Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with free concerts at these 2 East Village community gardens

[Albert's Garden]

To celebrate the summer solstice tomorrow (Thursday!), several community gardens across the city are hosting free concerts as part of Make Music New York.

Two East Village gardens are part of the official list (via the EVG inbox):

Albert’s Garden, 16 E. Second St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery

This year we welcome back Just (Jazz) Friends, a New York City-based ensemble playing vocal and instrumental jazz standards focused on the American Songbook, with occasional forays into Pop/R&B classics from the 1960s and 1970s.

Albert’s Garden, started in 1971, is one of the oldest community gardens in Manhattan ... it features a goldfish pond and a striking wall mural by the Belgian street artist Roa.

Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Le Petit Versailles Garden, 346 E. Houston St. near Avenue C

Listen to live, improvised music played in conversation with “Lost Notes From Home” — a superimposed video and 16mm filmed vignettes produced by Mark Street, whose work has appeared in the Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals.

NYOBS is playing from 4:15 to 5:30. NYOBS is Michael Cacciatore, Peter Cramer, John Michael Swartz and Jack Waters. An alternative experimental free association "kitchen" band born at Punk Island 2014.

Time: 4-9 p.m.

This link has the full list, including some gardens on the LES.

Report of a fire at 110 2nd Ave.

There was a report of a fire early this evening at 110 Second Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street... at the landmarked Isaac T. Hopper House, which serves the Women's Prison Association as a halfway house.

Despite a large FDNY response, there wasn't a mention of it on the Department's official Twitter feed.

Thanks to Duke Todd for the photo!

The warm and fuzzies in Tompkins Square Park

Christo and Amelia's two 2018 offspring are going on 3 weeks old now... Steven shared this photo, showing two fuzzy hawklets peering out from the nest...

Head over to Goggla's site for more photos, including some impressive hawklet wingspan shots.

Report: AG selects management firm to oversee Steve Croman's real-estate holdings

The State Attorney General has reportedly selected Michael Besen’s New York City Management to oversee Steve Croman's real-estate empire, which includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.

As the Commercial Observer first reported yesterday, New York City Management, a division of Besen & Associates, will operate Croman’s Manhattan portfolio for five years.

Part of Croman's settlement agreement included identifying an independent property management company for his residential properties, overseen by 9300 Realty.

Per the Observer:

The AG selected NYC Management after rejecting two other companies that Croman proposed, [an AG] spokeswoman indicated. She didn’t know the date NYC Management was selected, but said tenants were notified of the decision in April.

During the period when NYC Management is running the buildings, Croman may only have “incidental interaction with tenants of the subject properties,” as per a December 2017 consent decree.

According to a media advisory from the AG's office last December:

The independent management company will oversee operations and institute new policies at the Croman properties to ensure full compliance with the law and correction of all past violations. It will also post a comprehensive set of Tenants Rights in every building it manages.

The monitor will provide quarterly reports to the Attorney General, which will include at minimum any complaints received from tenants and actions taken; the total number of rent-regulated apartments that became deregulated during the reporting period, the reason for deregulation, and all supporting documents; and the monitor’s assessment as to whether Croman has complied with the consent decree.

Croman recently spent eight months in jail for mortgage fraud. His civil case ended in December when he agreed to pay $8 million to the tenants he was accused of bullying out of their rent-regulated apartments.

Last month, residents in two LES buildings that Croman owns said that maintenance issues and neglect of the properties had gotten worse while he was in prison, as The Lo-Down reported.

Besen will take control of the Croman properties on July 1, per the Observer.

Perhaps Besen will collect the back rent that Ben Shaoul owes Croman on Avenue B.

E Smoke Shop will remain on St. Mark's Place

The E Smoke Shop will continue keeping you in lottery tickets, cheap cigars and water pipes on St. Mark's Place... signage is up on the shop on Third Avenue at St. Mark's Place announcing their upcoming move down the block toward Second Avenue ...

E Smoke Shop is vacating ahead of the demolition of this corner. As previously reported, a seven-story, 66,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail is slated for this property. Permits were filed on March 15 to remove the low-rise buildings at 3 St. Mark’s Place, 23 and 25-27 Third Avenue.

The E Smokers arrived in early 2014, taking over New Corner Magazine (or King's Magazine).

And a quick flashback (to before 2009) for a look at DJ Lenny M's Music World, the mix-tape emporium that had a kiosk on the Third Avenue side...

You can find DJ Lenny M on Facebook these days.

Previously on EV Grieve:
What happened to DJ Lenny M?

Report: Northeast corner of St. Mark's Place and 3rd Ave. fetching $50 million for development site

Report: NE corner of St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue will yield to a 7-story office building

Demolition permits filed for northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

End is nearing for the businesses on the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

ICYMI: Art bookstores are 'alive and well' here

The New York Times Style Magazine on Sunday took notice of the recent art bookstore additions in the neighborhood ... a piece titled "The New York Neighborhood Where the Art Bookstore Is Alive and Well" takes a look at Codex on Bleecker at the Bowery ... Karma on Third Street ... the relocated Mast on Avenue A ... and the incoming Printed Matter at the Swiss Institute on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

The lead...

The alternative art scene found a home in the East Village in the early 1980s. Artist-run collectives and unconventional exhibition spaces started to fill the empty storefronts; before long, however, the slept-on real estate became bank branches and chain coffee shops. But, as of late, the East Village has been reclaiming its reputation as a cultural haven with a series of new independent art bookstores.

This is the link.

And there is one baffling passage in the article ... in the section about Mast (h/t Dave on 7th)...

In 2010 [Brian Leitgeb] and his wife, James McKee, opened Mast Books in Alphabet City, built around a few large and extraordinary personal book collections he had purchased. And last week, Mast moved to a larger location just down the block, marking its official entrée into the East Village.

Blue Quarter debuts in the back of Local 92 on 2nd Avenue

A rather hidden new 35-seat bar serving tea-infused cocktails opened last evening in the back (through the blue door) of Local 92, the Middle Eastern restaurant at 92 Second Ave. between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.

Blue Quarter, which occupies previously unused space at Local 92, is run by Max Green and Sother Teague, who worked at Amor y Amargo on Sixth Street at Avenue A.

Here's part of Eater's preview:

At Blue Quarter, Green pivots from bitters to tea cocktails. One called Unfinished Story incorporates matcha, coconut, lime oil, and tequila, while a Soon to Ripen includes earl grey tea, coconut water, paprika, and scotch. Black tea and mint tea also make appearances, and one drink arrives in a vintage tea pot. All of the nine cocktails are $15, and a few wines and beers round out the drinks.

Blue Quarter is open Tuesday-Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight; until 1 a.m. on Friday-Saturday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NYPD seeking info on this missing man, last seen on 10th Street

The 9th Precinct just released this info on a missing person...

Video: Father John Mistry's early-morning stroll through the East Village

The video for Father John Misty's song "God's Favorite Customer" came out today... it's the title track from his new album, out now on Sub Pop and Bella Union.

And the video is set entirely in the East Village, with a forlorn-looking Misty (aka Josh Tillman) slowly making his way from Seventh Street and Avenue A to Third Street and the Bowery.

If you want some analysis of the song and video, directed by his wife Emma Elizabeth Tillman, then you can head over to Stereogum.

H/T Jon!

This 3-story building on 6th Street is for sale (air rights included)

There's a new listing for 743 E. Sixth St., a three-story building between Avenue C and Avenue D.

According to the listing, the property is vacant ... and features a garage-studio on the ground level (the former Manny's Auto Repair) ... and a single-family residence on the second and third floors. (This PDF of the property includes some interior shots.)

Per Cushman & Wakefield: "This is a perfect opportunity for a user or developer. There are also 4,430 square feet of air rights available allowing for a buyer to build up and/or extend back."

Asking price: $4.5 million.

New playground at P.S. 19 now ready for action

The official opening of the revamped playground at P.S. 19 on First Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street took place yesterday morning.

As noted in the previous post on the renovation:

The playground will feature a synthetic turf field, a painted track, play equipment, trees, a garden area with an outdoor classroom, a green-roof gazebo, junior basketball, benches, game tables, student art and an outdoor ping-pong table.

It was designed as a green infrastructure playground, and will capture hundreds of thousands of gallons of stormwater each year.

The playground is open to the community until dusk, after school and on weekends and holidays — just not when in use by P.S. 19 or any of their after-school programs.

This all-new playground happened with funding by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and (now-former) City Council member Rosie Mendez in conjunction with the Trust for Public Land.

[Click on image for more detail]

Previously on EV Grieve:
More details on the all-new playground coming to P.S. 19

Bad 'Neighbors' at First Street Green Art Park?

The Daily News reports that 52 out of 86 of the four-by-five-feet portraits in the Neighbors exhibit along East Houston Street have been tagged in recent weeks.

Neighbors features Americans representing all 50 states taken by photographer John Raymond Mireles ... the portraits went up on April 28 from First Avenue to Second Avenue at First Street Green Art Park.

"I expected some vandalism though admittedly not on this scale," Mireles told the Daily News. He admitted that his "heart sinks" from the tagging.

"It’s not what I hoped for, but it’s part of this artistic experiment.

"I could have done this show in a gallery,” he added. "Being outside, the exhibit invites and allows engagement. As an artist, my goal is to provoke thought and jump-start conversations that lead to action. That my artwork is altered in service of stimulating dialogue is a small price to pay."

And of the 52 tagged portraits, only one of them features a red penis...

The really for-real Target signage has arrived at EVGB

There is it is... here on 14th Street and Avenue A ... in the corner space of Extell Development's EVGB — the "East Village's Greatest Building."

Vinny & O shared these photos...

This small-format Target opens on July 21.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The for-real Target signage has arrived at EVGB

A Perfect spot for a dental office on 4th Street

A dental center is coming soon to the medical offices at 97-101 E. Fourth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... here's the signage for Perfect Dental Care ...

No word on when Perfect may apply for a beer-wine license... just to pair with the sedation...

This office condo space has been on the sales market for $6.5 million.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday's parting shot

A moment at Lui's Thai Food, 128 E. Fourth St. Photo by Derek Berg.

The 9th Precinct's monthly Community Council Meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday!) night

The 9th Precinct's Community Council meetings take place on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. ... at the 9th Precinct, 321 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

A Small Business Breakfast for East Village merchants

Tomorrow morning, the Cooper Square Committee and the East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) are hosting a Small Business Breakfast ... details via the EVG inbox...

Join us for breakfast and learn about available services and resources useful to your business.

As part of their work, Cooper Square Committee has joined with EVIMA to offer support and protection to independent small businesses

• Advocate for commercial tenants' rights
• Connect small businesses to high-quality free legal services
• Sponsor the annual Taste of East Village Festival
• Innovate small business policy with a city wide coalition of partners

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Cooper Square Committee HQ, 61 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Find more details here. RSVP here.

Reminders tonight: CB3 presentation on the proposed condoplex for 119 2nd Ave.

Tonight, CB3's Landmarks Committee will review an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the new residential building proposed at 119-121 Second Ave. — the site of the deadly gas explosion site from March 2015.

You can read my previous post about the 7-story, 21-unit condoplex here.

[Rendering of 119-121 2nd Ave.]

Ahead of the meeting, amNew York asked Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), for his thoughts on the structure, which would rise in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District.

"It looks a little bit more like a new building on Bond Street or in SoHo than something that would necessarily make sense in an East Village historical district."


"The proposed design doesn’t do anything to mark or reflect that there was this terrible disruption on this site before."

Berman believes there's a way to make "a nod or gesture to the tragic event."

CB3's Landmarks Committee hears the proposal before it eventually heads to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. The CB3 meeting starts at 6:30 tonight at Grace Church School, 46 Cooper Square. There will be time for public comment on the project...

[Photo by Dave on 7th]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Dedicating Moises Locón Way and Nicholas Figueroa Way on 2nd Avenue at 7th Street

Soil testing underway at the 2nd Avenue explosion site

Here's the 1st look at the new building proposed for the 2nd Avenue explosion site

Nai Tapas Bar moving from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue

[Photo by Lola Sáenz]

Nai Tapas Bar has announced its plans to move this summer from its spot of eight years at 174 First Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street...

... to 85 Second Ave. at Fifth Street, the former home of Bareburger.

The owners of Nai Tapas Bar will appear before CB3's SLA committee tonight for a new liquor license at Second Avenue. (You can find their questionnaire online here.)

Their proposed hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; until midnight on Friday-Saturday. The Sunday hours are listed as 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The configuration shows 35 tables seating 111 people. (There's also a five-seat bar.)

There isn't any mention on the questionnaire if Nai will continue on with their live flamenco shows, which happen twice a night on Thursdays and Saturdays. As one block association leader said, "The show is amplified, and in its current form could be disruptive if performed on the second floor of 85 Second Ave." According to the Nai Tapas Bar questionnaire on the CB3 website, "noise will be carefully monitored." (This comment is not specifically referencing the flamenco shows — rather the overall ambiance.)

The CB3-SLA meeting is tonight at 6:30 in the Public Hotel, 17th Floor, Sophia Room, 215 Chrystie St. between Houston and Stanton.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bareburger is leaving 2nd Avenue; new outpost slated for Orchard Street

Moving day for Bareburger

Incoming: Gala on 3rd Avenue, Nunoodle Noodle + Bar on 1st Avenue

Here's a quick look at two more of the applicants on this month's CB3-SLA meeting agenda...


A Chinese restaurant called Gala is in the works for the former Blue 9 Burger space at 92 Third Ave. between 12th Street and 13th Street.

The applicants are seeking a beer-wine license. The questionnaire (find it at the CB3 website here) lists 15 tables accommodating 30 guests along with a five-seat bar. The proposed hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday; until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The CB3-SLA meeting is tonight at 6:30 in the Public Hotel, 17th Floor, Sophia Room, 215 Chrystie St. between Houston and Stanton.


We got a partial reveal back in April at what's coming to the under-renovation 130 First Ave., the former Rainbow Music just south of St. Mark's Place.

According to the application on the CB3 website (PDF here), the owners of Nunoodle Noodle + Bar on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst are opening an outpost on First Avenue.

The paperwork shows a restaurant with seven tables seating 20 guests with proposed daily hours of 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The applicants were on the agenda for the June 11 SLA committee meeting (a beer-wine license), though they were not required to appear before the board.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Rainbow Music shop will be a Chinese restaurant

Hot Kitchen will no longer offer deliveries

If you've walked by Hot Kitchen on Second Avenue near Sixth Street in the past few days, then you likely noticed the above sign on the restaurant's front door...


We have been providing authentic Sichuan food to our dearest patrons for over 7 years and pride ourselves in Sichuan culture. We are now excited to introduce you to 2 great symbols of Sichuan cuisine:


Sichuan Street Kebabs

These dishes give you the option of selecting from a various range of barebecue skewers of seasoned meats and vegetables or you can order seasoned meats and vegetables that you can cook in a spciy broth. This will be available for order all day, but due to the interactive mode of preparing this meal it will not be available for pick up or delivery.

While we revamped our menu we decided to keep the most popular options from our best value daily lunch specials for dine in and pick up between 12-4:30 pm. We regret to inform you that HOT KITCHEN will no longer be offering delivery serivces.

We look forward to being the first to serve you traditional Sichuan, ChuanChuanXiang and Sichuan Street Kebabs and introducing you to a new flavor of China.

Interesting (and bold?) move ... unless deliveries didn't make up much of their overall revenue and/or they didn't want to keep using third-party restaurant delivery services that take fees and commissions.

Thanks to Perri Silver for the photo!

Ben Shaoul owes Steve Croman some back rent on Avenue B

In recent months, 44 Avenue B was in use as a sales office for Liberty Toye, Ben Shaoul's condo conversion a few blocks away at Fifth Street.

In early May, The Real Deal reported that Shaoul was in contract to sell the former nursing home for $85 million. The Liberty Toye sales office was vacated around that time.

Now, as several EVG readers have pointed out, there are legal documents taped to the empty storefront between Third Street and Fourth Street ... stating that Shaoul's Magnum Real Estate Group owes the rent dating back to March...

The Five Day Notice from the landlord, Steve Croman's 9300 Realty, shows that Shaoul owes the $9,300 base rent for March through June ... for a total of $41,345.91...

Shaoul has until Friday to pay or "surrender up the possession of said premises to the Landlord," the recently-released-from-prison Croman.

Shaoul and Croman are among the downtown landlords that elected officials, tenant advocates and residents often cite as the most aggressive in harassing tenants, as multiple published reports have noted through the years (here ... here ... here ... and here, as examples).

In 2012, Shaoul reportedly paid $25 million for the 240-bed Cabrini Nursing Center — which provided health care for low-income elderly residents in the East Village — and eventually closed it down for use as a residential building.

No word on who the new buyer is for 62 Avenue B.

Cherry Tavern cherry-free for now

[EVG photo from 2010]

Last July, the Cherry Tavern on Sixth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue turned blue...

[Photo by Goggla]

And now, the bar has returned to its pre-blue look, though without the cherries on top out front...

No word if they will return to the bar's exterior. The Cherry Tavern opened here in 1975 — happy 43rd summer!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Week in Grieview

[Photo on St. Mark's Place yesterday by Christine Champagne]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Here's the 1st look at the new building proposed for the 2nd Avenue explosion site (Tuesday)

NYPD looking for suspect who robbed woman in 13th Street building (Thursday)

Help for Juan Carlo, the flower vendor at Bueno East Mart on Avenue A (Tuesday)

Lancelotti Housewares expands on Avenue A (Monday)

So long to the 3 rhinos (Wednesday)

NIKO East Village debuts on Avenue D and 6th Street (Wednesday)

The latest NY See (Thursday)

Mysterious 84 2nd Ave. sells again, this time for $7.8 million (Thursday)

Papilles now open on 7th Street (Thursday)

Flowers inside skateboard planter on 7th Street destroyed (Wednesday)

Tarallucci e Vino East Village reopens after a months-long renovation (Wednesday)

News roundup: Feds say that the NYCHA covered up public housing dangers for years (Monday)

More about Sauce Pizzeria, opening later this summer on 12th Street (Thursday)

A vigil for Yemen at Tompkins Square Park (Saturday)

Report: Tokyo-based yakitori restaurant with a Michelin star coming to Elizabeth Street (Wednesday)

The EVG podcast (Friday)

Blank slate at the Bowery Mural Wall (Tuesday)

Six months of inactivity at 75 1st Ave. (Tuesday)

The 7 restaurants that have closed on the Bowery in the past year (Monday)

[Mermaid Parade practice in Tompkins Square Park via Derek Berg]

Bushwick-based chef looking to bring Short Stories to the Bowery (Friday)

Wax off: Mr. Moustache has closed on 14th Street (Monday)

Silky Kitchen set for 13th Street (Monday)

About halfway there at the incoming Moxy East Village (Monday)

Blue out at former Citibank branch on Avenue A (Thursday)


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10th Street's role in the worst mob movie ever made

[Photo in February 2017 by Daniel]

As you likely recall from February 2017, crews filmed scenes for "Gotti," the biopic starring John Travolta (above, to the left of the open door!) on 10th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

"Gotti," directed by "Entourage" star Kevin Connolly, was finally released on Friday ... and it arrived DOA. (Opening weekend box office tally here.) The film is currently enjoying a quite rare 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The Post thought it was so bad, it blurbed the review on the cover yesterday...

With these notices, "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is no longer the worst movie ever filmed on 10th Street.

[Photo from the Union Square Regal Cinema]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Mob scene on 10th Street as 'Gotti' crew and John Travolta hold forth

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday's parting shots

Happy early Father's Day from a discarded mattress on Avenue C and 9th Street ... photos by Bobby Williams...

Almost Solstice tomorrow at the Green Oasis Community Garden

Celebrate the almost solstice tomorrow (Sunday!) with the "Almost Solstice Event" at the Green Oasis Community Garden on Eighth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D. There may even be music!

Enjoy part of your Saturday at the New York City Marble Cemetery

It's an Open Day today from noon until 6 p.m. at the New York City Marble Cemetery on Second Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue ...

A vigil for Yemen at Tompkins Square Park

Today from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a group of activists will hold a vigil on Avenue A at St. Mark's Place to raise awareness of the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. (The group had been holding the weekly vigils in Union Square, and recently moved to Tompkins Square Park.)

Felton Davis, one of the organizers, provided some background:

At the weekly vigil for the people of Yemen, we display signs about children starving or dying of cholera. This past week, as the battle for the port city of Hodeidah began, people started saying that the situation in Yemen was an emergency.

But for a whole year — mostly at Union Square and now at Tompkins Square Park — we have been saying that it's an emergency. Delegations of activists have descended upon the offices of elected officials, and tried to get through to them that it's an emergency. Fifteen of us blocked the UN missions of Saudi Arabia and the United States on Human Rights Day in December, and were arrested, saying that it's an emergency.

When will the emergency be over, when Yemen ceases to exist as a nation, and is carved up by whoever prevails in the war? Is there any sort of less drastic way that the emergency could be dealt with? What room is there in all this for compassion — neutral compassion — and respect for the value of human life?

For further reading:
The Next Disaster in Yemen, The Atlantic

Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Yemen After Attack on Port, The New York Times

What Happens if Mass Starvation Takes Hold in Yemen?, The New York Times