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Besides the Mboards function as a worldwide source of info, they also serve many New Yorkers in some very newsworthy neighborhoods, including ours, the East Village.

This topic is for neighborhood stories, extremely local news, first-hand accounts, neighborhood issues not covered elsewhere.

For instance, I returned home from a night out Saturday to the full-scale hostage drama going on at Veloce on 2nd Avenue. There were helicopters overhead, SWAT teams, hazardous waste trucks and blaring sirens at 3 AM. There was nothing on NY1 and we didn't find out till yesterday morning what it had actually been.

Turns out that Iso, the owner of Iso (the pink Japanese restaurant right there at 11th and 2nd)
was shot by the Colin-Ferguson-With-HIV madman, along with several other hostages.

Walking by yesterday it was shocking to see the bulletholes everywhere. Today the story is front page, though I'm happy to report that John Gotti is still ruling inside the papers.
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There was a followup story on NY1 tonight saying that residents and businesses in the affected area - which was huge - West Side from Battery Park to 14th Street West of Broadway - are being asked to conserve power with the new heat wave coming this week.

It seems that power for that sector that was controlled by the blown-up transformer has to be
coming from somewhere else for a few weeks while it is rebuilt. And they don't sound that confident about the somewhere else.

If you didn't lose power like Hattie, the worst thing about yesterday was the F16 planes flying again over the EV - gave many of us a weird flashback.
Two persepctives on what's going on in Times Square and the sex market.

First, from today's NY Daily News:



There will be no more peeping on 42nd St.
Peep-o-rama, the strip's last sex shop, officially closed at 3 p.m. yesterday.

A few passersby watched in bemusement as landlord Shan Covey heralded the end of the smut era by taping a plastic "closed" sign to the storefront and holding aloft the door's key.

The shop was a tenant in one of the many buildings purchased over the past few years by the Durst Organization. Durst plans to build a 52-story, 1.7-million-square-foot tower on the block, which runs from Broadway to Sixth Ave.

"Clearly, Times Square has evolved from what it has been historically," said Deborah Rigel, a Durst attorney who watched yesterday's closing.

"This is not a tenant the Durst Organization particularly wanted," she said of Peep-o-rama, a long-established, round-the-clock porn palace that was the last vestige of the bad old 42nd St.

Mike Richman

And a more lenghty analysis from the NY Times:


Last of 42nd Street's Peep Shows Closes

The formal closing yesterday of the last peep palace on 42nd Street, Peep-O-Rama, was a coda in the rebirth of Times Square as a kinder, gentler place. The sex shops and naughty tape stores have been wiped clean from the famed street.

But the transition from the 42nd Street of neon love for sale to the new Times Square of "The Lion King" is not the end of the smut story.

While today's Times Square is a world away from what it was only a decade ago, just steps from 42nd Street, for several blocks on Eighth Avenue, porn and peeping rule.

The most basic peep is a video peep. For as little as a quarter, some people find entertainment at a place like Show World Center, where the deep red walls and runway lighting recall its headier days. Once, topless girls rode carousel horses and "booth babies" gave private dances. Now, only video stalls remain. Customers are promised their choice of 128 selections, and the routine is unvarying: a man enters a booth, the video moans, a few minutes later the man leaves and is followed by another man, this one with a mop.

"We satisfy an urge," said George, the manager of Show World, in a business where first names are often the only names.

The classic peep, with a live girl, can still be found on the avenue as well. Three minutes in a booth with a girl, separated by a glass wall, costs $25. The way it works is: the man enters and a little sign commands him to talk to the girl. She explains that $5 goes into the machine and $20 is to be slipped into a slot for her. A visor lifts, revealing the girl. She strips, the visor goes down, the lights go on. Peep over.

"It's nice that there is no physical contact," said Angel, who was working a booth in the back of a video store.

These two forms of peep are just the latest in New York's long-running battle of sin and salvation.

As Mike Wallace and Edwin G. Burrows write in their history of New York, "Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898," when vice becomes the defining characteristic of a neighborhood, reformers move in to clean it up, and it goes on living either in a slightly different form or in a slightly different part of town.

Some of the first New York peeping can be traced back as early as the 1830's in Downtown.

"The Five Points was notorious," the book recounts, "with 27 of the 43 blocks surrounding Paradise Square hosting brothels in whose windows girls in varying stages of undress paraded to lure street trade."

A reformer named John Robert McDowall took it upon himself to arouse the anger of the more genteel citizenry, publishing a screed on the sex business.

About a decade later, sex was thriving in paperback, as publishers like William Haynes put out cheap erotic novels like "Confessions of a Lady's Waiting Maid."

In response to rising naughtiness after the Civil War, Anthony Comstock formed something of a one-man vice squad. According to "Gotham," he particularly loathed pornography, saying it "steals upon our youth in the home, school, and college, silently striking its terrible talons into their vitals."

By 1874 Mr. Comstock had seized 130,000 pounds of books and 194,000 "bad pictures." Still, smut lived on.

Broadway began a decline during the Depression, when burlesque and second-run movies thrived. But it was the Times Square of the 1970's that is most associated with places like Peep-O-Rama, whose closing to make room for a new tower was first reported yesterday in The Daily News.

Like Comstock and McDowall before him, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani felt it was his duty to rid Times Square of wickedness. And his efforts appear to have been successful. Still, just to the west on Eighth Avenue, the next reformer might find a buffet of debauchery.

In addition to the various forms of peep, there are the traditional strip clubs. At a place like Stiletto, the girls are seen in their all-together, but no alcohol is served. At Private Eyes, just off Eighth on 45th Street, the dancers only go topless, but there is a fully stocked bar.

The most crowded pornography stops along the avenue are the video stores.

Asked why people would want to shop in public for what they can now get online or through their cable provider, Tom, the owner of a Triple X video store on the avenue, explained, "People who like these tapes like to come in and check out the boxes front ways, side ways, upside down, every way."

History Wrestles Commerce in Meatpacking District
By DENNY LEE (NYT, 8/11/02)

The three-year drive to confer landmark status on the meatpacking district is taking on a new urgency. What began as a low-key investigation of warehouses and blood-soaked Belgian blocks has quickened this summer into a race that pits preservationists against developers.

"We're hitting a critical juncture," said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "Several development projects are moving forward that would denigrate the historic sensibility of this neighborhood. If the landmark designations were in place, they could be shaved in a way that is more appropriate."

But time is not on their side. Groundbreaking will start any day on the Hotel Gansevoort, a 12-story structure at Gansevoort and Hudson Streets. The land is currently an empty parking lot. The project is being billed as a first-class boutique hotel that will draw on the area's growing cachet. It is scheduled to open next August, with 188 rooms, a zinc facade and a rooftop swimming pool.

"It's a very modern signature building, where the most significant feature are bay windows," said Stephen Jacobs, the hotel's architect. "Once you get above the third or fourth floor, you can see over the low buildings, which will hopefully, at some point, be the new historic district."

A second project, a 32-story mixed-use residential tower, is planned for a block at Little West 12th and Washington Street. A local restaurant owner, Florent Morellet, describes the slim, silvery-black building, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, as "beautiful." But as a leader in the preservation campaign Save Gansevoort Market, he opposes the residential intrusion.

"It's smack in the middle of meat markets and clubs," said Mr. Morellet, who owns the restaurant Florent on Gansevoort Street. "If you put in residents, you put these clubs and markets in jeopardy. It will hurt the equilibrium."

The Nouvel tower requires a variance allowing residential use in a manufacturing zone. A final hearing before the Board of Standards and Appeals is set for Oct. 30.

At the same time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is studying the designation of the neighborhood as a historic district, but the proposal may not be officially considered until late fall, by which point the tower may already be approved.

So far, preservationists have collected more than 5,000 postcards in support of a historic district, bounded roughly by West 16th, Horatio, Hudson and West Streets. They are also seeking to have the district added to the state and national historic registers. Last month, the state took the significant step of declaring the area eligible for review. "It's all coming to a head right now," Mr. Berman said.
David Bowie's metropolitan 5 borough tour includes a Thursday night at Jimmy's Bronx Cafe, a giant boite on Fordham Rd. at the University bridge connecting to upper Manhattan. Great venue for seeing his latest act and not too far from Arthur Ave, little Italy of the Bronx. If I know you or you think I'd like to know you, you're welcome to stop by the dreambot domain after the show for an apertif. Just email me earlier in the week of your visit.


[This message was edited by dreambot on 10-27-02 at 01:30 PM.]
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We've been noticing this for a while now, but as we sat outside at brunch today, four very low-flying planes (commercial passenger) flew overhead - one in particular which was the lowest-flying plane I have ever seen here - we thought it was def another 9/11 story. Anyone know why they are suddenly allowing planes to fly this low, seemingly straight down Fifth Avenue?
Anyone else noticed it? mad
Yes I definitely noticed it, Chi. About 2PM I was walking with my roommate in the EV and we both noticed 2 passenger planes flying really low. I'm sure the always-rotten NY1 will have coverage on it sometime later next month.

I'm on the top floor of a 6-story building and can hear air traffic all the time. Today it's noisier than ever. Keep your eye on the skies!
Those of us who reside in the West have been experiencing that for many months, planes flying incredibly low, in a northward direction up the Hudson Street/Sixth Avenue corridor, before landing (I assume) at LaGuardia.
Seems they switched all that today, as our skies are blissfully quiet. Not sure why, but we are coming upon the anniversary of the Flight 587 crash. Perhaps they wish to redirect all flight paths away from Belle Harbor for a bit.
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Using Hudson St and 6th Avenue for a reference point, an explanation of the airspace and altitude restrictions: The airspace over that portion of Manhattan is what is called Class Bravo, formerly know as a Terminal Control Area (TCA). It extends from the surface to 7,000 feet. Within this airspace all aircraft are under positive control of ATC (Air Traffic Control). I don't know the minimum vectoring altitude (the lowest altitude a controller can assign an aircraft when directly assigning altitude and heading) since it is not published on navcharts, but in a book called the TERPS which is the procedural guide for controllers. The Federal Aviation Regulations on this subject are as follows;

§91.177 Minimum altitudes for IFR operations.
(Note: all major carriers operate IFR)

(a) Operation of aircraft at minimum altitudes. Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft under IFR below --

(1) The applicable minimum altitudes prescribed in parts 95 and 97 of this chapter; or

(2) If no applicable minimum altitude is prescribed in those parts --

(i) In the case of operations over an area designated as a mountainous area in part 95, an altitude of 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown; or

(ii) In any other case, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown.

However, if both a MEA and a MOCA are prescribed for a particular route or route segment, a person may operate an aircraft below the MEA down to, but not below, the MOCA, when within 22 nautical miles of the VOR concerned (based on the pilot's reasonable estimate of that distance).

(b) Climb. Climb to a higher minimum IFR altitude shall begin immediately after passing the point beyond which that minimum altitude applies, except that when ground obstructions intervene, the point beyond which that higher minimum altitude applies shall be crossed at or above the applicable MCA.

§91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Note: This applies to IFR and VFR operations, meaning everyone)

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

Hope this helps!

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Balducci's Closes Landmark Store

Jan 8, 2003 7:18 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) NEW YORK Balducci's, the gourmet market known for its rare and exotic food products, has closed its flagship store in Greenwich Village, its owner said.

The landmark store, which had occupied the same storefront since the 1970s, was shuttered at closing time on Tuesday, and plans were being made to reopen in a different location.

Clifford Smith, the CEO of the Maryland-based Sutton Place Gourmet chain, which bought Balducci's from its original founders in 1999, said the store had become difficult to maintain and required more modern equipment.

''It's an old, tired store,'' Smith told The New York Times in Wednesday's editions. ''The amount of work to bring that store up to a reasonable standard is prohibitive. What we were trying to do was negotiate a deal where we could do both.''

A second Balducci's store, located near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side, would be unaffected by the closing, Smith said.

Three sites in lower Manhattan were being considered as possible new locations for the store, the Daily News reported. It was not clear when the new market would open.
East Village News....
They are closing down the last remaining butchers/fishmongers in the hood (13th/First Av) ... boo-hoo.. last of the mom and pop shops around.. how sad ... i bet they open a Starbucks there or something equally as daft... Gee i remember when i lived in an East Village neighbourhood .. now I think I live in the New Jersey Mall...
Okay, technically this isn't in 'town' as such, but we'll overlook that for our purposes...
the best local radio station is in New Jersey. In fact, outside of a classical station I like once in a while, NYC has total bullshit for radio. I don't understand it. Nobody understands this. It simply doesn't make sense.

Regardless, the station is 91.1 WFMU, broadcasting from Jersey City. a lot of folks on the east side and into Brooklyn and Queens can't receive it from the interferance of buildings and radars and that sinsiter juju in the air.

For them, there is hope: has availible stream via RealAudio, (which is a slight compromise IMHO, real does a bit of piggybacked advertising, I think), or through Windows Media Player. It sounds great when you send the channel through your receiver.

What really knocks me out is, if you don't like what's on the live webcast, you can listen to archived shows up to two weeks after it's been aired.

Their website is really comprehensive, exceptionally detailed and navigatable. These folks are outstanding, and have some pretty excellent taste. I mean, hell if I know,...maybe most folks here actually like to listen to dance music outside of clubs...

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