East Side Encounters
BY ARLENE KAYATT
Among the suits — Hands-down winner for best meet-and-greet for Manhattan judicial candidates is Josh Hanshaft. Legislative attorney for the NYC Council and former district attorney, Hanshaft was running for an open countywide Civil Court seat. There were two openings and several candidates. Before the selection of a nominee, prospective candidates hold meet-and-greets with voters, mostly members of local Democratic clubs. The meet-and-greets are usually held in restaurants or in someone’s home. Hanshaft’s was unique — it was at Zohrer’s Men’s Haberdasher on East 54th Street. Amid the bespoke custom suits, shirts, scarves, ties and comfy sofas and chairs, the boutique catered in: luscious shrimp, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, and kosher cold cuts — pastrami, corned beef, turkey. Great fun and best of all was the candidate’s short speech — something’s always promised but never delivered — a “thank you to all for coming.” Oh, Hanshaft and Emily Morales-Minerva were the two nominees selected for the countywide Civil Court seats and both will appear on the November ballot. Morales-Minerva is deputy chief counsel to the deputy administrative judge for NYC Courts and former principal law clerk to a judge on the state Court of Appeals.
Deposit slip scam — Chase Bank, like most if not all banks, keeps withdrawal and deposit slips in slots on counters for depositors to use when doing their banking business. On several occasions deposit slips with account numbers — not the present depositor’s — have been left on the countertop or in the slots so that an unwary depositor, in a hurry, fills in the date, their name and an amount, and hies over to the teller to make the deposit. Only problem is that they may have used a deposit slip with someone else’s account number. That someone has left a deposit slip with his or her, not your, account number for you to use when making a deposit. Seem like you would never do that? Lucky you. Pay attention. Somebody’s done well in this scam and they’re not letting up.
Dis-Order of the buses — With all the changes that happen so rapidly in this world, the one consistency is lousy MTA/bus service in Manhattan — East Side, West Side, Uptown, Downtown. Crosstown buses, with Select Service only, have their own set of problems and annoyances. But I’m convinced that, for some reason, whoever schedules bus routes and bus availability does not have a clue or care about how to run a metropolitan bus system. It’s amazing to me how, when it comes time to managing fare increases, the MTA is right on it — whether changing from token to MetroCard and soon to apps — they get it done. But they can’t manage the orderliness of a bus system. I marvel at how private bus routes arrive on time, leave on time, don’t have signs saying “Next Bus, Please,” “Training Bus,” “Not In Service,” which are consistently displayed for the everyday bus rider. And, oh, let’s not forget the five-bus caravans of “Limited” buses that stop short of the end of their usual route. The practice ends in delays with the driver having to tell riders getting on the bus that it stops before the usual last stop and announcing to those on the bus the bad news. Sometimes the decision to shorten the route takes place without prior notice. And it gets worse. Adding to the unpleasantness of it all are some of the bus drivers. No question that their occupation is not enviable, and it’s understandable that they’re harried because of city traffic. But it’s unfair and outright wrong for drivers to refuse to take passengers on a bus because they were standing in the “wrong” part of the almost block-long bus stop. Case in point, Church and Worth Streets. The uptown M5 stops there. For a time, no other bus routes stopped there. There are now signs indicating that the M1 and M6 also stop there. The M1 I’m familiar with travels Madison and Fifth Avenues. The M6 is no longer. Based on the way the bus stops are set up, M1 and M6 (if they’re even running in this part of town, or exist in the case of M6) stop ahead of the seating kiosk. M5 stops mid-block. Problem is that mid-block, at least on this particular day, was lined with stanchions so that there was no place to stand. In addition, the stop accommodates (no sign to indicate) Academy buses. When the M5 came along, I was waiting in a seat in the kiosk with another rider. Bus stopped mid-block among the stanchions. The riders rushed to the open door and were told by the driver that he didn’t have to take them because they weren’t in the right part of the bus spot. Had there been an Academy bus sign in the stop, I would have waited and gone to Atlantic City. At least I’d have a shot at winning. Something that can’t be said for MTA bus-riding.
Street pop-up — Does anyone ask anymore where your kids are at 10 p.m.? The line originated long ago on Channel 5’s 10 O’Clock News: “It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” Well, on a recent Thursday night at exactly 10 p.m., I knew where the kids were and what they were doing. On Third/90th, on the east side of the street, a group of about 15 or 20 early 20-somethings were singing and dancing in place with a bucket for thank you’s. A crowd of all ages gathered round, listened, tapped, smiled. Half a block north was a Waffles & Dinges truck serving up their fare. Nice to end the evening with a happy pop-up on a city street.