“We’re strategically hitting landlords who’ve been displacing thousands of tenants every year,” said Brandon Kielbasa, lead organizer at Cooper Square Committee, a tenant rights organization running since 1959.
A group of longtime residents of the Bowery will gather on the street in front of their homes Monday to officially announce their public fight against their landlord, who also owns nine other Bowery apartment buildings. A “couple dozen” tenants from adjacent numbers 83 and 85 have come forward to say they’ve been treated unfairly ever since the buildings were acquired by Joseph Betesh, according to Sarah Ahn, volunteer organizer for a tenants’ association that recently formed to address these issues.
Gentrification is inevitable, the folks at Chinatown Soup know that. But Michelle Esteva, Jordan Hill, and Max Waldman are ready. Sleeves rolled up and muscles flexed, they’re eager to preserve the cultural heritage of Chinatown — downtown Manhattan’s final frontier — one art exhibition at a time.
The streets around Seward Park are changing faster than you can say “LoLoEaSi.” Hot on the heels of the opening of Kiki’s and Pies ‘n’ Thighs, here are still more developments on the Lower Lower East Side.
Watching people enjoy mah-jongg in Chinatown’s Columbus Park, it’s hard to imagine the site was a dangerous, decrepit slum in the late 1800s. Photojournalist and social reformer Jacob A. Riis dedicated a chapter in his 1890 book How the Other Half Lives to the squalid conditions in the area then known as Mulberry Bend.
Zhen Ling Tan Taoist today, Kiki’s tomorrow.
What was once a Chinese supply store on 130 Division Street is now an oasis of absolute Grecian cool. A step away from your typical blue and white Greek island vibe, this rustic restaurant, the second baby of Forgetmenot owners Kiki Karamintzas, Nick Spanos, and Paul Sierros, pays homage to the real heartland of Greece: the northern mountains.
A scowling woman shoved a plastic bag in my face and gestured toward the mound of grapefruits at a Chinatown grocery like any other. “No thanks,” I smiled, pointing toward the rust red door with chicken scratch white paint that reads: 94 1/2. “Oh,” she said knowingly and smiled. Unlike everyone else clucking around the piles of produce, I wasn’t shopping. I was looking for an art show supposedly behind this dingy door. I tentatively knocked and heard no echo, no indication there was anything but darkness behind there, let alone an exhibition dedicated to work by the street artist RAE, some recent and some that might have otherwise been lost had it not been for a helpful neighbor.
A man suspected of twice forcing himself on women in the East Village may have perpetrated as many as five such acts, and police say the most recent one occurred yesterday morning.
Though many lament the frenzy of change in New York’s oldest neighborhoods, there are still remnants of the past to see if you’d look up from your smartphone. Ghost signs, advertising signage that has survived long after a business has gone bust, are still around… but are disappearing fast.
Click through the slideshow to see our favorites, then leave your own in the comments.
All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.
On a warm June night in 2008 two officers of the NYPD’s 7th precinct picked up actress Tatum O’Neal as she was buying crack-cocaine outside her condo building in the Lower East Side. She told police she was researching an acting role.