There were more photographers than actual humans in attendance at the launch party for Charlotte Ronson’s beauty line at Hotel Chantelle. In between posing at the step-and-repeat, guests dined on rigatoni bolognese and other treats and retold their Hurricane Irene experiences. In fact, save for Irene and sister Samantha who couldn’t get there because of the storm, all Charlotte’s girl pals were there to support. Drea de Matteo, Shoshanna Gruss, Dani Stahl, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Becka Diamond, and mom Ann Dexter-Jones made the scene. The retractable roof remained open, and the cooperating weather was all the rage.
We left and caught that Paul Rudd movie, which surprisingly wasn’t bad, and returned for the afterparty in the downstairs lounge. A good time was had by all. Talk of how exhausted everyone was with all the hurricane drama and how lucky we all were that the event could actually occur. Everybody, especially Vanity Fair’s George Wayne (surrounded as usual with a bevy of beauties), were just happy to be there to support Charlotte’s new adventure.
I received the following late last night — names have been deleted to protect the presumably innocent:
On friday night, Saturday morning, around 3 AM – 2 men ate a meal at El Sombrero – the popular Dominican restaurant with Mexican style home cooking located at 108 Stanton @ the corner of Ludlow and Stanton. After eating the 2 men left without paying their bill – a game called dine and dash. One of the cooks, Adolfo Batista, and a friend chased the men and caught up to them in front of 110 Stanton, across the street from the open San Loco. The thieves got away and Mr. Batista ended up getting serious beating. He was taken to the hospital and later released.
The block between Houston and Stanton is heavily patrolled. A patrol car parked at the corner of Houston stops all traffic from entering Ludlow. The police put 2 powerful kleg lights just north of Max Fish which lights up the block like a Hollywood set. It is not unusual to see the 7th precinct Captain himself sitting in a car on the block The Captain seems fixated on closing Max Fish. No arrests were made. The thieves got away.
Stabbing-murder arrest – Police arrested Charles Meredith, 46, on Fri., May 13, and charged him with the May 11 stabbing death of Stewart Rhodes, 50, in Stanton House, the treatment center at 190 Stanton St. An argument between the suspect and the victim turned violent at about 3:20 a.m. when the suspect pulled a kitchen knife and plunged it several times into the victim’s torso, police said. Rhodes was taken to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The suspect fled but police found a discarded kitchen knife at the scene. Meredith, a Brooklyn resident, was said to be a recent patient at the center and a roommate of the victim. He is being held on a charge of second-degree murder.
Held in girlfriend’s murder – Police arrested Miguel Peña, 58, on Tuesday night, June 28, and charged him with murder after the body of his girlfriend, Felicia Cruz, 49, a home health aide and mother of two sons, was found wrapped in a plastic sheet inside his Stanton St. apartment.
Police were called about 1:30 p.m. after the victim did not show up for work, and discovered her body in Peña’s apartment at 101 Stanton St. at Ludlow St. Her younger son, Eric, 14, had been looking for her because she hadn’t been seen since Monday, according to friends.
The victim had been dating Peña, a neighborhood ice cream vendor, for about five months, according to neighbors. The suspect was said to be extremely jealous and had been trying to convince her to move with him to Florida, neighbors said. Nevertheless, Cruz had been planning to leave him because of his jealousy, relatives said. Peña was being held without bail.
And so on.
I called the sender and asked him how these random ravings fit together. He explained that real crime is happening all over the neighborhood while the police seem fixated on closing Max Fish and other area hotspots. He referred to an article I wrote regarding this action. Although I agree that the real crimes mentioned should have precedence over the policing of the bars on the Lower East Side strip, I must say that the hood has been out of control for a while, and I welcome fair enforcement of common-sense noise regulations.
For too long, bars have had doors and windows wide open with music blaring and patrons literally screaming, getting sick, and breaking glassware and beer bottles with no response from city officials or recourse from residents. I have been told in the past that when someone called the precinct to complain, little or nothing had been done. One resident told me that when the Environmental Protection Agency agents did show up, on occasion, noise levels coincidentally were muted — implying a tipoff.
Police Captain David Miller, newly in charge of the area, seems so far to be dealing with this situation even-handedly, balancing the needs of those who live there with recognition of the vibrancy of the hood and the jobs and revenues generated by the night economy. Many are nervous that a sweeping police enforcement will eventually change the landscape and make the LES a bedroom community devoid of its historic and essential culture. If the policing is done because of impending new construction with the enforcement spurred by real-estate interests who are developing a nearby hotel and lots of etceteras, then scandal is indeed the word for it.