Rent Regulations: Affordable Housing Advocates Respond

As lawmakers in Albany wrangle over the final details of new legislation to replace the rent regulations that expired June 15, politicians and community leaders are weighing in on the pros and cons.

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called the agreement “a huge relief for tenants.”

“Working with Gov. Cuomo, we have saved the rent laws and expanded their protections for the first time in nearly two decades,” Silver said in prepared statement. “This is an important victory in our ongoing effort to support working families and ease the affordable housing crisis.”

We also asked local affordable housing advocates for their take on the situation, and compiled their responses.

Happening Now: Rallying Against Teacher Cuts

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We’re in Chinatown, where community leaders are rallying against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts. Parents, students and City Councilwoman Margaret Chin are blasting planned teacher layoffs in NYC schools.

Lower East Side Lens – Rivington Street

Rivington Street. May 22, 2011

Continuing our ongoing series of street photographs from A. Jesse Jiryu Davis.

Gaia Cafe, Liquor Permits News, APL Reviews

The housemade brioche with Nutella is just one of many reasons to wander into Gaia Italian Cafe.

A roundup of restaurant and nightlife news around the neighborhood today.

  • East Houston Street newcomer Gaia Italian Cafe gets some love for its vegetarian options, and this exclamatory remark: “This is Italian Italian food.”
  • This week’s Community Board 3 SLA committee meeting covered a lot of ground: bad news for the bar formerly known as Aces and Eights (formerly known as Mo’ Pitkin’s) and Clinton Street’s CultureFix, but good news for newcomers Masala Wala and Zoe.
  • Early reviews of Orchard Street’s APL are in, and they’re pretty good all around.
  • Something’s going on with the produce market under the Manhattan Bridge.

Health Department Shuts Essex Street Tiki Bar PKNY

Authorities returned to PKNY at 49 Essex St. last night and shut it down.

It’s been a tough few weeks for PKNY, the Lower East Side tiki bar formerly known as Painkiller. On top of losing its former name in a federal lawsuit over trademarks in late May, city health officials issued it terrible inspection report earlier this month. Even though the beloved one-year-old artisan cocktail bar received a passing score on a subsequent inspection, authorities arrived late last night and closed it down.

Notices on the door this morning attribute the closure to “operating without a permit.” The cleaning crew on site a few minutes ago said they understood it to be a temporary problem and that the bar would open up in a few days. They did not want to be identified, and referred questions to the owners.

Rent Regs Near Deal, Gay Marriage Pending, Brooklyn Bridge Noise

  • A deal on rent regulations is expected to be finalized in Albany today, and both landlords and tenants are finding reasons to criticize it. (NYT, NY Daily News)
  • Silver says there’s some movement on language for gay marriage bill, but no deal yet. (TalkingPointsMemo)
  • What’s that noise on the Brooklyn Bridge late at night? The city’s own jackhammers, and they’re too loud. (DNAinfo)
  • The Open Road Park in the East Village is closed; here’s why. (EV Grieve)
  • This isn’t really news, but it’s really cool: A website that documents the color of the NYC sky at any given moment. (NY Mag)

Good Morning!

Four-year-old Jaydyn Diaz of the East Village was watching his parents play softball in East River Park, and practicing catching Skittles in his mouth.

It’s going to be a dark, wet day here on the Lower East Side, with clouds and fog in the morning and showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, and highs in the low 80s.