A drag queen let me into Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority licensing committee meeting on Monday night. Inside, she was joined by a bevy of others who came out in droves to support Club Cumming, actor Alan Cumming’s East Village bar that recently ran into trouble due to their liquor license lacking a stipulation to allow live music and DJs.
Crime + Community
Hurricane Maria hit close to home for the many Puerto Ricans living in Alphabet City. Among the 34 who died when the storm hit Puerto Rico was Joey Montalvo’s uncle. The San Juan resident had a heart attack and medical assistance couldn’t reach him. “He can’t even have a decent funeral because all the cemeteries are flooded,” Montalvo told us during a recent visit to Don Juan’s Barbershop, on East 4th Street.
Residents, activists, community groups and their elected representatives gathered at the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon with a Valentine’s Day message for Mayor de Blasio. Their request – to convert the long vacant P.S. 64 building in the East Village into a community center and disallow owner Gregg Singer from developing it into a college dorm.
“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.
Last night, dozens gathered in Greenpoint event space Magick City to discuss the current state of DIY spaces in New York and to brainstorm ideas they could offer the Department of Cultural Affairs that would help keep DIY arts and culture spaces operating safely without being prohibitive financially to those running them.
The meeting was organized by the NYC Artist Coalition, “an emerging coalition of artists, creative organizations, community leaders, activists, policy makers, and specialists providing mutual support and advocating for informal and affordable community spaces in NYC.” The Magick City discussion was a follow-up to a packed meeting about DIY spaces two weeks ago with the commissioner of Cultural Affairs. This willingness to formally cooperate with a city that is so often seen as actively working against DIY spaces comes hot on the heels of the Ghost Ship fire tragedy in Oakland, an event that shook up the DIY community nationwide and led to increased crackdowns on other homegrown venues.
NYPD Captain Peter Rose caused a stir last week when, addressing a rise in Greenpoint sex attacks, he seemed to tell DNAinfo that the NYPD was less worried about so-called acquaintance rape and more concerned with so-called stranger rapes: “Those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards,” he said. Acquaintance rapes, on the other hand, are “not total-abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets,” Rose was quoting as saying.
When a bathroom mirror went missing from Lovely Day on December 5, the owner of the beloved downtown Thai food diner, Kazusa Jibiki, was heartbroken. “It’s a really sad day for us,” she posted on Instagram. The staff was angry. The regulars were incensed. Clearly, this wasn’t just any old piece of glass. “Two friends of mine were like guardians, they really wanted it back to Lovely Day so they were on the case,” explained Jibiki, who moved to New York City from Japan more than 20 years ago.
Gunfire stopped an MTA bus in its tracks as it was driving through Bushwick this afternoon, and sent a passenger to the hospital.
Pioneer Works isn’t just an art gallery, residency program, and book shop — it’s an educational center, too. Pay a nominal fee and get learn’d on the basics of paper marbling, wet plate photography, and how to whip up a mole sauce from scratch– you know, cute stuff. So a two-day course, “How to Master the New York City Police Department,” taught by NYU urbanization researcher Patrick Lamson-Hall, kinda stopped me in my browsing tracks with its promise of a historical look at the NYPD and discussion about how to improve community-police relations. One of Patrick’s early suggestions: “As stupid as it sounds, maybe they need to start every day with yoga.”
Today, the Queens driver who crashed his car into the East Village Farm & Grocery Store last summer was indicted on several additional charges, including murder in the second degree.