Lower East Side
It’s not all that often that church pews double as theater aisles at The Bowery Mission’s Lower East Side Chapel but that’s what happened today, as local homeless men sought refuge from the single-digit temperatures.
Staffers set the thermostat above 70 degrees and unspooled a projection screen to show DVDs of The Bible, a 10-part miniseries that aired on the History channel last March. (The Blind Side was screened during a previous film session.) A few dozen men wearing hooded sweatshirts and nylon jackets watched stories of Jesus, Moses and Sampson before a backdrop of Christmas tree garland and organ pipes.
Menachem Stark, the Williamsburg developer who was abducted Thursday outside of his office and then found burned and asphyxiated to death in Long Island Saturday, was mourned as a charitable man by his neighbors but was “a lightning rod for fuming tenants and neighborhood activists across north Brooklyn,” per The Times. Though thousands attended Stark’s funeral, the New York Post accompanied its story with the front-page headline “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?” Yesterday, as B+B reported, City Councilman Stephen Levin (and others, including Stark’s brother-in-law) condemned the headline as “offensive and horrific.” (The Post, reporting on a protest rally led by the Brooklyn BP, later said its thoughts and prayers were with Stark’s family.) Meanwhile, The Daily News says some relatives believe the mob was involved in the hit, or that it was a hate crime. The Post says Stark’s business partner is worried he’s next.
Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
An elderly woman stands at the window of her East Broadway apartment, practicing tai chi. A light snow is falling on the street below, where two young men in flannel shirts and skinny jeans enter a craft beer shop. The yellow lights of Happy Family Chinese restaurant blink gently in the distance.
At the corner of East Broadway and Grand stands an unusual building. White stones fan out around its windows, creating a contrast against the deep red brick. Its distinctive exterior reflects the boldness of its founders, eager to establish themselves in a new country and unafraid to be seen or heard. The letters ATH are carved above the main door, a nod to Arnold Toynbee, the British economic historian whose work inspired the settlement house movement, lovingly engraved by the hardworking New Yorkers who admired him.
Until we return to the usual Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
The first time Travis Bass stepped into the unusual building on Canal Street – the one with twelve ornate stories surrounded by dingy warehouses and Chinese signs – was during a New Year’s Eve party hosted by Frank Müeller, the man behind infamous New York clubs like Fun and The Limelight.
In 1998, the Lower East Side was “the wild, wild west,” Bass recalls. Müeller was “kind of a crazy guy,” and he had rented an entire seventh floor, divided into two lofts, which he shared with several friends. Drifting through the party, Bass noted polished wooden floors outlined like a basketball court, a couch designed with holes to stick your head through, and CDs glued to the walls and creating the shimmering effect of a hologram. The party was “outrageous,” in typical Müeller style. But most impressive was the vista: “It was amazing. They had a view of the whole city.”
A Williamsburg resident facing a predicament from a bygone era was forced to put up a sign: “Please Do Not Smoke Crack in Our Building.” [NY Times]
That incident ended politely, but this one didn’t: an off-duty cop was stabbed in the neck after he asked his cousin to stop smoking pot in his Bushwick home. [NY Daily News]
Bushwick parkour studio Bklyn Beast is closing after 230 Bogart was hit with a vacate order. The owners say they “had no choice but to move forward in seeking a new location.” [Brooklyn Paper, New York Shitty]
The Landmarks Preservation Commission has sent the developer of the Domino Sugar factory back to the drawing board, objecting to the height and massing of proposed glass-clad additions to the roof of the landmarked building. [Brooklyn Eagle]
Bill Murray is back in Williamsburg. [Gothamist]
The restaurant that was Broadway East and is now Rosette isn’t the only Lower East Sider to get a reboot this week — chef Melissa O’Donnell opened Thelma on Clinton last night, in the space that used to house Salt Bar.
Is an Ace Hotel coming to the Bowery? BuzzBuzz Home reports that plans for a 178-room hotel at the former Salvation Army Chinatown shelter are moving ahead. Bowery Boogie spotted a description on the architect’s website indicating that Ace Hotel will brand and operate the hotel, but the blurb now seems to be offline.
A map shows that median incomes have reached $87,000 on the Williamsburg waterfront and $53,000 to $80,000 in other parts of the neighborhood. [Business Insider]
A Brooklyn resident wants the corner of Ludlow and Rivington to be renamed Beastie Boys Square. [DNA Info]