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The World Trade Center, Magnified On East Fourth

Ella Zhang Scenes from last night’s opening of the “WTC” exhibit on East Fourth Street.

A longtime photographer of Lower Manhattan has taken close-up photos of the World Trade Center and mounted them on a scaffolding on East Fourth Street, just out of reach.

Brian Rose, the photographer behind “WTC,” said he was inspired to prepare the outdoor exhibit after cleaning negatives of World Trade Center photos he took as long as 30 years ago. In the process of ridding the film of dust, he zoomed in on it and became mesmerized by the architectural beauty of the towers’ details.

“’WTC’ was never a project, it was found,” Mr. Rose said.
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After Escaping Ground Zero, John Vaccaro Became a Villager Again

Back in June, The Local visited the home of John Vaccaro, one of the residents above Mars Bar who was being temporarily relocated so that his building could be replaced by condos. It wasn’t the first time the retired theater director had been displaced. On September 11, 2001, he was living just a few blocks from the World Trade Center while also keeping his loft on Second Avenue. In this video, Mr. Vaccaro describes fleeing ground zero and making an unexpected return to the East Village. Nearly ten years later, on July 21, he would officially move back to John Street, with a clear memory of that fall day.

With Colossal Paintings, Erik Foss Frames 9/11 in the Context of ‘Avarice’

vossCourtesy of Erik Foss. The artist with the show’s centerpiece, “Rapture.”

Erik Foss, co-owner of East Village fixtures Lit Lounge and the adjoining Fuse Gallery, is known to the downtown art world mainly as a curator with an eye for musicians and counterculture types: when The Local last encountered the lanky 38-year-old he was hosting a reception for rocker-turned-artist David Yow. On September 11, he’ll open his first solo show in New York City as an artist, at Mallick Williams & Co. in Chelsea. If the date seems like an odd one for what should be a celebratory occasion, it isn’t — the exhibition, “Avarice,” is a reflection on the events of a decade ago. Read more…

The Day | A Literary Lioness Returns to the Park

mosque4Rebecca Hamilton Another scene from yesterday’s Eid ul-Fitr prayers at Madina Masjid, the mosque on 11th Street and First Avenue.

Good morning, East Village.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan, who now lives in Brooklyn, returns to her old neighborhood for a sit-down with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Despite her new zip code, she’s still “at ease among the eccentrics sunning on benches in nearby Tompkins Square Park, eying them as if one might inspire her next protagonist.”

The Mirror checks in with Mike Kehoe, a firefighter at Engine 28 on East 2nd Street who survived the World Trade Center attacks. Roy Chelsen, the colleague who helped save him, has since died owing to what Mr. Kehoe heard was a 9/11-related illness.

According to Playbill, “Silence! The Musical,” a parody of “The Silence of the Lambs” that won the 2005 FringeNYC award for Outstanding Musical, will end its run at Theatre 80 on St. Marks Place next month. Read more…

The Day | The Skyline’s New Addition

WTC 1 from Canal and ChrystieMichael Natale

Good morning, East Village.

It’s a sight on the New York City skyline that’s been almost a decade in the making: the appearance of One World Trade Center. The GammaBlog has a collection of construction photos that show the tower poking up through the skyline (to the left of the traffic light in the image above, which was taken by community contributor Michael Natale at Canal and Chrystie Streets). That portion of the downtown skyline has been empty for far too long. By the way, an American flag stands atop the unfinished steel structure.

In neighborhood news, federal authorities say two East Village tattoo parlors were doubling as boutiques for illegal drugs. reports that two Staten Island residents were dealing designer drugs to tattoo parlors Addiction INK and Addiction NYC.  The dealers, Igor Kanchik, 31, and Steve Zhik, 30, were both charged in a federal drug sweep that netted a Washington state-based distributor and nine sellers.

The owner of d.b.a., a bar on First Avenue, was in critical condition Wednesday morning after being hit by a car while cycling on Canal Street. Ray Deter, 53, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, reports DNAinfo. The staff at the bar asks that well-wishers refrain from calling the bar, hospital or Mr. Deter’s home.

Finally, Mark Federman, the principal at East Side Community High School, told a group of locals that school officials closed the Open Road Park on 12th Street because of recent reports of the sale and use of marijuana on park grounds. The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius reports that there’s a good chance the park will reopen but with different hours of operation.

Firefighters Recall Spirit Of 9/11 Hero

Engine 28, Ladder 11 Firehouse, 222 E. 2nd St., East VillageSuzanne Rozdeba Firefighters at Engine 28 and Ladder 11 mourn Roy Chelsen, who died Sunday of bone-marrow cancer and was credited with saving the lives of 11 of his colleagues on Sept. 11.
Roy Chelsen, former East Village firefighter & 9/11 first responder, who passed away on Jan. 9Courtesy of FDNY

Already, the south tower of the World Trade Center had collapsed. But as Kevin Murray and Roy Chelsen huddled with their fellow firefighters for safety in the lobby of the north tower on Sept. 11 – debris and bodies falling all around them outside – no one knew what had happened.

“Roy ran out to leave, and realized the whole other building wasn’t there,” Mr. Murray recalled in an interview earlier today, describing how Mr. Chelsen, who died Sunday, saved the lives of 11 of his fellow firefighters. “He turned around, and ran all the way back to get us. He ran through it three times to get us out. He convinced everybody that we had to go because it looked like the north tower was coming down.”

In all, Mr. Murray and Mr. Chelsen worked side-by-side for eight years as firefighters in the East Village. And they were side-by-side again Sunday just hours before Mr. Chelsen died after a long battle with bone-marrow cancer at age 51.

At Engine 28 and Ladder 11 firehouses in the East Village, the mood was somber today after firefighters learned of the death of Mr. Chelsen, whose cancer had been linked to his work digging through the rubble at Ground Zero in the days and weeks after the attacks.

But Mr. Murray, who still works with Ladder 11 on East Second Street, said that the sadness at the firehouse was tinged with something else.

“Of course everybody’s upset,” said Mr. Murray, who’s 36. “But nobody wanted to see him suffer anymore.”
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