Seen & Heard: Asphalt Green Delayed

••• A reader emailed that someone at Asphalt Green said the opening has been pushed to the new year, but I can’t get confirmation. Given the flooding, it’s not a surprise.

••• Shinola won’t open until at least May.

••• “Pen Parentis celebrates the conclusion of its eighth season of monthly downtown literary salons with an Authorfest at the Andaz Wall Street, 75 Wall (at Water Street, second floor) on Tuesday, December 11, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Robin Black joins Triburbia author Karl Taro Greenfeld and Pen Parentis alumni Amy Sohn and Joshua Henkin to present readings of their new works.”

••• Moomah posted a sneak peek of its upcoming magazine.

••• “This Sunday [tomorrow, Nov. 18], New Amsterdam Market will present a special pre-Thanksgiving market featuring several vendors making special appearances, including Wild Food Gatherers Guild with a variety of wild mushrooms, Acme Smoked Fish with Alaskan wild salmon, Aaron Burr Cider and Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider with local hard ciders, Bees’ Needs with Long Island honey, and The Bent Spoon with ice cream in special seasonal flavors. And as always, a bounty of produce, bread, cheese, jams, and pies will be available from our regular vendors to cover all your holiday needs. The full list of this week’s vendors can be found on our website.” It’s 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; no market Thanksgiving weekend.

••• “I wrote this piece about a nice homeless man on our block,” emailed Lisa Levitt yesterday. “I thought I would submit it to you but I am not sure if you are interested in pieces like this one in essay form.” I am indeed.


His name was Mike. We moved down to Tribeca last October. I tried to visually take in every single morsel of Tribeca that I could. The weather was starting to change. Mike was always sitting on the corner of Duane Street. Rain or shine. Bitter cold and damp autumn days. He was there each and every moment. He always sat on his 1970’s silver chrome chair with a black leather torn seat. It was his throne. He was king of the corner. It was his home during the day. While walking our dog I saw him. Some days I would smile at Mike or ask him how things were. Fine, not bad, thank you dear, he would say. During the work week, he would thrive in his chair as people passed by on their way to the City Hall subway. Weekends and at night were not as good for Mike. He would be asleep in the afternoon. He would not recognize me. Some evenings, I would painfully see this gentle, kind man rolled up in a ball on the sidewalk. He needed a warm bath and a haircut.

On the weekends, I saw Mike quietly sitting alone. No one to talk to. Some days it would rain and he would be there in his back oversized leather jacket. Just sitting. People would pass by without saying a word to him. Invisible. One Saturday on my way to the bus down Broadway, I bought him a turkey sandwich with an apple juice and a cookie. Rushing as always, I got on my bus. We drove past Mike and I saw him overjoyed with his lunch. He delicately opened his sandwich as if it was a meal from a finer restaurant in the area. I would grab him a snack or something hearty from the Duane Reade on our corner. A bagel with cream cheese and a cup of hot coffee went a long way one quiet Saturday for Mike.

People looked out for Mike, I learned. I made a phone call on his behalf to a local help organization. Please reach out to this lovely sweet man, I said. The next day they called. They met Mike, but if he wanted help it was ultimately up to him. As I walked my dog last week, a woman in our building said he was getting proper help now. She told me there is a man who works for the city who goes and visits him also at the hospital. He is no longer living on the street. His chair is gone. There is just a stain on the sidewalk where he was. I asked the souvlaki vendor on Mike’s corner how Mike was. He said he is doing better and thanked me for asking.

May you get getter soon, Mike, and live the good life you deserve.



  1. A great story… Thank you for sharing.

  2. Well-told, thanks. Even if it’s just one individual at a time, each such victory is heartening.

  3. Mike is definitely a fixture on the block and was taken care of by a lot of people. He helped the Souvlaki vendor and the Juice vendor set up and break down in the morning and evening. The guys who work at 105 Duane always look out for him and made sure he was okay. The bus supervisor on the corner of Duane is a good friend too. Mike is a very kind and respectful man who we hope is getting the help he needs. Last I heard he was being treated at Bellevue and there are a few people keeping tabs on him.