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Business Gains Slim from Gay Marriage

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2011, Greenwich Village, New York City - 4Vivienne GucwaSupporters of same-sex marriage during a parade last month. An anticipated spike in business for wedding planners, florists and others because of the new law has so far failed to materialize.

The legalization of same-sex marriage in New York meant many things to many people. It meant freedom to marry for lesbian and gay couples who had been waiting to do so in their home state. It meant a landmark civil rights victory for New York legislators. And to many in the wedding industry, it meant cash.

But they may have seen the dollar signs a bit too soon.

There were 659 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples who wed on Sunday, the first day that the law was put into effect, but those numbers have not led to a bump in profits.

Wedding planner Jeannie Uyanik, executive director of C&G Weddings, thought that the expectations of business owners were overblown from the outset, making the lackluster increases seem even more disappointing.

“Even before the law was enacted, there were people who were going to get married no matter what. It didn’t matter if they had to go to Canada or Amsterdam or Massachusetts: where there’s a will there’s always been a way,” Mrs. Uyanik said. “This in and of itself is not going to change the wedding industry. There’s going to be that small blip — probably of just a year — but at that point its really going to normalize.”
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The Day | Wedding Bells

Same Sex Couples Marry in NYSusan Keyloun

Good morning, East Village.

In light of the first day of legalized same-sex marriage in New York, Manhattan was seemingly covered in rainbow confetti on Sunday, and the East Village was no exception. Community board member Dominic Pisciotta and his longtime partner were one of the hundreds of couples to wed throughout the city yesterday. One hotspot was Trinity Church, where Pastor Phil Trzynka said he will be marrying same sex couples for free all year. Congratulations to all.

Tompkins Square Park had quite a collection of inhabitants this weekend, as it played host to both the Fifth Annual New Village Music Festival and an inordinate amount of rats. The photos, taken by Bob Arihood at Neither More Nor Less, back up claims made by The Villager that rats are on the rise in the park.

Several new gin joints and grub spots are being whispered about in the area, with Prime & Beyond New York bringing some steak to St. Mark’s last week. For the more health conscious, Mikey’s Pet Shop on Seventh Street near Avenue A will be turning into an organic health food store in near future. When it comes to libations, EV Grieve says that rumors are rampant about a supposed new bar that Mars Bar owner Hank Penza is planning to open in the neighborhood. Lastly, progress is being shown on construction of the Hyatt Hotel in Union Square, which will feature “an upscale restaurant, destination lobby bar, an exclusive rooftop lounge” and much more when it opens in fall 2012.

Jeremiah takes us on a trip up the stairs and down memory lane back to the somewhat seedy past of Movie Star News. The longtime store that is currently found on West 18th Street was once at home in the East Village, where movie stars and movie star wannabes went to have pin up photos taken.

The Day | Party, Parish and Politics

Little Annie's Big CityTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village

There’s a birthday party coming up soon and everyone in the neighborhood is invited. Bowery Boogie is celebrating its third birthday at Motor City located at 127 Ludlow Street. Members of the news blog, which covers the Lower East Side, say that you can mention #BOOGIE at the party and receive a free drink.

There’s even more good news for the East Village and Lower East Side gay and lesbian community. EV Grieve reports this morning that the pastor of Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish will perform free same-sex marriage ceremonies beginning next year. The announcement comes three days after state lawmakers in Albany passed a same-sex marriage act.

Finally, there were two important government meetings last night that effect you directly. First, The Local’s Laura E. Lee reports that the Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee of Community Board 3 discussed four possible modifications to the Essex Street Market:  create a new market, keep what we have the same, keep the facade of the existing market and building above or have two separate markets. Many locals do not want the market closed. A decision was not made last night. The committee will continue discussing the matter next month.

And, although they heard boos while doing it, the Rent Guidelines Board passed rent increases of 3.75 percent for tenants signing a one-year lease and 7.25 percent for tenants signing a two-year lease. The increase equates to at least $60 more a month for most East Villagers.

Images of the Pride Parade

Adrian Fussell, Vivienne Gucwa, Heather Holland, Susan Keyloun, Tim Schreier and Guney South — all members of The Local East Village Flickr Group — share their images of the weekend’s Gay Pride Parade and the celebrations surrounding the passage of the Marriage Equality Act.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

If you’d like a chance to see your best shots appear on The Local, join The Local East Village Flickr Group.

The Day | A Weekend of Pride

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2011, Greenwich Village, New York City - 26Vivienne Gucwa

Good morning, East Village.

We begin today with a reflection on the weekend, which many people spent celebrating the passage of same-sex marriage act late Friday and the Gay Pride Parade Sunday. You can find complete coverage in The Times, including a piece about the reaction a bit west of our neighborhood. And later this morning, we’ll present images of the parade and other celebrations in a slideshow of images shared by the members of The Local’s Flickr group.

In other neighborhood news, you might have to find a new place to buy your steaks. Many people were saddened Saturday to hear that the popular Jeffrey’s Meat Market was no longer in business on the Lower East Side. The Wall Street Journal reported that the meat market is believed to be one of the oldest in the neighborhood’s history; the former owner, Jeffrey Ruhalter, 55, represents the fourth generation of his family to work at the shop.

There’s also a new crime alert: the authorities are looking for “gentlemanly mugger” who robbed a 73-year-old woman near Union Square last week. DNAinfo reports that this mugger politely opened the door to Apple Bank on Wednesday night, watched the victim withdraw $200 then snatched it from her hand. The police said the suspect was wearing a camouflage hat, white tank top and jeans and a yellow rope as a belt.

Finally, the Rent Guidelines Board returns to Cooper Union’s Great Hall today to determine if, or by how much, they will raise rent prices in the East Village and throughout the city. The Local has reported on the rally and final public hearing session last week, and one tenant advocacy group will hold one more rally today. The Local will have a reporter at the meeting. Check back throughout the day for updates.