Volume 20, Number 51 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 15 - 21, 2010
By Janel Bladow
Frenzy of holiday shopping, traveling, eating and drinking is on but while we celebrate the season with all the good cheer, this year will be a little tougher for some. Reach out to your loved ones…and spread some spirit around the hood.
The neighborhood saw the loss recently of a great man and friend, NYPD Detective Kevin Czartoryski. He was only 46 when he died Sunday, Dec. 5, from illnesses – yes, plural – linked to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Two days later, Veteran’s Day, Michael Daly of the Daily News wrote a column on Kevin that breaks my heart. He detailed the medical mess and insurance mayhem Kevin could not survive.
This great hulk of a cop spent days after the attack manning the temporary morgue at The Pit, as the gaping hole in downtown was commonly called. He developed a cough, which turned out to be cancer, retired on a 9/11 disability in 2009 and was put on a lung transplant waiting list. While he got one, cancer ate away at the rest of his body; doctors found seven kinds in his bones, spine and stomach.
If anyone doubts that our 9/11 workers and survivors shouldn’t be guaranteed whatever assistance they need, just look at how our city has been robbed of so many selfless people like Kevin. Please, Washington, put politics aside and pass this necessary legislation now.
Starting in narcotics and hate crimes, he was promoted to the press office. Kevin “Shot-of-whiskey” as some locals called him spent many a night and early morning in the Seaport after his shift at Police Headquarters. It was from there he would come to unwind at The Paris, Radio Mexico and other haunts in the hood.
My husband Chris Oliver remembers the day he was getting his gold shield, Detective First Grade. “It’s a big deal,” he says. “Kevin wearing his dress blues was down in the press room, popping breath mints like kernels of popcorn, and asking if he looked okay. He was so nervous. You could see that this really meant something to him.”
Kevin loved being a cop. He loved helping people out. He was kind, funny, a great friend. One of the bartenders at The Paris called him a class act. “You’ll never find a better man.” He’s right. I loved how his big, round mug would light up as he’d break into a hardy laugh at a good story. Kevin will be missed.
Some of the neighbors are gathering at The Paris Thursday night to hoist one for Kevin. Join us.
Santa Came Early… to the Zink household. A beautiful bundle of baby boy, Calvin James Zink was born Wednesday, Dec. 8, at NY Downtown Hospital weighing in at 7-pounds, 15-oz. Mom Amanda (Bryon-Zink) emailed SR: “Very quick delivery and all good at home so far…all my boys are great (Dad, Kolten 2, Calvin the baby, Tyras the dog and Skinney the cat).” Stop by Salty Paw and leave a message for Amanda and Rob.
Almost everyone I know is still picking up gifts for Christmas lists and party presents. While the streets and shops uptown are crowded with tourists and out-of-town shoppers, I vote to stay in the hood – shop local. Suggestions? Luxuriate: Till Christmas Eve for every $100 gift card purchased, Setai Club & Spa will add $25, www.setaiclubnewyork.com. Indulge: A box of decedent chocolates from Godiva or La Maison du Chocolat. Feast: Dinner at any of the delightful restaurants in the area. But leading up to the holidays, enjoy playtime at SUteiShi (Front and Peck Slip). Every night, 5:30 - 6:30pm, buy one, get one drinks and $5 make your own Maki rolls. Shop local, eat local.
Happy New Year!