Monday, January 21, 2019

This is what the Sunshine Cinema looks like today — 1 year after it closed

I took these photos of the former Sunshine Cinema this morning on Houston between Eldridge and Forsyth. The five-screen theater closed last Jan. 21 after a 17-year run.

The structure, which dates to 1898, is still awaiting demolition to make way for a 9-story boutique office complex with a retail component.

East End Capital and K Property Group, who bought the building for $31.5 million in the spring of 2017, have launched a website marketing the spaces.

Here's the building's "redefined vision" ...

From acclaimed architect Roger Ferris, the only new development of its type on the Lower East Side, 141 East Houston is a new frame for viewing the neighborhood. Column-free and unbounded by walls, it reinterprets the area through a bold geometric perimeter of cladding and glass. State-of-the-art workspaces and private terraces reframe expectations, while a well-connected location recasts perspectives.

With its glass frame and dynamic courtyard running the length of its eastern side, doubling as a second facade, 141 East Houston challenges the distinction between indoors and out.

The ground-floor space along Houston Street will include outdoor seating in "Houston Alley" ...

In March 2018, Gregory Kraut, a managing partner at K Property Group, said that the theater would be demolished in two months.

As Curbed noted in January 2018: "Rising rents put the theater into financial duress; it was served a death blow in 2012 when the Lower East Side community board rejected Landmark’s proposal to offer food and beverage service at the theater."

Last May, CB3 later OK'd a full liquor license for the new 14-screen Regal Cinemas outpost in Essex Crossing.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Discarded theater seats and goodbyes at the Sunshine Cinema

The 9-story boutique office building coming to the former Sunshine Cinema space

A celebratory ad on the purchase of 139 E. Houston St., current home of the Sunshine Cinema

The boutique office building replacing the Sunshine Cinema will be 'unbounded by walls' with an outdoor space called Houston Alley

ICYMI: There was a slight decline in the number of NYC chain stores this past year

ICYMI (I did!): The Center for an Urban Future released its 11th annual ranking of national retailers in New York City late last year ... and their analysis reveals a 0.3 percent decline in the number of chain stores in 2018, marking the first year-over-year citywide drop in national retail locations since they began documenting NYC's chain environment.

While there was a 0.3 decline overall in the five boroughs, the number of chain stores decreased by 2.3 percent in Manhattan, which amounts to a loss of 67 locations, according to the report.

Here's more from the report...

Our 11h annual analysis of national retailer locations in New York also finds that more of the city’s chain retailers are shrinking than growing for the first time. Buffeted by headwinds from online shopping, a record 124 retailers — 37 percent of the 331 national retail companies in our study — reduced their footprint over the past year. This compares to 99 retailers that registered a net gain in stores over the past year, and 108 retailers whose footprints remained unchanged.

Overall, our analysis shows that the 331 retailers listed in last year’s ranking reduced their total footprint in New York City by 27 store locations, declining from a total of 7,876 stores in 2017 to 7,849 stores in 2018 — an 0.3 percent decrease. The slowdown is led by Manhattan, where the number of chain store locations shrank by 2.3 percent — the sharpest single year decline to date. In every other borough, the number of chain stores increased again this year.

The pullback was most pronounced among merchandise retailers that are struggling to compete in an age of e-commerce, with broad-based declines among retailers selling clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics.


Dunkin Donuts is the biggest national retailer in the city for the tenth year running, with 624 locations, gaining 12 locations since last year. MetroPCS (now called Metro by T-Mobile, but retaining a distinct brand) has 472 locations, up from 444 last year. Subway is still in third place with 330 locations despite having lost 103 locations since last year. Only seven retailers grew by more than 10 locations: AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Dollar Tree.

A few other takeaways...

• Starbucks has more stores in Manhattan than any other national retailer, with 227 locations.

• The 10003 zip code, which includes parts of the East Village west of First Avenue, Union Square and stretches of Fifth Avenue, has the second-highest number of chain store locations in NYC at 173 (down from 179 the previous year). No. 1: the New Springville neighborhood in Staten Island (10314) with 180.

• The 10009 zip code is way down on the list with 27 chain stores in 2018, down two from 29 the previous year.

Access the full report at this link.

Something to keep in mind, via the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation:

[T]he report counts and ranks the number of chain stores, not their concentration, i.e. how many chain stores are in an area as a percentage of the overall number of stores; thus a zip code may actually have a very high number of chains but a relatively low percentage, and vice-versa, depending upon how much area it covers and how many shops there are in the area...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Today's Urban Etiquette marijuana sign of the day

Paraphrasing here, but someone is requesting that people do not smoke marijuana in the lobby of this building along Second Street... because "not everybody likes that shit." The sign leaver's advice? Do it inside your own apartment.

No word about about the greasy-looking smears on the sign.

Thanks to chang0blanco for the share!

Week in Grieview

[Yesterday's sunrise view from 14th Street]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Off-duty cop pistol-whipped during attempted robbery on 13th Street (Thursday)

A visit to CAVAglass on 7th Street (Wednesday)

Permits filed to demolish former P.C. Richard & Son property to make way for the tech hub (Monday)

Tu-Lu's Gluten-Free Bakery has closed on 11th Street after 9 years (Wednesday)

Restoration watch: 74 E. 4th St., the crown jewel of La Mama's theater community (Tuesday)

The completed new work at the Bowery Mural Wall (Saturday)

The former Grassroots Tavern ready for a renovation (Tuesday)

FULL full reveal at the historic Hamilton-Holly House on St. Mark's Place (Tuesday)

Nobletree Coffee debuts on 2nd Avenue at St. Mark's Place (Saturday)

L-train non-shutdown fallout: Bike lane battle shaping up along 12th and 13th streets (Monday)

Tree-mendous fire wipes out remains of the holiday season in 4th Street pile (Wednesday)

A birthday celebration for Ray at Ray's Candy Store (Tuesday)

Rue-B's daytime service now includes CBD-infused coffee (Thursday)

January Christmas miracles: The holiday tree lights are back ON in Tompkins Square Park (Friday)

Reminders: Here's how you can apply to be a Community Board member (Friday)

The Bowery Bond closes on the Bowery (Thursday)

KC Gourmet Empanadas coming soon to 38 Avenue B (Monday)

Mandala Tibetan Store is closing on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

12 months of inactivity at 75 1st Ave. (Wednesday)

Beijing Express pulls into 3rd Avenue after Gala's quick exit (Monday)

Former Old Monk space for rent on Avenue B (Thursday)

PARTIAL reveal at 80 E. 10th St. (Monday)

...and EVG reader Trixie reports that someone placed MulchFest remains in the tree beds along 12th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B...

... there's also fresh mulch in the skateboard planter on Seventh Street...


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EVG Etc.: Comedians let their hair down at 2nd Street barbershop; plus, winter raptors!

The Third Street Music School Settlement is hosting a free community celebration tomorrow in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring a drum circle, a sing-along and more (RSVP here)

The Original Barbershop on Second Street doubles as a comedy club at night (The Post)

If you ever wondered what decoupage artist John Derian's East Village home looked like (Architectural Digest)

After 121 years, the storied LES-based Jewish-American publication The Forward is ending its print run (NPR)

A roundup of the winter raptors spotted in the neighborhood (Laura Goggin Photography)

The seemingly overlooked drama "Leave No Trace," which scored 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, has a return engagement at the Metrograph (Official site)

Hope for Loft Law advocates (Gothamist)

Map things: Listicle of restaurants and bars around Union Square (Eater)

More about the Integral Yoga Natural Foods Store closure last month on West 13th Street (The Villager ... previously)

Diversions: About that Iggy Pop guest spot that never aired on "Miami Vice" (Dangerous Minds)

Weather upstate KOs Greenmarket at Tompkins Square Park today

Info posted on Facebook yesterday...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday's parting shot

A shell game on Third Street ... thanks to EVG reader Aaron Wilson for sharing the photo today...

Nobletree Coffee debuts on 2nd Avenue at St. Mark's Place

That Nobletree Coffee outpost is now open on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place... EVG regular Lola Sáenz shared these photos this afternoon...

The Brooklyn-based Nobletree has several locations in NYC, including in the Dekalb Market Hall and Westfield World Trade Center.

Here's more about them via their website:

Nobletree’s name reflects the coffee tree’s alluring history and is a nod of respect to those who first transported coffee trees from their native home in Ethiopia to the tropics of the Atlantic. Today, Nobletree Coffee continues that tradition of respect by valuing everyone involved in growing, roasting, and preparing coffee as team members united in working toward the common goal of delivering a superior product to the most discerning consumers.

This prime corner space has sat empty for three years ... ever since DF Mavens closed.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Nobletree Coffee is the next tenant for 37 St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue

The return of Grant Shaffer's NY See

After a late-December break, happy to welcome back NY See, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's comic series — an observational sketch diary (now with a splash of color for 2019!) of things that he sees and hears around the neighborhood ... and NYC.

The Troll Museum briefly checks into the Ace Hotel

[Photo courtesy of Rev. Jen]

Reverend Jen's Troll Museum has been enjoying a return engagement this week... in partnership with the Outsider Art Fair, pieces from the Troll Museum are on display in the Ace Hotel lobby on 29th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The Times has a piece in today's paper on Reverend Jen and the museum's history....

For 16 years, Reverend Jen managed a sprawling version of this installation in the cramped living room of her sixth-floor apartment on Orchard Street. She called it the Lower East Side Troll Museum, and it became a wacky downtown landmark accessible by ringing her buzzer. Fans of the kitschy dolls, which became popular in the 1960s, made pilgrimages from around the world to visit her collection. But when she was evicted in 2016, the museum abruptly closed, and an oasis of strange vanished from the Lower East Side.


“The troll museum is probably the silliest idea I had in my life,” she said. “But people responded to it, so I have to keep it going. If more people carried out their silly ideas, then the world would be a more interesting place.”


Reverend Jen also seemed pleased to bring the trolls out of retirement, even if her exhibition space is located awkwardly behind the hotel’s front desk. “I’m really excited to be doing this because the last few years haven’t always been so great,” she said. “When I ring buzzers at my old building, I realize no one I know is left. It feels like an anvil on my chest.”

She is living in Sheepshead Bay these days.

Trolling a Hotel will be on display through tomorrow.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reverend Jen departs her LES home, and Troll Museum, for now

Wall to wall

The completed new work at the Bowery Mural Wall... Here's more on it via photographer Martha Cooper, who has been documenting the wall work this past week:

A blast from the past. TATS CRU is honoring the history of the Houston Bowery wall by creating a mural based on a photo of one of the very first walls painted here and inviting 80s writers to collaborate. Crash, Daze, Zephyr & Dez are among the legends who have dropped by to add their names.

The work includes a tribute to Tony Goldman, real-estate developer and proprietor of the Bowery Mural Wall. He died in 2012 at age 68.

And a time-lapse titled In a New York Minute...

Friday, January 18, 2019

Red alert

Debi Martini, bassist and vocalist of Red Aunts, died this past week at age 50. A cause of death was not released. The band, from Long Beach, Calif., came together in 1991 and released five records. They last played in the area back in June at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

The clip here features SIX promo videos from their Saltbox release from 1996.

RIP Lorna Doom

January Christmas miracles: The holiday tree lights are back ON in Tompkins Square Park

EVG reader boxysean brings us this breaking news today:

The Christmas tree lights are on! It's a New Year's miracle!

The workers were talking about how they were changing the ballast.

As previously reported, the lights went dark several days before Dec. 25, and remained off the entire holiday season. It makes sense that they are working again on this Jan. 18.

Meanwhile, the mysterious hole near the tree remains in place, mysteriously.

Updated 2:18 p.m.

Here some closeups via Goggla...

Updated 5 p.m.

Previously on EV Grieve:
At the 27th Tompkins Square Park holiday tree lightning

Pre-storm prep in Tompkins Square Park

Ahead of Harper's arrival this weekend, the squirrels of Tompkins Square Park are stocking up on essentials, including peanuts ... peanut butter ... bananas ... pizza ... Hershey's Cocoa ... Toaster Strudel ... coconut drinks ... and don't forget spoons.

Photo today by Derek Berg.

Morning reports: The MTA apparently cool with Cuomo's revised L-train rehab plan

The MTA says that it's onboard with Gov. Cuomo's plan to do away with a full shutdown of the L train between Bedford Avenue and Eighth Avenue.

This announcement came yesterday, just two days after board members called for an independent review of the new proposal.

You can read quickie recaps at the Daily News ... amNY ... and the Post, who noted that "[a]n MTA insider said the announcement had Cuomo’s fingerprints all over it."

As for that announcement, here's the official MTA news release issued last night:

As you know the MTA had previously scheduled a complete shutdown of the L Subway train beginning April 27. The disruption of service was to allow reconstruction of the two tubes between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Late last year a design review team of international experts was brought in to review the final plan, and they proposed new construction alternatives and technology which have been used effectively in other countries and industries. The new methods and means include laser light technology to determine structural defects, smart fiber optic sensor technology, and carbon fiber wrapping to reinforce components. Some of these alternatives have not been used by the MTA before and the design integration would be an innovation for the MTA.

The design firm managing the L Subway train project from the beginning has been Parsons Brinckerhoff (now called WSP). WSP has done extensive work studying the new design alternatives and has informed the MTA (and discussed at a public meeting on January 15) that the proposed construction design alternatives are indeed applicable to the L Subway train and can significantly reduce construction time and thus the inconvenience to our riders. Therefore, the total shutdown of both tunnels and all service scheduled for April 27 will not be necessary. We do anticipate a shutdown of one tube on nights and weekends, however service both ways (between Manhattan and Brooklyn) would be scheduled 24/7.

This project is a major priority for the MTA and reconstruction will be supervised by MTA Capital Construction and overseen by MTA Managing Director Veronique Hakim. The MTA will also hire an independent consultant to oversee safety operations that will report directly to the Board. The MTA is now working with the various contractors on a new final construction schedule and contracts which delete some elements of the initial construction plan and add the new design alternatives. We do not believe the cost of reconstruction will increase, and given the tremendous benefits to the riding public, reduction in the volume of traffic and savings from the traffic mitigation efforts, it is a clear positive alternative and in the public interest.

We expect the formulation of the final construction schedule and contract completions to take several weeks. The current construction estimate is 15 to 20 months. As soon as we have more definitive information we will provide it to our customers and the public.

So no word yet on cost or the new construction schedule and other aspects of the L-tube work, such as its impact on residents who live along 14th Street between First Avenue and Avenue B. Cuomo's new plan calls for repairs to occur on nights and weekends, when workers will close one tube at a time with trains running every about 20 minutes or so.

At the MTA board meeting Tuesday, Manhattan Borough President "seemed exasperated over the many unanswered questions." Per the Times: "This is better than ‘Law & Order,’ which we all watch on a daily basis, in terms of intrigue," she said.

So who know what will happen next. As amNY reported:

The MTA appears to be confidently moving ahead with the plans, even though the MTA board will have to approve any material changes to the contract for the work, which has long been set with contractors Judlau and TC Electric. During a public hearing earlier this week, board members expressed discomfort about voting on any redrafted contract before an independent review of the proposal was competed.

Previously on EV Grieve:
L-train non-shutdown fallout: Bike lane battle shaping up along 12th and 13th streets (54 comments)

Reminders: Here's how you can apply to be a Community Board member

Application season continues for the 2019-2021 class of Manhattan Community Board members (it started in early December). So this is your your chance to be part of your local Community Board (CB3!).

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office sent out a reminder yesterday about the applications, which are due Feb. 8. Per the EVG inbox:

Interested in what gets built in your community and how government works to deliver services in your neighborhood? Apply to join one of Manhattan's 12 Community Boards.

Every Community Board has 50 seats which are filled for two-year terms by volunteers, who are selected by the Borough President and local City Council members. Half the seats are up for appointment or reappointment every year.

Community Boards get a seat at the table in high-stakes land use, real estate, and zoning negotiations, and they work directly with city agencies to influence how government services are delivered at the neighborhood level.

If you'd like to serve as a member of your Community Board, apply online here! You can also print the application and drop it off by mail or in-person. The deadline is Feb. 8, 2019.

Per the application: "Community board members must live, work, go to school or have some other significant interest in the community board in which they want to serve."

Back in November, voters said "yes" to Proposal 3, which imposes term limits for the volunteers who sit on Community Boards.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The community board-State Liquor Authority drinking game

How can I really be expected to post today when New York will be a snowy, freezing hell this weekend?

Thank you New York Post for that headline.

And what the paper reports about the weather possibilities:

A fast-moving storm will dump an inch of snow an hour on the city starting at 6 p.m. Saturday and possibly into Sunday, when rain — and then an arctic blast — will turn the Big Apple into a treacherous tundra.

Flakes will fall “hard and quick” before turning to rain sometime between midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday, meteorologists said.

And another take with illustrations...

The area is currently under a Winter Weather Watch. There is a 90 percent chance of unbridled media hysteria and random grocery purchases.

Previously on EV Grieve:
How can I really be expected to post today when the Storm of Feb. 9™ is here?

How can I really be expected to post today when heavy thunderstorms are likely on the way?

How can I really be expected to post today when 78 degrees™ is on the way?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thursday's parting shot

Thanks to Durk Snowden for sharing this sunrise shot today...

NYPD offering reward for info in this morning's armed robbery of an off-duty cop on 13th Street

[Photo by Steven]

Police are offering up to a $2,500 reward for information about the early-morning attempted armed robbery on 13th Street (outside No. 208) between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. (Read our earlier post on this here.)

According to multiple published reports, an off-duty NYPD officer was walking home after his shift when a man carrying a gun approached him and demanded his phone.

Per the Post:

When he refused to hand it over, the brute allegedly struck him several times in the head with the weapon, causing lacerations. He fled empty-handed, cops said.

The officer was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

The thief, who remains at large, is described as a black man in his 20s who was last seen wearing a blue jacket with a yellow hood, black pants and gray sneakers.

Here's a handout of the suspect via the NYPD...


Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

Updated: Reader reports of an armed robbery on 13th Street

[Reader-submitted photo]

There's little (to no) information at the moment about an armed robbery that took place on 13th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue early this morning just after 6.

There are multiple reader reports that the NYPD shut down the block to traffic ... these photos are via Salim...

The first report hit the Citizen app at 6:06 a.m. The details, including the address, changed several times over the course of 40 minutes, though there were reports of a search for a man with a gun. There was also a report that the victim was taken to a local hospital.

There aren't any media reports at the moment... and the police weren't talking to inquisitive neighbors on the block. Will update the post when more information is available.

Updated noon

Updated 12:30 p.m.

The Daily News reports that an off-duty NYPD officer was the victim.

The 28-year-old cop was walking near Third Ave. and 13th St. about 5:45 a.m. when a gun-toting thief ran up on him and demanded his valuables.

The cop fought back — and the suspect used his gun to give the officer a vicious pistol-whipping before running away.

The officer was taken to Bellevue with cuts to his face and head.

Updated 2:05 p.m.

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Police are distributing these flyers around the scene of the crime... there's is up to a $2,500 reward for info about the suspect...

[Photo by Steven]


Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

Rue-B's daytime service now includes CBD-infused coffee

We posted about this during the December holiday break... so it might be worth repeating: Rue-B, the jazz lounge-restaurant at 188 Avenue B, has added a daytime coffee service here between 11th Street and 12th Street.

This particular sign on the door is new since our last look... they are beta testing coffee and — an increasingly trendy add-in — CBD. Per the sign, "survey participants receive a free cup of CBD coffee" ...

CBD Coffee received a lot of buzz, so to speak, last year. (Cannabidiol is, basically, the compound in marijuana that doesn’t get you high.) Several NYC establishments serve CBD-infused coffee and drinks and pastries and lollipops. (By CHLOE debuted 25-plus menu items featuring CBD — the "Feelz by Chloe" line — in September.)

Anyway, the compound found in the cannabis plant is reputed to combat inflammation, insomnia and anxiety. However, Jeff Chen, director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, told The Wall Street Journal last September that much is still unclear on the science behind CBD’s purported effects.

Still, Willie Nelson is a proponent. He launched his own line of CBD-infused coffee last summer. And there are new CBD drinks bearing Bob Marley's name.

High Times, however, wrote that it "has to be the Dumbest of all Coffee Trends."

Café Rue-B is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and, per the door signage, offers coffee/tea, pastries and free WiFi.

Report: East Village resident sues the Whole Foods Market® Bowery and security company over shopping spat

East Village resident Tessa Lena is reportedly suing the Whole Foods Market® Bowery outpost and its security firm after a company guard allegedly accused her of shoplifting and hitting her in the chest.

As the Daily News first reported, Lena is seeking $10 million in damages from Whole Foods, Elite Security Personnel and the unidentified assailant.

The story begins in April 2017 at the grocery on Houston and the Bowery, when the security guard allegedly tackled Lena without any warning and then accused her of stealing a drink that she had purchased elsewhere.

Lena claims in her lawsuit that because the woman didn’t identify herself as a guard and wasn’t wearing any clothes identifying her as one, she had no idea the woman worked for the store.

According to the suit, the woman was “wearing a grungy t-shirt and had the overall appearance not of a security personnel, but of an agitated and disheveled ‘regular person.’”

Lena says she paid for everything she left the store with, but that the woman followed her out and at first implied Lena had gone for the five-finger discount.

After a manager intervened, Lena was eventually cleared to leave. She avoided the store for months before venturing back in this past August, when she saw the security guard on duty.

“I came up to her. I wanted to get her name, and I obviously wanted an apology,” Lena said. “I told her. ‘Look, remember you assaulted me? You owe me an apology for that.’”

That didn't go over well with the guard.

“She was escalating. She was telling me to leave the store, to get out,” Lena recalled. “She was being so rude, so I started filming.”

Once outside, fists flew, and a manager intervened again, admonishing the guard, she said.

The Daily News post includes the video clip.

Lena has been shopping more often at Trader Joe's now, the News noted.

Former Old Monk space for rent on Avenue B

[Photos yesterday by Steven]

It didn't take long for a for-rent sign to arrive at 175 Avenue B, the now-former home of Old Monk at 11th Street.

Back on Monday, we noted that Old Monk hadn't been open for the past week-plus during announced business hours. A rep for the Indian restaurant confirmed the closure in an email on Tuesday, noting "It just didn’t work out."

No word on possible asking rent at the moment... the for-rent signs are homemade for now...

Old Monk, from prolific restaurateur Sushil Malhotra, opened in July 2017. Previous restaurants at this address have included Babu Ji, Spina, Uovo and Panificio.

The Bowery Bond closes on the Bowery

The Bowery Bond, a self-described artist collective selling woman's and men's clothing as well as a variety of accessories, jewelry and home decor, closed after the business day on Sunday at 352 Bowery between Fourth Street and Great Jones.

[Photo Sunday by Lola Sáenz]

The operators told patrons that they are looking for a new (and smaller) space in the area. The Bowery Bond arrived in May 2017.

According to the retail listing at Meridian, the asking rent is $27,000 for 2,250 square feet.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

EVG Etc.: L-train drama rolls on without delays; Bikini Kill returns

[Tompkins Square Park this morning]

Woman raped and robbed in her East 14th Street apartment (Post)

Argument leads to slashing inside the Remedy Diner on Houston and Norfolk (The Daily News)

So much L-train drama: MTA previously rejected an approach from Cuomo over safety concerns that's similar to his latest plan (The Times) MTA board may still derail Cuomo's new plan (Post) Where's Andy Byford? Andy! (The Daily News)

The painstaking research that went into East Village Building Blocks (Off the Grid ... previously)

MulchFest 2019 recap from Tompkins Square Park – WITH VIDEOS! (Laura Goggin Photography)

The Metrograph is launching a distribution company (Deadline)

The chef and owner behind Korilla BBQ, which closed its EV outpost last June, are suing two former employees for allegedly attacking them (Eater)

An interview with photographers Roberta Bayley and GODLIS on documenting the CBGB scene (i-D)

Bikini Kill, reunited and with two NYC shows (Gothamist)

... and a look at the new work in progress at the Bowery Mural Wall by TATS CRU and John CRASH Matos... (h/t Lola Sáenz!)

A visit to CAVAglass on 7th Street

Photos and interview by Stacie Joy

I recently got a chance to meet with artist Joseph Cavalieri of CAVAglass at his workspace on Seventh Street near Avenue C to learn more about working with glass and see some of his current pieces as well as a work in progress.

How did CAVAglass come to be?
I chose CAVAglass as the name of my business basically because no one can spell my last name correctly! Seriously, I wanted a short and memorable business name that relates to my glass work and Italian roots.

CAVAglass is a stained-glass studio in my home in the East Village where I create hand-painted works, mainly for commissions and for upcoming exhibitions. I get to travel to teach weeklong painting on glass workshops around the country, and sometimes in Europe if I get lucky. I have had work spaces outside of my home in the past, but I feel terribly spoiled to be able to work, live, and teach in the same space. No dealing with the subway, and I can work any hours I like.

For most of my professional career before working with glass, I worked as an art director for magazines here in New York City. I spent about six years each at GQ, People and Good Housekeeping. It was a fun career, with great and creative people as well as lots of challenges and rewards. Around 2000 I studied at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, and in 2010 left my full-time publishing job to open CAVAglass.

What made you chose the East Village to live and work in? How does the neighborhood affect your work?
My family goes way back in this neighborhood. In the 1920s, my grandfather lived on 11th Street, the same block as Veniero's. He met and married my grandmother, who lived on Spring Street and Lafayette, in Little Italy, and moved to the Bronx and then up to Westchester to raise a family with 13 kids.

My moving here in 1997 from Elizabeth Street in Nolita felt very natural, I think that familiarity with the neighborhood is in my DNA. It is comforting to know my last apartment was four blocks from where my grandmother lived in Little Italy, and my current home/studio is about six blocks from where my grandfather lived.

I am stimulated every time I walk out my door, finding inspirations in the mix and clash of visuals. These are a mix of personalities of my local neighbors, trashy bridge-and-tunnel girls barfing on the street (I definitely want to do a stained-glass window about them), patterns and colors, fashion and lack of fashion on the street, stickers and graffiti, architecture, and the nature in Tompkins Square Park. I also have a little roof garden so I get to see some nature one flight up, when I need a break from my work.

What are some of the challenges you face in working with glass as a medium?
The biggest and most important challenge with each work is to have the finished work tell the story I have inside my head when I first design it, but isn't that true with every artist? The difference with my art is I paint on the glass with enamels that are kiln-fired onto the surface of the glass permanently. There is no going back and erasing the image.

Another challenge is to take my time when making work. The process is varied and demanding, from the hand-cutting sheets of glass, to sitting and concentrating on very detailed painting for hours, to the soldering and framing of the work. There is no instant gratification here, and I love the challenge of focusing on my vision.

The work you’ve shown me seems to have intertwined themes of consumerism, sin, and fables, and feature recognizable icons from "The Simpsons," R. Crumb’s work, the TV show "Bewitched," and "Alice in Wonderland." How have these cultural touchstones inspired you and what drew you to them?
I like surprising myself with nontraditional, sometimes humorous images in stained glass: it totally keeps me sane. "The Simpsons," "Alice in Wonderland" and Endora are put on a higher level when made of glass and lighted from behind. This effect once was only seen in stained glass windows in churches. My work is wall-hung with LED lighting, so you can experience this radiant effect privately and personally outside of the church.

Cavalieri is currently showing art at Dixon Place on the Lower East Side. His work will be featured in an exhibition on consumerism at the Pittsburgh Glass Center that opens March 1. Details on upcoming shows and some of his permanent art, including an MTA Arts for Transit project, can be found here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A visit to the Tompkins Square Library branch on 10th Street

A visit to Bali Kitchen on 4th Street

A visit to Eat’s Khao Man Gai on 6th Street

A visit to Yoli Restaurant on 3rd Street

Preparing for Saturday's dinner at Il Posto Accanto on 2nd Street

A visit to the Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen on 7th Street

A trip to the recently expanded Lancelotti Housewares on Avenue A

A visit to C&B Cafe on 7th Street

A visit to Rossy's Bakery & Café on 3rd Street