Coming Up Sunday: Valentine’s Day Trunk Show

In search of a creative gift idea for Valentine’s Day?  Local resident, and jewelry designer, Serena Van Rensselaer may be able to help!  She’s organized a designer trunk show this coming Sunday.

Serena will be offering many of her own designs but other artisans are involved, as well, including: Nicki Francis of Kushie Spa (natural bath and body products), Ken Rizzo of Creme de la Cuff (cufflinks),  Juli Raja (scarves and other clothing items), Aly Foley-Contreras of Sly and Tiny (scarves for kids), XImena of Ximena Rozo Designs (objects for the home) and Marta O’Connor of Monkey MO the Baker (gluten free treats).

There will be champagne and chocolates along with the shopping. The trunk show takes place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. in the community room at 264 East Broadway.

Arts Watch: Douglas Dunn Brings Cassations to Danspace Project

Douglas Dunn is a downtown original. A dancer who began his career performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Dunn was a founding member of the groundbreaking improvisatory group “Grand Union” and later created his own company, becoming an acclaimed choreographer.  Cassations, a new work he debited last fall at the 92nd Street Y, is coming to the Lower East Side this week.

Dunn’s dazzling and inventive choreography has gained him worldwide recognition. His company has traveled the globe, from Europe to Australia and South America. He has been commissioned to create dances for some of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet, and been given numerous fellowships, awards and accolades for his body of work, from a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for sustained achievement to France’s coveted insignia of the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

My LES: Roni-Sue Kave

This feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. This month, we are featuring Roni-Sue Kave, a very familiar face in the Essex Street Market.  This story originally appeared in the February 2013 version of our print magazine.


What do you do?

I own and operate Roni-Sue’s Chocolates in the historic Essex Street Market — i.e., I make candy for a living. Woo-hoo!

How long have you lived on the LES?

I opened Roni-Sue’s in October 2007, so I’ve been working down here for over five years. I just finally moved from East Harlem to the East Village in June, though, so at last I can walk to work.

The Lo-Down Magazine – February 2013

The Lo-Down Magazine – February 2013 by


Morning Reads: Masaryk’s Water Bill, No 7-Eleven Bodega Walk, Bowery Club Spin

Masaryk Towers make the “top-three” deadbeat list for failing to pay its city water bill (Daily News).

Jared Kushner goes on an East Village real estate spending spree (Post).

Photos: No 7-Eleven bodega walk (EV Grieve).

Video: No 7-Eleven bodega walk (Gammablog).

Ed Koch’s lunch pals meet one last time at one of his favorite places, the Peking Duck House on Mott Street (NYT).

The EMM Group’s high profile partners say their new entertainment multi-plex on the Bowery is a night club alternative (Daily News).


Business Week Questions Why Prosecutors Are Going After Chinatown’s Abacus Bank

Abacus Bank, 6 Bowery. Photo by Robert K. Chin.

Business Week has filed a lengthy piece on Abacus Federal Savings Bank, the Chinatown-based institution that is the target of a very rare mortgage fraud prosecution.   Last spring, The bank and 19 former employees were charged with mortgage fraud and other offenses, in connection with the falsification of Fannie Mae loan documents.   The Business Week story, titled “Mortgage Fraud Prosecutors Pounce on a Small Bank,” suggests that the decision by the New York City District Attorney to go after Abacus is, at least, curious and possibly misguided.

The report notes that Abacus, a fixture in Chinatown since the mid-80’s, has not lost business as a result of the prosecution, but has not picked up many new customers, either.  The indictments, Business Week says, could eventually force Abacus out of business.  The story features interviews with the bank’s founder, Thomas Sung, and his daughters Jill and Vera.  They have not been personally indicted.

Good Morning!

1st Street and 1st Avenue. By H. Spencer Young.

A mixture of sun and clouds during the day, and then we could see some snow showers tonight, continuing into tomorrow.  Look for a high of 31.

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