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

Photo: NYC Municipal Archives
On the Ground 7 Years Before the Essex Street Market Became a Reality [PHOTOS]

In the coming years, each of the Essex Street Market buildings will fall to accommodate the new Essex Crossing mega-project. The facility was built seventy-five years ago to move the plethora of pushcarts indoors. The archival photo is dated sometime in 1933, seven years before the one-story commercial buildings were constructed by order of Mayor LaGuardia. […]

Photo: Lori Greenberg
DayLife Presents ‘Lower EAT Side’ Sunday June 14

DayLife is once again kicking off the summer season with its annual outdoor LES celebration. This year’s event, sponsored by ConEd and G-Shock, is being called “Lower EAT Side.” We see what you did there. It may be a far cry from the Orchard Street pushcarts of yesteryear, but the Lower East Side BID and its semi-regular […]

Photo: Catjia Rehkamp
This Lower East Side Photographer Spent a Year Chronicling Local Can Collectors

Roughly nine years ago, we stumbled upon two elderly Chinese women reduced to fisticuffs while fighting over a can of refuse outside 88 Orchard Street. The two bottle collectors were battling over the rights to the cash-refundable contents within the trash. After the scuffle was broken up, both left the scene as if nothing happened. From that […]

boss-tweeds
The ‘Grilled Cheese Incident’ Debuts Inside Boss Tweed’s on Essex Street

Boss Tweed’s on Essex Street is diversifying. Changing it up to stay relevant, perhaps. Another grilled cheese-specific operation is now underway here at 115 Essex. It’s called the Grilled Cheese Incident, a pop-up that banks heavily on the storied lore of Depression-era gangsters. The Grilled Cheese Incident was founded by fifth-generation NYC native Marc Lande as […]

beckenstein-ghost-signage
Tracing the Lower East Side Roots of Beckenstein’s [HISTORY]

Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been called many things, but never a fashion center. Yet it is fashion in the form of inexpensive fabrics that lures shoppers to this neighborhood better known for blintzes than ball gowns. -New York Times; June 5, 1961. Between the ghost advertising and left-for-dead store signage, its remnants continue to […]