Seen & Heard: Two More Closings

••• Agoda Asian restaurant at 8 Murray appears to have closed. (The “We close today” sign has been up for at least five days.) It was also/formerly known as Jin’s Empire Asian Cuisine and, at least according to the sign, Empire Asian Cuisine.

Agoda Asian Cuisine••• Reines Gallery, at Laight and West, has also closed. It had a strong whiff of the temporary from the get-go.

Reines Gallery closed••• Remember that reader’s question about which parts of BMCC are open to the public? “I’m on the foundation board of BMCC—we raise money solely for student scholarships,” says David Steingard of Laughing Man. “I saw the post about the BMCC plaza and looked into getting an answer.” Here’s the response:

It has been the longstanding custom of BMCC to allow the public to freely use the thoroughfares around the college premises and enjoy the outdoor plaza provided they do not pose a safety risk or engage in behavior that impedes ingress or egress. Moreover, we make our college campus available to the community for a variety of uses and are pleased to do so.

I note that the individual who complained about being asked to leave the campus grounds stated that he has frequently walked in the college thoroughfares. This appears to be the first time he was asked to leave the campus. Clearly, the particular security guard who spoke with this person was under a mistaken understanding as to who may and may not use the grounds surrounding the campus. We will have our Director of Public Safety remind our public safety officers that the public is free to use the thoroughfares of the college and our plaza as indicated above.

“BMCC is an amazing institution, with inspiring leadership, that is truly changing it’s students lives,” says David. “That’s why I am on the board and would like more of the neighborhood to know more about it. We should be very proud as a neighborhood to have them in our backyard. If anybody is looking to support something meaningful they don’t have to look very far.”

••• This Saturday at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center: A musical adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” Makes you want to write a song called “Eat Me,” doesn’t it?

Alice in Wonderland••• A reader reports that Taco House on Church is now serving Chinese food, too, as expected once the Taste Chinese Restaurant sign went up. Also, it’s serving Thai food, because why not in this gorgeous mosaic of a city?

Taste Chinese RestaurantJPG



  1. Before there were bathrooms in the park, I remember bringing the kids into the college to use the facilities. I think this had to be an uninformed employee. The college has always been very hospitable to the community.

  2. When we walked by Taco House, which was advertising a Chinese menu, a few days ago my 7YO wondered aloud why a place called Taco House would be serving dumplings. I think they should rename it to Taco Haus and add schnitzel to the menu.

  3. One time, I was walking my toddler up and down the stairs at BMCC and was chased by security in a most discourteous (and ridiculous) way. The way this woman reacted, you would think I was driving a minivan up and down the steps. I’m glad to see there will be a reminder.

    • No one should be discourteous at any time. But using a means of exiting as a place to teach your child how to walk steps is not a good idea. Downtowners have had to leave home/school/work in an emergency often enough to know that stairs are not playgrounds. I am not familiar with the specific staircase in dispute but you may want to try the magnificent Winter Garden staircase which is as ornamental as it is utile. It sometimes seems that all the kids in BPC learn to walk stairs there. It is wide enough for everyone, even if there is an emergency. And there will be lots of other toddlers to play with instead of impeding students rushing to classes or jobs.

      • Assuming she means the stairs that connect Washington Market Park to BMCC, I think it is fair to say that not only are they very wide, but they are primarily used by locals in the park who wish to walk up to BMCC. Students typically walk down the ramp that empties onto Chambers.

        I’m really glad to hear that this issue will be taken up by the Direct of Public Safety. The behavior I experienced was astounding. I even called the Public Safety office, and they defended the security guard, so it sounds like a systemic issue that needs to be addressed.

  4. One time this summer, my husband and I were sitting at one of the tables in front of BMCC with our two year old toddler and few month old baby and we were aggressively asked to leave by a security guard. When we didn’t leave we were told very rudely that the area was private property and we were trespassing. My lawyer husband asked to see the no trespassing sign and after some back and forth the security guard left us alone. I’m glad to see David’s response and hope to be able to enjoy that area again.

  5. Just for the record, I have also been hassled by a female security guard while walking my two year old up the steps( which we plan to continue to do). The guard was not particularly nice or professional. It should have been obvious we were not a threat to anyone on the campus and the reaction from the guard was not appropriate especially since we live in TriBeCa and work in NYC and pay a lot in taxes to fund this school. I do think the security guards need to adjust their attitude and spend their energy in more constructive uses.