Jazz Funeral for Mehdi Kabbaj on Clinton Street [Video]

Posted on: February 27th, 2012 at 10:17 am by

On January 11, the owner of upscale menswear shop 20 Peacocks was struck and killed on the FDR. Forty-five-year-old Mehdi Kabbaj needed a lift to his uptown home after a night of drinking on Avenue B, but lost patience in bumper-to-bumper traffic near 96th Street. Without warning he exited and darted across the southbound lane, but was quickly mowed down by an oncoming Toyota Sienna minivan. He landed fifty feet away, and was rushed to Metropolitan Hospital where he died of severe brain injuries.

Saturday afternoon, a brass band processional snaked its way through the Clinton Street environs, with no immediate indications as to its purpose. A steady stream of people followed the jazz troupe (complete with drum major) from its starting point at WD-50, westward onto Rivington, up to Stanton, and finally ending with a congregation at CULTUREfix. During the short memorial, the clamor echoed throughout the whole neighborhood, and attracted the iPhones and point-and-shoots alike.

After following much of the “parade” route, we learned that this was actually the Second Line funeral march for the boutique owner. One mourner informed us that, even though Kabbaj was Moroccan, he wanted to go out with the New Orleans bang. Amen. Rest in peace, dude.

Recent Stories

Identify All the Vanished Businesses in this Jeffrey Lewis Album Art [CONTEST]

Here’s a contest for you… Local “antifolk” hero Jeffrey Lewis, an East Village native and frequent Sidewalk Cafe performer, has another record coming out at the end of the month. Dubbed Manhattan, the long-player has some pretty cool cover art (designed by Lewis) that resembles a comic strip. The illustration includes depictions of 27 no-longer-existing Manhattan businesses and other […]

Photo: Steven Menendez
Ghosts in the Playhouse: ‘Sisters’ Follies’ Tribute to 100 Years of Abrons Playhouse [RECAP]

Halloween is quickly approaching and we’ll probably come across a fair share of ghost stories. But how about a musical ghost story? Commissioned for the 100th Anniversary of the Abrons’ Playhouse, Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds is a “spooktacular” directed and designed by Basil Twist (Arias With A Twist, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Symphonie Fantastique) […]

Defective Benches in Allen Street Mall Receive Replacement Slats

Yes, the Parks Department came through on broken promises over busted benches. The curve-shaped seating dotting the lower medians of the Allen Street Mall – basically left for dead – was finally remedied last week after more than a year of prodding. Prodding from both vocal community members and local politicians. The newer wood slats were installed, […]

Katz’s Deli Sketch on SNL Lampoons Famous ‘When Harry Met Sally’ Orgasm Scene [VIDEO]

Saturday night saw the premiere of Saturday Night Live, thus lifting the curtain on the forty-first season. One sketch in particular stands apart. A sketch centered at Katz’s Deli, the Lower East Side institution that often figures prominently in the open credit roll. Three of the female lead actresses – Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones, and […]

Lower East Side Pickle Festival Attracts (and Feeds) the Hordes [PHOTOS]

The annual Lower East Side Pickle Day certainly lucked out with the weather yesterday, especially after a stormy weekend. Come rain or brine, it was gonna happen. Thousands flocked to Orchard Street in the afternoon from all corners of the Tri-state to feast on pickles and other foodie selections. That is, if you had the patience […]