Dollar slices, bodega sandwiches, and dumpling deals quickly become dietary stalwarts of any New Yorker on a budget, which is about 99 percent of us. The eternal quest for cheap eats isn’t just about saving cash– it doubles as a way to explore the city. For Josh Olley, Jarod Taber and Marki Becker, founders of Wash & Fold NYC, their favorite dumpling spot is also a creative salon, where they’ve hatched several ideas, including a curated show opening tonight at their local, North Dumpling in Chinatown.
This morning shoppers looking for American flag swimsuits or bright-patterned leggings at Dr. Jay’s streetwear store in downtown Brooklyn were greeted by a flurry of slogans and posters decrying the brand’s owner, Joseph Betesh, as a slumlord. Tenants from 83 and 85 Bowery were gathered with local activists out front, chanting against Betesh’s efforts to evict them.
A bill that would help the smallest of small businesses tap into much-needed loans and funding has cleared the State Senate and Assembly. Today, the bill’s co-sponsor, State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the Lower East Side and parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and the East Village, gathered with other boosters of the Small Business Support bill to call on Governor Cuomo to sign it into law. The measure calls on the state to prioritize micro-businesses (i.e. those with less than five employees) when awarding Small Business Revolving Loan Fund loans, and would waive application fees for approved “micro-loans” of under $5,000.
Deep in Chinatown, the team behind Forgtmenot and Kiki’s Greek bistro is putting down new roots–today they open Little Chair, a homey coffee shop on Monroe Street, under the Manhattan Bridge. The entrance is decorated with hanging greenery and potted flowers, like a rustic farm stand in the country. They also have a brand-new Mediterranean restaurant in the works next door.
You gotta give it to the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and their friends–they are persistent AF, despite long odds. In their eight-year quest to pass the Chinatown Working Group rezoning proposal, a plan that would create a new special district with more height restrictions and protections to fend off sky-high luxury towers, they’ve kept up a steady stream of rallies against new developments, marches in support of tenants, held town halls (trying to invite the mayor), and even hand-delivered a “gift” to Gracie Mansion.
Anxiety over the 77-story apartment building coming to the Two Bridges waterfront multiplied last night as neighbors grappled with the possibility that two more towers will join it.
In addition to Extell’s controversial One Manhattan Square, L+M Development Partners are feeling out plans for two 50-story twin towers– one at 265-275 Cherry Street, at Lands End II (a pair of Section-8 housing complexes located on a site that was purchased for $279 million a few years back) and a second at Lands End I (257 South Street), which the firm bought last year. L+M has assured that the existing buildings will maintain their Section 8 designation, and preliminary discussions have indicated that the two new towers would likely go up in the parking lots parcels between the East River and Lands End.
Landlords are on notice–yesterday Steve Croman was charged with 20 felony counts and using illegal tactics to push tenants out of his buildings. Today Public Advocate Letitia James and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez kept up the heat, using their clout to influence the outcome of a prominent tenant-landlord dispute in Chinatown. Standing outside the state supreme courthouse, the two railed against landlord Joseph Betesh (also owner of the Dr. Jays streetwear brand), accusing him of using “illegal practices” to evict 27 families at 83 and 85 Bowery.
Upstairs at 39 Eldridge Street, a dim, stuffy internet cafe is a refuge for hardcore gamers, glued to the computer screen for hours. This morning many of them were passed-out asleep, slouched across two chairs with hoodies pulled over their eyes and takeout food boxes crumpled next to them.
The area known as Two Bridges, below the Lower East Side, melting into Chinatown and hemmed in by the waterfront, has long been defined by its mix of mid-rise low-income public housing and affordable housing buildings. Now, within a matter of years it will suddenly have at least two towering skyscrapers in its midst.
We all remember when superstorm Sandy plunged the East Village into darkness after a 14-foot storm surge caused an explosion at the ConEd station (in fact, there’s a movie out Friday set during that very historical moment in 2011). Luckily, we haven’t seen any storms of that scale since, but Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t taking any chances. Today he announced more funding for the city’s climate resiliency plan as part of the 2017 city budget. The waterfront plans aren’t just going to protect Manhattan from more flooding– they’ll also double as a huge new public space.
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The ink has barely dried on the special election for Sheldon Silver’s 65th district state assembly seat and we’re already sprinting towards the general primary in September. Less than a week after Alice Cancel won a controversial election for the seat, Jenifer Rajkumar, a Democratic district leader in the financial district, officially threw her hat in the ring and announced her campaign for the position.
In Japan, a tiny studio apartment is often known as a “rabbit hutch”–usually a cramped little space for young people to get a foothold in the big city. So when Chef Yoshiko Sakuma found a little nook for her first restaurant on a quiet stretch of Forsyth Street, the name stuck. Rabbit House, her 14-seat wine-and-sake bar, is a refuge and lab for her whimsical culinary experiments, drawing inspiration from around the world to create unexpected European tapas dishes dusted with Japanese moxie.