Morning Bulletin: Keith Haring Mural Stripped for Sale, ‘Surfer Dude’ Heist, Speed Cameras Work

Photo by Andrea Casals.

October 21, 2019 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 68 degrees.

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

A Keith Haring mural that was painted in the stairwell at Grace House, a Catholic Youth Center at 218 West 108th Street, was taken off the wall and will be sold at auction. “Haring’s figures took up three stories of the building, creating a massive 85-foot mural. That same mural will be auctioned off at Bonhams New York next month, where it is estimated to sell for $3 million to $5 million USD…When Grace House eventually closed, the mural’s 13 figures were cut out and preserved into 15 separate sections.”

Read about how “surfer dudes” stole some of the Museum of Natural History’s most valuable objects 55 years ago. “The culprits were not ordinary thieves. They were sharply dressed surfer dudes on a spree that took them from their base in Miami Beach up to their lair in New York, a penthouse suite in a Manhattan hotel. They were caught within two days of the crime, but the jewels remained missing.”

Sgt. Linhong Li, a police officer from Queens who was assigned to the Upper West Side’s 24th precinct, became the 10th NYPD officer to die from suicide this year. “The grim death toll has rattled the department, and the NYPD has retooled its response to department suicides, encouraging all officers to seek mental health counseling if they have suicidal thoughts.”

Seneca Village, a mostly African-American village that was torn down to make way for Central Park will be honored with a monument. “The new addition to New York’s landscape, honoring the Lyons family, is part of the de Blasio administration’s push to diversify the city’s public art and recognize overlooked figures from its history. The Lyonses were Seneca Village property owners, educators and dedicated abolitionists, running a boardinghouse for black sailors that doubled as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The monument will include the figures of Albro Lyons, Mary Joseph Lyons and their daughter Maritcha Lyons, who was significant in her own right as a teacher, suffragist and racial justice activist.” We last wrote about Seneca Village here.

Since speed cameras were installed throughout the city near schools under a new law, crashes have declined by more than 10%. “From July 11 through Oct. 11, there were 53,325 motor vehicle collisions throughout the five boroughs — 6,188, or 10.4 percent, fewer than the same time period in 2018. At $50 a ticket for going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, the city could rake in millions of dollars per month. But the speed cameras aren’t about the money — they’re about saving lives, and they’ve been doing just that, said a state lawmaker from Brooklyn whose bill gave the city the green light to install the additional 610 camera systems.”

An Upper West Sider described what it’s like to lose most of your sight then regain it. “Central Park was no longer a flat green, it was a multitude of textured greens. The cherry blossoms on Riverside Drive were no longer a pink blur, but a delicate, speckled grouping of blossoms. What a gift I was given, to see this great city again, anew and fresh. I have one good eye, and that’s more than enough.”

Check out the cool photo below from 10-year-old James Wepsic! He took the shot from around 86th Street on Saturday.

NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Pierre Delecto says:

      They should put speed cameras along on Riverside Drive to catch people zipping through the red lights.

    2. NYYgirl says:

      Great pic James! Going to show it to my 10-yr-old later!

    3. Franco says:

      School zone tickets in San Antonio are $300 on the first one, 2nd is like $650
      Expand the school zone to the intersections near the school, install a few cameras, including on school buses, watch NTC rake in some “legal pot” type revenue

    4. Bill Williams says:

      How do they extrapolate a decline in borough wide crashes to mean that speed cameras near schools work? Also comparing 3 months from this year to three months from last year is meaningless.

    5. Filatura says:

      Just curious: Who will benefit from the sale of the Keith Haring murals that were stripped from the walls of the former Grace House? The current owners? (I believe the building now houses a parochial school, so possibly the Archdiocese?)The Haring estate? It would be nice if some of money went to carry on the work of Grace House which, if I recall, gave young people a safe place to learn and practice the graphic and performing arts.

    6. Filatura says:

      The street I live on was part of the western boundary of Seneca Village. While I’m delighted that the city is recognizing the extraordinary Lyons family, its excuse for placing it on 106th Street, rather than in the former confines of the Village itself (in the 80s)sounds rather puny. But okay,let’s be happy for small favors.