Friday, August 24, 2007


A Return to 120 St Marks Place ...

ABOVE : The facade of 120 St Marks Place
ABOVE and BELOW : The expired temporary certificate of occupancy for 120 St. Marks Place .

It has been a while since we have posted on 120 St Marks Place . Anyone scrolling through the NMNL archive from August 2006 to December 2006 can see that once 120 St Marks was a regular subject here ...and with good reason as can be seen by reading those posts .
Now we return to 120 because of what appear to be some irreguarities with the certificate of occupancy ( C of O ) for the building .
Currently , according to the Department of Buildings building profile for the building , there is no C of O for 120 St. Marks Place . There was a temporary Cof O but that was applicable for only 90 days and has since expired .The temporary C of O can not be renewed and thus now , by the zoning laws and building code at least , it is unlawful to occupy or attempt to rent or lease any part of this property .
The owner of this building ,Benjamin Shaoul , and his architect , Ramy Issac , applied for a premium in extra building bulk or floor space beyond what the zoning resolution for this lot would normally allow by agreeing to rent the basement , the ground floor and the second floor as community facilities spaces . That means these floors would be rented for example to a day care center , to a doctor for an office or perhaps to a religious organization .
Notice on the documents above , that is the expired temporary C of O , that indeed the name of a religious organization , Chabad , is listed as occupying the basement , the ground floor and the second floor .
Now look at the Tower Brokerage for-rent sign for the empty ground floor and part of the basement : where is Chabad on this ground floor ?
Now notice that there is also a veternarian now occupying another part of the basement : where is Chabad in this basement ? We should also note here that a veternarians office probably does not comply with the use group 4 that is listed for the space on the temporary C of O .
Recently "The Villager" ran a picture by Lorcan Otway showing some young men drinking something party-fashion while standing on the second floor fire-escape : where is Chabad on this second floor ?
Now it is likely that Mr. Shaoul will soon have a C of O but we have to ask if in issuing this C of O will the city DOB require that Mr. Shaoul fullfill his commitment to rent the basement ,ground floor and second floor as community facilities or will they just continue to look the other way . Will the DOB do as it has so often in the past with others in similar situations allow Mr. Shaoul to ignore the law and his agreed-to legal commitments . By agreeing to build space for community facilities he gained the opportunity to profit from building and renting a larger than normally allowed building on this location .
Recently several community members were assured by the DOB and the local council persons office that Mr. Shaoul would be required to honor his agreements regarding the creation and maintenance of community facilities spaces at 120 St. Marks Place . We note here that we at NMNL were also assured that there would be no C of O without full compliance with the agreement to provide community facilities spaces and rent or lease them as such at 120 St Mark Place .
To see the building profile for 120 St Marks Place or for that matter any NYC building go to
and then click on "buildings" on the drop-down on the left of the home page for NYC . Then fill in burough ,house number and street name in the appropriate spaces on the right of the DOB page .
To read the above documents simply click on them and they will enlarge


New Bus-Stop Shelter : Same Old Sort of Appropriation


The Dog Days and Tent City

Once it was a tent city that took over Tompkins Square Park . Now we have a dog run and dogs .
For several posts now we have been celebrating the "dog days of summer" with boring pictures of TSP dogs and that piece of park , a large piece , that has been siezed by dog owners for themselves and their dogs , the dog run .That piece of TSP that on a wet summer day smells like nothing so much as a hog feedlot .
The poster attatched to the tree above reminds of a major event , the creation and existance of tent city , that occured a long time ago in TSP .
Unfortunately we have no pictures of that event to share with you but we can to a small extent remember how it was then . In that event people also seized a part , a large part , of TSP... for themselves and their families . What a long way we have come .

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Protest at 7th Street and Avenue A...

Mumia protesting was something of an East Village industry . Not an activity that made money but one that employed lots of people making posters and protesting on a regular basis for a considerable period of time ,occupying them as a job would but without remuneration .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


"Blind Mike" and Larry ...

Neither of these two neighborhood regulars have been seen for some time on avenue A or in Tompkins Square Park . We do not know what has happened to "Blind Mike" but sadly we do know that Larry died a couple of years ago .
P.S. 19 July , 2009 : Today we ran into Larry on avenue A . Larry deffinitely is not dead but according to Larry and others Blind Mike is dead having died recently in prison .


Ray's : Then and Now

Then was sometime in the middle 90 s . Now was last Saturday night .
Its a long way from a night in the East Village on skateboards with a stop at Ray's and the scene depicted in the top picture .
The man sitting in a wheelchair with a cast on his leg is "Sloth". A few days earlier "Sloth" had threatened the guys at the corner pizza parlor with the sharp end of a used , dirty syringe when they denied the use of their restroom to a female friend of "Sloth" that wanted to use the restroom to shoot some heroin .
"Sloth" was quickly and efficiently dealt with receiving a good beating with a broken leg . After all the action "Sloth" was removed from the parlor premises and placed in a convenient curb-side trash container .

Monday, August 20, 2007


At 3 AM Sunday a Stroll Down Avenue A to Lucy's

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