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‘Pope of Turtle Bay’ blesses New York’s neighborhood – but some say his bell is too loud

A bearded disciple with a bell and a cross marches through Manhattan’s East Side every Sunday morning, ringing his tribute and blessing the neighborhood.

While locals have no problem with the man spreading the good word, some say he does it so loud it could wake the dead.

“For most people, you’re out on the weekends, working all week, and want to rest on Sundays,” says Silvia Gerber, who has lived in Turtle Bay for two decades. “You don’t want to be woken up by that bell.”

She said she first started hearing the ringtone two years ago.

“I can still hear it blocks away,” Irene O’Halloran told the Post.

She said the bell was obnoxious and set it apart from the rest of the city’s noise – constant emergency sirens, car horns and roaring bus engines.

Nikolai
The man circling Manhattan’s East Side identified himself only as Nickolai.
JC Rice for NY Post

“It’s not a pretty church bell. It’s an annoying noise, and he just keeps going,” she said. “There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it. People who say, ‘You live in a city that’s always loud’ don’t realize how annoying that bell is.”

The Turtle Bay Pope, who identified only as Nickolai, parked his blue Honda Civic on East 47th Street at 8 a.m. on a Sunday this month before donning his signature chime and crucifix.

Over the next 20 minutes, he roamed the neighborhood, stopping to bless the Holy Family Catholic Church on East 47th Street, the Church of the Covenant on East 42nd Street, the United Nations building and a passing homeless man To give money the name “knife”.

Nicholas the Pope of Turtle Bay
While some residents resent Nickolai, others insist he is harmless.
JC Rice for NY Post

“To me, the bell is whatever. It’s nothing to get excited about,” Knife said.

“A lot of evil in this world,” Nickolai told the Post before driving off in his car laden with religious iconography, including crosses, Bibles and holy images.

Others insist Nickolai is harmless and just adds to the colorful carpet of NYC characters.

Nikolai
An artist created an NFT of the Nickolai.
JC Rice for NY Post

“One way New York has changed for the worse in recent years has been in decline, lack of fairly harmless eccentricity,” Turtle Bay resident Alan Rau wrote on Nextdoor in response to Gerber’s complaints. “It adds to the fabric of the city. Not everyone can be as ‘normal’ (ie not ‘scary’) as you are – something we should thank God for.”

An artist caught Nickolai wears his cross and makes it an NFTwhich runs for around $450 worth of cryptocurrency.

“This type of character fascinates me a lot,” said Colombian photographer Julian López in a text. “He made me ask a lot of things about him: who is this guy? What did he want to communicate by wearing this cross? How often does he do it? I was struck by the determined manner in which he walked. I followed him for almost 15 blocks and nothing stopped him, not even a red light.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/23/pope-of-turtle-bay-blesses-nyc-neighborhood-but-some-say-his-bells-too-loud/ ‘Pope of Turtle Bay’ blesses New York’s neighborhood – but some say his bell is too loud

JACLYN DIAZ

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