NY State Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Case Against NYU Expansion Plan

In the latest installment of the ongoing struggle against NYU’s huge expansion plan, the State’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals, has agreed to hear a case that was filed by petitioners in mid-November regarding public parkland. The lawsuit has passed through two lower courts, with differing results. Those following the dispute, especially park advocates, are awaiting a verdict that could have massive ramifications on the way that the City and the State deal with public parks in the future.

On October 14th, the Appellate Division’s First Department overturned a lower court’s decision that would have spared three parks—Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park and LaGuardia Corner Gardens—from destruction under NYU’s current expansion plan. According to the lower court’s ruling, all three strips are public parks, and therefore entitled to protection, since the public has been using them as parks for many years, making them “implied” parkland, with the City funding, labeling and maintaining them as parks.

NYU and the City counter-argued that those parks aren’t really parks, since they were never “mapped” as parks (a bureaucratic technicality), and are nominally overseen by the City’s Department of Transportation. The First Department’s decision would allow NYU to raze those treasured parks to make way for its vast expansion plan, and set a precedent that could potentially threaten countless public parks throughout the City and the State.

Petitioners, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Historic Districts Council, Washington Square Village Tenants’ Association, East Village Community Coalition, Friends of Petrosino Square, LaGuardia Corner Gardens, Inc., Lower Manhattan Neighbors’ Organization, SoHo Alliance, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, NoHo Neighborhood Association, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and 10 other individuals, are represented on a pro bono basis by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, with Randy Mastro as lead attorney.

Their motion papers make clear that “the First Department’s decision disregarded well-established common law principles for determining when municipal land has been impliedly dedicated for parks usage. In recognition of the unique value that public parks hold for children, families, and communities, the Public Trust Doctrine accords parkland special protection.”

The petitioners are asking the Court of Appeals to consider two issues: that the First Department’s decision actually conflicts with prior appellate court decisions, and prior decisions by the Court of Appeals itself, about this kind of “implied” parkland, and that the First Department’s decision, if left intact, will have the effect of abolishing implied dedication—a consequence with widespread negative effects, not just in New York City, but throughout the State.

Parks and open spaces are protected by the Public Trust Doctrine, which maintains that the government holds the titles to certain waters and lands in trust for the people. In New York State, if an entity wishes to develop or remove a parcel of parkland from public ownership and use, it must follow a legal process called “alienation,” which, among other conditions, requires approval from the state Legislature. This was not done in the case of the Village parks that NYU wants to destroy for its ill-advised expansion plan. The First Department’s decision flies in the face of this doctrine and of its own decisions, and would imperil all kinds of public and green spaces throughout the state; it would leave ordinary New Yorkers with no protection against the removal and abuse of open spaces and parks for development.

City issues permits for restoration work at P.S. 64

Since receiving the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s blessing in 2013, Gregg Singer may finally be moving forward with restoration work at former P.S. 64/ CHARAS – El Bohio. The landmarked school building has been vacant following the eviction of the former tenants of El Bohio led by CHARAS in 2001. The City reversed its short-lived approval for plans to convert the building into a multi-school “dormitory” this past September.

The project’s future is uncertain, but the exterior work may begin soon. The owner got the okay from Landmarks more than a year ago to perform restorative work to replace damaged architectural details and to install new windows. Two permits from the Department of Buildings issued in January allow for repairs to the dormers, mansard roof, roofing, and the facade. LPC also supported alterations to carve along the edges of the raised courtyards to create windows at ground level for dorm rooms. It does not appear that the permits issued allow for this component of the work.

While the permits are dated 2015, the owner set the start date for the work in August, prior to the project’s approval and subsequent Stop Work Order. The DOB maintains its objections to the dormitory plan, which Singer will need to resolve before moving forward with any interior work. We support the City’s objections to the project as presented and maintain that a dormitory is an improper use for the site.

Old P.S 64 has endured several major weather events while unsealed including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. The condition of the building is not entirely due to wear-and-tear; at the time of landmarks designation, many architectural details suffered damage by the workers. Facade and architectural restoration work is welcome if it will protect this historic neighborhood gem. We will watch to see if, after years of decay, some restorative work begins here.

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Holiday Card Campaign: Ask for the return of our community center

3-kings-day-flyerHOLIDAY CARD CAMPAIGN DELIVERY!

SOCCC-64 (SAVE OUR COMMUNITY CENTER former CHARAS/El BOHIO P.S. 64) is writing & collecting personalized holiday cards to ask Mayor De Blasio to return our community center! Make your own card or use the downloadable template — just add your name and address!

Then…

JOIN US with the Three Kings and their camels

TO DELIVER our cards to the mayor

WHEN:
Three Kings Day – Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SCHEDULE:
If it’s 40 degrees or above…
12:00 noon – Meet at 605 East 9th Street (btwn Aves. B & C)
12:30 p.m. – March or Take Public Transportation to City Hall

And/Or
1:30 p.m. – Meet Us at City Hall Plaza

NOTE: If it is too cold or wet, below 40 degrees…we will not march to City Hall
Gather at City Hall Plaza (across from the Brooklyn Bridge) at 1:30 pm

Get Local! Guide East Village Shops Now Available

Our neighborhood boasts resident-serving retail outlets and unique offerings from creative merchants. The East Village is NOT a strip mall – thankfully the monotonous chain stores found in town after town are in short supply here. In an attempt to keep our neighborhood independent and unique, we publish our free Get Local! Guide to East Village Shops each year. The updated 8th Edition is available now!

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Spending your money locally helps small businesses thrive in the East Village.

Local shopping also:
Keeps more money in our community
Creates local jobs with fair wages
Sustains small business owners who defend our neighborhood’s identity
Chooses creativity and personality over uniformity

 

The newly available 8th Edition lists more than 500 local merchants and is available in shops and cafes in the neighborhood. You can download the online version or pick up your free copy today!

We are working to preserve small businesses as an integral part of maintaining our diverse, livable community.

Thank you to supporters of the 2014 Get Local! guide:

Lead sponsor: East Village Independent Merchants Association

Sponsors: 4th Street Food Coop, ABC Animal Hospital, The Bean, Ciao For Now, Dinosaur Hill, Fabulous Fanny’s, Fly Dove, Fourth Arts Block, Eileen Fisher Boutique, Housing Works, Parlor, Performance Space 122, Random Accessories, Shape of Lies, Source Unltd, Straight Edge NYC, Transportation Alternatives, Two Boots, Upright Citizens Brigade, wild project

12/18 East Village Holiday Shopping Night

Featured items: dress & clutch, FlyDove; postcards, Pink Olive; felted wool & silk scarf, Gallery Vercon; historic map, Pageant Print Shop; gift card, Russian & Turkish Baths; child's dress, Jane's Exchange; gift bag, Parlor; silver necklace, Rena REBORN; gold necklaces, Shape of Lies; gold earrings & Incense, Cloak & Dagger Photographer: Adolfo Vargas Stylist: Laura Sewell
Featured Items: dress & clutch, FlyDove; postcards, Pink Olive; felted wool & silk scarf, Gallery Vercon; historic map, Pageant Print Shop; gift card, Russian & Turkish Baths; child’s dress, Jane’s Exchange; gift bag, Parlor; silver necklace, Rena REBORN; gold necklaces, Shape of Lies; gold earrings & incense, Cloak & Dagger
Photographer: Adolfo Vargas    Stylist: Laura Sewell

Thursday, December 18th, 6-9pm

Join the East Village Independent Merchant Association for an evening of special offers.
Stop by EVCC from 6-10pm to meet neighbors, participate in our toy drive to benefit the Women’s Prison Association and enjoy holiday treats.

Participating East Village Merchants

 

Butter Lane Bakery

123 E 7th St
(212) 677-2880
www.butterlane.com

Butter Lane Bakery specializes in making the best cupcake with local and quality ingredients. This is the cupcake for “grown ups.” A beautiful, delicious treat for every holiday.

20% off all items for walk in customers

CADET

305 E 9th St
646-633-4560
www.cadetusa.com

CADET is Brooklyn-based men’s apparel company and store, taking inspiration of the great military academies of the USA. All garments are designed and produced by CADET in Bushwick.

20% discount

Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy

34 Avenue A, 2nd Floor
646-692-6155
www.chka.org

Shamburger’s CHKA is the premier downtown martial arts school, training adults & kids in Kenpo Karate & Kickboxing for over 20 years in the East Village. Open 7 days a week. All classes are open to beginners!

Free drop-in martial arts classes at 6pm, 7 pm and 8 pm for first-time martial arts students only. Mention EVIMA for a free month of classes.  Be sure to wear or bring easy to move in clothes.

Clayworks Pottery

332 E 9th St
212-677-8311
www.clayworkspottery.com

For 40 years, Clayworks Pottery has been an East Village presence, providing finely crafted stoneware and porcelain for kitchen, tabletop and home decor. Vibrant, original, eminently useful mugs, plates, bowls, teapots, vases, goblets, espresso cups, pitchers and so much more wait here to delight the eye, entice the hand and warm the heart for the holidays and after.

Cloak & Dagger

334 East 9th Street
212-673-0500
www.CloakAndDaggerNyc.com

Our store has been voted “most great stuff per square foot” in many best of NYC shopping guides. All price points are available at Cloak & Dagger but you’ll look like you’ve spent a million bucks!

10% off store wide + complimentary spiked cider and eggnog

Dinosaur Hill

306 E 9th St
(212) 473-5850
www.dinosaurhill.com

Dinosaur Hill is a 30 year old store specializing in ‘Handmade Wonderments, Toys, Clothes and Gifts.” We are here to help you choose the very best thing you can find for friends, family, and …yourself.

If you sing a verse of your favorite song (or Row, Row, Row Your Boat), you will receive a 10% discount
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

 

 

Dorian Grey Gallery

437 E 9th St
(516) 244-4126
www.doriangreygallery.com

Dorian Grey Gallery celebrates the artistic history our neighborhood, carrying on to the present and future with a special emphasis on works by artists and subject matter from the East Village. Visit us to learn about, enjoy and collect works celebrating our neighborhood’s rich artistic legacy.

Original limited edition poster from artist John “Crash” Matos with every purchase above $200

Duo

337 E 9th St
(212) 777-7044
www.duonyc.com

Wendy and LaRae Kangas are the sisters behind the petite East Village boutique, duo nyc, which features vintage + modern clothing and accessories. Their aim is to introduce emerging independent designers and to provide a well-edited vintage selection. “We want duo nyc to be an inviting place for our clients and to express our own vision by filling our shop with pieces that are timeless and modern.”

20% off storewide + complementary drinks
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

 

 

Dusty Buttons

441 E 9th St
(212) 673-4039
www.dustybuttons.com

Dusty Buttons carries vintage and new US made or Fair Trade Certified dresses. Our heart is with the 1940s and 1950s so there is a definite nod to that era. We also carry new European footwear, a gal can never have to many beautiful comfortable shoes!

10% off store wide + refreshments and sweets

Exit 9

51 Avenue A
(212) 228-0145
www.shopexit9.com

The Exit9 mission is to put a little fun, joy, diversity and diversion into daily life while adding flavor to the neighborhood. We hope you’ll find our creative selection of gifts and novelties fun. And every morning when we unlock and roll up the steel gates we know that, along with our fellow small businesses nearby, we are keeping up the vibe.

15% off all items (including those already on sale!)
Suggestions for WPA donation: hats, gloves, t-shirts, jewelry, wallets, handbags

FlyDove

197 E 7th St
(212) 300-4370
www.flydovenyc.com

Fly Dove NYC is a fashion style brand and boutique retail concept for the sophisticated, fashion conscious shopper seeking on trend women’s fashions with a bit of urban edge.

15% off entire purchase + hot chocolate, tea and cookies
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

 

 

Gallery Vercon

332 E 9th St
(212) 473-0506
www.gallery-vercon.com

Gallery Vercon features contemporary women’s clothing and accessories ranging from hats to scarves to locally designed jewelry. Unique materials and designs make this eclectic boutique an East Village must-see.

10% + 15% off select purchases

The Girls Club

402 E 8th St.
(212) 982-1633
www.girlsclub.org

The Lower East Side Girls Club provides a place where girls and young women 8-23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.

Organic Hand Dipped Chocolate Pretzels with each order of $35.00

GOAT-MILK Kidwear

523 E 12th St
(212) 500-1437
www.goatmilknyc.com

GOAT-MILK Kidware is a brand of basics for babies and kids. All our garments are made of 100% organic cotton. The line is made up of unique and simple pieces like thermal tops and bottoms and includes onesies, underwear and tank tops.

20% off all purchases

Jane’s Exchange

191 E 3rd St.
212-677-0380
www.Janesexchangenyc.com

Thanks to an interesting and diverse population of consignors, we have an extraordinary and always changing selection of clothing and toys.

Sweet treats available
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

La Sirena

27 E 3rd St
212-780-9113
www.lasirenanyc.com

La Sirena is a Mexican folk art shop in NYC .We are known for fun, unique, traditional marketplace merchandise to collectible folk art from artisans of many regions of Mexico.

Traditional Mexican calendar with purchase
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

Love Shine

543 E. 6th
212-387-0935
www.loveshinenyc.com

For over 16 years, Love Shine has been been making cool and eclectic bags that are both stylish and durable. Locally produced by hand, our canvas bags (adorned with a variety of ribbon trimmed images) can be seen all around city.

20% discount store wide + refreshments. Open till 9:30 p.m.

Parlor

102 Avenue B
(212) 673-5520
www.parlorhairsalon.com

Parlor offers the elevated craft of hairdressing with a variety of specialties in all hair textures. Guiding you through superior customer service, utlizing the most current methods and trends we transform your image to where you want it to be.

Drop in and request a facial or make an appointment, and receive a complimentary lip saver.

Pageant Print Shop

69 E 4th St.
(212) 674-5296
www.pageantbooks.com
 

Pageant Print Shop sells 15-20th century original maps and prints. Constantly changing stock. Unique, yet affordable. New York City a specialty!

10% discount

Physical GraffiTea

96 St Marks Place
212-477-7334
www.physicalgraffitea.com

Physical GraffiTea sells organic loose leaf teas and herbs by the ounce as well as tea pots and accessories. We also offer drinks to stay or to go, including hot or iced teas, lattes, matcha, and Kombucha on tap. We believe in using tea and herbs to support health and happiness in one’s life. We are located in the ground floor retail space of the historic “Physical Graffiti” buildings that graced the cover of the Led Zeppelin album of the same name.

In-store tea samplings

Pink Olive

439 East 9th St
212-780-0036
www.pinkolive.com

Pink Olive is a whimsical gift shop for happiness and home. We make gift-giving fun, easy and attainable for little ones to loved ones.

Spend $25 or more between 6-9pm and get a free holiday stickers and labels pack ($10 value).
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

rena REBORN

117 E. 7th St
212-253-2595
www.renareborn.com

Working gals on a budget and trendsetters seeking one-of-a-kind pieces will find seriously cheap garb at this modern and vintage women’s clothing, shoes and accessories boutique.

50% off all clothing
May have items suitable for WPA Teen Gift Drive

Russian & Turkish Baths

268 E 10th St.
212-505-0665
www.russianturkishbaths.com

The Russian & Turkish Baths is a 120 year old spa located in the East Village. Our facilities include 5 saunas and steam rooms, cold pool, roof deck and restaurant.

$10 off admission, $25 admission and 20% off services

Shape of Lies

127 E 7th St
(212) 533-5920
www.shapeoflies.com

 

The Shape of Lies is 98% pure Manhattan. We showcase small artists producing locally and offer unique designs & signature pieces. Opened in 1979 we’re now one of the last Mom & Pop live work storefronts in the East Village.  As our neighbors know; when the lights on you can always knock for gifting emergencies….we live in the back!

Stop in and bring your coupon. OPEN 12 to 9 every day till Christmas.  Shop 24/7 at ShapeOfLies.com

SantaPeggy$5.00

Swing Salon

280 E 10th St
212.677.2008
http://www.swingorganicsalon.com/

We care about your hair and your well-being. Join us in our cozy, clean-air salon.  Step inside, take a deep breath, and you instantly know you’re in a special place.

Discount for new customers

East Village Community Coalition

143 Avenue B
(212) 979-2344
www.evccnyc.org

Doors open until 10pm! Take a shopping break to meet neighbors, participate in our toy drive to benefit the Women’s Prison Association and enjoy holiday treats.

Plan to remove buildings from LPC’s calendar dropped

tifereth israel

Nearly one hundred potential landmarks are protected after the Landmarks Preservation Commission withdrew its proposal to remove these buildings from its calendar for consideration. The vote planned for this week would have unilaterally “de-calendared” buildings in all five boroughs, leaving them open to alteration or demolition without review.

In the East Village, 138 Second Avenue is among the buildings that could have lost this crucial protective status. This 19th-century federal-style home was declared worthy of consideration in 2009. Without a vote in October, the neighborhood’s newest designated landmark Tifereth Israel would have also been removed from LPC’s calendar for consideration. The community achieved a swift victory in part because the building, calendared in 1966, was immediately eligible for a hearing and designation.

Former commissioners found the buildings on the list worthy of LPC’s consideration. If de-calendared, each building would need to be calendared again – a required step in the landmarks process – before coming before today’s commission for designation.

The LPC also drew criticism for failing to schedule public review of the controversial plan. We are grateful to be a part of a preservation community that created the awareness that successfully ended the proposal. We urge the LPC to dedicate its resources to hearing these structures individually for designation.

 

11/17: TOWN HALL to Save our Community Center

Town Hall

TOWN HALL
Save Our Community Center

November 17, 2014
6:30pm-8:30pm
Casa Victoria, 308 East 8th Street (between Avenues B & C)

Join Council Member Rosie Mendez and elected officials, neighbors, and community organizations in an important discussion about the status of former P.S. 64 at 605 East 9th Street. Organize to return the building to community use!

East Village Consumer Survey

Do you live in the East Village? Or love to visit? Don’t get here often enough?

Let us know what you think! Take our short survey by November 22nd to help us determine where and how people are spending in the community. 

Goals of the survey:
Help to identify what types of retail are missing from the East Village
Assess affordability of products in the neighborhood
Determine how often people are spending money in the East Village
Capture information on neighborhood demographics and other retail factors

Take part is sharing your vision for the East Village. Visit www.eastvillagesurvey.com today!

 

The survey is part of the of the organization’s retail diversity campaign, which advocates for increased diversity of available retail and local services for residents within the East Village. Learn more at our website: www.evccnyc.org.

The East Village Consumer Survey is made possible with the support of AvenueNYC, a program of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

HDC Releases “A Proven Success: How the New York City Landmarks Law and Process Benefit the City”

The Historic Districts Council recently released A Proven Success: How the New York City Landmarks Law and Process Benefit the City. This report shows how 49 years of activities by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) have affected New York City in a variety of positive ways. The report examines the correlation between urban planning, affordable housing, gentrification, tax revenue and job creation within historic districts.

A Proven Success examines the Real Estate Board of New York’s long history of opposition to both the Law and the LPC. It documents REBNY’s even longer history (90 years) of opposition to affordable housing by consistently advocating for higher rents on rent-regulated apartments, de-regulation, and vacancy decontrol. The report also makes clear that the Landmarks Law and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the city agency charged with upholding that law, have not contributed to a housing crisis. Designation has in fact stabilized and enriched our neighborhoods, drawing development to previously ignored parts of the city.

A Proven Success is a great resource for those interested in New York real estate and development. It is a voice of reason to balance the roar of real estate lobbyists who have sought to dominate public and political conversation about historic preservation in our city. When you support historic preservation efforts, you show your constituents that you care about the past and future of their neighborhoods.

Read the full report. For more information contact our colleagues at the Historic District Council:  Executive Director Simeon Bankoff at 212-614-9107 or hdc@hdc.org.