This Week in Chelsea: April 26-May 2, 2021

This Week’s “This Week in Chelsea”

In Order of Appearance:

  The 10th Precinct Build the Block Sector A meeting  | 10th Precict Community Council meeting | Eagle NYC reopens |  Chelsea Green Park gets free WiFi | New vaccine site in Chelsea | W. Chelsea park’s new garden club | Hudson Guild seeks talent | Free tax prep with the NYC Dpt. of Consumer Affairs  | Sneak Peek at listings from next week: Meet the women running for Mayor of NYC | 

Ask who’s the man behind the mask, when two new Sector A NCOs host their first Build the Block meeting. | Photo via 10th Pct. Facebook page

Tuesday, April 27, 5pm: 10th Precinct Build the Block Meeting for Sector A | We’ll explain this event with a Sept. 24, 2108 throwback listing culled from the 10th Precinct’s Facebook page, which reads, “We would like to introduce you to your Neighborhood Coordination Officers in the 10th Precinct! Every area in the command has two dedicated Officers who connect directly with the community and address concerns along with quality of life conditions. Meet your Officers, simply say hello when you see them!” Flash forward to the present day, and this week’s Sector A meeting sees two new faces running the show, so to say, as this sector’s second quarterly meeting of 2021 takes place online. The new “A Team” of Sector A is comprised of NCOs (Neighborhood Coordination Officers) Ahmad and Lleras. This being their first BTB meeting, it’s your chance to build a relationship from thje ground up. The police officers who run these meetings have the full faith of on-the-job-since-late September-2021 10th Pct. C.O., Capt. Robert Gault. As such they’re allowed as much candor and inside intel info as the man at the top of the 10th Pct. Heap, the aforementioned C.O. Gault, who will get a chance to lead by example just a little more than 24 hours after this BTB meeting takes place. The occasion: April’s installment of the 10th Pct. Community Council. But that’s a tale for another listing. Luckily, that listing appears directly below this one. But before that, back on topic: To attend the April 27 BTB meeting, Facebook message them at NYPD10Precinct for Zoom Access. For email info on the NCOs of Sectors A, B, and C, click here.

Wednesday, April 28, 7pm: The 10th Precinct Community Council | It’s your second-to-last chance to catch a Council meeting, before they go on June-August summer break. Still on Zoom until Council President Larry O’Neill feels very, very confident in the science that says it’s permissible, you can get access the link tat the tail end of this listing. As always, on hand will be the 10th Precinct’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Robert Gault, whose anything-goes Q&A session is as zesty as the crowd that shows up with deep dive inquiries. Wonder what’s happening with the civil suit against a corner store charged with fencing, after plainclothed NYPD detectives made illegal transactions on the premises—twice? Want to know where the CO stands on the matter of a Citizen Patrol strolling the same streets as his officers? Get the skinny in seconds, as you ask Gault to tell you everything he can about how that “We [heart symbol] Chelsea” mural ended up on the eyesore building at W. 22nd St. and Seventh Ave. But the road you decided to travel down isn’t a one-way street. Ask for help, and you well may be asked to do what you can, in the form of spreading awareness, contacting your elected officials, or getting involved in some other such manner. Hey, you’re at the meeting, and that’s a good start. Just be glad this is Zoom and we’re not all gathered together in one brick and mortar location, like in the olden days… when people who showed up in a ratty bathrobe and no pants were likely to end up as one of those “Quality of Life” questions posed to Gault. To attend, click here.

Wednesday, April 28: The Eagle NYC Reopens | NYC doesn’t just come back to life—on this particular occasion, it snaps free from its moorings and stands at attention, with real staying power. Just over 30 days shy of Pride Month, legendary West Side watering hole Eagle NYC, host/home of the leather and fetish community, opens its two floors and rooftop (best of any bar in NYC) to the public as of Wed., April 28. See the below poster for more info, and watch this website for all the grubby details on news we noted in this column a few weeks back. Eagle NYC isn’t just pressing the reset button. They’re back in business with a plan recently given thumbs up by Community Board 4’s  Business License & Permits Committee. (It’s expected to breeze right by when the full board votes on May 5.)  The bar is soon to undergo a meaty makeover, when its ground level space is expanded and turned into Eagle Open Kitchen—a stidown space whose menu is set to include burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, and other alcohol-friendly eats that, when gotten to go, make the prefect morning after hangover treatment (“cure” is a strong word, hence the cautions endorsement language). Until further notice, city and state COVID-19 protocols will be enforced, so make sure to show up with a mask (a pandemic-friendly one, to go over the kind you normally wear at applicable fetish theme nights). The Eagle NYC is located at 554 W. 28 St., near 11th Ave. Open Wed.-Sun., 5pm-11pm until further notice (normally open until 4am in non-pandemic times).

Aerial view of Chelsea Green. | Photo by Michael Moran

Free WiFi Comes to Chelsea Green Park | Access the whole wide world from the confines of a public green space that’s “small in size, big on options,” as its booster group likes to say. Now you can count free WiFi among the options, as noted in a recent email from Friends of Chelsea Green.

“We are grateful for a generous grant from Google, who has provided funding for this project,” said the Friends, noting the WiFi network is provided without cost to all who are using the park. “Feel free to share the password with friends and neighbors,” they said, urging parkgoers to join their email list for important info. “In order to keep the WiFi system running effectively, we may need to update the password occasionally,” they warned. Currently, all you need to know is the following:

Network: Chelsea Green / Password: thank you

Put on hold because of the pandemic, the Google-funded WiFi was announced at the July 25, 2019 opening of Chelsea Green—a day of sweet rewards for years of work, noted Chelsea Community News, in a report you can access by going to the park, getting on the free WiFi, clicking here, and learning or revisiting the rich backstory that shows you what can happen when likeminded Chelsea residents, true to form, don’t take “No” for an answer. Which begs the question: How did this park happen?

The short version: Friends of Chelsea Green came to that name late in the life of the park’s origin story. For years, they were known as Friends of W. 20th St. Park, advocates for a much-needed micropark between Sixth and Seventh Aves. The year was 2010, when early adopter (and de facto park papa) Matt Weiss saw possibilities every time he passed the abandoned NYC Dept. of Sanitation site at 120 W. 20th St. Stalwart supporter Sally Greenspan soon followed suit and, along with other likeminded “Friends,” saw their park project received $200,000 as the first-ever winner of District 3’s Participatory Budgeting process.  The NYC Parks also stepped up with funding, and construction began (after it went through a collaborative design process in which the Parks Dept. held scoping meetings, incorporating a wide range of community feedback and input on the flow, feel, and resources needed inside the park). Upon its July 25. 2019 opening, the park had been dubbed, by popular opinion, “Chelsea Green”–hence the Friends of a park on W. 20th St. became Friends of Chelsea Green.

As for the current state of affairs, these words of “caution” (rhymes with “fun,” which it facilitates, when properly applied:

IMPORTANT REMINDER: NO PETS | Neighbors, please remember that when dogs come into the park, they create problems for our visitors. We love our park, we love our dogs too, but please be respectful of each other and the rules, and take your dogs to a nearby dog park/run for their playtime.

We wish that Chelsea Green had space for dogs, but during development and the design stage by The NYC Parks Department, it was agreed that there simply was not enough room to include a dog run. The proximity of the playground and the oval to the rest of the park area, requires the city enforcement of the no pet rule, even for dogs on leashes. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

STAY SAFE | We ask that all park goers take extra precautions to stay healthy and safe. Please wear face coverings and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when outside and avoid congregating in groups.

SPRING FLOWERS ARE ON THE WAY | As the days grow longer, warmer and sunnier, we look forward to seeing you in the park. Spring flowers are starting to emerge. Please make sure your children stay in front of the railings; they are there to protect the emerging plant life.

New Vaccine Site in Chelsea | The Fulton Community Center (119 Ninth Ave.) offers COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesdays through Thursdays. As of April 7’s opening day, NYCHA Elliott-Chelsea and Fulton residents were prioritized. As of April 12, access expanded to New Yorkers age 16 and over. This site is made possible by a partnership between Hudson Guild, Google, and Daybreak Health. Access this and other vaccination venues by visiting VaccineFinder.nyc.gov or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).

“Seal” Park gets its own Garden Club, the latest effort from its dedicated group of supporters. | Photo by Allen Oster

New Garden Club at CCM-Seal Park |  From a recent email comes this good news: “Several members of the newly formed Clement Clarke Moore-Seal Park Garden Club met Sunday, March 14, for a spring cleanup inside the park as well as the tree pits around the park. Many thanks to neighbors Phyliss Waisman, AJ Michel, Laura Solimene, Maria La Macchia and Allen Oster. The Garden Club is looking forward to improving the plantings inside the park and surrounding tree pits and working with NYC Parks and the W400 Block Association to make our beautiful Chelsea park oasis even more enjoyable for all. We welcome new members and if interested in joining, please contact Allen Oster at aoster@earthlink.net.”

Hudson Guild Theatre Company Seeks Talent for New Online Showcase | Live performances are on hold until their theatre can safely reopen–but that hasn’t stopped Hudson Guild from nurturing new talent. Having made its premiere last week, and set to broadcast monthly through June, Talent Jam! is a new virtual showcase presented on the Guild’s YouTube channel. Each episode will feature 2-3 short performances. People of all ages and levels of experience are encouraged to submit MP4 files for consideration. All forms of expression are welcome, including music, dance, monologues, and stand-up comedy. Only one rule: That thing you do must be no longer than 5 minutes. Send your MP4 file to jfurlong@hudsonguild.org any time between now and May 1. Need technical help? Send an email to Jim Furlong (see address in previous sentence), with a description of your act and what sort of assistance you need. Or, call Furlong at 212-760-9837. For more information, visit www.hudsonguilod.org. To view Episode 1 of Talent Jam!, click here.

The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Announces NYC Free Tax Prep | If you earned $68,000 or less in 2020, you may be eligible to file your taxes for free. NYC Free Tax Prep offers trusted, professional service online and in-person to help you stay safe and avoid tax preparer fees. If you didn’t receive one or both Pandemic stimulus checks, NYC Free Tax Prep can assist with claiming the equivalent amounts as a “Recovery Rebate Credit.” Filers may also take advantage of a one-time look-back provision, allowing them to choose to use their 2019 or 2020 income for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.  Click here for more information. The deadline to file 2020 tax returns has been extended past the usual April 15 date. The new deadline is May 17, 2021.

Monday, May 3, 4pm: Meet the Women Running for NYC Mayor | This online opportunity gathers the three women in the running to be the next mayor of New York City—Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley—and looks at their approaches to address “the many challenges facing New York, including the unusually difficult economic environment that has resulted from the pandemic,” according to event organizers. There is no cost associated with attending, but you do need to resister. Click here for the RSVP link. Chelsea Community News reporter Winnie McCroy, who recently co-moderated our Post-Pandemic NYC-themed online event, will be attending this May 3 forum, and we’ll have her report a few days after.

–Compiled by Scott Stiffler

 

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