Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Full vacate order issued for East 6th Street building with lone resident

Bad news coming from 338 E. Sixth St. today. EVG reader Michael Hirsch told us that the FDNY responded to a report of falling bricks from the building under a gut renovation between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The FDNY has requested a stability inspection here, according to DOB documents.

And now there is a Full Vacate Order on the building... which temporarily puts Awash Ethiopian Restaurant out of business on the lower level...

And this is on top of the three existing Stop Work Orders that the city already issued. (Despite those, we observed work continuing at the space.)

This is likely a temporary measure until landlord Nurjahan Ahmed has the sidewalk shed installed. The absence of the sidewalk shed led to the first Stop Work Order on Sept. 18.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Rory Denis, who has lived here since 1979, is the building's lone holdout. He has been fighting to keep his rent-stabilized apartment during the 18 months of gut renovations.

Denis took Ahmed to housing court last year after she switched off the electricity and water. Denis won the case in June 2013, which forced Ahmed to restore the services.

For the time being, though, he is being displaced.

All photos by Michael Hirsch

Previously on EV Grieve:
Gut renovations enter 16th month at 338 E. Sixth St., where 1 tenant remains

Out and About in the East Village

In this weekly feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village.

By James Maher
Name: Elissa
Occupation: Urban Geography
Location: J. Antonio Galleria, Avenue A between 3rd and 4th (with a piece of salvaged Judaica).
Time: 3:45 on Tuesday, Oct. 14

My mother was born here on the Lower East Side. Her parents came from Poland in an arranged marriage in 1935. They considered themselves extremely lucky to come to the United States right after they cut off immigration. They both understood what Poland was becoming.

They were very poor. They worked in the garment trade in the sweatshops. She was a dressmaker and a finisher and my grandfather was a presser. I’m 5 foot 2 and my grandfather was about 4 foot 8 with arms like olive trees.

My father worked on Cherry Street, which is almost non-existent now. It was warehouses right next to Water Street, near the Old Gouverneur Hospital. The city tore them down as part of its usual slum renewal.

Slum renewal in this neighborhood meant anything that was seen as old, which was often wood or brick. Where my father worked got torn down. He used to make picture frames down there. About 10,000 people got displaced, by the way, when the Williamsburg Bridge was built. So the city has had a long history of trying to disperse people from this neighborhood by tearing down structures.

I moved here in the 1970s. I didn’t grow up in the neighborhood but I spent a lot of time here given I had a mother who was born here and a father who worked here. When I met somebody who I wanted to marry, I wanted to live in Manhattan. We both spoke Yiddish, his being much better than mine. The only two places in Manhattan I even considered remotely as neighborhoods, having grown up in Brooklyn, was either the Lower East Side or Washington Heights. Nothing else felt like a neighborhood to me.

So I grew up with family in the neighborhood and a real sense of what people had gone through in terms of immigration and the Depression and stories like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire were very real to me. I found myself one March 25 walking outside of my building and noticed that it had been chalked. There is a project called Chalk and on the anniversary of the Triangle Fire people chalk the names of those who died in front of the addresses where they lived.

I contacted people who did Chalk and became a chalker, learning to talk to residents about the Triangle Fire. It allows you to mark a place and say that the story is not forgotten. It’s an enormous opportunity to engage with people in the neighborhood from all walks of life and find other people whose lives have been touched by the Fire or by a similar sort of tragedy. It’s a different type of interaction and there is no way to separate yourself from that.

I worked in IT for about 30 years and then got very sick and had to think about what it was that I wanted to do. I ended up going back to grad school part time, slowly working toward a doctorate in urban geography. I started becoming far more concerned about the changes in this neighborhood taking place so fast ... that is the reason I wanted to go into urban geography and to try to understand what was happening in other cities and how people reacted to it. One of the things that I was disconcerted to find was that a lot of undergraduates thought of gentrification as inevitable, like a force of nature.

I wanted to understand how other cities had dealt with that and demystify the phenomenon in some ways in terms of looking at real-estate development, local community politics — the sort of things that can be done to strengthen a community rather than the things that fracture it, such as oversized development or bars going at 4 am and having your neighborhood become an entertainment district, or having people who have lived here for a long time starting to lose their sense of belonging, particularly in public.

It comes back to this neighborhood. But to understand this neighborhood you have to understand what’s happening elsewhere, whether it’s in street art or in real estate or in buyers coming from all over the globe ... or what is happening to historic buildings and the erasing of their memory that occurs when you [destroy] the built environment.

It’s extremely scary. I don’t think that there is a magic wand one can wave but I do think that the more that people think of gentrification as something that affects their lives in that they have to say something about it, whether its to their city council member or their Community Board, whether it’s through a global climate march or work at community garden, whether it is through a land use review procedure or whether it is through blogging.

I would say the most important thing is to foster a sense of belonging. What I keep hearing from longtime residents here across every ethnic group, though mainly people with less money, is that they feel they’re not wanted anymore. They feel they’re being pushed out. It’s not just by landlords. It’s on the street when people look at them like they don’t belong.

The sense of belonging for people to stay in place, the sense that this is their neighborhood, is absolutely critical to the future of the Lower East Side.

James Maher is a fine art and studio photographer based in the East Village. Find his website here.

Construction watch: 179 Suffolk St.

The East Houston Street skyline is starting to change with the progress of the 10-story residential building going up on the corner of Suffolk Street… (as you can see someone has already tagged the top of the new building…)

According to the DOB, there will be 14 residential units here… Plans show 11,522 square feet for residential use … and 2,527 square feet for community facility space.

And the rendering shows a godawful-looking ...

We're four-plus years in on this project, which has been plagued with various issues, as BoweryBoogie previously noted here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Next for 255 E. Houston St.: Community facility/school/medical building?

10-story building in the works for Suffolk and East Houston

Checkers raises the flag on 1st Avenue

As we reported back on Aug. 25, a Checkers is opening at 225 First Avenue between East 13th Street and East 14th Street.

And now the opening soon signage is up for another NYC location of the burger chain. (In April 2013, Crain's reported that Checkers was going to add another 22 restaurants in NYC by 2015.)

Higher rents forced longtime tenant Gabay's Outlet to leave this storefront for a new home at 195 Avenue A this past summer.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Checkers headed to 1st Avenue

Aum Namaste Book & Crystal Gallery opening soon on East 14th Street

In the former Cable Doctor space at 226 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue…

According to the Aum Namaste Facebook description:

Spiritual book and crystal gallery featuring high vibration, top quality, hard to find crystal specimens, statuary, candles, incense, sage, jewelry & more!

And the store has an active website here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Report: Stuy Town rape suspect charged with 2 other East Village sex crimes

Juan Scott, who police arrested following an early Friday morning attack in Stuy Town, has been charged with two other sex crimes in the neighborhood.

According to the Daily News, the 26-year-old Scott was ordered held without bail. "Prosecutors slapped him with three criminal complaints for charges including sex abuse, attempted rape and burglary."

The other cases involve an alleged attack and sexual assault on a former girlfriend on Sept 21. "Prosecutors said Scott also followed a woman into her E. 11th St. building, pulled up her dress and grabbed her about 11:45 p.m. on June 2," per the Daily News.

He is due back in court Friday.

Thurston Moore releases a new album, walks around the East Village

Thurston Moore has a new record (The Best Day) out today (Pitchfork says that it has "a distinctly Sonic Youth-ian discord."). You can check out the track "Speak to the Wild" above" …

Meanwhile, in New York magazine, Moore does the interview while shopping at Mast, walking on Avenue A and sitting in Tompkins Square Park. He reminiscences, but nothing too dramatic.

We walk by the Pyramid Club, one of the few holdouts from those days. “There was a nighttime collaboration between us and the drag queens who ruled that place,” he remembers. “They thought we were perfectly absurd. They would introduce the bands—the Swans, Sonic Youth—and make fun of us.”


AN EVG reader noted today's special on East Seventh Street…

Sun-setting skyline

Around 5:45 p.m. via Bobby Williams…

First sign of the new 7-floor condo rising above the Jehovah's Witnesses on Avenue C

There's now noticeable progress at 67 Avenue C near East Fifth Street… where a 7-story, 7-unit residential building is going up at the former Kingdom Hall that was owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Approved permits with the city show plans for 1,843 square feet of commercial space and 7,451 square feet of residential space. The building will be topped off by a duplex penthouse.

We haven't seen any renderings just yet. We're curious how this luxury housing will look in between the corner laundromat and the Jehovah's Witnesses, who continue to use the adjacent space at 63 and 65 Avenue C.

[EVG file photo]


Council member Chin's office providing new funding for the Bowery Mission

[The Bowery Mission at 227 Bowery]

Last month, officials at the Bowery Mission reported that their food pantry is in dire need of donations.

According to DNAinfo, the Bowery Mission's food supply has dwindled while demand for meals has increased.

To help provided some relief in the year ahead, Council Member Margaret Chin will be allocating $9,000 in City Council funding to the Bowery Mission tomorrow.

As part of the Food Pantries Initiative included in the City's 2015 fiscal budget, the City Council's Manhattan Delegation is able to allocate $237,600 to food pantries. (There are 10 members of the Manhattan Delegation, which means each Council member has $23,760 to allocate to food pantries within their district.)

Aside from the $9,000 for the Bowery Mission, Chin is allocating $9,000 to the New York City Rescue Mission (90 Lafayette St.) and $5,760 to Cabrini Immigrant Services (139 Henry St.).

Now at Ideal Glass, 'Every Mother's Son'

[Photo by EVG reader Daniel]

Ideal Glass is now now featuring a new mural by Brooklyn-based artist Sophia Dawson titled "Every Mother's Son."

According to the Ideal Glass website, the mural features "portraits of mothers who have lost their children to police brutality."

[Image via]

The mural will be up through November. Ideal Glass is at 22 E. Second St. between Second Avenue and The Bowery.

The former Joselito space for rent on Avenue D

[EVG file photo]

Back in June, Joselito, the inexpensive and delicious Dominican restaurant, moved from 125 Avenue D to a smaller space at 172 Delancey.

Now that space between East Eighth Street and East Ninth Street is on the market.

According to the Miron listing:

This is an affordable rent for a restaurant that had a full liquor and seats approx. 56
Great opportunity for the right operator.
Approx. 1,200 sq ft + basement
10 year term

Note: Additional 1 story building in the rear. Approx. 500 sq ft (included in the package)
Condition: This space need work!!!

The current asking price is $6,000.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Joselito Restaurant has left Avenue D

You'll never drive on this section of Astor Place again

Just noting another phase of the reconstruction of Astor Place — the closure of the street between Lafayette and Cooper Square...

[Michael Paul Photography]

... which is yielding to an expanded Alamo plaza, as the rendering shows...

Last Wednesday, workers boarded up the Alamo to protect it during the construction phase...

[Michael Paul Photography]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cops nab so-called albino bank robber

Cops have arrested the man wanted for a string of bank robberies in the city, including a holdup at the Chase branch on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place on Oct. 4.

Let's send it over to Lisha Arino at DNAinfo:

Dennis Nemirovskiy, 27, of Brooklyn, robbed banks in the East Village, Greenwich Village and Midtown by approaching tellers with a note demanding money, police said. In total, he made off with $8,480, police said.

Police finally caught Nemirovskiy after a witness saw him get into a cab after his last heist on Oct. 17, according to the NYPD.

I'm new to bank robberies, though I have seen "Point Break." Is leaving a bank robbery in a cab such a good idea?

Anyway, after the Chase robbery, the NYPD released the following description of the suspect: "white male (possibly albino), 5'10", mid to late 20s..."

Today's hawk

... in Tompkins Square Park... looking focused.

Rejected headlines:
Hawk says leaf me alone

[Updated] Report: Police make an arrest in attempted Stuy Town rape

The NYPD has arrested a suspect wanted for the attempted rape of a 20-year-old woman in an elevator at 600 E. 14th St., the Town & Village Blog reported.

Juan Scott, 26, who lives at 544 E. 13th St., has been charged with attempted rape.

The incident occurred around 4 a.m. this past Friday. The victim reportedly screamed and struggled with her attacker, causing him to flee. Security cameras showed the suspect escaping from the building by climbing down a tree to street level.

The NYPD are investigating the suspect for other crimes as well, according to DNAinfo.

Updated 5:40 p.m.

The Villager reports that Scott is a cousin of Rosario Dawson. Her mother and father and other relatives still live at 544 E. 13th St., The Villager points out.

Rag & Bone casting for an apartment with an 'old-school East Village vibe'

We spotted these flyers on East Seventh Street earlier today ... The upscale clothing boutique is looking for an apartment in these parts for a short film/commercial.

So if you have an unfurnished or lightly furnished railroad flat ... on a lower floor or in an elevator building ... with a non-working fireplace ... and "chipped white paint, weathered, worn east village vibe" ... that can accommodate a 20-25 person crew...

Gem Spa shake up puts Zoltar on the outs

Shocking developments to report outside Gem Spa on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

After two-plus years anchored to the right of Gem Spa's front door ... we arrived early this morning to find that Zoltar had been moved... to the left of the to-go window.

Basically Siberia.

Tucked away behind the postcards and Gem Spa chalkboard sign. Where people will be less likely to have their fortune told.

From a symmetry standpoint it sort of makes sense... balancing out the games of chance on either side of the door...

No word at this hour why Zoltar was moved... and if this is permanent... and what this means for your weekend plans...

1st permits filed for renovation of Walter De Maria's former home-studio on East 6th Street

Back in August, news reports confirmed that billionaire art collector Peter Brant bought Walter De Maria’s former home and studio at 421 E. Sixth St. for $27 million.

In May, a tipster told us that The Brant Foundation would use the building between First Avenue and Avenue A as an exhibition space.

While Brant's reps haven't released any further details on what he plans on doing with the address, work is underway on the building. Plans filed with the DOB Friday call for the rather generic "removal of interior non loading bearing partitions and related finishes."

Gluckman Mayner Architects are listed as the architects of record. Among their projects: the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the renovation and expansion of the Whitney and the conversion of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

De Maria died of a stroke in July 2013 at age 77.

Per artnet: "De Maria is best known for The Lightning Field (1977), 400 stainless steel poles planted in a one-by-one-mile grid in the New Mexican desert. The famously isolated piece can only be visited by six guests per day, each of whom must stay overnight in an isolated cabin."

The property, which includes the empty lot to the west, had been listed for $25 million. It was built in 1920 as a ConEd substation, but had been converted into a photography studio after De Maria bought it in 1980.

Previously on EV Grieve:
About that "giant-robot laboratory" on East Sixth Street

RIP Walter De Maria

What is your East Village dream home?

Walter De Maria's 'giant-robot laboratory' going for $25 million; inside is amazing as you'd expect

Walter De Maria's home/studio on East 6th Street is now on the market for $25 million

Rumor: The Brant Foundation buying Walter De Maria's E. 6th St. studio for an exhibition space (19 comments)

Confirmed: Peter M. Brant buys Walter De Maria's amazing East 6th Street home and studio

Prepping to get a Mile High on East 4th Street

Renovations continue at 28. E. Fourth St. between the Bowery and Lafayette.

As BoweryBoogie first reported in August, the former Plantworks storefront will become the Mile High Run Club.

On Saturday, we saw workers loading in the treadmills…

The gym comes courtesy of former Equinox trainer (and avid runner, duh) Debora Warner.

"I've always been a fan of the treadmill, and I thought the way to address the various fitness levels would be to have everyone train in a group indoors," Warner told Well & Good. "No one gets left behind, [and] everyone can work at their own individual effort level."

Plantworks closed late last May after 40 years in business. NYU is annexing the former Platworks Garden Center for its Academic Support Center at 383 Lafayette St., per Curbed. The Garden Center relocated to 286 Hudson St. between Spring and Dominick.

H/T Racked

The Thirsty Buddha has closed; Taqueria St. Mark's on deck

Paper is up in the windows now at The Thirsty Buddha, the third bar (Saints Tavern! Kamikaze & Co.!) to give 79 St. Mark's Place a whirl.

Coming next: Taqueria St. Mark's, the former Taqueria Lower East Side, one of the restaurant victims who was looking for new home after Ben Shaoul bought that East Houston and Orchard corner space.

As we've mentioned, there seem to be plenty of places in the neighborhood now for tacos... with one more after Empellón al Pastor (bar meets tortilleria) opened yesterday on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Taqueria Lower East Side relocating to St. Mark's Place

A look inside the incoming Momofuko Ko on Extra Place

We took a walk on a very quiet Extra Place on Friday afternoon, where we spotted a crew working on the new Momofuko Ko space...

As you can see, there looks to be quite a bit of work left on the 25-seat restaurant...

The construction at 4-8 Extra Place hasn't made at least one neighbor too happy...

Meanwhile, across East First Street at the former Veselka Bowery, work continues on the incoming steakhouse-oyster bar Bowery Meat Company ...

... a name that conjures up two nearby former businesses — Bowery Wine Company and Bowery Beef...

Previously on EV Grieve:
With new restaurant opening, will Extra Place finally become a dining destination?

Extra Place now officially a Dead End

Extra Place and Heidi currently 'closed for renovation' in Extra Place

Red Hook Lobster Pound in the works for Extra Place

United (States Post Office) we fall

On Saturday, EVG reader Mr. Baggs noticed a worker removing the remaining letters outside the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 432 E. 14th St. near Avenue A.

As we noted last week, demolition permits are on file to bring down the post office and former Stuyvesant Stationery shop next door for some unspecified new development.

Previously on EV Grieve:
First sign of more development on East 14th Street?

Asbestos abatement to begin at former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

Davey drill arrives ahead of rumored development at former East 14th Street post office

Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Avenue B between East Seventh Street and East Sixth Street

Week in Grieview

[Chewie, Avenue B]

Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished (Monday)

Boarding up the Alamo on Astor Place (Wednesday)

Out and About with Wasim Lone of GOLES (Wednesday)

An appreciation: Raquel's garden on First Avenue (Thursday)

Q-and-A with Richard Ocejo, author of 'Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars' (Tuesday)

The former La Vie prepped for the condo afterlife on East First Street (Tuesday)

Never-ending construction at 185-193 Avenue B continues to never end (Monday)

Gutting the former Odessa Cafe and Bar (Tuesday)

Checking in on the Tuck Shop (Friday)

A look at the first East Village apartment building named after a secondary character in an Ayn Rand novel (Wednesday)

Your chance to become a gypsy (Wednesday)

98-100 Avenue is now the pits (Monday)

Parmys Persian Fusion becoming Ravagh Persian Grill (Thursday)

The guy with the kids-in-the-car line is back (Sunday)

From Five Points to Vic's on Great Jones (Friday)

Korilla BBQ soft opening on Third Avenue (Wednesday)

Important post about Halloween costumes (Friday)

Researchers discover rats grosser than originally thought (Wednesday)

Wash House space for rent (Friday)

Empellón al Pastor is now open on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place

Empellón al Pastor, the third restaurant from Alex (Empellón Cocina, Empellón Taqueria), is now open.

The doors opened at 12:30… or at least that's what the signs promised… that and football...

Here's a look at the menu… four of the five menu panels are devoted to alcohol …

There's also delivery via Caviar.

And Stupak said this about the space to WWD:

His choice of venue drives home the point: in the Eighties, it was a punk dive bar called Alcatraz. Stupak tapped several artist friends to re-create graffiti on the inside to look weathered.

“At the end of the day, I wanted it to feel like a quirky dive bar that someone happened to inject a taqueria into,” he says.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Chef Alex Stupak vying for former Sushi Lounge space on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place

As the for rent signs turn on Avenue A

Here are a few scant details about chef Alex Stupak's new venture on St. Mark's Place

CB3 OKs liquor license for Alex Stupak's new restaurant on St. Mark's Place

More about Empellón al Pastor, opening this fall on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place