Seen & Heard: Town Stages vs. the Neighbors

••• Maybe the military helicopter drills happening lately have been covered by citywide media, but if so, I’ve missed it. Which is amazing, when you consider this (thanks to Zack for the video). I’d recommend clicking on “Vimeo” in the lower right corner to watch it larger. UPDATE: Thanks to Chuck for pointing out this article from The Drive that says, “Huge Strategic Exercise Is Underway With Half The B-2 Fleet Airborne Over The U.S.” (and that’s just the start of it).

••• Maharishi, the cool-kid clothing store coming to 38 Lispenard, says it’s shooting to open by the end of May. Great bag.

••• Disturbing stuff in this comment from Andrew Scheman about Town Stages, the arts incubator/event space in the former White Street restaurant space on W. Broadway:

There is an accusation of trespassing being made against me personally by Town Stages. On Tuesday I will be “turning myself in” at the 1st Pct due to their complaint against me.

Their complaint arises from the FACT (not hearsay) that they repeatedly propped their White Street door open during an event on 4/12 which is in direct violation of their agreement with the community and the SLA. There were witnesses and there are photos—that’s why it is a fact. As no phone number for either of the Sokoloffs has yet been provided for complaints (another CB1 stipulation that has been ignored) there was no way to complain without entering the space and asking for one of them which I then proceeded to do.

So, I freely admit I was in their space—the door was wide open, I peered in and before I even entered a very nice woman (who did not work for Town Stages ) but was an event organizer invited me to come take a look around. I believe that is legal and legitimate—she even handed me literature which I kept.

Just as an aside, my eyes were open as I need to keep them open when I walk, and I observed the Town Stages people were serving wine and beer which is interesting since they do not yet have a license to do so.

I complained to their employee about the open door and asked to speak to the Sokoloffs as that is the stipulated procedure—neither was “available” so I was asked to wait which I did. The employee eventually went, shut the door and then asked me to leave which I did.

One more little oops—the TS assembly permit clearly states they need to have people at the exits that have city certificates of fitness in case of emergency—neither exit had such a person there.

Several days later I was emailed by the TS “liaison” who stated he wanted to keep the neighbors happy and wanted to meet with me and anyone else. I informed him that all they needed to do was abide by what they had agreed to. I also asked him if he would be kind enough, in the interest of building trust with the community, to send me a copy of whatever liquor license they were serving under. Haven’t seen that yet.

There answer apparently is to have me arrested!

Thanks TS—I’ve always wanted to spend a few hours in jail and btw you are off to a great start with the community.

So I will go and obey the law but the real question here is—when will Town Stages do the same??? A number of my neighbors as well as CB1 have lodged complaints and inquiries regarding this event and I just learned they have also called the police regarding another neighbor.

••• The storefront facade at 83 Franklin got painted (it was sort of cream), and it looks much sharper. Lighting company Allied Maker is taking one of the two spaces.

••• Spring Street Park appears completed, but the Parks Department website says construction is only 62 percent done and that it’ll reopen in September.

••• The Department of Transportation is painting the underside of the FDR Drive lavender. Someone from Howard Hughes Corporation said the entire underbelly would be painted, but right now it’s just the sides. (Why lavender? Who knows? I just wish they’d done something cool with white LEDs instead.)

••• In other Seaport news, Dita eyewear shop has opened on Fulton, while Nonfinito Gallery is coming to South Street (3,200 square feet over two floors) and Lobster Gogo is coming to Water Street.



  1. Thank you Tribeca Citizen for posting my statement front and Center.

    I think it’s only fair that you publish the email from Town Stages’ representative to me that preceded (?) their decision to have me arrested.
    My response to the email as I stated in my initial statement was that the forum for discussion was CB1 and the SLA and that I had no authority to speak with them on behalf of the community and that I was merely requesting them to abide by things they had already agreed to.

    Since their response to that was to have me arrested then I invite them to use this forum to respond to their neighbors.
    regarding the following:

    – repeatedly allowing the door to be propped open on White Street against SLA and CB1 stipulations
    – not providing the agreed to means of access to the Sokoloffs during events
    – not having the appropriate personnel stationed at exits
    – possibly serving alcohol without a license
    – not alerting the community to an event that was not in their schedule

    I’d like to add one more to the list. The sound study they promised to the community. The position of the community after consulting with a bona fide sound company that is in the list of approved consultants for this type of work (theirs is not) is that their study is a farce. Please share the reason why a legitimate study cannot be undertaken?

    Here is the email from their “liaison”
    Hi Andrew,

    I represent Robin and Scott Sokoloff of Town Stages as a community liaison. They asked me to reach out in an effort to continue their good neighbor policy and be responsive to any concerns. Would love to grab a cup of coffee with you to get up to speed on everything. Please let me know what works. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,


    Scott Levenson

    • Hi neighbors,

      I am writing this comment from the first precinct holding room while I wait to be released after being charged with trespassing it is alleged by a principal at Town Stages that I was told at the CB1 licensing hearing on 11/8/17 not to set foot on their premises. I would like to go on record as saying that I have never had a direct conversation with anyone from their organization so I am confused?
      After the meeting that night where “our side” was sitting about 40 feet away from theirs, I walked home with 4 or 5 of my neighbors who I will ask to appear to testify on my behalf .
      Ironically, Twon Stages liaison has been emailing me for a sit down meeting while the complaint was in the works.
      Covering all bases I guess.