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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.

Demand Spikes At Area Soup Kitchens

Lunch Line at Trinity Lower East Side Liz Wagner Homeless and needy line up for free lunch outside Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish on East Ninth Street and Avenue B. The pastor of the church says that its soup kitchen is being stretched thin by an uptick in need.

Joey Ortiz has been coming to Trinity Lower East Side Parish on Ninth Street and Avenue B for a hot lunch nearly every weekday for two years. He’s been struggling to make ends meet since he lost his job working in an optometrist’s office at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. One recent afternoon, he stood in the soup kitchen line for 20 minutes with dozens of people in front of and behind him. While Mr. Ortiz says he has never been denied a meal, he wonders how long the church will be able to feed an increasing number of hungry New Yorkers.

“You see how many people,” Mr. Ortiz said pointing to the growing line. “There is not enough food. There is more need.”

Pastor Phil Trzynka says Trinity’s nonprofit, Services and Food for the Homeless, Inc., is seeing more needy people now than ever before, but can still meet the demand. He says the soup kitchen, which provides lunches Monday through Friday, serves 235 meals a day — up from 150 meals five years ago. But Mr. Trzynka also says the church’s budget is $30,000 less than what it was last year because government grant money and individual donations are down. He says the Lutheran parish which serves all denominations and has operated a soup kitchen since the 1950’s, is being stretched thin.

“We have no funds to draw on anymore,” he said. “This year will be a year to decide how the program will continue.”
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