Happening This Week, in “This Week In & Around Chelsea”
10th Precinct Community Council / Free Classes at Pier 57 / Children’s Book Reading Series / Down to Earth Farmers Market Chelsea / Lower Chelsea Walking Tour / CSA Food Share / Community Cleanups
The 10th Precinct Community Council: Wednesday, May 31, at 7pm IN PERSON at the 10th Precinct (230 W. 20th Street between Seventh & Eighth Aves.) | “It’s been a while and we have not had an in-person meeting since September.” wrote Council President Larry O’Neill, in advance of April’s meeting. “I was asked that we hold an in-person meeting because we are a community and should get together.” The community answered that statement by packing the 10th Precinct’s first floor meeting room with familiar faces, first-time attendees, and stalwart block association reps.
This May 31 meeting is once again a brick and mortar affair—and it’s also the last monthly Council meeting for a while (the Council’s summer hiatus is June through August). Other than that notable distinction, it’s expected to be business as usual: O’Neill hosts the event, which typically sees 10th Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Robert Gault or another member of the precinct’s top leadership on hand to discuss the latest crime statistics, trends, and enforcement efforts. O’Neill then moderates a Q&A session in which a 10th Precinct rep responds to attendee questions regarding local matters of concern.
Electeds and City representatives are often in attendance, and usually amenable to taking questions from neighborhood residents, business owners, and other stakeholders who typify the turnout. Jordan Feiner, of the Office of NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher and Natalie Naculich, of the Office of NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, attended the April meeting alongside Eric Strazza, representing the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Last month, within the context of a conversation about recidivism, Chelsea Community News (CCNews) requested the DA’s office make a habit of attending Council meetings with an accounting of the arrests made over the past month (or some such period of time, as per the way the DA’s office keeps records). Of the individuals arrested by 10th Precinct officers, CCNews wondered, how many were recidivists? How many arrests resulted in prosecution? How many were incarcerated while awaiting prosecution? The request, CCNews acknowledged, would require some number crunching on the part of the DA’s office—but would provide some context for index crime stats provided by the 10th Precinct at the outset of each Council meeting. Spikes or drops in the amount of burglaries, for example, are viewed within the context of number of crimes within the past 28 days and year-to-date, compared to 2022. To read the NYPD’s CompStat report (a collection of crime indexes) for May 15-21, 2023, click here. CCNews will be at the May Council gathering, and will report on it. Note: Follow the Community Council on Facebook by clicking here.
Free Classes at Pier 57 | “Ever give someone a birthday card, graduation card, or condolence card and wished you had made it yourself, and that something could spring to life upon opening said card? Well sometimes wishes do come true.” Talk about a narrative hook! If this class is as tongue-in-cheek fun to take as its descriptive text is to read—and we’ve every reason to believe that’s the case—then Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful lifelong practice of people making cards that spring to life upon opening. What’s more, the class (which its creator whimsically insists is actually an “Academy) is free of charge and no advance sign-up is necessary. Chelsea’s own Gustavo is your instructor, and those instructions “pop” out at you Wednesdays, 6pm, in Pier 57’s Seahorse Classroom. For more info, click here.
Elsewhere on the schedule of free weekly instructional events, Gustavo is your guide once again, when school’s in for the Finger Puppet class—Tuesdays, 4-5pm at Pier 57’s ROOM. Puppetry enthusiasts and absolute beginners alike can learn how to craft an original creation from the raw material of poster board cylinders, air drying clay, and pure imagination. It’s appropriate for, the instructor tells us, “ages 4 to 104.” Sorry 1-,2-, and 3-year-olds—go find your fun some other place! Okay, sorry. Quit crying. You guys are babies! Speaking of which, instructor Rachel has something special for babies and toddlers: Her Musikgarten classes (ages 0 to 3 years) happen Tuesdays at 10:15am and 11:15am, offering “a chance for families to learn to connect with children
in a musical setting.” Finally, on Thursdays at 6pm, Rachel’s Ukulele class is just for adults—ironic, because by the end of this one-hour class, you’ll feel like a kid again. Designed for any level of experience but with distinct notes of instruction for first-timers, Rachel makes sure that by hour’s end, everybody will be able to contribute good-sounding stuff to the group jam session. Best of all, no uke required! There will be some on hand for those who have yet to make the plunge and purchase one of the quirky little instruments. All of these classes run through July and are the brainchildren of Smartworks, an instructional business founded and staffed by married couple Gustavo and Rachel. For more info on all sorts of Pier 57 classes, click here. For all things Smarworks, click here.
Spring Fling Saturdays: 2-8pm May 27 & June 3 and Spring Fling Festival: Sat./Sun., June 10/11 in Bella Abzug Park (542 W. 36th St.) presented by the Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance and Colored Colors| Saturdays, May 27 and June 3, from 2-8pm, Bella Abzug Park will be full of artisans selling their goods, live musical performances, and food vendors. It’s a great opportunity to shop small and local–and it’s all leading up to a supersized, two-day Spring Fling Festval on June 10 and 11. For more info, click here. Visit the HYHK Alliance by clicking here.
Children’s Book Reading Series: Saturday, June 3, 1pm at St. Peter’s Rectory (340 W. 20th St. btw. 8th & 9th Aves.) | The members of Chelsea Community Church (CCC)—the nondenominational, lay-led church whose Candlelight Carol Service long ago became a Chelsea Christmastime tradition—is launching their first-ever Children’s Book Reading Series. The choice for its inaugural edition: Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, The Day the Crayons Quit looks at a labor dispute between a little boy and his collection of crayons. It’s got a lot to say about airing grievances and the great things a team can create when playing the strengths of each individual member. Bringing the tale to life: Broadway and Cabaret’s Karen Mason, who’ll be joined by CCCs Music Director Jeff Cubeta for a short musical presentation following the reading. After that is the perfect way to wrap up any kid-friendly event—a pizza party! gf to follow. Please register through CCC’s website, so event organizers know how much pizza to have on hand.
Down to Earth Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9am-2pm, Sidewalk on North Side of W. 23rd St. off Ninth Ave. | Every Saturday through December 17, the Chelsea location of Down to Earth Farmers Market turns a patch of West 23rd Street into a fresh field of your favorite ingredients, always with the promise of new discoveries. To receive occasional news alerts from Down to Earth Farmers Market as well as a weekly preview of what’s in store at their Chelsea location, click here to sign up. To visit the Chelsea page of their website, click here.
Lower Chelsea Walking Tour: Monday, June 5, 7-9pm | Here’s a chance to learn a lot about a little part of the neighborhood—specifically, West 16th through West 20th Streets as well as the historic Sixth Avenue Ladies Mile. This event, sponsored by the 100 West 16th Street Block Association, would greatly appreciate it if participants would donate $20 (cash only, at the start of the tour). With NYT-praised Joyce Gold as your guide, that donation seems a bargain, especially when you consider the ground (thematic, factual, and literal) this tour covers. Here’s how event organizers describe what’s in store: “From the Civil War to World War I, our neighborhood was a destination for some of the first department stores in the nation. The magnificent emporiums that line Sixth Avenue today evoke the old Sixth Avenue elevated train with their street-level and el-level display windows. Great retailers like Stern Brothers, B. Altman, and Siegel-Cooper built these palaces now on view in all their beauty since the el was removed. These beautifully restored structures today house contemporary retailers like Old Navy, the Container Store, and Bed, Bath and Beyond and have brought retail excitement back to the landmark neighborhood. The grandeur of the past now enriches the present.” There. Thoroughly convinced of the event’s red-hot coolness, you’ll want to RSVP, which is necessary to know the tour’s meet-up point. To RSVP, click here.
—Listings Compiled by Scott Stiffler
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