Monday, October 22, 2018

Local elected officials continue to press city for alternatives to parking garbage trucks on 10th Street; muggings now a concern

[EVG photo from Oct. 15]

Local elected officials are continuing to urge the city to quickly come up with solutions for parking its fleet of garbage trucks on 10th Street at First Avenue.

As I first reported on Sept. 18, the DSNY is now using part of 10th Street for up to seven trucks. The DSNY no longer has use of their garage at 606 W. 30th St., and are relocating their trucks elsewhere, including Pier 36.

This move — apparently done without much, if any, consultation with Community Board 3 — has sparked numerous complaints from residents and merchants alike who have called out the problems with the smell, noise and negative impact on business.

Nearly a month has passed since Mayor de Blasio promised to “relieve the immediate pressure” on 10th Street. “Do we want garbage trucks parking on residential streets? Of course not,” said de Blasio, as CBS 2 reported. “What we’re trying to do every day is figure out the kind of facilities that will help avoid that in the future.”

Here's part of a letter to Kathryn Garcia, the city’s Department of Sanitation commissioner, that Sen. Brad Hoylman's office shared with me on Friday:

Presently, the vehicles parked on East 10th Street between First and Second Avenues have created significant quality of life, public safety, and traffic related issues for residents and businesses. As a result, my office has received numerous complaints.

I understand that the owner of the Manhattan 6 garage located at 606 West 30 Street has declined to renew the lease for the DSNY vehicles. However, the city should not force residents and small businesses in the East Village into shouldering DSNY’s burden. My constituents are justifiably concerned about the lack of notice, as well as the decline in their quality of life due to the unwelcome odor, the lack of available parking, and the overbearing appearance of the vehicles.

Furthermore, this situation presents multiple public safety issues as the bike lane now overlaps with the vehicle traffic lane, thereby endangering cyclists. The vehicles also block curb ramps. This, of course, disproportionately impacts seniors and residents with disabilities, which, as I am sure you are aware, could create a potential liability for the City.

My constituents and I find this situation unacceptable. I implore you to find a more suitable location for these vehicles and I am happy to work with your office to achieve this.

Meanwhile, District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera asked the mayor to take action as well in a letter from last week. That letter reads in part:

I am writing to urge full cooperation from your office and all relevant city agencies in relocating sanitation vehicles parked on East 10th Street between First and Second Avenues in Manhattan. The situation on the block has become untenable. Seniors and people with disabilities are unable to safely access transportation directly on the street, small businesses have verifiably seen their sales decrease, and public safety concerns are rising as the large vehicles block visibility to and from the street.

In addition to these concerns, the accident in Crown Heights on October 11 that saw a pedestrian fatally struck by a Department of Sanitation truck has heightened residents’ sensitivity about this issue. They note that this highly-trafficked part of the East Village, which sees pedestrian activity late into the evening due to a robust nightlife culture, is primed for a similar tragedy.

We need to work together to relieve the burden on these constituents and move the sanitation vehicles off of this narrow side street. At recent meetings, Community Board 3 and my office suggested alternative sites. Therefore, I look forward to continuing our conversations to find a quick solution that has less impact on commerce and safety.

The Post reported yesterday about a new concern with the parked trucks: muggings. Early in the morning on Oct. 11, a sanitation worker was threatened at knifepoint in front of Pinks at 242 E. 10th St. According to the Post, a 22-year-old Bronx man was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

Per the article:

With the hulking trucks lined up like elephants at the curb, blocking the view of cops in patrol cars, pedestrians are at risk, residents complained to the Post.

“There is no visibility from the street. You could rob someone, mug someone or push someone into their building,” warned Michelle Lang, 48, who lives in the 16-story New Theatre condo on E. 10th Street. “There are parents with strollers.”

The threat against the garbage man is an example of “what we have feared all along,” she added.

DSNY spokesperson Dina Montes recently told The Villager that "The department is working to evaluate alternative parking options as provided by elected officials and the community board. Other city agencies, such as [the Department of Transportation], may need to be involved in evaluating any alternate spaces as well."

Interestingly enough, during the "Trash Bash" protest at Pinks on the evening of Oct. 11, there weren't any garbage trucks parked outside the bar, preventing a photo opp for a CBS 2 news crew ... only a private hauler zipped by during the festivities ...

[Photo on Oct. 11 by Stacie Joy]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Questions and concerns as the sanitation department begins using 10th Street to park garbage trucks

More trash talk about those garbage trucks parked on 10th Street

Preliminary demolition work at 99-101 E. 2nd St. is — surprise — in the asbestos-removal phase

The two-level 99-101 E. Second St. at First Avenue will be demolished in the weeks/months ahead... but not before workers remove the asbestos from the space.

That operation is apparently underway...

One EVG reader thought this set-up looked a little casual given the potential severity of the work... The reader also noted the lack of notice, which has prompted concerns among a few neighbors who learned of this activity via a sign on the dumpster...

As previously reported, developer Sergey Rybak has submitted plans for a 7-story, 22-unit residential building on the property of the current 24 First Ave. and 99-101 E. Second St.

And as a reminder, here's a rendering for the space via the Rybak website...

According to the site, the residences will be condos (building name for now — 101E2). The ground-floor space is designated for retail use.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Onetime home of Lucky Cheng's and adjacent property sell for $12 million

Demolition permits filed to bring down former Lucky Cheng's building on 1st Avenue

Demolition permits filed for 99-101 E. 2nd St.; first look at the condoplex to come

Demolishing the fire-damaged back extension at Uogashi, which appears to be permanently closed

EVG regular Lola Sáenz shared this photo from Saturday ... showing workers removing the fire-damaged structure occupied by Uogashi, the Japanese restaurant at 188 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Thankfully only the back extension needed to come down in the aftermath of the six-alarm fire in the early-morning hours of Oct. 3. DOB officials said that the rest of the five-story building was structurally sound.

The Uogashi website now lists "permanently closed" under their hours of operation. The Tree Bistro next door is still temporarily out of commission as well due to damage to their rear garden.

Officials said they believe the fire, which injured 17 people, including 14 firefighters, began in the restaurant. An exact cause has not been made public just yet.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A look at the fire-damaged Uogashi; plus video of when the fire started at 188 1st Ave.

Post-fire updates on 1st Avenue

Watch this drone footage of the fire at 188 1st Ave.

[Updating] Post fire, 1 lane of northbound traffic returns to 1st Avenue

[Updating] Report of injuries during major fire at 188 1st Ave.

Report: 188 1st Ave. survives fire; back extension must be demolished

Mexican restaurant opening on 2nd Avenue called Savor Por Favor

The signage is in the window at 157 Second Ave. for the new Mexican restaurant opening in this space between Ninth Street and 10th Street ... welcome Savor Por Favor...

In May, applicants from Butter Midtown — doing business as E&Y Hospitality LLC — received CB3's OK for a new liquor license at the address.

While interior renovations continue at No. 157 ... the owners have set up a Facebook account...

... and Instagram...

So Savor Por Favor is in the works... as for the past, Yuan shut down in July after a year in business. As noted in previous posts on No. 157, this has been a challenging space to make work for any length of time. Biang! — the sit-down Chinese restaurant via Xi'an Famous Foods owner Jason Wang — closed in March 2017 after 15 months in business. The previous tenant, Wylie Dufresne's bistro Alder, called it quits after two-and-a-half years at the end of August 2015. Other recent restaurants here (before 2013) included Plum and Cafe Brama.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Yuan Noodle may be yielding to a Mexican restaurant on 2nd Avenue

Mi Tea now serving up the cheese tea on St. Mark's Place

That Mi Tea location on 19-23 St. Mark's Place that I mentioned back on Aug. 14 is now up and running... EVG Bubble Tea District Correspondent Steven shared these photos here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue yesterday...

This is the fifth U.S. branch (there's one in Flushing) for the Hangzhou, China-based chain with 1,000 locations worldwide. Their speciality: Himalayan pink salted cheese tea drinks.

And in other bubble-tea opening news, the Möge Tee outpost is now open around the corner at 69 Cooper Square.

Previously on EV Grieve:
More bubble tea for the Bubble Tea District (aka St. Mark's Place)

[The address in June 2008]

Pado in soft-open sushi mode on 2nd Avenue

Pado is now in soft-open mode (as of this past Friday) at 199 Second Ave.

The Japanese restaurant's Instagram account notes that they feature "unconventional tapas style plates. We craft every dish with luxury ingredients and attention to detail."

This space between 12th Street and 13th Street was previously Oishi Village Sushi, which closed in late December after nine months in business.

Thanks to Nick Solares for this photo and tip!

Previously on EV Grieve:
Pado bringing 'Modern Japanese Cuisine' to 2nd Avenue

Gym moves: IG-Fit replaces Synergy on 14th Street

The Synergy Fitness Club at 244 E. 14th St. near Second Avenue has closed (members — was there any warning?) ... and signage is now up for its replacement — IG-Fit.

IG-Fit looks to be offering an array of services, including infrared sauna and cryotherapy. Although they bill themselves as NYC's No. 1 health club, we can't find any web or social-media presence (not even Instagram!) for them. So no word on rates, etc.

Hopefully it will be an upgrade from Synergy. Through the years, several EVG readers noted sketchy practices and unreliable hours of operation at this Synergy branch.

And as seen outside the gym a few years back...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

With temperatures hovering in the high 40s, the city takes no chances on the weather

Vinny & O spotted a snowplow on 10th Street at Avenue C earlier today...

Week in Grieview

[Haunted luggage at Cure Thrift Shop via Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

NYPD installs light tower on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street (Thursday)

New building plans revealed for 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place (Tuesday)

Prepping for the new protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets (Wednesday ... Friday)

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is back on; new deal puts the pups in East River Park and on ESPN this Oct. 28 (Thursday)

St. Dymphna's closes after 24 years on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

Kingsley remains dark on Avenue B (Thursday)

Trader Joe's: No current plans for grocery at 432-438 E. 14th St. (Friday)

Check out this week's NY See strip (Thursday)

Merakia owners swap out the Wayside for Greekito on 12th Street (Monday)

[Photo yesterday from 5th and A]

Diorama time again at the Ninth Street Community Garden & Park (Tuesday)

Councilmember Rivera introducing new bill to protect bike lanes in construction zones (Wednesday)

Black Emperor slated for 2nd Avenue (Monday)

The Tompkins Square Library hosting "A Look Back on the East Village of the 1980s" (Thursday)

Today's special: Milk Money Kitchens bringing food-consulting business to Avenue A (Tuesday)

Coffee probably for St. Mark's and 2nd Avenue, and the rent is still due at the former DF Mavens (Monday)

Lumos Kitchen now appears to be closed for good (Monday)

'Mediterranean fusion' for the former Sugar Cafe on Houston and Allen (Wednesday)

The Coffee Shop closed on Union Square, and what it might mean for NYC's restaurant biz (Tuesday)

Another look at Village Square Pizza, coming soon to Avenue A (Monday)

...and New Menu Item Alert via Peter Brownscombe at Ray's Candy Store, 113 Avenue A... the Nutella Banana Shake...


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Sunday Funday

The scene (above) Seventh and A this morning...

Celebrating the life of Tony today on Avenue A

Tony (aka Abdul), the longtime owner of the deli at 123 Avenue A, died earlier this month.

This afternoon at 1, friends and loved ones will gather in front of the now-closed storefront between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place to celebrate his life...

Tony, a native of Yemen, also owned the building at 123 Avenue A.

Thanks to Jen Fisher for the photos!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

1st Street water-main woes

The water-main replacement work continues on First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue... and, for whatever reason, the owner of this pick-up truck tried some maneuver on the block and well... you can see the result in the above photo via EVG reader Daniel Carlson...

A memorial tomorrow for Erin O'Connor and her son, Sequoia Gibson O'Connor

There is a remembrance tomorrow at the Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South) for Erin O'Connor, a longtime East Village resident, who died on July 25, 2017. She was 50. Her son, Sequoia Gibson O'Connor, died this past May. He was in his early 20s.

Erin was a tireless volunteer, working at the Catholic Worker’s Mary House on Third Street, the Holy Name Center for homeless men on Bleecker Street and Judson Memorial Church.

The memorial starts at 1:30.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Remembering Erin O’Connor

At John's of 12th Street, pumpkins in the window and the ravioli

That time of year time at 302 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

... and a closer look...

Get Wild with Garland Jeffreys at the 14th Street Y on Monday

The great Garland Jeffreys is performing Monday night in a concert to benefit the 14th Street Y, where he and his family are also members.

A few details:

6:30 PM: Meet & Greet with Garland Jeffreys on the Rooftop
8:00 PM: Concert in The Theater
General Admission: $75
Concert Running Time: 60 minutes

Find ticket info at the 14th Street Y site at this link.

Jeffreys, who has a new record out in "14 Steps to Harlem," lives nearby in Stuy Town. (Town & Village spoke with him for this article published last week.)

Meanwhile, speaking of getting Wild...

Made for TV

One of the Citizens of the Anthropocene has found a good spot for channel surfing here on Ninth Street at Third Avenue...

Another one has taken up in a tree (fewer amenities but a better view) on Seventh Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square.


Friday, October 19, 2018

It takes a Village

Crews have been out the past two days/nights on Third Avenue and 11th Street and 12th Street (and elsewhere) filming a new NBC series called "The Village" ... which is set in — Brooklyn.

The above photo is from 12th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue tonight.

Per the NBC synopsis:

Welcome to The Village, an apartment building in Brooklyn that appears like any other from the outside — but is quite unique inside. The people who reside here have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah's a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe's a young law student, who just got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S.-born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick's a veteran, who's just returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own. These are the hopeful, heartwarming and challenging stories of life that prove family is everything, even if it's the one you make with the people around you.

Maybe these are just scenes where, say, Ron and Patricia are at a party on 12th Street and something captivating happens.

There's something about 'Mary'

Canadian glam-rocker Art d'Ecco released his debut record this past week... the above video is for a song called "Mary."

Bike lane line work continues on 12th Street

As we reported on Wednesday, crews are laying the pedalers’ paths and new parking lanes for the protected bike lanes on the north curb of 12th Street from Seventh Avenue to Avenue C, and the south curb of 13th Street from Greenwich Avenue to Avenue B.

EVG regular Lola Sáenz noted this morning that workers are creating the bike-lane outlines on 12th Street ... with crews spotted at First Avenue...

... and heading east toward Avenue C...

One worker told Lola that the green machine is on Greenwich today painting the bike lanes... and making its way toward the east...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Prepping for the new protected bike lanes on 12th and 13th streets

Trader Joe's: No current plans for grocery at 432-438 E. 14th St.

The Trader Joe's opens today down in one of the Essex Crossing buildings on Clinton and Grand.

The company first made this announcement on Oct. 4, 2016.

News of this debut has prompted questions about the TJ's reported/alleged for the new development — EVE! — in the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 432-438 E. 14th St. at Avenue A.

As the above photo shows, that space remains pretty much a shell. (The residential portion of the building is progressing, especially as seen from the 13th Street side. Leasing is expected this fall, per one report.)

In May 2017, The Real Deal, citing anonymous sources, reported that Trader Joe's "quietly signed a lease about two months ago with Mack Real Estate and Benenson Capital Partners ... for 8,531 square on the ground floor and 14,170 square feet on the lower level."

There hasn't been much else mentioned about this location (aside from some TJ clerk gossip that it wasn't happening). However, in a preview of EVE in August, City Realty noted: "To the delight of residents and neighbors, Trader Joe’s is the building’s retail tenant."

Aside from the ground-floor space looking pretty raw, the area outside this storefront will reportedly serve as one of the the main staging areas for repairs during the L-train shutdown. While the L-train service ends for 18 months starting this coming April, the prep work has been ongoing since the summer of 2017.

Anyway, now that I've buried the lead... I asked the Trader Joe's PR office if they are still opening an outpost at this address. Their response: "Unfortunately, we do not have any current plans for a store at that location."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: A Trader Joe's won't be coming to new development at 14th and A after all

All about EVE, the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office-replacing rentals on 14th Street

Nightmare scenario for residents who learn that 14th Street and Avenue A will be the main staging area for the L-train reconstruction

The Children’s Workshop is hosting a Fall Harvest on Sunday

The Fall Harvest action takes place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. over at the The Children's Workshop School, 610 E. 12th St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. Per one parent: "It’ll be a great day of family fun and we invite all our neighbors in the East Village."

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thursday's parting shot

Who's a good boy? Photo yesterday outside the Standard East Village by Derek Berg...

Grant Shaffer's NY See

Here's this week's NY See, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's comic series — an observational sketch diary of things that he sees and hears around the neighborhood — and elsewhere.

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is back on; new deal puts the pups in East River Park and on ESPN this Oct. 28

[Photo last year by Stacie Joy]

The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will live for its 28th year in a new deal announced last night.

For starters, the parade — a fundraiser for the dog run — is moving to the East River Park amphitheater ... and taking place Sunday, Oct. 28 between noon and 3 p.m. where ESPN will televise the costume action.

In August, organizers were forced to cancel the event after the city's Parks Department required parade organizers to take out a larger $1 million insurance policy to cover the larger crowds that have attended in recent years. (The parade moved from the dog run to the ballfields/field hockey arena in 2016.)

Organizers did not want to lose local control of the event by giving responsibility over to a corporate entity that could hold the insurance policy and potentially retain control over the event's structure and fundraising.

[Photo last year by Stacie Joy]

District 2 City Councilmember's office Carlina Rivera's office released details about the 2018 Dog Parade in a late-night media advisory:

Councilwoman Rivera worked with the dog run supporters and the community organizers at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) to come up with a solution, where GOLES would hold the insurance policy and the parade would move to East River Park for 2018. In addition, ESPN will be broadcasting from the parade with host Katie Nolan, and will also be making a $10,000 donation to City Parks Foundation that will go to supporting the Dog Run.

"I am so happy that after months of work with community advocates and dog lovers, the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade will be returning to the community for its 28th iteration. This beloved Lower East Side tradition wouldn't be happening this year without the tireless efforts of Good Old Lower East Side and the supporters of the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run, particularly Ada Nieves who has previously co-hosted the parade and took over planning this year."

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news in a story (subscription required) posted on its website last night (it appears in today's print edition).

A Parks Department spokesperson told the Journal: “Costumed puppies [are] a favorite of all New Yorkers, and we are happy that the parade can go on.”


East River Park amphitheater
Between Grand and Jackson streets

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park this fall has been cancelled

NYPD installs light tower on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street

[Reader-submitted photo]

There have been several published reports (here and here) in recent weeks about the growing number of increasingly unruly travelers/crusties gathering on the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue.

This past weekend, New York Post reporter Dean Balsamini wrote that he was allegedly punched by a traveler named Zeke, who apparently had a "farm-animal musk" and "Charles Manson eyes," per the article.

In response to these reports and a growing number of complaints from nearby residents and merchants, the NYPD last night set up a light tower on the corner, illuminating the sidewalk and empty lot — site of the deadly gas explosion in March 2015 — to deter anyone from congregating and camping out (apparently in keeping with the mayor's Omnipresence policing strategy).

[Photo by EVG reader Ryan]

In an email to local elected officials this past week, one nearby resident wrote: "It's terrifying to come and go day or night! They own the street and it's getting worse. These are drifters, not homeless to be pitied. Help before someone is murdered."

Another EVG reader worries that the corner can only get worse. Luxury condominiums are slated for part of the lot on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. The eventual arrival of a sidewalk bridge would only provide more cover for the travelers, who like this spot with its proximity to a LinkNYC kiosk and its free Wifi and charging station, according to the reader.

Back in July 2015, following published reports citing a perceived influx of homeless people and drug users in Tompkins Square Park, the NYPD installed a patrol tower in the middle of the park. The NYPD removed it after a week. (We did get the tweet tower out of all that.)

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: It's 'Crusty vs. Postie' on 2nd Avenue

NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (149 comments)