Tuesday, January 24, 2017

At Ray's 84th birthday celebration at Ray's Candy Store last night

[Photo last night by Peter Brownscombe]

Ray Alvarez, the proprietor of Ray's Candy Store at 113 Avenue A, turns 84 this month.

And once again several of Ray's friends/regulars celebrated his birthday inside the shop between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

In a break from the more burlesque tradition, there was a Persian-themed event last night paying tribute to Ray's Middle-Eastern roots ... the evening included a reading from the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám," a variety of Middle-Eastern food and a belly dancer named Amanda.

EVG correspondent Stacie Joy shared a few photos...

This is the 10th anniversary for a birthday extravaganza at Ray's. Check out Bob Arihood's photos from Ray's 74th birthday bash here.

Updated 11:30 a.m.

Here's a shot via EVG regular jdx ...

Construction watch: 127 Avenue D

The first sign of the new building coming to 127 Avenue D is now visible above the plywood here near Ninth Street.

As previously reported, plans call for a 7-story mixed-use building via developer H Holding Group. The approved permits show 13 dwelling units with a commercial space on the ground floor.

[A look through the blogger portal]

Here's the plywood rendering...

And the color version via the H Holding Group website...

[RIP Wacky Wok]

The previous building here was a one-level structure that housed Sergio Deli Superette.

Previously on EV Grieve:
On Avenue D, Sergio Deli Superette will yield to a 7-story building

A winterized Bowery Market, now down to 3 vendors

[Photos from Saturday]

The Bowery Market opened to great fanfare this past July ... the open-air food market at 348 Bowery and Great Jones was billed as a year-round destination. This past Friday, workers finally winterized the space that features several quick-serve kiosks with several stools at each food stand...

The Market opened with five vendors — Alidoro, Champion Coffee, The Butcher's Daughter, Pulqueria and Sushi on Jones... and at the moment, they are down to three.

A note on the The Butcher's Daughter website says they are closed for the winter. They shut down last fall with "closed for renovations" notices. This coincided with a visit by the DOH, who ordered the restaurant closed for several "critical violations," including "Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred."

Meanwhile, Champion Coffee has not been open in recent weeks... paper covers the windows...

The space looks to have been cleared out... and the Bowery Market is no longer listed as a location on the Champion Coffee website...

Meanwhile, for the remaining vendors, the listed hours are daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sushi on Jones received a positive review from the Times back in the fall. And we've heard from several people who say they like the sandwiches at Alidoro.

The address had been without a full-time tenant since Downtown Auto & Tire left in April 2012.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Please meet the next corner of the Bowery primed for something luxurious

Downtown Auto & Tire has left the Bowery

Rumors: 348 Bowery will house new food market

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday's parting shot

Avenue B between Seventh Street and Eighth Street late this afternoon by Bobby Williams...


After this weekend, the Van Gogh mural on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue now has a runny nose.

The São Paulo-based artist Sipros created this here last May.

Developers pitching the city tomorrow for 4 more floors at former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

[Rendering on the plywood on 14th Street]

As we first reported last May, reps for the new development at 432-438 E. 14th St. are lobbying to receive a zoning variance for a 12-story building — four more floors than the area's zoning allows.

Last summer, Community Board 3's Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee issued a denial to the developers (Benenson Capital Partners in association with the Mack Real Estate Group).

They'll make their case tomorrow afternoon before the city's Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to allow their planned development to be more than 50 percent taller than the zoning for the site allows. (Community Boards only have an advisory vote.)

Per previous reports, the site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office between Avenue A and First Avenue "is burdened by a combination of unique conditions that result in practical difficulties in complying with the applicable zoning regulations." (Groundwater has been an issue at other nearby development sites, such as 500 and 524 E. 14th St. Those developers did not seek a variance.)

Crews have been in the pit in recent months dewatering the foundation...

There is opposition to the expanded building from CB3 members, residents and community groups. Here's a statement via the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

Like local Community Board #3 and many residents, GVSHP opposes the proposal for the building as woefully out of context for this East Village site. We also believe that the arguments for the variance, claiming a “hardship” based upon “unique circumstances,” are bogus, and would open the floodgates to a slew of oversized developments on sites throughout our neighborhoods with similar conditions.

GVSHP reps will be attending the meeting, and have distributed flyers with information about the hearing (find more details here)...

The current approved plans show an 8-story building with 114 residences (23 affordable, 91 market rate) and ground-floor retail. The 12-story version would feature 155 units, with 31 marked as "affordable." The residential entrance to the building will be on East 13th Street... while access to the storefronts will be on East 14th Street.

According to public records, the developers paid the powerful lobbying group Kasirer $80,000 last year to work on their behalf with city officials...

[Click for detail]

[Click for detail]

Reps for the developers gave this statement to Town & Village:

“We have been a part of the Lower East Side community for decades,” the statement read. “Very early in this BSA process, we met extensively with the community, heard their issues and in some instances made changes based on their comments and recommendations. We look forward to the BSA hearing and the opportunity to be heard on the merits of our application and remaining a part of this community for many decades to come.”

The Peter Stuyvesant Post Office, which had operated since 1953, shut down in February 2014. (Berenson has been the longtime landlord at the address.) The USPS is currently leasing the former Duane Reade at 333 E. 14th St. for retail services.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished

The former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office will yield to an 8-story residential building

New residential building at former 14th Street PO will feature a quiet lounge, private dining room

A look at the new building coming to the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office property

Report: CB3 wants alternatives for a larger 438 E. 14th St.

Pourt softly opens on Cooper Square

Pourt, a cafe and workspace, opened this past Friday at 35 Cooper Square at Sixth Street (in one of the retail spaces in the base of the Marymount Manhattan College dormitory).

[Photo Friday by @unitof]

For now, in this soft-open mode, only the cafe portion of the operation is up and running. They are serving Intelligentsia coffee and tea as well as offerings from Tompkins Square Bagels and Liquiteria, among others. (You can find the other vendors here.) They were also approved for a beer-wine license last summer.

There will also be a workspace for freelancers, students... and anyone else. The space has fiber-optic Internet connection and access to color printers. According to the Pourt website, a desk space (with a comfortable-looking chair) is $7 an hour, and an extra $2.99 gets you unlimited coffee, espresso or tea drinks. There's also a five-seat conference room available for rental. You can find more details here.

Pourt's hours are 7 a.m. to midnight.

No Malice Palace remains closed for now after the death of its owner

An EVG reader shared this... No Malice Palace, the bar on Third Street just west of Avenue B, remains closed...

It turns out that bar owner Phil Sherman died right before Thanksgiving 2016...

A note by the door and on the bar's Facebook page (on Jan. 12) note they will reopen "as soon as all legal formalities are completed and ownership is transferred."

The building, No. 197, hit the sales market in March 2016 for $7.5 million. According to public records, it sold to Northstar Properties last summer for $6.3 million. The seller is listed as an LLC c/o Simon Baron Development Group.

According to the original listing, No Malice Palace has a lease through December 2019. The bar opened in 1999.

For rent signage arrives at the former Sigmund Pretzel Shop space on Avenue B

Sigmund Pretzel Shop closed last October after seven years in business at 29 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street.

Meanwhile the for rent signs have just arrived. I'm curious how outrageous what the asking rent is... unfortunately, the listing (PDF here) at ABS Partners says that info is available upon request...

As for Sigmund's, their Urbanspace Vanderbilt location lives on in Midtown ... and the popular pretzels are on the menu of several restaurants in the city and sold via carts at various locations and events.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Photo on 7th Street yesterday by Susan Schiffman]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Staten Island pizzeria Joe & Pat’s taking over the Lanza's space on First Avenue (Wednesday)

Out and About with Eric Rignall, owner of Inkstop Tattoo, celebrating 20 years on Avenue A (Wednesday)

At the Women's March on NYC (Saturday)

New owner of 629 E. 5th St. offers tenants incentives to move out early (Tuesday)

New map offers look at area's civil rights and social justice history (Monday)

When there was a bank building on East Houston at Avenue A (Friday)

What are those green bicycle lights on Citi Bike? (Monday)

Two units hit the market at Poppy Lofts on Avenue B (Friday)

El Sol Brillante garden members collecting funds to repair their fence (Friday)

You will still have a few more seasons to enjoy the East Houston Reconstruction Project (Thursday)

The phone books are here (Tuesday)

Former beverage distributor on Second Street demolished to make way for 8-story condoplex (Tuesday)

Secara has not been open lately on Fourth Street (Thursday)

Sandwicherie New York yumming soon in former Fresh & Co. space on 4th Avenue (Tuesday)

Spanish street artists PichiAvo will bring "Urbanmythology" to the Bowery Graffiti Wall (Thursday)

Beer & Cigars replace Massage & Bodywork on Avenue B (Tuesday)

Construction watch: 688 Broadway, aka 1 Great Jones Alley (Thursday)


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Today's big crane action

Apparently some kind of cell tower removal/addition here on Sixth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. Or else there's another explanation...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday's parting shot

A view downtown earlier via Bobby Williams...

[Updated] At the Women's March on NYC

EVG correspondent Steven shares a few photos from along the Women's March on NYC route this afternoon...

Crowd estimates in NYC are at 200,000400,000-plus (see below) ... the route stretches from 47th Street and Second Avenue to the Trump Tower. There are reportedly hundreds of other marches in cities across the world ... "to march in support of equality and promote civil rights for every human."

And a few more photos via Steven...

And via Derek Berg...