Morning Bulletin: Speed Cameras Coming, West End Fire, Art Questions

Photo by Jordan Cooper on 96th street between West End and Riverside.

May 28, 2019 Weather: Scattered storms, with a high of 72 degrees.

Concerts, readings and many other local events are on our calendar.

The city is expanding its use of speed cameras near schools and the first new one went up on West End Avenue near PS 199 on 70th Street. “The law also permits the city to keep the cameras on year-round — during summer and vacations as well as regular school hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.” In case you needed some extra incentives to slow down… Tickets will cost drivers $50 each.

Avery Dermer, a 16-year-old Upper West Sider, spoke at the event and thanked the mayor for supporting speed cameras.  Dermer was close friends with Cooper Stock, a nine-year-old who was hit and killed by a driver on West End and 97th Street in 2014. “When Cooper died, I lost trust in our city. I became very nervous walking the streets, even when I was in the company of my parents. Today, I’m still overly cautious because I have experienced the tragedy of Cooper’s loss.”

One person was hurt in a fire on West End on Tuesday morning. “The fire broke out inside the city-run West End Avenue building between 61st and 62nd streets just before 5:30 a.m.”

Upper West Side artist Peter Max suffers from dementia, but artwork continued to be created in his studio above Shun Lee until earlier this year. Was he the artist? “Mr. Max would be instructed to hold out his hand, and for hours, he would sign the art as if it were his own, grasping a brush and scrawling Max. The arrangement, which continued until earlier this year, was described to The New York Times by seven people who witnessed it.”

In a Times article on “regulars”, West Side Rag tipster Gretchen Berger explains why the Starbucks on 75th and Broadway is her spot. “Almost all the baristas know my name, what I drink, how I like it made. I often get freebies, along with hugs and kisses — a love-fest every afternoon! It’s like Cheers, only with caffeine.”

And lastly, a question for longtime UWSers from a playwright: “Wondering if you would remember the name of a Chinese restaurant located on the south side of 72nd, between Broadway and Columbus (closer to Columbus) which was open certainly in the early 70s, quiet possibly earlier and extending throughout the decade? I have written a play, set in the mid-70s, and I invoke this place, where my mother and I went regularly when I was a kid growing up nearby – we had a Sunday ritual of a movie at Embassy 72nd or Cinema Studio, followed by “Chinese” – and I just can’t recall the name, which is pretty astounding, considering how often I would have eaten there.”

Feel free to answer in the comments!

NEWS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      I don’t understand the obsession of some with baristas knowing your name, let alone “free hugs and kisses”. I think it’s gross.

    2. Wijmlet says:


    3. Concerned citizen says:

      I see truly reckless driving every single day in our neighborhood. Lots of people don’t have the motor skills, attention, judgment or value for human life that should be required to drive a potentially lethal machine. They should not drive. Reckless drivers should face serious prison time. Cooper Stock’s killer was fined $500 and had his license suspended for 6 months. Are $50 tickets going to be effective? Not likely.

      • Jen says:

        I didn’t know that Copper Stock’s killer got a slap on a wrist. $500 and a short suspension? How come there was no vehicular manslaughter charges brought up?

        • Todd Wernstrom says:

          Unfortunately, unless alcohol or drug impairment is considered the cause of the death (or serious injury), this category of incidents doesn’t have serious consequences. They are traffic infractions, not crimes. That should be changed.

      • dannyboy says:

        Here’s an interesting observation about WSR Commentariat.
        Of the 3 topics in the article, here’s the number of comment threads for each:

        “Speed Cameras Coming” – 1
        “West End Fire” – 0
        “Art Question” – 0

        Number of threads commenting on Chinese Food: 6
        Why does WSR edit out the comments that are RELEVANT TO THEIR OWN ARTICLE, ending discussion of THEIR STORY?

    4. Weird That Way says:

      Silk Road Palace had a restaurant on that block but I believe it was on the north side.

    5. Michael marino says:

      I think it was called China Fun

      • Stuart says:

        Wasn’t China Fun on the west side Columbus between 71st and 72nd?

        • MikeDNYC says:

          Stuart, you are correct. China Fun was on west side of Columbus between 71 & 72.
          That was my go-to Chinese place which partly explains why I cannot picture or name the Chinese restaurant inquired about on 72nd St.
          Ps Anyone remember a great tiny Italian restaurant named Genoa on Amsterdam bet. 72nd & 73rd? Circa mid 1970s?

          • Maria says:

            I remember Genoa — more like late 1970s to early ’80s. Long lines, cheap food was OK not great in my opinion. There was also Al Buon Gusto on West 72nd Street near Eclair (also a blast from the past). ABG used a LOT of garlic, but good, inexpensive meals.

            • MikeDNYC says:

              Al Buon Gusto was actually located on the west side of Columbus bet. 72-73 before it moved to W 72nd. A new, pricier Italian restaurant took over the Columbus location. By pricier I mean maybe $12 for a pasta entre. The name if that place just will not come to me. Anyone here know the name of it?

          • Deb says:

            Does anyone remember a Chinese restaurant on the west side of Broadway somewhere between 75th and 77th – this would have been in the mid to late 1980s.

    6. Watto says:

      There’s so much more going on in this city and country (starting with Trump, our mayor, poor homeless people, filthy streets, etc.) to find “gross”. Why pick on someone whose baristas know her … I think it’s great! Shows really good service.

    7. Arlene says:

      I remember the Chinese restaurant well but sadly, don’t remember the name. I live down the block and used to pickup dinner there at least once a week in the 70s. In fact, they knew my name. One day I took my young son there and asked them to pack the remainder in a doggy bag. Well, they charged me 15¢ for the container! When I complained and went so far as to say I’d never come back if they didn’t remove the charge they couldn’t care less. Well, I never went back and they went out of business shortly thereafter. Maybe they were rude to too many people. BTW, I’ve racked my brain but sorry that I can’t answer your question.

    8. Filatura says:

      What’s astounding is not just the speed with which shops and restaurants change hands in NYC, but the speed with which we forget what used to be in a location.
      Lightning round:
      What was in the store that’s now Flying Tiger?
      The restaurant that’s now Bella Luna?
      The bank at the corner of 86th & Columbus?
      The restaurant that’s now Spring Natural?

      • Jen says:

        Good post.

        I can only answer #3 – chase bank around 2000-2001.

        The questions need a date for the precise answers. Same locations went through multiple changes through the years. For me changes begin 1999 and on. For others – much earlier.

        • Filatura says:

          Didn’t Chase also have a small branch on the NW corner of 86th/Columbus that is now Starbuck’s? Before it finally settled into its current location mid-block on 86th? (This was originally a branch of Chemical-Corn Exchange bank; if you look up you can see the corn-sheaf medallion above the front window.)
          At different times before the TD bank, the SW corner housed The Gap and (REALLY long ago) a big, creepy, poorly-lit chain drugstore (Rexall? Walgreen?)that seemed to specialize in dusty stuffed toys. One of the small buildings next to it was a tiny but good fish store run by a nice woman — Rita, I think?

        • dannyboy says:

          “changes begin 1999 and on” A good reference point. Change accelerated during that period at and exponential rate. It was the Period known as ‘The New Upper West Side’.

          “For others – much earlier.” This earlier period, marked by Gentrification, introduced ‘Privilege and Segregation’.

          I can keep you informed about the current transition to ‘The Upper Wealth Side’. Save yourself, my children already have.

      • Mark P says:

        I think Flying Tiger used to be Landmarc Realty?

        Bella Luna was a Soviet Consulate or something like that. But that I know from seeing photos by the bathroom, not my own eyes.

        Spring Natural…I think I could know that one. But I can’t remember.

      • UWSmama says:

        Observations from late mid 1990s onward:

        Bella Luna was a plant store. Dimly lit, not great prices, inexplicably there for 20+ years?

        The TD Bank was a Blockbuster video (VHS days) and, briefly, a Gap.

        And (since we are playing this game) I really miss the walnut shrimp (and other dishes) at 88 Noodle (RIP).

    9. OMG Gravity Load says:

      I’m really concerned about the structural load that water-bladder style swimming pool is imposing on that roof.

      That looks like a dangerous concentration of weight. A structural engineer should evaluate that setup before use.

    10. Harry Joseph says:

      I bet it was China Gourmet at 128 W. 72, 799-3068/799-6650.

      • Grew Up Upper says:

        Thanks Harry Joseph – I think you’re right! I figured it was probably a generic kind of name – even hearing it, it doesn’t ring a memory bell, as I thought it might, but it’s exactly the location I remember and I found a reference to it in a book, which sounds very right.

      • Arlene says:

        I wrote earlier that I remembered everything but the name.

        Well, Harry, I’m pretty sure you got it!

    11. James Ryan says:

      If the playwright is still looking for the name of that restaurant, the NYPL’s online menus collection might be of help:

    12. dannyboy says:

      Of the 3 topics in the article, here’s an updated number of comments for each:

      “Speed Cameras Coming” – 3
      “West End Fire” – 0
      “Art Question” – 0

      Number of comments on Chinese Food: 14

      My observation is that WSR edit out the comments that are RELEVANT TO THEIR OWN ARTICLE, ending discussion of THEIR STORY, especially in the case of 6 comments on “Speed Cameras Coming” being deleted.