NY1 Report: Shuang Wen Under Investigation

Tonight at 8pm, NY1 will broadcast a report calling into question many of the management practices at Shuang Wen, one of the neighborhood’s most popular schools. Here’s the preview NY1 has posted online:

P.S. 184 in the Lower East Side is one of the crown jewels of the city’s public school system, but an exclusive NY1 investigative report has uncovered many serious issues at the school. P.S. 184, known as the Shuang Wen School, is ranked seventh in the Department of Education’s recent rankings of elementary and middle schools. Yet NY1 has obtained extensive documentation suggesting extensive problems, from fraud to financial mismanagement to issues with the admission process and attendance records. When NY1 brought all this to the DOE’s attention, the department confirmed that it has nine open investigations into the school.

Explosives in the Cemetery – A Few Photos and More Info

Just back from 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue, where Police Commissioner Ray Kelly recounted the bizarre chain of events that led to the recovery of eight sticks of C4 explosives from the historic Marble Cemetery.   As helicopters hovered overhead, a huge pack of reporters strained to hear the commissioner explain that a caretaker found a black bag in the cemetery in May or June of 2009. 

Commissioner Kelly Briefs Press on Explosives Found in Marble Cemetery

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has just briefed the press — from 2nd Avenue, near the Marble Cemetery. As we’ve been reporting, several explosive blocks of C4 were found in the cemetery earlier today. In May of 2009, he said,  a caretaker found a black bag with eight sticks of C4 explosives in it (the caretaker apparently did not look inside the bag). He placed it near a tree, where it remained until yesterday, when it was found by a volunteer. The police were called today.  There was also a rambling note that was sent to the 9th Precinct, which appears to be unrelated, but Police are investigating.

Breaking: More on Explosives Found at Second Street Cemetery

The Lo-Down is on the scene at Second Street near First Avenue, where police have found a plastic garbage bag containing C4 explosives in the Second Street Marble Cemetery. DNAInfo is reporting no blasting cap was found, and that it could not have exploded in the cemetery.

The street has been blocked off between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Multiple emergency vehicles are surrounding the area.  Traffic is being let through on First Avenue but is moving slowly.  A large group of onlookers has gathered. A press conference has apparently been scheduled for 2:30p. Commisioner Kelly is on the scene.

Bomb Squad at 2nd & 2nd

From the Daily News:

Several blocks of the deadly C-4 explosive were found Monday morning in a Lower East Side cemetery, police sources said. There was no cap or detonating device with the blocks, meaning they could not have exploded. “But it’s still C-4, so it’s being taken very seriously,” a police source said. Between six and eight blocks of the plastic explosive, formally known as Composition 4, were found in a black plastic garbage bag just inside Marble Cemetery on E. 2nd St. between First and Second Aves around 10:50 a.m.

More to come…

Making Sure Coach Eddie’s Dream Lives On

They did it for Eddie. Kids, coaches and neighborhood activists kicked off the 2010 season of the Sol Lain Flag Football League Saturday morning.  But it was with heavy hearts that they dedicated this year’s opening ceremonies to Edward Garcia, the heart and soul of this league.

Fat Radish Opens on Orchard Street

This past weekend,  Fat Radish,  a British restaurant featuring (what else!) farm fresh ingredients made its “soft debut” at 17 Orchard Street.   For now, they seem to be keeping a low profile: no mention of the opening on their blog, Facebook page ot Twitter.

Fat Radish is run by Ben Towill (Kingswood) and Phil Winser, the team behind the Silkstone catering company (also at 17 Orchard). You may have spotted them during the summer at the Hester Street Fair whipping up some seriously tasty omelets (we consumed our share).

A sampling from Sunday night’s menu: blue cheese pork pie ($7), warm smoked bacon/potato/green bean salad ($13), cured lemon sole/pumpkin seed pesto/dandelion ($14), mako shark vindaloo/wild rice/spicy bean chutney ($21), braised venison/prunes/parsnip dumplings ($21).

We have a call into the restaurant to get more details, including hours of operation and whether a grand opening is planned.

BP’s Black Plague – A Response in Art & Music Tonight

(c) Nadia Gallagher, 2010

The Tryst Collective is presenting a one-night only show, BP’s Black Plague – A Response in Art & Music, tonight at the R Bar on the Bowery. They write:

Join us for a ONE NIGHT show chock full of visual art, live music and poetry! On Monday, October 11 – 7:00 PM at the R Bar, the creative community expresses their feelings about the BP oil spill and the Gulf Coast through stunning art, live music, and poetry!*

The BP oil spill was an eye opener for many of us about our world’s detrimental dependence on oil. It brought to light other oil spills that have occurred before and after… the spill, reminding us how such catastrophes affect the environment, animals and people.

Knish Alley Revived For a Day

We asked Laura Silver, the woman who dressed as a five foot tall knish and paraded down Second Avenue yesterday, to write a few words about her experience. Here is her full report:

Laura Silver revived "Knish Alley" with a processional down Second Avenue yesterday. (photo by Syd Bolton, a Londoner who caught the images while he was strolling Second Avenue on his holidays.)

They came from the Bronx. They came from Boston, They came from Newfoundland and yes, they came from the Lower East Side. They came to join in the knish processional and some of them were people I had never seen before.

Village East (Cinema) let us enter and pay homage to the plaque to Yiddish Actors inside the theater. Some folks on the street figured out I was not a slice of American Cheese (really?! with mustard dangling from her neck?) but indeed a potato pocket. Plus I met  several old timers, 40+ years in the neighborhood, who remembered not only Abe Lebewohl but also the remnants of Yiddish Theater in the area.

Funny thing: at the end of processional the “Knish Color Guard” reconvened in our starting place for a snack of knishes – part of the ritual of reinserting the pastry into the ‘hood —and suddenly passersby swarmed us. My favorite was a woman named Bina who made out some of the words on the Yiddish side of my sign.

Good Morning: Bus Blues, Apartment Feud, Hog Wild

Photo by Joel Raskin.

We begin our Columbus Day with a refreshing view of the East River, from Joel Raskin.  The holiday weather looks to be nearly perfect: 75 degrees and mostly sunny. If you have the day off, enjoy!