Posts Tagged Greenwich Village

Landmark District Expansion Under Consideration for the Village

463px-south_village_historic_districtThere is proposal being considered now by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to expand the area which will be under the protection of the city’s landmarks authority.

Under consideration is the area south of Houston Street, west of Sixth Avenue, east of Thompson Street, and north of Watts Street, encompassing 157 buildings. This large area in southern Greenwich Village would extend the two areas which were already approved for protection in 2010 and 2013. If passed, any changes owners wish to make to these landmark buildings will need advanced approval from the city’s Landmarks Protection Commission.

The vote to consider the new status took place last week. Anyone wishing to add his or her two cents into the discussion can bring their ideas, displeasure, or support to the committee until November 29.

Most of the buildings under consideration for the special status were built prior to World War II.


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Man Stalks Young Girl Walking Home from Washington Square Park


Washington Square Park Photo by Urban~commonswiki

A 12-year-old girl’s afternoon was distressingly disrupted when she was followed home by a stalking stranger.

The girl was first confronted by the man as she was walking home at 12:30pm from Washington Square Park. In the park he walked up to her and attempted to begin a conversation. The girl left the park in tears, and walked directly to her home.

As she walked into the elevator to take her to the safety of her home, the stranger managed to slip into the building and then followed her into the elevator. The man then told the girl he had just been released from prison, and asked her to hide him in her apartment.

The girl fled the elevator screaming, and the man beat a path out of there. The girl’s mother called the police at once.

Based on the girl’s identification of the man from the back of the police car the police were able to arrest 39-year-old Carl Catapano. He was nabbed on 10th Street and Broadway, just a few blocks away.

Catapano is now held on a $15,000 bond or $5,000 cash bail. He is charged with disorderly conduct, stalking, acting in a manner injurious to a child and criminal trespass.

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Play Ball at Bergino Clubhouse


Jackie Robinson, 1954

Are you crazy for baseball? Do you know anyone who is? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then head on over to a remarkable shop that takes the art of baseball collectibles to a whole new level.

Bergino Baseball Clubhouse has everything you can imagine if you adore America’s favorite game, and a more than a few things you probably can’t imagine. Handmade Bergino baseballs are affordable at only $25 each. The Americana selection pay homage to themes such as ‘Peace,’ Jackie Robinson, and the Star Spangled Banner. City map baseballs honor Los Angeles, Boston, and Jerusalem, which as far as I know, does not even have a baseball team. Go figure.

There are artworks for sale from artists such as Lou Grant and Roger Patrick. A Yankee Stadium musical snow globe is on sale. You can find coasters made of Astro Turf, baseball styled bag tags, and of course autographed books. Clubhouse gift items include a Bergino Baseball Clubhouse hat; cuff links, wallets and a money clip all made from authentic used baseballs; and even a stool made from a real base. It goes without saying this is just the “tip of the ballpark.”

All your gifts are taken care of already? Bergino also sponsors events. On Wednesday, December 16, fans can come here Derek Jeter speak at 7pm. The clubhouse website also has podcasts for its fans listening pleasure.

The clubhouse is located at 67 East 11th Street in Greenwich Village. Call for more information: 212-226-7150.


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Missing Pigeons bring Mixed Feelings

Bunch of pigeons

Bunch of pigeons

Have you ever wondered what New York would be like without its ubiquitous pigeon population? Now that about 100 of our pigeon pals have gone missing from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, we are given a rare chance to truly contemplate this question.

No one knows exactly where our feathered friends (or foes) have gone to, but the park is certainly a different kind of place without them. Our question is: is it different good, or different bad?

One observer was elated to say “good-bye to a huge flock of ‘rats’,” not caring to differentiate between mammals and birds. Another commentator was more sympathetic. Tina Trachtenberg, an animal activist was concerned about how “these innocent, trusting, loving pigeons” were being treated.

Those speculating on the whereabouts of the birds seem to believe that they were lured and then captured by hunters, perhaps for food, or perhaps for some other use, that would not sit well with Trachtenberg.

Whether the consensus is that the birds are a nuisance or rather a welcome reminder that we share the world with other living things and not just concrete, buildings and the occasional plant or tree, it is definitely kind of creepy to suddenly not to be sharing the space with these commonplace creatures.


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Song Sways Judge that Elderly Woman is Fit to Live at Home

Broadway Tunes Helped Elderly Woman Get Back Home. Photo credit: Randy Lemoine

Broadway Tunes Helped Elderly Woman Get Back Home. Photo credit: Randy Lemoine

Ruth Berk, a 91-year-old former Broadway singer, used her singing abilities to convince a judge to let her return to her home after she had been sent to a nursing home against her will.

Berk persuaded Manhattan judge Tanya Kennedy that she could successfully live in her Greenwich Village apartment by singing the famous show tunes, “My Little Valentine” and “Summertime.”

Arthur Schwartz, Berk’s lawyer, stated in court papers that at her hearing, “although the justice refused to allow her to speak, [Berk] interrupted the court and told the court that she wanted to go home. She then began to sing for Justice Kennedy.”

Berk’s daughter, Jessica, 55, said that the judge was more than a little surprised by the unrehearsed performance. Jessica said her mother could be likened to a mixture of Bea Arthur and Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday.

“[The judge] stepped off the bench, took [her] robe off and shook her hand and said, ‘Mrs. Berk, that was wonderful. Thank you very much for honoring me with that,’?” Berk’s daughter stated.

After the hearing Berk was allowed to return to her home, where she has resided since 1960. But the dispute about where Berk is to live in the future is still not resolved. Lloyd Goldman, owner of Berk’s rent-stabilized apartment, has filed an eviction notice in an attempt to kick Berk and her daughter out of their $700/month penthouse. According to Goldman’s lawyer, Lawrence Wolf, the mother and daughter owe their landlord $27,000 in back rent for their two-bedroom apartment at 95 Christopher Street.

Berk’s lawyer as well as her guardian, Mr. Schwartz, explained that the two have withheld their rent payments because their apartment has been allowed to deteriorate by the landlord, who is guilty of multiple violations of the law as far as upkeep of their apartment is concerned. Schwartz asserted that Goldman has brought 21 unsuccessful landlord-tenant actions during the course of 20 years.

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The Weathermen, Paddington Bear and Greenwich Village

Welcome to New York, Paddington Bear-Photo by  Brian & Jaclyn Drum

Welcome to New York, Paddington Bear-Photo by Brian & Jaclyn Drum

Almost 45 years ago a radicalized leftist group protesting the Vietnam War had a “work accident” in the basement of 18 West 11th Street. Three members of the group were killed when a homemade “nail bomb” blew up prematurely. The bomb was meant to explode at a dance event for non-commissioned officers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. This incident helped make the Greenwich Village address somewhat notorious.

Fast forward to 1978, when Norma Langworthy and her husband David bought the empty plot of land and built a redesigned home there for $80,000. Langworthy was a philanthropist and theater aficionado who also had a soft part in her heart for Paddington Bear.

After the Langworthy’s moved into their new digs on West 11th Street, Norma began to put her Paddington into the front window, always appropriately dressed. On rainy days Paddington was turned out in raingear; on sunny, warm, spring days-a lovely sun hat; holiday season- a Santa cap. In 2012, when Norma died,  Paddington wore a black funeral suit. A few weeks later, when the house went up for sale, Paddington could be seen sporting a Corcoran tee shirt.

We mention here this interesting tidbit because Paddington Bear is about to embark on his very own rise to stardom as a result of the recently released eponymous movie. We wouldn’t want Paddington’s Greenwich Village connection to go unnoticed.

Just as an aside, the house was recently purchased by Justin Korsant of Long Light Capital for a cool $9.25 million.

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Hand-Made Hardware, but Not for Your PC

The P.E. Guerin foundry was established in 1857 by Pierre Emmanuel Guerin. Today the company specializes in ornate, 18th-century French and English hardware, such as door knockers and knobs, hooks and hinges, and much more. Everything is custom-made of the highest, hand-made quality.
The business is still owned and run by the family. Andrew F. Ward, Mr. Guerin’s great-grand-nephew, runs the company today.
A majority of the orders the company fills are for private customers, according to Martin Grubman, P.E. Guerin’s vice president. Although most items are custom-ordered, there are pieces kept in stock which range in price from about $100 to $625.

“Any important building, we’ve done,” said Mr. Grubman, including some hardware in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

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