Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Local activist awarded prestigious 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal


The Rockfeller Foundation announced today that the recipients of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal are Richard Kahan and Damaris Reyes. The medal, which is administered by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), was created in 2007 to honor the author and activist who died in April 2006. It is awarded annually to two New Yorkers whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding the city.

Founder and CEO of the Urban Assembly, Richard Kahan is a former President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation and former Chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. Since 1999, the Urban Assembly has created, and now manages, 22 public secondary schools located, by design, in many of the lowest income neighborhoods in New York. Mr. Kahan will receive the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership.

Damaris Reyes, Executive Director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), will receive the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. She began her work with GOLES as a grassroots community organizer before assuming her current role in 2005. Through an approach Reyes describes as holistic, GOLES has been pivotal in strengthening the community and preserving the character of the Lower East Side. Both medals come with an award of $100,000.

To read more about the work of the 2009 recipients, click here.

Previous years' recipients include Peggy Shepard, executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT), and Alexie Torres-Fleming, founder of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ) in 2008; and Barry Benepe of New York City?s Greenmarket program and Omar Freilla of Greenworker Cooperatives in the Bronx in 2007.

The Rockefeller Foundation made a grant to Jane Jacobs in the 1950s for the research and writing of the book The Life and Death of Great American Cities. More than fifty years later, this work remains one of the most influential books ever written on urban design.

The 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal Jury was chaired by Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and comprised Rockefeller Foundation trustee David Rockefeller, Jr., Dean of New York University's Tisch School for the Arts Mary Schmidt Campbell, and The New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger.

For more information about the award and past year's recipients, visit www.mas.org/jane-jacobs-medal.

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Congratulations to Damaris for her important work in the community. Visit GOLES: http://www.goles.org


*Recent image of Damaris Reyes and Carlos Garcia courtesy of The Villager

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

EVHP partners with Orenzanz Summer Museum on Governor's Island

East Village History Project is a proud partner of the Orensanz Summer Museum on Governor's Island this Summer 2009.

We encourage art lovers and adventurers to take the 10 minute ferry departing from South Manhattan (or Brooklyn) and make a pleasant promenade to the Island, where you can enjoy the specially curated drawings, light boxes and external sculptures created specifically for the occasion as well as workshops and debates covering a wide range of disciplines.

The exhibition is open every weekend from June 14th to October 3rd, and together with other cultural activities programmed on the Island, the Orensanz Summer Museum's aim is to make of this tiny island in the heart of New York’s Bay a new cultural reference for the city’s summer artistic scenario.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.orensanz.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=32

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

No Wal-Mart for Union Square

"Please be advised that Rosie’s office did some research regarding a Wal-Mart opening at Union Square. To the best of our knowledge these rumors are not based on any solid evidence that Wal-Mart has an interest in Union Square. All the research we have done says that the spaces available do not meet the retail giant’s specifications and that they never made any overture to do business there. None-the-less Rosie hears your objections loud and clear and encourages you to distribute your point of view as widely as possible."

This was a portion of a response from Rosie Mendez's office to a letter from a concerned St. Marks Place resident which reads:

Dear Councilmember Mendez:

Greetings from St. Mark's Place. I've recently read that the Wal-Mart corporation is trying to gain a foothold in the Union Square area. As a constituent living in the East Village, and as a local architecture writer who treasures the unique culture, heritage, and built environment of our city, I would like to urge you to use all available means to prevent that corporation from opening anywhere in New York. Not in Union Square, not in Brooklyn, not in Queens: nowhere in our city, please. Not now, not ever, not here... and not even if they swear on a stack of every major culture's holy books that they'll pull an ideological 180-degree turn and start supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. No matter what promises they make, Wal-Mart simply doesn't belong in New York City.

With a disgraceful record of corporate behavior and a business model premised on exurban sprawl, automobile dependence, a work force with no better options, and a bland commercial monoculture, Wal-Mart represents everything ugly and mediocre and unjust about our nation, the exact opposite of the values that progressive Americans take pride in. Part of the case against Wal-Mart is simply economic: Wal-Mart destroys local economies, puts people out of work, damages local environments with auto traffic, degrades local pay-scale standards, treats workers like cattle, and evades its responsibilities as a major employer to provide its workers with decent health care. I'm sure you've heard the grim stories about workers locked into stores, mandatory work hours off the clock, petty efforts to claw back legal settlements from workers with health problems, exploitation of Chinese labor under conditions that border on slavery -- all the things that make the Wal-Mart name stink worldwide. The "low prices" that Wal-Mart offers on its goods are no bargain at all: they merely shift the costs of its profiteering onto the people and places that have the least power to bear them. (The necessary statistics and narratives on all this, as you're probably already aware, are available at walmartwatch.com.)

But the argument is not limited to economics. It's about aesthetic standards and cultural diversity, too -- the unique strengths of New York City, as robust as solid rock but not immune to erosion. Wal-Mart is both a creature of the sprawl culture and a vector of that particular disease; it is the antithesis of everything that makes urban life (particularly NYC life) vibrant and distinctive. Our city thrives and maintains its flavor by supporting the small businesses and activities that offer opportunities to recent immigrants -- both from other nations and from other parts of the US. I am one of many "New Yorkers by choice," people who moved here from other states precisely because our city's cultural activity, walkable-scale street life, intelligent discourse, and human diversity present a highly attractive alternative to everything tiresome and predictable about Flyoverland and Generica.

Giant-scaled retail outlets, the bloated organizations that have turned so much of the rest of the country into such a dreary place, are utterly incompatible with the "New York-ness" of New York. Wal-Mart and Wal-Martism are exactly what many of us came here to avoid. If they spread here, they'll have no more respect for the NYC way of life than a metastatic tumor cell has for the health of its host.
We need many things here -- affordable housing, decent jobs, better transit, better and fairer enforcement of the laws, expanded support for the arts and for artists, reliable health care for everyone -- but we don't need $1.89 boxes of detergent at the cost of our civic soul, our dignity, our wage levels, and the livelihood of our neighborhood's mom-and-pop enterprises.

As poet Bob Holman, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, once told me in a conversation about our neighborhood, "We have nothing to lose but our chains!" Chain stores, of course, are what he was referring to. There are too many of them here already. Wal-Mart is the worst of them, and when they come knocking here, they should be told decisively that they are undesirable and unwelcome.

Thanks for your attention and consideration, and best of luck in defending the irreplaceable values of our city and our neighborhood.

Best regards,
Bill Millard,
X St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003



Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 2009 - Women in History

June 6, 1872 - Susan B. Anthony is arrested for leading a group of women to register & vote in Rochester, NY

June 8, 1949 - Ladies' Professional Golf Assn. (LPGA), oldest women's professional sports organization in the world

June 9, 1949 - Georgia Neese Clark 1st woman treasurer of the US

June 10, 1963 - Equal Pay Act enacted: "To prohibit discrimination on account of sex in payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or production of goods for commerce."

June 12, 1913 - Women celebrate passage of a state woman suffrage bill in Springfield, Illinois

June 14, 1811 - Harriet Beecher Stowe's birthday - author of Uncle Tom's Cabin

June 18, 1983 - Sally Ride, 1st American woman in space

June 20, 1921 - Alice Robertson 1st woman to chair the House of Representatives

June 23, 1940 - 1st women graduate from Harvard Medical School

June 24, 1903 - Mme Marie Curie announces discovery of radium

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 2009-This Month in NYC History

Jun 1, 1625 - Sarah de Rapaelje is born in Breuckelen (Brooklyn) to Jan Joris Rapaelje and his wife, the first child of European parents born in the New World.

June 12, 1904 - Ground is broken on P.S. 64, the future home of Charas/El Bohio.

June 15, 1904 - over 1,000 people, mostly German Immigrants, perish on a boat after leafing the 9th Street dock in the Slocum Disaster

June 27, 1971 - The Fillmore East final night performance with the Allman Brothers, The Beach Boys and others.

June 5, 2002 - Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin) dies of a heroin overdose at the age of 50.

June 16, 2002 - A gunman takes all patrons of Bar Veloce hostage. Hostages fought back and four people were shot during the mele, including the gunman, but no one was killed.

May 2009 - This Month in NYC History

May 15th, 1638 - Jan Gybertsen stabs New Amsterdam gunner Gerrit Jansen in a brawl, killing him; New York City's first recorded European on European murder.

May 10, 1640 - First militia is formed in New Amsterdam.

May 11, 1647 - Peter Stuyvesant arrives in Nieuw Amsterdam, as Director General, to replace Willem Kieft.

May 19, 1677 - New York City's council begins taxing the construction of docks and bridges

May 10, 1849 - The Astor Place Riot. At least eighteen died and hundreds were injured. (Join us on our special 160th Anniversary tour)

May 24, 1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.

May 1st, 1980 - The Ritz takes over Webster Hall and quickly becomes a famous showcase venue for emerging rock acts. Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Prince, Sting, KISS, B.B. King, and Guns N' Roses all performed on it's stage.

May 10, 1997 -A Danish woman was arrested at BBQ's on 2nd Avenue for leaving her baby outside in a stroller while she dined inside.

Monday, June 1, 2009

EVHP awarded grant from Citizens Committe for NYC

East Village History Project is proud to be awarded a grant from the Citizens Committee for New York City.

Join us at the awards reception on Monday, June 8:

Citizens Committee's 2009 Neighborhood Awards Reception
Municipal Arts Society
457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street, Manhattan
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Citizens Committee for New York City hosts its annual Neighborhood Awards Reception for all of our grantees to come together to meet and celebrate our work together over the past year.

Come celebrate the work of great New Yorkers like you, enjoy refreshments, and connect with your friends from Citizens Committee.
RSVP to shunt@citizensnyc.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it, or contact Arif Ullah at (212) 989-0909.