Good Companions Senior Center.
It took almost a decade to complete, but everyone was all smiles at the Good Companions Senior Center Friday for the unveiling of a new ramp leading into the facility.
The center, located at 334 Madison St., is in the Vladeck public housing development. It’s run by Henry Street Settlement. Back in 2006, City Council member Rosie Mendez paid a visit to the Vladeck Houses, noticing that the ramp was very steep. “That incline was bad on my knees,” she explained, “so I know it had to be a challenge for our seniors.” The first round of funding for the project came in fiscal year 2008 from both Mendez and the Manhattan Borough President’s office. Over time, Mendez allocated about $965,000 for the project. The ramp was redesigned and there were, of course, the usual NYCHA bureaucratic delays.
On Friday, Mendez was joined by City Council member Margaret Chin, NYCHA officials, Henry Street Settlement head David Garza and Nancy Ortiz, tenant association president of the Vladeck Houses. As part of the project, new lighting was installed alongside the ramp. More improvements are ahead at the senior center, including ADA-compliant bathrooms and a revamped kitchen. “This is going o be an incredible center when it’s complete,” said Mendez, “and that’s what our seniors deserve.”
The Good Companions Senior Center is part of a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC).
Rendering of new Neighborhood Resource Center, 269 Henry St. Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle.
The Henry Street Settlement is preparing a major upgrade of its Lower East Side facilities, including the renovation of an historic firehouse, creating a new Neighborhood Resource Center, and the transformation of the amphitheater at the Abrons Arts Center. Fundraising for the project, which now carries a $20 million price tag, is nearly complete. Henry Street is a little more than $3 million away from achieving its goal.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio came to the Lower East Side yesterday to announce his pick to lead the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).
Support regional farmers and neighborhood youth employment programs at the same time, while stocking your refrigerator with produce from the Lower East Side Youthmarket which returns to Grand Street for a third summer tomorrow afternoon.
There has been no shortage of hoopla around Katz’s Delicatessen’s 125th anniversary. Here’s (probably) the last word from us: a few scenes from Friday night’s charity dinner at the Ludlow Street institution in support of Henry Street Settlement. Celebrity chefs Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese), Joey Campanaro (Little Owl), Bill Telepan and Sarabeth Levine each prepared a course paying homage to deli cuisine.
Bowien, for example, served Kung Pao Pastrami. Telepan prepared a modern version of “chicken-in-the-pot.” Many other high profile chefs were in attendance, including Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 and Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster in Harlem. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried served up a steady diet of amusing insults. He kept calling Henry Street’s Executive Director David Garza “Steve.” Gottfried said Katz’s waiters don’t ask, “Is everything is all right,” buth rather, “Is ANYTHING all right?” A few mayoral candidates stopped by throughout the evening, including John Liu and Joe Lhota. Click through for more photos.
Verona Middleton-Jeter, David Garza, and Margarita Lopez,
Earlier this month, we attended a commemoration at Henry Street Settlement for the Urban Family Center, which was a trailblazing homeless shelter when it opened 40 years ago and continues as a valuable community resource today. Henry Street Executive Director David Garza led the event at Abrons Arts Center. Among the attendees: his predecessor, Verona Middleton-Jeter, and Margarita Lopez, a NYCHA board member.
Before the Urban Family Center was created in 1972, many homeless families were living in horrible conditions in welfare hotels. The facility, located at 130 Baruch Place, houses 82 families in individual apartments. The temporary housing is paired with an array of social services meant to help families get back on their feet. The keynote speaker, Dr. Ralph Da Costa-Nunez of the non-profit organization, Homes for the Homeless, said Henry Street, in creating the shelter, showed city agencies a better way to deal with a pervasive problem. In part due to the organization’s early efforts, he added, “New York is still the number one place in the country for dealing humanely with the homeless.”
During the commemoration, special awards were presented to several people, including Danny Kronenfeld, founding director of the Urban Family Center and Henry Street’s former executive director.
There’s, of course, a lot of hoopla around Katz’s 125th anniversary. The Henry Street Settlement is getting in on the act later this month with a benefit event featuring the legendary Lower East Side deli and some of the city’s most well known chefs. There will be a tasting menu highlighting some of Katz’s classics as well as dishes from Little Owl’s Joey Campanaro, Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien, Telepan’s Bill Telepan and noted pastry chef Sarabeth Levine. The Shabbat dinner, taking place May 31, benefits Henry Street’s programs. Click here for more info.