Man Shot in the Back Near Rutgers Houses (Updated 5:39 p.m.)

Police gather in front of Rutgers Houses following shooting. Photo: WNBC.

At about 3 o’clock this afternoon there was a shooting outside the subway station on Rutgers Street, near Madison. The victim, who was hit in the back, was taken to New York Downtown Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.  According to WNBC, at least two separate crime scenes were established. WABC reported that the MTA had received information about an armed man on an F train at the station, but an initial search did not turn up a suspect. Tonight police are still looking for the gunman.

UPDATE 5:39 p.m. More information about this incident.  Police believe the shooting did not happen in front of the subway station but at 38 Rutgers Street, which is part of the Rutgers public housing complex.  Police have spoken with the victim, and they have reason to believe he knew the shooter, but at the moment, investigators do not have a name or a description.  The victim is in his mid-30’s.


Holidays 2012: Keeping it Local on the LES

Economy Candy Market 2

Economy Candy. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.

We continue our “keeping it local” holiday guide today with more suggestions from the neighborhood:

  • It’s hard to beat Lower East Side institution Economy Candy when it comes to “can’t miss,” crowd-pleasing gifts.  The options are way too numerous to name but here are a couple of suggestions; Hammond’s jumbo handmade candy canes in peppermint, butterscotch or strawberry for $2.99 each; or how about those delicious hand-dipped specialty chocolates? A one-pound box costs $19.95.  Sure you can shop online, but it’s so much more fun to pay a visit to the store; 108 Rivington Street; open until 6 p.m. except on Saturdays when closing time is 5 p.m.

LoMA Presents Antigone

Our local performing arts school, The Lower Manhattan Arts Academy (LoMA high school) is putting on a production of Antigone this weekend. The show opens tonight at 7:00pm. Get out and support those talented kids.

Chin Prepares For Re-Election Campaign; Downtown Activist Weighs Challenge

Margaret Chin with other elected officials and community activists at City Hall last week.

The 2012 election season is barely behind us, but next year’s City Council races are already starting to heat up.   This week City Council member Margaret Chin kicked off a series of casual fundraising events at neighborhood restaurants. We stopped by a gathering at the Cowgirl Sea-Horse, one of many Seaport District restaurants devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  This particular event was populated by mostly young supporters; other fundraisers are planned in Chinatown and in the Financial District.  Chin plans a formal announcement that she’s running for a second term shortly after the new year.

In her first term, Chin has faced a variety of difficult issues — from two hurricanes to controversial rezoning fights to battles over two business improvement districts and historic preservation issues.   District 1, which Chin represents, covers the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Tribeca, Soho and sections of Greenwich Village. 

Review: A Post-Modern Christmas Carol at Abrons

John Forkner in Reid Farringtons’s A Christmas Carol at Abrons Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Abrons Arts Center

Reid Farrington’s A Christmas Carol starts off spooky. The Abrons Arts Center stage is lit by glowing candles, further hushed by red velvet drapes, a coffin stands facing the audience, with a shadowy head at its tip. Even before the production begins, I get the feeling that eyes from the head are looking at me. The audience is being watched.

The show starts with a moan, as the deathly face bursts to life, revealing actor John Forkner, the narrator of our tale. With perfect pomp and a dash of sardonic wit, he opens a large book to read this legendary Christmas tale of Scrooge. Holding the pages open toward the audience so we can see vivid projections of moving images, Forkner recites.

The story comes to life as Everett Quinton hobbles onstage as the miserly Scrooge, a character who is the antithesis of holiday cheer. Quinton is brilliant and unique, wearing a constant scowl that seems set in the very fibers of his face. He is his own Scrooge but many others, throughout the trippy performance, are projected over the characters’ faces on sliding screens and slates. From the Muppets to Bill Murray, multiple versions and enactments of the classic story are illuminated over the principal characters, creating both a feeling of vertigo and consumption.

At Liquor License Hearing, Ludlow Hotel Owners Promise to Be Good Neighbors

180 Ludlow Street.

The new, upscale hotel at 180 Ludlow Street is expected to open by next spring.  That was the word from the hotel owners, who went before Community Board 3’s SLA Committee earlier this week, winning the panel’s blessing for a liquor license.  The long-suffering development site was bought by BD Hotels two years ago for $25 million.  The high flying group, led by Richard Born and Ian Druckier, offered a few new details about the project, which is destined to be a Lower East Side game changer.

The 20-story hotel will include an Italian restaurant not unlike Gemma, the trattoria in the Bowery Hotel (one of this group’s many Manhattan holdings), a small patio on the Orchard Street side of the building and a lobby lounge.  Food service will be available 24 hours; liquor will be served until 4 a.m.  They submitted a letter of support from their neighbor, The Ludlow apartment building, as well as petitions from local residents containing 150 signatures.

SakaMai Readies For Grand Opening at 157 Ludlow

Image via SakaMai’s Facebook page.

SakaMai, the new sake lounge at 157 Ludlow Street, is scheduled to open next Thursday, after hosting a series of private preview events.  In Zagat the other day, Jenny Miller referred to the restaurant as a “Japanese gastro lounge.”  There will, of course, be a large sake menu, plus Japanese whiskeys and beer. The 100-seat venue will also offer a small food menu. 

Want to Join Your Local Community Board? Info Sessions Begin Tonight

Here’s a reminder that information sessions get underway tonight for people interested in joining one of New York’s 59 community boards.  Half of all members will be appointed or re-appointed by the borough presidents, in consultation with City Council members this coming spring,  Applications are due January 18.  The first info session takes place this evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street.  There’s another session January 8th. More details here.  If you’re thinking of applying, it’s a good idea to check out a community board meeting.  The next Community Board 3 gathering is next Tuesday, December 18, 6:30 p.m., at P.S. 20, 166 Essex Street.

Morning Reads: Arrest in Elevator Robberies, Scalping Ban Proposed, Council Moves to Curb Deportations

  • Police arrest a suspect in connection with a series of elevator robberies, including one in the East Village (WNBC).
  • State Senator Daniel Squadron proposes legislation that would ban scalping tickets for charity events (Brooklyn Eagle).
  • The City Council will consider legislation that would limit New York’s cooperation with federal deportation programs (NYT).
  • Neighbors start a campaign to co-name a portion of East 6th Street for Donald Suggs (EV Grieve).


Good Morning!

Gloomy Day

Photo by Joel Raskin; November 2012.

Partly cloudy today with a high of 45.

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