Sunday, January 31, 2010

Somewhere on Second Avenue

Avenue A, 10:12 a.m., Jan. 31

Why people in L.A. might be talking about McSorley's today

The Los Angeles Times published a feature today about Geoffrey Bartholomew, the poet bartender who has worked behind the bar at McSorley's since 1967. Bartholomew is the author of the 2001 release "The McSorley Poems." (He has an MA in from City College, where in the '70s "he tutored under literary heavyweights Kurt Vonnegut and Anthony Burgess.") The piece talks about some of the bar's history and current group of regulars... nothing all that interesting for us hereabouts, but far more fascinating for L.A. bargoers, who think Backstage Bar & Grill in Culver City is the best dive bar.

Spotting an artwork ad on a cab

Thirty days into the month yesterday... I finally spotted one of the new art ads atop the ads...(the one on the right)

As the Times reported back in December:

[F]or the month of January, Show Media, a Las Vegas company that owns about half the cones adorning New York City’s taxis, has decided to give commerce a rest. Instead, roughly 500 cabs will display a different kind of message: artworks by Shirin Neshat, Alex Katz and Yoko Ono.

Previously on EV Grieve:
But how will we know what reality show to watch or strip club to hit?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Art show at the Mars Bar: Your chance to show off your "priceless masterpieces"

Tomorrow at 2. I'll be bringing my velour cats playing poker wall tapestry

[Feline Frenzy at the Poker Table via]

Times writes about White Slab Palace: Mentions David Schwimmer, but no falling moose/caribou dead animal head

The Times writes about White Slab Palace on Delancey and Allen today....

And let's start the piece:

THE Lower East Side has become a destination for those from other boroughs, other towns and other nations who seek a few hours of Manhattan life. On a recent Saturday night, on Rivington Street between Essex and Ludlow, it was easy to find people from Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, England and Germany. It was harder to find a local resident.

Nearby, a stretch limousine idled, its passenger area illuminated by a black light and filled with champagne glasses. Inside, Luis Salcedo, the driver, waited for his evening’s charges — eight people from Queens. Mr. Salcedo said he was often called to drive to the area. “They always sing songs on the way,” he added.


The greasy dude factor is low here,” said Sam Sellers, one of the resident D.J.’s. “You can play reggae and the guys aren’t grinding up all over the girls. It’s parties of friends, not one or two or three people looking for a night, so the energy is amazing.”

Celebrity sighting bonuse: David Schwimmer!

Anyway, stretch limos, greast dudes...yes, yes... But, oddly enough, no mention of the falling caribou/moose/dead animal head here!

Previously on EV Grieve:
Field & Stream FINALLY checks in on the falling moose head/caribou story; tsk-tsks entire New York media

Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

Sorry about the shit quality.

Opening tonight: Bar Above Cabin, purveyors of "oysters and burgers and rock and roll"

Just when we were speculating about the new bar opening in the old Pizza Shop space next to Niagra on Avenue A...comes this report from Urban Daddy about the new Bar Above Cabin, which (soft) opens tonight:

Here's what you need to know: it's a bar opening on the hush-hush. It used to be a small, nondescript pizza shop. And it now deals in oysters and burgers and rock and roll. On top of a speakeasy. Rest easy knowing that the speakeasy, Cabin Down Below, is still alive and dealing in hipsters, loud music and strong cocktails. But in place of mozzarella and red sauce, upstairs you'll find exposed brick, tufted black leather banquettes, an old chandelier or two and just enough light to see Agyness Deyn sitting in the corner.

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef...and Pizza

Per Grub Street:

The people behind This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef at the former Birdies space on First Avenue "is the brainchild of Artichoke’s Francis Garcia and Sal Basille."

Sixth Street's Congregation Mezritch Synagogue spared from glassy fate?

This just in from the The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP)...

NYS Historic Preservation Office, in response to an application from GVSHP, has ruled that the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue on Sixth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue qualifies for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places. As the GVSHP notes, "While State and National Register listing does not prevent demolition of historic buildings, it does offer tax breaks and other financial incentives for preservation of historic structures."

Per an e-mail from the GVSHP:

The 1910 Congregation Mezritch Synagogue is the East Village’s last operating ‘tenement synagogue,’ so called because they occupied narrow tenement-sized lots and served residents of the surrounding tenements. This striking neo-classical style structure was supposed to be demolished in 2008 when GVSHP and the East Village Community Coalition staged public protests to save it and called upon the LPC to landmark the building. While the LPC did not, following the protests the developer of the condo which would have replaced the building backed out of the deal. The building was saved temporarily, but its ultimate fate is far from clear. GVSHP is completing a historic resources survey of the entire East Village, which will allow us to make strong arguments and recommendations for landmark protections throughout the East Village.

For further reading:
Proposed New East Village Synagogue Looks Suspiciously Like Apartment Building

"The Perfect Crime" at Bullet Space

City Room checks in with a piece on "The Perfect Crime,” the exhibit that Andrew Castrucci organized at Bullet Space on East Third Street.

From the article:

The show, up through this weekend and featuring more than 200 artists and 300 works, is part retrospective of the experience of squatting and part history of the building and the people it has housed, including both squatters and unknown inhabitants from previous centuries who left traces of their lives hidden behind walls or buried in the ground outside. Mr. Castrucci said he was motivated in part by a desire to document what had in some ways been a secret existence.


By many measures life is now less arduous, Mr. Castrucci said, but he still relishes the independence and freedom he and others found in the pre-gentrified days of the East Village, when it seemed for a while that the future could be written by anybody bold enough to act.

“We were a mixture of volunteers and dropouts from society” he said. “And I still haven’t figured out what category I was in.”

I've seen the exhibit...and highly recommend it... : “The Perfect Crime,” at Bullet Space, 292 East 3rd Street. Through this weekend. Friday: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. Suggested donation $10.

Jill wrote about it here.

The Villager profiled it here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bullet Space is the first of the former LES squats to take over ownership of building from city

[Photo of Bullet Space from 1986 by Sebastian Schroder via the Bullet Space site]

EV Grieve Etc: Mourning Edition

(Above: Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place)

Blogging Manhattan's landmarks (The Masterpiece Next Door)

CBGB Radio is on the air (This Ain't the Summer of Love)

J. D. Salinger’s New York (The New York Times)

Rickshaw Spidey returns (Neither More Nor Less)

An appreciation of "Metropolitan" (Nonetheless)

NYC's best blogs (The Village Voice)

A better title for "Here is New York" (Patell and Waterman’s History of New York)

Skyline's bookstore cat finds a home (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Friday food videos (With Leftovers)

Antique signs of the LES (BoweryBoogie)

Lady GaGa is apparently popular (The Wall Street Journal)

Can you pick her out of the lineup?

[AP Photo/Evan Agostini via.]

Is a serial vomiter targeting the new Cooper Union building?

First, I apologize for this photo.

However! In the name of crackpot conspiracies news!

In the last month or so, I've walked by the new Cooper Union academic building and have noticed that someone had, well, barfed in the shadows at least six different times, usually on Friday, Saturday or Sunday mornings (duh) .... the first few times, well, ok, chuck it up chalk it up to its proximity to an ample number of students, tourists and bars...but after the fifth time, this is a trend.

There are many places to vomit in the neighborhood. Like in the bathroom at McSorley's. Or on the F train. Or my front steps. Why here so many times? Does someone have an issue with the new building? Is it just an inviting place to yak? Or, worse, after this neighborhood has had to deal with the Penistrator, is a Vomitrator now on the loose?

Space-age love pad on the block...a "fully original Soho loft" on Avenue D

Check out this brand-new listing... a third-floor space over on Sixth Street at Avenue D. This 975-square-foot, one-bedroom condo is going for $699,000.

Here's the description:

Condo loft ready for you to move-in for only $716 a square foot!! This fully original Soho loft is ready to go at a stunning and spacious 975 square feet!! Located in a newer elevator building and facing south off the street you will enjoy the setting sun, quiet nights, and all the space!! The floors have been white washed for a tasteful but artful look. There is a flat screen TV nook that has been smartly placed in the living space so the TV will flow seamlessly against the wall. Closets everywhere, bath and a half, open kitchen around out this one-of-a-kind one bedroom flex two loft space. The building is a condo so subletting and renting are permitted.

There are other units available here above the Compare Foods...such as a two-bedroom for $764,000 that advertises a "waterview" and "steps away from hot new restaurants, bars and recreation park."

See this all for yourself at 754 E. Sixth St. during an open house Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30. In keeping with the space theme, Tang and freeze-dried premium ice creams will be served to visitors.*

[*Not really]

Shall we dare a Columbia student to shout out a request for "Sweet Jane"?

[UPDATED] Lou Reed is NOT performing Metal Machine Music next Friday at Miller Theatre on Columbia's campus. An orchestra is. Oops. $7 with a student ID.

[Image via]


At Sutra, the hookah place on First Avenue near First Street.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The “East Village version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’”

From Lincoln Anderson's cover story in this week's issue of The Villager:

In what some are calling the “East Village version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” customers and friends of Ray Alvarez — the two are really one and the same — have pitched in to help him start paying off his back rent, giving him and his store another lease on life.

Previously on EV Grieve:
More Details on Day of Ray

Why was a helicopter circling the East Village at 4 a.m. or so?

We're getting of sorts of e-mails about a helicopter hovering around the neighborhood early this morning/late last night (depending on your schedule...):

"The helicopter was back last night (1/27/10). Woke me up at 4am, flying very low, was very loud. I'm at 12th and 1st in the EV. Really weird, I can't seem to find any answers."


"I've just been listening to a helicopter circle round and round the EV for about an seems to have stopped now. It was distinctly creepy..."

And from Lux Living:

Did you hear the helicopters last night? So annoying.


Hi, my name is Sebastian Foss. As incredible as it may sound you're about to discover a system how you can drive 1000s of potential customers to any website or affiliate website at $0 cost to you! What if I told you that I'm making thousands of dollars each week and I'm not paying a dime for advertising ?


And in the Twittersphere...

I haven't heard any news account to explain this either.... Anyone have any ideas/theories/conspiracies/idle gossip?

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated! Mysterious, low-flying helicopter returns...

Taking a look at the latest blight on the downtown skyline

I've been so distracted by Harrison Ford's gargantuan cranium of late that I haven't even noticed the 13-story Great Jones Hotel creeping up the downtown skyline...

Ah, here it is upclose at 25 Great Jones Street at Lafayette. One day it will be home to all sorts of fancy eateries and bars and stuff.

Born to Fit? Heh! Tell that to the understandably pe-od neighbors... (Curbed has a full report on the public meeting on Jan. 19.)

And last year around this time, I snapped photos at 25 Great Jones announcing the hotel would be completed in February 2010...

Meanwhile, next to the Hotel, plans were announced last December for that narrow lot that once housed the Jones Diner... it's a (surprise!) glassy, six-floor retail/residential building...If you've been following this story, then you know how the Hotel is essentially eliminating greatly reducing the natural light into Chuck Close's studio here on Bond Street...

(In fact, I saw Close and his assistant enter the building the other day... I was going to ask him about the latest developments, but decided against it...)

So you'd better enjoy the graffiti in this lot while you can...

25 Great Jones in 1935

Via Curbed.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves: Stuy Town mistaken for Lillian Wald housing projects

From the Corrections & Amplifications in The Wall Street Journal:

A Tuesday Money & Investing article about New York's Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complex was incorrectly accompanied by a photo of the Lillian Wald housing project on Manhattan's Lower East Side, which was misidentified as the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper property.

[Avenue D photo via Flickr. Stuy Town photo via.]

Lonely balloon ushers in open house guests at 229 E. 13th Street

At the dormy new rentals on 13th Street near Third Avenue, someone finally removed the "for rent" banner that continued to get tangled up...

For open houses this week (two bedrooms for $3,300; one bedrooms for $2,595), the folks in charge employed a lonely, air-deprived balloon to entice passersby...

Previously on EV Grieve:
What's doing at 229 E. 13th St.?

Report: Former Pizza Shop becoming a bar

Thanks to Eater for noticing this...I would have missed it too... As Eater noted yesterday ... this piece of news was buried in an other otherwise ridiculous piece in the Post on hipsters hanging out at rat-packy piano bars: Jesse Malin is planning to open another bar next to Niagara at Avenue A and Seventh Street.

As you may recall, this space was home to the Pizza Shop, which closed in November. As co-owner Kevin Cole said in the EV Grieve comments: "We closed ... because the rent was too high. We struggled every month to make it... someone gave me an offer on the space and i decided it was best to take it."

The rent was a little more than $10,000 month.

Looking at vintage World Trade Center ads

Our blogging friend This Ain't The Summer of Love had a post earlier this week on vintage advertisements that featured the World Trade Center. For example:

Horrifying in retrospect. Not sure why anyone ever thought that this was a good image for such ads. ("I got it! Let's have a giant hand crush Michael Keaton using the World Trade Center!" ) Perhaps we can make the case that buildings should never be used as the centerpiece for an ad campaign...

We're gonna need some more dorms

NYU has announced another year of record-breaking admissions, reaching a total of 38,037 for the pool of regular and early decision applicants. For the class of 2014, NYU anticipates enrolling 4,500 students in New York. (

[Image via]

Stromboli Pizza continues its transformation

At Stromboli Pizza on St. Mark's and First Avenue, as seen here several years ago...

...the work continues on the sidewalk cafe... in November...

early January...

... and last night, in which the place was closed for the renovations...

[Top photo via]