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News from the Lower East Side
in 2015
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One Year Later
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Ed Litvak
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The Lo-Down is a publication of Lo-Down Productions LLC, © 2013.
October 2013
letter from the Editor:
The Lo-Down is growing! We didn’t know
exactly what to expect in the spring of 2012
when we launched our print magazine, but the
response from both readers and advertisers has
been strong, and we’re seeing more interest
every month. So this issue represents an exciting
new step: the magazine has expanded from 24
to 32 pages. Beginning this month, you’ll see
more news stories and regular features,
including a guest opinion column and a roundup
of photos from the neighborhood. It was
fortuitous that we chose this month to debut a
bigger magazine: several days after completing
a cover story on the one-year anniversary of
Hurricane Sandy, word trickled out that Mayor
Bloomberg was coming to the Lower East Side
to unveil the development team for the big
Seward Park project. In the four years since we
launched The Lo-Down online, coverage of
“SPURA,” as the former urban renewal area is
known, has been a top priority. We scrambled to
pull together a new cover story in time for this
issue. The luxury of more pages meant there was
room to bring our readers both stories, on two
important topics in this neighborhood. We hope
you enjoy the magazine. As always, we’re
interested in your feedback (email the editors at
in this issue
Cover Story
Developers named for SPURA project
New Arrival s
Dimes Cafe, The Rising States, Holl
Neighborhood News
Clinton Street traffic changes, bus permits
rejected, Noah’s Ark woes
Sandy One Year Later
Lower East Side readies for next storm
Calendar/Feat ured Events
Nightmare Killers 2, LES Pickle Day,
CMJ Marathon
In My Opinion
Susan LaRosa: Let’s rename Samuel
Dickstein Plaza
Arts Watch
Essex Street’s new performance venue
The Lo-Dine
Sal Bartolomeo of Rosario’s Pizza
Cit y Council Primary
Chin defeats Rajkumar
LES Snapshot
Photos from around the neighborhood
Michael Kelly of House of Cards
Lower East Sideways
Ed Litvak
Cold Brew
Iced Coffee
221 East Broadway (at Clinton)
An Evening to Benefit the Abrons Arts Center
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Honorary Chairman
Monday, October 14
Tickets: abronsartscenter.org
La Fosse
On the cover: Essex Crossing rendering
of Ludlow and Broome streets;
residential building and Warhol Museum,
by DSA/ShoP Architects.
4 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 5
Largest Selection of Wine and Spirits
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• Tastings Fridays and
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(646) 395-4280
Pre-sale office at 232 East Broadway
t’s a project a half-century in the mak-
ing, one that longtime Lower East Side
residents were convinced they would never
see. If all goes according to plan, construction
is set to begin 18 months from now on Essex
Crossing, a billion-dollar initiative to f inally
transform the former Seward Park urban re-
newal area after decades of failed efforts.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to an
abandoned building of the Essex Street Mar-
ket Sept. 18 to announce the plan, which in-
cludes 1,000 apartments, retail shops, cultural
facilities, schools, a culinary incubator and a
rooftop urban farm. Standing alongside the
development team selected after a highly
competitive bidding process, Bloomberg
called the 1.6-million-square-foot project a
“wonderful thing” that will “bring the new
housing, jobs and open space Lower East Sid-
ers want and need and deserve.”
Three well-known real estate developers,
L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners,
and Taconic Investment Partners, paid the
city $180 million for the nine parcels at the
foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, sites that in-
clude the 1940 Essex Street Market buildings
as well as several parking lots south of
Delancey Street. The price was steeply dis-
counted because the developers are required
to build 500 units of subsidized housing and
to create other community amenities, includ-
ing an expanded public market and open
space. The design team is being led by two
New York-based f irms, ShoP Architects and
Beyer Binder Belle.
The plan closely follows guidelines ap-
proved by Community Board 3 in 2011, fol-
lowing years of tense negotiations among
neighborhood groups. While about 150 apart-
ments are designated as condominium units,
most will be rentals. There are separate set-
asides for low- and middle-income tenants.
These units will be targeted for New Yorkers
with household incomes ranging from
$31,700 to $133,000 per year for a family of
four. City off icials said 20 percent of the condo
units would be available for purchase by
middle-income residents. Former site ten-
ants, forced from the urban renewal area in
1967, will be given top priority.
The centerpiece of the project will be a
new Essex Street Market facility, located on
the southeast corner of Essex and Delancey
streets, which will double the size of the cur-
rent market; the old market buildings will be
demolished. All the existing vendors will be
offered space and help with moving expens-
es. Adjacent to the market building will be a
90,000-square-foot concourse, called the Mar-
ket Line, running from Essex Street to Clinton
Street. It will feature 40 subsidized “micro-
stalls” for startups, a food incubator, a center
for people to learn craft skills and to sell hand-
made merchandise, as well as a small-scale
retail project curated by the creators of the
Brooklyn Flea. Essex Crossing will also include
a large grocery store and an urban farm on the
roof of the Essex Market building.
Cultural and entertainment offerings in-
clude a 18,000-square-foot branch of Pitts-
burgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, to be located
at Broome and Ludlow streets. There will also
be a movie theater, a bowling alley and a small
park on Broome Street.
Two of the Lower East Side’s oldest social
service organizations are part of the project
team. Grand Street Settlement, the lead com-
munity partner, will oversee the creation of
100 apartments for low-income seniors on a
site just to the east of Clinton Street. It will also
run a community center, Head Start program
and provide counseling and training pro-
grams. Another nonprof it, Educational Alli-
ance, will debut the nation’s f irst two-genera-
tion school. The school, which the organization
has been piloting for the last couple of years, is
designed to both serve children in Head Start
and help their low-income parents obtain col-
lege educations. In addition, a parcel has been
set aside for a new public school. At the mo-
ment, the Department of Education is saying
there’s no need for another school in the
neighborhood, but the community board and
local elected off icials are campaigning for the
new facility.
Essex Crossing is expected to create 4,400
construction jobs and another 1,600 perma-
nent positions once the complex is fully opera-
tional a decade from now. At the news confer-
ence, City Council member Margaret Chin
By Ed Litvak
Developers Chosen, Plans Unveiled For Seward Park Site
Developers Chosen, Plans Unveiled For Seward Park Site
6 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 7
Left: a rendering of Broome Street from the Essex Crossing plan. Right: a rendering of a proposed rooftop urban farm at Essex
and Delancey streets. Both images by DSA/ShoP Architects.
8 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 9
urged the developers to hire union labor.
“I expect you to work with the labor
unions because the jobs we’re going to create
here, I want to see those as middle-class jobs,
good paying jobs for the neighborhood,” Chin
Ron Moelis, CEO of L+M Partners, re-
plied, “it’s our intention to engage as soon as
possible with the [trade unions to create jobs
with] fair and good middle income wages.”
Both the mayor and the development
team praised the local community and city
agencies for their collaboration over the last
f ive years. Over the decades, numerous devel-
opment plans were derailed by opposition
from various neighborhood groups.
Progress was f inally being made, the
mayor said, because the city made “one basic
decision… letting the community take the
lead in shaping this proposed development.”
Moelis pledged to continue the collaboration
with local residents, adding “it is a life goal of
mine and I think my partners to do this kind
of community work… I hope it will be a
model for other communities.”
A task force appointed by the communi-
ty board, the f irst of its kind in New York City,
helped advise city planners in the selection
process. The developers have agreed to meet
quarterly with the group as f inal plans take
shape and construction issues arise. They are
expected to f ill in details of the project at a
meeting of Community Board 3’s land use
committee meeting this month. (Check thelo-
downny.com for details.)
The architectural f irms have already
begun designing Essex Crossing’s buildings.
The renderings on display at last month’s
news conference were only meant to illus-
trate an overall design vision. The f irst phase
of the project, scheduled for completion in
2018, will include the new Essex Street Mar-
ket complex, as well as four other buildings
south of Delancey Street, including the f irst
580 apartments. Work on two parcels located
on the south side of Delancey, between Nor-
folk and Clinton streets, as well as the north-
ernmost sites will come later. Completion of
Essex Crossing is planned by the year 2024.
Asked about lingering opposition to
Seward Park and the possibility that the next
mayor would shelve the project, Bloomberg
said, “everything is a compromise… There’s
enormous support for this in the neighbor-
hood and we’ve signed contracts, so this is a
done deal.”
Drawing the future
Renderings by DSA/ShoP Archi-
tects illustrate how the streetscapes
and architecture of the Essex Crossing
plan may eventually look.
1. Interior of the Market Line
concourse along Delancey
2. Looking east on Delancey
Street, at Essex.
3. Map of the Seward Park
project from the NYC Economic
Development Corp.
4. Gardens along Broome
5. An annex of the Andy Warhol
Museum, proposed for Essex
6. A view of Essex Street, north
of Delancey, looking south.
7. A wide view of the project,
from Delancey Street.
4. 5.
www.thelodownny.com 11
Meet Marilyn Karpo
A Lower East Side native,
Marilyn is a baby boomer who
understands the inherent chal-
lenges of an aging population.
Moving On NYC is the natural
outgrowth of her successful real
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Afliates. Moving On NYC
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who has lost a parent, you may
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we provide expertise that will
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Moving On NYC
The Rising States
new arrivals
SARY (123 Allen St.),
a new venture from
proprietors James Hen-
drick and Scott Garry
that opened in August,
is a low-key spot for
high-quality brew or
vino and snacks in
the form of meat and
cheese plates, crostini
and avocado green
chile deviled eggs.
Both namesake bever-
ages are on tap, and there’s a selection of “special-
format” beers and box wines, as well as sangria and
other mixed drinks. (No hard liquor.) The bar is open
daily 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and accepts only cash.
10 www.thelodownny.com
(188 Orchard St., hollnyc.com) is a
new menswear and accessories
boutique founded by designer
Gabriel Holl and opened in mid-
September. His work features up-
scale knitwear and accessories
such as scarves, ties and custom-
tailored hats. His products are
“made right here in New York by
real New Yorkers.” The boutique
is open Tuesday through Sunday
noon to 8 p.m.
DIMES CAFÉ (143 Division St., dimesnyc.com) brings Los Angeles-
style healthy eats and juices to a tiny 18-seat space. Owners Alissa
Wagner and Sabrina DeSousa are veterans of a long list of popular
neighborhood-style restaurants, including the East Village’s Northern Spy.
The café, which opened in early September, offers dishes made from
locally sourced and organic ingredients in a no-fuss atmosphere, with
takeout also available. Future plans include a beer and wine license. The
café serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Major credit cards are accepted.
THE RISING STATES (168 Ludlow St., therisingstatesnyc.com)
is a women’s clothing boutique founded by proprietor Meagan
Delaney and named after a 19th-century Lower East Side bar.
Opened in early September, it stocks “a collection of thoughtfully
curated fashion and objects” from emerging designers, including It’s
Okay My Dear and Etienne Deroeux, whose $555 red leather pleated
skirt was highlighted in a New York Times Fashion Week feature. The
shop is open Monday through Saturday noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays
noon to 7 p.m.
Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary
Holl – New York
PAPA DISH (6 Clinton St.), opened in the former home of Dessert
Truck Works at the end of August. It offers pizza for $1/slice, plus a stan-
dard selection of sandwiches, salads and burgers all priced less than $8
each. Breakfast is served starting at 6 a.m. The restaurant is open Monday
through Saturday until 7 p.m. and delivers (212-598-9988).
edited by Jennifer Strom
Dimes Café
Papa Dish
www.thelodownny.com 13
The tension between liquor license applicants and
neighborhood residents seeking curbs on the nightlife
scene erupted at a Community Board 3 subcommittee
meeting Sept. 16. Aweek later, subcommittee member and
bar owner David McWater announced he would resign from the
board. During a hearing in which the transfer of a bar permit
at 120 Orchard St., the former Gallery Bar, was considered,
McWater confronted members of the LES Dwellers, a group of
local residents who have mobilized against the proliferation of
bars in the neighborhood. Irritated by testimony that insinuated
he showed favoritism toward applicants in his decisions, McWater
leaped out of his chair into a close-up face-to-face with residents
that drew intervention from District Manager Susan Stetzer.
McWater announced he planned to step down, saying the board
was “very time-consuming”and “emotionally debilitating.”As of
presstime, he was expected to make his decision official at a meeting Sept. 24. Meanwhile, on the night
of the blow-up, the committee voted to deny the application that initially sparked the confrontation. And
in another controversial matter on the agenda that night, the renewal of a liquor license for the DL, the
big nightlife venue at 95 Delancey St., the LES Dwellers came prepared with a robust report assailing
the bar, complaining of noise from the rooftop, sidewalk overcrowding, and boisterous, drunken
customers terrorizing the neighborhood. Others testified that the venue ignores stipulations it agreed
to follow (including a prohibition on promoted events and dance parties). In the end, the committee
voted to deny the renewal, even though the State Liquor Authority has already approved it.
A new plan to improve west-
bound traffic flow along
Grand Street is in the works.
Last year, the transportation
department changed the
setup around Clinton Street
to allow cars to access the
Williamsburg Bridge from Grand
Street. The move was part of a
larger street redesign program
intended to improve pedestrian safety on Delancey and the surrounding area. Since the changes
were implemented, however, auto gridlock extending almost all the way to FDR Drive has become an
everyday occurrence, and the intersection is even less hospitable for people on foot. Last month, a DOT
planner briefed a Community Board 3 subcommittee on the agency’s response to the community’s
concerns, saying the DOTis working on adjustments aimed at encouraging alternative routes to the
bridge and improving signage to alert motorists to those options. First of all, DOThas already added
five seconds to the signal at Clinton and Delancey streets, so a few more cars can make a right turn
onto the bridge. Secondly, engineers will create a second lane of traffic on Grand Street by eliminating a
painted median, so that drivers who prefer to access the bridge via Norfolk Street can pass through the
Clinton/Grand intersection. Still to come: new signs on FDR Drive to advise motorists about the Norfolk
Street route. The road signs will also direct cars to the bridge via Houston/Essex streets. This part of the
plan will take some time to implement because the state has jurisdiction over FDR Drive. While there
was some talk over the summer of eliminating or reducing the size of the Clinton Street bike lane, DOT
leaders decided against this move because the bike lanes in the area are so heavily used.
12 www.thelodownny.com
neighborhood news
edited by Jennifer Strom
Noah’s Ark Deli, one of the last
remaining kosher restaurants in
the neighborhood, may not reopen
after closing last month for the
Jewish holidays. The deli, which has
operated at 399 Grand St. since 2003,
advised its staff it would close “indefi-
nitely”as of Sept. 4, and indicated the
business had been sold. Owner Noam
Sokolow, who also operates delis in
Teaneck, N.J., did not respond to inqui-
ries from The Lo-Down seeking details.
For many months, the restaurant has
been listed for sale, with broker Marc
Berger marketing it as a “highly suc-
cessful kosher deli grossing approxi-
mately $1 million/year.”According to
Berger’s website, the 1,700- square-
foot space (including a finished base-
ment) rents for $5,500/month. The
asking price is $795,000. Last spring,
Sokolow told us no sale was imminent.
According to the Seward Park Coop-
erative, the restaurant’s landlord, an
ownership change would have to go
through the board of directors, which
has not occurred as of presstime. In
the past, Seward Park board members
have indicated that the deli had a long
history of failing to pay its rent. They
have also suggested that Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver, advocating for
Grand Street’s Orthodox community,
has lobbied to keep Noah’s Ark open.
Despite opposition from local parents and City Coun-
cil member Margaret Chin, the city’s Department of
Education is formally proposing to co-locate a new
high school within a Monroe Street building that is
currently home to University Neighborhood High
School. The school, a career and technical education pro-
gram offering “early college”and workforce training options,
would debut in 2014 with up to 85 ninth-graders, eventually
enrolling up to 510 students. According to the DOE, Univer-
sity Neighborhood High School will be serving 275 students
during the 2013-14 school year. The Education Department
claims the building is underutilized and that its target ca-
pacity is 694 students. At a protest rally in late August, Chin
and parents said the DOE’s calculations are deeply flawed.
Not only are many rooms in the 1903 building undersized,
the building lacks many features, including a dedicated gym,
lunch room or auditorium. Lisa Donlan, head of the District 1
Community Education Council, noted that University Neigh-
borhood High School’s performance has improved dramati-
cally in the past year, from a D to almost an A. She also said
DOE officials have conceded in public meetings that there’s
no room to add new schools in District 1. This new proposal,
she suggested, is part of a desperate rush, in the waning
days of the Bloomberg administration, to push through
as many new initiatives as possible. A public meeting is
scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the school building, 200
Monroe St., to hear com-
munity feedback about
the plan. The Panel For
Education Policy meets
to vote on siting the new
school on the Lower
East Side Oct. 15.
Community Board 3 last month rejected three requests
from interstate bus companies to add or expand bus
stops in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. The panel,
which heard from many Chinatown residents venting frustra-
tion with the buses, voted against an application from Yo! Bus
to increase its roundtrips from 14 to 28 daily at its stop at 2
Pike St. The center median is already very busy during much
of the day and evening. The committee agreed, however, to
support the company’s bid to extend its hours of operation
from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. CB3 members also turned down applications from two companies offer-
ing service to Atlantic City casinos: Asian Express Travel at 30 Pike St. and A & W Inc. at 9 Chatham
Square. The committee supported two other permit proposals from New York Style Limo (95 Canal
St.) and Blue Sky Bus (51 Chrystie St.). The final decision is up to the city’s Department of Transpor-
tation; CB3’s votes are merely advisory opinions. City Council member Margaret Chin weighed in
against permits for bus operators offering service to casinos, saying new state legislation she sup-
ported was meant to accommodate bus carriers offering service between Chinatown communities
(in Washington, Philadelphia, etc.), not to foster shuttle service to gambling destinations.
Trac backs up on Grand Street.
Trac backs up on Grand Street.
The DL, 95 Delancey St.
www.thelodownny.com 15
unprepared. In the past 11 months, commu-
nity organizations, government off icials and
property owners have been grappling with
how to protect the city, including the low-
lying areas in our community.
From Knickerbocker Village, to the pub-
lic housing projects near the waterfront to the
large cooperative buildings a few blocks from
the river on Grand Street, levels of disaster
preparedness vary greatly.
Overall, it’s clear that some positive steps
have been taken; it’s equally clear that much
more is required.
In June, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
unveiled a $20 billion plan to protect the city
from rising sea levels and extreme weather.
According to a 438-page report that contained
250 recommendations, the plan includes
erecting both temporary and permanent
barriers along the East River and “storm-
proof ing” older buildings. In the spring, New
York received approval to spend nearly $1.8
billion in federal aid, the f irst installment of a
massive recovery package. The funds
eventually will be made available to large
housing complexes, such as Knickerbocker
Village, in the form of community block
grants. But as victims of previous natural
disasters have discovered, waiting for money
from Washington can be a frustrating and
protracted ordeal.
More than a week after electrical power
was restored throughout the Lower East Side
last November, word began to get out that
Knickerbocker Village was still in the dark.
While few tenants knew it at the time, the
hurricane had destroyed the Depression-era
development’s mechanical systems. There
was a complete breakdown in communica-
tions and no support for residents, including
about two dozen homebound seniors, until
local nonprof it organizations and elected
off icials began mobilizing relief efforts, going
door to door with food, water and medical
supplies. As anger continued to build, Knick-
erbocker Village’s management f inally came
face to face with tenants Nov. 14 in a public
meeting organized by State Assembly Speak-
er Sheldon Silver. James Simmons, an execu-
tive with AREA Property Partners, promised
that full power would be restored within 24
hours and he vowed, “we will ensure that not
a penny of rent is paid on days in which you
did not have essential services.” Finally, Sim-
14 www.thelodownny.com
early a year after Hurricane Sandy
devastated Knickerbocker Village,
the historic affordable housing complex just
two short blocks from the East River, Steven
Wong can’t shake the memories from those
17 days his family sat in the dark and cold. On
at least f ive occasions following the Oct. 29
natural disaster, Wong carried his frail grand-
father on his back from an 11th-f loor apart-
ment down the pitch-dark staircase for dialy-
sis treatments.
“He was extremely agitated,” Wong said
of 89-year-old Sui Chan, who’s bedridden and
receives daily care from a nursing aide. “But
what was he going to do? He lived there 40
years and had no place to go.”
As the f irst anniversary of the superstorm
fast approaches, the residents of Knickerbock-
er Village would be comforted to know their
homes are better protected for the next hurri-
cane. Unfortunately, however, they are still
waiting for federal disaster assistance to ar-
rive. Promised rent rebates have not material-
ized. And if an emergency plan for future di-
sasters has been created, tenants haven’t been
told about it in any detail. In short, many resi-
dents living in the 1,590 apartments located
between Market and Catherine streets feel
more vulnerable than ever before.
For most people on the Lower East Side,
the effects of Hurricane Sandy were not long-
lasting. Businesses suffered lost revenues and
a small number of residents were displaced
from their homes indef initely. But compared
with places like Staten Island and the Rocka-
ways, the LES bounced back quickly. After
the f l00dwaters receded and the lights came
back on, though, a new reality sunk in
throughout the neighborhood. We couldn’t
escape the fact that Sandy was not a f luke,
that future storms are sure to be even more
damaging and that we remained woefully
by Ed Litvak
A Year After Sandy:
Knickerbocker Lags
in Recovery, but
Progress Elsewhere
The Knickerbocker Village complex
16 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 17
functional during future storms and coordi-
nating with grocery stores to make sure ade-
quate supplies of food are available. As a re-
sult of the organization’s efforts, Aase said, “I
think we are better prepared. We have better
communications and many more specif ic
connections [among LES social service agen-
cies] and other community-oriented groups.”
Gigi Li, chairperson of Community Board
3, believes the Long-Term Recovery Group is
doing good work, but she would like to see
the city focus in a more comprehensive way
on Lower Manhattan’s most vulnerable com-
munities. CB3 as a whole does not think
much of Bloomberg’s proposal for Seaport
City, a new community envisioned on the
East River with luxury housing and a multi-
billion-dollar levee system.
“Seaport City should not be the focus,” Li
said. “I don’t think public housing has been
looked at seriously enough post-Sandy. I
don’t think Knickerbocker Village has been
looked at seriously.”
The residents at Knickerbocker obviously
agree with this assessment wholeheartedly.
Tenant leader Bob Wilson said he has no
doubt that recovery funds will eventually ar-
rive but in the meantime, he told tenants last
month, “You are at substantial risk. This is a
risky place to live.”
completely renovated. Torres, who’s not shy
about criticizing the housing authority when
she thinks it’s deserved, praised NYCHA for its
performance during and after the storm.
“There was a sense of unity and the staff at
Smith has been great,” she said.
After Sandy, another large housing de-
velopment, the Seward Park Cooperative,
lagged behind other co-op buildings on
Grand Street in restoring heat and hot water
because it relied on steam service from Con
Edison. This month, two new boilers are com-
ing online, meaning the 1,700 apartments
there will no longer be at the mercy of an out-
side utility. General Manager Frank Durant
said more emergency generators have been
purchased and systems are being put in place
to provide emergency lighting. A resident
survey was conducted in January to help the
co-op identify in which apartments vulnera-
ble residents live. A comprehensive emergen-
cy plan is also in the works, he said.
Chin said one of her top priorities is iden-
tifying new emergency shelters. During the
height of the storm and immediate aftermath,
all 800 beds at Lower Manhattan’s existing
shelter, Seward Park High School, were occu-
pied. Generators there failed, creating a
diff icult situation for seniors and families
with young children.
“Seward Park High School is not suff i-
cient,” Chin said. “We have to start looking for
other sites.” Churches and other small commu-
nity facilities should be looked at to augment
the city’s existing shelter system, she said.
In March, a large number of neighbor-
hood organizations came together to form the
Lower East Side Long-Term Recovery Group.
The participants have been meeting regular-
ly to coordinate disaster readiness plans.
Melissa Aase, University Settlement’s execu-
tive director, sits on the group’s executive
committee. The organization, she told The Lo-
Down recently, is working on a wide range of
initiatives, including the development of
community “reception centers” and volun-
teer coordination networks. They’re devel-
oping communications systems that will be
ate action. Last month, a spokesperson for the
city’s housing agency told The Lo-Down that
aid for the development is a priority, but
added, “there is a process that is necessary in
order to meet the federal requirements of the
funding which can take several months, in-
cluding environmental requirements, f lood-
plain notices and tenant notice require-
ments.” During the f irst week of September,
management posted a notice in public areas
indicating that “initial steps had been taken”
to “prevent damage from future storms.”
Flood gates for “various locations on Cherry
Street” were being manufactured and retain-
ing walls were to be
built, the memo stat-
ed. But Bob Wilson, a
longtime tenant lead-
er, was dismayed,
telling fellow resi-
dents at a meeting
last month, the
state’s “foot-dragging”
is “despicable.” Wil-
son said, “in essence
they’re telling us to
drop dead.”
In a recent interview, City Council mem-
ber Margaret Chin, who spent a lot of time at
Knickerbocker Village in the aftermath of the
storm, said she’s pushing legislation that
would set up a registry for the elderly and
other vulnerable populations. She is also ad-
vancing a proposal requiring property own-
ers to publish evacuation plans. In her travels
through the district, she said, it’s become ob-
vious some buildings have done a lot to pre-
pare for the next storm; others have made lit-
tle progress.
At the Alfred E. Smith Houses, a public
housing development, Tenant Association
President Aixa Torres was preparing last
month to distribute emergency kits,
containing items such as bottled water and
f lashlights, to residents. At the Smith Houses,
Sandy’s waters forced sewage to back up in 21
ground-level apartments. Residents have
been relocated, as the apartments must be
mons said Knickerbocker Village was com-
mitted to planning for the future. “I don’t be-
lieve it’s the last time the East River crosses
Cherry Street,” he warned.
In most apartments, power was, in fact,
restored the next day, and heat and hot water
followed. The immediate crisis ended and,
like many of their neighbors elsewhere on
the LES, residents returned to work and re-
sumed their daily routines. But in the weeks
and months that followed, as another hurri-
cane season loomed, it became obvious that
long-term solutions at the complex, in the
city’s 100-year f loodplain, were not material-
During the sum-
mer, there were scat-
tered power outages,
elevators continued
to malfunction and
management said it
was unable to offer
rent reimbursements
until Knickerbocker
Village’s insurance
carrier approved a
claim. A petition signed by more than 1,500
residents was delivered to Gov. Andrew
Cuomo Sept. 4 in which residents pleaded
with the governor, who has oversight au-
thority of the affordable complex, to order the
owners to implement a disaster plan. In an
appeal to the New York State Off ice of Homes
& Community Renewal, which has direct su-
pervision of Knickerbocker Village, they
wrote, “both the property and its occupants
are even more exposed to a catastrophic event
then they were a year ago. We appeal to you
to provide the necessary resources and direc-
tion to management… so that our emergen-
cy requirements are accomplished on an im-
mediate basis.”
State off icials told the tenants that New
York City is responsible for distributing any
funds Knickerbocker Village might receive.
The mayor did not reply to a letter from local
elected off icials in which they urged immedi-
A month-long series
In collaboration with the Lower East
Side Long-Term Recovery Group,
The Lo-Down presents a series
during the month of October
offering tips and information to help
residents and businesses prepare
for the next storm.
Visit thelodownny.com/les-ready
for more details.
The Lower East Side was powerless after
Hurricane Sandy.
18 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 19
Chris Burden’s Ghost Ship at New Museum’s First Sat-
urdays for Families: Explore the American artist’s exhibi-
tion with New Museum educators and learn how Burden
has investigated ideas of limits, speed and play through
his artwork. After visiting the galleries, head to the Sky
Room and create your own fleet of boats using a variety
of everyday materials. 235 Bowery, 10 a.m.-noon, free,
Visit our CALENDAR online at
for more details and
to add your own events.
what to do in OCTOBER
Miguel Gutierrez’s myendlesslove at Abrons: Catch
the entrancing Guggenheim Fellow in this rare reprise
performance about sex, desire and objectification
which incorporates movement, video and music. The
piece unravels as a search for the poetics of gay sex,
exploiting time-honored clichés about sentimentality,
longing and how we look beyond ourselves for love.
466 Grand St. in the Underground, Oct.9-12 and Oct.
16-19, 8 p.m., $20, abronsartscenter.org.
Amazing Amy the Contortionist at Old
Man Hustle: First-prize winner in the
Coney Island Circus Freaks and Side
Show Geeks Talent Show category, the
rubber-bodied “Yoga Yenta” improvises
and contorts on the stage of our neigh-
borhood’s newest performance space. She
is accompanied by musician Rachel Mason and violinist
Marc Golamco. 39 Essex St., free, 8 p.m., oldmanhustle.
com. (For more about Old Man Hustle, see Arts Watch
on page 21.)
Ntozake Shange’s Lost in Language
and Sound at the Nuyorican: Don’t
miss this premiere of a new choreo-
poem by esteemed novelist, poet
and Obie-winning playwright Ntozake
Shange. A talk-back/panel discussion
with Ntozake will follow the perfor-
mance. 236 E. Third St., 7:30 p.m.,
$20/$15 students, nuyorican.org.
11th Annual OpenhouseNewYork Weekend: Make a day out of
America’s largest architecture and design event that offers free tours of
some of the city’s most intriguing spaces that you might not ordinar-
ily have access to. Highlights in the neighborhood include tours of the
Henry Street Settlement’s historic headquarters, the Eldridge Street
Synagogue and the quirky new 60-square-foot “museum” housed in a
former elevator in Chinatown. Also Sunday, Oct. 13, ohny.org.
People of the Books: A
Monthly Book Club at
the Museum at
Eldridge Street: Join
museum Scholar-in-
Residence Regina Stein
for a monthly discussion
of popular Jewish contempo-
rary fiction and nonfiction, starting with
The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman
and followed by What Do We Talk
about When We Talk about Anne Frank
by Nathan Englander. Lively discussion
is encouraged and participants are
invited to add their own suggestions to
the group reading list. 12 Eldridge St.,
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $10/session or
$50/8 sessions, eldridgestreet.org.
Edited by Traven Rice
Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City at Tenement Talks:
Join author and New York Times editor Constance
Rosenblum as she opens some “tantalizing portals,”
telling intimate and surprising stories about where,
how and with whom New Yorkers live. For this event,
Rosenblum interviews five New Yorkers, ranging in age
from twentysomething to ninetysomething, about how
they live. 103 Orchard St., 6:30 p.m., free, tenement.org.
Lower East Side Pickle Day:
Celebrate the rich history of pickle vendors
of the Lower East Side by indulging in a
range of brine-soaked delicacies from old
neighborhood institutions such as Guss’
Pickles, which first sold pickles from barrels
on the streets 100 years ago, to neighborhood
newcomers like Mission Chinese, which will serve up
a surprise pickled dish.The festival is part of the Day-
Life neighborhood event series put on by the Lower
East Side Business Improvement District. Orchard
Street, from Delancey to East Houston, noon-5 p.m.,
free, lowereastsideny.com.
Nightmare Haunted House, the team that
produced last year’s wildly popular Killers,
returns to the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural
Center with Killers 2, “a horrifying, immersive
haunted house experience about our obses-
sion and fascination with serial killers both
real and fictional.” Visitors navigating the
tormenting labyrinth will encounter various
psychopaths, including Harrison Graham,
Aileen Wournos and Charles Manson,
among others, who are neither glorified nor
romanticized, but rather presented for what
they are. Focusing on both the perpetra-
tors and their victims, both historical and
contemporary, Killers 2 sets out to prove that
the most haunting experiences are those
that are real. There is nothing more frighten-
ing than the monsters that walk among us.
Please note that this experience is designed
for adults: children under 10 are not admitted and parents are strongly cautioned about bringing
children under 16. Through Saturday, Nov. 2, 107 Suffolk St., ticket prices range from $20 for students
to $60 for VIP entry (see website for details), nightmarenyc.com. (For a list of Halloween events that are
more kid-friendly, check out thelodownny.com later in October.)
N i g h t m a r e K i l l e r s 2
a t C l e m e n t e S o t o V e l e z
CMJ Music Marathon 2013: Music
fans and industry insiders descend on
downtown venues for five nights (and
days) in hopes of discovering new
music, with more than 1,400 up-and-
given a chance
to showcase their talents.
Many LES music venues
participate; see indi-
vidual venue websites for
specific show schedules
and cover charges.
Through Oct. 19,
20 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 21
Out With the Crook,
in With the Crusader
By Susan LaRosa
Henry Street Settlement in 1893 to f ight the
social causes of poverty, and worked tirelessly
to help vulnerable residents of the Lower East
Side lead better lives. During her tenure at
Henry Street, Wald founded the Visiting
Nurse Service, placed the f irst nurse in a pub-
lic school, opened the f irst playground in the
neighborhood, established the f irst pure milk
program for children, supported racial inte-
gration and was a founding member of the
NAACP, supported the labor movement and
fought for child labor laws, conceived the
idea for the federal Children’s Bureau, lobbied
for women’s suffrage and established the f irst
theater in the nation (now the Abrons Arts
Center) for a low-income community.
In 1922, The New York Times named
Wald as one of the 12 greatest living Ameri-
can women, and she later received the Lin-
coln Medallion for her work as an “Outstand-
ing Citizen of New York.” On her 70th
birthday, Sara Delano Roosevelt read a letter
on a radio broadcast from her son, President
Franklin Roosevelt, in which he praised
Wald for her “unself ish labor to promote the
happiness and well-being of others. “ In
1970, she was elected to the Hall of Fame for
Great Americans.
It has been 14 years since the sorry truth
about Dickstein came to light. It’s time for the
community to right a wrong, and replace his
name with Wald’s. In life, she embodied the
best of the Lower East Side. In death, her lega-
cy lives on in Henry Street’s work, which
helps more than 50,000 individuals each year
through social service, arts and health care
programs, making the neighborhood and the
entire city a better place for everyone.
Susan LaRosa is the
deputy ofcer for
marketing and
communications at
the Henry Street
arts watch
By Traven Rice
Downtown performance maven Reverend
Jen has brought her weekly “Anti-Slam,” a wacky
and fantastic variety show, back to life at a new
performance space, igniting a glimmer of hope
amid the sad state of recent venue closures on the
Lower East Side. The Bowery Poetry Club hosted
the show for many years, but it closed for renova-
tions and reopened as what she calls a “generic
supper club,” forcing Reverend Jen on hiatus.
The show’s new home is 39 Essex St., where
the owner of the former Sweet Grapes Wine Bar,
Bill Frazer, has transformed his pint-sized space
into a hot dog shack and tavern called Old Man
Hustle. Offering a variety of “dogs” to choose from
during the day, at night the shack becomes an “art
bar,” with a diverse selection of craft beer and wine.
Frazer handed the entertainment side of
things over to show booker Mike Jarmuz. Jarmuz,
who is primarily responsible for the revamp of
the space and its new name, spent four years as a
A New Performance Space
Hustles to Essex Street
music promoter in Arizona before moving to New
York. He is packing the weekly schedule at Old
Man Hustle with stand-up comedy, live music,
poetry, burlesque and any kind of variety show he
can f ind.
October shows include “Amazing Amy The
Contortionist,” The Gotham City Beard Alliance’s
“Bearded Bar Night” and “local musical legend
Brer Brian’s Open Jam Session.” Reverend Jen,
who has hosted her Anti-Slam in various incarna-
tions for last 18 years or so, is excited to be in a more
intimate space. She says the Anti-Slam is the glue
that keeps a substantial community of downtown
artists together, allowing them to continue experi-
menting and performing in a safe environment.
Here’s hoping this new venue is a sign of
more good creative things to come.
You can check out Old Man Hustle’s calendar
of events and sign yourself up to show off your
true talent at oldmanhustle.com.
Send your commentary to us:
It’s time to practice
some much-needed
revisionist history
on the far east Lower
East Side.
Henry Street Set-
tlement is petition-
ing to change the
name of Samuel
Dickstein Plaza, a
one-block area at the
intersection of East
Broadway and Henry
Street, to Lillian Wald
Way, in honor of the
Settlement’s founder.
Why bother? Please read on.
Dickstein was a U.S. Congressman who
represented the Lower East Side for two
decades beginning in 1923, serving as vice
chairman of a House subcommittee on un-
American activities. He later became a State
Supreme Court justice. Dickstein died in 1954;
the plaza was named for him in 1963.
In the 1990s, historians Allen Weinstein,
who later served as the Archivist of the Unit-
ed States, and Alexander Vassiliev were grant-
ed unprecedented access to secret Soviet ar-
chives where they discovered evidence that
Dickstein began passing information to the
Soviets in 1937 — while he was a seated con-
gressman! He did so purely for money; he was
paid $1,250 per month by the NKVD, the Rus-
sian security service. The quality of his infor-
mation underwhelmed the Soviets; they
ended their relationship with him in 1940.
His code name, assigned by the Soviets, was
Wald was one of the most respected and
inf luential social reformers of the 20th cen-
tury, a true progressive pioneer who founded
in myopinion
Reverend Jen hosts a weekly “Anti-Slam” at Old Man Hustle. Photo by Alex M. Smith.
22 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 23
Specializes in OCD and related
disorders: generalized anxiety,
depression, and the
challenges of aging.

Contact her by phone:
or email: jenerate8@yahoo.com
Jenifer Wolf, LMSW
“A Bike fo Everyone in the Family!”
553 Grand Street • NYC
Tel: 212-533-6332 Fax: 212-475-1584
While the Lower East Side continually changes,
a slice of old New York still exists at Rosario’s.
In the nearly 50 years that the pizzeria has been
in business, the neighborhood has gone from being
an amalgamation of immigrants to a drug-infested
area to a hipster haven. Through it all, Salvatore Bar-
tolomeo has been a link to the past, running the
shop owned by his uncle, Rosario Dispenza.
“I live the life of the old-fashioned immigrant,”
Bartolomeo says.
Bartolomeo has come a long way since his
first days in America in 1963, though not literally,
as his first job was just down the street at a tailor
on the corner of Allen and Stanton streets. He had
to leave that job because he didn’t speak English,
but has gone on to become something of a local
legend, entertaining customers with tales of the
old days.
“I’m a storyteller,” he says. “A lot of people come
’cause they want to hear the story of New York.”
With his old-fashioned stories comes an old-
fashioned work ethic. Bartolomeo puts in 18-hour
days, seven days a week. His last vacation was his
honeymoon, four decades ago. He did take time
off for the weddings of each of his three daugh-
ters, but he says he hopes they don’t get married
again because it’s difficult to leave work.
“I think I cannot take a day off even for my fu-
neral,” he says.
At the age of 66, Bartolomeo still runs on only
two to three hours of sleep a night, and while his
fatigue shows during quieter moments, he comes
to life during frequent interactions with customers
at the shop. Many in the neighborhood know him
by name, and he often cooks special dinners to
share with friends at the store.
The reality of running a pizza parlor is not all the
sugar, fun and smiles that people imagine, he says.
“You lose your sanity. It’s a lotta, lotta work.” But,
he adds, “I do it with joy.” It’s just not something
he would recommend to anyone else.
Bartolomeo is happy working in the Lower East
Side, which he considers to be “the most beau-
tiful neighborhood in the world” because “it’s a
rainbow of people.” As the neighborhood transi-
(continued on page 28)
by Jake Safane
Rosario’s Sal Bartolomeo
Fills Your Belly and Your Ears
photo by Alex M. Smith
Altagracia Salon
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November issue
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24 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 25
Street artist Tristan Eaton paid tribute to Audrey
Hepburn in a project commissioned by the Little Italy
Street Project. The mural is visible on the facade of
385 Broome St. Photo by Tim Schreier.
New Yorkers paused to remember the 12th anniver-
sary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Photo by BahramForoughi.
City Council member Margaret Chin
won a second term in off ice Sept. 10, defeat-
ing challenger Jenifer Rajkumar. Chin’s vic-
tory in the Democratic primary means the
longtime community activist will be return-
ing to City Hall, representing the Lower East
Side and most of Lower Manhattan, because
there is no Republican challenger in Nov-
ember’s general election.
Chin garnered 8,303 votes (58.5 percent),
while Rajkumar came in with 5,891 votes
(41.5 percent).
“It’s just so amazing that we are able to
bring everyone together for this solid, strong
victory for Lower Manhattan,” Chin de-
clared in her victory celebration at the Cha-
tham Square Restaurant in Chinatown.
The council member was joined by As-
sembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who offered
his congratulations and said to voters,
“thank you for giving me someone I can
work with again at City Hall.”
Rajkumar, a political newcomer who
moved to the Financial District in 2010, of-
fered a spirited challenge to Chin by tapping
into disgruntlement over big real estate de-
velopment deals in several neighborhoods.
Some residents argued that the incumbent
council member had not fought hard
enough against New York University’s ex-
pansion plan in Greenwich Village and the
South Street Seaport redevelopment project.
Others objected to her support for business
improvement districts in Soho and China-
town. Jobs for New York, a political action
committee funded by the real estate indus-
try, spent nearly $300,000 to help Chin.
While she spoke out against third-party ex-
penditures in the campaign, Rajkumar
sought to use the PAC’s support to prove her
opponent enjoyed an all-too-cozy relation-
ship with developers.
Chin had the support of most local elect-
ed off icials, as well as labor unions, the inf lu-
ential Working Families Party and tenant
leaders in the Lower East Side’s public hous-
ing developments. During her victory
speech, Chin said there are lots of things she
wants to “get done in the next four years.”
Opening new schools is a top priority, she
said, as well as seeing 500 units of affordable
housing constructed at the Seward Park re-
development site, along Delancey Street.
While Rajkumar lost the council election,
she was re-elected to her post as a district
leader on the West Side, so she’s expected to
remain politically active.
In other races, Rosie Mendez won a
third term in Council District 2, which covers
the East Side above East Houston Street. She
beat Richard Del Rio, an East Village pastor,
81 percent to 18 percent. In the contest for
public advocate, State Sen. Daniel Squadron
came in second to Letitia James, a City Coun-
cil member. Since no one garnered 40 per-
cent of the vote, a runoff election was sched-
uled for Oct. 1. If Squadron is victorious, a
special election will be held to f ill his Senate
seat. He represents the Lower East Side,
along with most of Lower Manhattan and
sections of Brooklyn. (Visit us online at the-
lodownny.com for the results of the public
advocate runoff.)
Chin Holds Onto Council Seat
The Free Art Society revealed “Portal No. 7” in its “13
Portals” project on the front door of local photogra-
pher Clayton Patterson’s gallery at 161 Essex St. The
nonproBL or¿anIzaLIon wIll presenL 18 arL InsLalla-
tions, with each unveiling offering people the chance
Lo acquIre a key Lo a Bnal evenL LLIs monLL, In wLIcL
LLe puzzle wIll be solved. Photo by The Lo-Down.
The Lower East Side Business Improvement District
presented a fashion show on a stretch of Orchard
Street above Grand Street last month to kick off the
fall season and to showcase LES designs.
Photo by Ethan Ries.
MounLed polIce oIBcers Lake a break on Essex BLreeL.
Photo by Joel Raskin.
DurIn¿ a IesLIve block parLy, jazz musIcIans Lelped
the historic St. Augustine’s Church on Henry Street
celebrate 185 years on the LES. Photo by The Lo-Down.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver helps Council
member Chin celebrate victory.
26 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 27
back and forth. It’s hectic, but I’m so blessed to be
doing what I love for a living, you’re not gonna
hear me complain.
What’s your favorite spot on the LES and
The Hillman playground next to the East River
building. It’s fully shaded and the kids love it there.
Favorite cheap eats?
An Choi. I love the catfish vermicelli bowl.
Favorite place for a special night?
Honestly, we love Cafe Katja -- the food is amazing
and one of the owners, Andrew, is another local.
The staff is just amazing and you‘re given the same
treatment with or without your kids; as a parent
you couldn’t ask for more.
How have you seen the neighborhood
Well, we live in a NORC [Naturally Occurring Re-
tirement Community] and I love that about the
‘hood and I embrace the seniors. As life goes,
though, we’ve lost many over the years, including
some good friends. We’ve been changed by life’s
normal progression. People pass on and new fam-
ilies come in. It’s really nice seeing all the young
children mixing with the seniors and the joy that
they bring to one another.
What do you miss from the old LES?
I miss some of the above-mentioned friends, but as
far as an institution, El Sombero, a.k.a., The Hat, if
indeed it is closing, will surely be missed.
Is there a new arrival you love? Why?
Although it’s not that new anymore, I love Top Hops
on Orchard. The guys there are great and I love just
sittin’ down and pickin’ a cold one from one of the
best tap beer selections I’ve ever seen.
What drives you crazy about the neigh-
I guess the Williamsburg Bridge traffic on Grand
Street in the evenings is the most annoying thing
about the neighborhood. Not bad if that’s your big-
gest complaint, though.
Tell us your best LES memory.
Prior to this apartment, we had a two-bed, one-
bath with a 200-square-foot terrace that over-
looked the whole city, and every year we’d have all
our friends over for a Fourth of July party and
watch the fireworks (back when they were still set
off on the East River).
built a shelf in one of the bedrooms for the second
bed and in the other room there was a full-size
bed, but you couldn’t even open the door all the
way to get in or out.
Why did you move here?
We moved [to the Grand Street Co-ops] because
it was the best bang for your buck when my wife
Karyn and I decided to buy. We’re on the top floor,
and out of the back side of the apartment you see
the Williamsburg Bridge and everything going up-
town and out of the other side you see the river
and the other bridges. It’s really great.
What do you do?
I’m an actor. Currently filming the second season
of House of Cards on Netflix. It’s the best job I’ve
ever had. I’m just so proud to be a part of it. It’s
such a good show. The show is filmed in Baltimore,
which is hard; I keep an apartment there and I go
How long have you lived on the Lower
East Side?
Around 10 years down here [in the East River Co-
op], but we were on Houston and Attorney, right
next to Parkside Lounge, for eight years prior to
that. When I first moved to New York in ’94, I lived
on East 12th Street, between Avenues A and B. It
was me and two buddies from a small town in
Georgia in a tiny “two”-bedroom. There was a
separate bathroom (the tub wasn’t in the kitchen)
but you had to shut the door completely before
you could sit down and go to the bathroom. We
For our regular feature spotlighting the
people who live and work on the Lower
East Side, we talked with actor Michael
Kelly, who’s currently working on the
Emmy-award winning Netflix series,
House of Cards.
photo: Alex M. Smith
Photo by Alex M. Smith
Dr. Shu Pi ng Rong, D.D.S. P.C.
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28 www.thelodownny.com www.thelodownny.com 29
30 E. 18th St., New York, NY • (212) 352-1111
64 12th St., Brooklyn, NY • (347) 756-4215
95 Delancey St., New York, NY • (347) 286-7552
32-32 49th St., Long Island City, NY • (347) 527-7664
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Patagonian Rosewood
First Quality Laminate
Flooring from ......................................... 49¢ sq.ft
Solid Hardwood from ............................ 99¢ sq.ft
Engineered Flooring from ............... $1.69 sq.ft.
Bamboo Flooring from ..................... $1.79 sq.ft.
Handscraped Hardwood from ........ $2.79 sq.ft.
............................................................. $3.49 sq.ft
The Lo-Down is the Lower East Side’s essential community news source. Founded in 2009, Lo-
Down Productions LLC produces this monthly magazine as well as a website, thelodownny.com,
which is updated daily with neighborhood news, arts coverage, restaurant information and more.
The primary editorial coverage area is bounded by East Houston Street on the north and Bowery
on the west, although some stories range above Houston Street, as far uptown as East 14th Street.
The print magazine is published 10 times each year, with double issues in July/August and
December/January. Each month, 12,000 copies are distributed throughout the Lower East Side.
The Lo-Down is not affiliated with any other company or organization.
This independent publication relies solely on advertising revenue and does not receive funding
from any outside sources other than the various advertisers who are displayed in print and online.
Our sponsors sustain this publication as a vital outlet for community journalism and engagement.
A variety of advertising opportunities are available in the magazine and on the website. Inquire
by email at ads@thelodownny.com or by phone at 646-861-1805. Story tips, article submissions
and letters to the editor are welcome via email at tips@thelodownny.com.
tions towards affluence, though, he is un-
sure how much longer he can stay in business.
Rosario’s was pushed out of its original location
on Houston Street in 1998, and although he can’t
predict when, Bartolomeo says he will be ready to
go whenever the time comes that the rent gets too
expensive on Orchard Street.
“I’m very old... I want to see what’s beyond that
door,” he says.
(continued from page 23) Until that time comes, he plans to continue de-
voting his time to welcoming people into his shop,
keeping bellies full of pizza and pasta and ears full
of stories.
“My hobby is here. My life is here. I make peo-
ple happy,” he says.
This article is one of series of proles
contributor Jake Safane has written about the
people behind the scenes at LES restaurants.
Read his pieces on Bereket, Punjabi Grocery and
Prohibition Bakery online at thelodownny.com.
Seward Park Liquors
• Over 1000 different wines
and spirits
• Our extensive wine collec-
tion is personally selected
• Celebrating 40 years in
• Our Zagat Rating: 26
393 Grand Street
between between essex & clinton
• Premium brands at
competitive rates
551 Grand St., NY 10002
Residential Customer
New York, NY 10002
(212) 388-1115

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