We agree with Mayor Bloomberg: It is not a good day for New York. Only several hours after thousands of people gathered in the West Village to protest the murder of Mark Carson in what police are calling a hate crime, four individuals were beaten badly after being taunted with homosexual slurs.
- The intimidatingly assiduous Peggy Siegal greets people at the door; thanks us for coming to celebrate party with The New York Observer. “We are The New York Observer!” We cry. She doesn’t even pause. “Well, it’s great to see you anyway.”
-Terry McDonell: I’ve always loved the Observer, I have great respect for Peter Kaplan. The coverage of everything I was interested in New York in the past 25 years was reflected in The Observer at the highest level.
- Ray Kelly recalls the last time he was at the Four Seasons. “[We] feel like you never leave,” we tell the Police Commissioner. His reply: “A lot of people feel that way.”
The Eight-Day Week
Happy Birthday to us! The New York Observer is a quarter of a century old, and publisher Jared Kushner and CEO Joseph Meyer have assembled a bonzo boldfaced lineup of NYC’s most fabulous hosts to fête the glorious occasion. Think NYO founder Arthur Carter, Marchesa designer/knockout Georgina Chapman, art kingpin Larry Gagosian, Carolina Herrera, Katie Holmes (Suri will be in bed—sorry, tabloids), Commissioner Ray Kelly, style icon Lauren Santo Domingo, Matt Lauer
A New York grand jury has indicted Pedro Hernandez in connection with the 1979 death of Etan Patz. Mr. Hernandez, a 51-year-old resident of Maple Shade, N.J., has been charged with murder in the second degree. He was arrested in May 2012 after reportedly confessing to killing the little boy.
Etan Patz was on his way to school when he vanished from Soho on May 25, 1979. His disappearance became national news, his image eventually appearing on milk cartons across the country.
At the time, Mr. Hernandez was a stock clerk at a bodega near the Patz residence. According to a statement from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Mr. Hernandez said he lured Etan into the basement of the bodega by promising the boy a soda.
Just before Hurricane Sandy hit, everyone was busy stocking up provisions to weather the maelstrom. Following the storm, there was a scramble to to find more to eat as stores were empty and restaurants closed. This is a city of gourmands, after all. For the city officials who were responsible for guiding the city through the disaster, this was no exception.
While we were compiling our oral history of Hurricane Sandy, Joe Lhota mentioned that even in the worst of the storm, he had managed to keep his daily dietary regimen intact. This got us wondering: what was everybody eating while they scrambled around getting the city ready and helping it recover? Here is what the protectors and providers of the city had on their plates and in their pockets.
When Hurricane Sandy came ashore, it fell to the city’s leaders and the thousands of workers at their command to secure our coasts, to rescue those trapped by water and without power, to help the city rebuild. The Observer spent Monday and Tuesday talking with New York’s top public officials about Hurricane Sandy. These are their experiences in their own words.
Joe Lhota, chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority: I have an app on my iPad that monitors hurricanes on the East Coast. I have always lived on the water. I always watch the app. So when I first got involved in this—it was long before it even hit Jamaica—I knew when it started as a tropical storm, and a hurricane, and a tropical storm, and then a hurricane again.
Joe Bruno, commissioner, NYC Office of Emergency Management: We follow the weather very closely this time of year as it comes off the tip of Africa, or wherever it develops. This particular storm came out of the southwest of the Caribbean. At 11 a.m. on October 22, we saw a tropical depression. At that point it’s just a depression, and you don’t know much about it. By 6 p.m., it was upgraded already to a tropical storm called Sandy. It continued to strengthen during the next day, and we kept track of it as it moved across Jamaica.
One of the few bright spots to Hurricane Sandy, besides a new found appreciation for a subway system we too often loathe, is that crime is down, and according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, there have been no homicides since the storm hit the city Monday night.
“We’ve had no murders for three days,” Commissioner Kelly told reporters today inside the portico of City Hall, following the mayor’s afternoon press briefing. ”And we’ve also had a reduction in domestic violence.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the Halloween-worthy arrest of 28-year-old NYPD officer Gilberto Valle III today. Mr. Valle, who was stationed at the 26th Precinct, has been charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and illegal use of a federal law enforcement database.
Those charges aren’t strange at all, considering the crimes were allegedly committed as part of a plot with co-conspirators to kidnap and cannibalize as many as 100 women.
In a press conference streamed live by multiple media outlets, N.Y.P.D. Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that police have arrested Pedro Hernandez in connection with the May 25, 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. Mr. Kelly told reporters that police found “probable cause” to arrest Mr. Hernandez.
Mr. Kelly said Mr. Hernandez confessed to strangling and killing the boy as Etan headed to school the morning he vanished. Mr. Hernandez allegedly placed the body in a box which he left on the street.
Mr. Hernandez was a stock clerk in a bodega near the Patz home at the time of the disappearance. He allegedly led the boy into the basement there, luring him with the “promise of a soda,” according to Commissioner Kelly.
Occupy Wall Street
Over the weekend, 14 people were arrested during Occupy Wall Street protest in Union Square. The participants were demonstrating against Commissioner Ray Kelly and police brutality, and friends told us to avoid the area at all costs.
“The police are really jumpy today,” The Observer was advised.
But protesters had another group to contend with: the burnouts, skaters, and drug dealers who spend their days in the Square, and didn’t appreciate the extra heat OWS brought to their stomping grounds.