Neighborhood Chatter

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By Nora Bosworth and Naomi Cohen More 'Urban Backyard' Events Ahead for LES Why have nightlife when you can have DayLife? Those who enjoyed DayLife's first event, which brought over 10,000 people to a closed-off Orchard Street in the Lower East Side for a day of pushcart vendors, live music and games, won't want to miss their fall series. On Sept. 23, DayLife will partake in "Imagining the Lowline," a showcase on the solar technology for the proposed Lowline, an underground park. Then on Sept. 30, DayLife is back on Orchard Street, with Twister, badminton, DJs and a taste of the area's local food and fashion. DayLife events are sponsored and designed by the Lower East Side's Business Improvement District. NYPD Warns New Yorkers About Identity Thefts The NYPD Community Affairs Bureau issued a written statement Sept. 12 urging citizens to be on the lookout for online scams that can result in identity theft. A common form of identity theft is executed via email, in a tactic known as "phishing." Phishing entails an email in which the sender poses as a legitimate institution, like a bank or insurance company, and requests log-in credentials. Often the email will have a link to a website that looks identical to the institution's actual site, and the user then logs in, granting the criminals access to their username and password. The best way to avoid this scam is to go to any official site directly, never through an emailed link. Also, the NYPD recommends having different passwords for each site. Sometimes a similar scam is carried out through a phone call using a fake caller ID, in which the caller poses as an employee asking for information. In such scenarios, decline to give any information before you have called the fraud department of the alleged business, and verified that they have contacted you. In 2010 about 8.6 million families experienced some form of identity theft, a sharp increase from just five years ago. Pedestrian Bridge Planned for West Street On Sept. 13, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver announced the planned construction of a pedestrian bridge above West Street at West Thames Street. The bridge will make it safe and easy for Battery Park City residents to cross West Street, along with "students, faculty and parents of PS 276," Silver said in a statement. He called the bridge, which will lead pedestrians to and from the Financial District, a "top priority." The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation agreed to allocate $20 million to the bridge's construction. Delays Continue on MTA's Broadway/Bleecker Street Project The Broadway-Bleecker Street transfer is now taking longer to build than all of the first part of the IRT in the early 1900s. After rumors of openings in June, then July, then mid-August, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is remaining mum on a final date of completion for the Broadway-Bleecker Street Station. The project, over budget at $135 million, will move Bleecker Street's uptown 6 platform 300 feet south, as well as provide full ADA accessibility with five elevators and a new escalator. The MTA started designs in 2002 and construction in 2008. Subway forums have been abuzz over when their commutes will finally be streamlined. The MTA installed, covered and uncovered signs since March and unveiled digital artwork in the station in July. The delays are blamed on unforeseen construction difficulties like utilityinterferences and procurement issues. Once completed, the new platform, designed by Weidlinger Associates and Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects, will offer access to Crosby, Houston and Mulberry streets. 2012 Vendy Awards Hits Governors Island with Proud Chefs and Drooling Mouths About 1,500 food lovers swarmed Governors Island last Saturday to sample two dozen food trucks for the eighth annual Vendy Awards. The grand prize went to the Piaztlan Authentic Mexican food truck based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which served beef, pork and goat tacos to excited attendees. The People's Taste Award went to Cinnamon Snail, a vegetarian organic truck serving such delicacies as smoked portobello mushroom carpaccio and raw jalapeño brownies. The owner, Adam Sobel, saw the publicly voted on award as a big victory for the vegetarian and organic food movement. The "Most Heroic Vendor" honor went to Sammy Kassem, who cooks halal food in Bay Ridge and withstood persecution from neighboring restaurants in recent months. According to the New York Times, local restaurant owners organized to give Kassem the boot, claiming he was dirtying their streets and ruining business with his cart; his lawyer alleges Kassem faced discrimination because he is Middle Eastern. The Vendy Awards are hosted annually by the Street Vendor Project, which provides legal and business services to vendors.  

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