East Side, West Side, All Around The Town

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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/17/nyregion/17SHOO.html
Original Post
In case you missed it, yesterday's fire in the Con Ed facility affected tens of thousands residents and blacked out Lower Manhattan south of 14 Street and west of Fifth Avenue, snarling traffic and knocking out West Side subways for about 8 hours. Luckily power was restored just before sunset.
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:

quote:

PEEPING ERA ENDS ON 42nd STREET

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:

quote:

Last of 42nd Street's Peep Shows Closes
By MARC SANTORA

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.

rb//nyc//bronx//bohemia

[This message was edited by dreambot on 10-27-02 at 01:30 PM.]
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.
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!

DD
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: http://www.wfmu.org/ 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...
Wasn't sure where to post this as it doesn't exactly qualify under the "nightclub crackdown" forum. This little club sounds intriquing ....

quote:

THE FEW, THE FABULOUS
By JULIA CHAPLIN
The New York Times
April 20, 2003

NEW YORK CITY may have only 300 people left who want to get dressed up and dance to house music all night. But that is exactly the point at Cielo, a dance club that opened in the meatpacking district in the West Village in January "” especially when a portion of the clientele appears to be South American models.

Unlike so many of the big clubs that have closed down recently, Cielo seems more tailored to the times, like a private party hidden from the uninvited. On a recent Saturday evening, men lined up outside Cielo under an old sign that said: "Nyack Meat Co. Turkeys any size." There was no cover charge or guest list.

The only way in: be "friends" with one of the owners or be selected by the doorman as an "interesting character." Inside, it felt like the private disco of a 1970's international playboy. The walls and ceilings were covered with biomorphic foam tubes upholstered with retro brown ultrasuede, interspersed with plexiglass tubes of amber light. Patrons had little choice but to interact with strangers; besides a sunken dance floor in the middle of the room with a disco ball and a small smoking area in the garden outside, there was nowhere to go.

"I wanted the space to feel safe and cozy to counteract all the anxiety in the world," said the designer, Stephane Dupoux, who also did Pearl and Nikki Beach Club in Miami Beach.

In keeping with its private party ambience, the owners of Cielo don't seem to care about pleasing anyone besides their friends. The D.J.'s don't spin any Top 40 hip-hop or rock, only house music with a Latin twist. (Cielo frequently brings in big-name D.J.'s like Tony Humphries and Brian Tappert but doesn't advertise.) "Because we're so small, we don't have to let anyone in who might ruin the vibe," said Nicholas Matar, an owner and D.J.

At 2 on a recent Sunday morning, D.J. Pippi, of the nightclub Pacha in Ibiza, Spain, was spinning. Models in the latest designer gear were dancing alongside a crowd decked out in fedoras and cowboy hats with suits.

Claudia Oyanedel, 26, a model from Chile who is with the Elite agency, had just arrived. "New York really needed a place like this," she said. Nearby, Fabian Basabe, 25, and Cynthia Moureto, 25, were salsa dancing as if they were contestants on "Dance Fever."

"My only complaint," said Mr. Basabe, who grew up in Ecuador, "there's no podium for me to get up and dance on."

I know I am notorious for being severely optimistic and sweet when I see personal reports of new and fabulous ideas and trends, but I now I see no other course of comment, save for the negative. Does the New York Times hire high school reporter wannabes now? The writing is so bad I can't even concentrate on naysaying the club full of South American DJs who are playing house while the uninvited patrons lounge with strangers on brown plexiglass. Or whatever it said.
I too am far too jaded to believe what is the new "hot spot" and even more suspect is a piece (sorry Lexy-kins) that mentions the word "MODEL" in every line... from now on i want to be refered to as Model-Janey B (Ok so the only model I could be is a friggin hand model...but hey!)... the idea of a place in the meat packing district downstairs, underground, more word of mouth, full of cute happening folk... with a fab DJ and a strict door policy..... why that sort of thing is never for real anyhow is it Empress and Daddy?
well damn then - I stand corrected, girls! Granted the use of the "model" word turned me off right away too. And to open a club in the new SoHo (the Meatpacking District) is not exactly cutting edge - much less desirable - these days, c'est vrai!! Still though, I liked the "no guest list" angle and the idea of having to be invited in, kind of like going to someone's house.
I'd like to reiterate something that might be lacking from my posts: I REALLY do not look for things to knock. I know most of you get it, but for those that don't, well, there it is. I'd like to explain why I usually am one of the first to be obnoxious.
I'm all for a new fun party, but when the party has to push the fact that they want only the trendy and famous to come, and we SHOULD come because there are those people, they blanket the fact that the party needs more OOMPH. If the party is as fab and private as they say, why all the snivelling? If it really is major, tell me what's a'happenin'! When I think of the wildest and funnest (yeah, I know) parties I've been to - Jackie's and Cabaret M. included - my exclamation's go,
"Oh my! I fell down the stairs and spilled 3 drinks on myself. So-and-so was unbelievable! And so-and-so ended up crawling on the bar..." and so on. Not,
"You know, there was NO line and it was very discrete. There were really famous people there, too. Everyone was in a label. I think I made a contact."
If you have words to eloquently describe ambiance and decor after a shindig, it was NOT the best time of your life.
So... i was watching the crappy Fox news last night and both on Fox and WB11 there was in interesting local story.... On 14th St, the newsagents next to the KFC on 2nd Av., (the very same news store that Amadu Diallo used to sell CDs out side of) has been fined over $2,000, so has the next door internet caff - reason being .... the store signs outside have too many words on them! Yup.. there is an ancient law that states you can only state the name of the store, the phone # and address. What nutty bollocks is this! All the stores on 14th are being fined! Unbelievable!
I sort of worry that i might soon be fined for breathing too many in breaths and not enough out breaths... it might come to that soon...
We knew it was coming. $500,000 for a condo in ugly-ass Williamsburg? Me thinks not.

quote:

NY Times - RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
MORE CONDOMINIUMS TAKE SHAPE IN WILLIAMSBURG
By Rachelle Garbarine
May 16, 2003

Betting that the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn will continue to attract deep-pocketed apartment buyers, two sets of developers are readying new condominiums with sale prices averaging under $500 a square foot, one a newly constructed building and the other a converted guitar factory.

The new building is on Bedford Avenue, a main commercial strip already dotted with galleries and boutiques. Called Bedford Court, it has 32 apartments in a four-story building nearing completion on a lot at South First Street formerly occupied by a small vacant commercial structure. Joseph Scarpinito and Shiraz Sanjana, working as South First Street Associates of Brooklyn, are developing the $10 million project.

The other building, a few blocks away on Broadway, considered the border between the Northside and South Williamsburg neighborhoods, contains 130 lofts carved out of a 10-story factory where the Gretsch company once made guitars and other musical instruments. Martin Wydra and his brother, Edward, second-generation builders from Brooklyn, are doing the $75 million conversion.

In the last two years, several condominium developments "” some of them newly built and others renovations of existing buildings "” have taken shape in or near Northside, amid the myriad rental buildings that have drawn Manhattanites to the area. Among the earlier condominiums are Williamsburg Mews at 100 Havemeyer Street, with 24 apartments, and the renovation of the Smith & Gray building at 138 Broadway into 40 condos. Brokers said those units sold for an average of $400 a square foot.

At Bedford Court, the average price per square foot will be $470, or $209,900 to $539,900 for the studio to two-bedroom apartments, said Helene Luchnick, an executive vice president at Douglas Elliman and the project's sales agent. The apartments will be 498 to 1,184 square feet. The five penthouses, at 980 to 1,414 square feet and two or three bedrooms, will cost $539,900 to $729,900. Sales are to begin next month.

At the Gretsch Building, prices are expected to average $470 to $490 a square foot, or $250,000 to $1.3 million. The studio to three-bedroom apartments will have about 620 to 2,000 square feet of space, said Tricia H. Cole, an executive vice president at Corcoran Group Marketing and the project's sales agent.

Prices are expected to be $1.2 million to $2.5 million for the five penthouses, which will have 2,000 to 3,400 square feet of space. Construction on a two-story penthouse addition is expected to begin soon.

Final prices will be set and sales will begin when the building's offering plan is accepted by the New York State attorney general's office, which the developers expect to happen within the next two months.

"The neighborhood is the latest alternative for people priced out of Manhattan," said Ms. Cole. "They get an apartment in a full-service building that would cost at least $800 a square foot in TriBeCa, and all they need to do is cross the bridge."

Ms. Luchnick estimated that several projects in the development stage would generate 100 more condominium apartments in Williamsburg in the next year.

Mr. Sanjana said he and his partner bought the Bedford Court site 18 months ago "because it is on a prime street in the heart of an evolving neighborhood." All Bedford Court apartments have balconies or terraces. Amenities at the limestone and brick building, designed by Felix Tambasco of Brooklyn, include a health club, a roof deck and 22 parking spaces.

Martin Wydra said he bought the largely vacant Gretsch building 18 months ago because of its location near the Williamsburg Bridge and along a major thoroughfare. At 10 stories, he added, it is among the tallest structures in the area, and its apartments have views of the East River and Manhattan. It is also the largest of four buildings Gretsch had used in Williamsburg.

Apartments will have, among other features, ceilings at least 12 feet high. Many will also have fireplaces. The building will be staffed with doormen, and planned amenities include a library, a 100-car garage and possibly a health club. The architects are Gene Kaufman of Manhattan and Karl Fischer of Montreal.

The building will have new plumbing, heating and windows when completed next year. But the name etched at its top, Gretsch Building No. 4, will remain. Showcased in its lobby will be two vintage Gretsch guitars.


Watch Where You Sit

It appears the city budget crunch has reduced the NYPD to writing some rather absurd tickets. A Bronx man claims he was given a summons for sitting on a milk crate outside the hair salon where he works on the Grand Councourse. The ticket says "unauthorized use of a milk crate."



Is this all getting more an more Pythoneque... wonder if i will get a ticket for sitting on the WBC World Champ.... hummmmm ?
I too (like Miss U) am addicted to my "Chinese Bodega" massage places.... just found one that is my absolute FAVE... check it out....
Chinese Tui Na, 442 E 14th (btw 1st and A near to A)... Chinese herbalists and Accupressure... CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! $22 for 30mins ($5 extra for chinese herb foot soak).... J.Q. was the bloke i had who was fab... so fab that the problem i have had (two numb toes) was cured!!! It was a trapped area that he pressed after much ow ow ow! it was fab!
Check it out... nice folk, no frills, smells all Chinese Herbalist office (herbalist on site)..enjoy!
The milk crate ticket is not such a new tactic in the 'quality of life' repertoir of uncivil behavior as defined by the previous ultra-fascist mayor ( and how did he become a reconstituted national hero - the guy who was once roundly boo'ed upon taking his seat at the Met opera house? ). I myself am the very proud earner of two wonderfully Khafka meets Joseph Heller summonses. One, for 'non-compliance with bicycle regulations' -translation: I got a ticket for riding my bike in the park. Now what are you supposed to do in a park? And they wanted my social security number for that ticket -"No, no, no," I said to the twenty year old cop. The second is my favorite, "Unnecessary noise." The circumstances were completely banal and absurd. I was playing my drum in the park, right next to the Ave. B. bus stop (me, noisier than the bus?). The woman cop couldn't find the right numerical code and correct wording of the infraction to write on the summons she was handing out to me. She called her beat partner on the walkie, he showed up, he couldn't find the infraction listed in his manual either. They radio over a third cop. He is dumb too. Then a fourth cop. He also draws a blank. Finally the shift supervisor motors over on a scooter, its the lieutenant. He couldn't find the name of the infraction either but his brass inspired the subordinants to finally locate it in the fine print of their manuals. But by then I'm sitting on a park bench, surrounded by five cops and half the population of the park gathered round probably wondering when the beatdown is going to start. Then the bus pulls up at the stop not 30 feet away and the cops start shouting at each other over the bus din to write me a ticket for making unnecessary noise.

[This message was edited by seven on 07-11-03 at 01:41 PM.]
JD and I used to donate to it till we heard the truth about it from some homeless buddies in the neighborhood. It's not an organization, but each homeless rents the rig (begging jar, table, etc.) from headquarters then gets to keep whats left over. So it is technically helping the homeless, but one at a time. I prefer to just give dollars to individual and charismatic homeless in my nabes.
In the 10 years that I have lived in NYC, I have seen the stretch of Broadway between Houston and Canal St turn into a strip mall. Where once it was Dean & Deluca as the only destination on this stretch, just about every chain is now there, and Soho and the LES have collided on this stretch.

It has become so congested over the years with the shoppers/tourists, that I, a resident who lives on Broadway below Canal, cannot even walk down this strip, and I walk down Crosby now.

But now in the old Canal St Jeans location, a Bloomingdales is coming in Spring 2004! God, I grew up with going to Bloomingdales at the mall in suburban Northern Virginia, and if I want to go to Bloomingdales, I will take the subway uptown, thank you very much. I don't want this downtown...and it will just congest this strip even further.

Just more of mall-ization of NYC.
I work at a shop on Bleecker St. near Christopher in the West Village. I am really getting irked by the number of tourists who stick their head into the shop and ask me where the nearest Starbucks is. They are searching blindly for a Starbucks amid a plethora of privately owned gourmet coffee and espresso bars and cafes with their own unique decor etc. Why are these people even leaving home in the first place? Everywhere in the U.S. seems to be destined to be like everywhere else, no matter how unique the locale.

One other point I'd like to make is that the neighborhood I work in has had more than half of the shops closed since I started working there 2 and a half years ago. The landlords all want higher rents than anyone can afford in the present economy, and many are sticking their tenents with the raised property taxes that the city has recently levied. Who can afford to move into the quaint old village now? Chain stores from Everywhere, USA.
I love Bloomingdale's, but I have no desire to have one downtown. And you're right, Randella, lower Broadway has become so congested that I don't like walking through there anymore either.

Years ago I worked for an interior designer whose office was on East 58th Street & Second Avenue. At that time Bloomingdale's was in danger of closing, and in fact they declared bankruptcy but were later bought by somebody. I'm glad they stayed in business, it's a New York institution. But not downtown.

I still like NYC, but it has become a giant surburban shopping mall.

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