Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday's parting shot



Photos in Tompkins Square Park today by Derek Berg ...

Worth the 'Wait'



The Breeders have released their first new music since 2008 with the 4AD single "Wait in the Car." The band is playing a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom on Nov. 5. Good morning.

The Spooky Time is Upon Us



The Spooky Time is Upon Us

To haunt the park again,
Scaring all the squirrels,
Holding back the rain.

Bedecked in all their finery,
Emerging from the dark,
Their heads held high and haughty,
Thinking they might bark.

They promenade, first left, then right,
Cameras snapping at every turn,
Competition is quietly present,
But it is fun that they will earn.

I can’t help but wonder,
If they talk among themselves,
“Did you see what that ones wearing?
Should have left it on the shelves."

Smiles on every face,
Spreading from ear to ear,
I can’t wait to see,
What they will be wearing next year.


peter radley

Mayor vows to crack down on e-bikes

Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that the city will crack down on businesses who allow their employees to use e-bikes for deliveries.

Here's part of the official announcement:

“E-bikes are illegal to operate in New York City and the NYPD is stepping up enforcement,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Those at the top of the food chain need to be held accountable. That’s why instead of merely targeting riders, we’re going after businesses that look the other way and leave their workers to shoulder the fine.”

E-bikes are illegal to operate on New York City streets. According to the City Administrative Code, an “e-bike” constitutes a “motorized scooter” and “no person shall operate a motorized scooter in the City of New York.” So far this year, the NYPD has seized 923 e-bikes compared to the 341 it confiscated this time last year, an increase of more than 170 percent. Nearly 1,800 civil and moving summonses have been issued to e-bike operators year-to-date.

Businesses that enable e-bike use and turn a blind eye to employees who operate them are also at fault. City law states that “a business using a bicycle for commercial purposes shall not possess any motorized scooter and shall not permit any person to operate a motorized scooter on behalf of such business.”

Beginning in 2018, the NYPD will issue a new department directive and provide officers with the necessary forms and training to execute civil enforcement against businesses much more efficiently by allowing officers to issue civil summonses to businesses through the mail. While the NYPD will continue confiscating e-bikes and issuing summonses to riders — particularly those riding in a hazardous manner — officers will step up enforcement activity against businesses that too often put their employees in a position to break the law.

Currently, riders caught operating an e-bike are subject to a civil summons, confiscation and fines of up to $500. Beginning next year, businesses that utilize e-bikes or allow employees to operate them will receive a civil summons and a $100 fine for a first offenses and a $200 fine for each subsequent offense.


Jay Cai, the owner of Banhmigos restaurant in Brooklyn, told The Wall Street Journal that e-bikes are valuable "because of the increased and heavy traffic in New York and lack of parking spots." He said on average he gets 25 delivery orders an hour for a profit of $30,000 a month. Without an e-bike, he claimed that would drop by 50 percent.

Customers would be upset if they had to wait longer for deliveries, and “they’re not going to order again,” Mr. Cai said. “We’re not going to survive.”

Otto's Shrunken Head celebrating 15 years this weekend



Happy anniversary. Bands starting at 8 tomorrow (Saturday!) night. Otto's Shrunken Head is at 538 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

They put on a lot of events (book readings, film screenings, bands, open mic, etc.) Check out their calendar here.

The 3rd annual Pierogi Tasting Day is tomorrow (Saturday!) at the East Village Meat Market



This is happening tomorrow at the East Village Meat Market, 139 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

Details via the EVG inbox...

We will be giving out FREE samples of some of the best Pierogies that the Ukrainian community has to offer. This Pierogi Party' will include 14 different kinds of Pierogies. The usual suspects like Potato, Cheese, and Sauerkraut will be making appearances, along side newcomers like Short rib and Pumpkin. Pierogies will be available for purchase as well!

We are all very excited about partnering with Veselka, a great East Village institution, but most important we can't wait to spread the "Pierogi Love" to our customers and East Village neighbors. Last year's event was a huge hit with lines wrapping half way down the block, so make sure to get here early before we sell out.

The event will take place all day (9am-6pm) ... Hope to see you all there!

You can find some photos from the first Tasting Day here.

Broadway buildings draw support for landmark designation

The proposal to landmark 827-831 Broadway received unanimous support during a public hearing with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) back on Tuesday.

As previously reported, Quality Capital and Caerus Group bought the parcel between 12th Street and 13th Street last summer for $60 million. The deal reportedly included 30,000 square feet of air rights.

So those plans for a 14-floor office building on this property may be permanently on hold.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has campaigned the past 18-plus months to preserve these buidlings.

Here's part of a report they sent out yesterday:

GVSHP was joined by Councilmember Rosie Mendez, neighbors, and scores of supporters on for the public hearing on our proposal to landmark 827-831 Broadway. The 1866 lofts, formerly home to Willem de Kooning and other art world luminaries, had faced the wrecking ball. Read GVSHP’s testimony here.

Members of the LPC, who will decide the building’s fate, also expressed strong support for designation, and stated that a vote would take place on Oct. 31 (time TBD). Once the LPC votes to designate, the building is landmarked and protected, though temporary protections are in place now.

An attorney for the developer ... stated that the owner opposed landmark designation, and asserted that he would have a hardship case if the building were designated and he were not allowed to develop the site (the law enables owners of private property to be relieved of landmarks requirements if they can demonstrate, through a public hearing process, that they cannot make a “reasonable return” on the property while abiding by landmarks requirements).

The owner’s lawyer also said that, if the building is landmarked, they would seek approval from the LPC to build some sort of addition to the building in order to make a reasonable return (this too would require a public hearing and review process).

GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman co-authored an op-ed at the Times in early August, providing more history of the addresses and making the case for why they should be landmarked.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: 14-story building planned for 827 Broadway

An appeal to landmark these buildings on Broadway

City moves to potentially landmark 827-831 Broadway

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Report: Crime spree features suspects being friendly with their drunken victims


DNAinfo has details on a crime spree of sorts happening on the Lower East Side:

A group of thieves has been robbing drunken revelers by befriending their marks and pilfering their pockets when they pass out or by simply asking them to hand over their goods, police said.

Details about one one of the victims:

[O]n Sept. 16 around 2 a.m., a group of three men befriended a highly intoxicated 23-year-old man from Boston as he left Hair of the Dog at 168 Orchard St. near Stanton Street, police said.

As they all walked down Orchard Street, one of the men asked the victim for his phone so he could store his contact information in it, police said.

The victim handed it over, but was then was distracted by the other two men, who asked him for his wallet, which he also gave them, police said.

Later, the man noticed his debit and credit cards had been taken, according to a police report. He never got his phone back.

The victim told police the suspects hopped in a car after the theft, but he couldn't remember where he last saw them before they fled.

Today in photos of discarded foosball tables on 7th Street



Photo this morning by Derek Berg .. and reporting this to the ITSF.

The HiFi Bar, home of NYC's best jukebox, is closing at the end of the month


[Image via the HiFi website]

Late yesterday afternoon, Mike Stuto, the co-owner of HiFi on Avenue A between 10th Street and 11th Street, announced that the bar will close at the end of October (Oct. 29 is the last day) after 15 years.

In a letter posted on his Facebook page, Stuto said that business has been off, noting that the weekend bar crowd was "mostly indifferent to the place." He also stressed that the closure had nothing to do with the landlord, a management company that he said has been "ideal ... in pretty much every sense of the word."

Stuto gave me his OK to share the letter that he posted:

I (sorta) regret to inform you that my bar HiFi will be closing at the end of this calendar month, ending my 23 year tenure at 169 Avenue A. All parties booked before the end of the month will happen as planned.

The story? Quite simply, the renovations we undertook a few years ago to reinvigorate the business were not successful in putting us back on a good financial footing. The generation of people who inhabit this neighborhood on weekends remain mostly indifferent to the place. HiFi seems to occupy a place square in the middle between "dive bar" and "mixologist paradise" — and while I hoped that would help us have a broad appeal to the newbies, it turns out that it translated as utilitarian (aka boring) to their tastes.

Could we have pivoted again? Yeah I guess so, but it turns out that I only want to run a bar if its one that I would want to hang out in. Otherwise it'd just be a job I have no passion for. And I don't want to live like that.

I want it to be clear that the building's landlord is in no way to blame for this outcome. Yes, the commercial rents in this neighborhood are all over-the-top insane, but at every turn, throughout the roughly 20 years that Time Equities has managed the building they have been an ideal landlord in pretty much every sense of the word. I have been lucky and honored to work with them and to know that there are good honorable people everywhere, even in nyc commercial real estate. Who woulda thunk it?

For the past 18 months or so I have known this outcome was inevitable, and in that time I have passed through all of the "stages of grief" about this era of my life coming to an end. There is no shame in being a 50 year old who no longer knows how to appeal to 25 year olds. So while this is at best a bittersweet moment, I am happy with the end result and very excited about what the future may bring.

The space was previously Brownies, the celebrated live music venue that opened in 1989. Stuto, who worked in the record business in several capacities, started booking shows at Brownies in early 1994. After a stint at Columbia Records, Stuto returned to Brownies a few years later, this time as a partner.

In 2002, after Brownies had a successful run, Stuto and Co. turned the space into HiFi, home of EL-DJ, the homemade digital jukebox he created with 4,000-plus tracks ... which is arguably the best jukebox in town.

(You can read more about Stuto and the bars in this Out and About in the East Village feature from February 2014.)

In the past two years, HiFi returned to hosting music as well as comedy nights and book readings.

[Updated] Rent-regulated tenants facing hellish conditions at 192-194 1st Ave.



Gothamist has a long read on 192-194 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street, where just a handful of long-term tenants still remain after the Nazarian Property Group bought the building in June 2016 for $13 million.

There's Jean, age 95, who lived in a second-floor unit with her husband for 65 years. She's still there, paying $84 a month for the rent-controlled unit.

To Gothamist:

Jean says she has felt under siege since Lionel Nazarian bought the building last June for $13 million. He's since put her and a small group of rent-regulated tenants through hell, they say, sending them threatening emails, cutting off utilities, pestering them with buyout offers, and turning their building into a chaotic, illegal construction zone as part of a campaign to force them out of their homes and replace them with market rate tenants.

Without a working buzzer, Jean, who can't walk downstairs alone, is unable to receive guests. She hasn't had a working stove in five months, and last September, as construction crews demolished neighboring apartments, a portion of the ceiling fell in her bedroom. She tripped and fell on the debris and ended up with six stitches to her head.

The post goes on to explore the practice of tenant harassment as a business model, a tactic found in the East Village as well as many other neighborhoods. (Nazarian and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comments.)

Now back to Jean.

"I told him, 'You want this to be the death of me,'" she said, of Nazarian. "'I've been here a long time,' I told him, 'and I intend to die here.'"

---

One of the retail spaces here was home to the Nepture, the Polish-American diner that closed last December after 15 years in business.

Chelsea Thai, which has operated a stall in the Chelsea Market for 19 years, has signed a 10-year-lease for the space.

Updated:

The Gothamist piece reports that the Cooper Square Committee is helping Jean and her neighbors sue Nazarian in housing court.

Updated 10/20

Gothamist has an update on the situation:

"An East Village landlord who tenants say has put them through hell agreed to a judge's timeline to correct hazardous conditions and pay thousands of dollars in fines in housing court Thursday."

Rumor: Former Polish G. I. Delicatessen to become an outpost of Shawarma House



Interior renovations continue at 109 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street... the former Polish G. I. Delicatessen...



A tipster says that the space will be another outpost of Shawarma House, which specializes in halal Turkish dishes from a quick-serve space on West 39th Street and a cart on Staten Island.

The work permit on file with the DOB does mention Shawarma House as the owner of the space. (They are not the landlord.)



I reached out to Shawarma House for comment.

Polish G. I. Delicatessen, the Eastern European specialty foods shop, closed in July after 21 years in business. Read more about that closure here.

Local business emerges from sidewalk bridge obstruction after 19 months on Avenue A



Workers yesterday removed the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding from the Avenue A side of Steiner East Village here between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Aside from providing a mostly full reveal of the 82-unit condoplex ... it marks the first time in 19 months that Harry and Ida's Meat & Supply Co. hasn't had its entrance and sunlight obscured by the construction gear...



As the owners of the sandwich shop and retail outlet posted on Instagram: "Good riddance. We will not miss you one bit."

In total, 19 of their 29 months in business have been under the doom and gloom of a sidewalk bridge... not to mention all the contraction noise that went with it, often seven days a week.


[Photo from Oct. 7]

It hasn't been all bad for Harry & Ida's — they were able to open a luncheonette in the Financial District last month.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

An RIP memorial on Avenue A and 5th Street



Two weeks ago (Oct. 5), someone created this memorial on the empty storefront at Fifth Street and Avenue A. (The illustration in the middle has been there since early September.)

Each person featured has died in recent years ... starting at the top left:
Bob Arihood, David Peel, Emily Mullen, Michael Shenker, Tuli Kupferberg, Cowboy Stanley, Spike, Erin O'Connor, Adam Purple, Bob "Apocalypse" Gurtler and Roger O'Neill. (Updated the list of names. Thank you Eden Bee and Chris Flash.)

Several people have asked me about this. Unfortunately, I don't know who created this. I've asked around, and no one seems to know much about it, including what may have linked the people featured in the memorial.

Meanwhile, someone defaced several of the photos in recent days. It likely won't remain up for too much longer.

24 hours in the life of a pumpkin in Tompkins Square Park


Yesterday...



... and today...



Photos by Steven

Out and About in the East Village

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



By James Maher
Name: Jay Yang
Occupation: Owner, The China Star
Location: 1st Avenue between St. Mark's Place and 9th Street
Time: Monday, Oct. 17

I’m originally from the Fujian province in southeast China, very close to Hong Kong. I came here in 1996, when I was eight. My sister was the one who took care of everything for the most part since she was older and my parents were working. Later on my father started working with one of my relatives in the original China Star, around 1998 or 1999. He was helping out there.

Starting around 2000, in middle school, my uncle offered for me to help out during the weekends, so I worked Saturday and Sunday as a delivery boy. We saw all kind of crazy stuff. I have one delivery guy, he delivered the food somewhere on 20th Street. The customer opened the door butt naked, and then he offered my delivery guy to come in. My guy was freaked out, so he just dropped off the food and ran.

There were a few times we would deliver food and people were so wasted, they were like, ‘Take my wallet, take whatever and give me the food.’ Other times, we call up and no one answers. We ring the bell, no one answers. We leave a voicemail, no one answers. We usually tell the delivery guy to wait outside for five minutes to give them time to check their phone — nothing happens. They call me the next day, ‘I didn’t get my food.’ I’m like, ‘You do know it’s already been like 9 or 10 hours?’ Especially during weekends, this always happens. I think it happens about six times a month.

In 2005, my family took over the restaurant from my uncle, and I was working most of the time. We were pretty much working seven days a week at that time. It was really tough, and I was kind of miserable — pretty much work and home, work and home. I just worked seven days a week for a good seven or eight years.

It’s long hours and very hard work. I didn’t see myself working in the restaurant, but I promised my dad I would work. I thought I was just going to work for two years and then move on, and somehow I’m still here. I took over completely in 2012 from my parents.

It’s getting easier because after I married my wife, and we have a kid, I hired my brother-in-law to help me out, so I have some time for the family. Life is getting a little better. Running your own business is never easy, especially with what my parents expect for me. They always want you to do what they do, or even better.

It’s changed. We used to have a lot of customers on Ninth Street, all the way from Avenue A to Second Avenue — all these small shops. All the regular customers have either moved out, went out of business or passed away. You don’t have a regular customer anymore. Every once in awhile you will see a regular, but we lost a lot of customers due to moving out because everything got so expensive in the neighborhood. A lot of my customers, they move into the East Village for a short time and they realize that it’s too expensive to live in the neighborhood, then they either move to Queens or Brooklyn.

I realized that I enjoyed learning about business, how you build your business, how you market it. I learned a lot online. Even though the rent is kind of high these days — I just had my rent increased about 40 percent in March. We also use all these major mobile websites, and the commission is very high. It does bring business but at the same time you have too much overhead — but so far we are still doing alright, and I want to expand and open a different type of restaurant in a new location in the future.

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

Efforts continue to rename the Williamsburg Bridge after jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins


[Image via Instagram]

Back in the spring, Lower East Side resident Jeff Caltabiano launched the Sonny Rollins Bridge Project with the purpose of renaming the Williamsburg Bridge to commemorate the jazz saxophonist. (This April feature in The New Yorker has the full story.)

And now, Brooklyn City Councilmember Stephen Levin (apparently with the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams) has introduced legislation to rename the Williamsburg Bridge the Sonny Rollins Bridge. (Rollins turned 87 last month.)

Here's more background from a news release yesterday via the EVG inbox...

“I first listened to Sonny Rollins at the age of 13. His music and his story has stayed with me to this day,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin, the bill’s sponsor.

“Looking around New York City you’ll see plenty of monuments to politicians,” he added. “You won’t see many monuments to cultural pioneers that embody the spirit of the city.”

In the summer of 1959, Rollins, who was 28 years old and at the height of his musical career, stopped performing and recording, and for two years would disappear to the pedestrian walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge, not far from his home on the Lower East Side.

It was on the bridge that Rollins, a native son of New York who lived in the city over seven decades, would practice for up to 16 hours a day.

“Playing against the sky really does improve your volume, and your wind capacity,” Rollins wrote in The New York Times in 2015. “I could have just stayed up there forever.”

During his sabbatical, Rollins also began practicing yoga, started exercising, quit smoking, and worked on improving himself. After two years on the bridge, Rollins became a better, more confident player and a better human being.

Rollins’ decision to retreat from the jazz scene — essentially taking a vow of artistic silence — was considered an extreme act. The only place one could hear Rollins play music was up on the bridge.

When Rollins finally returned to playing in public in November 1961, he was a changed man; a more confident and refined player, but also a radical humanist. He went on to create music for another half century, playing many of the world’s great concert halls and releasing many more albums.

Rollins’ work, part of his life-long pursuit of self improvement, exemplified by his time on the bridge, has provided inspiration for people of all walks of life around the world. He is considered one of the living legends of jazz, the greatest improviser in the history of recorded music, and an artist whose influence transcends music.

You can find more info at the Sonny Rollins Bridge website.

Chong Qing Xiao Mian coming to 2nd Avenue



Signage went up yesterday for Chong Qing Xiao Mian at 82 Second Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Street.

The proprietors have another location on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. Here's a description of that location:

Our restaurant offers a wide array of authentic Chinese Food, such as Mala Noodle, Special Hot Dry Noodle, Homemade Beef Noodle, Fried Dumpling.

Perhaps they will fare better than the other recent restaurants here, including Express Thali, Golden Crepes and 7 Spices.

Thanks to the EVG reader for the photo and tip!

Hitchcocktober movie of the week — 'Vertigo'



The Hitchcocktober movie of the week is "Vertigo" playing at 8 tomorrow (Thursday!) night at the Village East Cinema on Second Avenue and 12th Street.

So dizzy...



And the upcoming Hitchcocktober films:

Oct. 26 — "Rebecca"

And on Oct. 31, Halloween night, there's a screening of "Psycho."

You can buy advance tickets here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Looking for ideas to improve Joseph C. Sauer Park on 12th Street



Invite from City Councilmember Rosie Mendez's office via the EVG inbox...

As part of the Community Parks Initiative, NYC Parks will host a public input meeting to gather community ideas for the redesign of Joseph C. Sauer Park, 12th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The Community Parks Initiative is investing new City resources in parks in communities that need it most. NYC Parks will spend $318 million to rebuild parks in neighborhoods all over the city – including Joseph C. Sauer Park.

Details:
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 6:30 pm
Campos Plaza Community Center
611 East 13th St. (between Avenue B and Avenue C, north side of street)
Refreshments served

Repainting the 2nd Avenue bike lane



Workers were out this morning continuing to repaint the well-worn Second Avenue bike lane (this work started in late September, as the crew passed south of 14th Street).

Derek Berg shared these photos of the bike-lane-painting in progress from south of Sixth Street ...



[Updated] New York Central Art Supply returns as Jerry's New York Central on 4th Avenue

On Sept. 2, 2016, New York Central Art Supply closed its doors at 62 Third Ave. after nearly 111 years of business.

The Steinberg family, who ran the art supply store for three generations, cited "poor business conditions" and the pending sale of the building between 10th Street and 11th Street as the primary reasons behind the closure.

Seemingly out of nowhere yesterday (H/T Bayou!), there were multiple updates on the New York Central Art Supply Facebook page.

The new About on Facebook reads: "New York Central Art Supply is now Jerry's New York Central. We offer a large selection of fine art materials for professional painters."

At first glance, it appears that New York Central Art Supply has merged with the Jerry's Artarama shop at 111 Fourth Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.

This is now on the New York Central Art Supply website...



I reached out to family member Doug Steinberg to find out more ...

----

Updated:

OK, this isn't actually new. Doug Steinberg said that shortly before they closed the business, they worked with David and Ira Goldstein, who own Jerry's, to acquire the remaining paper inventory of NY Central Art Supply.

"We felt Jerry's as a family business had at its core, many similar sensibilities, and David, Ira and their daughter Heather, who oversees their New York store, have a mutual love of the industry that my father had," Steinberg said. "I'm not sure what the long term plan is but they have been introducing some new high end New York Central branded products.

"We are not involved in any of their current or future plans, but we do speak about the business on occasion. We're fortunate they came in and saved the beautiful paper we had remaining."

And this is from Heather Goldstein, who manages the Jerry's on Fourth Avenue, via Facebook:

"My grandfather was Jerry and my dad and uncle currently run the company out of North Carolina. NY Central was one of my favorite stores to go to when I was younger. I remember the first time my dad took me to meet Steve and I couldn't believe the amount of art supplies they fit in that space and to make it more special, I remember how warm and friendly Steve was when we saw him.

NY Central was a landmark art supply store with the best paper selection in the world (literally). I wish we could offer everything that they did but we are doing the best we can. When Central had officially closed last year, Steve’s son, Doug, approached our family to see if we would be interested in purchasing the remainder of their inventory, the name, and their vendor lists. I understand that we are not NY Central but I hope to keep the store’s memory and Steve’s legacy alive as best I can."

----

Jerry's Artarama, a 15-store art-supply chain headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., opened on Fourth Avenue in late 2013. They took over the space from Utrecht Art Supplies, who moved into a new store on 13th Street between University and Fifth Avenue.

A look at the former P.S. 64



The former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C is back in the news after Mayor de Blasio said that his administration would take steps to reacquire the building.

This surprise announcement came during the District 2 Town Hall last Thursday night at P.S. 188, the Island School.

De Blasio didn't expound on the topic any further that night. His spokesperson didn't offer any specifics to follow-up queries from DNAinfo.

A spokesperson for owner Gregg Singer, who bought the property from the city in 1998, said that he has no plans to sell the building. The spokesperson, who said that the city is being a bully, told DNAinfo the appraised value of the property is $60 million, and that Singer "has already poured $80 million into upkeep."

Singer, who wants to turn the landmarked property into a dorm called University Square, continues in a holding pattern while the DOB has a Stop Work Order on the building.

Here are some photos of the building from this past weekend... starting with the 10th Street side...









... and the Ninth Street side...









The wheat-paste posters are nearly 8-inches thick on the plywood...





Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

As seen on the fence at La Plaza Cultural down on Ninth and C...



The DNAinfo piece also quotes East Village resident Jorge de Yarza, who co-owns the cafe Donostia on Avenue B between Ninth Street and 10th Street. Accordonig to DNAinfo, "he helped gather roughly 900 signatures from locals living within a mile of it in support of the dorm plan, asking the city to allow it to move forward."

"We think this is a completely personal issue with a very vocal minority in my community and we have proved that the vast majority of the immediate community is in favor of this building permit going through as a dorm for Adelphi, because bottom line is it's a 100,000-square-foot eyesore that has been there forever for no reason."

According to the Lo-Down, de Yarza helped Singer support candidates running against Carlina Rivera in District 2’s City Council race last month. Rivera, who won the race, is an ally of outgoing Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who has long opposed the dorm plan.

In an interview with the Lo-Down, Singer's attorney, David Schwartz, "alluded to the possibility of a lawsuit to force the city to sign off on the dorm plan, but expressed hopes that Mendez’s successor will 'do what’s right for the community.'"

In a comment on the previous EVG post on this topic, someone wrote, "To find out the truth regarding 605 E. 9th street see: www.oldps64.com" and signed it Gregg Singer. That website has background on the building, at least from Singer's perspective.

Previously on EV Grieve:
During Town Hall, Mayor announces city's interest in re-acquiring former P.S. 64

Renovations proposed for mysterious 84 2nd Ave.



Renovations are in the works for the mysterious 84 Second Ave. between Fifth Street and Fourth Street.

This address is on Community Board 3's Landmarks Committee docket tonight. (No. 84 falls within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. Owners of buildings located within a designated New York City historic district must receive a permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission before performing any type of work.)

The agenda item reads as follows:

• Certificate of Appropriateness, 84 Second Ave: Exterior work includes façade restoration; storefront alteration; installation of new dormer at roof; elevator, stair and mechanical additions; and rear-yard additions

Betty Sopolsky, the longtime owner, moved away in 2016, around the same time as an LLC with a Hempstead, N.Y., address bought the building for $5.125 million, per public records.

The new landlord, listed on the CB3 paperwork as EA Development Partners, is looking to make some upgrades to the building and long-empty storefront, which is on the rental market ... There are diagrams galore for the proposed work. (Find the PDF here.)


[Click on image for more detail]

The owners are seeking a Certificate of Appropriateness, and this type of permit requires a public hearing at the local community board and LPC offices.

As previously noted, the address has a dark past. This is from The New York Times, dated Jan. 18, 1974:

The nude body of a 40-year-old woman propiretor of a tailor shop that rents tuxedos on the Lower East Side was found bludgeoned to death. The victim was Helen Sopolsky of 84 Second Avenue, near fifth Street, whose shop is one flight up at that address. The motive of the attack was not determined immediately....

As far as some longtime residents can remember, the storefront has remained empty since Helen's death. (Helen was Betty's sister.)

For years (decades?), you could see a plastic-covered dinner jacket in the second-story window with the neon sign that reads "DRESS SUITS TO HIRE." Previous posts have more on this residence ... here and here and here.

The Landmarks Committee meets tonight at 6:30, JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery.

Hotel Tortuga, under new management, will reopen soon still as Hotel Tortuga



One EVG reader confirmed what another reader left in the comments: Hotel Tortuga is currently closed.

However, a reader yesterday said that the Mexican restaurant (with plentiful vegetarian options) on 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue will return. Signs on the door say that the space is under new management, and they will reopen soon as Hotel Tortuga.

David and Jean LaPointe opened this Hotel in 2010. They also ran Curly's Vegetarian Lunch one block to the east on 14th Street until the end of 2011 when their lease expired. As Dave LaPoint, a founder of Burritoville, wrote at the time: "[T]he new lease terms proved just too much for a little vegetarian place..."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct. 16



EVG reader V.H. McKenzie spotted this Winter Wonderland just-needs-a-good-home (and some water) tree outside the neighborhood on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street tonight... still, it's noteworthy given how easily it would have been for someone to just keep this tree another two-plus months until Dec. 25.

Today's fish-head-on-sidewalk contribution



Spotted on Second Avenue at 11th Street.

Previous contributions are here and here and here.

H/T Bagel Guy!

A morning scene in Tompkins Square Park



Photo today by Derek Berg...

Cafe Orlin signs off


[Photo from yesterday]

As previously reported, Cafe Orlin closed last night after service, wrapping up a 36-year run on St. Mark's Place.

Grub Street reported last month that the Cafe Orlin owner is also the building's landlord, "and a new restaurant will open in its place" here between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

So far, the restaurant hasn't posted any messages on the Cafe's social media properties abut the closure or what might be next.

The chalkboard outside thanks patrons...





There were a handful of thank-yous and goodbyes on social media...



Previously on EV Grieve:
Cafe Orlin will close next month after 36 years in business (34 comments)

Reports of shots fired on Avenue C and 11th Street


[Photo via @_elkue]

Several EVG readers reported hearing 8-12 gunshots around midnight on Avenue C between 11th Street and 12th Street.

According to Christopher J. Ryan, who shared the below photos, the shots came from the east side of Avenue C outside Avenue C Pharmacy, with bullets hitting a building across the Avenue as well as the bus shelter.





One person was reportedly shot and transferred to Bellevue. It was not known if he/she was the intended target. Police are apparently searching for three suspects one suspect.

Will update the story when more information becomes available.

Updated 8 a.m.

The Post reports that a 29-year-old man was shot multiple times as he was riding a bike along Avenue C.

The cyclist, who was struck once in the torso and once in the arm, managed to flee and took himself to Bellevue Hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition.

Police are looking for one suspect. The Post reports that the victim is cooperating with the NYPD. The article does not say if the man was the intended target.

Updated 10:15 a.m.

Per DNAinfo: "The shooter wore a black hoodie, according to a police source. A black hoodie and a black ski mask were recovered near the site of the shooting, the source said."

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Here's surveillance video from when the shots were fired on the east side of Avenue C...

Never a dull moment. Here’s a shooting last night outside my house. ( white flashes above the white car )

A post shared by Chris (@chrisryanaction) on