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MORNING BULLETIN: FDNY SEXUAL HAZING LAWSUIT, MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS REAL ESTATE ANXIETIES


Thomas Brown helped replicate parts of the Alice in Wonderland statue in ice at the Central Park Ice Festival on Saturday. Photo by Jake Sigal.

February 13, 2017 Weather: Windy, with a high of 39 degrees.

Notices:
A benefit concert for the New York Common Pantry and many more local events are on our calendar.

There’s also a Community Board meeting Monday night at 6:30 at 250 West 87th Street on landlords who “use building construction/renovation as a method to harass existing tenants.”

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell is holding bystander intervention training with groups called Hollaback and NYC Anti-Violence Project on Feb. 21 at 6:30 at Bank Street College of Education, 610 West 112th Street.

News:
A rookie at the firehouse near Lincoln Center is suing because of hazing that he said occurred to him. “A black FDNY rookie expecting a warm welcome at his new firehouse was instead sexually hazed and humiliated by a band of naked firefighters, according to a shocking federal discrimination lawsuit. It was the beginning of a series of horrific incidents meant to make the rookie’s life so miserable he would quit, the suit alleges. The disturbing case is now being probed by the US Department of Justice, a source close to the matter has said.”

The Manhattan Cricket Club, the bar above Burke & Wills on 79th Street is designed like a speakeasy. “The narrow upstairs space, three rooms in succession, is designed like a small apartment from the 1870s. The first room, with a small window, functions as a foyer with a wooden coat rack. The gold wallpaper, which begins along the staircase and spreads into the rooms, has a layer of flocked black velvet in a vintage-inspired pattern.”

Morningside Heights is on edge as nonprofits sell property to developers. “These days we’re feeling vulnerable and neglected in Morningside Heights, the New York neighborhood bounded by 110th Street, 125th Street, Riverside Park and Morningside Park. That is because our venerable institutions, notably Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Union Theological Seminary (UTS), in desperate need of cash, are selling their air rights to the highest bidders – namely developers seeing an unrestricted opportunity to build 30- and 40-story luxury towers in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. UTS is still negotiating. JTS is a done deal.”

The city will guarantee legal counsel to low-income tenants in housing court, “a major development in housing policy in a city where roughly 90 percent of tenants currently appear in court without an attorney. Speaking at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School on the Upper West Side, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that the city would be devoting an extra $90 million annually to fund the new policy.”

For baseball fans, pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training. Thank goodness.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Mark says:

      What is it with ostensibly heterosexual men and their propensity to get naked and sexually haze a male colleague?

      • UWS_lifer says:

        This is an interesting question that I have asked myself as well. It seems to always be in certain male environments. Sports, frats, cops/fire, military, etc. I don’t know.

        Maybe one of the many in the field of psychology here on the UWS has some insight?

        I’m sure it’s just some macho power trip thing. Emasculating others to prove your own alpha macho bulls&%$. That mixed with good ole fashioned peer pressure & mob mentality and voila! real Lord of the Flies stuff. Just a guess though.

        Doesn’t explain all the butt slapping in baseball though…:)

        • Mark says:

          Makes sense.
          Would also imagine that there is some serious repressed same-sex attraction that gets manifested in this way.
          Giving a bunch of repressed closet queens some uniforms, long hoses, and a big pole to slide down is probably a recipe for disaster.

        • bob says:

          From the literature I have read (and pure intuition), most agree that it has to do with power dynamics. Its really only one step removed from rape, which is, usually likewise, a power dynamic.

    2. PoshUWSer says:

      Why the shout out for The Manhattan Cricket Club? While I have been there a few times, the hostesses at Burke and Willis always tack on 40 min wait time in order to get people to buy drinks at the bar downstairs before going upstairs. If I wanted that kind of lounge bar, I would head downtown where the prices are the same and patrons are at least dressed for an exclusive locale.

      • Cato says:

        Never had these problems at Big Nick’s……

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Yes, a man after my own heart! And obviously the most sophisticated of palates.:) Probably me and my friends favorite spot growing up on the UWS.

          These days I wouldn’t even know where to go at 3am for a cheeseburger deluxe or an over-sized slice of pizza if I was tripping on mushrooms or just looking to satisfy a killer case of the “munchies”. (City Diner I guess? i don’t think they have pizza though)

          Whether seeing a show a The Beacon, hanging out at the “Monument” in Riverside Park, browsing records (yes, I mean vinyl) at Tower or books at Shakespeare….somehow we would always end the night at Big Nick’s.

          Did I mention, I miss the 80’s and 90’s…not the crime so much, but the energy on the streets…well, it was just different. Then again we were all much younger too. Our spirits had been broken yet.:) Oh well, onward and upward!

    3. John says:

      “Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that the city would be devoting an extra $90 million annually to fund the new policy.”

      Yowza. I think it’s nice that low income tenants be represented, but $90 million? That seems like it’s enough to hire 900 attorneys at 100k/yr each.

    4. NYYgirl says:

      Amen to the baseball commenter. Can’t start soon enough!