Thursday, April 16, 2015

Second Ave. Small Businesses

This past Saturday, #SaveNYC organized a Small Business Crawl on the block of Second Avenue most impacted by the recent gas explosion.

photo: Beatriz Rodriguez. Sandy Bachom and Jordy Trachtenberg.

While it's impossible to say exactly how many people showed up to support the businesses, there was a lively crowd and the event was an overall success. The East Village mom and pops got a lot of positive attention from the media, getting featured on local TV news channels, including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX5, NY1, and WPIX:

To kick off the day, the crowd of supporters met outside Gem Spa, where the vintage newsstand kept the egg creams flowing. They lunched at places like Paul's Da Burger Joint, who reported to #SaveNYC's Kirsten Theodos, "It was a big help, as it pushed business up nearly 40%." The little gift shop Himalayan Visions also did well, reporting their sales were up 200% on Saturday.

Small Biz Crawl supporter Jordy Trachtenberg wrote in to say, "I spoke to the Gem Spa folks and they told me that Saturday was their record day for selling egg creams. Over 350 of them! Wow!"

photo: Kim Cummings. #SaveNYC Steering Committee at work

Business owners very much appreciated the support from New Yorkers far and wide. In a note, Himalayan Visions owner Tenzin wrote:

"Thank you so much for organizing Small Bis Crawl. As I told you that on Saturday their was a lots of people came to support us from our community and also from different apart of area. I was so amaze to see these kind of support. It give us a lots hope & encourage to work hard no matter happen. Lastly, I must say that 'if you contribute happiness to others people life, it is a true meaning of life' -HHDL. Once again thank you so much."

Small Biz Crawl Boosts Blast Zone Business from Bedford + Bowery

Unfortunately, beloved legacy businesses like B&H Dairy and the Stage Restaurant were closed on Saturday, and remain closed. A fundraising page to support B&H has collected over $22,000, money that the beloved dairy luncheonette will need to stay alive.

In disturbing news, while more than 1,000 people have signed a petition to reopen the equally beloved Stage, landlord Icon Realty just evicted them. While there are reports of problems with the gas line, we also recall when E.V. Grieve reported in 2013 that the building was sold "to a group of four relatively young guys" who were heard "talking about 'clearing out' the shop in the front" of the building.

The Stage family has released a statement on their Facebook page. In part, it reads: "We at the Stage Restaurant are deeply troubled by the landlord’s false allegations that we engaged in any illegal siphoning of gas. Stage is a long-standing restaurant with deep connections to the community – we have never siphoned gas, and have committed no wrong... the Landlord is seizing on the recent tragic events as an opportunity to wrongfully evict us for reasons unknown to us."

In addition, Mariann Marlowe's rockabilly shop Enz's (since 1972) has been destroyed. Visit her fundraising page to help her rebuild and get back to business.

photo: Janko Puls

#SaveNYC is planning more actions to support these and other nearby businesses. If you would like to participate in our ongoing efforts, visit the #SaveNYC website, send in videos and photos, and join the Facebook group


Anonymous said...

The crawl was very successful. What really needs to be addressed is how a grass roots group did this all online and how there are faux chamber of commerce who do nothing. A real investigation needs to be done about the New York Chamber of Commerce who is a fraud, but takes $ from businesses. The NYC & Company tourism agency who does nothing to promote small businesses. It's a shame that there organizations are allowed to still operate.

Caleo said...

The situation with Stage diner is depressing. I knew it was a matter of time, and yet Icon seizing on the disaster to issue an eviction is absolutely despicable.
I wish I had words to describe how ugly that type of underhanded crap is.
I knew Stage wouldn't go on forever, but to think none of us will even have a chance to say goodbye with a few last meals is vicious.
ICON must be made to feel some pain. I don't know how, but this can't go unanswered.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah, Stage has received an eviction notice, but that doesn't mean they've been evicted. Roman has plenty of grounds for getting a stay of eviction, and for fighting Icon tooth & nail - which I hope he will do.

Icon deserves to be opposed at every turn, by anyone who has a chance to do so.

DeBlasio and his administration need to take a VERY close look at how Icon "manages" their buildings.

laura r. said...

dont bet on deblasio, hes useless. if a realestate comp pays him, he will turn the other cheek. he always gave me the creeps. w/bloomburg you knew what you were getting. he was upfront. this one is the same w/some tweaking here & there. both are corpboys. (like obama vs bush, new packaging. change you can depend on means: change for the worse). im sure "stage" has consulted attornies on this matter.

legba said...

Joey_Blau said...

Maybe you could do a crowd funding to get a coat of paint on that disgusting security gate....

legba said...

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, but when something bad happens to you, aren't you supposed to just endure the consequences and move on, suffer trauma from the loss, and try to continue - or misderably fail - without any sympathy nor support from anyone? I mean, what country IS this?

Or is it that it makes people feel good when they can, as part of a mass, feel part of a big publicly-hyped disaster-event, to contribute to what's supposed to the most popular Kickstarter, to attend the hippest or most star-studded benefit show, to fly the sign or wear the t-shirt with the catch-phrase or hash-tag logo of the disaster-event and get knowing looks and thumbs-up for being so hiply compassionate, and to gain a sense of extended "community" among people who wouldn't normally give a shit about one another nor anyone else except that it's the rare opportunity for one to be able to view oneself, and be seen as, more morally advanced and less cowardly or selfish than one is?

Or, is it an opportunity to be able to say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I saw Hendrix at Woodstock," or, "I rowed a boat around New Orleans, picking-up stranded flood victims after Katrina?"

"We can be heroes, just for one day." Then it's back to passing right by yet more victims of circumstance on our hurried way to work.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just saw what has happened to b&h! I would like to donate some money to them but the link in your post goes to a page that doesn't seem to be accepting donations any more. Any idea how I can contribute?