Der New Yorkishe Beobakhter
The Satmar Hasidim of South Williamsburg have their own schools, their own ambulance service, their own police and their own courts. And soon, they may have their own armory.
Rumors have been swirling within the community that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, represented informally by Orthodox businessman Abraham Eisner, is on the verge of concluding a deal between the warring Satmar factions—led by the late Grand Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum’s two sons, Aaron and Zalman—over disputed property.
The two factions, according to the rumors, would jointly purchase the 165,166-square foot, 3.2-acre Marcy Armory from the state, which has been trying to offload the property. The armory would be physically divided between the two camps, though the Zalmanites would pay more than the Aaronites. In exchange, the Aaronites would renounce their claims—claims unlikely to be backed by secular courts—on summer camps in Ulster County and a matzoh bakery on Broadway in Williamsburg.
Der New Yorkishe Beobakhter
Strolling down Bedford Avenue, you’re greeted by a solid wall of new six-story brick buildings.
The apartments are spacious and cheap by New York standards. For half a million dollars, you can buy a three-bedroom condo in a new elevator building. The tan brick buildings won’t win any design awards, with their looming, protruding window cages and diagonally cascading balconies built solely for constructing booths during Sukkot. But the apartments are big enough to raise a kid or seven.
Cross Broadway north into the trendier section of Williamsburg, though, and half a million will barely buy you a studio. The new construction appears formidable, but it pales in comparison with the torrent of demand streaming into the neighborhood.
THE BIKESHARE COMETH!
When the blue Citibank Citi Bikes—thank you again impossibly selfless, unfailingly generous corporate overlords!—start rolling out of their stations, there is one neighborhood that will not be sharing.
South Williamsburg is noticeably lacking in any of the city’s new bike-share stations, The Wall Street Journal noticed. And this time the Hasidic community didn’t even have to battle against naked hipsters to get their way!
There were so many communities clamoring to host the cruisers, ugly Citibank logos be damned, that the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community simply stayed mum and let the sought-after stations go where they were wanted, the city transportation commissioner explains. And that wasn’t South Williamsburg.
Off the Rails
Over the weekend, the Underbelly Project exploded across the Internet. The work of dozens of street artists, they had taken over an abandoned subway station somewhere in the city and turned it into an underground (get it!) exhibition.
Yet when transit wonks saw the show online, their first wasn’t, “Whoa, nice tag!” Read More