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Take a Break From Pokemon and Catch These Docs About Really Rabid Gamers

Still from The Dwarvenaut.

Still from The Dwarvenaut.

Between Pokemon Go bar crawls and the reboot (in miniature form) of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, we may have reached peak gaming nostalgia. If that dude who fell into Prospect Park Pond convinced you it’s safer to watch than to play, check out these two soon-to-be-released docs, about rabid gamers in the B+B zone.
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Breakthrough in Effort to Limit Height of Chinatown Buildings, But Some Are Torn

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

An opening for the Chinatown Working Group’s rezoning proposal may finally be on the horizon. Last night, Community Board 3’s chair, Gigi Li, presented a new development to the Land Use Committee– after two years of sending resolutions supporting the plan to the Department of City Planning, its director, Carl Weisbrod, responded on June 7th expressing willingness to engage in discussion. Still, some community groups remain frustrated that the rezoning process isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with the quickening pace of high-rise development, while board members warned that unity from various stakeholders would be key to achieve comprehensive changes.
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A Chinatown Dumpling Shop Will Morph into a Gallery Tonight

By Wells Brown
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.
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Attention, Dr. Jay’s Shoppers: Bowery Tenants Take the Fight to Landlord’s Store

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

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.

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Bill Passed Would Make It Easier For Micro-Businesses to Score Loans

dANIEL

State Senator Daniel Squadron (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

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.
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Try Squeezing Into a Little Chair at This Outpost of Forgetmenot and Kiki’s

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

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.

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Facing Pressure From Pols, Dr. Jays Mogul Backtracks on Evicting Bowery Tenants

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez speaking (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez speaking (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

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.

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Two Stabbed at a Chinatown Internet Cafe

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Internet cafe where stabbing allegedly took place (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

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.

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New Supertall Joining Extell on the Waterfront Draws Resident Ire

Courtesy JDS/SHoP

Courtesy JDS/SHoP

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.

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De Blasio Makes It Rain, Pours More Money Into East River Flood Protection

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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