The Real Deal New York

Inside Chinatown’s tiny 81 Bowery homes, $88M Central Park West penthouse among priciest U.S. deals … and more

April 18, 2014 05:45PM

1. Central Park West‘s $88M penthouse among top ten priciest U.S. deals [Curbed]
2. The murals of New York City, all in one place: PHOTOS [Hyperallergic]
3. A roundup of all the Bronx‘s landmarked buildings [Welcome2TheBronx]
4. Photographer explores 64-square-foot homes at Chinatown’s 81 Bowery: PHOTOS [WSJ]
5. A peek inside Brooklyn‘s wood-framed past: PHOTOS [Brownstoner]
6. The “echo boom” generation ushers in an age of “urban reordering” [NYT]
7. Taxi sweet spots and other things you don’t know about Gowanus [BrickUnderground]
8. Selldorf’s 10 Bond Street sales office opens, units start at $4.4 million [NYT] — Angela Hunt

  • 81 Bowery vs 47 Bayard

    What is the real story here? How is it that Annie Ling was covering this for four years but her photos didn’t get heavily publicized until a year after eviction?

    I’m sure a lot of people were ready to look for that 83 year old widow. What happened to her? Was she previously moved to the Bronx and returned?

    Why didn’t the press today refer to this to illuminate the current story:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-11-03/news/the-strangest-landlord-tenant-relationship-in-town/

    The Bronx facility was a step up from what they were used to in
    Chinatown. Suddenly, these poor Chinese immigrants had rooms with real
    ceilings. And kitchens. And actual privacy.

    So what did they do? They filed suit and spent a year fighting to get
    back into their cramped, smelly cubicles at 81 Bowery with three dozen
    people to a single bathroom and soup made on hot plates in the hallway.

    Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    • Why not rescue the widow?

      In 2005, the Chinese-language newspaper Tsing Tao spoke with the residents of 81 Bowery, who then numbered about 60. An elderly tenant of 97, Lu Yi Cai,
      told the paper that in the 1960s, the men on the fourth floor had only
      beds, no cubicles. At that time, he said, gang activity was bad, and he
      joined a triad to make money collecting debts. By the 1970s, Lu said, he
      had $17,000 stuffed under his bed, but later lost it all as his health
      began to deteriorate.

      “These tenants, they may look poor, but they are not poor. They have
      money—they do their own renovations on the building,” he says. “They
      break all the rules. I tell them not to cook, and they cook. They can’t
      just build up to the ceiling. That blocks the sprinklers. They pay rent,
      and then they collect more rent!”

      • where are they now?

        I think the news at the time unlike this week focused more on their orneriness and not on their desperate straits – why? because they were making more than their rents on extra bunks?

        Jimmy Mirikitani got Hells Kitchen not the Bronx iirc.