Monday Bulletin: Engagement Ring Crisis, Developer Turns the Tables, A Restaurant Manager’s Heart

Photo by @travellieng.

December 30, 2019 Weather: Rainy, with a high of 45 degrees.

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

Don’t toss your tree just yet! Mulchfest is about to start, and you can give that tree new life. You can bring it to a collection site, or throw it out curbside (with lights etc. taken off) between Jan. 6 and Jan. 17.

A one-carat diamond slipped from its setting on an heirloom engagement ring and fell beneath the refrigerator of a newsstand on Broadway and West 82nd Street, last Friday. “I went to grab a bottle of water,” Danielle Gelfand told CBS2. “I reached in, and all of a sudden, I heard a click.” She said her mother, “who fled during the Holocaust from Belgium to Morocco, gave my husband this ring for me. It’s something that has survived not one war, but two, including the first World War.” Her 88-year-old mother said, “You know what, we have our health, and if it’s meant to be, we’ll get it back.” Police and Gelfand were planning to meet the owner of the newsstand on Monday morning to determine if metal can be cut to reveal the diamond.

Update: It was meant to be. The diamond was recovered. On Monday morning, the owner of the newsstand met Danielle Gelfand and her husband there, CBS2 reported. “Gelfand’s husband brought a special camera, ran a cable deep into the crevice and was able to locate the diamond. Using some special equipment, they successfully got it out. ‘A ring is just a ring, but this ring is so much more,’ Gelfand said. Gelfand’s mother had been given the ring by her own mother, and Gelfand hopes to keep the tradition alive by passing the ring down to her daughter some day.”

For a change, a developer is suing a nonprofit. Extell Development is suing the City Club of New York, claiming it reneged on a deal to drop its opposition to Extell’s planned 775’ tower at 50 West 66th Street. According to the Real Deal, “the suit argues that Extell had reached an oral agreement with City Club that only needed to be signed, but the City Club then said they were only close to an agreement and continued its fight against the Upper West Side development. A spokeswoman for Gary Barnett’s Extell said the City Club “should not be permitted to cause additional litigation costs and drag out its meritless challenge to this project.” But John Low-Beer, the attorney for City Club, described Extell’s lawsuit as “totally baseless. We didn’t have an agreement, and the board decided not to settle,” he said.

After receiving a heart transplant ten months ago, “62-year-old Manny Colon is stronger than ever running the popular eatery the Bistro Cassis on Columbus and 71st Street, reported WABC. For nearly two decades, Colon had struggled with a genetic heart condition that limited his activities. Now, after three-and-a-half months in the hospital and months more in recovery, Colon is back at work doing what he loves with a grateful heart and a new lease on life. He is driving, planning, traveling and chasing around his grandkids, and even going to the gym three times a week. “I really do believe in miracles,” Colon said.

”New Yorkers forked over hundreds of thousands in fees to get on affordable housing wait lists with practically no chance of actually scoring one of those coveted homes, according to an audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli,” Curbed reported. “In a statement, DiNapoli said the audit points to ’troubling flaws’ with the city’s management of Mitchell-Lama developments. ’Collecting fees with virtually no chance for an apartment gives applicants false hope and compromises the program’s integrity.’ One of the Manhattan developments included in the audit is Trinity House, a rental development on the Upper West Side.

The New York Times Interactive real estate column, The Hunt, featured Upper West Side apartments. “Lauren Eggertsen and Robby Gouveia, close friends from their days at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., were living separately in New York City when they made a pact: When their respective leases expired, they would find a place together in their favorite New York neighborhood, the Upper West Side. Find out what was available in their $4,000 price range, and what they ultimately chose.

“The decade-long renter of a crumbling Upper West Side brownstone studio in a building overseen by the New York City Housing Authority told the Daily News she hasn’t had her own toilet, bath or sink for nine months. NYCHA’s…solution was to hand over keys to an apartment in the Wise Towers, about a block and a half away, where Jariny Morales was welcome to use the bathroom to wash up, brush her teeth and answer the call of nature — essentially a city-subsidized outhouse. *A NYCHA official said the authority provided Morales with a temporary apartment while work crews repaired her bathroom, but she chose to sleep in her own apartment instead.”

* Added for clarity.

NEWS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. HelenD says:

      I seriously can’t believe what I just read in that last paragraph. Every time I’m lamenting my own living conditions I think (and feel) for these people. Is there nothing that can be done or will this just continue to be an endless story that we read about year after year?

    2. lcnyc says:

      The last paragraph is a little misleading. She wasn’t given access to a bathroom a block and a half away, she was given another apartment to move to temporarily. She chose not to move. Questions abound. Did NYCHA offer to move her stuff for her and move it back after repairs were done, or was she expected to pay to move? Has she impeded repairs (as the original article implies) by not granting reasonable access to her apartment? Very poor job of reporting by the Daily News and the UWSRag was too quick to repeat the catchy headline.

      • HelenD says:

        Ok, thanks for posting the details. I hope there will be another story with more specifics on this subject. I find it so disturbing that the city can’t get the homeless housed, and they also can’t seem to provide decent living conditions for those who already have ‘homes.’

        I didn’t have working cable service for an entire year because Time Warner kept giving me hundreds of excuses, and it was left up to me to coordinate the the building super and the TimeWarner team, during my own working hours. It wasn’t until I wrote a letter to the head of TW and begged for a supervisor to be sent out to meet me, that I was finally allowed to have a handyman to accompany us to the roof, only to discover that all of the ‘work’ that was allegedly done to correct the problem was a total sham (they did the work from a power box in the courtyard), because when we got to the roof we discovered that the cable had literally been cut in half by machinery being used to renovate the roof.

        Obviously this isn’t a life altering problem, but now that I see how everything operates and realize that most people are not doing their jobs, I’m just trying to get some clarity on what really needs to be done to help these people.

      • Lou Nebengebäude says:

        Also, she may have been advised not to leave her brownstone apartment, because once out, the delays could extend from indefinitely to permanently. And she may well have preferred her own brownstone apartment to a Wise Towers accommodation.

        Unbelievable that people keep braying for ‘affordable housing’ when stories like this come out almost every week. NYCHA can’t care for the housing it currently has.

        • HelenD says:

          Interesting point. I do know a few seniors who live under deplorable conditions and they always insist on staying put. It didn’t occur to me that if they left the premises the repairs may never be done at all.

    3. Neal Hurwitz says:

      EXTELL is a nightmare for NYC!!!