Saturday, February 23, 2019

An evening honoring extraordinary women at Middle Collegiate Church

Middle Collegiate Church on Second Avenue is hosting the following event on Tuesday night... "Rage, Rejoice & RISE: An Evening of Celebration, Inspiration and Solidarity."

Here's more via the EVG inbox...

Eve Ensler, Tony-Award-winning playwright and founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising, hosts an evening featuring best-selling author Naomi Klein; "Westworld" star and domestic violence survivor/advocate Evan Rachel Wood; and Rhanda Dormeus, mother of Korryn Gaines, a young woman shot and killed by Baltimore police in 2016.

The evening includes the Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.; musicians, activists, and the gospel choir of Middle Church. The evening honors the extraordinary women who are rising in unprecedented ways across New York City, the country and the world.

Tickets are $10 and available here.

The event starts at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Middle Collegiate Church is at 112 Second Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. Find more info here.

A Public lawsuit

ICYMI from The New York Times yesterday...The Public Theater on Lafayette filed a lawsuit against Ian Schrager's swank-o Public hotel, which opened in 2017 just below East Houston on Chrystie.

The Public Theater (officially known as the New York Shakespeare Festival) asserts that Schrager and Co. "violated its trademarks by using the name 'Public' — as well a strikingly similar logo — to advertise theater and musical performances."

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues that the hotel’s use of "Public" in marketing entertainment events is likely to confuse customers and cause some to assume that the performances are associated with the famed nonprofit theater on Lafayette Street. The Public Theater, which opened its first show in the 1960s, claims that the Public hotel is essentially siphoning off its business by riding on its theatrical coattails.

Public Theater officials told the Times that they didn't have any problem with Schrager using the name in association with the hotel. The issue comes with the hotel's performance space, called Public Arts.

And Schrager's response?

Mr. Schrager said in a statement through his spokeswoman that when his company registered its trademarks for the hotel, the Public Theater did not have any of its own. "We would not have gotten our trademarks if they did," he said.


"After being in the business for 40 years with scores of projects having been completed, I think I know a little about registering trademarks to protect our brands and good will."

This is the second high-profile trademark lawsuit on the LES. Last year, MoMA took legal action against the MoMaCha tea room on the Bowery.

Random P.I.L. album art via Wikipedia Commons.

Banners for the Brant Foundation's Basquiat exhibit

Noting the recent arrival of the banners on Sixth Street and Avenue A for the upcoming Basquiat show, the inaugural exhibit at the Brant Foundation, 421 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue...

The exhibit, featuring works from the private collection of Peter Brant, starts March 4...

The free tix are all accounted for... but you can add your name to a waitlist.

The DOT allows for banners that "promote a public event or a cultural exhibit." Application info is here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Here's how to reserve free tickets for the Basquiat exhibit opening next month at the Brant Foundation on 6th Street

Friday, February 22, 2019

'White' noise

From the forthcoming Royal Trux album White Stuff (Fat Possum Records) ... this is the song "White Stuff."

This is the first new record for Neil and Jennifer in 20 years. They'll be at the revamped Webster Hall on May 15.

After 50 years on the block, the Hells Angels appear to be selling their 3rd Street clubhouse

[EVG file photo]

The word coming from Third Street is that the Hells Angels are selling their clubhouse (No. 77) here between First Avenue and Second Avenue with a springtime move planned.

According to public records, there's a Memorandum of Contract (the form preceding a contract of sale) dated this past Dec. 21 between Church of the Angels, Inc. (aka — The Church of Angels) and 77 East 3rd LLC ...

The document is signed by Bartley J. Dowling, president of the NYC Hells Angels chapter, and the purchaser, Nathan Blatter of Whitestone Realty Group.

Attorney Ron Kuby, who has represented the Angels in legal matters through the years, said that he was unaware of any sale. "I have heard nothing about it," he said on the phone yesterday. (He also said that he doesn't handle real-estate law.)

At this time, it's not known where the NYC clubhouse may be relocating or what the reasons are for doing so.

The Hells Angels have had a presence in 77 E. Third St. since 1969. They eventually bought the six-floor building, which includes their clubhouse and member residences ( lists 14 units), from Birdie Ruderman in the Bronx for a reported $1,900. The deed on file with the city from November 1977 shows the then-dilapidated building changed hands for $10...

In 1983, chapter president Sandy Alexander took over ownership of the building. The deed from that time states that Alexander, his wife Collette and their family could live on the premises rent free. In addition, in the event that the building was sold, she would stand to receive half of the proceeds.

This agreement was later the basis for a legal tussle in 2013 between the clubhouse and Alexander's family. (Sandy Alexander, who spent six years in prison for dealing cocaine, died in 2007.)

According to the Post in 2013:

They are suing his second wife, Alison Glass Alexander, of Jamaica, Queens and his daughter from another marriage, Kimberly Alexander, of Needles, Calif. to prevent them from making a grab for the property.

A source told the Post that the members have no immediate plans to sell 77 E. 3rd St. — which is on the periphery of New York University’s $6 billion expansion plan and in a once-crime ridden neighborhood where one-bedrooms now rent for $3,500 a month — but they wanted to clear up the "cloudy deed."

That deed was eventually reversed in April 2018, per public documents, ...

The U.S. government unsuccessfully tried to seize the building starting with a drug bust in 1985. The feds charged that the clubhouse was used to make drug deals. However, a jury ruled against the forfeiture in February 1994, per The New York Times.

At another time we may note more of their legal run-ins here through the years. (Most recently, in late December, the Post reported that a deliveryman was allegedly sucker punched by a member when he parked his car in front of motorcycles outside the clubhouse.)

And here's a portion of the 1983 documentary "Hells Angels Forever" that highlights the Third Street clubhouse at the two-minute mark...

More details emerge about the revamped Webster Hall, returning this spring with Patti Smith, Sharon Van Etten and Royal Trux

[EVG photo from last month]

The operators of the all-new Webster Hall released details yesterday about the revamped venue on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

As previously reported, Webster Hall — now owned by BSE Global and The Bowery Presents — returns this spring (about a year earlier than expected).

For starters, Webster Hall announced a slate of performers, starting with Patti Smith and Her Band on May 1. Other upcoming acts include Broken Social Scene, MGMT, Empire of the Sun, Old Dominion, Sharon Van Etten, Built to Spill, Real Estate, Big Thief, TroyBoi and Royal Trux.

You can find more dates at the Webster Hall website. American Express card members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday morning and through Thursday. Tickets for the general public go on sale March 1 at noon.

No word yet on the official opening date or performer. (RUMORED headliners include the Yeah Yeah, Yeahs, the Strokes, the National and Lady Gaga. Just one of them — not all four.)

Meanwhile, here's more via the news release from Webster Hall...

The renovations at Webster Hall aimed to preserve the iconic features of the venue, while modernizing it to meet today’s entertainment standards and enhance the guest experience. The Lounge (formerly The Marlin Room) has been revamped to serve as a bar and meeting spot for ticketholders both before and after shows in the Grand Ballroom.

Design details of The Lounge include elegant gold stenciling on the walls that pays homage to the original historic design, and fluted glass along the bar that mimics the venue’s former windows.

In the Grand Ballroom, the original stage remains, while acoustics were enhanced to create an optimal live event experience. Fans and artists returning to Webster Hall will notice other new features such as central air conditioning, expanded restrooms, additional stairwells for smoother entry and exit, and the venue’s first-ever elevator that will serve guests with disabilities and speed up each show’s load-in and load-out process.

Behind the scenes, an artist compound was built with upgraded amenities to provide direct access to the Ballroom stage, creating a more comfortable and inviting environment for performers and their management. The venue’s basement level, formerly known as The Studio at Webster Hall, will also return, with more details to be announced at a later date.

The architect of the revived venue is OTJ Architects, the contractor is Shawmut Design and Construction, and acoustic design is by L’Acoustics. Once open, Webster Hall will employ an estimated 70 people across various positions in the venue, between front of house and back of house, on any given event night.

The Times got a sneak preview of the venue yesterday, if you'd like to read that here.

This landmarked building has been around since 1886. It re-opened as Webster Hall in October 1992 after the Ballinger family purchased and renovated the space that was known as The Ritz during the 1980s.

Previously on EV Grieve:
When Webster Hall reopens, there might be a Moxy Hotel across the street

First sign of upcoming renovations at the former Webster Hall

Permits filed to renovate Webster Hall

The Webster Hall marquee looks to be in danger of falling

Plywood arrives at Webster Hall

A new marquee for Webster Hall

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The untold tale of East Village shopkeeper Santo Mollica's comic-book past

[Photo yesterday by Stacie Joy]

By Marjorie Ingall

Santo Mollica of The Source Unltd copy shop is no stranger to EVG readers.

Fans of his shop, on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, love it for its affordable printing services, postcards by East Village artists, community bulletin board, canned food donation drop-off box, and meet-and-greet opportunities with resident celebrity pit bull Curtis. (Curtis, named for Curtis Mayfield, succeeded the equally beloved Satchmo, who was named for Louis Armstrong.) This year marks the store’s 37th anniversary.

We all know about Santo’s musical history. But back in the day he had another gig, working for the now-defunct Comics Code Authority (CCA): The self-censoring arm of the American comic-book industry. What was a counterculture dude doing toiling in the red-pencil expurgating trenches? He'll explain in a moment.

But first, a quick backgrounder: The Comics Code was born in the McCarthy era, when a NYC psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham published a blockbuster anti-comics screed called "Seduction of the Innocent." It led to a 1954 Senate Subcommittee investigation at which Wertham testified, "I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry."

To avoid a government crackdown, the four biggest comics publishers created their own regulatory code, which prohibited the sympathetic depiction of criminals and the questioning of authority figures. Scenes of "horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism and masochism" were banned. "Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity" and general filth were all prohibited. And "females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities." You know, for the sake of the kids.

The first cracks appeared in the code in 1971, when the government asked Stan Lee to address the dangers of drugs in a comic. Lee wrote a Spider-Man arc doing just that. The CCA refused to approve it. Lee published issues #96-98 without the CCA Seal of Approval, which marked the beginning of the end. That year, the code was adapted to allow horror, as long as it was "handled in the classic tradition of Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high-caliber literary works."

Cops, politicians and judges could now be depicted as corrupt, as long as the writers made them "pay the legal price." Moral ambiguity, sex and violence ramped back up. And underground comics, which ignored the code completely, gained popularity; comics stores and head shops began to carry comics without the Seal of Approval. The code was loosened further in 1989 (when openly LGBT characters were permitted) and dumped entirely in 2011.

Today, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit that fights censorship and protects comic-book and graphic-novel creators' intellectual property, owns the rights to the Comics Code seal. ("Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" opens with an "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" stamp — perhaps an inside joke referencing the role Spidey played in destroying the code.)

But the 1971 rules were still in place when Santo began working for the CCA. (The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.)

When I was going to Hunter College, I was also a musician and didn't want to get locked into anything, so I had a bunch of little jobs. I delivered tip sheets for a guy who would handicap races at Belmont and Aqueduct.

He had a little mimeograph printer thing in his apartment, and he'd get his connections from the track and type up his predictions for the day and he had about six newsstands he'd sell them at. I'd deliver them to the six newsstands and end up across from the Lincoln Building at 60 E. 42nd St.

Then I found out about a job right there, proofreading. I thought, I can do that! Perfect location! Not too taxing! I go for the interview. It's mostly older people. I was maybe 18, 19. They pulled out these 12x18 sheets that were storyboards of comic books. DC, Marvel, Archie, Richie Rich. It was so cool seeing the pure artwork, the pencil work. The story and lettering and graphics. They weren't colored in yet, and they had to get approval to do that. My job was to stamp the back of each piece of artwork and initial it to say it was cool to go to the next phase.

I was a big comics kid. I grew up in the South Bronx. My mom passed when I was 5. Marvel comics, especially, actually helped me in terms of how to relate to people. Marvel was always big on empathy: Peter Parker had to wrestle with his guilt for not stopping his uncle from getting killed. Daredevil was blind.

Marvel’s thing was that the characters were always misfits, always struggling to deal with the gifts they were given. More than the DC guys, who were boring, perfect heroes. I really identified with Spider-Man because I liked the idea that no one really knew who he was. So many people would brag, but Spider-Man is the guy quietly saving the world. I had a big Spider-Man collection that would have been worth real money, but my older sister threw it out — let’s just say that was one nasty time. But who’d have known?

Anyway, I’m like whoa, the Job Gods are working for me! I’d do my route for the tip sheet guy and end up on 42nd Street, and I’d have breakfast and read comics.

Sometimes the artists would try to sneak things through – too much cleavage, too much nipple through the uniform. We’d have to tell them, "I appreciate your artistic integrity but the kiddies ain't gonna like this." Actually, the kiddies will like it but the parents won't. We'd have to bounce it back and they'd have to make the corrections and resend it. I always had to watch the V-necks.

Sometimes they'd slip in curses. One time they had Iron Man going, like, "Let's go get that bastard!" I'm like, "OK, man, I agree with your sentiment but that’s not gonna work." And we'd send it back and they'd correct it. They knew what was allowed and what wasn't allowed.

Violence wasn't a big deal by then. Some Tales from the Crypt were gory, but [the CCA] didn't care about gory – I guess that’s the American Way. Archie was pretty tame. Richie Rich was easy. Those were my least favorite. But you had to be careful because they were for little kids and you don't want to miss something.

I did it for about three years, and it was the first job I had where I was paid for time off in the summer. I was like, this is the motherlode! Granted, it wasn’t that much money, because I was only there a few hours a day. I lost the job when they started introducing 401(k)s and the guy who ran the organization said, "Hey, I can give this money to my wife and we can save for our retirement." So I lost out to the wife and that was that.

Growing up, I was on my own, pretty much. I mean, I had family. But whenever people get raised by other people, they always say, "I loved him like a brother" — and "like" is the operative word. "Like" is like and the real thing is the real thing. You know the difference. And you carry it with you.

I learned a lot from the comics about how to deal with people, how to conduct yourself, how to think about people with handicaps. You know, my lady's got MS and she used to have a cane — now she has a chair – that folded up just like Daredevil's. Peter Parker was pining, but he’d rather save the world than have everyone think "I'm something." Let the work speak for itself. Superhero-ing, writing, making music, saving the world. It’s all one.

Marjorie Ingall is an East Village-based freelance writer and the author of "Mamaleh Knows Best."

Plywood report: 101E2, aka 101 E. 2nd St.

[24 1st Ave.]

The plywood arrived this week outside 24 First Ave. and 99-101 E. Second St., which have been in the preliminary demolition phases...

As previously reported, developer Sergey Rybak has plans for a 7-story, 22-unit residential building called 101E2 on these properties. The Rybak website lists that the residences are condos with ground-floor space designated for retail use.

If this helps ... an aerial view of the block, showing how the two buildings are currently configured ...

The plywood rendering is the same one we saw last year via the Ryback website... this appears to be the Second Street side...

The Ryback website now has a second rendering, which looks like the First Avenue profile...

Hayne Suthon, who owned and and operated Lucky Cheng's, the cross-dressing cabaret at 24 First Ave., owned the properties. She died of cancer at age 57 in June 2014.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Building that housed Lucky Cheng's on 1st Avenue now on the auction block

Onetime home of Lucky Cheng's and adjacent property sell for $12 million

7-story residential building pending at the former Lucky Cheng's space

Demolition permits filed to bring down former Lucky Cheng's building on 1st Avenue

The foot race to beat the M14 along 14th Street

Transit advocates, out to show how slow city buses are, organized a contest yesterday morning in which pedestrians power-walked on the sidewalk as they followed an M14 on 14th Street from Avenue A to the west side of Union Square.

In the end, the bus won the race — by five seconds.

Per Gothamist:

"For New York City in 2019 to have a bus going walking speed on a good day is really nothing to celebrate," said Tom DeVito, senior director of advocacy at Transportation Alternatives, which organized the contest. He noted that that car traffic was less paralyzing than usual, likely due to school being out this week.

The M14 has been found to be the city's third slowest, as well as one of its busiest, with a daily ridership of 30,000.

With the L-train slowdown coming, the buses along 14th Street could get even slower.

The MTA/DOT have already taken the first steps to make 14th Street a car-free busway for most of the day. However, with the shutdown called off, the MTA said last week that a busway along this stretch isn't necessary.

You can find more coverage at Newsradio 880 ... NBC 4 ... Metro New York ... and NY1.

Sunday is the last day for St. Mark's Comics

As first reported here on Jan. 29, St. Mark's Comics is closing at the end of this month at 11 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

The shop's Instagram account has announced that Sunday is now the last day (closing at 6 p.m.). Until then, owner Mitch Cutler continues to unveil some bargains from the basement on this self-described "farewell tour."

And as Cutler told me on Jan. 29:

"There are a number of things that contributed to [the closing]. I have been working 90 hours a week for 36 years, and I no longer have the wherewithal to fight them — all of these various reasons. It is challenging to have a storefront business in New York City for a number of reasons ... it is challenging to keep and maintain a retail storefront and there are enough impediments now that — like I said, I'm exhausted and can't fight them anymore."

The storefront is currently for rent.

For further reading:
The BEST job I’ve ever had": A Tribute to St. Mark’s Comics, From Former Store Manager T.J. Shevlin (The Beat)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday's parting shot

A view of Tompkins Square Park this afternoon via Bobby Williams...

EVG Etc.: The Strand's landmark battle; Cooper Union's Chrysler Building situation

[Outside Josie's the other morning on 6th Street]

An in-depth look at NYC's post-Sandy flood protection plans along the East River (City Limits... previously)

How NYC restaurant owners and operators are reworking their budgets and operations to cover the minimum-wage increase (Eater)

Tensions over landmarking 828 Broadway, home of the Strand (Gothamist ... Curbed)

The longterm financial outlook for Cooper Union, who owns the land where the Chrysler Building sits. Per this article, "Cooper Union will make more than $50 million in rent and tax income off the Chrysler Building — its main asset." (Commercial Observer)

Mayor releases the city’s 2019 "Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans" (Streetsblog ... amNY ... ABC 7)

Primer for NYC's public advocate special election (Curbed)

Legal drama involving Rosario Dawson's family in renovated 13th Street building (New York Post ... previously)

A few more chances to see Nicky Sunshine's one-woman show "Confessions of a Massage Parlor Madam" this weekend at the Wow Cafe Theatre on East Fourth Street (Official site)

Buzzy Geduld, who started Donut Pub in 1964, discusses his new outpost, opening soon on Broadway at Astor Place (Grub Street ... previously)

"Polylogues" — described as "a theatrical investigation into nonmonogamy" created and performed by Queer|Art Fellow Xandra Clark – plays at Dixon Place tomorrow night and Friday night (Official site)

Journalist Jacob Margolies recalls growing up in the 1960s and 70s on the playground of East Third Street, with a brief postscript on memory and mythologies about the city (Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

TV and movie productions find many of their vintage electronics through the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Gizmodo)

New Essex Market signage arrives (The Lo-Down)

Upcoming special screenings at the Village East on Second Avenue and 12th Street include "Poetic Justice" (tomorrow night), "Easy Rider (Monday) and "The Color Purple" (Feb. 27) (Official site)

... and the House of LaRue, the style, glam and drag boutique, moved out of its storefront on East Houston at Clinton (on to Metropolitan Avenue) at the end of January ... the space is now home to a psychic...

The birds and the bees: Mating season commences in Tompkins Square Park for red-tailed hawks Amelia and Christo

The following post is intended for mature audiences only. Blogger discretion is advised.

The hawkarazzi in Tompkins Square Park have noted that it's mating season for Amelia and Christo, the two resident red-tailed hawks.

Goggla passed along these two photos from Monday...

Here's Goggla with more from a recent post:

We can expect to see an increase in mating activity over the next three or four weeks, with egg-laying expected in mid to late March.


As nesting season progresses, the hawks will be less tolerant of other hawks in their territory, and will chase them out of the area. Today, I saw both Christo and Amelia knock a curious squirrel out of their nest, so no visitors are allowed.

Steven shared these two photos from Saturday...

... and a minute later...

Amelia and Christo welcomed two chicks early last summer... unfortunately, one did not make it.

Kikoo bringing all-you-can-eat sushi to the former Papa John's outpost on 1st Avenue

It appears that Kikoo Sushi is moving on up First Avenue... the all-you-can-eat specialist is currently at 141 First Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

Steven spotted Kikoo signage in the front window a few blocks to the north at the former Papa John's outpost between 12th Street and 13th Street...

This Papa John's shuttered last fall after nearly eight years in business here.

Kikoo opened at No. 141 in 2015. This move is likely several months out — the interior is still set up as a pizzeria.

A 'new wave gay bar' for the Standard East Village

Out Magazine has a feature on chef Angela Dimayuga, the creative director of food and culture at The Standard International.

She has been working to relaunch narcbar inside the Standard East Village on Cooper Square at Fifth Street. According to Out, No Bar is Dimayuga's "boldest project to date."

Dimayuga reimagined the haunt as a "new age gay bar."* Trading the rainbow flags and kitschy tchotchkes of a typical West Village dive for banquettes upholstered with a custom cowhide print and a cocktail menu dotted with innuendos (one sipper is named "Spill the Tea"), she notes, "I want us to be chic. We deserve nice things."

But as a nightlife mainstay herself — Dimayuga throws a roving party called GUSH that centers lesbian and nonbinary femmes — she knows that, beyond any design tweaks she could make, queer and safer spaces are all about the folks who occupy them. With carefully curated programming and deliberate language about whom the space is for, she hopes to manifest a holdout where "the only rule is that it is inclusive and that it is a safe space for all types of folks."

No Bar debuts tonight.

* Updated: The No Bar fact sheet and Instagram account describe it as "a new wave gay bar," not "new age gay bar," per the quote in Out.

Updated 7 p.m.

Eater has a preview with more details here.

Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices coming to 2nd Avenue in Gramercy Park

An EVG reader shared this photo from several blocks outside the usual coverage zone ... showing that a Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices outpost is opening on Second Avenue between 21st Street and 22nd Street.

For now this appears to be the only Manhattan location for Ralph's, which got its start in Staten Island in 1928. There are multiple outposts on Long Island, Queens and in New Jersey. (Thanks to Shiv in the comments who pointed out that a Ralph's closed a few years back on 24th Street near Lexington.)

The Ralph's Instagram account notes this location will open in early March.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday's parting shot

Christo on the hunt early this evening in Tompkins Square Park... photo by Steven

Today in discarded 'Stomp' props

Workers at the Orpheum on Second Avenue were taking out the trash today — some banged-up garbage cans belonging to cast members of "Stomp," now in its 25th year here between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place...

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

The final days of Sidewalk

[Photo from Feb. 12]

Sidewalk Bar and Restaurant is winding down its 33 years on Avenue A and Sixth Street this week.

Staff is telling patrons that the last day of service is Feb. 23.

As I first reported on Dec. 10, hospitality vets Laura Saniuk-Heinig and Alyssa Sartor are taking over the space. (Saniuk-Heinig is the general manager at the Bar Room on East 60th Street; Sartor co-owned August Laura in Carroll Gardens.)

Many current Sidewalk fans are curious if the new owners will continue on with the nightly live music program, including the country's longest-running open-mic night.

In December, Saniuk-Heinig told me in an email that "we are looking forward to keeping the music aspect of the room still alive. Exactly what kinds of shows, we do not know yet." She also didn't know what the name will be moving forward.

In an email from early February, she said "Still working on the name and music aspect."

Meanwhile, as for the current Sidewalk, you can find the remaining (packed) music schedule here.. Saturday marks the final Sidewalk open mic. (Updated 2/20: Nick McManus captured some scenes from the final winter Antifolk Fest here.)

Sidewalk opened in the corner spot in 1985 ... eventually expanding to the space next door when Sophie's relocated to its current home on Fifth Street.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New owners set to take over the 33-year-old Sidewalk Bar & Restaurant on Avenue A

Crooked Tree closes after 20 years on St. Mark's Place

After 20 years of serving up crêpes and other cafe fare at 110 St. Mark's Place, Crooked Tree has closed here between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The closure came after service on Valentine's Day. (You can read their thank you to patrons on Facebook here.)

The owners of David's Cafe right next door were on this month's CB3-SLA agenda for a new liquor license for this space. The CB3 paperwork was on display outside the cafe in recent weeks...

Crooked Tree owner Daniel Rivera is also a partner in David's Cafe. Not sure at the moment what they have planned for the former Crooked Tree. The questionnaire on file at the CB3 website (PDF here) doesn't contain too many revealing details.

A new marquee for Webster Hall

Webster Hall will have a new marquee when it reopens this spring.

So far, this is the only noticeable change to the exterior of the landmarked building on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue ...

The previous Webster Hall marquee became partially dislodged from the front of the building in February 2018...

[Photo in February 2018 by Michael Giacoppi]

Workers blocked off the street and secured the sagging sign with a sidewalk bridge...

The new Webster Hall owners made the surprise spring-return announcement at the beginning of the year. Previous estimates had been for 2020. Still, no word on an official opening-night date or subsequent first act. (One EVG tipster heard the venue will reopen in late April.)

Webster Hall closed in August 2017. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and The Bowery Presents bought the landmarked building from the Ballinger family for $35 million in a deal announced in the spring of 2017. The Bowery Presents will be booking the shows here moving forward.

The new ownership filed permits in December 2017 for interior demolition and structural work to renovate the facility and make it ADA compliant. The city approved those permits in March 2018.

As previously reported, the Washington, D.C.-based Martinez+Johnson Architecture (now part of OTJ Architects) is behind the interior makeover. Per their website, the firm brings "their design sensitivities to cultural arts and institutional projects." Their work includes the restoration of the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn and the Boston Opera House.

The building has been around since 1886. It re-opened as Webster Hall in October 1992 after the Ballinger family purchased and renovated the space that was known as The Ritz during the 1980s.

Previously on EV Grieve:
When Webster Hall reopens, there might be a Moxy Hotel across the street

First sign of upcoming renovations at the former Webster Hall

Permits filed to renovate Webster Hall

The Webster Hall marquee looks to be in danger of falling

Plywood arrives at Webster Hall

C&B Cafe now part of new venture taking over the former Cafe Orlin space on St. Mark's Place

In its in its fall preview last September, New York magazine wrote about Joya Loves Louie, a vegetarian cafe-market-bar combo expected to open in the former Café Orlin space at 39-41 St. Mark's Place east of Second Avenue.

Apparently chef Joya Carlton, whose résumé includes the Orchard Grocer, is not part of the new establishment, which now goes by Paper Daisy.

And as several EVG readers (thanks to everyone for the photos) have pointed out in recent weeks outside the small space adjacent to the cafe... there's a C&B sign here...

Ali Sahin, chef-owner of C&B Cafe at 178 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, said that the space at 39 St. Mark's Place will be a new C&B outpost for takeout only... and he is continuing on with the Seventh Street location, which recently turned 4.

Meanwhile, the signage is up for Paper Daisy. (Will update when more information about it becomes available.) There's an Eventbrite notice for a launch party at Paper Daisy on March 5 for a "Daisy Jones & The Six" book.

[Photo yesterday by EVG reader Brian I. Oxman]

Cafe Orlin closed in October 2017 after 36 years at the address.

Previously on EV Grieve:
1st sign of activity at the former Cafe Orlin space on St. Mark's Place

No trespassing (or hunting or fishing) at the former Cafe Orlin

Cafe Orlin will close after 36 years in business (34 comments)

Report: Danny Meyer is closing Martina on 11th Street

In case you missed this from back on Friday, Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group announced that it is closing Martina, the high-profile pizzeria on 11th Street at Third Avenue, Eater first reported.

March 31 24 is the last day. In a statement, Meyer said that "despite numerous efforts to turn around Martina's financial performance around ... we were not able to succeed at developing a large enough audience to sustain the business."

In December, Meyer and Co. changed up formats for this offshoot of Marta, switching from a quick-serve format to table service. (The pizza reviews had been so-so.)

Martina opened in August 2017 in a newly created space at 55 Third Ave., aka Eleventh and Third, the 12-floor residential building on the corner.

Monday, February 18, 2019

[Updated] Under St. Marks won't be available for the Frigid Festival, which starts on Wednesday night

[EVG photo from 2017]

Updated 2/20: Shows scheduled for Under St. Marks will now be at the IATI Theater at 64 E. Fourth St.

The annual Frigid Festival gets underway on Wednesday at several East Village venues. Unfortunately, Erez Ziv, Frigid's artistic director, has learned that one of the main venues for Frigid, Under St. Marks, 94 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue, isn't available now.

Ziv and company are currently searching for new venues to keep the festival going as planned...

Under St. Marks has operated here as an experimental theater space since the 1970s. Under St. Marks is currently operated by the Horse Trade Theater Group.

Meanwhile, there aren't any new work permits on file with the city for 94 St. Mark's Place that might shed light on the scope of work necessary in the basement space.

9th Precinct hosting a Build the Block meeting Thursday evening for Sector B

If you're planning your week out... the 9th Precinct is hosting another Sector Safety Summit for East Village residents and business owners. The next one is scheduled for Thursday evening for those in Sector B.

This Sector encompasses the north side of Seventh Street to 14th Street, from the east side of First Avenue to the east...

Per the NYPD: "This is an avenue for you to voice your grievances or concerns with issues in and around the neighborhood."

Find the sectors and the responsible officers here. Use this map to find out what Sector you're in, and what meeting you should attend.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and the meeting will start promptly at 7 p.m. in the the Tanya Towers Community Residence, 620 E. 13th St. between Avenue B and Avenue C.


NY news anchor Chris Williamson came across this scene on a Bed-Stuy sidewalk last week...

Apparently there's some sort of copyrat in the works... which might explain this discovery today in Tompkins Square Park...

An anniversary for McSorley's

McSorley's is celebrating their 165th anniversary this weekend (officially Feb. 17) over at 15 E. Seventh St. near Cooper Square.

The bar opened in 1854 with the tagline Drunk - Drunk - Sawdust - Drunk, as local historian Pinhead once noted. (This old EVG post has a few other fake comments about McSorley's opening.)

Photo via @NYCGO

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday's parting shot

Photo on the Bowery by Lola Sáenz...

Week in Grieview

[Avenue A]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

After the last call: East Village photographer captures bars at dawn (Thursday)

Concern over potential air-rights transfer for new office building on St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue (Tuesday) ... The lobbyists behind the air-rights transfer and zoning variance for 3 St. Mark's Place (Wednesday)

Here's how to reserve free tickets for the Basquiat exhibit opening next month at the Brant Foundation on 6th Street (Monday)

Jerry's New York Central is closing on 4th Avenue (Monday)

Patti Smith, John Zorn and Jim Jarmusch headline tribute to Jonas Mekas at City Winery (Friday)

UCB East has closed; what's next for their space on Avenue A and 3rd Street? (Monday)

SMØR now serving Nordic fare on 12th Street (Friday)

Raising awareness of the vacant storefronts in the East Village (Tuesday)

Craft+Carry outpost slated for 116 St. Mark's Place (Monday)

Patisserie Florentine has closed on 10th Street (Thursday)

Explosion-site condoplex now in the pile-driving phase on 2nd Avenue (Monday)

Bookstore trends we like to see (Monday)

MTA releases more details on the new L-train rehab plan (Thursday)

Virginia's reopens after December fire next door (Monday)

Your 'Russian Doll' reader (Sunday)

Attention Kmart drinkers... (Tuesday)

No one seems to want to keep these historic Anglo-Italianate townhouses on 10th Street (Wednesday)

The write stuff? Short Stories debuts on the Bowery (Monday)

KC Gourmet Empanadas debuts on Avenue B (Friday)

Two new quick-service options for Houston and Allen: pizza and gyros (Thursday)

Melt Shop makes way back to 4th Avenue (Tuesday)

The Marshal serves notice at Tapanju Turntable on 4th and B (Tuesday)

Donosita on Avenue B is for lease (Wednesday)


The Patti Smith/Punk mural arrived last July on Second Street at First Avenue... it was tagged, and stayed that way for months...

... and it was cleaned off this past week...


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