Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Bowery Mission resource card

Per The Bowery Mission website:

Sometimes it's hard to know how to help. But when you hand a resource card to a homeless neighbor, you show that you care and want that person to have second chance at life.

Print out these resource cards to give away to the homeless you encounter on the streets. Invite them to come to The Bowery Mission to get help. Click here to open a pdf file with four resource cards to print.

Former residents talk about landlord Maria Hrynenko: 'it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment'

[Photo via @mesh_mellow]

The New York Times speaks with several of the former residents who lived in buildings destroyed in the deadly gas explosion last March 26.

On Thursday, the DA charged landlord Maria Hrynenko and her son, Michael Hrynenko Jr., with involuntary manslaughter ... as well as contractor Dilber Kukic and an unlicensed plumber, Athanasios Ioannidis. (A fifth person, Andrew Trombettas, faces charges for supplying his license to Ioannidis.)

According to the article, Maria Hrynenko was not popular among her tenants.

An excerpt:

Some of those tenants, now scattered across the city and country, were encouraged by the thought of their former landlord in handcuffs.

But many also rued the years spent while, they say, Ms. Hrynenko harassed them in her greedy pursuit of higher rents. Prosecutors cited her greed as the driving force behind the explosion.

“I was actually shocked charges were brought at all, and that it happened so quickly,” said Kim-Nora Moses, a tenant who said she had studied building codes and needled inspectors for years about the exhaust system. “But I always felt like she won, because she blew the place up. She said a lot of mean and hurtful things to people; it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment.”

According to the Post, before Thursday's press conference, Hrynenko said "I’m a good person" to reporters as authorities brought her into the DA's office.

All five people that the NYPD arrested pleaded not guilty.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Friday, February 12, 2016

Just in time for Valentine's Day — BLOODWRESTLING

Via the EVG inbox...this is happening tomorrow (Saturday!) night...

BLOODWRESTLING: Valentine's Eve Mas-Sicker with GLOB!
Celebrate and skewer VD Day with GLOB! Live lady warriors, (and lads!) with ridiculous vendettas, who wrestle in fake blood to punk rock! Sports satire, gore galore, mucha lucha gone mas sicker! A show for all of you Heartbreakers & Hellions, in a fantastic, underground L.E.S. theater and performance space w/Full Bar and Art Lounge.

Doors at 9:30 pm, Showtime 10 pm With live music from: DOLPHINS DON'T LOVE and LEA aka ESCAPE ARTIST. Late night Happy Hour after the show.

COW Theater
21 Clinton St. (btwn Stanton & Houston)
$10 (Cash only or use free Square Cash app.)
Sat. 2/13, Door Opens: 9:30 pm
Find more details at the Facebook events page here

The look of love

Here's Seattle supergroup Childbirth with the recently released video for "Breast Coast (Hangin’ Out)," 95 seconds of gleefully sarcastic power pop...

Reader report: The result of this morning's fire behind 105 Avenue B

There was a report of a fire this morning at 105 Avenue B just south of East Seventh Street.

A neighbor with knowledge of the situation shared this:

This morning’s fire in the rear of 105 Avenue B was apparently started when a lit cigarette was dropped from a window into the trash and igniting it. The basement access was locked and no super was present, so firefighters used the ladder to scale to the roof and down the rear of the building to the fire.

The fire was severe enough that it melted the main TWC feed for that section of the block. Residents of several adjacent buildings will be without Internet, TV or phone until TWC can address the problem.

Photo this morning via @af

[Updated] Reader report: Mayor de Blasio to speak outside building where undocumented worker died on East 8th Street

[Photo from Dec. 24]

On Dec. 24, a partial building collapse at 356 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D led to the death of a worker, as we first reported here.

As far as we know, no other media outlet covered this tragedy. According to a reader, Alberto Pomboza, an undocumented worker from Ecuador, died after he fell from the third to the first floor in the townhouse undergoing a gut renovation.

An EVG reader who lives on the block reports that the NYPD is clearing the street ahead of an appearance this morning by the Mayor who will apparently address what happened here...

Updated 2:20 p.m.

[Photo via @zmack]

The Mayor was on the scene this morning to announce this new enforcement sweep... via the Mayor's office...

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler today announced that they will quadruple the penalties for serious construction-safety lapses, conduct a wave of more than 1,500 enforcement sweeps, and require new supervision at construction sites citywide to protect workers and the public amid the record building boom.

To make sure builders cannot profit by skirting safety rules, the City is raising the penalties for serious safety lapses from $2,400 to $10,000, and the penalty for lacking a construction superintendent will increase from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000. Construction has surged more than 300 percent since 2009, contributing more jobs and more housing to New York City, but leading to an increase in preventable construction-related injuries and fatalities.

Updated 5:10 p.m.

DNAinfo has a piece on the city's inspection blitz here.

They also have more details about the worker who died here.

The worker, 33-year-old Luis Alberto Pomboza, was working on the renovation of 356 East 8th St. when he fell from the third to first floor, according to records from the Department of Buildings.

Pomboza — an undocumented Ecuadorian immigrant and father of five — was transported to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition with trauma to the head and face but later died of his injuries, according to the NYPD and Medical Examiner’s Office.

Updated 8 p.m.

Gothamist has a report here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Reader report: Partial building collapse on East 8th Street; unconfirmed report of a fatality

RIP John Farris

[Photo of John Farris by EVG from 2010]

John Farris, a writer, poet and longtime resident of the Lower East Side, died in his East Third Street apartment of an apparent heart attack on Jan. 22. He was 75.

The Villager this week has a lengthy feature obituary on Farris:
With his sharp wit and abrasive personality, Farris was for decades an integral part of the Downtown literary and jazz scenes. He performed at a wide range of venues, reading wry, lyrical poems and densely crafted prose that both celebrated and satirized the people of the Lower East Side. He insisted that you listen to him — whether you wanted to or not.

From 2008, here's a video featuring stories by Farris ... set to an original score and composition by Jumaani Smith with photos by Marlis Momber ...

Here's B. Kold, writing in Sensitive Skin:

John was a friend to many, and took us young’uns under his wing back when he was running open mikes at the Neither/Nor Gallery. I’ll never forget the time he took four or five of us kids over to Sweet Basil to see Sun Ra and the Arkestra. We’d only known John a couple of years, and he was telling us all sorts of bullshit stories about all the famous jazz men he knew and was friends with, and we were taking it all in with a big grain of salt.

After the (amazing) show, every damned member of Sun Ra’s band came over to our table, going “Farris! What’s up? Where you been, man! C’mon out and party with us!” and Farris was like, “Nah, I’m gonna hang with these guys.” I never felt so cool in my whole life. There were a lot of moments like that with John.

Sensitive Skin compiled a handful of readings from Farris, which you can find here.

Using graffiti to attract buyers for the million-dollar condos along Avenue A

[The future northwest corner of Avenue A and 11th Street]

Earlier this month, details emerged about developer Douglas Steiner's incoming residential building (rendering above) along Avenue A between East 11th Street and East 12th Street.

For instance, condos in the 82-unit building — officially 438 E. 12th St. — will start at $1.1 million for a 1-bedroom home. And the building amenities include a 50-foot-long pool, a spa, a gym, a library, a playroom, parking and a landscaped courtyard and rooftop gardens.

There's also a teaser site where potential buyers can learn more info about the project.

The development's marketing team also decided to go the graffiti route in advertising the official website along the plywood on Avenue A...


All the above?

Thanks to EVG reader Gail George for the photo!

Previously on EV Grieve:
New residential complex at former Mary Help of Christians lot may include rooftop swimming pool

Meet your new neighbor on Avenue A

Permits filed to demolish Mary Help of Christians church, school and rectory

Preservationists call for archeological review of former cemetery at Mary Help of Christians site

The 'senseless shocking self-destruction' of Mary Help of Christians

Residences rising from the former Mary Help of Christians lot will now be market-rate condos

Ongoing construction at condoplex on Avenue A enters the swimming pool phase

Report: Developer Douglas Steiner lands $130 million loan for EV condo construction

Douglas Steiner's church-replacing condos emerge from the pit; plus new renderings

Rumors: Ethiopian to give way to high-end Japanese on East 3rd Street

The Meskel Ethiopian Restaurant closed late last summer on East Third Street near Avenue B... the closure was supposed to be temporary, for building renovations. However, as far as we know, the restaurant never reopened.

Now a tipster writes in:

The Ethiopian place that closed on East Third has new owners now who plan to make the space into "a high-end Japanese-food restaurant specializing in tempura" but "not a sushi place."

Vegan pizzeria 00 + Co. is now open on 2nd Avenue

00 + Co., the vegan pizzeria and wine bar, made its debut last night at 65 Second Ave. between East Third Street and East Fourth Street... in the former Winebar space. (Raymond Azzi, who owned Winebar, is a partner in 00 + Co. with chef Matthew Kenney.)

Here's a look at the menu...

[Click to go big]

Nick Solares at Eater has photos of the interior here. Gothamist has a preview here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Raw food celebrity chef Matthew Kenney bringing vegan pizza to 2nd Avenue (31 comments)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

In the cold, cold night

East 11th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C by @georgygirlnyc

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

[Memorials for the victims on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street]

CBS 2 reports that "officials are set to make a major announcement" this morning regarding the deadly Second Avenue explosion from last March 26.

The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Manhattan’s District Attorney's office. There are no other details about the announcement.

Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Ismael Locón Yac died during the explosion that leveled three buildings at 117-123 Second Ave.

To date, the city has yet to file charges against anyone in connection with the explosion. The Post reported last April that investigators have "six prime suspects" — landlord Maria Hrynenko, her son Michael Jr., contractor Dilber Kukic as well as an unidentified subcontractor and two workers.

We'll update this post as soon as officials release more information.

Updated 9:50 a.m.

NBC 4 reports that five people are facing criminal charges in connection with the gas explosion.

Updated 10:26 a.m.

The Post reports the following:

Landlord Maria Hrynenko, her son Michael Jr., and Bronx contractor Dilber Kukic ... were among the suspects brought by authorities to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office ...

“I’m a good person,” Hrynenko uttered to reporters as authorities brought her in.

Updated 11:19 a.m.

DA Cyrus Vance Jr. is announcing the charges... Among them: 2nd degree manslaughter for the Hrynenkos and Kukic — carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years.

Updated 11:27 a.m.

Updated 11:30 a.m.

Here is part of the official release from the DA's office:

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, and New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro today announced the indictment of MARIA HRYNENKO, 56, MICHAEL HRYNENKO, 30, ATHANASIOS IOANNIDIS, 59, DILBER KUKIC, 40, and ANDREW TROMBETTAS, 57, in connection with a deadly gas explosion that occurred at 121 Second Avenue on March 26, 2015. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Assault in the Second Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, among other charges.

Defendant Information:

MARIA HRYNENKO, D.O.B. 11/26/1959


-Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
-Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
-Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count



-Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
-Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
-Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count



-Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 counts
-Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
-Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
-Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 2 counts

DILBER KUKIC, D.O.B. 6/9/1975


-Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 9 count
-Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, 2 counts
-Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 4 counts
-Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count



-Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts

Updated 11:31 a.m.

Councilwoman Rosie Mendez responds to the arrests:

"As we're approaching the anniversary of this tragic event I want to thank and congratulate Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance for his continuing investigation that has led to the arrest of these five individuals. The events from last year are still very much with us in the East Village. Everyday we walk by and see empty space where three buildings stood; three buildings that were part of a historic district. Everyday my businesses struggle to recover from the street closures that resulted in financial losses last year.

And everyday, the people of the East Village have been waiting for justice. Today we are one step closer. Maria Hrynenko has told reporters that she's a good person. Apparently this good person's reckless actions led to the death of two young men, led to the homelessness of dozens of families and businesses, and led to the loss of their worldly possessions. Her actions and those of four others were criminal. I look forward to the commencement of the trial and I hope this sends a strong message to other landlords and contractors that you will be held accountable for your actions."

Updated 1:45 p.m.

Here's some coverage from The New York Times:

Mr. Vance outlined a scheme as contemptible as it was craven, involving a crooked contractor, an unscrupulous plumber, a greedy landlord and her son — all so eager to get tenants into newly renovated apartments with the average rent running $6,000 per month that they were willing to cast aside any concern for safety.

Even in the last moments before the explosion, two of the defendants are accused of running out of the building without warning any of the residents or patrons inside a ground-floor restaurant or even calling 911.

“The individuals involved in the East Village gas explosion showed a blatant and callous disregard for human life,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an unusually blunt statement.

Updated 6 p.m.

Aside from the two fatalities, Vance said that at least 13 people suffered serious injuries in the blast A 21-yearold student here visiting from Berkeley during spring break lost an eye and fractured his larynx. Two firefighters also suffered serious injuries.

Updated 10 p.m.

A few more details from different sources... ABC News reported that all of the defendants pleaded not guilty today. And DNAinfo wrote that all of the defendants, except Trombettas, were held on a $1 million bail each.

Updated 2/12

The Post today...

New concept for Nevada Smiths includes record store paying homage to Thin Lizzy, plus a bar

[EVG photo from December]

An applicant was on CB3's SLA committee meeting docket in January for the former Nevada Smiths space at 100 Third Ave. between East 12th Street and East 13th Street.

However, the applicant was a scratch in the weeks leading up to the meeting. There wasn't much known about the plans for the football/soccer establishment other than that the name of Bruce Caulfield appeared on a notice with the application.

Since 2003, Caulfield (with two business partners) has run the train-themed Tracks Raw Bar & Grill in the LIRR level at Penn Station. He's also a partner in Harp Raw Bar & Grill on Third Avenue near Grand Central as well as a longtime NYC business owner.

Caulfield, a former Nevada Smiths partner, is back on the agenda for the February CB3-SLA meeting along with two other familiar names — James Morrissey (The Late Late on East Houston) and Gerard McNamee (GM of Webster Hall).

Morrissey and McNamee are elsewhere on the agenda with their proposed concept for The Honey Fitz, a restaurant-cocktail bar-freelance-work space in the works for the former Hop Devil Grill and the temporarily closed Nino's Pizza storefront on St. Mark's Place and Avenue A.

The plans for the three-level Nevada Smiths space are equally ambitious. According to public documents (PDF) on the CB3 website, the proposed venture is called Vinyl, which will be a coffee house, vintage vinyl record store and bar/restaurant all under one roof...

The record store will pay homage to Irish rock band Thin Lizzy... the record store and cafe would open daily at 10 a.m. ... with the bar/food starting at noon, with proposed closing hours of 4 a.m.

[Screenshots via the CB3 website]

The proposal also calls for "poetry & spoken word cultural events." No word on what will become of the 20 Plasma TVs and two life-size projection screens that arrived with the new Nevada Smiths, which opened here in April 2013. Nevada Smiths never reopened after the Marshal took legal possession of the business last September.

You can read the comprehensive questionnaire for Vinyl at the CB3 website. (PDF here.)

The SLA committee meeting is Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Nevada Smiths is closed, and here's what's next

Those persistent rumors about 74-76 Third Avenue and the future of Nevada Smiths

The East Village will lose a parking lot and gain an apartment building

Here then, where Nevada Smiths once stood

The Marshal seizes Nevada Smiths on 3rd Avenue

[Updated] New life for the Nevada Smiths space on 3rd Avenue

Report: Management company sues Raphael Toledano for backing out of $130 million loan

Landlord Raphael Toledano is facing more legal woes following the purchase last September of a 16-building East Village portfolio.

The Real Deal has the story:

An affiliate of Larry Gluck’s Stellar Management is suing Raphael Toledano, claiming the investor accepted a $130 million mortgage to finance the acquisition of his East Village portfolio, but then backed out of the deal and refused to pay the $1.9 million break-up fee.

“Almost immediately after signing the contract on July 15,2015,” Stellar states in the suit, “Toledano opted to take out a $124 million loan from Madison Realty Capital to finance the portfolio purchase. Toledano's agreement with Madison Realty Capital was in direct violation of the exclusivity provision of the contract and constitutes as a breach of contract.”

The is the latest legal matter involving Toledano to make headlines. Last spring, rent-regulated tenants at 444 E. 13th St. accused Toledano, 26, and a management company he hired of harassment and intimidation.

Prior to closing on the East Village deal this past fall, Toledano's uncle, Rosewood Realty Group's Aaron Jungreis, sued his nephew, claiming that he was squeezed out of the deal. (That suit was later settled.)

In December, The Real Deal reported on a possible link between Toledano and a fake law firm, Truman & Wildes LLP.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'

Reader report: Large portfolio of East Village buildings ready to change hands

Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano

Report: Uncle suing nephew broker Raphael Toledano over $100 million East Village deal

Report: Raphael Toledano completes purchase of 16-building East Village portfolio

More about alleged harassment and landlord visits via Brook Hill Properties

Brook Hill Properties launches chocolate offensive

In op-ed, Raphael Toledano says that he wants 'to make the East Village a better place'

Report: East Village landlord Raphael Toledano allegedly misrepresented himself as a lawyer

The Villager looks at landlord Raphael Toledano's criminal past

An open letter to landlord Raphael Toledano from the Toledano Tenants Coalition

The former Tatyana Boutique space is for rent on the Bowery

The Las Vegas-based fashion brand that sells upscale retro dresses, shoes and accessories recently closed in the Avalon Bowery Place complex at East First Street. That space is now for lease.

The listing at SCG Retails doesn't include the asking rent for the 2,207 square-foot storefront between Blue & Cream and DBGB.

Our educated guess on the monthly rent is — a lot.

[Bowery bum, 2016]

The rent is due at DF Mavens

[Photo by Steven from Jan. 30]

As we first reported, DF Mavens, the vegan ice cream shop and cafe on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place, closed for good late last month.

Yesterday, the landlord attached a rent-due notice on the door...

Per the paperwork, the February rent is $23,765.10.

And it appears the lease goes back to August 2013.

The coming soon signage arrived in October 2013 ... but the storefront wasn't ready for business until Dec. 26, 2014, DFM's opening day. (And is the day after Christmas the best day to open a business?)

Several readers have been curious why the build-out took so long, especially since the space was previously home to another cafe, Eastside Bakery (.net?). So it wasn't as if workers had to renovate a gutted space or some far-flung business...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reminders: Buy more glycerin and tincture of iodine

Spotted in the trash today on East Seventh Street ... an old-timey medicine cabinet with bottles of glycerin and tincture of iodine attached to the mirror...

Remember: For external use only!

Photos via Derek Berg

Report: Arrests made in East 9th Street stabbing

[Surveillance image from Dec. 5]

Early in the morning on Dec. 5, two men reportedly stabbed a 49-year-old man multiple times in the back as he entered the Skyline Spa on East Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

NBC 4 reports today that the NYPD has arrested two suspects, Phillip Daniel, 24, and Emmanuel Rodman, 23, who live on the same block on the Upper West Side. Police said the men were charged with attempted murder and assault.

NBC reports that it was not clear if they knew the victim, who was treated and released for his injuries at Bellevue.

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: Kevin Cloutier
Occupation: Director of Photography, Documentary Cameraman, Filmmaker
Location: Tompkins Square Park, SE
Time: 2:30 pm on Thursday, Feb. 4

I’m from Providence, Rhode Island. I went to art school in San Francisco for four years. After awhile, being from the East Coast you either become a Californian or you don’t. Basically my theory is that all the nuts shake loose from the East Coast, they go out West and they either stick or the don’t. After finishing art school, it was either LA or New York, and two weeks in LA certainly told me it was not LA.

I came to New York in November of 1978. New York’s never been easy, so even then to get an apartment was hard. I originally found a really boring place on 25th Street, but eventually I sort of lucked out and found a place on East Third Street. It was incredibly inexpensive. My first apartment here was $125 a month. I got it because a friend knew somebody who had made a bad deal with somebody else and had to leave town. What kind of deal that was I never knew, but he basically gave me his apartment for a few hundred bucks of key money. Of course that apartment had cold water, 15 amps of electricity, and more cockroaches than I’d ever seen before or since.

I drove a taxi for one year. That was intense. I was involved in three attempted hold-ups, but in each case I saw it coming and was able to diffuse the situations. Each one is a story onto itself. When I was an art school student I drove a cab at night in San Francisco, so I had plenty of experience with dicey situations, and I had survived a near-death encounter behind the wheel there. That was what helped me see it coming here, but one year of that was plenty. That was actually more the Scorsese "Taxi Driver" era of the experience. It was blatantly dangerous back then. It was tough.

My building on East 3rd Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue didn't have a front door. People slept under the stairs. Across the street were two completely gutted empty buildings. One day I came out and there was a car stripped of all its parts, upside down on the sidewalk. I don’t know how they did that. I stayed in that apartment for a couple of years and then I was able to get a better apartment in the same building and then that building was sold to the tenants. I’m still in the same building but now it’s a co-op.

The first several years I was here, there was very little activity. There weren’t a lot of bars and restaurants. There were just the old places, like the Ukrainian bars ... and not a lot of fine dining. There were Indian restaurants of course ... and the Kiev restaurant. The transformation to sushi bars and fancy coffee shops is pretty extreme, but I also don’t regret having to look over my shoulder all of the time.

It was a neighborhood that had been gone through many transitions. New York was coming out of its near bankruptcy. I remember actually standing right around here, saying Wall Street is just a few miles away. This is not possible. This can’t stay the way it is. I raised two children in the East Village — Deniele born in 1988 and Ian born in 1994. I never thought of fleeing to the suburbs. I think that they benefited from the unique environment. They are both successful young people and that is a testament to the East Village.

[The neighborhood] allowed me the freedom to pursue my endeavors and not have to work to pay the rent the way unfortunately a lot of people have to do now. That is probably the biggest problem. I studied filmmaking and I was doing sort of experimental filmmaking. Then I became a documentary cameraman, which I still am. For a good 25 years, I’ve worked for the networks. I worked for "60 Minutes" and some of the ABC programs like "20/20," and I’ve done a lot of independent documentaries.

I have a feeling you’ve heard the same story dozens of time. I’m very torn about it because I think that what has happened with real estate is very troubling. Some people have lucked out. I personally have lucked out. I own a little piece of the rock. But a lot of people don’t or were not lucky and when I see my local shoe repair guy go out of business, that’s just like a symptom of what’s wrong. But it’s just unbridled capitalism when it comes to real estate. It works for some people but it doesn’t work for most people. Then again, we are in sort of the capital of the Western world, so I don’t know what you’d expect. You’ve got to accept change. If you don’t, you’ve hitched your wagon to the wrong car. Anywhere and everywhere, the world’s based on it. I run into that in my field all the time. It changes so rapidly, the technology. You’ve got to keep up with it.

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

Too many restaurants-cafes have closed in the East Village so far this year

[Photo outside Cafecito via EVG reader Holly]

Bago, First Avenue between East 13th Street and East 14th Street. The quick-serve Filipino restaurant has been closed now for several weeks without any explanation. The restaurant just opened back in June.

Ballaro, Second Avenue between East Fourth Street and East Fifth Street. The Italian cafe closed after some seven years. Per the owners: "With rising cost of operating a small business in NYC and the changes in the neighborhood, we could no longer stay afloat."

Blythe Ann's, East Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. The former Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, which sold vegan ice cream and other dairy-free desserts, closed without any official explanation. Lula's opened in 2008.

Cafecito, Avenue C between East 11th Street and East 12th Street. The 14-year-old Cuban restaurant closed, according to one insider, because business had been dwindling "and the Cafecito team didn't want to see it go out of business slowly and sadly."

DF Mavens, Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place. The vegan ice cream shop and cafe abruptly shut down after 13 months. No reason given for the closure.

Mumbles, Third Avenue at East 17th Street. Business had dropped off in recent years, and the family-owned restaurant decided to sell the restaurant a few blocks north here in Gramercy Park.

Ninth Ward, Second Avenue between East 11th Street and East 12th Street. The New Orleans-themed bar with a small menu closes Sunday after six years in business. No reason given for the closure, though there's a rumor that the landlord is going to renovate the building.

Nonna's Pizza, Avenue A between East 12th Street and East 13th Street. The pizzeria closed at the end of 2015. A new owner bought the place on New Year's Day, and Baker's Pizza will arrive very soon.

Northern Spy, East 12th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. The early farm-to-table purveyor closes after service on Feb. 17. Per the owners: "We've had a great run and are very proud of what we accomplished in this space in the last six years, but 2015 was a tough year and we did not manage to pull the nose up to restore the flight altitude we once enjoyed. We're hanging it up while we still have the buttons on our pants."

NY Macaroni, St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue. The quick-serve mac-and-cheese spot shut down at the end of 2015, though the news about the 6-month-old restaurant's closure didn't start circulating until early January.

Poppy's Gourmet Deli, Avenue A at East 12th Street. The inexpensive deli, which served a variety of sandwiches, closed because the owners said they couldn't afford to pay the new higher rent.

PYT, the Bowery between Great Jones and Bond. The Philadelphia stunt burger joint closed after just three months. No reason given for the closure.

Subway (sandwich shop), Fourth Avenue at East 12th Street. This marks the sixth Subway sandwich shop to close in the immediate area in the past three-plus years.

Tut, East Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. The landlord took legal possession of the short-lived hookah bar-restaurant at the end of January.

Winebar, Second Ave. between East Third Street and East Fourth Street. The owners are teaming with chef Matthew Kenney to open a plant-based pizzeria and wine bar in the space.

Temporary closures:

Empire Biscuit, Avenue A between East 12th Street and East 13th Street. Temporarily closed until March, per the paper-plate sign on the door.

Pak Punjab Deli and Grocery, Second Avenue at East Third Street. The corner market that sells inexpensive homemade Pakistani-Punjabi food at the counter has been closed since early January. There aren't any signs about about a closure. Several EVG readers believe the space is just undergoing a renovation.

• Yakitori Taisho, St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. The popular subterranean space has been closed for several weeks. (The below photos are from Jan. 28)


Unfortunately, I don't think this is a complete list. Any other bars-restaurants-cafes close in 2016 from the neighborhood?

These charming East 6th Street studios still have the bathtub in the living space

An EVG reader on the hunt for a studio apartment shared this listing with us... for an apartment at 328 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... particularly notable was that the renovated studio kept its tenement roots with a claw foot bathtub in the living area/kitchen...

Here's the listing via MNS:

This East Village 1 bedroom/ Studio + office, offers a generous space and lots of light on a charming tree lined east village block, on the 4th floor of a well kept walk up building, this is the best deal for the dollar in this hood. The apartment has a Beautiful claw foot tub in the living space.

The monthly rent: $1,800.

Oh, and the ad mentions studio + office. Maybe it's in here...

And it turns out there's another studio apartment in the same building where the tub also sits in the kitchen... for $1,900 you can rent unit #12...

...which included another detail from decades past — a so-called "tuberculosis window" ...

Head to the Streeteasy blog for more on these units.

Photos via MNS

Report: Lawyer for suspect in East 6th Street slashing says his client is 'a good guy'

John Godfrey, the lawyer representing a man accused of two slashings, called his client "a good guy," according to published reports.

Per the Post:

“I feel really bad for him,” said John Godfrey of Francis Salud, 28, at Salud’s arraignment. “He’s a good guy.”

Salud, who remains in jail without bail, is accused of slashing Anthony Christopher Smith near Third Avenue and East Sixth Street on Jan. 16.

As previously reported, Smith underwent eight hours of surgery, and needed nearly 150 stitches for the wound from his right ear to his lips after the attack. Smith, who says the attack was unprovoked, has partial paralysis on the right side of his face because several nerves were severed.

Salud was previously arrested and charged for a slashing that happened Oct. 18 behind Bellevue. The victim needed 73 stitches on the left side of his body, per media accounts. Salud was out on a $30,000 bond at the time of the East Sixth Street attack.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

[Updated] Someone stole this bike tonight on Astor Place

[This photo is not from tonight]

Was locked outside 1 Astor Place between Broadway and Lafayette... happened around 6:30... I have the owner's info...

Updated 2/10

An EVG reader spotted a similar-looking bike today (below) outside Au Bon Pain on Union Square East between 14th and 15th. Per the reader: "Seems pretty ballsy to steal it and park it in the neighborhood but it looks awfully similar so thought I'd let you know..."

We alerted the bike's owner... but the bike was gone by the time he got there... he also confirmed that the bike was his. The person who took it spray-painted the frame silver.

Annual Citi Bike membership will increase 4% in 2016

[Photo by Derek Berg]

Here's the official word from Citi Bike:

Beginning on March 1 2016, annual memberships will increase from $149 to $155 to keep up with the costs of administering a growing and improving system at the level of quality riders have come to expect from Citi Bike. Annual members will also have the option to pay in monthly installments of $14.95, with an annual commitment.

NYCHA residents will continue to receive discounted $60 annual memberships and, for the first time, will have the option of paying for their membership in $5 monthly installments.

They also note that the Citi Bike network is 40 percent larger today than it was at this time in 2015 ... with 100-plus more stations on the way in 2016.

The retail-wine bar possibilities for the former Chase space on Avenue A and East 2nd Street

As you probably know, the Chase branch on Avenue A at East Second Street closed last Nov. 12 (along with the Chase on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place).

While the space had been for rent going back to last summer, when we spotted a smallish sign above the storefront... there's now a new broker and rental signage along the storefront here at 20 Avenue A...

And there are some realistic scalies too...

The renderings on the Town Real Estate PDF show potential retail and wine bar usage... with two outdoor cafes (one on A and one behind the property...)

[Click to go big]


Overall, the upscale presentation of the property is so much more glamorous than the charmless bank-branch corner... the cover of the marketing materials announces "Your corner. Your brand. Your town." ... with images of a woman who forgot to open her mouth for the meatball on a fork... and, oddly enough, a photo of a woman's calves...

[Definitely click to go big]

The rent is available upon request. You may visit the PDF here for the different layout possibilities for the space.

Also, someone has finally discarded the half of a roll, half of a bagel and dead pigeon that were in the former Chase lobby.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Chase space on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place is for rent

2 East Village Chase Bank branches are closing for good on Nov. 12

Chase branch on 2nd Avenue at St. Mark's Place has the potential to get 4x larger with new owner

The East Village is down 2 Chase branches

Icon wraps former Chase branch at St. Mark's Place with retail ribbon