Seen & Heard: Remembering Nobu Downtown’s Chef

••• I just found about this…. It’s from Nobu in late June: “It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of Chef Ricky Estrellado, our dear friend and Nobu Downtown Executive Chef. His creativity, leadership and kindness made him an invaluable part of the Nobu family since we first opened our doors in Tribeca in 1994. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

••• From A.: “As a resident with a dog, I do a lot of walking in the neighborhood. Recently, I’ve noticed a group of kids ‘collecting for a trip’ walking down the street following people on Greenwich. This is a scam. I overheard them explain the techniques to each other up near Canal…. You might want to remind your readers to avoid these guys—they’re quite aggressive and usually hang out on the corner near Duane. I tried to point it out to a cop, or at least have them check for some ID—which they don’t have—but no luck. I actually had a meter maid tell me to ‘go find a real cop.’ Glad it wasn’t an emergency event.”

••• If you live on a block compromised by construction, consider setting your Uber pickup location for the corner, rather than mid-block.

••• Keep an eye out for a lost malti-poo.

••• P. shot a flood-protection test on Canal.

••• The administration at Asphalt Green says the pools will reopen on September 4 (after closing on August 18), not September 8 (which was the word on the pool deck).

••• J. noticed that there’s a PIQ “designer toy” shop at 420 Broadway. The window is by Ron English.



  1. This “collecting for a trip” scam has been going on for several months along Greenwich. The scammers are quite aggressive and often don’t take a polite “no” for an answer.

    • My apartment looks out on the teenagers asking for donations on the corner of Duane and Greenwich and we have been observing them for what seems to be months now. I stopped to speak with them recently and had a nice conversation. They were very friendly and happy to provide more information about themselves, their group, and why they are raising money.
      This is the group they are with:
      The groups website also connects to Fractured Atlas for donations:
      I called Fractured Atlas and they confirmed that this group is in good standing and are going to have someone follow up with me directly.
      While I don’t necessarily agree with their fundraising techniques, I would like to believe they have good intentions unless I am proven wrong.

  2. Never give money to kids on the street who are “raising money” for anything. Most common rip offs are “raising money for trip -X, or the football team, or to travel with the school band, for jazz instruments” etc. These are all 100 percent scams. Do not buy candy from the kids selling it on the street or in subways. This is also a scam. The candy is very old, could make you very sick, and the money goes to drug dealers.

    • If a drug dealer is so hard up on cash that he needs to send out 8 year olds to peddle m&m’s for $1, he needs a career change.

      I get as annoyed as anyone by some of the more aggressive peddlers, but unless they’re committing a serious offense, why not just say “no thanks” and you each go on your way. Regardless of whether they’re trying to raise money for their basketball team or they’re trying to hustle a few bucks to buy a new pair of sneakers, selling candy to make money is better than pretty much anything else they can be doing.

  3. I am a regular reader of this blog but have been really put off by some of the recent stories criminalizing people in the neighborhood and encouraging people to call the police. This is extremely irresponsible as a voice in the community, especially publishing a random person saying they know its a scam. Kids all over the city DO have to raise money for trips, uniforms, all kids of things and yes maybe sometimes its just to a way to make money for themselves but how could you ever know that? If you don’t want to give, don’t give. This is NYC, people ask me for money 10 times a day. You want the police called for what? What does asking for their IDs do? Why do you feel like the police should be your own personal army to take care of any inconveniences in your life?

    • I agree with you – but note the comments about one group being very aggressive. That’s not typical for panhandlers of any type in the City.

    • The trip scammers on Greenwich are very aggressive and sometimes intimidating. On occasion, I have been approached two or three times on the same evening. It ruins my walk home from work. Since it is a scam, it is criminal, just not important enough for the powers that be to act. It is certainly a detriment to the quality of life in the neighborhood.

  4. They’ve been on the train for years selling candies from boxes for basketball camp or some other sports thing – usually they do this at night during rush hour.

  5. The candy scam is old news. Here is a 2004 (!) story from Gothamist:

    “We’ve all heard it. A short, barely adolescent boy or girl barges into the car and shouts: ‘Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. I am selling candy to raise money for my basketball team’s uniforms. Candy is a dollar each. And usually they only have the peanut M&Ms.

    “General consensus (and by that, we mean what the people on the Straphangers message boards say) is that it’s a scam. A lot of these kids get candy in bulk and sell it at a profit, and make some pretty good money. Besides, by Gothamist’s calculations, two or three basketball seasons have come and gone since we first saw one of these kids clamor into the car and demand our charity in exchange for chocolate.

    “Interestingly, if you’ve noticed, lately the kids have changed their tune: ‘Excuse me ladies and gentlemen. I will be honest with you. I am not selling candy for my basketball team. I am selling candy to keep myself out of trouble.’ It’s hard to argue with honesty. We’d like it more if you had plain M&Ms left, though.”

  6. Last week I told one of the boys I wasn’t interested and he yelled “a**hole!” at me as I walked away. Luckily my toddler wasn’t with me to witness the behavior!

  7. Why don’t the police stay around the areas where these lowlife’s hang out? It’s the same thing as the kids on the train selling candy from boxes for school or a sports program. Everybody has a scam. It’s disgusting.