NoteS from Around the block East Side Encounters

| 05 Oct 2015 | 12:02

    Street trash: Northwest corner of 87th Street and Lex, opposite CVS - old wire trash cans overflowing with rubbish. City signs on cans forbidding personal and business trash. There’s plenty of other trash to fill the cans to be sure but they are filled and the trash is all over the sidewalk and in the street. CVS could be a good neighbor and have the garbage removed during high volume times.

    Benefits of construction: After developer Related Companies cleared out the old Ruppert Playground, its 36-story tower is being built on 92nd between 2nd and 3rd. Expect concrete, cranes, scaffolding for at least the next two years. The upside is that the construction workers are busy patronizing the local mom and pops along 3rd Ave.

    Yellow cabs and GPS’s: That yellow cabbie who said he knew how to get from 80th and 3rd to NY Presbyterian in Flushing, forget it. He meant he was relying on GPS which, as it turns out, has the wrong location for the former Booth Memorial Hospital. The ill-fated route cost me an additional 20 dollars. Taxi drivers should be required to know how to travel without a GPS. Or at least know the difference when the GPS doesn’t.

    No more Acting: The Manhattan Democratic Convention nominated four Acting Supreme Court Justices to become full Supreme Court Justices come the November Elections. The nominees are Justice Tanya Kennedy, Justice Arlene Bluth, Justice Arthur Engoron, Justice Raymond Bruce. Eighteen judges competed for four open seats. Those judges who did not make it this year along with other judges who will be reported out of the Judicial Screening Panel are eligible to try again for open seats next year. Judge Kennedy’s replacement for her countywide Civil Court seat will be selected by Manhattan’s Democratic District Leaders on Oct. 8 from those who were reported out by the Civil Court Screening Panel - Ta-Tanisha James, Housing Court Judge Sabrina Kraus, Richard Tsai.

    Doggy due: Patient was leaving oncologist’s office in the East 80s with Yorkie in tote. The technician came running out of her office saying “Don’t leave, don’t leave.” Looking shaken, the patient asked if everything was OK. “Oh yes, everything is fine. I forgot to give you treats for Millie.”

    Price alert: Be on the lookout for under-pricing on shelves at Duane Reade and CVS in Upper East Side locations. When you get to the scanners, the price invariably is more. Staff is good about confirming correct price, but not best practice to lure consumers with faux prices.

    Cracking down on Select bus riders: Hold on tight to the receipt you get when you pay your fare on Select Bus routes. In the last month or so, enforcers have been ticketing riders who cannot produce proof of payment receipt. And the enforcers stay the bus route so look for the trash can when you leave the bus. No sooner.

    Not the fair way: What Fairway 86th St is calling a “Cafe” is nothing more than an ordinary take-out shop with no place to sit. It has a salad bar, hot food, coffee, soups. No more smoothies.

    Dis-service charges: Splitting restaurant bills with more than one credit card has become de riguer in my experience. I’ve heard it criticized by Europeans who take the “I pay this time, you pay next time” approach. But in NY, USA, some restaurateurs take the opportunity to add a “service charge” when diners use more than one credit card to pay the bill. After talking to several restaurant managers, the consensus was that it’s “tacky” and “not right,” that the restaurant pays a fee to the credit card company and is charged per swipe/use of the card, and the cost per card is negligible. However, if the charge is going to be added to the bill, there should be notice to the customer.

    Barely waiting: Bareburger on East 87th between 1st and 2nd takes a hard line when it comes to early arrivals. At 5:50 PM an elderly gentleman arrived for his 6:15 dinner with two friends. The host/manager would not seat him because “the policy” is for entire party to be seated at the same time. What made it more unpleasant was that there was no place for him to sit and wait. Time for Bareburger, a casual neighborhood restaurant that counts on local clientele for business, to rethink its policy.

    Mosque Fridays: On Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., the sidewalk in front of the Islamic Society of Mid-Manhattan on East 55th St. between 3rd and Lex, is occupied by Muslims praying. The street is open, except for the stretch in front of the mosque where Muslims use the street to pray. The mosque has a longstanding permit to use the street so long as the mosque itself is filled to capacity and is unable to accommodate those who have come to pray. There are three floors in the building. Two for men. One for the women. On some Fridays passersby congregate around the immediate vicinity of where the men are praying. Best to walk to the opposite sidewalk. Or make your way by using the street instead of the sidewalk.

    Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters will run bi-weekly in Our Town. The column marks a return to Our Town for Kayatt, who has lived on the Upper East Side for more than 40 years. She worked for the paper from 1973 to 1986, as a reporter and as managing editor. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at