Sunday, November 29, 2015

New, improved inflatable Santa arrives on East 14th Street tree lot

[Happier days in 2013]

JUST when we though that the tree stand on East 14th Street and First Avenue would go another holiday season without a Santa Claus...

[Saturday morning]

... an EVG reader let us know that a new, [maybe] improved Santa inflatable now adorns the trailer...

Maybe by Dec. 25 this st. Nick will look as grubby as the previous one... maybe we will witness a Christmas miracle...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Another year without grubby ol' St. Nick on East 14th Street; what to tell the children?

Week in Grieview

[Morning in Tompkins Square Park]

City council members talk up new L train entrance coming to Avenue A (Monday)

Former dorm being pitched as Luxury Renting 101 (Tuesday)

Gas work in building temporarily shuts down Hot Kitchen on Second Avenue (Saturday)

Someone threw black paint bombs at the naked women condo ad along 100 Avenue A (Friday)

The revamped Dunkin' Donuts reopens on First Avenue (Thursday)

How about some more 99¢ pizza for Avenue A (Monday)

The Alamo has been away from Astor Place for one year now (Wednesday)

The Gerber Group responds to criticism over Mr. Purple (Tuesday)

234 E. Seventh St. is for sale (Wednesday)

Pinche Taqueria has closed on Lafayette (Tuesday)

115 Avenue C is for sale (Monday)

Report: Letter claiming to be from terrorist group found at East Ninth Street boutique (Wednesday)

East Sixth Street switcharoos: Another name change for La Esquina Burritos and Bar; Spice Cove exits (Monday)

26 Avenue B getting its high beams on (Tuesday)

Former Vegtown-Chubby Mary's-Led Zeppole space for rent on East 14th Street (Monday)

First Bitcoin ATM arrives on the Lower East Side (Tuesday)

That photogenic Ford F-Series pickup truck from 1961 is for sale (Wednesday)

... and a look at some of the murals that recently arrived at First Street Green via the Centre-fuge Public Art Project...

... and an EVG reader let us know that a new deli/cafe called Stuyvesant Organic has opened in the former Kennedy Fried Chicken space on East 14th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... don't know too much else about the place at the moment...

Mixing politics and free standing lamps

The sign reads: "I work ... unlike Trump's immigration strategy." And it's written on the back of an immigration form.

Photo on St. Mark's Place between First Avenue and Second Avenue by @katblomberg

Pushcart Coffee closes East Village location

An EVG reader stopped by Pushcart Coffee on Third Avenue at East 12th Street in NYU's Third North dorm retail property this morning... only to find a sign that the place closed for good after service yesterday...

The sign simply says "unfortunately, we had to close our doors." This location opened on July 1. The other Pushcart locations remain open.

As previously noted, there were already many coffee choices right around here with the Wayside on East 12th Street just west of Third Avenue ... City of Saints Coffee Roasters on East 10th Street between Fourth Avenue and Third Avenue ... Third Rail Coffee on East 10th Street near Second Avenue ... Think Coffee on Fourth Avenue between East 12th Street and East 13th Street… Everyman Espresso on East 13th Street west of Third Avenue… and the newly opened Le CafĂ© Coffee at 145 Fourth Ave. between East 13th Street and East 14th Street. Not to mention the recently relocated Dunkin' Donuts on East 14th Street just east of Third Avenue.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Pushcart Coffee opening an East Village outpost (20 comments)

Report: East River Park rape suspect now in police custody

A man accused of raping a jogger in East River Park on Wednesday night has surrendered to police, according to published reports.

Surveillance cameras reportedly captured 28-year-old Paul Niles using the victim's credit card at a deli near the scene of the attack.

Police say that Niles was riding a bike when he approached the 26-year-old woman jogging near the FDR Drive and Cherry Street around 7:30 Wednesday night.

According to NY1, after Niles turned himself in at a precinct in Queens, he was charged with rape, robbery and identity theft against the jogger and with forcible touching of another victim, who he approached separately.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A guest at the Bowery Hotel lost this heirloom ring

Via the EVG inbox... from a guest at the Bowery Hotel...

Lost Heirloom Ring
Lost on St. Mark's Place and/or the surrounding area
Substantial reward if found or returned, no questions asked.
Please call 310-429-9011
Very much appreciated!

Gas work in building temporarily shuts down Hot Kitchen on 2nd Avenue

Hot Kitchen, the Sichuan restaurant at 104 Second Ave. near East Sixth Street, has been closed this past week.

EVG correspondent Steven passes along a photo of the signage on Hot Kitchen's front door...

The note explains that ConEd has shut off the restaurant's meter "due to the work [the] landlord is doing to the building main gas piping."

The note also says they hope it will take a week or less to compete the repairs. That seems awfully optimistic given how long it has taken gas service to return to other East Village restaurants, such as Second Avenue neighbor B&H Dairy. On Avenue A and St. Mark's Place, Nino's and Yoshi Sushi have been closed for five weeks now due to a gas issue in its building.

And of course, Hot Kitchen sits nearly directly across the Avenue from the site of the deadly gas explosion this past March 26.

When the birds of Tompkins Square Park sound like whales

EVG regular Grant Shaffer picked up on the birds communicating with one another today... and slowed it down...

What happened to Invader's Woody Allen mosaic?

You've likely seen the mosaics that French street artist Invader has placed around the East Village/Lower East Side the past few weeks.

Not sure what happened to the Woody Allen mosaic on East Fourth Street at First Avenue... a good chunk of it is now missing...

[Photo yesterday by Peter Arkle]

At last look, the others that we've spotted, like the Andy Warhol outside the Standard East Village, remain intact...

According to a recent piece in the Times: "Invader's work has become popular with collectors. In March, a large piece sold at auction for almost $350,000 at Christie’s in Hong Kong."

He also reportedly received the OK from building owners to install the mosaics here, which means...

These legal works are likely to be out of reach to collectors and thieves. To thwart those who might take down his work for their own profit, he said, he has sought out sites with natural architectural recesses or filled-in windows. By installing a piece in the exact size and shape of these nooks, he leaves little wiggle room for anyone who might try to pry them out.

In recent years, he has also used larger, thinner tiles: Try to jimmy them off, and they’ll chip apart rather than popping off intact.

Another year without grubby ol' St. Nick on East 14th Street; what to tell the children?

[Happier days in 2013]

For the second year running, it appears that the beloved grubby Santa that has adorned the top of the xmas RV on East 14th Street and First Avenue in years past remains AWOL

The Sidewalk Holiday Tree Stand is now apparently fully operational... and, like last year, some rather generic inflatables (stupid nutcracker) grace this place...

As for what to tell the children. Well, I'd change the subject and try to distract them at Papaya Dog. Look, Twix bars for breakfast!...



The roof, 6:44 a.m., Nov. 28


Friday, November 27, 2015

Tonight's sunset

The view (to the southeast) this late afternoon/early evening via Goggla...

Some holiday Cheer

You have several chances to check out Bronx Cheer in the days/weeks ahead... starting tonight at the Bowery Electric and tomorrow at Cake Shop.

The above video features the NYC trio's song "Prism."

[Updated] NYPD releases photos and video of East River Park rape suspect

According to published reports, a man raped and robbed a 26-year-old woman who was jogging in East River Park around 7:30 Wednesday night.

The NYPD has now released photos and video of the suspect, who used the victim's credit card after the attack, which took place in the East River Park amphitheater near Jackson Street, according to media accounts.

Here is the video via Gothamist...

Surveillance of East River Park rape suspect by Gothamist

Emergency responders took the woman to Beth Israel, where she was treated and released.

Updated 7:47 p.m.

Per WPIX...

Thanks to numerous Crime Stoppers tips, the suspect has been identified as 28-year-old Paul Niles who is described as being 5’9″ and weighing 200 pounds.

Police sources tell PIX11 that Niles was last arrested for masturbating in front of a school.

Updated 11/29
Niles is now in police custody. He surrounded to police at a precinct in Queens, per reports.

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

Someone threw black paint bombs at the naked women condo ad along 100 Avenue A

An EVG reader notes that last night, someone (vandal? folk hero?) tossed a few black paint bombs at the naked-women-clad plywood at 100 Avenue A between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street...

... where developer Ben Shaoul is putting in a 6 8-floor condoplex where prices will range from the high $1,000s per square foot to north of $2,000 per square foot.

Perhaps these real paint bombs are fitting to the whole marketing concept. Broker Ryan Servant recently explained the campaign this way on Instagram:

This is a real model, with real paint. This is my team, my developers, my clients, my friends, my family, my fans. This is for everyone who sells something who does it differently. This is for the kids who wear clothes other kids won't or don't. This is for the the Dad who goes back to school to make his kids proud. This is for the student who turns in 2 pages of a 5 page essay - and aces it. This is for everyone who has been bullied, talked about, made fun of, and pointed at.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Wooing the condo crowd with naked women motif on Avenue A

The retail space at Ben Shaoul's 100 Avenue A is available for $24.5 million; plus, naked model marketing clarification!

Oh Christmas trees, oh...

As you probably noticed, the stockades are going (have gone!) up on sidewalks and corners everywhere, well last in least the usual places where holiday trees are sold, like in front of the Rite Aid on First Avenue and East Fifth Street (above)... and on First Avenue and East 13th Street...

... and we received a news release about Tree Riders NYC, which is launching its fifth season at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery on Second Avenue at East 10th Street today at noon.

Per the release...

Tree Riders NYC – run by local artists and adventurers – offers hand-selected Fraser firs from the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, as well as Douglas and Canaan firs from central Pennsylvania.

Tree Riders NYC offers same day cargo bike delivery service throughout Downtown and Midtown Manhattan; post-Christmas tree removal and clean-up service; handmade wreaths, garlands, and mistletoe; Christmas tree stands; and lights.

“We just returned from our annual trip to Virginia where we harvested the trees we hand-tagged at the end of August for this holiday season,” said Joseph Schommer, co-founder of Tree Riders NYC. “Through this careful selection process, we’re able to guarantee our community the freshest, farm-to-home Christmas experience.”

Find more info here.

Anyway, enjoy your tree, should you choose to buy one. And just as an FYI, the city has already released dates for the 2016 MulchFest — Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

REPOST: A Black Friday improv gag on First Avenue

The following post originally appeared on EVG on Nov. 26, 2012...

On Friday (Black Friday!), the folks at Improv Everywhere, a NYC-based "prank collective," had some 100 people camp out in front of the 99-cent store on First Avenue next to the Rite Aid.

The group even had someone pretend to be an NBC News reporter interviewing people waiting in line...

The store's proprietor arrived at 9 and figured the mob was for Rite Aid... then someone in line told him that it was for the 99-cent store...

When the store opened, the shopping began...

The participants did come in a few at a time and buy stuff... You can read the entire recap at the Improv Everywhere website.

Eventually the Improv leader told the store owner about the gag. "He was really excited about the whole thing and definitely appreciated the business, even if it didn’t make total sense to him why it had happened."

The Improv members also donated some of the purchases to an unnamed local charity.

[All photos via the Improv Everywhere website]

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For the birds

Christo and Dora at St. Brigid's today... photo by Bobby Williams

And the revamped 1st Avenue Dunkin' Donuts is back open; now with new banner

Less than two weeks after closing for renovations, the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of First Avenue and East Sixth Street is back open with a fresh-new DD look...

However, the giant DD cup never returned...

[Photo from 2009 via Flickr]

...and they apparently never found an advertiser for their Complimentary Hand Sanitizer, which workers have discarded...


OK! Here's a daytime shot showing the new DD banner. OPEN LATE.

Last night: Earlier then later

Full moon!

Then about 2:20 a.m. via Bobby Williams...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

EV Grieve Etc.: The city's worst landlords; a Children’s Magical Garden update

[Photo on Stuyvesant Street by Derek Berg]

Judge rejects developer's plea to dismiss Children’s Magical Garden lawsuit (The Lo-Down)

Elvis Guesthouse on Avenue A is a venue "worth fighting for" (The Village Voice)

Public advocate Letitia James has rolled out the annual list of the city's 100 worst landlords (Curbed)

Vic's Pizza on Essex Street is closing next week after 45 years in business so the building's owner can tear it down (DNAinfo)

Some history of the Germania Fire Insurance Company Bowery Building at 357 Bowery (Off the Grid)

Checking out the new Richard Kern show at the Marlborough Broome Street Gallery (Flaming Pablum)

A night at a Brian Wilson concert (Slum Goddess)

Thoughts on Richard Hell’s "Massive Pissed Love" (Hyperallergic)

A Subway (sandwich shop) closes on Essex Street (BoweryBoogie)

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. say gentrification is bad for their neighborhoods (Brian Lehrer/WNYC)

Complaints about old-timer Rudy's Bar & Grill on Ninth Avenue (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

... and if you're traveling or seeing relatives or whatever this Thanksgiving, you're gonna make it (after all)...

Report: Letter claiming to be from terrorist group found at East 9th Street boutique

From the Daily Blotter in the Post today:

A hate-filled letter claiming to be from the terrorist who masterminded the deadly Paris attacks was mailed to an East Village boutique, ­authorities said Tuesday. The ranting note, which included anti-Semitic, ­anti-French and anti-gay language, was found at Meg, a clothing store on East Ninth Street, at 11 a.m. Monday, cops said.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the letter, whose return address included the name Abdel­hamid Abaaoud.

The Alamo has been away from Astor Place for 1 year now

[Photo from last Nov. 25 by John M.]

One year ago today, workers packed up and carted off The Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the reconstruction of Astor Place. (Gothamist captured the moment on video.)

Anyway. One year later. And the cube, which was installed here in 1967, remains in storage somewhere.

Well, except for on Halloween...

[Photo by 8E]

The CB3 website has a page dedicated to local construction projects, including the reconstruction of Astor Place. Plans for the multi-year(s) project have included reconfiguring/revamping the Astor Place/Cooper Square streetscape with three new permanent plazas, additional seating, trees and a new design for Peter Cooper Park.

There's a link to a weekly bulletin (PDF), noting what's happening now. This week, workers are continuing to install new granite slabs in Peter Cooper Park...

Sidewalk excavations/installation continue on Cooper Square West...

... and well as new sidewalks along the Cooper Union building...

While there is noticeable progress, it still seems like a bit of a mess...

However, there isn't any word among the city updates about the status of the cube. A "community advisory notice" dated Oct. 21, 2104, notes:

The Alamo Cube is slated to be removed and hoisted off by crane from the site and transported to a storage and conservation facility for rehabilitation by the end of the year. The exact timing and details of the removal are still pending. Once confirmed, further details will be provided. After rehabilitation is complete, the Alamo Cube will be reinstalled into its rightful place, along the new Alamo Plaza.

[A rendering of the new Astor Place]

We haven't seen anything about a possible completion date. The CB3 site still lists August 2015. A reconstruction project page via the Cooper Union Library on Facebook says January 2016.

So might as well pull up a comfy chair and just enjoy the rest of the construction...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube