It’s the time of year again, when the venerable Essex Street Market marks its anniversary with an all-out block party, taking over the stretch between Delancey and Rivington with pushcarts, astroturf, outdoor DJs, and delicious food galore. It’s been 76 years and as the longest-surviving market from the La Guardia era, it deserves to celebrate. (To get the full deets on its history, check out our deep dive into its roots. You can also get a free market tour at the party, from Turnstile Tours).
Crime + Community
A Lower East Sider was attacked and robbed by two men posing as police officers, the NYPD says.
The incident happened around 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, when a resident of the Baruch Houses was stopped in the lobby of his building by two men who claimed to be police officers. One of them maced the victim while the other punched him, and the 29-year-old was forced to turn over his cellphone, a credit card, and $100 in cash, the police say. His injuries weren’t serious enough to require hospitalization.
The suspects are shown in the video above.
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.
Just a month ago we followed faith leaders and tenants as they tried to meet their landlord, Steve Croman of 9300 Realty (and honoree on The Village Voice‘s New York City’s 10 worst landlords list twice–once in 1998 and again in 2014). They wanted to deliver letters from 32 different religious figures, decrying Croman’s alleged tenant harassment tactics, such as cutting gas and heat, dangerous construction, low buyouts, and threatening frivolous lawsuits.
Aby J. Rosen, owner of the gloriously graffitied Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery (soon to be outfitted as a high-end office building for fashion agencies and archives) is in the news today for something other than his disruptive real estate moves on landmarked buildings (in case you forgot, he also pissed off preservationists two years ago, when he displaced The Four Seasons restaurant and its Picasso curtain painting from the Seagram Building).
Couldn’t get enough of Los Sures, the time capsule documentary of life in Puerto Rican Williamsburg back in 1984? You weren’t alone. The film, originally slated to run a week at Metrograph, the Lower East Side’s new arthouse film mecca, grossed $25,000 its first week and was extended for a second week. Playing mostly full houses, it eventually netted a holy-moly $60,000.
If you care about the gold rush sweeping Brooklyn and you haven’t been listening to WNYC’s There Goes the Neighborhood podcast…well, you must be living under a rock (or maybe in Tribeca). The eight-episode capsule podcast, hosted by The Nation‘s Kai Wright, is required listening. From studying landlord and developer tactics to understanding people’s complicated relationships with their homes and neighborhoods, it goes beyond the constant stream of tenant harassment cases to really try to make sense of the historical and social context around the recent developments in the changing the city.
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.
Have you seen the man in the above video?
Police believe he accosted a woman in her apartment building near Stanton and Pitt Street. The attempted rape happened Saturday around 3:20 p.m., when a man, thought to be in his late teens, rode the elevator with the 24-year-old victim, stepped off on her floor, and then groped her, pushed her against a wall, and fondled her. The man followed her to her apartment but took off when he discovered someone inside was answering the door, the police say.
The suspect is thought to be 5’2” to 5’4” and about 130 pounds.
This is the first Passover in 90 years without Streit’s Matzo in operation on Rivington Street. So what do you do if you get hungry after seeing the new documentary and art exhibit dedicated to the bygone Lower East Side matzo factory? Don’t get tsuris. The Museum at Eldridge Street is offering a taste of the old neighborhood via its Passover-week “Matzo Tours.”
In 2013 Mayor Bill De Blasio was voted into office with pledges to reign in police violence and stop-and-frisk policing targeted at blacks and latinos. (Remember that emotional video about needing to have stop-and-frisk conversations with his son, Dante?) And since he took office, street-stops have continued on a downward trend–there were about 24,000 stops last year, a far cry from the peak of 685,000 in 2011 under Bloomberg.