A fashion preview that’s not the community board’s style

Tribeca’s a fashionable neighborhood, but it’s a family neighborhood too. When an incoming business applied for a huge liquor license it made waves in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. I covered the story in its earliest days. London-based company Spring Studios will soon open its first American outpost, Spring Studios New York, in Tribeca. One task lies in its path — getting a liquor license. The extensive application was discussed at last month’s meeting of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee. Although a community board’s vote is only advisory, it eases the application process. Spring Studios New York property at 50 Varick Street is a multi-floor 48,482 square foot venue that boasts capacity for 3,027 people. The original closing time listed on the application was 4 a.m. all week, 2 a.m. for the rooftop area. These times are debatable said Warren Pesetsky, the lawyer representing Spring Studios. “You go in with a wish list to the community board meeting,” he said later. Pesetsky continued that these hours were a starting point. At next month’s meeting, he would come with a modified proposal. Read...

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Tribeca manhole explosions perplex police and fire departments

A couple manholes exploded because a small underground electrical fire. I covered the aftermath a few days later when the exact cause was still unknown. As this was less than a month after Greenwich Street flooded some people I interviewed thought the two events were connected. The cause of last week’s underground electrical fire that caused two manhole explosions still eludes authorities and residents, with some speculating that damage from Hurricane Sandy played a part. The incident took place at the intersection of Greenwich Street and Reade Street in Tribeca at around 11 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 10. Consolidated Edison, in addition to the police and fire departments, urgently responded to the scene. Con Ed spokesman Alfonso Quiroz said the accident “could be” Sandy-related but would not provide a definitive cause. Read more...

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Election Day Long Lines

I wrote a news brief for Election Day 2012 for the Downtown Express to go online. Barely a week after Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers turned out to vote. It was chaos for voters between long lines and confusion over where to vote, it was a long day. All polling places in Manhattan opened at 6 a.m. for Election Day in Lower Manhattan, but before noon, some polling locations were already crowded with lines of voters spilling out into the streets at two Tribeca locations, New York Law School and P.S. 234, and the Tweed Courthouse by City Hall. “The wait’s 45 minutes to an hour,” said a poll worker at Tweed. Earlier, the line had stretched past the gate and into the street, he noted. Election Day came only about a week after Hurricane Sandy struck New York. The state Board of Elections scrambled to ensure access to the ballots for New Yorkers who were displaced by the hurricane. The agency moved 60 polling sites within New York City alone. Read more here. Update: This also appeared in the print version of the Downtown Express two weeks...

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My first New York clip

Today, my first New York clip was published. It was in the Downtown Express, a paper that covers Lower Manhattan. ‘Jenga’ building doesn’t fly with local residents The notion of a new high-rise residential building in Tribeca is not sitting well among neighborhood residents. Nicknamed “Jenga” after the popular puzzle game for its unusual design, the Leonard Street development is poised to become the highest building in Tribeca, standing 800 feet tall at more than 57 stories. Unlike most buildings in the area, the Jenga building is designed as a post-modern structure with a glass-and-steel facade. But despite the lack of enthusiasm about the building, construction of the city-approved project at 56 Leonard St. has already begun. Members of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, which saw renderings of the development at its Oct. 10 meeting, reacted negatively to the idea of having such a tall building among the area’s numerous low-rise structures. Committee member Noel Jefferson asserted that the building does not belong in the neighborhood. “We need to make people understand we’re not 57th Street, we’re Tribeca,” she said. The building’s location at 56 Leonard St. is adjacent to New York Law School, which previously owned the land. A corporation set up for the property called 56 Leonard L.L.C. now owns the building. Real estate company Alexico Group lists the Tribeca property as a new development. Records from the City Register Office’s database show that the Alexico Group received extra financing from the New York branch of Hypothekenbank Frankfurt AG, a German real estate bank. C.B. 1 documents show that the property is sandwiched between the Tribeca East and Tribeca West historic districts. Since the lot sits just outside of Tribeca’s historic districts, its zoning allows for a high-rise building. Lynn Ellsworth — founder of the Tribeca Trust, a new, local organization that seeks to preserve the neighborhood’s historic and architectural character — is equally displeased with the proposed high-rise development. Despite the fact that 56 Leonard St. is outside of the historic...

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Rider News Articles

While I was an undergrad at Rider University, I wrote for the university publication The Rider News. It is entirely student-run under supervision from a journalism professor and a Rider alum who worked for Gannet. Here I’ve re-posted one of my favorite pieces. The Background:  My sophomore year at Rider, the school hosted a horror film symposium. This is article was a preview of the event. Film symposium to explore the heart of horror Fake blood, zombies and a vampire slayer named Buffy — oh my. Rider will dedicate its second annual film symposium, titled “A Mini Course in Horror,” to the genre. The four-day event will feature screenings of popular shows such as The Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Simpsons; classic films such as The Wolf Man, Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; panels about the various aspects of horror; and a student film competition. “It’s one of the most diverse genres in film, with countless sub-genres, and no true definition of what makes a horror film,” said Zach Bowen, a senior English major with a concentration in cinema studies. “Everyone has their own opinions of how they like their horror and how they would characterize the genre.” The events show exactly how broad the horror genre can be, as their subject matter ranges from popular television programs to obscure foreign films. House, a Japanese cult film that was just released in the United States, will make its New Jersey premiere at the Horror Film Symposium (see Review, p. 7). “What makes horror so unique is that it can act as the perfect metaphor,” Bowen said. “Stories are meant to have purpose and meaning behind them.” (see more...

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