Saturday, December 4, 2010

Newspapers continue discovering East Village streets

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported on East Third Street, noting that the area is becoming a nightlife destination, which doesn't always make some longtime locals happy.

Meanwhile, The Real Estate Section in the Times checks in with a piece on Seventh Street titled "Musty Old, Clever Young East Seventh Street."

This is a stretch of the East Village that has enchanted local publications for centuries. For instance, Time Out featured Seventh Street last February.


Unfortunately, I didn't make it past the fourth paragraph of the Times article ... with the scene described at Abraço...

"A lanky Italian with one leg of his corduroys tucked into an argyle sock leaned against a tall, skinny wooden table on the sidewalk, sipping from a demitasse and reading The Financial Times. Inside, a rumpled young man lingered in the open window, wearing homesickness for Brazil on his comely face. At his elbow, a middle-aged woman in matte red lipstick and a hand-knit snood was eyeing the cured olive cookies and chatting about the charms of her East Village neighborhood.

Behind the small counter, one of the proprietors, Jamie McCormick, worked his La Marzocco machine and called greetings to his regulars. “Where you been?” Mr. McCormick said to a reedy young man in a motorcycle jacket with a striped scarf tossed loosely around his neck. “You been on tour?”

Whoa! This is a dangerous level of adjectives. Let's toss a few of them into Wordle!

Oops. I don't think I put them back correctly.

"A hand-knit Italian with one leg of his corduroys tucked into a wooden sock leaned against a skinny argyle table on the sidewalk, sipping from a demitasse and reading olive cookies. Inside, a rumpled scarf lingered in the open window, wearing homesickness for Brazil on his middle-aged face. At his elbow, a comely woman in striped red lipstick and a lanky snood was eyeing the reedy Financial Times and chatting about the charms of her tall neighborhood.

Behind the young counter, one of the proprietors, Jamie McCormick, worked his La Marzocco machine and called greetings to his regulars. “Where you been?” Mr. McCormick said to a cured young man in a motorcycle jacket with a matte small man tossed loosely around his neck. “You been on tour?”


Anonymous said...

I live on the block, and I like the proprietors, but Abraco has become unbearable. It's such a scenester mecca, I cannot stand the vast majority of people who go there not primarily for the coffee, which is excellent, but to see and be seen. I'd love to roll out of bed and walk halfway down the block in sweats to get my morning coffee without getting dirty looks from the asymetrical haircut crowd, but it's not gonna happen. It sucks not to feel welcome at a business you've been going to since it opened (and it didn't pick up steam until it had been open for a couple of months) on your own goddamn block.

Stedman said...

I think Abraco needs to find a new home, and I don't necessarily mean out of the East Village. Its space is simply too small for the amount of people it attracts. The crowds of people on the street are a nuisance and annoying.

blue glass said...

grieve - what a great replay of words - good job - loved it.

never liked the over priced coffee or the attitude at abraco and hoped the olive cookies were only a short expensive fad. how wrong i was.
folks love to dress up and be abused by high prices in small places.
i'm glad i don't live on the block.

Richard Bensam said...

On a side note, that "hand-knit Italian with a wooden sock reading olive cookies" section is actually really good Surrealist prose. Not usually my sort of thing, but this caught my eye. Kudos!

NYC taxi photo said...

if your out on the town, and you run into these people... it means you haven't looked hard enough. there's always somewhere to go, finding the better place is always the exciting challenge, there are always still places, always, that's why we love new york

Jeremiah Moss said...

this article is awful, the writer is practically begging for a Shake Shack in Tompkins Square Park. and those crowds of Abraco people are a nuisance to anyone trying to walk down the street. i agree with Stedman--time for them to find a larger space.

ewing weber said...

That writing is unbearable. And yet, it completely captures the feeling I have every time I walk by that place. The difference being that I see all those proudly displayed adjectives in one place and keep walking, while they seem to be precisely why the writer stopped.

Brilliant mad lib though.

Kurt said...

Can I ask all the Abraco haters a question? Is there any successful business that has opened that you do like? Abraco operates from 8-4 Tues. thru Sat. and they open at 9 on Sunday. The don't create noise or mess but yes there is sometimes crowding on the sidewalk. But so what? There was crowding on the sidewalk at the 2nd Ave Deli when it was here. Would you rather have the 2nd Ave. Deli still in operation or the Chase Bank. There are never crowds in front of the Chase.

Yes, successful business sometimes generates crowds but when these businesses are also good neighbors I just don't see the problem.

EV Grieve said...

I like the coffee at Abraco... and the people who work there all seem very cool... In general, I'm not a big fan of waiting in lines, whether it's here or anywhere else. I didn't mean for this to turn into an anti-Abraco post... I was poking a little fun at the writing more than anything... the piece made all of Seventh Street, arguably my favorite in the neighborhood, seem awful.

Kurt said...

@Grieve, I didn't see your blog post as an example of being anti Abraco, I'm talking about blue glass, Jeremiah Moss and Stedman.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have pointed out (to those who needed it pointed out) that this was not an anti-Abraco post.

I have not gone there since the early days of it's existence. The reason is simply that I have a bit of a problem with crowds AND tight spaces both together.
the coffee is some of the best I've ever had; and Jamie is absolutely friendly and charming.
Also; the argument that there are 6 or 8 people standing on the sidewalk quietly drinking coffee right in front of the shop's window; and that this constitutes a "nuisance", is so fucking stupid it defies... (hell, I don't know what it defies)
This is what "community" IS. This is the way it's SUPPOSED to be here. You don't like the way the customers dress?; find another place. (I have)

Crazy Eddie said...

EV Grieve

FYI. The EV is going national via a post in Andrew Sullivan's "The Daily Dish" blog.


Crazy Eddie

Eden Bee said...

I don't go there because it is crowded and tiny BUT I do know Jamie the owner and he is very cool. He gave me a bunch of stuff to give to Ray when Ray was getting bothered by the health department..Ray needed a few items like a thermometer, and stuff like that and Jamie gave it all to him..Said he loves Ray's..AND he came in to the backroom with Ray and I and went over the inspection necessities and gave ray good advice about operating a small business..So that's all I gotta say. Jamie is awesome. He was going to help us all clean back there and tile too, but it was 4am and he had to get up early.

Kurt said...

@Eden, thanks for sharing the story. I know someone that is friendly with Jamie and I know he is nothing but nice and he is at Abraco the entire time it's open so I find it hard to believe that anyone has been given attitude at his shop.

Eden Bee said...

Jamie is super kind..they probably will look for a bigger space at some point. I'm sure they don't like working in that tiny little crowded seats or anything.

Anonymous said...

The East Village is full of people who fear success, fear life, and overall just want everything to stay exactly the same so they can hide in their $1000/month rent controlled rat holes and slowly bankrupt their landlord and the city. Of course having young people on your street is noisier than having heroin addicts. Of course seeing people happy, drinking some of the best espresso in the world poured by an owner who is very considerate of his neighbors is really tough for these types.

Ignore them.

Regarding comments on the size of Abraco - did you stop to think the reason the product can be so good at such prices is exactly the size of it? Do you know how much espresso you need to sell to pay the rent for a few tables in the EV? more than you can :)

They are setting up a commissary/roasting facility out in LIC though, which makes more sense than paying EV rents for food prep space.