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Post-Sandy, Shops Stay Up Late Hoping Customers Will Come Down Chimney

candyJoann Pan Ame Ame

Shops on East Ninth Street are pulling an all-nighter and hoping to make back some of the thousands of dollars in business they lost in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, at least 11 boutiques that usually close their doors around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. will encourage the after-work crowd to “Shop Until Midnight.”

Hurricane Sandy’s negative effect on business has been very well documentedDevorado NYC — a vintage store selling Emilio Pucci, Yves Saint Laurent and classic Dior — saw an extreme dip in sales after the storm.

Carmen Ruiz-Davila, who opened the store just five months ago, panicked when she noticed the slump. “I didn’t sell anything for three weeks, not a single thing,” she said. “After we regained power, people were not in the mood to shop; they were helping people in need.”

On Wednesday Devorado and other participating shops will offer special 30-to-40 percent sales on select items.
Read more…

Another Cyclist Struck at Fourth Ave. and Ninth St.

UntitledStephen Rex Brown Medics tend to the cyclist.

A cyclist was hit by a cab after running a red light at East Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue shortly after 6:30 p.m., witnesses said.

The cyclist was traveling west-bound on East Ninth Street, went through a red light and then managed to avoid one cab before being nailed by a second, Katarina Kojic said. “Luckily, I don’t think he hit his head,” she said.

The victim was treated by Fire Department medics and put in an ambulance.

“He came across. There was too much traffic, I didn’t see him,” said the cabbie, Hardyale Singh. “I hit the bike, not him. It wasn’t my fault.”

This is the second accident at that intersection that The Local has recently stumbled upon. In June a pregnant cyclist was hit by a cabbie at the very same spot. Read more…

Small Deck Fires on Ninth Quickly Extinguished

IMG_0939Stephen Rex Brown Firefighters on East Ninth Street.
IMG_0944Stephen Rex Brown 425 East Ninth Street.

A pair of fires on the decks of two buildings on East Ninth Street were put out by firefighters today at around 1:15 p.m.

Deputy Chief James Daly said the initial fire at 425 East Ninth Street started in a planter, leading him to suspect that a discarded cigarette was the culprit. Embers from the fire blew over to a deck a 417 East Ninth Street, starting another small blaze. Within 15 minutes both fires were under control, the deputy chief said.

On Ninth Street, a ‘Guru of East Side Soul’

Billy LylesLouie Lazar Billy Lyles poses in front of a mural that depicts him playing the saxophone.

The record vendor who toured the world with a disco star isn’t the only East Villager who’s both a musician and salesman: on Ninth Street, jazzman Billy Lyles and his wife, designer Jane Williams, have owned Katinka, an idiosyncratic store no bigger than a walk-in closet, since 1979.

Mr. Lyles, 69, has performed at clubs like the Bitter End, but neighbors know him best for his impromptu saxophone, keyboard, guitar, and flute performances outside of his shop on Ninth Street, near Second Avenue. There, Mr. Lyles interacts with passers-by from his usual position near a table where scented soap and incense are sold for just a dollar. A mural by Chico featuring his likeness – white beard, attentive eyes, saxophone at his lips – adorns an adjacent brick façade. On warm days, shouts of “Billy!” echo down the tree-lined block, and people wave at him from across the street.

“It’s nice to get said hello to,” said Mr. Lyles, wearing his trademark glasses and old-fashioned flat cap. “To be a nice person, man: they don’t have that going on any more like they used to.” Read more…