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Remembering Sunando Sen

Vigil at New York Copy ShopAnnie Fairman

Customers, friends and employees of the New York Copy Center returned to the re-opened store after the final day of religious rites were performed for Sunando Sen, who died on Thursday evening in Queens after being pushed onto the subway tracks.

sign outside of New York Copy Center, January 2ndAnnie FairmanAt New York Copy Center.

On Sunday, a yellow rose and handwritten sign were spotted outside of the store that read: “Sunando Sen A Beautiful Good Soul in Heaven Your Kindness Good Soul Gentle Heart Remembered Always!” As of today, others had written notes of regret and condolences on the paper, and a photo of Mr. Sen was posted along with text on the store’s front door. The outdoor vigil, composed of candles, cards, and flowers, had been moved inside to the front counter because of weather.

Helen, a resident of the East Village for over fifty years who declined to give her last name, has been a customer of the store since it opened roughly 16 years ago. “They had so many, but this place, with Sunando, he knew exactly how to handle everything graphically,” she said.

“I mean he really had a good touch,” said Helen, adding that they drew many of the neighborhood’s graphic artists to the store. “We are all mourning. We are very sad.”

Bidyut Sarker, 55, opened New York Copy Center in late 1995, and Mr. Sen helped him set up the businesses computer systems before they opened their doors. Though he had “no institutional education” in computers, Mr. Sarker said he taught himself complex software, often staying at the store until two or three in the morning working on the computer. After opening his own copy store on the Upper West Side, Mr. Sarker said the two would still call one another frequently for help. Smiling, Mr Sarker recalled how Mr. Sen would phone the store with any problems from the copy machine equipment, and Mr. Sarker would respond in kind with all computer questions. Read more…

Ellen Grossman, Jay-Z, and Her Art

When Ellen Grossman met Jay-Z on the subway, the media paid attention. The Local visited the East Village artist to take a closer look at her art.

Side-by-Side, East Village Chain Stores Would Span 16 City Blocks (Plus: Map)

textchains2Illustration: Lauren Carol Smith
chainsfinal CLICK TO ENLARGE

There’s been much ado about chain stores lately: last month, anarchists targeted a new 7-Eleven; earlier this week, Community Board 3 continued its discussion on retail diversity; and now a petition calls for a halt to the perceived chain invasion in the East Village. But just how many chains are in the neighborhood, anyway? The Local pounded the pavement to find out.

The petition claims that “zip code 10003, which we all know as the East Village, now has the most national retail stores of any zip code in NYC (except for one that has a huge shopping mall).” Not exactly true: a recent study by the Center for an Urban Future found 169 chain retailers in the zip code, actually the third-most in the city. Since the 10003 zip includes parts of the Flatiron District and Gramercy (and only part of the East Village), the question remains: how much of the East Village do chain stores own?

Here’s what we found: if one were to place every national chain store, bank, restaurant, and movie theater in the East Village side-by-side, they would span 16 city blocks, and that’s with stores on both sides of the street. Read more…

Victim of Alleged Subway Peeper Photographs Him Back

Unlawful surveillance suspectNew York Police Department The suspect.

A man took a photograph up a passenger’s skirt while they rode a southbound 4 train arriving in the Union Square station on April 18, police said.

The 24-year-old victim approached officers in the station at around 4:10 p.m. and showed them a photo she had taken of the voyeur. The suspect, who is said to be around five-foot-five and 150 pounds, is wanted for unlawful surveillance.

Arrest in Series of Robberies, But Prime Suspect at Large

Robbery suspect still

The police arrested a man suspected of robbing a convenience store on First Avenue, but his accomplice — who is wanted for at least 16 other heists — is still at large.

The police said that 30-year-old Duwayne Bascom and another man entered the store at 111 First Avenue on Nov. 21 at around 8:40 p.m., demanded an unknown amount of money and then fled with the cash. But Mr. Bascom has not yet been tied to any of the other robberies, three of which occurred around the East Village.

In the first, the suspect entered a Subway on Second Avenue between St. Marks Place and Ninth Street on Nov. 9 at around 2:25 a.m., brandished a knife and demanded money from the cashier. Police did not say how much money he received.
Read more…

David Cross Finds the East Village ‘Mildly Heartbreaking’

subwayDaniel Maurer Seen on the Bowery.

Last month, Amber Tamblyn told The Local that she and her fiancée, comedian David Cross, planned to leave the East Village for Brooklyn at the end of this month. Mr. Cross has griped about changes in the neighborhood before: “A Subway Sandwich just opened up on Avenue B,” he told Bullett in August, “and a large frat/sports bar is coming to the old Café Charbon on Orchard and Stanton, so it’s truly time to go.”

Now he’s back at it, telling Gothamist:

I’ve been fed up with what’s going on for about five years. There are so many examples but let me just sum up. On Houston—I think between Second Avenue and Bowery, or maybe it’s Allen and Chrystie—there’s a big, huge 7-11 with big, beautiful 7-11 signs. [Ed: We think he’s referring to the one on Bowery.] There’s an IHOP on 14th Street, Subway sandwiches all over the place. The thing is, I left Atlanta a long time ago and I’m spending way too much money to live in Atlanta again, you know?
Read more…

Man Removed From Under Train at Broadway-Lafayette

A man in his 20s was removed from under an M train at the Broadway-Lafayette Station at around noon, according to a spokesman for the Fire Department. The man, whose name was not available, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with “multiple traumas,” the spokesman said. The police did not yet have further information regarding the incident. DNA Info reported that witnesses saw the victim bleeding but conscious.

Sexual Assault at Broadway-Lafayette

Suspect in sexual assaultN.Y.P.D. The suspect.

The police are searching for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman while she got on the subway at the Broadway-Lafayette station at 10 a.m. on Nov. 10.

The 42-year-old victim told the police that she was boarding an M train when the man came up from behind and assaulted her. The man then fled the station. No injuries were reported.

Police say the suspect is 35 years old, and is seen in surveillance footage wearing framed glasses and a backpack. Anyone with information should call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

Platform Scares at Union Square

A man’s foot was lodged between the 5 train and the subway platform at the Union Square station at 9:55 a.m. this morning. A spokesman for the fire department said the man was taken to Bellevue Hospital, but no further details were available. This is at least the second near-miss at the station in the last two days. Yesterday, a drunk man fell onto the tracks of the Q train and narrowly avoided being run over, according to the New York Post. Last week, Joe Pan Millar wrote about an apparent suicide that occurred a couple of stops over on the L line.

The Day | Tompkins Square Rats, Coming to a Theater Near You

Good morning, East Village.

A reader points out a movie trailer that puts a cinematic spin on the Tompkins Square Park rat infestation. Or is it an invasion? Watch the video above. Meanwhile, rats aren’t the only nuisances in the park. Neither More Nor Less has photos of a Friday afternoon arrest.

According to The Post, an appeals court has given Jerry Delakas, operator of the endangered Astor Place newsstand, until at least November.

The Times profiles Paul Marino, a manager at Hearth and half of the duo Popeye & Cloudy. They perform Shakespeare scenes and Abbot and Costello bits on the subway.

New York Magazine sits down with actor, director, and former St. Marks resident Vera Farmiga at her beloved Ukranian East Village Restaurant. “Farmiga mentions, without disapproval, that it smells like an old gymnasium.” Read more…

Bleecker Businesses Say Subway Construction is a Summer Bummer

IMG_0375Marit Molin Sherwin Zabala stands in front of the construction that he says is hurting his Downtown Floor Supplies store on Lafayette Street.

Three business owners at the corner of Lafayette and Bleecker Streets say that construction on a new subway passage is warding off customers, leading to their revenue plummeting by as much as 50 percent. Workers for the Metropolitan Transit Authority have been busy since 2009, building a passageway between the uptown 6 train at Bleecker Street and the Broadway-Lafayette station. Unfortunately for the businesses at the entrance to the downtown 6 train, the latest phase of work, which according to an M.T.A. spokesman started four weeks ago, requires a construction zone that occupies parking spaces in the area and forms a barrier in front of the three store entrances. Read more…

The Day | Wilting Weather

The Blurry womenMichael Lefkovits

Good morning, East Village.

Yesterday was hot, but today and the rest of the week will be hotter. Cooling stations are open in the East Village today, as the heat index is expected to exceed 95 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch, and temperatures as high as 100 degrees are expected by Friday. You can find a local cooling center here or by calling 311.

One fun way to ride out the heat wave is with a cup of flavored, shaved ice, also known as a piragua. Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York offers an Alphabet City tour of where to get a piragua, which gets its name from the Spanish words for pyramid, pirámide, and water, agua.

As one fast food spot moves out, a new one moves in to the neighborhood. EV Grieve reports that the new Subway on Avenue B is open for business, while the Nathan’s-Pizza Hut-Arthur Treacher’s combo, according to a Grieve reader tip, is being transformed into a casual Italian restaurant from the folks behind the uptown restaurant Destino.

And in case you missed it, The Local’s Ian Duncan reports on Google Offers, a new deal site that started in the East Village last week.