Neighbors Are Concerned about Health of Richie Chang, the ‘Mayor’ of Ludlow Street

Posted on: July 6th, 2017 at 5:06 am by

Photo: Adrian Wilson

Richie Chang, the so-called mayor of Ludlow Street, was admitted to the hospital last week, several concerned residents tell us. His condition is not immediately clear, but we are told that his health has been failing recently.

At 68, Chang has lived his entire life on the block of Ludlow Street between Rivington and Stanton. (He has a younger brother named David.) You’ve seen him, a staunch supporter of police and fire department, and always wearing a Ladder 18 (Fort Pitt) cap and vest. For years, his daily routine included cleaning up trash around 151-153 Ludlow and 101 Stanton Street (where he grew up), and feeding the feral cats in the rear yard of 151 Ludlow. Apparently, that all changed last month when landlord Arwen Properties/Luthien Group sold the three buildings for a total of $28 million. Immediately thereafter, we hear that Chang was allegedly told that if he was seen feeding cats in the yard again, he’d be arrested for trespassing.

We also spoke to local documentarian Clayton Patterson, who noted that Chang has been experiencing “serious” health problems. Mainly with his back and knees, and trouble breathing. Patterson further explained that experimental filmmaker Coleen Fitzgibbon has been a “life saver in helping Richie … helping him in so many ways. It is fair to say he would have lost his apartment years ago had not Coleen helped.”

We hope to see the mayor back on the street soon…

Photo: Adrian Wilson

Recent Stories

Death of the Tombs as Demolition Prep Commences Ahead of High-rise Jail

It’s death for the Tombs. Or, rather demolition. After three years of protests and community outrage, the Manhattan Detention Complex at 125 White Street is finally coming down. Demolition just started ahead of the eventual high-rise jail destined for the site. In December 2021, the city terminated the leases of businesses beneath the jail along […]

Flowers for Water at Long-Neglected Schiff Fountain

A decrepit Lower East Side relic in Seward Park is born again colorful. Until last week, the Schiff Fountain on the Essex Street perimeter of the park – stripped of its grandeur and weathering in public view – had mainly functioned as harbor for illicit activity. A favored spot for drinkers, junkies, and drifters. But […]

Bowery Mural Wall Curator Calls Hiatus During Rash of Tagging

In a surprising turn of events, the longtime curator of the Bowery Mural Wall announced yesterday that artwork at the site is now on hiatus. Blame the taggers. Jessica Goldman Srebnick, head Goldman Global Arts (an arm of the Goldman Properties real estate firm that owns the wall), published a missive on Instagram about the […]

Q-Train Shooter Surrenders to Cops at the 5th Precinct

The man accused of shooting to death a straphanger in an apparent random attack on a subway train subway morning is now in police custody. Andrew Abdullah, 25, identified as the suspect in the shooting, turned himself in to cops at the 5th Precinct yesterday. Apparently the surrender was aided by Lamor Whitehead, an ex-con-turned-clergyman […]

This Mott Street ATM Gouges with 17% Fee

Storefront ATMs are nothing new. In fact, their ubiquity was so pronounced that the city banned freestanding ones from sidewalks about a decade ago. Visitors to Chinatown or the Lower East Side unfamiliar with bank ATM locations when in need of cash might not realize the exorbitant fees some ATM operators are charging. For instance, […]