Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nirvana's night in the East Village that helped get Nevermind made

Nirvana's Nevermind turned 25 today, as you may have heard.

So on this occasion... revisiting this... Nirvana made their New York City debut on July 18, 1989, as part of the New Music Senimar at the Pyramid Club on Avenue A. They played a 14-song set. Other bands on the bill that night were Cows, God Bullies, Lonely Moans and Surgery.

This iteration of the band included Chad Channing on drums and second guitarist Jason Everman, who later got the boot. (This was Everman's last show with Nirvava, who were so disappointed in how they played, they reportedly cancelled their remaining four gigs on this East Coast tour. )

This article by Joe D'Angelo and Jem Aswad published on provides more background about the performance at the Pyramid Club:

According to Michael Azerrad's "Come As You Are," the definitive Nirvana tome, the show was far from the band's best: One of the few who refrained from heckling was Iggy Pop, who cheered encouragingly. After the show, bassist Krist Novoselic was so disappointed with the performance that he shaved his head bald in the Jersey City, New Jersey, motel where the band was staying.

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon stitched in the story's silver lining by bringing A&R man Gary Gersh to the show. Not long after, Gersh signed the band to Geffen Records, the company that released Nirvana's breakthrough, Nevermind, in 1991, after Moore convinced Kurt Cobain that signing to a major label wasn't selling out.

Looking at 'easily the most amazing terraced duplex penthouse on the East Village market'

The listing for a 1-bedroom unit at 509 E. Sixth St. says that this is "easily the most amazing terraced duplex penthouse on the East Village market."

Here's more on the condo rental between Avenue A and Avenue B via Streeteasy:

The entry fifth floor level features an open kitchen with a sleek black-stone island and natural-wood cabinetry, a spa-like Calacatta marble bathroom with Waterworks fittings, and a large living area surrounded by 5 oversized windows with east, west and north exposures. The upper level offers the master-bedroom with ample closet space, a skylight & remote-controlled shades, and a 275sf adjoining terrace to enjoy panoramic views of the midtown skyline, including Empire State, Chrysler, and New York Life buildings.

Citi Habitats is the broker. Find the details here. There's an open house today and tomorrow from 3-4 (p.m.).

And the price? $5,995 per month.


First tag/graffiti/vandalization/etc. that we recall seeing on a LinkNYC kiosk since their arrival... this one is outside Gem Spa on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

Or perhaps someone didn't have paper and was just jotting down some notes while making a phone call from the kiosk.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cool, free chair without bugs of the day

Spotted earlier this evening on Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... as the sign says, "Cool free chair! Clean — no bugs"...

Photos via Steven

TV land

Never Enough, the debut record from the East Village-based Public Access T.V., is out next week. They're playing (a sold-out) Mercury Lounge tonight... and later this fall heading to Europe for some shows.

The video above, featuring some familiar places (the Grassroots, Lucy's, etc.), is for "In Love and Alone."

Other Music alum will be part of the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair tomorrow (Saturday!)

Fans of the late Other Music take note...

A photo posted by Other Music (@other_music) on

The Brooklyn Flea Record Fair is tomorrow (Saturday) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in East River Park. Details here.

EV Grieve Etc.: Avenue A's transformation; thoughts on Lenin's departure

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park via Derek Berg]

The transformation of Avenue A (Curbed)

Michael Rosen on the fall of Lenin (Bloomberg ... previously)

Plans for 25-story building on Essex Crossing Site 4 unveiled (The Lo-Down)

People seem to like those giant dumplings at Drunken Dumpling on First Avenue (Eater)

Some Bowery-of-1985 pics (Flaming Pablum)

History of the former Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Anshe Ungarn on Seventh Street (Off the Grid)

Christo and Dora outtakes from this past hawk season (Laura Goggin Photography)

A talk with the proprietor of Downtown Yarns on Avenue A as the NYC Yarn Crawl commences (DNAinfo)

Upcoming: 50th anniversary screening of "The Chelsea Girls" (Anthology Film Archives)

The Lower East Side Pickle Day is Sunday on Orchard Street (Official site)

"American Psycho" at midnight this weekend (Sunshine Cinema)

"Ubu Rex" through Oct. 9 at the Theater for the New City on First Avenue (SmartTix)

For fans of diners... on 23rd Street near First Avenue, East Side Café has been rebranded the East Side Diner (Town & Village)

...and remnants of, perhaps, the first smashed pumpkin of the season this morning on St. Mark's Place...

Celebrate local community gardens this weekend with the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival

Via the EVG inbox...

The Fifth Annual LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) Harvest Arts Festival will take place in 38 community gardens on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

The Festival is free and open to all. Events include music, dance, performance, films, photography, painting, sculpture, puppets, and comedy as well as environmental workshops and yoga. Each garden designs its own programing, so the festival is as interesting and eclectic as the Lower East Side.

The 2016 Harvest Arts Festival is organized by LUNGS, a nonprofit organization founded to promote, protect and preserve the community gardens on the Lower East Side.

Here's the complete schedule by garden.

Lucky's has its grand opening tomorrow (Saturday!)

Longtime East Village resident Abby Ehmann fulfilled a dream and opened her first bar back in early July.

Now tomorrow (Saturday), Ehmann is hosting the official grand opening of Lucky at 168 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. (The space was home to Boxcar, which closed in February after 18 years in business.)

Ehmann aspires to foster a sense of community at Lucky. To date, the bar has provided space for Gays Against Guns' poster and t-shirt painting parties, Waggytail Rescue's adoption socials and other gatherings, including memorials.

She also says that she "hopes to attract people who feel unwelcome or out of place at the many newer East Village establishments."

The bar opens at noon. (Free pizza is expected around 6 or 7 p.m. tomorrow.)

You can read our interview with Ehmann from March right here.

Last call for the Edge, and the return of an old friend

As we first reported last month, The Edge, the 29-year-old bar at 95 E. Third St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue, is closing for good ... the bar did receive a one-month reprieve ... and those extra few weeks have come to an end: Last call for The Edge is tomorrow (Saturday) night.

"We'll just say [the landlord, Thermald Realty Associates] found an opportunity to sue us for a bunch of money that we can't pay," a bar rep told us last month.

Meanwhile, an EVG reader noted the return of a familiar vehicle on the block this week...

This appears to be one of an RVs owned by now-former EV resident Ron Britt... whose RV empire once consisted of Old Flat Top and the Free Willie Nelson.

The above RV was first spotted here back in the fall.

A few more details on the Swiss Institute's move to the East Village

As reported last Friday, the Swiss Institute, a non-profit cultural center currently located on Wooster Street, has signed a lease for 130 Second Ave. — the former Chase branch.

Landlord Icon Realty issued a news release about their new tenant. Here's part of it:

Icon Realty Management LLC has leased space to Swiss Institute, a non-profit contemporary arts center that promotes artistic dialogue between Switzerland and the United States. Swiss Institute seeks to explore how a national perspective can foster international conversations in the fields of visual and performing arts, design and architecture.

The new location will open in the Spring of 2017. The 7,500 square foot space will feature exhibitions, projects and public programs, a library, bookstore and rooftop. Additionally, Icon will be collaborating with Swiss Institute artists on public art murals at 128 Second Ave, the building next door to the Institute.

“Considering the vibrancy, diversity and ample foot traffic in the neighborhood, our move to the East Village will offer a vast array of opportunities to engage with our audience in new, stimulating ways,” says Swiss Institute Director Simon Castets. “We’re incredibly lucky to be on a street with such a deep artistic history as St Marks Place, and it’s exciting to imagine how this new location can help us in expanding our mission.”

Back in June, Icon announced a project in which artists would be creating murals on Icon properties in the city. Jerkface started work at 128 Second Ave., but the mural has remained incomplete since June...

We asked Icon spokesperson Chris Coffey what the status was on this project.

"We needed a lift to complete the mural, and applied for a permit. We are just waiting for DOT to issue," he said via email. "We are excited about it. One of the great things about Swiss Institute is that we will be collaborating on future murals."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Swiss Institute moving into the former Chase branch on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

255 E. Houston St. is disappearing

An EVG reader passed along these photos... showing the demolition in progress at 255 E. Houston St. between Norfolk and Suffolk...

No. 255 previously housed the day-care center Action For Progress. (Read about how that building was damaged back in 2008 here.) Controversial developer Samy Mahfar, the property's owner, has approved plans for a 10-story residential complex with space for community facilities.

The new building on the L-shaped parcel will look something like this some day... per the plywood renderings...

Or, the 13-floor version Mahfar was peddling ...

Earlier this month, Mahfar withdrew his application — after a five-year fight — for a commercial zoning change for this property and surrounding parcels.

If approved, then Mahfar would have had the go-ahead to build a restaurant or bar in the new building. The current zoning only permits a community facility.

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

10-story building now in the works for 255 E. Houston St.

Debate over commercial overlay for 255 E. Houston St. and surrounding blocks continues

Report: Samy Mahfar drops bid for commercial overlay on East Houston and parts of the LES

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A view to a Park

We rented a helicopter earlier to scout potential locations around the neighborhood for the Lenin statue that workers removed from Red Square on Monday.

Seeing as the statue likely has a new home already... just enjoy the view looking west toward Tompkins Square Park between Seventh Street and Ninth Street...

Thanks to Steven for the photo.

Report: de Blasio administration looking to make street fairs less generic, more local

[EVG file photo from either 2015, 2014, 2013...]

Let's just jump right into Politico's story:

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is proposing changes to the city’s street fairs intended to end the corporate flavor of many of the festivals, addressing a long-standing complaint from civic groups and elected officials that the fairs are a costly headache and do little to benefit the communities where they’re held.

Under proposed rules scheduled for a public hearing on October 13, at least fifty percent of vendors participating in a street fair would have to be businesses with locations inside the same community board where the event is being held. That proposal marks a major change that could remake the character of the roughly 200 street fairs the city currently allows each year.

The proposed changes must undergo a period of public comment before being approved. If that happens, then street fairgoers may find more than tube socks and tube steaks during High Street Festival Season next year.

Read the whole article here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

JuiceGo opening in the former Cadillac's Castle storefront on 9th Street

Signage arrived yesterday for JuiceGo at 333 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

This appears to be the first location for JuiceGo, which will specialize in fresh, cold-pressed juices and other healthy choices.

Here's their pitch, via the JuiceGo website:

JuiceGo is opening in the East Village aiming to give New Yorkers the tools to eat healthier by allowing them to customize their own cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and much more. We have created our own cold-pressed juicing system that allows us to make the freshest cold pressed juice in the city because we can make it as soon as a customer orders. None of our juices at JuiceGo will be made at an off-site facility in mass quantities, then delivered to our stores compromising the freshness.

As for the juice element, it seems to be a pretty crowded market right around here... beginning with the beQu Juice shop nearly directly across the street...

... and there's Juice Press on 10th Street just east of Second Avenue … not to mention Liquiteria on Second Avenue and 11th Street... and Juice Vitality at 192 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street. (Oh, and East Village Organic on First Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place... and Commodities on First Avenue between 10th Street and 11th Street sells juice...)

JuiceGo is expected to be open later this fall.

Cadillac's Castle, the consignment/thrift shop, closed here back in the spring. There wasn't any official explanation about the closure. Jared Kushner's Westminster Management is the landlord here.

H/T Steven

[Updated] About the Stop Work Order at the incoming Taberna 97 on St. Mark's Place

Several EVG readers pointed out the arrival of a Stop Work Order at the incoming Taverna 97, the restaurant coming to 97 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue (thanks to Peter D. for these photos) ...

Here's what the DOB website (in their all-cap style) has to say about the Order, dated Monday:


We asked co-owner Eric Baker for an update on the situation here.

"The DOB issued the Stop Work Order due to the fact that a few issues were not addressed quickly enough and why they were not addressed quickly enough is a question we have as well for the professionals working on this project," Baker said in an email.

He said that the issues have been addressed and accepted by the DOB, and they are in the process of getting the permits approved.

Baker believes that some of the DOB issues may have originated from neighbors who have concerns about the back garden. The previous tenant here, Yaffa Cafe, closed, in part, because the city deemed the back patio illegal after being in use as a dining area for 31 years.

There haven't been any plans for the Taberna team to offer backyard dining here.

"Let me assure everyone involved that this has not been nor is it the case," Baker said. "Our plans for the garden involve landscaping and beautifying so it can be enjoyed from inside our space. We respect the rights of our neighbors ... [we] will always work toward as harmonious as possible a coexistence and are willing to talk with and address any issues that may come up."

Baker is opening Taberna 97 with his business partners — wife Patricia Martins and sister-in-law Raquel Martins. The trio also own St. Dymphnas on St. Mark's Place.

Taberna 97 will serve small and shareable Portuguese dishes. They also have a beer and wine license.

Baker said that they are nearly 96 to 98 percent complete on the space.

Updated 11 a.m.

The city has lifted the Stop Work Order, Baker reports.


Happy 1st day of fall

And with that we give you this scene from the Kmart on Astor Place... EVG regular Daniel Root took the photo this past weekend. An EVG Facebook friend said that the holiday trees have actually been up since August.

After the fire: Getting Caracas Arepa Bar back in business 'may take some time'

[Photo by EVG reader Joaquin]

As we first reported yesterday morning, a fire broke out at Caracas Arepa Bar, 93 E. Seventh St. just east of First Avenue.

No one was injured during the fire. (The FDNY has yet to determine the cause.)

EVG readers who saw the scorched space yesterday said that it looks in bad shape.

Here's a description of the damage from co-owner Maribel Araujovia via Grub Street:

While the street-facing front of Caracas was spared, half of the restaurant — including the kitchen, bathroom, refrigeration, part of the office, and the back half of the basement — essentially “burned down,” Araujo says. Walls are ruined, the basement was flooded with a foot and a half of water, and there is currently no electricity or gas.

Arujo was more blunt with Gothamist: "The restaurant is pretty fucked up."

The damage was contained to the restaurant.

As several EVG commenters noted, the FDNY was on the scene about 2:30 a.m. after residents reported smoke.

Per Gothamist:

Tenants on the second floor, who live directly above the restaurant, smelled smoke early this morning and the fire department was dispatched to the address around 2:30 a.m. The FDNY performed some kind of investigation but didn't find anything at the time, neighbors tell Araujo. The fire department was called again at 7:25 a.m. when the same neighbors awoke to find their apartment filled with more smoke.

While dealing with the temporary loss of her business, Araujo also has questions as to why the fire wasn't discovered earlier, which could have prevented things from getting quite so bad.

For now, the smaller Caracas space is open next door for counter service and to-go orders ... here are the signs that greet customers...

There's isn't any timeline on the restaurant's return. It likely won't be anytime soon, though.

To Grub Street:

“It’s not just a little thing we can fix quickly, put drywall up, and keep going,” Araujo says. Getting back to business will take some time: Leases and inventory need to be looked at, and conversations need to be had with lawyers and insurers. “Maybe we’ll relocate, maybe we’ll try to rebuild this one. At this point, I’m not sure.”

There's also a location in Williamsburg. The Venezuelan restaurant has been open on Seventh Street since 2003.

And here's their message to patrons ...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The last sunset of the summer was a good one

Thank you _____. See you in the fall!

Photo this evening by Bobby Williams

A moment with Imperator Furiosa on 2nd Avenue today

On Second Avenue at Seventh Street, Derek Berg got a shot of the War Rig going on another supply run to Gas Town.

[Updating] Report of a fire at the Caracas Arepa Bar on 7th Street

[Photo by EVG reader Joaquin]

The FDNY is on the scene of a reported fire at 93 E. Seventh St. just off First Avenue... coming from Caracas Arepa Bar...

[Photo via the LES Dwellers]


Updated 8:10 a.m.

Some video via Joaquin...

Updated 8:25

Two photos via Allen Semanco, who noted the quick response from area fire companies got the fire under control... residents were seen evacuated the corner building...

Updated 8:31

An all-clear via the FDNY...

Updated 11:30 a.m.

No word yet on damage to Caracas... Luke's Lobster next door announced a delay in opening ...

Updated 4:30 p.m.

The Caracas to go space is open next door... here are the signs that greet customers...

Co-owner Maribel Araujo provided an update to Grub Street:

While the street-facing front of Caracas was spared, half of the restaurant — including the kitchen, bathroom, refrigeration, part of the office, and the back half of the basement — essentially “burned down,” Araujo says. Walls are ruined, the basement was flooded with a foot and a half of water, and there is currently no electricity or gas. No one was hurt, Araujo says, and the fire was contained to the restaurant.

There isn't a timetable for the return... and it could be serious enough that they need to relocate.

There will be several eating-drinking choices at the incoming Moxy hotel on 11th Street

As we first reported last week, the Lightstone Group has filed new building permits for the Marriott International’s Moxy Hotels brand at 112-120 E. 11th St.

The 13-story hotel between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue is set to be 78,361 square feet. (About 250 square feet per room, per New York Yimby.)

Taking a deeper dive into the new building permit ... the Schedule A shows a lounge in the hotel's basement along with an "eating and drinking establishment with accessory terrace." The application also shows a lounge and another eating and drinking establishment on the first floor/lobby (not sure if these are connected) ... as well as a "grab n go" food and drink space. There's also another bar-restaurant planned for the top floor.

The number of eating-drinking choices in the hotel seems to fit the social Moxy brand. Per their website:

Moxy is a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel. A free-spirited place where you can do all that crazy fun stuff you’d never think of doing at home, together with likeminded spirits you’d otherwise never have met.

Yes, the WiFi is speedy and the cushy beds are freshly made, but more importantly, the bar is always open and the crew is always on. Whether you’re staying for the night or just a nightcap, you’ll see why it’s no place like home.

Previously on EV Grieve:
At the rally outside 112-120 E. 11th St.

Protest reminder about 112-120 E. 11th St.; plus concerns over asbestos removal

6-building complex on East 10th Street and East 11th Street sells for $127 million

Report: 300-room hotel planned for East 11th Street

Preservationists say city ignored pitch to designate part of 11th Street as a historic district

Permits filed to demolish 5 buildings on 11th Street to make way for new hotel (58 comments)

New building permits filed for 13-story Moxy Hotel on East 11th Street across from Webster Hall

East Village IHOP closed for 'makeover'

An EVG reader passed along word that the IHOP on East 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue closed on Sunday for a "makeover," per the signage ... which promises "A whole new IHOP is coming."

According to the work permit (in the ALL-CAP STYLE OF THE DOB and the NYPD TWEET TOWER):


Looking forward to seeing/hearing the mechanical exhaust fan in proposed toilet.

There isn't any reopening date posted. However, to avoid pancake panic, the sign suggests you visit the next-closest IHOP — on Broadway in Washington Heights.

The East Village IHOP opened for business just about five years ago to the date.

[Updated] Where will the Lenin statue's next reign be?

[The post-Lenin Red Square]

Now that workers have removed the 18-foot statue of Vladimir Lenin from the roof of Red Square on East Houston, there's a lot of speculation about where the former Communist leader might end up.

On Monday night, workers at the scene at 250 Houston between Avenue A and Avenue B told EVG contributor Stacie Joy that Lenin, who arrived at Red Square in 1994, was headed to Queens for cleaning and storage.

Meanwhile, a tipster told us that the rental building's original developer, Michael Rosen, has purchased the statue. The building is rumored to be in contract for $100 million.

The Village Voice had an entertaining phone call with someone who answered the phone at Red Square.

“It’s in the same place as Dick Cheney — an undisclosed location,” the man said, adding “I don’t even know how you got this number. I haven’t answered the phone in 14 years.”

The man confirmed that the statue was initially removed to Queens, but has already been returned to Manhattan. It needs to be cleaned and touched up a bit — Lenin’s got some tears, he said — but it will be brought back within a few months.

“It’s going to be cool. That’s all I can say."

DNAInfo reported that the statue was spotted yesterday morning in a truck bed outside the Angel Orensanz Center at 172 Norfolk St. (Was this thing just driving the city all night?) The truck driver said that the statue was going up in/on a nearby building.

And finally, one EVG regular speculated that the statue would end up atop the Christodora House, where Rosen lives on Avenue B. Sure, why not. [Updated 8:10 a.m. — Rosen writes in to say that he has been living in Hanoi these recent years, and they have a Lenin in one of their parks already.]

One other item from Monday night. Apparently several people called 911 to report that someone was stealing the statue. One of the officers on the scene from the 9th Precinct said that he was responding to a call about a "landmark statue being stolen from the building by men with cranes."

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

That would be quite a heist.

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

Updated 6 a.m.

A BoweryBoogie reader spotted a crane crew hoisting Lenin up to the roof of 178 Norfolk St. yesterday ... presumably the new home for the statue. Rosen and Michael Shaoul, co-owners/developers of the original Red Square, are the owners of this 6-story walk-up adjacent to the Angel Orensanz Center.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rumors: Red Square has been sold

Report: Red Square has been sold for $100 million

The fall of Lenin: Iconic statue removed from Red Square on East Houston Street

Desi Galli, now with beer and wine on Avenue B

People seem to really like Desi Galli, 172 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. The restaurant, which offers quick-serve Indian food such as kathi rolls and chaats, opened back in April.

They were previously OK'd for a beer-wine license here in the former Mercadito Cantina space.

And Desi Galli let us know their beer-wine offerings have arrived as of yesterday...

A photo posted by Desi Galli (@desigalli) on

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday's parting shot

Sunset shots via Vinny & O ...

[Click to go bigger]

Croman case adjourned until November

As we noted yesterday, landlord Steve Croman was due back in court this morning.

Just a quick update from a Croman tenant in attendance: Not much happened. The criminal case was adjourned until Nov. 29 ... while the civil case begins on Nov. 1.

Several media outlets were in attendance ... as were some of Croman's tenants. (He owns 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.)

We'll update the post with links to the coverage when it is online.

To recap, Croman is under criminal indictment for mortgage fraud in a probe launched by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In addition, a civil suit alleges that Croman harasses rent-stabilized tenants to get them out of their homes.

A cab collision on Union Square

EVG reader Mitchell Schneider shared these photos from about 4:40 this afternoon... the aftermath of a collision between a cab and U-Haul on East 15th Street...

Not a lot of details at the moment here between Irving Place and Union Square East... one witness said that the cab was speeding and rammed the U-Haul ... and EMTs were bringing one person (the cab driver?) to an ambulance... we'll update if we receive more information...