Showing posts with label 14th Street and First Avenue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 14th Street and First Avenue. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2024

From the archives: A documentary short about the intersection of 14th Street and 1st Avenue

Given all the attention in recent weeks about the long-problematic intersection of 14th Street and First Avenue (background here), we're revisiting this EVG post from May 24, 2012...

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Karen Loew, who lives near 14th Street and First Avenue, passed along the above video ... which explores the chaotic crossroads in "Intersection: Babel." It premiered last Thursday at the LABA Festival at the 14th Street Y.

The video includes interviews with people on the street as well as community leaders to explain what is unique (and not!) about 14th and First. Per the description, "'Intersection: Babel' is a documentary short looking at a place that's all about leaving it."

Among other things, the video explores the hazardous transportation environment here... from the crisscrossing M14s and M15s (and placement of the bus stops) ... the access road to Stuy Town at the northeast corner ... the tricky left turn for autos (and pedestrians) from eastbound 14th onto northbound First ... the L entrance/exit that's pretty much in the intersection on the southeast corner...

Monsignor Kevin J. Nelan of the Immaculate Conception Parish says it's like "a mini Times Square." City Councilmember Dan Garodnick says that there's "a lot of activity but not a lot of personality" here.

Agreed!

Directed and produced by Karen Loew.
Videography and editing by Cory Antiel.
Dance by Julie Gayer Kris.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A look at 14th Street and 1st Avenue — 'a New York Block No One Can Fix'

The New York Times checked in yesterday with a look at the long-problematic stretch of 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue in a piece titled "A Street Brawl, a Stabbing Spree and a New York Block No One Can Fix" ... following the triple stabbing left one man dead on June 23

As the paper notes, "East 14th Street also embodies New York City’s struggles with a web of interconnected ills that have defied attempts to rein them in and have flared since the pandemic in parts of Manhattan: homelessness and mental illness, addiction and rampant shoplifting and seesaw battles for control of public space." 

The piece has more about the suspect, Alejandro Piedra, a 30-year-old man "with a history of serious mental illness who now faces charges of murder and attempted murder," and one of the stabbing victims, who has returned to 14th Street — his "stomping grounds." 

Since the stabbings, the NYPD has been a regular presence on the block, both on foot patrols and in patrol cars. Last week, Mayor Adams reportedly allocated $1 million to place a police mobile command center there. 

You can read the full article here. (The piece also mentions some previous EVG coverage.) 

Meanwhile, on Monday, local elected officials took part in a meeting with various city agencies... Since June 23, several residents and readers have said they've noticed a positive difference along this corridor, though each has asked: Will it last?

Saturday, June 29, 2024

This morning on 14th Street between Avenue A and 1st Avenue

We walked on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue this morning around 7:30, when people typically start selling random items — including dented canned goods, rusted tools, soiled clothing and forgotten DVD titles — from sheets and blankets on the sidewalk. 

Depending on the weather, up to a dozen people can be selling items.

The block was empty this morning except for the longtime fruit vendor who set up near Trader Joe's.
At Immaculate Conception Church, the weekly Saturday flea market was getting underway inside the grounds. (Local elected officials have asked the Archdiocese and the church to end the flea market, though to date, they have not heeded the requests.)
We saw two NYPD officers on foot patrol. As previously mentioned, there are also the two NYPD light towers on the south side of the street. 

These developments unfolded this past week after a deadly triple stabbing last Sunday just before 6 p.m. along this busy commercial corridor and across the street from Stuy Town. 

Police arrested a suspect, 30-year-old Alejandro Piedra, who was later charged with murder with depraved indifference and attempted murder with depraved indifference, according to the NYPD and media accounts. Police said Piedra allegedly killed 38-year-old Clemson Cockfield and injured his wife, 52-year-old Jennifer Cockfield, as well as another man, 32-year-old Jonathan Lopez. 

During a police briefing on Tuesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said all three victims sell second-hand items along this block.

The sidewalk sales are just one of the activities that residents have cited through the years along this problematic block, quality-of-life issues that include drug trafficking, early morning prostitution, and a growing unhoused population in need of city services. 

Residents here are hopeful the changes that have occurred in the past week will become permanent.

Meanwhile, someone launched a website titled Carlina From the Block, documenting what has happened since the deadly fight last Sunday ... and calling out the District 2 City Councilmember for not taking more action on 14th Street over the past seven years. 

Previously on EV Grieve


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Thursday's parting shot

Photo by Edmund John Dunn

The NYPD floodlight tower in action on the SW corner of 14th Street at Avenue A... one of two towers to arrive on the block after the fatal stabbing late Sunday afternoon. 

More background here.

NYPD light tower arrives on a cleaned-up SE corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue

Top photo via Pinch 

An NYPD floodlight tower now sits outside the Immaculate Conception Church on 14th Street at First Avenue... a long-troubled stretch of the East Village. [Updated: There's a second tower outside the L stop closer to Avenue A.]

This arrival comes after a triple stabbing that left a 38-year-old man dead this past Sunday just before 6 p.m. Witnesses said the stabbing took place in the street and sidewalk in the area between Trader Joe's and the Wingstop. (Fox 5 has images of the deadly fight here.) The fight started on 13th Street just east of First Avenue before escalating a block over, witnesses have said.

Police arrested a suspect, 30-year-old Alejandro Piedra, who was later charged with murder with depraved indifference and attempted murder with depraved indifference, according to the NYPD and media accounts. Police said Piedra allegedly killed 38-year-old Clemson Cockfield and injured his wife, 52-year-old Jennifer Cockfield, as well as another man, 32-year-old Jonathan Lopez. 

During a police briefing on Tuesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said all three victims sell second-hand items along 14th Street. 

Per the Daily News
Lopez left his wife and items to go to the bathroom and when he returned, Piedra was trying to pocket some of the goods, the chief said. When confronted, Piedra pulled a knife and stabbed Lopez in the head and chest. Other vendors, including Cockfield and his wife, spotted the stabbing and came to Lopez's aid. 

As the brawl intensified, a vendor came up behind Piedra and broke a lamp over his head before running off. Cockfield picked up the remnants of the lamp and started to swing at Piedra, screaming, “You stabbed my friend! You stabbed my friend!” according to Kenny. Jennifer Cockfield then got involved, throwing both punches and her shoes at Piedra.

The fight died down and Piedra walked away before allegedly coming back a short time later with a knife in hand. 
Piedra, who's due back in court tomorrow, was reportedly charged in 2018 with assaulting two women with umbrellas. The case was sent to mental health court, which Piedra completed in 2021, per the News

Meanwhile, residents have noted that this block has been cleaner this week than it has been in several years. These photos are from yesterday morning.
City Councilmember Keith Powers, whose district starts across 14th Street at Stuy Town, sent an email to his constituents noting. Multiple EVG readers shared the email, which included: 
Thank you for writing to me about 14th Street and the awful attacks that took place on Sunday. I have attached a copy of my statement from Sunday evening, which once again calls for immediate intervention from the NYPD and other agencies on 14th Street. We have been working on this since Sunday, so I wanted to give you an update. 

One of the challenges in dealing with the situation on 14th Street has been that despite our efforts to make progress, all it takes are a few bad actors to return to the location to undo that progress. That is why I am again calling for consistent and sustained resources on the ground until the conditions on 14th Street are back to normal.

I wanted to share a few updates on the situation since Sunday:

● Earlier this week, the NYPD announced that they are stationing a foot patrol on the block to address the issues. As you will see in my statement, this was my top request. As I have stated repeatedly, the need for more resources here is apparent for any of us living in the neighborhood. 

● I am making an updated request of the Archdiocese and Immaculate Church to end the flea market. Myself and other elected officials have made this request in the past but they have not been responsive or cooperative. While I support the church, it’s indisputable that the flea market has created huge problems in the neighborhood. 

● On Monday, I personally walked the block with small business owners on 14th Street to provide them with my personal information to allow them to contact us on any issue from cleanliness to illicit behavior. 

● The Sanitation Department confirmed to me directly today that they will begin new joint operations with the NYPD and the Department of Homeless Services. My office will stay in close contact to ensure that the efforts here are maintained and properly targeted. 

● I am also coordinating with my colleagues in the city and state who represent this area to set up a walkthrough of the site with all relevant agencies. 

We hope this will help demonstrate and reinforce the need for immediate and sustained action here. On the larger scale, there are a number of proposals in the City Council that would exacerbate the situation on 14th Street by restricting the ability of city agencies to conduct enforcement against illegal vendors. I am not supportive of these measures and I have discussed the way that they would negatively impact our neighborhood with my colleagues. 

As the City Council finalizes this year's budget, I am advocating for more resources for the 13th Precinct — which covers the Stuyvesant Town portion of the block (the area of 14th Street that’s in my district). I have always been proud of my good working relationship with the 13th Precinct and hope to continue coordinating with them to make our neighborhood safer.

Monday, June 24, 2024

[Updated] A look at 14th Street this morning after the triple stabbing and homicide yesterday

Updated 4 p.m.

The suspect, 30-year-old Alejandro Piedra of Brooklyn, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder — depraved indifference and two counts of second-degree attempted murder — depraved indifference, according to the NYPD and media reports.

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This morning, the NYPD Crime Scene Unit and various media vans remain on the scene along 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. (Previously.) 

Just before 6 p.m. yesterday, a fight broke out between several people on the block. In the end, police say, a 38-year-old man was stabbed in the neck and later died. A 51-year-old woman was knifed in the leg and taken to a hospital in critical condition, while a 32-year-old man was stabbed in the back and hospitalized. The two hospitalized victims are expected to survive, according to published reports. 

A 30-year-old man is in police custody. His relationship with the stabbing victims isn't clear. 

An employee at the cheap-slice pizzeria at 418 E. 14th St. told the Daily News that she saw a man in a cape and another waving a piece of wood start fighting outside the shop. 
"I was just doing my job and I saw a man with a 2-by-4 and a man with a cape and a knife. I was like, 'This is like Looney Tunes.'" 
Longtime EVG reader Notorious shared these photos from this long-troubled stretch of the East Village. 

A few residents told us they were shocked to see pools of dried blood and rubber gloves from the first responders on the sidewalk this morning ...
City Councilmember Keith Powers, whose district starts on the north side of 14th Street in Stuy Town, issued this statement yesterday, calling 14th Street "out of control." Updated 11 a.m.:

District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera has released a statement... And from Assemblymember Harvey Epstein...

Sunday, June 23, 2024

[Updated] Reports of multiple people stabbed on 14th Street between Avenue A and 1st Avenue; 1 fatality

Updated 9 p.m.

One of the stabbing victims, a 38-year-old man, has died, per PIX11. 

Another update here.

Updated 6/24

The suspect, 30-year-old Alejandro Piedra of Brooklyn, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder — depraved indifference and two counts of second-degree attempted murder — depraved indifference, according to the NYPD and media reports.

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There are reports that three to four people were stabbed late this afternoon on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

Per Fox 5
When officers arrived on the scene, they found one man who had been stabbed in the neck, a woman who had been stabbed in the back, and a man who had been stabbed in the leg. 

All three were taken to Bellevue Hospital. The man stabbed in the neck, and the woman stabbed in the back are both in critical condition. 

The man who was stabbed in the leg is reportedly in stable condition. A man was taken into custody at the scene, and police say a sharp cutting object was also recovered. 
Photos via @UrbanMyth show blood on the sidewalk just west of Trader Joe's, where the various vendors sell items of dubious quality...
There's a lot of conflicting information at the moment, such as the relationship between the victims. We'll update you when more details have been verified.

With drug use/sales and general quality-of-life issues, locals have complained about this relatively lawless stretch of the East Village for years with a tepid response from the city

In January, a caretaker at Immaculate Conception Church on 14th Street near First Avenue was slashed in the neck with a razor blade after trying to stop a man from urinating between cars. 

Updated:
Multiple residents have pointed out crime scene tape on 13th Street just east of 13th Street. One resident witnessed three people fighting here, before taking off running toward First Avenue and 14th Street.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Police seek information in 'attempted murder' after Sunday's slashing on 14th Street

The NYPD has placed reward posters along 14th Street for information related to the slashing outside the Immaculate Conception Church this past Sunday evening

According to police and media reports, the victim, John Mach, who works as a caretaker at the church just east of First Avenue, was slashed in the neck with a razor blade after trying to stop a man from urinating between cars. 

The suspect was also reportedly going to urinate on the church wall. The two men got into an argument. The unidentified suspect returned just after 5 and slashed Mach along his jawline to behind his left ear as he helped a wheelchair user enter the church, according to the reports. 

Mach needed 16 stitches to close the gash on his neck. (He talked with ABC 7 here.) 

Police are offering up to $3,500 for information about the suspect, who is apparently known in the area. Anyone with information about the incident — which the police are calling "attempted murder" — can contact the NYPD through the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

According to The Tablet, Mach was back at work the day after the slashing.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Reports: Man slashed after asking man to stop urinating on car along 14th Street at 1st Avenue

A church employee was slashed in the neck with a box cutter after trying to stop a man from urinating between cars early Sunday evening near the McDonald's on 14th Street at First Avenue.

According to police and media reports, the victim works as a caretaker at Immaculate Conception Church, where the suspect was also trying to use a wall as a urinal. The two men got into an argument. The unidentified suspect returned just after 5 and slashed the church worker while he was helping a woman in a wheelchair, according to the Post.

The victim, identified as 54-year-John Mach, was taken by EMS to Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He needed 16 stitches to close the gash on his neck. (ABC 7 has an interview with Mach here.)

Police said that the suspect is a regular in the area, "usually pushing a cart." 

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the NYPD through the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

There have been ongoing concerns about drug use/sales and general quality-of-life issues along 14th Street and First Avenue.

Monday, August 14, 2023

CM Rivera takes steps to address quality-of-life concerns along 14th Street

In response to the ongoing concerns about drug use/sales and general quality-of-life issues along 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera has partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals and Bellevue Hospital to introduce resources to address these problem areas.

According to a news advisory from Rivera's office:
The Street Health Outreach & Wellness (SHOW) unit is a dedicated team consisting of a physician, addiction counselor, social worker, and community health worker. They work together in the field, engaging with known patients and connecting people in need to comprehensive services. 

They are equipped to offer on-the-spot services while facilitating connections to primary care, substance use treatment, and other social services. The team plans to visit the area on a weekly basis, establishing a usual presence in the community. 

With a focus on medical support, harm reduction, and social services, the team will connect with individuals experiencing homelessness, addressing immediate needs, and connecting them to an array of available services.
This 14th Street corridor has long been a concern for residents (here and here, for instance). In June, the deteriorating conditions prompted 787 Coffee to shut its doors between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

The chainlet's management said the 14th Street outpost suffered five break-ins in four weeks before the closure. In addition, 787 said some customers sitting outside were assaulted the week before the closing. "We make coffee as an excuse to connect, to collaborate, to create… but when we are afraid to even go to work, it defeats our values, our DNA," they said. 

More from Rivera's office:
Historically, this intersection has been a focal point for illicit street vendors peddling subpar goods and intimidating passersby. Our office has worked with DSNY and DCWP to address those concerns. Recently, the area has become a gathering spot for individuals experiencing homelessness or struggling with mental health challenges. 

Residents have brought numerous complaints to our attention including concerns pertaining to individuals frequently found sleeping on the sidewalks, engaging in the noticeable use of drugs, and exhibiting instances of aggressive and or violent behavior toward others. Our office takes these concerns seriously and is actively working toward addressing and resolving these issues.

In a statement, Rivera said:

"Underinvestment in mental health has created a situation where too many New Yorkers in need of mental health care are unhoused, unemployed, and involved with the criminal legal system. This has led to significant concerns about quality of life and public safety, and the well-being of everyone in our communities. We are all too aware of the persistent structural issues that perpetuate inequities in the healthcare system where historically marginalized communities and the most vulnerable New Yorkers are less likely to be connected with the care they need."

In a series of tweets last month, residents pointed out the drug sales outside 418 E. 14th St., adjacent to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Addressing the problem corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue

The long-problematic corridor along 14th Street and First Avenue is getting some attention. 

First, a reader report just from yesterday:
As you are also aware the intersection of 14th Street and First Avenue has long been plagued by homeless individuals, unsanitary conditions, drug use, alcohol use and, at times, violence. Over the past year these issues have moved over to directly in front of my building to where there is now an encampment. 
Several residents from my building have been in contact with Carlina Rivera's office, 311 and the police (the 13th Precinct, as this is on the north side on 14th Street) but unfortunately the situation has not only NOT been resolved but has also exacerbated. 
Residents and staff from my building who have attempted to address those camped out front have been threatened, so understandably people are hesitant to confront.
The encampment (pictured above, via a reader) is in front of the retail post office at 335 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

However, the calls and concerns from the residents have apparently been heard: Today (May 1), we're told that representatives from the 9th Precinct, several city agencies and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's office will be on the southeast corner from 4-6 p.m. for a community outreach event.