We have some photos to share today from the Bowery Mission of last week’s intimate benefit concert by Chris Martin at Mercury Lounge.
James Winans, the mission’s chief development officer, tells us that Martin’s Wednesday visit was supposed to be low-key. He stopped by the Bowery Mission’s headquarters, played a jam session with some of the formerly homeless men at the shelter and then decided to put together a benefit concert to take place that same day. He came up with the idea at 3 p.m. Six hours later, the sold our concert got underway.
The band, recruited from the Bowery Mission, played Coldplay standards as well as covers of Prince, David Bowie and Drake. They also performed Christmas favorites and “Amazing Grace.” At Martin’s side, were James Macklin and Ron Nelson. Macklin is now the mission’s director of outreach and was a resident of the shelter in the late 1980s, when he was struggling to recover from homelessness and cocaine addiction. Nelson received help from the mission more recently.
The benefit raised about $4,000. If you would like to help the Bowery Mission during this holiday season, visit the organization’s website.
Here are some photos taken inside the Bowery Mission:
Two years ago, Robert Perry was struck and killed by a driver racing past the Bowery Mission at speeds in excess of 50 m.p.h. Yesterday that driver learned his fate. 25-year-old Danny Lin could end up serving less than two years in prison after being convicted on second degree manslaughter charges.
Perry, 57, died after being run over by Lin on Nov. 24, 2014, near Rivington Street. After initially hitting Perry, prosecutors said, “he continued barreling down the street… before eventually crashing into a hydrant on a congested sidewalk, narrowly missing several bystanders.”
During a sentencing hearing Monday, State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Farber told Lin, “Society cannot have this kind of lawless behavior go unpunished.” As a result of the sentence, Lin could spend up to five years in prison, or be freed after just one and 2/3 years.
A reporter from the Daily News attended yesterday’s hearing:
Assistant District Attorney David Drucker said that Lin’s devastating driving the day he fatally struck 57-year-old Robert Perry with his 2011 BMW 335i was “not at all an aberration.”… “Basically, driving fast is what the defendant does. It’s like a hobby of his,” Drucker said. Drucker also pointed to GoPro video footage from previous times that shows Lin “driving incredibly fast both on highways and more importantly on public streets.” Lin, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in July, was “very well aware of the potentially deadly nature of driving this fast,” the ADA added. Lin even sports a quote that has been attributed to the late Paul Walker, who died in a major car wreck. “If one day speed kills me do not cry because I was smiling,” the arm tattoo reads.
Bowery near Rivington Street, November 2014. Photo by a TLD reader.
The judge rejected pleas from Lin’s attorney for community service rather than prison time. The DA’s office had asked for a harsher jail term than the judge imposed. District Attorney Cy Vance released a statement saying:
Danny Lin’s reckless driving brought about the untimely death of Robert Perry and gravely endangered several others as he sped down the Bowery at more than twice the local speed limit. Thanks to my Office’s prosecutors and the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad, he will now serve a prison sentence for his deadly conduct. We will continue doing our part to reduce vehicular fatalities by holding criminal drivers accountable for the harm that they inflict.
Robert Perry frequently stayed at the Bowery Mission. He struggled with homelessness most of his life. Perry was a member of the mission’s photography club. He was interviewed shortly before the hit-and-run tragedy, telling the story of his difficult life.
Bowery near Rivington St. November 2014. Photo by a TLD reader.
In November of 2014, a driver traveling at speeds in excess of 50 mph struck and killed 57-year-old Robert Perry, a frequent resident of the Bowery Mission. Today District Attorney Cy Vance announced the conviction of Danny Lin, the driver.
A jury found 25-year-old Lin of Brooklyn guilty of second degree manslaughter. In a statement, Vance said:
This case serves as an unfortunate reminder of the risks associated with reckless driving and speeding… Danny Lin was fully aware of those risks as he hurtled down the Bowery at more than double the speed limit and took an innocent man’s life. He endangered the lives of pedestrians and drivers alike as he continued barreling down the street—with no regard for our laws or the safety of his fellow New Yorkers—before eventually crashing into a hydrant on a congested sidewalk, narrowly missing several bystanders. Because of the defendant’s recklessness and disregard for human life, my Office has fought to hold him accountable and will seek significant penalties for his criminal conduct.
On Nov. 24, 2014, at about 7 p.m., Lin was traveling north on the Bowery when he hit Perry, who was crossing near Rivington Street. According to a press release from the DA’s office, the collision sent “the victim’s body into the air before landing more than 140 feet away.” Lin continued for about another block “before driving onto the sidewalk and crashing into a fire hydrant near several pedestrians.”
Lin will be sentenced Sept. 27. Following the accident, the Bowery Mission released a statement that read, in part:
The news may report that a “homeless man” was killed in a hit-and-run accident. It is true that Robert struggled with homelessness most of life, from the age of 12. Because he spent many days and nights at The Bowery Mission, we got to know Robert as a gifted man with a difficult story. Robert was a faithful participant in The Bowery Mission’s chapel services and activities. Most recently, Robert was a charter member of The Bowery Mission’s photography club, producing haunting photographs taken from his life’s perspective. In his artist’s statement, Robert reminded us, “I want people to hear my story, hear my cry… We are looked at like dirt, but we are somebody.”
Lin faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced.
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell spent some time at the Bowery Mission yesterday, helping to serve breakfast and to launch a sock donation program. The Bilal Powell Foundation teamed up with Bombas, a clothing company founded in 2013, to pass out 500 pairs of socks at the mission.
It was the biggest day of the year at the Bowery Mission yesterday. The 136-year-old Lower East Side institution served thousands of meals for Thanksgiving at both the historic flagship building in this neighborhood and at locations throughout New York City.
When we stopped by just before the last seating at 5 p.m., about 1300 people had partaken in the holiday tradition. For chef Gretchen Roth, it was her first Thanksgiving in charge of the kitchen. In the past week, she led a team of volunteers from North Carolina and Ohio who roasted and hand carved 650 turkeys. They also cooked 8,000 pounds of potatoes, 3,000 pounds of vegetables and baked 500 pies. “It takes an army,” said Roth. “For five days, 24/7 our ovens do not go off.” Back in the kitchen, Trevor Mathura showed us the supplies of potatoes and other holiday fixins’. The walk-in refridgerator was still well-stocked.
Trevor Mathura, Bowery Mission.
David Jones, Bowery Mission CEO.
David Jones, Bowery Mission CEO, was experiencing his first Thanksgiving in charge of the organization. He has just been on the job since this past spring. The institution is gearing up for what’s expected to be a tough winter. In the past year, of course, the problem of homelessness has risen to the top of the city’s political agenda. “If you, like me, have walked the streets of Manhattan over the last number of months,” he explained, “you feel some fear. There are people out there (on the streets) because there is a capacity issue in shelters.” But Jones said the mission remains determined to keep its doors open to anyone in need. “Come for dinner,” he said. “If you’re here for dinner, you can stay the night. It might not always be the most comfortable. But we’d prefer you be inside where it’s warm rather than outside where it can be quite dangerous.”
Volunteers were on hand yesterday from all over the city and throughout the country. We spoke with Brooklyn resident Amelia Vogler, who is a regular volunteer at the mission through her church. “Thanksgiving is great time to give back,” she explained while waiting to fill up the last plates of the day. Cecilia Knape and Rose Maslar came all the way from Texas. They were in the region to celebrate with family in Pennsylvania. Volunteering at the mission, along with watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, became part of their holiday traditions. “I read about the Bowery Mission on the internet and I wanted to come here to do my part,” said Masler.
Every year, the volunteer slots for Thanksgiving fill up quickly. But there are opportuities to help out at the Bowery Mission all year long. Click here for more info.
Volunteers at Henry Street Settlement are organizing supplies this morning.
We’ve received many inquiries from folks wanting to volunteer their time and donate money and supplies. Here are a few requests for help that we have gathered; send details of other efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep the list going.
The Educational Alliance has been visiting seniors door to door, delivering water, food and information and will be at it again today, including hot meals. They can use donations of the following items: bottled water, blankets, gloves, canned kosher soup, AA, D and 9-volt batteries, flashlights, lanterns, battery-powered radios, baby wipes and Russian language newspapers. Items should be dropped off at their office at 232 E. Broadway between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today. More details about the effort from their newsletter. They are also accepting financial donations here.
The Henry Street Settlement will also be focusing on visiting home-bound seniors today and needs help unloading a large amount of supplies delivered by FEMA yesterday. Just show up at their headquarters, 265 Henry St. any time today. More details on their Facebook page.
The Occupy NYC-backed effort, LES Recovers, is publishing a running list of needs on its website. They are seeking volunteers to knock on doors to distribute supplies and information at the following locations and times: GOLES, 171 Ave B between 10th & 11th St. Friday & Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; CAAAV, 46 Hester St. Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Smith Apartments, 46 Madison St. Friday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
This past weekend, while visiting the New Museum’s Sky Room, we got a good look at the Bowery Mission’s relatively new roof garden. Two years ago, volunteers with the White Roof Project painted the historic building’s rooftop. In the past year, the Bowery Mission set up the garden, which will begin supplying some of the food served inside the shelter, established at 227 Bowery in 1909, as soon as next spring.
There’s news from the Landmarks Preservation Commission this afternoon. Today commissioners voted to designate two Lower East Side buildings — the Bowery Mission and the Bowery Bank of New York.
The Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery, a neo-Greco style building, has been the home of one of New York’s oldest social service organizations since 1909. The five story red brick structure was designed by William Jose, a Prussian born architect.