Larry Powell, a fixture for many on Warren Street, dies at 66

When you live on top of each other as we do in this town, our lives intersect in hundreds of miniscule ways that when you add them up and weave them together, it makes a neighborhood. It’s the little girl who was in your son’s class in kindergarten and who is now your hostess at Edward’s (hi Brookti). It’s the watchful doorman at the building you’ve never lived in, but that you pass on your way to the park (hi Travis). It’s the security guard at Whole Foods whose smile gives you a little pick-me-up every time you enter produce (hi Harrison).

And for the folks who live on the south side of Warren, that person was Larry Powell. Larry washed cars in front of the parking lot on the southwest corner at West Broadway for what residents say was at least two decades, playing the role of greeter and guardian. He died on Sunday, July 25, of complications from covid. He was 66.

Neighbors will honor him at a memorial gathering on Wednesday, August 11 at 6p, organized by Egbert Romain, who has run the parking lot for three decades.

“Larry became a beloved part of daily life,” said Jean Holabird, whom he once dubbed “Miss Warren Street.” “He was always a cheerful and welcoming presence at the corner that I can’t pass now without feeling his loss.”

Jean spoke last week to Larry’s partner of 20 years, Nancy Tobo, and learned that Larry was born in Georgia in 1958 and had seven children. She described him as kind and funny. Neighbors loved him for his humor and gregarious nature.

Jean recalled that for two years, while her building was being renovated, she would make sure to walk down Warren on her way to get her mail at the Church Street Post Office. She would check in with Larry, who was keeping tabs on the building’s progress in order to report back to Jean.

“It was a welcoming, human, link to home,” she remembered. “It is amazing how people one barely knows sometimes only reveal their importance in one’s daily life when they are gone.”



  1. So happy to see something written to memorialize Larry’s life. He had a warm and cheerful presence and I’ll miss saying hello on my many walks on Warren St. I am sorry I won’t be able to attend the memorial on Wednesday. Rest in peace, Larry

  2. Such a warming write up. Sorry to hear he passed.

  3. what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. Larry and i knew each other from the neighborhood that’s as close to home as my own, i was saddened to hear of his passing. Thanks for honoring him.

  4. Larry always greeted me with a smile and asked about my family. He was a proud father and grandfather. I remember how happy he was when he visited his family or they came to NYC. He was excited that his grandson played football. I learned all of this just talking to him on that corner. Even though it doesn’t fit the standard definition, we considered each other friends. My condolences to his family and everyone whose life he touched.

  5. So sad. My dad parked there 6 days a week since 9/11 when he stopped parking in the lot next to Gee Whiz. When we opened Tribeca’s Kitchen in 2014, he kept his space there even there were closer lots to TK. Larry was a loyal and committed man. For so many people including my dad, Larry was the first person who greeted my dad in Tribeca every day as he dropped his car off and walked to TK, rain or shine. He was a sure thing in a world and city filled with uncertainty. What sad news this is. I’ll pray for his family, and may he Rest In Peace.

  6. Larry was my good friend. He will be missed

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this! He washed our car for years. And I always loved to see him multiple times a day, as I walked back and forth from the grocery store and the fields at BPC. Truly, he had a magnetic personality, and he will be missed.

  8. R.I.P Larry. You were a welcome presence in the neighborhood. Condolences to his family.

  9. I love your description of what makes a neighborhood. I have certainly felt that in the decade plus that I have lived downtown. I never met Larry but walked by him countless times and would always wave or smile. He was always working hard and I thought that if I ever got a car I would introduce myself and see if he wanted a new customer! Condolences to his family.

  10. Had I seen this yesterday, I would have attended.
    Always a gracious presence. Washed my car many
    a time when I had one & always a great job.
    I was always happy to see him: a swell guy!

  11. I am sorry to hear of this. Alas I did not know Larry or even know of him. I live just six blocks north on West Broadway from what used to be his corner. An illustration of how, in New York, neighborhoods contain smaller neighborhoods — and those contain even smaller ones.

  12. I worked downtown for many years and remember seeing this man who was always smiling. He made me smile. RIP Larry. He wasn’t 66 though, he was 63 (much too young to leave this planet that needs more people like him).

  13. I’m saddened to learn of Larry’s passing. He truly was a personality in the neighborhood – a guy who made the SW corner of Warren and West Broadway brighter. We would exchange greetings when we saw each other on the street for years and years, and that’s how I learned about his car cleaning services, which I used from time to time. R.I.P. Larry. COVID has claimed another neighborhood gem.