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City Extends Deadline for ‘Expressions of Interest’ on Trolley Site Under Delancey

A picture of the proposed site of the LowLine -- the abandoned trolley station adjacent to the Delancey/Essex Street subway stop. Picture: Anneke Rautenbach

A picture of the proposed site of the LowLine — the abandoned trolley station adjacent to the Delancey/Essex Street subway stop.

We heard quite a few gripes over the city’s steps to “activate” the abandoned trolley terminal under Delancey Street at Wednesday’s Community Board 3 meeting, and it seems the city heard them loud and clear…ish.

Board members worried that the subterranean site was on its way to being given to the Lowline project with a Christmas bow on it, and asked that a new Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the space be put on hold and restarted with community board input on guidelines and criteria.

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Tenants Marched to City Hall to Boost Bills Aimed at Fighting Harassment

Tenants rally in Chinatown to protest construction harassment with Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition (Photo by Nicole Disser)

Tenants rally in Chinatown to protest construction harassment with Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition (Photo by Nicole Disser)

Tenants and activists who are part of the Stand for Tenant Safety Coalition (STS) rallied outside of 90 Elizabeth Street this morning before marching to City Hall to show their support for a package of bills that would address construction-related harassment. Today marks an important landmark for the coalition’s fight against landlords who are taking advantage of a lack of oversight and toothless fines.

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Community Board Balks as City Moves to Activate ‘Lowline Site’

Picture: Daniel Maurer

Picture: Daniel Maurer

Yes, that neglected trolley terminal under Delancey Street has already been dubbed the “Lowline site” by some. As of now, the underground park proposed for the space has no actual claim on the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, but the project already feels smugly wrapped in destiny — and that’s exactly what Community Board 3 railed against at last night’s Land Use meeting, requesting that the city halt steps to “activate” the space until the board could be consulted further. With the city expected to begin reviewing official proposals as soon as next month, members said they were blocked from influencing a crucial stage of the process and argued that the well-organized Lowline team has an unfair advantage.

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Embittered By Corruption and Displacement, LES Neighbors Coalition Demands to See the Mayor

At the Chinatown coalition's meeting (Photo: )

At the Chinatown coalition’s meeting (Photo: Anneke Rautenbach)

At an emotional Lower East Side town hall meeting on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of concerned residents, a number of small business owners, and representatives of community organizations were visibly upset. Instead of being met by Mayor Bill de Blasio himself, they were greeted by a representative from the administration. “We have been reaching out to him for months,” Jei Fong, a coalition representative, told B+B. “We personally invited him to this meeting. This is a real slap in the face.”

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Luxury Teepees and More To Entice Wealthy Chinese to Extell’s 80-Story Tower

(http://www.jllresidential.cn/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/brochure-mini.pdf)

(http://www.jllresidential.cn/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/brochure-mini.pdf)

A controversial new luxury building is trying to attract foreigners to the Lower East Side — but not the type of immigrants the neighborhood is used to. We’re talking about the well-heeled jet set. Yes, that’s literally a Gucci bag in one of the renderings for Extell Development’s skyscraper at 252 South Street. 

The company has quietly released a brochure, meant to appeal to foreign investors, that outlines the outlandish amenities inside of what opponents say amounts to an 80-story gated community.

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Chinatown Bus Law Aims to Curtail Complaints, But NYPD Is Asleep at the Wheel

Recent image from Michelle Barone (Michelle Barone

Recent image of illegal bus from Michelle Barone’s window (Michelle Barone)

Intercity buses — also known as “Chinatown buses” because of their location, or “hell on wheels,” as I’ve taken to calling them after a recent nine-hour overnight trip on one — are facing increased scrutiny. They may be a cheap (if uncomfortable) way to visit your long-distance boyfriend, but they also cause headaches for downtown residents. Despite increasing agitation, the Fifth Precinct revealed last night that it hasn’t been enforcing a new permitting system aimed at stamping down on problem operators. 

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Talks + Readings: A Cocaine-Sprinkled Outbreak and Post-Poetry Grinding

(Via Argos Books / Facebook)

(Via Argos Books / Facebook)

Argos Books Five Year Anniversary Celebration
Friday Nov. 20th, 7 pm at Wendy’s Subway, 722 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg
Yassss to readings with a cause for celebration. And, like, the word “celebration” is even right there in the title, so it’s gotta be good. You know for sure there’s gonna be drinks and it’s gonna get loose. Hell, there’s even a lineup of three DJs for dance inspiration. You might even consider leaving your flask at home for this one. Maybe. But for real, Argos Books, the lil Brooklyn-based indie press that could, deserves a congrats-grad affair in proving that it’s not small presses that we have to worry about, it’s the mega-publishing houses that are floundering.

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Cut Class and Catch This Documentary About Chinatown Fair Arcade

This morning we got our hands on a screener of The Lost Arcade, showing today at 12:45 p.m. as part of the Doc NYC Festival. Yup, it’s super short notice, but having just finished watching the documentary about the rise and fall of Chinatown Fair, it’s our duty to implore you to get over to IFC Center for the screening.

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Lowline Edges Toward Reality, But What Does It Mean For the LES?

Picture: Daniel Maurer

Photo: Daniel Maurer

“Lower East Side, not for sale!” “Chinatown, not for sale!” These were the chants on the streets of Chinatown two weeks ago, when protesters, huddled under umbrellas, marched to City Hall to demand the prevention of the 80-story tower currently planned for the East River waterfront. With more luxury apartments on the rise and the commercial landscape following suit, anxiety over the rapid gentrification of the Lower East Side is intensifying.

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Ryan McGinley’s New Photos: Walking Buck-Naked in a Winter Wonderland

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Ryan McGinley’s seventh opening at Team Gallery was just like all the others: at any given moment, there were just as many people on Grand Street as in the gallery – a fact that did not go unnoticed by the uniformed and undercover cops who rolled by to tell the mob of downtown scenesters to clear the sidewalk and bike lane.

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Chinatown Residents Rally Against ‘Racist’ Towers They Say Are Displacing Them

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

“Where are you, de Blasio?” That was the question of the afternoon when rain-soaked protesters braved the weather at City Hall to protest rezoning that they claim has led to racism and displacement within their community. According to the organizers of the rally, The Coalition to Protect Chinatown & The Lower East Side, Mayor Bill de Blasio told them earlier in the day Wednesday that a representative from his office would come out to address them, but no one showed up. It could have been the rain that kept the nameless flack away, but try telling that to 75 wet, angry people struggling to keep their umbrellas from turning inside out. The next stop, they say, will be Gracie Mansion.

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