GOSH!ABOUT: Taste Of East Village
Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit: Taste of East Village
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When a festival does something BIG for a great cause we got to talk about it! On September 17th, 2016, the Taste Of East Village held an outdoor culinary festival on East 7th Street, between Cooper Square and 2nd Avenue.
This joint effort by local leaders gave back to the community in a meaningful way for the aftermath of the gas explosion in the East Village on March 2015. This organization was created by the combined forces of Steve Herrick, executive director of Cooper Square Committee; Jimmy Carbone, owner of the beloved pub Jimmys’ No.43; and Ben Conniff, co-owner of Luke’s Lobster and founder of Taste of 7th Street.
Cooper Square Committee provided resources with the relocation of several displaced households and assisted impacted buildings with repairs.
The proceeds raised from the festival provides affordable housing preservation and development work, social services, and senior programming of the Cooper Square Committee.
The funds raised helps with three (3) initiatives spearheaded by the Cooper Square Committee, which are
- The tenant and small business organizing program, which helps prevent tenant displacement caused by speculators
- The development of two buildings, which will house 40 homeless LGBT youth
- The senior program, which helps elderly residents with a strong support network. This includes helping the Bea Arthur Residence for homeless LGBT youth), greening and resiliency programs, tenant counseling, organizing and anti-eviction work, and social services for low income households and senior citizens.
There were more than fifteen (15) of the East Village’s top restaurants and eateries to choose from. We sampled four (4) of the tastings; enjoyed the juicy half lobster roll by Luke’s Lobster, who is a strong sponsor. Another interesting selection was the long Kielbasa along with a potato pierogi provided by Veselka, known for their Ukrainian dishes since 1954. We had to get dessert in with a selection of cookies and ice cream provided by Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream.
Great live entertainment from local musicians included — The Jazz Passengers, Maquina Mono, Public Access TV, Rachelle Garniez, Bill Popp and the Tapes, Bern and the Brights.
This event would not be possible without the help of amazing sponsors like the Village Voice, Whole Foods, Jimmy No 43, Cooper Square Housing Association, Evima, Luke’s Lobster, Community Access and New York Health and Racquet.
To learn more about Cooper Square Committee and Taste Of East Village, please visit www.coopersquare.org/tasteofev
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