Seen & Heard: Old Tribeca Street Signs for Sale

••• When I contacted Brian Merlis of about using that 1914 photo of his yesterday, we got to talking, and he said that he was a mail carrier in this area in the early 80s. He mentioned that he has a bunch of old porcelain street signs for sale on eBay (lot number 391640004909). “I bought a big collection and just started listing them a few weeks ago. They were installed in 1916 and 1917, and replaced in the 1960s with black-and-yellow ones.” I told him I thought people around here would be very interested.

••• K. poked around online for more info on the event space at 144 Duane and found a staging company’s photos for the Kendall + Kylie launch last spring.

••• I was walking down Hudson in the West Village when I saw LEO Design, and I thought to myself about how glad I was the store was still there, and how maybe the West Village was weathering chainification better than many other neighborhoods. Then I noticed the sign.

••• The Courtyard by Marriott at 133 Greenwich, across the street from 4 World Trade Center, is now open, as I discovered on the way home from dinner at Schilling (but more on that later).

••• From Sleepless on Hubert: “Is anyone else in the ‘hood losing their minds with the ongoing anti-neighbor construction practices at 15 Hubert Street? Those of us who live on Hubert have been plagued by unannounced road closures (crane use on Sunday, November 30, from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.) and endless late-night deliveries and construction work, including last night beginning at 11 p.m. and into the early morning hours. I have filed noise complaints with 311, but the crane, trucks, and workers are apparently always gone by the time the police show up. Any insight as to why the city would allow the contractor to be working in the middle of the night given the residential buildings surrounding 15 Hubert Street? My next stop is CB1: Any idea with whom to communicate within that group?”

My response: “This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’d be surprised if the city allowed work that late—you can look up after-hours variances on the Department of Buildings website. Here are the ones for 15 Hubert. You should absolutely loop in CB1, whether the workers are working later than allowed or not. The general email does get answered (, and I find it’s always good to have correspondence in writing, but you might want to follow up with a phone call (212) 669-7970).”

Sleepless: “I just took a look at the after hours permits. For some bizarre reason, the city has allowed the contractor to repeatedly renew permits to work from 6 pm to 2 am. This is unbelievable to those of us who live across from the construction site on Hubert Street. Also of interest is that the contractor doesn’t have any crane permits, yet they have been using cranes to install equipment on the building’s roof late night. I will follow up with CB1 to seek their help and call Margaret Chin’s office as well to see if I can find a voice of reason.” Good luck and report back! Perhaps you’ll have better luck with Chin’s office than I did. They listened politely and said they’d be back in touch. That was a month ago.

P.S. Part of the reason I shared all of this was to show what a mensch I am so I could explain a bit about the DOB’s website, Once you’re there, look for Buildings Information, where you can enter an address. There’s a link to After Hours Variance Permits in the lower right corner of each building’s landing page.



  1. @sleepless: YIKES. Can’t believe the DOB is giving any permits for after-hours work. In addition to the steps you’re already taking, I contact the construction company and the architect and see if you can get them to be reasonable.

  2. Thanks! I just bought a street sign! I’m so glad to have a piece of our neighborhood’s history!

  3. The subject of after-hours building permits is a recurrent one at the CB1 Quality of Life Committee meetings and seems to be very difficult to resolve. The QoL Committee held a Construction Forum and this issue (and sidewalk sheds) were the main topics. It seems that if the construction company makes a case, the permit is granted almost as of right with no input or consideration of local residents. They just wait for you to call 311 and complain (good luck with that). There is supposed to be somewhere on the DoB site where you can raise complaints about late working, noise and other issues but is is about as effective as 311. In all the discussions at these meetings i have listened to when the DoB and others have attended have left me with the strong impression that the real estate development industry completely dominates any local residents’ quality of life. If they want it, they get it. if they don’t get the permit, they often just go ahead anyway.