In the News: Unorthodox Pickpocketry

••• Two odd entries in the Tribeca Trib police blotter: An ice-cream thief who fended off a 7-Eleven employee with a needle (“Get back or I’ll kill you”), and a thief who pickpocketed a subway passenger while sitting on his lap.

••• “New York city councilmember Ritchie J. Torres will formally introduce legislation that could ban so-called cashless businesses from operating in New York City. […] Torres, who represents the 15th Council District in the central Bronx, believes that cash-free establishments are discriminatory by design.” —Grub Street

••• From a New York Post article on white truffles: “Il Mulino Tribeca has the best price per gram that we found: $120 for an astounding 34 grams, shaved at the table, on tagliolini with champagne sauce ($60 for a half appetizer portion). How can they charge so little? ‘We sell a lot of it and we can absorb it,’ the manager explained.”

••• “Cost to Repair Leak in Asphalt Green’s Roof Likely to Run Into Millions. […] Repairs necessary to address the leakage problems […] at this point include the removal of the terrace above the facility, re-waterproofing the terrace, and installation of a new terrace surface with planters and seating.” —Broadsheet

••• The former De Maria space on Kenmare will be a Bluestone Lane café. —Bowery Boogie

••• Late artist James Rosenquist’s townhouse at 162 Chambers sold for $11.7 million. He “bought the property in 1977, reportedly for $120,000.” —Real Deal

••• Meanwhile, late playwright Edward Albee’s Harrison Street loft hit the market for $9 million. —Wall Street Journal



  1. I for one prefer cashless coffee shops and quick eat places. Faster check out. Paying w apple pay can take 2 seconds. Banning them is BS, what about places that do not accept credit cards? Ban them as well then.

    • The ban would not prevent you from paying via a faster method; it would just require shops to accept cash as well.

      • if a business in america can refuse to make a cake for a gay couple, it should be allowed to refuse service to people paying with cash. Deal with bigger problems first.

        • Torres says:

          “On the surface, cashlessness seems benign, but when you reflect on it, the insidious racism that underlies a cashless business model becomes clear. In some ways, making a card a requirement for consumption is analogous to making identification a requirement for voting. The effect is the same: It disempowers communities of color.

          “These are public accommodations. The Civil Rights Act established a framework for prohibiting discrimination in matters of housing, employment, and public accommodations. If you’re intent on a cashless business model, it will have the effect of excluding lower-income communities of color from what should be an open and free market.”

  2. Cashless business is discriminatory towards those who cannot obtain a credit card, a smart phone, etc.

    While I prefer to pay with Apple pay, there are others who would prefer to pay in cash (such as my elderly relatives).

  3. And this is where everyone can learn a lesson from Japan. A PASMO or Suica transit card is also a stored value card for vending machines, retail, F&B, etc. You can load it on your phone, you can get a card, and you can top it off. And you can use it pretty much everywhere. Reconciles the same as credit, and life moves on.

    Cash has significant administrative costs for as long as there’s dishonest people in the world. Yes, not accepting it is problematic for the under-banked, but businesses still have to make payroll and pay rent. Cash drawer shrink, tip theft, miscounts, and administration time to do blind drops become the retailer’s problem – an expensive endeavor. Add to that security concerns of keeping any amount of cash on-site and you’ve got a lot of issues.

    NYC is not filled with super-honest people. Solid risk management is really the only way to keep all the money your store earned. If you’re severely underbanked, pre-paid cards are already a big part of that world. Some people even get paid with direct deposit into pre-paid cards.