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Branches, Leaves and Quite a Fuss

DSC_0556Ian Duncan Two bloodgood plane trees in front of the Village East apartments on Avenue C have been cited as a danger by residents.

There they are. The pair of them, standing on Avenue C as plain as day, unaware of the trouble they’ve been causing.

They being, not two juvenile delinquents, but twin bloodgood plane trees that recently arrived unannounced on the sidewalk in front of the Village East co-op.

The issue of arboreal interlopers blew up at a Community Board 3 parks committee meeting on June 16. Anne Johnson, a board member and resident at Village East, said it was unfair of the parks department, acting with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, to plant trees without consulting residents.

“We want them placed somewhere else,” Ms. Johnson said at the meeting. “They are a danger,” she added, arguing that they present an obstacle to wheel chair users.

Currently the trees are bounded by bright yellow tape stamped with the word “caution.”

In an e-mail message, Ms. Johnson emphasized that residents were displeased by the placement of the trees and others approached by The Local last week seemed similarly miffed. Village East has its own active buildings and grounds committee and Ms. Johnson cited one resident’s concerns that the trees will distract observers from Village East’s existing planters.
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At Village East, Waiting for the Doctor

Doctor WhoGrace Maalouf Village East Cinema manager Steve Albistur sets up the theater’s marquee for Monday night’s premiere screening of Doctor Who, for which fans (below) have been camped out nearly 24 hours.
Doctor Who

Saturday night, Jessica Whitton and several of her friends heard about a screening for the BBC cult favorite “Doctor Who.” Showing at the Village East Cinema tonight, the screening of the sci-fi series opener will bring together cast members and producers, and allow several hundred fans an exclusive first glimpse at the season premiere. So Ms. Whitton and several friends drove six hours from Youngstown, New York, to Yonkers, then took a 90-minute train ride into Grand Central.

They got to Village East last night around 9 p.m., and have been camped out in front ever since. The screening will begin at 7 p.m.

“I haven’t eaten today,” says Ms. Whitton, 19. Through last night’s mist, she and her friends slept on the sidewalk. “But it was worth it.”

At 10 this morning, actors from the show surprised waiting fans with some breakfast and took pictures.

“I woke up to Karen Gillan offering me a donut,” said Marjory Collado, referring to one cast member. Ms. Collado, 24, has been waiting near the beginning of the line with the first fans, who arrived at 4 p.m. yesterday. They’ve come from Maine, Connecticut, Tennessee. Others have flown in from Florida and Texas. One of them, Tristan Shippen, 19, has been blogging the campout since it began.
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