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‘Taste’ tantalizes palates, raises funds for park

The 11th Annual Taste of the Village benefit for Washington Square Park last Thursday evening brought out the foodies — or at least brought out people’s inner foodies. Hundreds who shelled out $50 each gathered under a big white tent by the Washington Square Arch to sample fine cuisine from more than 30 Village restaurants, read more here »

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BY TEQUILA MINSKY  |  Just inside the fence on the north side of Houston St. between Wooster and Greene, behind one of the Silver Towers, a swath of land was lush with vegetables this summer. Last Thursday, the eggplants, bell and hot peppers, melons, tomatoes still on the vine and herbs in abundance were harvested. read more here »

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Harvest hauls in food lovers for Union Square Park

The 18th Annual Harvest in the Square, New York’s premier local food and wine tasting event, took over Union Square’s northern plaza on Sept. 17. Chefs from the hottest Union Square restaurants prepared signature dishes using fresh farm produce right from the Union Square Greenmarket. The food fest is sponsored by the Union Square Partnership read more here »

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Friends howl for L.E.S. Jewels at Tompkins memorial

BY GERARD FLYNN  |  Friends and fellow gutter pirates held a memorial Friday evening for Joel Pakela, a.k.a. L.E.S. Jewels, the 43-year-old godfather of gutter punks and hobos who have made the Crusty Row section of Tompkins Square Park their temporary home for more than 25 years. Its benches were the scene for some of Jewels’s craziest antics, read more here »

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Playing or fixing them, pianos are key in his life

BY BOB KRASNER  |  Electric pianos? Don’t talk to Ray Santiago about electric pianos. “I hate electric pianos!” he said, emphatically. The 59-year-old has been playing on natural “88’s” since he was 10 years old and nothing has taken him away from his love for the instrument. He was 7 years old when he emigrated read more here »

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Cowboy gets hitched to programmer

A special wedding celebration was held for Randy Jones, the Village People’s original Cowboy, and software engineer Will Grega, at DL Rooftop in the East Village on Fri., Sept. 13. Presented by actor/event promoter Keith Collins, and hosted by author Mark Bego, the 13th Annual Kings & Cowboys birthday celebration for Collins and Jones included an intimate read more here »

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Spirit of 9/11 keeps flying with heroic Hester flag

BY HEATHER DUBIN  |  The unfurling of an enormous American flag down the side of a six-story building in Chinatown tends to bring traffic to a halt. This happens annually on the corner of Hester and Mott. Sts. when John Casalinuovo, who volunteered at Ground Zero for nine months at the Salvation Army tent, leads a read more here »

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Odessa bar, beer ’n’ blintzes retro dive, to close

  After 33 years in business, the Odessa Café Bar on Avenue A will close on Sat., Aug. 31. Odessa Restaurant next door will remain open. Last Saturday a half dozen customers lounged over lunch and drinks. Two locals said they were saddened by the impending closure. “Where are we going to go now?” wondered Meg read more here »

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Raising level of veggie freshness with roof garden

BY BOB KRASNER  | Grow your own? On a Manhattan rooftop? If we are talking about arugula, parsley, sage, lettuce, fennel, kale and other assorted greens and vegetables, go right ahead. And if you happen to have a restaurant right downstairs, all the better. Rosemary’s, the “rustic Italian” restaurant at the corner of Greenwich Ave. and read more here »

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Filmmaker has impressive body of work — about bodies

BY LAEL HINES  |  “When I was young I went to a women’s party. It’s a gay party; all the women who worked in the factory got together and had a party. You have to visualize a place like Pennsylvania. It’s working class. Once a man came in and beat up a woman and tore read more here »

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