 263 East 10th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A for an evening vigil at the house of Monica and Paul Shay, the East Village couple who were both shot in the head Saturday night at their country house in Bechtelsville, Pa.

“If he had the chance to talk first, he probably would have talked” — the gunman — “out of it,” said friend Paul DeRienzo, 55, of the Lower East Side, who said Mr. Shay always found a way to temper a dispute and help warring parties make peace.
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