Monday, April 23, 2018

A discussion on nightlife and retail diversity with NYC Commissioner Julie Menin tomorrow night



Julie Menin, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, is the guest at a community discussion and Q&A tomorrow night on the Lower East Side.

As the flyer shows, she'll be discussing a variety of topics, including retail-diversity concerns and quality-of-life issues. Menin also oversees the recently named senior executive director of the Office of Nightlife (aka Night Mayor), which is billed as another point of conversation.

Attendees need to RSVP here by 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The meeting, sponsored by several local block associations and community groups, starts at 6:30 p.m. at Hotel Indigo, 172 Ludlow St. between Houston and Stanton in the third-floor conference room.

Former East Village Cheese space for rent on 7th Street



A for rent sign now hangs in the front window at the former East Village Cheese, officially bringing an end to the shop's two-plus years at 80 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

EV Cheese quietly closed in early December. On Dec. 21, co-owner Lobsang Tsultrim was spotted at the storefront along with a Remove All My Junk truck. Before some of the perishable items had been discarded, the aroma of ripe cheese had been noticeable in the adjacent storefront.

Earlier this month, an EVG reader spotted workers hauling trash bags from the building's basement. The reader said that the smell of cheese — possibly from the content of the bags — was noticeable coming up from the sidewalk cellar doors...


[Reader photo from early April]

East Village Cheese moved here from Third Avenue in September 2015.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Neighbor: East Village Cheese, closed now for 2 weeks, is starting to smell

The nonpayment of rent notice has arrived at East Village Cheese

Concern for East Village Cheese Shop

Will this be the week that Joe and Pat's opens?



Joe and Pat's is looking ready for pizza action here at 168 First Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street.

Workers on-site told several different EVG readers that they are aiming to open this coming week, with one employee saying Thursday. (Another reader called the Staten Island location and got an "opening this week" message too.)

The family-owned pizzeria got its start on Staten Island in 1960.

Their transformation of the former Lanza's space started in earnest last May. (The coming soon sign arrived in April 2017.) Casey Pappalardo, one of the pizzeria's owners, originally told the Staten Island Advance they'd be open within six months, but he didn't sound so convincing. "That's if all goes well — there's always some setbacks."


[Photo April 19 by Steven]

Anyway, it will likely have been worth the wait. The Daily Meal named Joe and Pat's one of the best 10 pizzas in the country last year. And here's Grub Street on the place:

Joe & Pat’s is the king of Staten Island pizza. Its pies are the ultimate version of one of the borough’s dominant styles: thin-crust, vodka-sauced bar pie. Open since 1960, it doesn’t look like much, but the pizza is magnificent. The dough is pounded so it doesn’t get airy, resulting in a crust that’s disappearingly thin and extra crunchy. The vodka sauce is sweet and smooth; pepperoni, curled up in crisp cups, makes the perfect foil. But it’s tantalizing just with mozzarella, which, unlike in a traditional New York slice joint, doesn’t fuse with the sauce; the fresh cheese is applied more sparingly, so the islands of cheese remain distinct and creamy.


Plywood arrives at Webster Hall



OK, so it's not much... but the plywood arrived this past week at the eastern entrance of the former Webster Hall on 11th Street.

As previously reported, the new owners of the landmarked building, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, along with AEG-backed The Bowery Presents, filed permits in December for interior demolition and structural work to renovate the facility and make it ADA compliant. The city approved those permits last month.

There hadn't been much, if any, sign of activity here between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue... except for the placement of the approved work permits...



... and that whole marquee-almost-falling-down thing.

Some reports suggest that the new concert venue won't be ready until 2020. Billboard reported that there may be a name change here too.

Webster Hall closed last Aug. 10. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and The Bowery Presents bought the building from the Ballinger family for $35 million last spring.

A look at the fire-damaged 218 E. 9th St. and Yakiniku West


[Photos from yesterday morning]

In case you missed this news from Saturday afternoon... when a two-alarm fire broke out at 218 E. Ninth St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

FDNY officials told reporters that the blaze likely started behind a refrigerator in a second-floor apartment.

A fire official said the building is now "unlivable." The building houses Yakiniku West restaurant on the first floor and three apartments

No word on when (or if) Yakiniku West, the restaurant specializing in cook-it-yourself Japanese BBQ, might reopen. There weren't any messages on the restaurant's Facebook page or website. Calls to the restaurant go unanswered.



CBS 2 reported that 25 units with 106 firefighters had the fire under control in about 90 minutes. Nearby residents on the block applauded the FDNY's efforts, containing the fire and keeping it from spreading to the parking garage next door. No injuries were reported.


[Photo Saturday by Steven]

The force is apparently no longer with Suffolk Arms



It appears that Suffolk Arms, the cocktail lounge on Houston at Suffolk, will not be reopening after all.

After being closed during the first part of April without any explanation, a sign appeared on the front door noting a temporary closure for "renovations and mechanical upgrades."

Over the weekend, co-owner Giuseppe González, a "Star Wars" fan, left a cryptic, Yoda-esque message on social media...



"Closed, Suffolk Arms now is. See you again, we will." (That lone message also greets visitors to the bar's website.)

Suffolk Arms opened in February 2016.

H/T Vinny & O

Previously on EV Grieve:
Suffolk Arms now closed for renovations and 'mechanical upgrades'

ICYMI: MoMa officials not really into MoMaCha's name on the Bowery



ICYMI 1 — MoMaCha, a café and gallery, opened in late March at 314 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston.

ICYMI 2 — In a trademark lawsuit filed last week, MoMa officials claim that people are already being confused into thinking their museum is connected with the cafe, as Reuters first reported. There isn't any connection between MoMa and MoMaCha.



According to Hyperallergic:

“I don’t understand what MoMA wants from us,” the café’s co-owner, artist Eric Cahan.” Do they want us not to exist? They don’t own the word ‘cha,’ it means tea; they don’t own the word ‘more.’ To me it’s a little confusing. They can have Richard Prince in their collection, but I can’t use Helvetica? It doesn’t make any sense.”

And now, your Slurp Shop signage



The restaurant is taking shape over at 112 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street... the sign is up ...



And since the last look at the spot, the Hunan Slurp Shop launched a website (touting that it's "New York's Best Rice Noodle Restaurant") with a few more details and interior shots.

Our mission is to bring the best Hunan flavor from Southwest China to New York City. We call our Chinese Hunan province rice noodle "Mifen", incorporating seasonal and local flavors into dishes.

And one of the interior renderings ...



No word on an opening date. Their posted hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; until 11 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday.

The storefront was previously a Ricky's, which closed in April 2016.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Hunan Slurp Shop coming to former Ricky's space on 1st Avenue

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday's parting shot



The LUNGS parade in Tompkins Square Park today ... photo by Steven...

Week in Grieview


[Photo on 2nd Avenue by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Fire at 218 E. Ninth St. (Saturday)

East Village super charged in heroin overdose of tenant (Thursday)

The past and future of the Merchant's House Museum (Monday)

Props for the Skateboard Gardener of 7th Street (Wednesday)

The latest I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant (Friday)

1 month to the Dance Parade and DanceFest (Thursday)

The Donut Pub opening an outpost on Astor Place (Friday)

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival set for Tompkins Square Park on Aug. 26 (Thursday)

LPC chair to step down (Friday)

New restaurant plans for 304 E. 6th St. and 117 Avenue A (Monday)

Construction watch: 3 E. 3rd St. (Tuesday)

Zen Yai Pho Shop now open on 6th Street (Wednesday)

Chickpea has closed on 14th Street (Friday)

Report: Original Fuku is closing on 1st Avenue (Thursday)

Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street is waiting for spring (Thursday)

Bakeri closing at the end of the month on 6th Street (Monday)

Champion Coffee opens on 14th Street (Monday)


[Photo Friday by Pinch]

There's now a public squash court on the Lower East Side (Wednesday)

A look at "Boom For Real," Basquiat's life pre-fame (Wednesday)

Corner watch: 32 Avenue C (Wednesday)

Suffolk Arms now closed for renovations and "mechanical upgrades" (Monday)

A townhouse in a penthouse on 9th Street (Tuesday)

New building permits filed for former St. Denis Hotel property (Tuesday)

What it costs to rent the former Subway (sandwich shop) on 1st Avenue (Friday)

Former El Maguey y La Tuna space for rent on East Houston (Tuesday)

.... and the secret ingredient to the sawdust on the floor at McSorley's?



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Police searching for MAGA-hat-wearing suspect involved in Union Square assault


The NYPD is looking for a suspect (in the video above wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat) who reportedly shoved a man onto the 4 train tracks at Union Square Friday evening around 8.

According to The Daily Mail, the suspect, a black male, got into a verbal altercation on a 4 train with the victim, who is Hispanic. "Police say the black male made several remarks disparaging the Hispanic man's ethnicity, and the altercation spilled out onto the platform at Union Square." Police say the suspect punched the victim several times before pushing him to the tracks.

Several people waiting on the platform helped the man get off the tracks. The victim was treated for cuts to his head.

The suspect reportedly fled on an L train.

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

April 22



On the occasion of this Earth Day, someone apparently decided it was time to toss the holiday/Christmas tree ... as spotted by EVG regular Pinch this morning on First Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Happy Earth Day!

Today in posts about cake smells at bus stops



To promote the new season of "Chef’s Table: Pastry," Netflix created a Smell-O-Vision ad of sorts at two NYC bus stops, including 14th Street near Second Avenue.

I read about it on Eater back on Monday, but only just remembered to look at (and smell) the bus stop.

Every five minutes, the ads release a sweet smell, per Eater. There is definitely an odor — not unpleasant ... reminiscent of, say, super sugary breakfast cereal.

Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi is featured in the series... so you can apparently go to Milk Bar around the corner on 13th Street for your fix.

The ad — and sugary scent — will continue here through May 6.

Noted



Spotted in Tompkins Square Park.

Perhaps we'll see one of these soon...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

[Updated] Report of a fire on 9th Street


The FDNY is on the scene at 218 E. Ninth St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... it's the building directly to the west of the parking garage.

Witnesses at the scene report hearing an explosion...


Will update when more details are available...

UPDATED:

NOTORIOUS shared this a little before 4 p.m.:

Around 3:30 pm there was a loud explosion outside that sounded like a violent car crash. The FDNY arrived almost instantly and shut down the street. The fire appears to be in 218 East 9th, the building with Yakiniku West. It's been 25 minutes since the fire started and it's still going strong. More FDNY are pulling up now.

Steven took these photos of the FDNY's response...









EVG reader jba shared these photos showing some of the damage to No. 218...





... and another view via Aaron Wilson...



CBS 2's Reena Roy has a report...

Yakiniku West restaurant on the first floor and three apartments above were damaged, officials said. Five adults and one child were displaced.

“They were confronted with a heavy smoke condition upon arrival on the first floor,” one fire official told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “We had 25 units operating here with 106 firefighters. There was a lot of overhauling, a lot of walls and ceilings were taken down, too. There’s a lot of damage right now.”

The fire reportedly started behind a refrigerator on the second floor and quickly spread. There weren't any reports of injuries.

An Earth Day Spring Awakening to celebrate the neighborhood's community gardens



In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) is once again hosting a Spring Awakening in celebration of the neighborhood's many community gardens.

Here are details via the LUNGS website:

Please join us on EARTH DAY, Sunday, April 22 as we parade and party to welcome the Spring and celebrate the opening of our community gardens!

Spring Awakening is a touch of Mardi Gras, a taste of charivari, we will be making music, making soap, making mudballs, swapping seeds and dancing around the Maypole. A joyous Let’s celebrate the season and honoring Mother Earth.

Beginning at 11:30 am we will parade from garden to garden around the neighborhood, visiting 27 gardens.

We will arrive at El Jardin del Paraiso, on E.4th St at Sunday, April 22 at 2 pm. There we will have music, dance refreshments, games, workshops and fun.

an.mé launches visiting artist series tomorrow with Leah Tinari



Tomorrow (Sunday!) from noon to 5 p.m., East Village-based artist Leah Tinari (from Avenue Sea Creatures) will be at an.mé — the boutique for kids and families — at 328 E. Ninth St between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Co-owner Melissa Scott shared this info: "Leah will be in store hand painting, free of charge, items that our customers have purchased from us that day."

You can check out Leah's work here.

Find more info here.

This marks the first event of the store's visiting artist series.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Record Store Day 2018



Tomorrow (Saturday!) is Record Store Day 2018 ... here's a look at what some local shops will have happening...

Good Records
218 E. Fifth St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square


An assortment of used LPs for post-4/20 day as well.

A post shared by Good Records NYC (@goodrecordsnyc) on


Limited to One
221 E. 10th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue



And there will be some in-store performances...

Noon — Second Letter (members of Farside, Burning Airlines)
1 p.m. — Graduation Speech (Kevin Day of Aspiga)
2 p.m. — Jared Hart (Scandals & Mercy Union)
3 p.m. — Popeye V (Farside)

Academy Records
415 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue


Turntable Lab
84 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue


A-1 Record Shop
439 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue

A lot of 'Promise'



Happy Birthday (April 17) to Peter Campbell McNeish, aka Pete Shelley, the leader of the Buzzcocks. The video is for "Promises" from 1978.

I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant

East Village resident Susan Schiffman documents the apartments of rent-stabilized tenants living in the East Village for her Instagram account, I Am a Rent Stabilized Tenant. She will share some of the photos here for this ongoing EVG feature.





Photos and text by Susan Schiffman

Tenant: Andru, since 1980

Why did you move to the East Village?

I moved to the East Village because I lived here once before and it was so convenient to get to where I wanted to go. I came to live in New York after having had five cars that all collapsed. I wanted to live in a place where I didn’t have to have a car and this was the place to be.

So now I can walk everywhere. I lived in Williamsburg for a year before moving into this apartment. Just to get the J train across the Williamsburg Bridge was a pain in the ass. At night time I would have to wait a very long time. That is when it was too dangerous to walk over the Williamsburg Bridge.

There is some kind of community feeling here, even though ... it is very busy. There is still a feeling as though you are in a neighborhood and there is a feeling of a village. And you can go from village to village.

I’ve lived in this apartment 38 years. I was very fortunate to get this apartment. I had gone back to England thinking that I wouldn’t be able to survive here and I came back to give it another try.

In the meantime the rents had all doubled. I thought there is no way I am ever going to get an apartment in the East Village. Luckily, two old hippie landlords decided to let this apartment out at the original price, which was half the price. I could just afford that. I got in here.

For the first 20 years that I was here most of my money went to paying the rent, like a lot of people. Thank goodness we have rent stabilization. If I lost the apartment it would be so long Joe. I don’t know what I would do. The best I could do to stay in this area — nowhere in the East Village — is to move out to somewhere like Bushwick and live in a little room and share a house with four or five other people.

This is my castle and I fight for it and make sure I keep it. People do grow old and die here in this building. There have been two old guys who have lived here most of their lives. The way they die is they walk up the stairs and then eventually they can’t walk up the stairs. And then they end up on the stairs, both of them. Someone comes along and they bring the emergency people and they get taken to the hospital and then they are gone. That might be me. And I wouldn’t be unhappy. If I die before my time spread my ashes on the Lower East Side.







How did you find your apartment?

Like all good things that you find you have to know somebody. I was playing in a band with a drummer who knew somebody who lived in this building and he told him that there was an apartment available.

We both came down here together. He’s actually in town right now. He wished that he had moved here. He’s a New Yorker who can’t afford to live in New York. He has moved to Tokyo to live with his wife. He lived in Florida for two years.

I came down and I hung outside the landlord’s offices waiting. I was determined to get this apartment. I could tell they didn’t want to have me there. Eventually after awhile they said OK, we’ll take you down there. They brought me down here, I looked at the apartment and I thought wow, this is big for New York. When they told me the price, it was like heaven and g-d were smiling down at me. The landlord said “welcome to g-d’s little acre.”

There’s only one other rent-stabilized tenant in the building now. She has a court order to move out. She has not been living there. She has been paying the rent but obviously not all the time. There’s a court order in her door right now. She lived below my new neighbor here, the noisy neighbor. I’ve had no backup because she has not been there living below him. I’ve had no support. If someone is living there I’ll have some support.

I hate to see her go but she is living somewhere else with her boyfriend. I am the last one who is rent-stabilized. There are 18 apartments in the building. Every day, every night I am still very grateful after 38 years for this apartment. It has been very good for me. I’m a creative artist. I have developed my talents to the full potential what else can anybody ask for? I’ve found g-d for my own understanding. I have happy, loving people around me. This has been a great life. I’m happy to have moved here.

What do you love about your apartment?

I had a beautiful neighbor for nearly 30 years. She was from Yugoslavia. She got laid off from her job and most of her Yugoslavian friends have moved to other places. It became a cold place for her. She moved back to Yugoslavia. I was really lost for the first few days after she had moved. It was like when my mother passed away. All of a sudden you realize that she was the best mother in the world and you didn’t realize how much you loved her at that moment in time.

Joni Mitchell sang, "Don't it always seem to go. That you don't know what you've got. Till it's gone. They paved paradise. And put up a parking lot." We used to go out to concerts together. Me being a musician, I used to hang out with the Allman Brothers, backstage and all of the other people who hung out with them, like Derek Trucks and Johnny Winter.

I had a good neighbor for nearly 30 years. I am very grateful. I guess I have to go through some dirt now and eventually [the noisy neighbor] will move out.

I like the fact that I’m on the top floor so I don’t have anybody above me. I can see the sunrise from the east pass over and go to the west. I used to be able to look out of that window and see the skyline but now there’s a building there. I get sunshine coming in. I can also see the moon. I used to be able to see the World Trade Center. I went on the roof and I saw it fall down. That was very sad. Now I can see the Freedom Tower. When you go on the roof you can also see the Empire State Building. That is all very nice.









If you're interested in inviting Susan in to photograph your apartment for an upcoming post, then you may contact her via this email.

The Donut Pub opening an outpost on Astor Place

The Donut Pub, which Buzzy Geduld opened on 14th Street and Seventh Avenue in December 1964, will soon have a second location — 740 Broadway at Astor Place. (Across the street from The Famous Cozy Soup 'n' Burger.)

The news comes courtesy of food writer Nick Solares via Instagram...


The coming soon sign shows a fall opening.


[Image via]

The no-frills space reminiscent of a diner has many fans — for both its doughnuts and ambiance. As New York magazine wrote: "In a Krispy-Kreme and Dunkin' Donut world, it's comforting to know there are still places E.B. White might have recognized during his ambulations through the streets of New York."

Will be interesting to see how the owners replicate the Chelsea space. And will this location have that same great Donut Pub neon as the original?

Report: LPC chair to step down


Meenakshi Srinivasan, chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), will end her four-year tenure on June 1, according to published reports.

As Crain's reported:

Land-use attorneys who guide clients through the landmarking process were dismayed to learn of Srinivasan's decision to leave, saying that she had been a respected arbiter of the rules with some serious policy wins.

"She is an exemplary public servant," said Mitch Korbey, chair of Herrick, Feinstein's land-use and zoning practice. "She has the courage to make the right choices and find balance between the commission's core mission of preservation and the need for occasional flexibility."

But members of the preservation community have bristled at Srinivasan's proposed changes to the commission's application rules — with some even calling for her ouster — and said that she was too lenient with developers and not focused enough on the core mission of preserving the past.

"The orientation of the landmarks commission seems to have shifted after the Bloomberg administration," said Simeon Bankoff, head of the Historic Districts Council, "becoming a little less responsive to community-driven applications and more oriented toward implementing city policy."

Most recently, the LPC unveiled several proposed rule changes aimed at streamlining the application process. However, the changes would mean limiting the opportunity for testimony and public comment on the application, a move that angered some local elected officials (Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, among them) and preservationists. (Read more background here at Curbed.)

LPC spokesperson Zodet Negrón said that the resignation "was not in response to any backlash, and she has been planning an exit for some time after 28 years in the public sector," as 6sqft noted.

Mayor de Blasio appointed her head of the LPC in 2014 after her stint as chair and commissioner of the Board of Standards and Appeals.

The mayor released this statement:

"Meenakshi Srinivasan is a talented, dogged public servant and a leader with know-how, and she’s proved that time and again. At the helm of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, she slicing through decades of regulatory red tape and modernized the commission. We congratulate her and thank her for the important reforms she instituted, and we wish her well in her future pursuits."

In an op-ed at the Daily News in February, Eric Uhlfelder — author of “The Origins of Modern Architecture” — wrote that "the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the last line of defense for protecting historic New York, is rolling over rather than pushing back."

Chickpea has closed on 14th Street



The Chickpea outpost has closed on 14th Street near Third Avenue. Apparently its last day was April 12.

And as this photo via EVG reader Shiv shows, the "for rent" banner is in place. (The listing doesn't mention the asking rent.)

No word on why this location of the quick-serve Middle-Eastern chain shut down. (There are multiple locations around the city.) The Chickpea website is also currently offline.

In glowing terms, 16 Handles is temporarily closed


[Photo by Steven]

The 16 Handles outpost on Second Avenue between Ninth Street and 10th Street has been closed this week for a glow up ("fro-yo" for renovations).



No word yet when they will reopen or what will be glowing.

This location has been closed twice before (here and here) for renovations.

The temporary closure comes at the same time as Team Handle introduced a new flavor...

What it costs to rent the former Subway (sandwich shop) on 1st Avenue



The Subway franchise at 108 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street closed last month after six years in business.

The listing for the storefront arrived online this week. Pertinent rental details include:

900 square feet of basement space included - 20 feet of frontage - 10 foot ceilings • Busy East Village Avenue • Former Subway, in vanilla box condition • Easily vented through one story setback, gas in building • ADA entrance ramp and ADA bathroom • Grease trap, HVAC and plenty of electric are all there • Taxes almost non-existant • No Key Money - Direct Deal with the landlord

Asking monthly rent: $11,500.

The Loop Net listing also includes a photo from several years ago (2011?)... showing the previous tenant, Intervideo Electronics, that kinda weird and cool computer repair shop-plasma TV installers-DVD rental place, a sliver of the former neighboring restaurant Polonia, and a lot of snow...