Run don’t walk! Only 4 more shows of Jack & the Beanstalk at Abrons

I just got home from seeing Jack & the Beanstalk and I want to make sure you don’t miss this terrific show! It’s wild and funny, bright and daring, and full of smiles — and it’s playing for only three more days (2 shows on Saturday) at Abrons Arts Center right down the street.

This is super multi-cultural holiday fun for the whole family, with a surprising hero, a moustache-twirling villain, and a show-stopping sing-along pie-in-the-face version of 12 Days of Christmas.

Added bonus: this show has deep roots in East River Coop — it’s written by cooperator Mat Fraser, directed by cooperator Julie Atlas Muz, produced by cooperator Michelle Stern, with scene design by cooperator Steven Hammel (plus contributions to the program art by cooperators Andrew Federman and David Flaherty.)

It’s not just me, by the way, even The New York Times couldn’t stop praising this show.

What are you waiting for? Buy tickets right away.

Altman allies solidify hold on board of directors

The slate of candidates supported by board president Gary Altman won resoundingly in tonight’s count, giving Altman unanimous support on the board of directors.

Unofficial results brought victory to incumbents Michelle Amar and Dov Goldman, along with newcomers Diane Wong and Steven Barbieri, who ran on a slate supported by Altman.

With board member Peter Herb deciding not to run for re-election after a single term on the board, and Lee Berman being defeated, Altman now has allies sitting in all 11 board seats.

Annual report shows deficit for second consecutive year

The coop’s annual report was released today showing a shortfall of $182,620, a big improvement from last year’s record $2.3 million deficit. That’s the second deficit in a row even after maintenance increases, with the budget for 2017-2018 showing yet another deficit looming.

The coop also borrowed an additional $2 million this year.

The full financial document can be downloaded from the coop’s website. (A memo posted by the elevators today said that the annual report was not being printed for everyone in order to save money.)

Some highlights from the annual report:

  • Operating expenses continue to outstrip general revenue by $4 million. Only by spending the full flip tax revenue does the coop approach a balanced budget. (We wrote earlier this year about why that is a vulnerable position to be in.)
  • General revenue increased $1.8 million from last year, after a large maintenance increase had a full year to play out.
  • Operating expenses actually decreased slightly, which is an accomplishment given the fact that real estate taxes alone rose nearly $1 million. (This year’s decrease is mainly due to the high cost of laundry room repairs in the previous fiscal year; nothing of that magnitude happened this year.)
  • Flip taxes were essentially flat year over year.

Is Silver planning a comeback?

Just in time for the holidays, someone has made available “I’m with Sheldon Silver” t-shirts at online store If you want one, you’ll need to act fast — merchandise is available to order only through Thursday.

The product page has a brief but accurate bio of the former pol: “Sheldon “Shelly” Silver is a former lawyer and Democratic Party politician from New York City, who rose to become the powerful Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1994 until his arrest on federal corruption charges in 2015.”

Silver’s conviction on those charges was overturned this summer.

His old Assembly seat is now held by Yuh-Line Niou, who faces re-election in 2018. Is Silver planning a comeback with an army of supporters wearing these snappy tees?

Grand Street Democrats meeting Monday at 7:00

With the election of new Democratic District Leaders in September, there’s also a new official Democratic club in the neighborhood called Grand Street Democrats. GSD is holding its first regular meeting on Monday, November 13. This meeting will be mainly focused on getting input from new members about what the club’s goals and priorities should be.

With city elections just finished, there’s still a lot to talk about. For one thing, we have a new State Senator, Brian Kavanagh, and a new member of City Council, Carlina Rivera, representing half of the East River buildings. There are hyper-local issues to organize around, including Grand Street traffic and development of nearby skyscrapers. And 2018 will be an important year to participate in Democratic campaigns beyond the lower east side.

Anyone is welcome, but becoming a member will give you a chance to vote on club actions and endorsements. See more information at

Seward Park Conservancy Fall Cocktail Party — 10/26

Much as Friends of Corlears Hook Park has seen neighbors bonding together to revive the historic park in our backyard, our neighbors on the other end of Grand Street have been doing the same for Seward Park through the Seward Park Conservancy. They are raising money for an ambitious 2-part program of renovation:

  • Renewal of the plaza in front of the public library as a green space with public art and seating.
  • Restoration of the 1894 Schiff Fountain on Essex Street.

The Conservancy is holding a fundraiser next Thursday, October 26, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at Manny Cantor Center.

Reserve a ticket to the event here.

Learn more about the Seward Park Conservancy online.

Sign up for their newsletter.

CB3 land use committee to consider waterfront zoning tonight (Wednesday)

You can’t miss the skyscraper going up on the waterfront right next to the Manhattan Bridge. And if developers have their way, you won’t be able to miss three more skyscrapers along the same short stretch of real estate just to our west.

Neighborhood groups have been pushing back on these developments since they were first announced. Elected officials have belatedly joined the fray. Tonight at 6:30 pm, our Community Board’s land use committee will be taking up a proposal for new zoning of the area, based on a zoning proposal first released in 2014.

If you are interested at all in the future development of our neighborhood, you are free to attend the meeting:

Wednesday, October 18
6:30 pm
82 Rutgers Slip
2nd Floor Community Room

Corlears Hook “It’s My Park” Day this Sunday

Your local park needs your love! Join your neighbors for “It’s My Park” Day at Corlears Hook Park on Sunday, October 22, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

You can help plant daffodil bulbs, rake autumn leaves, prune and weed the gardens, and spruce up the park all around.

Tools and supplies provided … snacks and water too!

Corlears Hook Park is our main entrance to the East River, and a jewel right in our backyard. Please join us!