Saturday, October 25, 2014

Citi Bike sale apparently a done deal

[Photo by Derek Berg]

According to various published reports, REQX Ventures has purchased Citi Bike from Alta Bicycle Share.

The sale will likely see the price of annual memberships rise from $95 to about $145, though that number has yet to be confirmed.

Per Capital New York, REQX Ventures is run by people affiliated with Related Companies — developer of the Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards — and its subsidiary Equinox.

Gracefully is no longer open 24 hours on Avenue A

You'll need to check the clock next time that you have an urge for a, say, Smokey The Bear or Uncle Alex sandwich at 4:30 a.m…. the market at 28 Avenue A between East Second Street and East Third Street has changed their hours.

As of last night, the new hours are:

Monday-Saturday 6 am - 11 pm
Sunday 7 am - 11 pm

We don't know why the store stopped its 24/7 times … lack of overnight business? A cost-cutting move?

[Thanks to EVG reader Katie Mac for the tip]

It is nice out

Thankfully there is social media for these kinds of observations…

[East 10th Street looking toward 2nd Avenue]

Zoltar continues his difficult transition on the left side of Gem Spa's front door

It has been less than a week since Zoltar got the boot from his two-plus-year spot on the right outside Gem Spa on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

While we're waiting for the auditing financials for his take this week to compare it to previous weeks … we can say, anecdotally, that he just doesn't look happy here.

And why? To have more room to see a few more bags and hats for raves?

And Key Master sucks.

Friday, October 24, 2014


The hand is starting to bloom on the northwest corner of Houston and Avenue A … via EVG reader Victoria...

Legends of the Fall

The Fall with "Totally Wired" from 1982. Totally.

Korilla BBQ is now officially open

After a test run in recent days, the food truckers at Korilla BBQ have opened their first restaurant at 23 Third Ave. near St. Mark's Place ... EVG reader Stephen Popkin stopped by for a look...

As we first noted, Korilla's interior includes an intricate illustration by lifelong East Village resident Terry Galmitz ...

You can check out the Korilla menu here ... we understand about 75 percent of the menu is available now as they continue to gear up...

Previously on EV Grieve:
23 Third Ave. getting its stripes

Korilla BBQ confirmed for Archie & Sons space

Updated: City deems 338 E. Sixth St. 'unsafe to occupy'

[Photo from Wednesday]

On Wednesday, the city put in a Vacate Order at 338 E. Sixth St., the building that has been undergoing a gut renovation these past 18 months.

Now more paperwork has arrived outside here between First Avenue and Second Avenue ... a partial vacate order with more details about the apparent danger...

As previously reported, Rory Denis, who has lived here since 1979, is the building's lone resident. He has been fighting to keep his rent-stabilized apartment during the 18 months of gut renovations.

Now he is out of a home... and Awash Ethiopian Restaurant in the commercial space is temporarily out of business.

According to the notice:

"The new metal staircase treads are not fully planked. Significant debris in apartment 4R impeding egress throughout all rooms. Falling debris from the facade of exposure #1 has caused an unsafe condition to the patrons of the restaurant ... These conditions have create [sic] a hazardous condition to the occupants and has therefore rendered Apartment 4R and Commercial Space unsafe to occupy."

Denis took landlord Nurjahan Ahmed to housing court last year after she switched off the electricity and water. Denis won the case in June 2013, which forced Ahmed to restore the services.

Given the history here, we can't imagine any scenario where this comes to a quick resolution.

Updated 5:30

EVG reader Michael Hirsch tells us that the Buildings Department issued a partial rescind of their order, allowing Awash to remain in the building and reopen tonight.

Photos by Michael Hirsch

Previously on EV Grieve:
Gut renovations enter 16th month at 338 E. Sixth St., where 1 tenant remains

Vacate order issued for East 6th Street building with lone resident

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

[Photo by Scuba Diva]

$250 fine for motorist accused of deliberately striking cyclist on Avenue B and East 13th Street (StreetsBlog)

Building issues at 544 E. 13th St. (The Villager)

AAA Ichiban Sushi latest Ben Shaoul-related closure on Orchard Street (BoweryBoogie)

"Eightiesville," nine minutes of 1980s NYC (Flaming Pablum)

8 p.m. at Lucy's (Eater)

Safety improvements for Delancey and Pitt (The Lo-Down)

Hell yes! INDUSTRIAL TERROR series at the Anthology through Halloween (Anthology Film Archives)

Checking out the various birds of NYC (Gog in NYC)

The old New York of the Oak Room (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

... and there's a rummage sale tomorrow at the Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish on East Ninth Street and Avenue B... all proceeds go to the church's soup kitchen and pantry...

Former Avenue A laundromat 'is perfect for anyone with an exciting hip concept for a bar or restaurant'

[EVG file photo]

Kim's Laundromat & Cleaners on the southeast corner of Avenue A and East 13th Street got rent hiked out of business at the end of July.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, brokers are peddling the space for a bar/restaurant.

Here's the pitch via Loop Net:

Former laundromat in the east village. Great corner space on 13th and Avenue A with 50 feet of frontage. Easily vented for a restaurant or bar. total build-out needed. Rent concession will be given for build-out, and will vary on a tenant to tenant basis. 1300 sf

Great corner in the East Village. Surrounded by college students, young professionals, and bar-hoppers, this space is perfect for anyone with an exciting hip concept for a bar or restaurant.

The space is going for $135 per square foot.

Good luck to the potential tenant securing a liquor license in a saturated zone with a business that has never previously had a liquor license…

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader report: Rent hike washes away longtime Avenue A laundromat

Via Della Pace temporarily closed 'due to a minor legal indiscretion'

[Photo via Seth Pollack]

There are a whole lot of legal documents attached to the door of Via Della Pace, the Italian cafe at 48 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The VERY BRIGHT RESTRAINING ORDER notes a "violation of Alcohol Beverage Control Law." So either someone under 21 got served… or maybe the person had a fake ID…

And management addresses the incident in a note on the door (in English and Italian)…

We regret to inform you that due to a minor legal indiscretion on our part, we will be closed TEMPORARILY.

We genuinely appreciate the love and atmosphere all our guests bring to vía della pace.

For 13 years we have been blessed to be part of this wonderful community, and we apologize for any lapse in judgement we may have had at the time of serving adult beverages to guests.

We have been open to welcome you all in the best and most difficult of times including during hurricane Sandy, and we will continue to show our loyalty. This is only a "bump" in the road along the way. We hope to serve you better and hold up to our standards of professionalism in the future.

We love you all and look forward to seeing you again very soon.

At least they aren't trying to hide it, noting that they are "closed for renovations" or something.

End of an Era: Rent hike KOs East 9th Street boutique

[Photo via Racked]

Grey Era, the 3-year-old boutique at 435 E. Ninth St., is closing next month.

"The building got sold and I got priced out — familiar story around here," owner Sierra Fromberg told us. (Jared Kushner bought the building back in the fall of 2012.)

Fromberg doesn't have any plans to relocate as of now.

Meanwhile, everything must go at the shop between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

"I am officially closing as of Nov. 16 unless everything sells before then, including all clothing and furniture," said Fromberg. (You can head to the store's Facebook page or Instagram account for details on sale items.)

And as for the neighborhood…

"I have loved more than anything the true sense of community that is unique to the East Village," she said. "Having grown up in the city, I have lived and worked in almost every neighborhood, and nowhere comes close to feeling so much like a little family as it does here."

New building renderings we'd like to see

Also, La Plaza Cultural is having a handful of Halloween-related activities for kids next week here at East Ninth Street and Avenue C... details to follow...

La Plaza Cultural photos by Bobby Williams

Pinks 242 officially opens tonight

[Image via Facebook]

Pinks 242 has its grand opening tonight at 242 E. 10th St. just west of First Avenue (in the space that previously housed Company Bar and Grill).

Owner Avi Burn described the place to us as a "neighborhood bar featuring a fine food-truck inspired food menu, craft beer, fresh cocktails with great music and live entertainment."

What kind of live entertainment? Tonight features "a two-man acoustic guitar duo described as outlaw country. Other entertainment will be similar — stripped-down versions of full live acts spanning across different blues-based genres."

As for that food-truck food, he said that he puts a strong emphasis on quality ... serving it with "restaurant standards."

Burn, who lives on the same block as Pinks, started his nightlife career as a bartender before going to work in management for corporations such as the Ian Schrager Group and China Grill Management.

"This is my own concept independent of any prior venture relationships," he said.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Report: Kevin McEnroe bought baking soda, not cocaine, last summer on 4th Street and Avenue A

Back in July, police arrested Kevin McEnroe, the son of tennis legend John McEnroe and Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal, on East Fourth Street and Avenue A during a drug deal.

Now the Daily News reports that McEnroe was "sold baking soda when he thought he was buying cocaine."

Following his arrest, he was also found with 20 oxycodone pills and another 10 morphine tablets, per the Daily News.

And what does this mean?

McEnroe’s case will be dismissed and sealed if he stays out of trouble for six months and completes a treatment program at Hazelden, which will wrap around Nov. 20.

“Don’t commit any new offense or get rearrested,” Judge Lisa Sokoloff warned the 28-year-old Gowanus resident at the Manhattan Criminal Court hearing.

Morning commute

Second Avenue this morning via Derek Berg

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

[Photo by Derek Berg]

102 Suffolk St. had nearly 3,000 times legal lead limit (DNAinfo)

How can New York stop the City's worst landlords? (Runnin' Scared)

The history of 338-342 E. 13th St. (Off the Grid)

A new mural for ABC No Rio (BoweryBoogie)

Robert Sietsema likes Tuome on East Fifth Street (Eater)

A call to make sure Rivington House, the nursing home for AIDS patients, stays open (The Lo-Down)

When Suicide's Alan Vega hooked up with Ministry in 1983 (Dangerous Minds)

The small pleasures of the Brill Library (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Keith Richards street spotting (Flaming Pablum)

Writers explain why they can't quit New York City (The Leonard Lopate Show/WNYC)

Julian Casablancas apparently doesn't hate the LES brunch scene (The Daily News)

Taylor Swift's new song is the Gentrification Anthem NYC didn't need (Jezebel)

... and on Sunday, local officials came together to co-name East Sixth Street between First and Second Avenues Miriam Friedman Way in honor of the late city councilwoman...

[Photo by Vinny and o]

[Photo by Derek Berg]

The R Bar has closed on the Bowery

So long to another Lower East Side live-music venue.

R Bar, a reliable spot to watch bands and burlesque shows, has closed for good. (We can't say much for the bar at other times.)

As we understand it, the bar at 218 Bowery just south of Prince closed without much warning earlier in the week… at least without much warning to employees. There isn't any mention of the closure on the R Bar website or social media properties. However, the phone line is no longer in service.

There is an approved permit on file for an interior renovation.

One person familiar with the situation here said that the bar will return as an "overpriced yuppified euro-trash hellhole."

The former R Bar will return as Rebelle, a new restaurant from some of the partners involved with Pearl & Ash next door. Rebelle's chef comes from Spring, a restaurant in the Ninth Arrondissement of Paris.

Santa Barbara Deli Superette will return with a shorter name

The plywood is down at the Santa Barbara Deli Superette, which closed here on Avenue B and East 12th Street in early September.

Looking pretty spiffy... the owners said they were giving the space a top-to-bottom makeover... which will apparently include a shorter name ...

Smokeout at former 1st Avenue Subway

The Subway on First Avenue between East 13th Street and East 14th Street closed back in early September.

The Subway closed here in October 2012 as well... only to have another Subway franchisee take the space.

Not this time, though. A tipster tells us that a smoke shop will open here.

The asking rent had been $12,000 a month.

Hitchcocktober movie of the night — 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'

All this month, Village East Cinema on Second Avenue and East 12th Street will be screening an Alfred Hitchcock classic on Thursday evenings, as we've cut-n-paste the past three weeks.

And tonight — "The Man Who Knew Too Much"

And there's just one Hitchcocktober picture left:

• Oct. 30 — "Strangers on a Train"

The films start at 8 p.m. Head to the Village East Cinema website for more info and tickets.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vacate order issued for East 6th Street building with lone resident

Bad news coming from 338 E. Sixth St. today. EVG reader Michael Hirsch told us that the FDNY responded to a report of falling bricks from the building under a gut renovation between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The FDNY has requested a stability inspection here, according to DOB documents.

And now there is a Vacate Order on the building... which temporarily puts Awash Ethiopian Restaurant out of business on the lower level...

And this is on top of the three existing Stop Work Orders that the city already issued. (Despite those, we observed work continuing at the space.)

This is likely a temporary measure until landlord Nurjahan Ahmed has the sidewalk shed installed. The absence of the sidewalk shed led to the first Stop Work Order on Sept. 18.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Rory Denis, who has lived here since 1979, is the building's lone holdout. He has been fighting to keep his rent-stabilized apartment during the 18 months of gut renovations.

Denis took Ahmed to housing court last year after she switched off the electricity and water. Denis won the case in June 2013, which forced Ahmed to restore the services.

For the time being, though, he is being displaced.

All photos by Michael Hirsch

Previously on EV Grieve:
Gut renovations enter 16th month at 338 E. Sixth St., where 1 tenant remains

Out and About in the East Village

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

By James Maher
Name: Elissa
Occupation: Urban Geography
Location: J. Antonio Galleria, Avenue A between 3rd and 4th (with a piece of salvaged Judaica).
Time: 3:45 on Tuesday, Oct. 14

My mother was born here on the Lower East Side. Her parents came from Poland in an arranged marriage in 1935. They considered themselves extremely lucky to come to the United States right after they cut off immigration. They both understood what Poland was becoming.

They were very poor. They worked in the garment trade in the sweatshops. She was a dressmaker and a finisher and my grandfather was a presser. I’m 5 foot 2 and my grandfather was about 4 foot 8 with arms like olive trees.

My father worked on Cherry Street, which is almost non-existent now. It was warehouses right next to Water Street, near the Old Gouverneur Hospital. The city tore them down as part of its usual slum renewal.

Slum renewal in this neighborhood meant anything that was seen as old, which was often wood or brick. Where my father worked got torn down. He used to make picture frames down there. About 10,000 people got displaced, by the way, when the Williamsburg Bridge was built. So the city has had a long history of trying to disperse people from this neighborhood by tearing down structures.

I moved here in the 1970s. I didn’t grow up in the neighborhood but I spent a lot of time here given I had a mother who was born here and a father who worked here. When I met somebody who I wanted to marry, I wanted to live in Manhattan. We both spoke Yiddish, his being much better than mine. The only two places in Manhattan I even considered remotely as neighborhoods, having grown up in Brooklyn, was either the Lower East Side or Washington Heights. Nothing else felt like a neighborhood to me.

So I grew up with family in the neighborhood and a real sense of what people had gone through in terms of immigration and the Depression and stories like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire were very real to me. I found myself one March 25 walking outside of my building and noticed that it had been chalked. There is a project called Chalk and on the anniversary of the Triangle Fire people chalk the names of those who died in front of the addresses where they lived.

I contacted people who did Chalk and became a chalker, learning to talk to residents about the Triangle Fire. It allows you to mark a place and say that the story is not forgotten. It’s an enormous opportunity to engage with people in the neighborhood from all walks of life and find other people whose lives have been touched by the Fire or by a similar sort of tragedy. It’s a different type of interaction and there is no way to separate yourself from that.

I worked in IT for about 30 years and then got very sick and had to think about what it was that I wanted to do. I ended up going back to grad school part time, slowly working toward a doctorate in urban geography. I started becoming far more concerned about the changes in this neighborhood taking place so fast ... that is the reason I wanted to go into urban geography and to try to understand what was happening in other cities and how people reacted to it. One of the things that I was disconcerted to find was that a lot of undergraduates thought of gentrification as inevitable, like a force of nature.

I wanted to understand how other cities had dealt with that and demystify the phenomenon in some ways in terms of looking at real-estate development, local community politics — the sort of things that can be done to strengthen a community rather than the things that fracture it, such as oversized development or bars going at 4 am and having your neighborhood become an entertainment district, or having people who have lived here for a long time starting to lose their sense of belonging, particularly in public.

It comes back to this neighborhood. But to understand this neighborhood you have to understand what’s happening elsewhere, whether it’s in street art or in real estate or in buyers coming from all over the globe ... or what is happening to historic buildings and the erasing of their memory that occurs when you [destroy] the built environment.

It’s extremely scary. I don’t think that there is a magic wand one can wave but I do think that the more that people think of gentrification as something that affects their lives in that they have to say something about it, whether its to their city council member or their Community Board, whether it’s through a global climate march or work at community garden, whether it is through a land use review procedure or whether it is through blogging.

I would say the most important thing is to foster a sense of belonging. What I keep hearing from longtime residents here across every ethnic group, though mainly people with less money, is that they feel they’re not wanted anymore. They feel they’re being pushed out. It’s not just by landlords. It’s on the street when people look at them like they don’t belong.

The sense of belonging for people to stay in place, the sense that this is their neighborhood, is absolutely critical to the future of the Lower East Side.

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

Construction watch: 179 Suffolk St.

The East Houston Street skyline is starting to change with the progress of the 10-story residential building going up on the corner of Suffolk Street… (as you can see someone has already tagged the top of the new building…)

According to the DOB, there will be 14 residential units here… Plans show 11,522 square feet for residential use … and 2,527 square feet for community facility space.

And the rendering shows a godawful-looking ...

We're four-plus years in on this project, which has been plagued with various issues, as BoweryBoogie previously noted here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Next for 255 E. Houston St.: Community facility/school/medical building?

10-story building in the works for Suffolk and East Houston

Checkers raises the flag on 1st Avenue

As we reported back on Aug. 25, a Checkers is opening at 225 First Avenue between East 13th Street and East 14th Street.

And now the opening soon signage is up for another NYC location of the burger chain. (In April 2013, Crain's reported that Checkers was going to add another 22 restaurants in NYC by 2015.)

Higher rents forced longtime tenant Gabay's Outlet to leave this storefront for a new home at 195 Avenue A this past summer.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Checkers headed to 1st Avenue

Aum Namaste Book & Crystal Gallery opening soon on East 14th Street

In the former Cable Doctor space at 226 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue…

According to the Aum Namaste Facebook description:

Spiritual book and crystal gallery featuring high vibration, top quality, hard to find crystal specimens, statuary, candles, incense, sage, jewelry & more!

And the store has an active website here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Report: Stuy Town rape suspect charged with 2 other East Village sex crimes

Juan Scott, who police arrested following an early Friday morning attack in Stuy Town, has been charged with two other sex crimes in the neighborhood.

According to the Daily News, the 26-year-old Scott was ordered held without bail. "Prosecutors slapped him with three criminal complaints for charges including sex abuse, attempted rape and burglary."

The other cases involve an alleged attack and sexual assault on a former girlfriend on Sept 21. "Prosecutors said Scott also followed a woman into her E. 11th St. building, pulled up her dress and grabbed her about 11:45 p.m. on June 2," per the Daily News.

He is due back in court Friday.

Thurston Moore releases a new album, walks around the East Village

Thurston Moore has a new record (The Best Day) out today (Pitchfork says that it has "a distinctly Sonic Youth-ian discord."). You can check out the track "Speak to the Wild" above" …

Meanwhile, in New York magazine, Moore does the interview while shopping at Mast, walking on Avenue A and sitting in Tompkins Square Park. He reminiscences, but nothing too dramatic.

We walk by the Pyramid Club, one of the few holdouts from those days. “There was a nighttime collaboration between us and the drag queens who ruled that place,” he remembers. “They thought we were perfectly absurd. They would introduce the bands—the Swans, Sonic Youth—and make fun of us.”


AN EVG reader noted today's special on East Seventh Street…

Sun-setting skyline

Around 5:45 p.m. via Bobby Williams…