Chinatown: Neighbors Recall ‘Uncle Kwok,’ Who Died in Rampage

New York Today

Chinatown: Neighbors Recall ‘Uncle Kwok,’ Who Died in Rampage - The Reports

  • Oct. 8, 2019

Weather: Keep a jacket and an umbrella handy — cloudy and windy, with a high in the upper 60s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect today; suspended tomorrow for Yom Kippur.

Image Chinatown: Neighbors Recall ‘Uncle Kwok,’ Who Died in Rampage - The Reports

Credit…Gabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times

Sharon Otterman and Jeffrey E. Singer report:

About 3,600 people live on the streets of New York City.

Last weekend, four of them were killed in Chinatown while they were sleeping. One of them, named Chuen Kwok, was 83 years old.

To his neighbors, he was Uncle Kwok.

At a morning vigil yesterday, no family members of Mr. Kwok’s were present. But one woman, Kim Mui, spoke lovingly of him to anyone who asked, taking on the role of surrogate daughter.

In an interview, she recounted how as a child she had gone with her mother to visit Mr. Kwok — at a time when he still had a home in Chinatown. She did not recognize him, she said, when she befriended him about a month ago on the streets, helping him with food and chatting with him in Chinese.

It was Ms. Mui’s mother who told her that this quiet man she had been speaking to was the same person they used to visit decades ago.

“That’s Uncle Kwok,” Ms. Mui said her mother told her.

There are unanswered questions about Mr. Kwok’s life — chiefly, how he ended up living on the streets. What is known, though, is that he found some refuge in his neighborhood.

Andy Wang, 45, a manager at the Taiwan Pork Chop House, said Mr. Kwok would often sit at the same table by the kitchen and order a pork chop over rice for $5.75.

When the temperature began to drop, Ms. Mui brought shoes for him, she said. When she heard on the news the next morning that several homeless people had been murdered in the neighborhood, she prayed that Mr. Kwok wasn’t among them.

A 24-year-old man with a history of violence, Randy Rodriguez Santos, has been arrested and charged with the murders.

Yesterday morning, bright and early, a federal judge effectively ordered President Trump’s accountants to turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney. It was big news, and the first question on many readers’ minds was probably, are we finally going to see the president’s tax returns?

Not quite.

The Times’s Benjamin Weiser and William K. Rashbaum report:

The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., had subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s accounting firm for his tax returns. The president’s lawyers sued to block that subpoena, arguing that a sitting president could not be subject to the burden of an investigation, especially from local prosecutors who may use the criminal case for political gain.

The federal judge, Victor Marrero, wrote in his ruling yesterday that “neither the Constitution nor the history surrounding the founding support as broad an interpretation” as the president’s lawyers had argued.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers appealed Judge Marrero’s decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. Depending on what happens there, the losing side ultimately could try to take the case to the Supreme Court.

That does not mean the high court would accept the case.

The documents would be protected by the rules governing grand jury secrecy unless they became part of a criminal case.

[Here are five takeaways from the case.]

Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan “is feeling better and is in good spirits,” an aide said, after the 14-term Congress member appeared to have fainted at an event. [Daily News]

True blue? The Bronx district attorney’s office released the names of 75 police officers it said had credibility problems. [New York Post]

The Gowanus Canal turned green. The harmless dye was part of sewer line tests, the Department of Environmental Protection said. [Brooklyn Paper]

Learn about a 1960s Bronx theme park as the author of “Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History” discusses his book at the Pelham Bay Library in the Bronx. 1 p.m. [Free]

Join the conversation about the importance of independent publishing in Latinx creative communities with the “Our Curated Scene: DIY Publishing, Zines & Archives” talk at 20 Cooper Square in Manhattan. 6 p.m. [Free with R.S.V.P.]

Start making comics in the “Intro to Comics — The Basics” class at the Project Lab on Staten Island. 5:30 p.m. [$5, R.S.V.P.]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

The sloth exhibit at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum won’t be a dusty display of taxidermy wildlife in a diorama.

Though the action in “Survival of the Slowest” — which features live animals — might not be too different. The star of the show, Roger, is after all, a sloth.

Roger will be taking up temporary residence at the museum, along with over a dozen other small and slow-moving creatures — a pancake tortoise, a roughneck monitor lizard and a green basilisk, among others.

“Survival of the Slowest,” which opens to the public on October 26, is a touring exhibit from Little Ray’s Nature Centres of Canada. The exhibit explores biology and evolutionary science by showing visitors how these creatures live and adapt to their environments.

The museum will also host live presentations with educators to add to the interactive aspect of the program. Roger and friends will be in Brooklyn until February. Museum admission is $13.

“It’s the opposite of what you expect in Brooklyn and more specifically in New York City,” said Winston Williams, the communication manager at the museum. “It’s the region of the now and the fast, and it’s the opposite of that.”

— Melissa Guerrero

It’s Tuesday — slow down.

Dear Diary:

As I walked home on Seventh Avenue one morning, my pink sneaker laces became untied. Having a bad back and an injured foot, I was unable to retie them.

A young man wearing earbuds and a hoodie came up beside me.

“Your laces are untied,” he said.

“I know,“ I answered. “I can’t bend to retie them. Bad back.”

He took a knee and proceeded to tie my laces into a neat bow.

“Oh, my,” I said. “You are so kind.”

“Just didn’t want you to fall,” he said before going on his way.

— Linda Tsakonas

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