Village legend gets shot of life at home
BY TEQUILA MINSKY
A fall in her Greenwich Village
apartment last December landed
long-time Community Board 2
Member Doris Diether, the reigning Queen
of Washington Square Park, in and out of
rehab and the hospital for four months.
Furthermore, Diether did not get a
vaccine while in any of those healthcare
On returning to her Village abode
two weeks ago, her visiting friends, always
masked, and caretaker were rather
surprised that this 92-year-old had yet to
be vaccinated. Diether’s mantra is: I hate
needles (and, incidentally she takes no
medications). Doris wanted the one-shot
Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Meanwhile, the local New London Pharmacy,
after much delays and paperwork,
received their fi rst shipment of 200 Moderna
and 100 Johnson & Johnson vaccines
When Erik Bottcher, formerly of Corey
Johnson’s offi ce, now, City Council candidate,
heard that Doris was home and
unvaccinated, he sprung into action, facilitating
a homebound appointment through
New London Pharmacy. “It takes a village”
Doris Diether reviews the paperwork before signing.
coming together that helped Doris get the
protection she needs.
On Tuesday morning, Roger Williams,
compounding specialist at New London
Pharmacy Specialty Program, licensed to
give vaccines, arrived promptly at Dieter’s
Village home to administer the Johnson &
Johnson vaccine to both Diether and her
55-year-old home attendant.
Williams took all the relevant
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
information from each and waited more
than the requisite 15 minutes to see if there
were any adverse reactions after giving the
shots. He also advised, for visitors, even if
vaccinated, in close proximity, to continue
to wear masks after the two-week time
lapse when immune effi cacy kicks in.
“This is my fourth vaccine to someone
homebound,” says Williams who has one
more homebound appointment later in the
afternoon. “We give about 50 shots in the
pharmacy a day,” he says.
Hours after receiving her shot, Doris
and her caretaker took in the 70-degree
weather in her apartment-adjacent patio.
“She’s still going strong,” says Bottcher
of Doris’ half-century-plus service to the
community and the need for the vaccine
to keep her healthy. Bottcher also commented
on the necessity to make it easier
for homebound seniors to get vaccinated.
Obtaining a homebound vaccination is so
simple task. The City’s provision for homebound
Covid-19 vaccines requires following
the prompts on a call to 311 and patiently
waiting on hold, and waiting some more
for an operator to take basic and contact
information for the homebound recipient.
This information is submitted to the
Homebound Department, which will take
a week or more for a return call. Then an
appointment is scheduled for a Johnson
& Johnson vaccine to be administered at
There is also an online form— www.
that asks for basic information that will
eventually enable the Homebound Department
to get back to the homebound New
Yorker in need of a vaccine.
Downtown muralists fi ghting hatred with art
BY DEAN MOSES
Solidarity for the Asian community is
being promoted through art in Lower
With the recent slew of anti-Asian hate
crimes plaguing the city and the country as
a whole, many New Yorkers have been left
fearful of where and when another attacker
may strike. With innumerable citizens feeling
abandoned during this time of strife,
a number of Downtown art projects are
reminding Asian Americans that they are
Several elaborate murals have been popping
up throughout Lower Manhattan and
Chinatown that denounce Asian racism
while also attempting to promote tolerance
through art. These lovingly decorated walls
look to remind passersby that hate has no
place in the city.
“Whether or not my mural can help
spread awareness and the current state of
Asian hate is something that as an artist I
can only hope for. My artworks are quite
often bold, bright, and colorful. I purposely
kept this one black and white, as to convey
the message in a clear, simple, and concise
way. It’s not confusing, or complex. Stop.
Asian. Hate,” said Peter Levine, also known
A man walks by a mural on 75 Chrystie St. The mural was painted by
as PeterpaidNYC, the artist behind the
mural on 188 Lafayette St.
Levine’s work does not beat around the
bush. The words “Stop Asian Hate” jump
out at the viewer in gigantic bold lettering.
Other artists, however, chose to be
slightly more symbolic but no less impactful.
A mural on 246 Bowery depicts a young
PHOTO BY DEAN MOSES
girl extending her arm to a lantern that is
fl oating just out of reach with the words
#stopasianhate scrawled below.
Although this piece, painted by Adrian
Wilson with the LISA Project NYC, has
already been defaced just a month after
being installed, its message means a great
deal to one local man.
Felix Fung is the owner of OSARA
Symbo located beside the mural on 248
Bowery. Unfortunately, he also has the
distinction of being the victim of an Asian
“This piece is very signifi cant to me because
I personally was attacked across the
street. I was shoved to the ground and they
were saying a lot of racist stuff, blaming me
for the virus. I have been here all my life,
I was born here,” Fung told amNewYork
Fung feels that people fi nd it diffi cult to
make sense of their family and friends perishing
due to the COVID-19 pandemic and
without an outlet for their grief they chose
to hurt people. But Fung has not lost hope.
Thanks to the mural, he realizes there are
many who care.City.
Levine hopes his mural, in particular,
will inspire more New Yorkers to come
“What I would like passersby to take
away from seeing my mural is that we
all need to be supportive of one another.
As a nation and a civilization, we all just
went through (and still going through)
something unimaginable. After 9/11 there
was a collective unity. We need that again,”
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