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.