Volume 74, Number 24 | Octuber 13 - 19 , 2004

Villager photos by Terry Allen

Drops in for dinner

On Friday night, a group of young women from Long Island dining at the Cornelia St. Cafe’s outdoor sidewalk cafe got a surprise not on the menu, when a man falling out of the air crash-landed on their table. According to witnesses, the man apparently was locked out of his apartment on the fourth floor above the restaurant and was trying to climb down from a neighbor’s fifth-floor window when he slipped. His fall was broken by the cafe’s canopy, which he tore off the building before landing on the women’s table. The women were not injured and the man, who a witness said may have a serious medical condition, was able to walk afterwards, but was removed to the hospital in an ambulance. Judy Joice, Cornelia St. Cafe’s general manager, was at home next door and rushed down a few minutes later to find a scene of devastation, with glass everywhere. “No one was hurt, miraculously,” she said. “I think he forgot there was no fire escape there. It was so loud, waiters across the street thought it was an air conditioner falling. The doors were open and the people inside got glass in their hair, but no one was hurt.” The women — who reportedly took the bizarre incident surprisingly well — and several others near the epicenter of the crash weren’t billed for their meals. “We didn’t give them checks for God’s sakes,” Joice said. “That’s a really traumatic event.” Joice used to co-own the legendary Lion Head tavern on Christopher St. with her late husband, Wes, who died seven years ago.

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