Bialystoker Nursing Home Board Won’t Oppose Landmark Application; Hearing Scheduled (Updated)

Bialystoker Nursing Home on East Broadway.

Some big Friday afternoon news from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.   Preservationists have been lobbying for many months for the commission to protect the Bialystoker Nursing Home building at 228 East Broadway.   We’ve just been advised the application is listed on the public calendar for next Tuesday’s meeting.   At the meeting commissioners will vote whether to place the application on the calendar for a public hearing (with testimony) at a later date.

The nursing home was shuttered last year and the board of directors has been angling to sell the building to a developer interested in demolishing the 1929 structure.  It’s been a highly controversial issue on the Lower East Side.  While preservation groups believe the building is an important reminder of the neighborhood’s immigrant past, many members of the Orthodox Jewish community opposed designation.

Sunday: CUNY College Info Fair at Seward Park High School

The CUNY College Information Fair is taking place Sunday at Seward Park High School.   There will be details about academic programs, financial aid, adult education and immigration services. The fair takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s co-sponsored by local elected officials Sheldon Silver, Margaret Chin and Dan Squadron. Seward Park High School is located at 350 Grand Street.

Police Search For Robbery Suspect After Incident at 300 Cherry Street

NYPD Photo.

Police are looking for help in finding a suspect who pulled out a gun on a 73-year old man in a building on Cherry Street last month.  The gunman, believed to be in his 20’s, followed the man into an elevator and asked for money. He ran off when the man said he had nothing to give.

The suspect is about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs around 160 pounds. He was wearing a long black hooded coat at the time of the attempted robbery. The incident happened at 300 Cherry Street, inside the LaGuardia public housing complex, near Rutgers Street.

If you have information, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).


Holidays 2012: Keeping it Local on the LES

Daha Vintage, 175 Orchard Street. Photo via New York Magazine.

Every day this month we’re offering suggestions for keeping it local this holiday season.  Lower East Side businesses are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  We’d love to hear your ideas. Send us an email at

  • TLD reader Stacy Musselman recommends Daha Vintage, the popular clothing, shoe and accessory store at 175 Orchard Street that is being forced to move due to a rent hike. Stacy tells us: “Daha Vintage offers quality boots, pumps, furs, dresses, purses, jewelry and more, all at least 30 years old, but most ranging from the ’60s to ’80s.  Currently, everything is 25% off, but my dear friend named MJ, who manages the store, is often willing to cut better deals, and she really knows her vintage and can style like no other!”  But you need to hurry; Daha Vintage is supposed to be out of the space by Monday.

Driver Found Not Guilty of Most Charges in Crash That Killed 15 Chinatown Residents

Bronx Bush Crash, March 2011.

We were waiting for the verdict in the case of Ophadell Williams, the driver of the casino bus that crashed in the Bronx last year, killing 15 Chinatown residents.   A short time ago the jury announced it had found him not guilty on all counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.  He was convicted on one count: aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Federal regulators concluded that driver fatigue was a factor in the crash, on I-95 in March of 2012.  They also found Williams had been speeding.  The bus was heading back from a casino in Connecticut.  Williams claimed he was cut off by a tractor-trailer and was forced to swerve.


More Than a Month After Sandy, Knickerbocker Station Post Office Still Struggling

The service window at the Knickerbocker Station Post Office. Photo by Brittany Somerset.

Lower East Side-based photojournalist Brittany Somerset noticed that things have not returned to normal at the Knickerbocker Station Post Office, weeks after Superstorm Sandy. Here’s her report:

The Knickerbocker Station Post Office, on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown (128 East Broadway) is still feeling the detrimental effects of Hurricane Sandy, over one month after Hurricane Sandy subsided. The violent storm flooded the post office, taking out the majority of its communication systems.

“Many of our phone lines and computers are still down,” one USPS worker said. “As a result, we can’t offer our customers any money orders, and can’t take any credit card payments.”  Customers who try to call the post office are continually met with frustrating busy signals.

Dash Snow Initiative Raises More Than $1 Million For Henry Street Settlement

Still image from New York Times web site.

On the Fashion & Style page of the New York Times’ web site, you can see the slide show from a particularly star-studded evening at Art Basel in Miami.   What’s the Lower East side connection, you ask?  Well it was fundraiser, hosted by Chanel for the Dash Snow Initiative at Boys and Girls Republic, which is run by Henry Street Settlement.

Demi Moore was there, along with Lenny Karvitz, Russell Simmons, Martha Srewart and many other A-list celebrities.  But more to the point, the dinner and auction raised more than $1 million for Henry Street’s youth programs.  Downtown artist Dash Snow died in 2009 of a drug overdose.  “All his friends and peers attract a certain type of crowd,”  Teddy Liouliakis, Snow’s good  friend, told the Times. ”We’re hoping that it can help memorialize Dash in a positive way.” 

Morning Reads: Bus Crash Verdict, Levees to Protect NYC?, Chinatown Developer Sued

  • The verdict will be announced today in the trial of the driver who was at the wheel when a casino bus crashed in the Bronx last year, killing 15 Chinatown residents (Post).
  • For the first time Mayor Bloomberg suggested dunes and/or levees could be used to protect areas of the city vulnerable to flooding due to future hurricanes. He did not, however, offer any specifics about location, cost or timetable (NYT).
  • An $11 million lawsuit has been filed against a Chinatown developer accused of precipitating the displacement of tenants at 128 Hester Street, next door to the newly opened Wyndham Garden Hotel (Villager).
  • Two people were arrested in connection with a Thanksgiving weekend stabbing on the Lower East Side (The Local).
  • The retail listing for Jupiter 21, the luxury building where the Mars Bar once stood, is now online (EV Grieve).


Good Morning!

Looking towards The Forward Building on East Broadway.

Cloudy today with a few showers possible and a high of 44.   We could see more rain both Saturday and Sunday with highs both days near 50.

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Basketball City Floors Ruined By Hurricane Sandy

Basketball City; June 2012.

It’s been a tough month for Bruce Radler, the owner of Basketball City, the brand new recreational facility on Pier 36.  Hurricane Sandy completely destroyed the wood floors that were installed over the summer on seven courts.  Last night, Radler told a committee of Community Board 3 that new floors had been ordered. Installation will begin next week and will hopefully be completed shortly after the New Year.  The good news, he said, is that the building (located at the end of Montgomery Street) did not suffer any structural damage. This photo was taken during the summer when Basketball City had its official opening after years of delays.  We’ll be getting a first hand look at the damage next week and will have more details about the repair project.