Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bike lanes on Avenue A

I had the same reaction to this as East Village Idiot: Where did these things come from -- seemingly overnight. I walked across Avenue A yesterday and there lanes...Went back for a few photos this morning.

More sap!

Christmas trees are now for sale on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery. Also: Trees spotted for sale at the Stuyvesant Supermarket at 14th Street and Avenue A.

And now on First Avenue and Fifth Street.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Being Sappy

"This is the time to think about the importance of old buildings in New York's urban fabric -- and how to preserve those worth keeping"

Julia Vitullo-Martin, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has an op-ed in the Post today on why it's time to save the city's imperiled landmarks:

The pause in New York City's building boom may have one side benefit: It gives everyone a chance to think. As projects skid to a halt and buildings get stopped in mid-construction, developers - and their neighbors -- have an opportunity to reassess their plans and consider different options for the future. Can that gorgeous but crumbling church on the corner be saved with neighborhood support? Is an old industrial warehouse a candidate for rehabilitation rather than demolition? Could a clever architect renovate that empty commercial skyscraper for residential? This is the time to think about the importance of old buildings in New York's urban fabric -- and how to preserve those worth keeping.

The Post also offers up a listicle of the 10 endangered buildings in the city worth saving, such as the Corn Exchange Bank in Harlem (pictured above) on the northwest corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue. You can view the slideshow here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Buffalo Exchange opened last week on 11th Street. I remarked at the time that the old Cinema Classics sign was still up. I wondered if the BE folks may keep it...

Uh, no.

A rush to destroy history

The Times continues to take it to the Landmarks Preservation Commission:

The strategy has become wearyingly familiar to preservationists. A property owner ... is notified by the landmarks commission that its building or the neighborhood is being considered for landmark status. The owner then rushes to obtain a demolition or stripping permit from the city’s Department of Buildings so that notable qualities can be removed, rendering the structure unworthy of protection.

And later:

The number of pre-emptive demolitions across the city may be relatively small, but preservationists say the phenomenon is only one sign of problems with the city’s mechanism for protecting historic buildings. “This administration is so excited about the new that it overlooks its obligation to protect the old,” said Anthony C. Wood, author of “Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City’s Landmarks.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
A Landmark article

Friday, November 28, 2008

Screamin' Jay Hawkins with the Fuzztones

From Irving Plaza. 1984.

A little window shopping

On Fifth Avenue....

...and Avenue B.

Or is it the other way around?

A non-buyer's market

Celebrate "Buy Nothing Day" at Union Square today with Reverend Billy. At 3 p.m.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

East Village preservation group gets a nice check (The Villager)

The most-ticketed block in New York City is 14th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. (The New York Times)

Commercial mortgage crisis looms (AP)

New Yorkers spent less on Thanksgiving this year (Runnin' Scared)

How to get legs like the Rockettes (Time Out)

Wal-Mart employee trampled to death by shoppers in Long Island (New York Post)

Being sappy

The Christmas tree stand on 14th Street near First Avenue in front of O'Hanlon's is ready for action. This is the first stand that I've seen open in the neighborhood. They should be up soon on Avenue A in front of TSP...on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery and Houston near Norfolk.


The return of table tennis. From the Fashion & Styles section in the Times yesterday:

Grand Opening, a glass-fronted gallery space between tenement buildings on the Lower East Side, has old Chinese men playing hipsters on its table despite the language barrier. “People can communicate through their game,” the owner, Ben Smyth, 27, said.

[Photo: Rob Bennett for The New York Times]

"Where are all those wonderful folks now?"

From Page Six yesterday:

Eric Bogosian misses the dangerous and dirty old Times Square. In the monologist's upcoming novel, "Perforated Heart," his hero describes walking along the new "Deuce" between Seventh and Eighth avenues and being "jostled by tourists munching kosher hot dogs, their souvenir Playbills clenched in pale Midwestern fists . . . [taking] pictures of each other." He continues: "Thirty years ago, these same darkened doorways framed girls who chanted, 'Wanna go out?' 'Wanna party?' Prostitutes, drug dealers, pickpockets. Where are those wonderful folks now? Grown old. At home with their grandkids, or in drug rehab or in prison or pushing up daisies." The book hits stores next spring.

[Photo by Flo Fox via The Villager]

Dumpster of the day (night edition)

On East Seventh Street near Avenue C on Wednesday night.

Horse sense

I like this shot from a newsstand on Third Avenue in the 20s for two reasons...any store that sells so many horse racing publications is good with me...and anyplace still using a collectible New York Sun paper holder....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Live-blogging the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Joking! But I am kind of being forced to watch it...(Send help.)

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

Ugh: Five Rose's Pizza is closing Saturday (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

The rats are having a party in the EV/LES (The Villager)

Gray Line tour guides may strike (New York Times)

Christie's runk/punk auction results (Stupefaction)

"Anything for Thanksgiving?" (Ephemeral New York)

Strange Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons (The Bowery Boys)

Wishing for the old days of the LES (BoweryBoogie)

A toasty Toyota in the EV (Curbed)

EV Grieve is here to help

Ray from Fairway shows how to carve a turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"I don't know what to say, except that the whole neighborhood is in mourning"

A double-whammy on the P & G from the Observer.


At the end of the year, the beloved corner bar at Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street will be forced to close. (New tenant? Bank. Fucking Branch.) Anyway, P & G's owners sign a new 20-year lease on the former Evelyn lounge space at 380 Columbus Avenue.

As the Observer reports, "The new venue will also have a more refined look than the previous stripped-down dive. One corner of the new L-shaped space, for instance, will feature a fireplace, chess tables and shelves of books. “I want to really do it up like a man’s study in deep burgundy and walnut,” [owner Steve] Chahalis said, explaining, “On Columbus Avenue, you can’t just open a shithole.”

But what about that great P & G sign? As the paper notes:

"Your heart almost gets ripped out every time these things happen," said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, calling just past deadline on Tuesday to comment on the hallowed P & G bar's looming departure from its longstanding location at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 73rd Street.

"Many patrons of P & G call me all the time," Ms. Brewer said. "Even though it's not leaving the neighborhood, I hate to have it move -- and I don't know what happens with the sign."

"I don't know what to say, except that the whole neighborhood is in mourning."

Brooks has been following this story at Lost City...he has a nice tidbit about the new location.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

Two rooftop tumors must come down in the EV (Curbed)

The decline of yelling at people about stuff (Vice)

A fellow sewer steam aficionado (Bowery Boogie)

Renaming Citi Field (Runnin Scared)

How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb? (Erica Saves the Day)

One reason to give thanks for a new SATC movie (Colonnade Row)

Danny Hoch: "This ain't New York anymore" (New York Times)

Because nothing says Happy Thanksgiving more than a young Pilgrim holding a gun

And when will breeches, doublet and stockings with shoes make a comeback?

A little chicken before your turkey

On First Avenue in the 20s....this is just goofy.


"Priced out of Brooklyn? You might want to try Manhattan. Many neighborhoods in Brooklyn are now more expensive to live in than Manhattan neighborhoods (and I'm talking below 90th Street here), according to data compiled by for October 2008." (Daily News)

An EV Grieve All-Star (Cover) Salute to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex!

While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in SoHo doesn't officially open until Tuesday, sneak-preview tours are available.

In honor of this grand occasion, here's a cover-band tribute to some bands who have some sort of connection to NYC! (Please save any scorn/ridicule, etc. for the professionals. Like the Counting Crows. This isn't about making fun of kids in their local gymnasiums or bedrooms. Only a little bit.)

Anyway! Enjoy!

Atomic Kitten cover Blondie's "The Tide is High"

Billy Joel tribute band cover "Big Shot"

Counting Crows cover Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"

Lazaras covers four songs by the Ramones

A young woman in her bedroom covers Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together"

High school talent show: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps"

A band does Kiss' "Detroit Rock City"

Welsh Valley Middle School 8th Grade Talent Show: Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" (pretty good!)

Turkuaz cover the Talking Heads' "Slippery People"

Devilwearspumas covers the New York Dolls' "Trash" in his bedroom

Aegis Band covers Mariah Carey

And, for no reason, Harvey Keitel does Elvis

Rico gets the hook(ah)?

Well, it looks as if Rico, the hookah joint on Avenue C between Ninth Street and 10th Street has closed. Or else they're "renovating" the space, which is suspiciously empty. IF, in fact, Rico has closed, this would mean there are only 417 hookah bars left in the East Village, aka the "hookah zone."

Joey Fatone talks plush potties, and bloggers everywhere are stumped to write funny, toilet-related headlines

Here's some video of Joey Fatone opening the public restroom thing in Times Square yesterday. (

A Landmark article

So, what's doing with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission? From today's Times:

A six-month examination of the commission’s operations by The New York Times reveals an overtaxed agency that has taken years to act on some proposed designations, even as soaring development pressures put historic buildings at risk. Its decision-making is often opaque, and its record-keeping on landmark-designation requests is so spotty that staff members are uncertain how many it rejects in a given year.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A case of the cutes

Fifty People, One Question: New York from Crush & Lovely on Vimeo.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

An infamous walking tour of the East Village (Stupefaction)

Would you like that coffee with a side of guilt? (Esquared)

Gold-painted trash art on 14th Street (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Help prevent an eviction (Save the Lower East Side!)

A little bit of the El Morocco in Brooklyn (Lost City)

Graffitti's comeback? (New York)

Trees are planted alongside an ugly builidng on Ludlow (BoweryBoogie)

Somebody is seeing pink hippos on Wall Street!

And what is "seeing pink hippos" a euphemism for...?

Oh, and this photo was taken before the tree went up in front of the NYSE yesterday. Esquared has a nice shot of that.

Retail space available at Cooper Union (plus: watching the construction from day one)

Despite having been following the new Cooper Union project, I didn't realize there was going to be retail space in the building at Cooper Square between Seventh Street and Sixth Street — 3,000-square feet of it.

"Non cooking food?" Uh, how about FroYo? You don't really have to cook that. Just take it out of the bag and throw it in a machine. Then charge $6 for a three-ounce cup!

By the way, have you been watching the construction at the new Cooper Union building via its LIVE Web cam? You can go all the way back to 2003 and watch it all over again...

How depressing.

"No Reservations" at Sophie's

A tipster tells me that globetrotting chef Anthony Bourdain filmed a segment of his show "No Reservations" at Sophie's this past weekend. He was joined by Nick Tosches to discuss great old haunts of NYC. After Bourdain and the film crew left, Tosches reportedly stuck around for more beers and some pool. The episode filmed at Sophie's will air in February.

Well, this is all good for Sophie's of course, but I keep thinking about what Jeremiah wrote in his post on the closing of the Holland:

This just after Anthony Bourdain, mourning the loss of Siberia, praised the Holland, which he called: "A classic old-man bar." He also hailed the Distinguished Wakamba Lounge, a former after-work haunt of mine, and now I'm worried. What if Bourdain has reaper powers?

Financially strapped automakers cutting corners on design

On Avenue C near 14th Street.

What's new on Lard Street?

Was on Dessert Row the, Seventh Street...the Butter Lane Cupcakes store is now open for business.

Some good news: The historic "Licensed Undertaker" sign is still intact on the building. Of course, the other half of this space is still for rent...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Something else to threaten the very soul of the East Village: Cupcakes

Cinematic facelift

Seeing this gave me pause...then I realized they are just doing some minor renovations. (Or at least that's what I was told by one of the women selling tickets. Though! She acted as if she didn't even notice the building was under scaffolding.) Never can be sure these days, of course. Second Avenue at 12th Street. The Village East Cinemas, home of Intelligent Conversations.

Monday, November 24, 2008

CBGB a warehouse in Williamsburg

From the Times today:

Despite what Neil Young says (“Hey, hey, my, my”), rock ’n’ roll not only dies — sometimes it is crated into boxes and shipped off to a mini-storage unit in the industrial wastes of Brooklyn.

That, alas, is the precise and inglorious fate of CBGB, the legendary nightclub that for 33 years brought hardcore bands like Shrapnel and the Meat Puppets — not to mention chaos and cocaine — to the uplifted gormandizers of New York. Like all good things, the famous club (which closed its doors for good in October 2006) came to an end with a savage finality: the bar stashed in a trailer in Connecticut, the awning pawned off on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and much of the rest of it left to molder here, in a dingy 3,000-square-foot Moishe’s moving company storage space in Williamsburg, a stage dive from the Navy Yard.

“It’s sad,” said Louise Parnassa-Staley, who was the nightclub’s manager for 22 years, “but it’s not really dismal. It’s quiet here, you know. And there’s no rats.”

There is grim commentary to be found in the fact that Ms. Parnassa-Staley — who once booked acts like Hatebreed and Cattle Decapitation — now makes business calls for CBGB Fashions, a clothing operation run from the storage unit that sells T-shirts, belt buckles, onesies for kids, even a CBGB dog vest for your poodle. That ghastliness is matched only by the news that the club’s former barman, Ger Burgman, son-in-law of the deceased owner, Hilly Kristal himself, is now the customer service representative for online accounts.

Not to mention the CBGB shop on St. Mark's closed last summer and was replaced by a Red Mango.

Seventh Street, 3:15 p.m., Nov. 23


From the wire:

NY public toilets feature TVs, tuxedoed attendants

NEW YORK (AP) -- What a relief! The free public restrooms operated by the Charmin toilet paper company in Times Square during the holidays are being rolled out for another year.

It's the third straight year for the 20 deluxe stalls.

The plush potties feature flat-screen televisions, attendants dressed in tuxedos and plenty of Charmin.

The loos are so luxurious that Charmin promises Times Square tourists will feel like kings sitting on their thrones before making their royal flushes.

The toilets are being inaugurated Monday with a ceremonial first flush by pop singer and Broadway star Joey Fatone.

They'll be open every day through the end of the year except Christmas Day. For the first time they'll be open on New Year's Eve for the crowd watching the 2009 ball drop.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

Walk on Times Square circa 1986 with some drag queens (Stupefaction)

A historic restaurant that's now a Duane Reade (Greenwich Village Daily Photo)

Woodside's GoodFellas-worthy Le Cordon Bleu (Hunter-Gatherer)

Chelsea Liquors dead at 30 (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Remembering Shorty at TSP (Neither More Nor Less)

A fancy new look for Duane Reade (Urbanite)

Are we lonely? (Runnin' Scared)

New York is at the center of luxury housing's latest problem (Barron's)

Hudson's sign fading away on East 13th Street

Seems as if the on-again, off-again construction at 103 E. Third Ave. at 13th Street has been going on forever. I forgot now what's even going on up there. There was talk of a hotel some years back.

In any event, the new paint job on the 13th Street side is getting awfully close to the faded ad of one of the site's former occupants, Hudson's Army-Navy Store.

What are the chances the developer has an appreciation of history, and will let the old Hudson's ad stay as it has been for years...?

You can just make out a smidgen of a Hudson's street sign on the bottom left in this undated photo of the Third Avenue El by David Pirmann from (Pirmann took the shot looking south from the 14th Street station.)

The nycsubway site includes an article on the launch of the Third Avenue El from Aug. 27, 1878. A reporter asked business owners along Third Avenue about the new noise casued by the elevated train. This included the proprietors of 103 E. Third Ave.:

At Lamke Brothers', grocers, No. 103 Third avenue: "Naw, we are used to noises on this avenue."

Meanwhile, take a ride on the Third Avenue El via YouTube. You may have seen this before, but...:

'Tis the season for keeping ConEd in business: The holiday lights are up at Rolf's

One of my favorite NYC holiday traditions. The over-the-top holiday lights -- some 70,000 light bulbs in total -- and Victorian-era tchochkes went up at Rolf's last week. For the last month, a few members of the staff at the French-Bavarian eatery at 231 Third Ave. at 22nd Street have been putting up the decorations after hours...they'll be on display until the middle of January. The restaurant opened in 1958, and the lights apparently started going up a few years after that...(at times, it still feels like 1958 in here...). Anyway! The lights!

It gets horribly crowded at Rolf's during the holidays, of course...Just grab a seat at the bar (if you can during off-peak hours)...the food is too heavy for my tastes (hmmm, suckling pig), unless I'm trying to spike the LDL level in my bloodstream. In any event, if Rolf's is mobbed, Paddy Macguire's down the street -- between 19th and 20th -- is a decent alternative for drinks during the holidays. They have some lights as well -- and a much smaller carbon footprint.