In the News: El Chapo Is Staying Nearby

••• New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells liked Fowler & Wells, giving it two stars, with various reservations. “Fowler & Wells has so many strengths that few people will leave unhappy. But they may wake up the next day with scattered impressions of what the place is about, until Mr. Colicchio and Mr. Hunt can bring more focus to the menu.” Above: Marinated fluke with radishes and finger limes, courtesy Fowler & Wells

••• “The Metropolitan Correctional Center, the rust-colored fortress in Lower Manhattan where hundreds of federal inmates are housed, was described as less hospitable than Guantánamo Bay by one inmate who had been incarcerated at both. The highest risk half-dozen inmates—or at least the ones facing the most severe charges—are housed in conditions so isolating that some have blamed them for deteriorating eyesight. This is where federal agents brought Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo, when he was extradited to the United States last week after two escapes from high-security Mexican prisons.” Sean Penn watch in effect! —New York Times

••• T Magazine ran an article on Ichimura six days after the food section did. I didn’t read the New York Times’s recent report on ways it needs to adapt to the future, but if efficiency is a goal, it might consider not covering the same topic more than once. (Don’t get me started on the dual book-review sections.)

••• “High rents and shifts in consumer behavior have contributed to record availability rates in parts of Manhattan, as well as the disappearance of neighborhood treasures, like Tekserve, the computer shop on West 23rd Street that closed in the summer after 29 years. The move to e-commerce also is prompting the kind of reckoning in which retailers question the viability of mom-and-pop stores. Others wonder when the shakeout will end—and what New York retail will look like when it does. […] ‘The kindness of our landlords has kept us alive,’ [one business owner] said, and he cited the number of spaces in both neighborhoods that have remained vacant for years because their owners didn’t want to come down on rents. ‘Our landlords understand it’s better to have rented space than vacant.'” —Crain’s

••• “South Ferry Station to Reopen in June.” —DNAinfo

••• “In the 1960s, Walter Henry Freygang (1890-1981) wrote down his reminiscences of growing up above his father’s pharmacy at 249 West Broadway, one building south of Walker Street. His father, George Freygang,was born in 1855 on the second floor of a building at the southwest corner of Reade and Hudson streets and attended what then was P.S. 44 at Varick and North Moore streets. At 17, George’s father, Gustav W., took him to the family’s native city of Heidelberg to apprentice with a pharmacist and study at the University of Heidelberg. In 1883, a few years after returning to the U.S., George Freygang’s father bought him a pharmacy at 249 West Broadway for $15,056.67. Here are Walter Freygang’s wonderfully detailed recollections of the family’s 16 years at 249 West Broadway, and the operation of the 19th century pharmacy run by his father.” —Tribeca Trib



  1. E-commerce isn’t killing mom and pop stores. It’s the ridiculously escalating rents and lack of any protections.

    • I disagree – how many times have you walked into a boutique or independent shop and checked on your phone if you can buy the same item online for less?

  2. Perhaps we need more rent-control and/or rent stabilization…for both residential and commercial/retail.

  3. Can El Chapo help pay for the wall?