Mark de Solla Price’s Testimony regarding Fedora at Community Board 2

My name is Reverend Mark de Solla Price and I have lived at 235 West 4th Street for sixteen years under rent stabilization. You have already heard from my husband Vinny Allegrini.

I have been living with HIV/AIDS for 28 years, and have been largely homebound and on disability for the last four years. My illness causes me to be very sensitive to chemicals and smells, which can trigger a six-hour migraine episode or send me to the hospital (although where that would be is an other issue)

Our apartment is on the second floor facing the block’s shared central courtyard. In the past, this courtyard has been a calm oasis, but it easily turns into an echo chamber for sound, smells and smoke.

The priceless value of this common resource is perhaps why the neighbors who share it have become so tight knit and mutually helpful in it’s stewardship. It’s a special block that is both extensively residential and the home to ten busy commercial operations, largely restaurants and bars.

Fedora Dorato has always been a wonderful neighbor. When she opened in the 1950’s, hers was one of the only restaurants that welcomed same-sex couples. Although she’s a dynamo, at aged 89, her restaurant was only open 5 days a week, and on those days, only open to about 11 PM. Fedora’s was a quite local restaurant serving an older crowd. Hearing about plans for seven-days a week. Being open to 2 AM or perhaps 4 AM. Perhaps using the garden courtyard and certainly with much more traffic, kitchen noise and smells is VERY worrisome.

This new Fedora seems like a totally different sort of place. I respectfully ask that the Community Board 2 consider the impact to the current residents when considering allowing these major changes. Thank you.

Vinny Allegrini’s Testimony regarding Fedora at Community Board 2

My name is Vinny Allegrini, and my husband and I have lived at 235 West 4th Street for sixteen years. I have also been battling full-blown AIDS and other life-challenging conditions for those sixteen years. I was a Home Hospice patient in this home from December 31, 2001 until March 31, 2006, when my insurance coverage was exhausted and I had not died on schedule. I am still on disability and largely homebound here.

Our apartment is on the second floor facing the block’s shared central courtyard. Our living room is 21 feet from the Fedora’s kitchen roof. The bed in our bedroom, where I spend most of my time, is 17 feet from Fedora’s rear garden.

In addition to comprehensive pain management with multiple daily doses of morphine, I require oxygen, my husband and I need to take this shoebox of AIDS medication and other medications for each week. Again, this is only ONE WEEK worth of our medications.

I am a very sick and frail man. I am frightened by the unintended consequences of Gabriel Stulman’s new plans for Fedora. Simple things like kitchen exhaust fans and restaurant staff taking smoking breaks out the kitchen door until 2 am — or even 4 am – seven days a week pose a very real threat to my ability to stay alive and to stay in my home with my husband and my loving dog Troika. I don’t have the stamina to wait a year or two as we work out the kinks along the way.

I respectfully ask that the Community Board 2 consider these costs when considering allowing these major changes. Thank you.