Monday, March 30, 2015

#SaveNYC for Adele & Il Palazzo

On Saturday in Little Italy, #SaveNYC held a rally against the eviction of Adele Sarno and Il Palazzo restaurant.

photo: Sandi Bachom. Adele Sarno and #SaveNYC.

The Italian-American Museum is trying to evict Sarno, an 85-year-old Italian-American woman who has lived in the building for over 50 years. She's trying to stay.

Il Palazzo Ristorante has already been forced to close. As the restaurant told WPIX 11 News, "My heart is ripped out, I have aches in my stomach." And "How will I pay $30,000 a month selling $5 dollar pasta?"

photo by Albins Peke Von Mayate. Rallying cry.

New Yorkers have rallied to the cause.

Lately, the sidewalk outside the museum has been the scene of a number of protests, including one organized by Two Bridges Neighborhood Council. More protests are coming.

photo: Ann McDermott. Annabella Sciorra joins the fight.

At the #SaveNYC event, about two dozen supporters carried signs and met with Ms. Sarno.

Italian-American actor and native New Yorker Annabella Sciorra joined the crowd and gave her support, along with Frank "Butch the Hat" Aquilino.

photo: Lee Michael. Butch the Hat and Sciorra.

#SaveNYC group member Sandi Bachom was there with her camera and got Adele on film explaining her situation: "I'm gonna fight this bastard til the end."


Theodore said...

I can't help but thinking that if the Mob was still around and running Little Italy that something like this would never happen. For all the terrible things they did, the Mob did know how to take care of their neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Attorney General? He has an alleged real estate division that who knows what they do? Where was the local elected official yesterday? Do our elected officials care?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it against the law to evict a senior citizen from a rent-controlled apartment? They can't raise the rent. For what reason are they evicting her?

JAZ said...

Absolutely evil to do something like this to a woman who has lived there for 50 years.

How in the everloving fuck can this even be a remote possibility, nevermind being this close to actually happening.


Anonymous said...

Before you start demanding things it would help to get some facts. Why are they trying to evict her? Should the attorney general.and mayor get invvd in every eviction? No evictions ever? Whats the other side of the story? The mob? You mean murderers and thieves? Those people? Yea they were wonderful. SMH.

Anonymous said...

Meh...I was hoping for a serious and heartfelt post about the building collapse on 2nd ave. & 7th st. I have plenty to say about a similar situation involving myself as a former Lower East Side resident in the '90s, which, to my luck, ended comically. While I'm disappointed to say the least, I am fully aware of how raw the event is. Meh nonetheless. Slumlord, anyone?

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Sarno, 85, is being evicted from her apartment after losing a fight to keep her $820-a-month rent from skyrocketing. [...]

"The museum owns a total of six apartments, including Ms. Sarno’s, in three contiguous tenement buildings at Mulberry and Grand Streets, and relies on the rental income to help pay expenses. [...]

"In this case, Ms. Sarno’s two-bedroom unit could fetch five times the current rent in an area that, like many in the city, has become lucrative territory.


"She still counts on a few friends: the owner of the gun shop next door who takes out her garbage; the young couple upstairs who have a baby and pay $4,500 a month; an old boyfriend who drives her to a ShopRite on Staten Island to save on groceries. [...]

"Ms. Sarno said she got a letter from the museum about five years ago saying that the rent was being raised to $3,500. With Social Security payments and help from relatives as her only sources of income, she said, she could not possibly pay that much.

"With the help of Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, she sought a determination from state housing officials about whether her apartment was subject to rent-regulation laws that would protect her. She learned it was not, and after several years of appeals and legal back-and-forth, the museum was allowed to the pursue eviction in November. The notice to vacate followed this month."

Anonymous said...

Bet that to cover the PR debacle and fulfill the letter of the law about not evicting senior citizens they'll offer her an apartment—smaller, darker, and somewhere in Queens, far from her friends and known surroundings.

Then they'll claim they were fair and did everything they could. I know an artist on the Bowery that they evicted and dealt with in this way. It wrecked him.

Does this kind of relocation still happen?

The stress alone is really harmful.

Scout said...

People do tend to rush to very vociferous and aggressive judgement after reading only a paragraph or two - it's the "CNN Syndrome;" people have been taught to believe that they can get all the facts they need to judge a complex issue in just a few seconds.

Jeremiah Moss said...

I'm nowhere near ready to write about the explosion and collapse on 2nd Ave. At this point, I can barely put two words together about it. It's too much still.

--------m said...

Dr. Scelsa said in the past that he bought these buildings so that the historic Banca Stabile and it's contents (the heart of the museum) could be saved…. a very important part of Little Italy could be saved……. and serve to inform present, & future generations.

At least that's what he told the public.
In reality this was always a real estate deal for him.
Demolish what should already have been landmarked buildings and build up. To hell with preserving Italian culture, artifacts, and history……….and caring for residents such as Adele Sarno!

Yet another case of a greedy, cold-hearted, self-serving developer.

Members of the Stabile family have signed the following petition: utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send+to+Friend

Among many interesting comments by signers, there is a comment on the petition about Dr. Scelsa gaining access to the purchase of these buildings from Dr. Stabile by representing that the Museum was the buyer, instead of what is actually 3 private investors.

JAZ said...


I think when an 85 year old woman has been a stable tenant and has been paying her landlord monthly for 50, 50!! years, it is absolutely evil to make any attempt to flush her out for no reason other than financial.

I feel like this is a very simple matter of having a little human decency. Sometimes getting more just because you can isn't the right thing to do

John K said...

The ironies in this attempted eviction and the closing of the restaurant are stupefying, but also reflect the state of contemporary New York (and the US).

Scout said...

@JAZ - thanks for proving my point.

Anonymous said...

There is something utterly perverse about an entity called the "Italian American Museum" deliberately (a) evicting an Italian American woman, and (b) jacking up the rent on an Italian restaurant so it goes out of business.

I don't know anything about this so-called "museum" - but I can assure you I will never go there. Great way to damage the image of Italian Americans in NYC, you greedy jackasses.

laura r. said...

she may die in a few years why cant they wait? if they offer her an apt it should be w/in a few miles in manhattan. im sure they have some decent empty spaces somewhere which are tax writeoffs. i suppose their isnt a law protecting the elderly? just a big fuss about stop & frisk, POC. i mean when were the "elderly" part of the narrative? never.

Anonymous said...

Curious info about the museum

Anonymous said...

Sigh...not unlike John Turturro throwing his mother out the window in "Five Corners"...

Rimming Fred Mertz said...

How very true - without a doubt.

And how can this so-called "museum" - an institution who's purported purpose is to preserve ancient relics - do this to her in good consciousness?

Apparently they have brains of calzones & hearts of Italian ices.

They probably already called Torregrossa...

Da smuck said...

Include her in the museum,she IS Italian-American history! The greedy mooks, evict an 85 year old lady, pleeeeeeeeeease.

Embalmieri said...


After she passes, they could stuff her like a shell & put her on display.

Miserere di mi!

NSXType-R said...

They finally succeeded, the building was demolished maybe a couple months ago.