Monday, April 24, 2017

Permits filed for 6-story building in long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.

[Photo from Friday]

Plans were filed last week with the city for a 6-floor building at 89 First Ave., the long-vacant lot between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.

According to the pre-filing info at the DOB, the building will house eight dwelling units in nearly 7,400 square feet of space. The nearly 1,000 square feet per unit suggests condos. There's another 900 square feet listed for the ground-floor storefront.

As you may recall, we heard a rumor in the fall of 2014 that there were preliminary plans in place to build a 7-floor residential building here.

Since then, we've spotted workers clearing the lot of various weeds and trees and taking soil samples (here and here, for instance).

Florence Toledano was the owner of this lot. In 2013, public records show that the deed for the property was transferred from the Florence Toledano Living Trust to 89 First Avenue LLC. The DOB permit lists Daniel Toledano as the manager of the property. (We do not know the relationship between Daniel Toledano and Florence Toledano.) Andrew Fredman is listed as the architect of record for the new building.

Daniel Toledano is also listed as the owner of the lot that housed the 2Bn2C sculpture garden at 231 E. Second St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. Development plans have been rumored there in recent years as well. There is nothing on file with the DOB for this property.

[231 E. 2nd St.]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Will this long-empty lot on 1st Avenue yield to affordable housing?

Drilling and soil testing commences at the long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.

Silverstone Property Group gets to work on buildings (previously) owned by Raphael Toledano

News broke (via The Real Deal) last week that Madison Realty Capital was replacing controversial landlord Raphael Toledano as the property manager of 15 East Village buildings while a deal to transfer the ownership was worked out.

A judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York directed all forthcoming rents and managing rights to Silverstone Property Group, the property management arm of Madison.

Per The Real Deal:

As part of the order, the judge prohibited Silverstone from renovating the vacant apartments for the time being aside from emergency repairs.

“Through its initial visits with the properties, [Silverstone] has determined that many of the issues are related to the prior manager’s elimination of staff from the properties, which in [Silverstone’s] opinion are crucial to the smooth operation of the properties,” Silverstone managing director Phillip Lavoie wrote in a court document.

An EVG reader shared the above photo from a building on 12th Street... showing a flyer in which Silverstone reps were to inspect each apartment. "Each inspection will take around approximately 15 minutes. This inspection is to address and identify all necessary repairs within each apartment." Similar flyers were found on the other former Toledano buildings. (We did not hear about how all this inspection business went.)

Silverstone has been accused in the past of predatory practices, allegedly cutting the gas to a building in Chinatown after elderly rent-stabilized residents turned down buyout offers, according to DNAinfo. (The tenants eventually won the right to have the gas restored.)

Madison has reportedly said that Toledano owes some $140 million, including $125 million in loans against the 15 properties, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.

Meanwhile, this message is on the front door of a building on Fifth Street ... next to the five buildings that Madison has taken over from Toledano...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Foreclosure notice arrives on Raphael Toledano-owned building on 12th Street

Report: Raphael Toledano files for Chapter 11; $145 million deal for EV portfolio is off the table

Raphael Toledano tenants take to Midtown streets to speak out against their landlord and his lenders

Pop-up bubble tea exhibit brings crowds to the Bowery

[Photo yesterday by Derek Berg]

The Boba Room made its debut Saturday at the Open Space Gallery on the Bowery between Third Street and Fourth Street.

Here's more about the pop-up exhibit via Gothamist:

Conceived of by Chaimi Food Studio co-founders Yanqiong Zeng and Iris Danlu Xing, Boba Room is an intersection of art, design and food that combines the duo's appreciation for food with their backgrounds and experiences in visual art, photography and food engineering and science.

And per The Daily Meal: "For those who are in the dark about boba, it’s an edible, chewy ball made from the cooking and cooling of tapioca. Boba is used in bubble tea."

The Boba Room is open through May 6 (from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week; 10 p.m. on weekends). Tickets are $10 each ($7 for kids or seniors).

A retail vacancy at 51 Astor Place

Back in September 2014, hotelier-developer Ian Schrager became the first ground-floor tenant at 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star with the sales office and model apartment for his incoming hotel-condo tower at 215 Chrystie just below East Houston.

That's all built and mostly sold now (just one residence out of 11 left!), so they've packed up and left...

Leaving a nice space for rent on the Ninth Street and Third Avenue side...

There haven't been any for rent signs posted just yet ... and no word on what might be joining the building's other retail tenants — CVS, Flywheel Sports, Orangetheory Fitness, Bluestone Lane Coffee and Chopt.

Thoughts/wishes on a new tenant? Duane Reade? An all-ages venue for unsigned bands?

Previously on EV Grieve:
You can finally shop at 51 Astor Place!

Ben Shaoul's East Houston Street condoplex makes first street-level appearance

[Photo from Saturday]

It has been about two years since the demolition of the one-level row of storefronts on East Houston at Orchard Street... and now Ben Shaoul's incoming condoplex finally makes it above the plywood (aside from that steel beam).

Here's a look at the site from yesterday...

As noted, the available condos here in the 11-story, 94-unit building range from a 551-square-foot studio for $1.075 million to a 2,069-square-foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom apartment asking $5.995 million. There will also be a three-level Equinox (gym) in the retail space.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Making way for Ben Shaoul's new retail-residential complex on East Houston

Katz's is now the last business on East Houston between Ludlow and Orchard

Send a salami to your boy next door in the condo

Matcha tea shop opens today on 7th Street

As previously mentioned, there's a tea shop opening at 74 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... and today is the opening day for Setsugekka...

The storefront will be a shop run by the owners of Tea-Whisk, whose aim "is to introduce the beauty of Japanese Tea Ceremony in NY."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekend parting shot — you've lost that loving feeling

Photo off Third Avenue by Rob Halpern...

Today in freebies on 6th Street

A collection of Nora Ephron's writing, an unopened pack of women's briefs by Hanes and three tubes of foot and hand creme with avocado all here between Avenue A and Avenue B... photo via EVG reader Mark White...

Week in Grieview

[Monday morning on Avenue A via]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

NYPD offers explanation into Kelly Hurley's death: "she slipped" (Tuesday)

Madison Realty Capital now managing Raphael Toledano's East Village portfolio (Tuesday)

The owner-founder of JuiceGo on 9th Street dies (Monday)

Checking in on John's of 12th Street (Thursday)

Caffe Bene closes on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

A look at Che Cafe, home of empanada pouches (Wednesday)

Angelica Kitchen space for rent (Wednesday)

Demolition watch: 118 E. First St. (Monday)

A coffee at the Famous Cozy Soup 'n' Burger (Friday)

Out and About With James the Leather Man (Wednesday)

Long-vacant retail space hits the rental market at 250 E. Houston St. (Tuesday)

[St. Mark's Place wedding party photo yesterday by Derek Berg]

Time for the Sixth Street Community Center CSA (Tuesday)

On 3rd and 13th, Blue Mercury arriving; dinosaur mural not yet extinct (Monday)

Pizzeria in the works for former pizzeria at 130 St. Mark's Place (Friday)

The Mosaic Man's smokin' tribute to David Peel on Astor Place (Wednesday)

Looking for signs of Artichoke on 14th Street (Monday)

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company coming to 8th Street and Broadway (Thursday)

Report: Avenue A deli clerk arrested for assault; allegedly calls customer a tranny (Wednesday)

A new vendor for the Bowery Market (Thursday)

EV photographers James & Karla Murray hosting workshop on capturing disappearing storefronts (Thursday)

Full FULL reveal on 1st Street, Avenue A and the Bowery (Tuesday)

Disc-O-Rama closing on 8th Street (Monday)


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter

Neon by Cheng opens on 7th Street

Neon by Cheng opened last week at 66 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... the boutique is via designer Cheng-Huai Chuang

The space last housed Barbara Feinman Millinery, who moved down the block... and now goes by East Village Hats...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday's parting shot

Photo on Second Avenue at Fifth Street by Derek Berg ... Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

Happy Earth Day!

Hop in and we can catch the end of the March for Science!

Photo on Lafayette by Lola SΓ‘enz

Zero wasting


Not sure how long this plywood has been here on Third Avenue at 14th Street. Did someone really place it here yesterday and will pick up today? Or is it like one of those wacky Free Beer Tomorrow signs you might see in a bar? Tomorrow never comes.

Or maybe someone at the Dept. of Transportation has a cousin who owns a sign company

Earlier this week, a worker was putting up new signs about the parking meters along Seventh Street... EVG Street Sign Correspondent Derek Berg captured the two versions of the signs...

The new posted sign features upper- and lower-case letters that are slightly larger. Easier to read? As I recall some years ago (WNYC story here), the feds were requiring the city to use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters as part of a safety move. Outrage!

Anyway, font commenters please chime in!

Aside from Record Store Day, it is also Earth Day

Perhaps after picking up that Superchunk "Cup of Sand" compilation on vinyl at Academy Records, you can head out for some Earth Day the above flyer shows, there's a parade starting at noon at the 6B Garden on Sixth Street and Avenue B... ultimately arriving for an Earth Day Celebration from 2-4 (p.m., though you never know) at El Jardin Del Paraiso on Fourth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D. Find more details here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, it's Record Store Day

Every day is Record Store Day... but tomorrow (Saturday!), is the official day this year. Here is the local action...

Turntable Lab, 84 E. 10th St. between Fourth Avenue and Third Avenue

Good Records NYC, 218 E. Fifth St. between the Bowery and Second Avenue

Academy LPs, 415 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Avenue A

A-1 Records, 439 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue

Shoulder to shoulder affair

A post shared by A-1 Record Shop (@a1recordshop) on

Find the official Record Store Day website here ... and the list of special Record Store Day releases here...

Get 'Inside'

"August By Cake" is Guided by Voice's 24th studio album (and GBV leader Bob Pollard has been on the cover of Magnet about 24 times).

The video here is for "5° Degrees On The Inside," one of the 32 tracks on the double album.

EV Grieve Etc.: Jane Jacobs hits the big screen; Iggy Pop turns 70

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park yesterday by Derek Berg]

Jane Jacobs documentary opens today at the IFC Center (Official site)

Landlords looking for up to 8 percent rent increase on rent-stabilized apartments (DNAinfo)

Thoughts on a car-free 14th Street during the L train shutdown (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

A red-tailed hawk died from rat poisoning in Sarah Roosevelt Park (The Daily News)

Details on the affordable housing at Extell's One Manhattan Square (Curbed) What about a new supermarket? (The Lo-Down)

Last weekend for “The Cinema of Gender Transgression: Trans Film” series (Anthology Film Archives)

Brooklyn Diamond coffee coming to Lafayette (BoweryBoogie)

A look at the city's wealth distribution (Gothamist)

Stuy Town resident robbed by a group of seven people he invited back to his apartment last Saturday at 4:20 a.m. (Town & Village)

Former EV resident Iggy Pop turns 70, releases a jazz record (Rolling Stone)

...and this painting of the Avenue des Champs-Γ‰lysΓ©es arrived on the curb on Seventh Street yesterday around the same time as the deadly, terrorist-related shooting in Paris last evening...

[Photo by Derek Berg]

A rally for rezoning protections along Broadway and University Place

[Rendering of Civic Hall on 14th Street]

Back in February, Mayor de Blasio unveiled the city's plans for the site that P.C. Richard (and Son!) has leased the past 20-plus years at 124 E. 14th St. at Irving Place... the rendering above shows the proposed 20-floor Civic Hall — "a tech-focused work and event space" — anchoring the space. The Hall will "provide space for tech worker training, education, start-ups and convening."

Aside from Civic Hall, there are several mega projects in the works south of here along Broadway (see what's coming to the former Blatt Billiards here) and University Place (see what's coming to the former Bowlmor Lanes site here).

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has been campaigning to cap building heights in the corridor between University Place and Broadway. They have an ally now in City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. Here's what she had to say about the situation to DNAinfo:

"For years, I have advocated and requested a contextual rezoning of University Place. This proposed PC Richards Silicon Alley tech hub will impact residents in the area residing in the adjacent buildings, which are currently under great pressure by developers.

"I would consider supporting the Tech Hub if, and only if, we can amend the zoning resolution to provide protections and relief to the surrounding community."

Tomorrow afternoon at 3, the GVSHP is hosting a rally and press conference on 11th Street and Broadway to discuss the proposed tech hub and zoning south of Union Square...

The tech-hub project still needs to navigate the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure process, which will require City Council approval. As DNAinfo pointed out, the council generally defers to the local council member, meaning Mendez potentially has veto power over the Civic Hall project. (In the event this carries past her term, GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman said that he has already reached out to the candidates running for the Mendez Council seat.)

A spokesperson for the mayor's office expressed disappointment in the preservationists' mission to leverage a zoning change.

Per DNAinfo:

"Its purpose is to provide a gateway for real New Yorkers — kids from our high schools, public housing and immigrant communities — to get training and a good paying job in tech. It is disappointing certain groups would use that project as a pawn to change unrelated zoning blocks away.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC (30 comments)

A coffee at the Famous Cozy Soup 'n' Burger

There was a conversation the other day about coffee choices around Astor Place (specifically 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star) ... You have the Starbucks outside the downtown 6 entrance, the Starbucks on Broadway at Ninth Street, the Bluestone Lane Coffee in the Death Star, Dunkin' Donuts on Cooper Square, Pourt on Cooper Square and City of Saints Coffee Roasters on 10th Street near Fourth Avenue.

Just wanted to put in a plug for the Famous Cozy Soup 'n' Burger (24/7 since 1972) on Broadway at Astor Place...

I had randomly stopped by for a cup of coffee at the counter... see!

...and the empty seat next to me with bonus tile footage...

The place was pretty crowded (I'd guess that half the tables were tourists) this past Sunday... a lot of deliveries. I wanted to get a photo of their Wall of Fame photos, which includes a framed shot of Alf. (Next time.)

Good times for $2.45 ...

And bonus nighttime photo via the Cozy website...

Dog day afternoon: Opening party for LoveThyBeast on 5th Street

As previously noted, a pet-accessory boutique called LoveThyBeast is coming to 300 E. Fifth St. just east of Second Avenue... there's an opening party tomorrow (Saturday) from 3-7 p.m. ... (you've been warned in case there is free wine)...

The shop is the creation of Tiziana Agnello, a former prop stylist, who started selling her homemade creations online and in several pop-up locations back in 2012.

Pizzeria in the works for former pizzeria at 130 St. Mark's Place

In recent weeks we heard that a pizzeria was taking over the vacant space at 130 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue. That transition made sense, given that the two previous tenants were pizzerias (Via Della Pace Pizza and Falanghina Pizza Bar).

EVG correspondent Steven shares this photo... the sign on the door notes that La Pizza Di Tramonti is the new tenant...

Don't know anything about them just yet... and they haven't appeared on any recent CB3-SLA dockets for a beer-wine license.

The Astor Place Poetry Jam is tomorrow (Saturday!)

Via the EVG inbox...

The Alamo sculpture, the Cube, is fifty this year! Start the festivities at the Astor Poetry Jam, which celebrates National Poetry Month and Earth Day. The FREE festival of poetry, features LIVE poetry slams and readings, poetry writing workshops led by ‘Professor Poets’ from Bowery Poetry and a pop-up gallery of poems and stories in which to immerse yourself. In partnership with the Academy of American Poets and Bowery Poetry, Astor Poetry Jam brings the joy of poetry to Astor Place with four exciting interactive and poetic experiences.

The Astor Place Poetry Jam is tomorrow from 1-7 p.m. Go here for a rundown of performers.

And on Friday, May 5, there's the Astor Blaster Silent Disco...

Three live DJ’s will spin their decks with tunes featuring the very best beats of today, with a nod to the musical heritage of the neighborhood. Wearing FREE wireless headsets, guests will dance their way through the sunset and into the night around the iconic Astor Place “Cube” which will be the focal point of a dazzling light and projection show.

Find more details here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

EV Grieve Etc.: Tompkins Square Park hatchling watch; Philip Glass studio tour

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg]

Do Christo and Dora have a hatchling in Tompkins Square Park? (Laura Goggin Photography)

A rare public look inside the the East Village studio of Philip Glass (Sonos)

Details about the Sunday brunch extravaganza to raise funds for the Charlotte Ruby Cantor Scholarship Fund of the East Village Dance Project (Ticket info.)

Art history at 17 E. Ninth St. (The New York Times)

Public Hotel turns off the bright lights (BoweryBoogie)

Remembering the Bowery's infamous Suicide Hall (Curbed)

Sir Shadow's jazzy plywood art on the LES (Crain's)

An affordable housing lottery underway — through June 16 — for 99 senior apartments at Essex Crossing (The Lo-Down)

Diversions: Watch the Brian Eno documentary "Another Green World" from 2010 (Dangerous Minds)

Diversions: The LEGO Death Star (BoingBoing)

The Marshal visits former Caffe Bene space on St. Mark's Place

As noted on Monday, the 17-month-old Caffe Bene outpost closed at 24 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue ... and yesterday, the Marshal paid a visit, taking legal possession of the space for the landlord...

Expect a new for rent sign soon enough...

Checking in on John's of 12th Street

The recent news of Angelica Kitchen's closing prompted us to check in on the former vegan restaurant's longtime neighbor — John's of 12th Street, the venerable Italian restaurant that opened here between First Avenue and Second Avenue in 1908 ...

[Photos by Steven]

Judy Anderson, whose late husband, Mike Alpert became a co-owner of John's in 1973 along with Nick Sitnycky, said that there was a little confusion among a few patrons who thought that John's had also shut down.

"Nick tells me that ... three separate people have stopped by the restaurant a bit confused because they heard that John’s is closed. We are not closed!" Anderson said. "I’m guessing that the neighborhood talk about the closing of Angelica Kitchen, next door to us, somehow has morphed into discussion of John’s. Plus we were suffering in Verizon hell with no main phone line service the first week in April."

The phones have been back in service. As for their former neighbor: "We are sorry to see Leslie and Angelica Kitchen go. Nick and my husband knew Leslie when Angelica’s was on St. Mark's Place. Good neighbor and we wish her well."

Meanwhile, as we first reported last August, Paul Dauber, the restaurant's accountant as well as a longtime friend and patron, was purchasing John's along with a childhood pal from their days of growing up on the Lower East Side.

"The sale of the restaurant is on track though still no date set yet," Anderson said. "We’ll still be available afterwards to make sure that the transition is seamless. There are no planned changes in personnel, menu or decor. Meanwhile, we are open for business as usual."


John's of 12th Street also has an Instagram account ... if you're on Instagram...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Out and About in the East Village with Nick Sitnycky Part 1 and Part 2

The John's of 12th Street documentary premieres next month

Q-and-A with Vanessa McDonnell, director of the John's of 12th Street documentary

EV photographers James & Karla Murray hosting workshop on capturing disappearing storefronts

[Image via James and Karla Murray]

East Village-based photographers (and occasional EVG contributors) James and Karla Murray are hosting a workshop series this spring and summer.

Here are details via the EVG inbox...

"Capturing the Faces and Voices of the Lower East Side's Disappearing Mom-and-Pop Storefronts" is a photography and oral history workshop of the cultural significance of mom-and-pop stores and the impact they have on the pulse, life, and texture of their communities. There will be two free workshops (consisting of two sessions each) held at the Neighborhood Preservation Center in the East Village culminating in an exhibition of each participant’s work at the Theater for the New City Art Gallery from Aug. 14 to Sept. 18.

The workshops teach how photography and oral history can be tools for public awareness and advocacy. Participants will learn to create their own powerful photographs of neighborhood storefronts as well as record oral histories with shop owners, which communicate artistically and are insightful and moving.

There will be 70 participants at the free workshops, which will take place at the Neighborhood Preservation Center Village (232 E. 11th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue) on Monday, April 24, Monday May, 1, Monday May 22, and Monday June 5.

The workshops are free and open to all, but registration is required via

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company coming to 8th and Broadway

And over on Eighth Street just west of Broadway... there's signage announcing the new tenant — an outpost of Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company... coming this fall.

Despite the name, the 15-year-old company has three locations in Astoria, one in Chelsea and none in Brooklyn. You can find their menu, which includes a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads, here.

In 2016, Gothamist named Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company the city's "Best Chain Bagels." Per Gothamist:

[They sell] spectacular hand-rolled doughy bagels, appropriately crispy-crusted and accompanied by what seems like thousands of spreads and proteins. They have a flavor-of-the-week cream cheese that has, at times, been cannoli cream, red velvet, spinach and white chocolate raspberry. Expect long lines in Astoria on weekday mornings, but your breakfast will be worth the wait.

Thanks to EVG reader Brigitte for the photo and tip!

A new vendor for the Bowery Market

On Tuesday, an EVG reader shared these photos ... showing a new mural in the works at the Bowery Market, the year-round open-air food court at 348 Bowery and Great Jones...

The mural (by @KongSavage) marks the imminent arrival of a new vendor — Parantha Alley, a regular on the Brooklyn food-fair circuit. (BoweryBoogie first reported on this yesterday.) The folks at Parantha Alley serve Indian flat bread with a variety of fillings. (Their menu is here.)

The Market launched last July with five vendors... and since then, the mini outposts of Champion Coffee, The Butcher's Daughter and Pulqueria have all shut down, as we noted last month.

Parantha Alley will join the remaining two vendors — Alidoro and Sushi on Jones. Signage at the Bowery Market note that there will be new vendors here this spring.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A winterized Bowery Market, now down to 3 vendors

The Bowery Market opens today with 5 year-round food vendors