Friday, September 30, 2011

On duty

Today in Tompkins Square Park .... by Bobby Williams...

NOT Lady Gaga!

Tompkins Square Park today... Photos by Bobby Williams...

[Ha to Lux Living!]

Kiss them for me

My Bloody Valentine circa 1988 with "Feed Me With Your Kiss." Plenty more where this came from.

How you can make a personal connection to the Mystery Lot

Ohh! This afternoon outside the Mystery Lot on East 14th Street... looks like some street art shenanigans!

And this sign explains what's going on here...

[Updated] Radiohead [NOT] playing at Occupy Wall Street

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Radiohead will play a surprise show for #occupywallstreet today at four in the afternoon. Press conference at one in the afternoon.

[Updated] Radiohead management says the band isn't playing, per multiple media outlets. Per Gawker: "what might happen if Radiohead doesn't show up could be more interesting than if they did."

[Updated 3:12 from Occupy Wall Street's spokesperson] "The concert is unconfirmed. Sorry about this — I'm in the dark as much as you as to what's going on right now."

[Updated 3:44 from Occupy Wall Street's spokesperson] "I got hoaxed. Radiohead was never confirmed. Completely our fault. Apologies. The band were victims in this hoax as well."

EV Grieve Etc: Mourning Edition

[Yesterday in Tompkins Square Park, by Bobby Williams]

Michael Moore at the St. Mark's Bookshop (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

At Occupy Wall Street (Slum Goddess)

Check out Jefferson Siegel's incredible photos from the Occupy Wall Street arrest at Union Square (The Villager)

Issue one of the East Village Eye (Nonetheless)

The 1970s NYC street photography of Leland Bobbé (The New York Times)

Marty walks by the gut-wrenching, gut-renovated Waverly Restaurant ...

...on his way to the Washington Square Diner (Marty After Dark)

The next subway stations to receive cellphone service (Gothamist)

Facts about renter's insurance (Stuy Town Living)

The life of a rag picker on Mulberry Street (Ephemeral New York)

Know your rights: Help with understanding NYC rent laws

EV Grieve reader EVFlip wrote the following article... Per EVFlip: "Recently, due to a change in my building's ownership, I've become more active in housing issues. I always thought I was the only one who didn't know about NYC rent laws, but as I speak with more and more neighbors, I find that very few people know their rights."

As Mayor Bloomburg pursues rebranding New York City as a "luxury item," paving the way for aggressive landlords to clean house, New Yorkers need to educate themselves regarding their rights. Many of us have a vague idea of our housing rights and the laws concerning rent stabilized apartments.
If your building has six or more units and was built before 1973, then probably your apartment is, or once was stabilized. If your apartment is not currently rent stabilized, then you still need to know about rent stabilization! Roughly, an estimated 20,000 apartments are destabilized each year. Many are destabilized illegally. The tenant has four years to catch an overcharge before it becomes permanent. Illegal overcharges consistently lead to the illegal destabilization of rent stabilized apartments.
Too many of us depend on the perceived trustworthiness of real-estate agents, managing agents, and landlords. Their job is to turn a profit, not to advocate for you.  Just because you are presented with a lease stating that your apartments rent is X, does not mean that X is the legal rent. There is no state or city agency that will catch this. It is your responsibility to find out. 

So what can you do? 
Get your rent history! It is a simple phone call, (718) 739-6400. You'll go through a short automated menu, and then you'll speak to an operator. Ask for your full rent history, back to 1984. The operator will ask for your name and address and that's it. In a few days, you'll receive your rent history in the mail. 
Some management companies specialize is prepping buildings for sale. One way to do this is preferred rents. A stabilized apartment for $1600/month may be offered to let at $1,200/month.  A great deal right? Aren't they nice! Except that this preferred rent may be recinded and then a tenant is left with not only the rent increase designated by the rent Guidelines Board (RGB), but the $400 difference. 

When a tenant in a rent stabilized unit moves out, the landlord is entitled to a 20% vacancy increase. It behooves any managing agent to have a high turnover on stabilized apartments. In one paricular building on East 4th street, HALF the apartment were stealthily destabilized.  Tenants were told it was a "stabilized building" and they never questioned the agents. When the building was sold to a real estate equity firm, unsuspecting tenants found themselves with doubled rents.
Get a copy of Tenants Rights' Guide. It can be downloaded or you can get a printed version at the Cooper Square Committee. To download a copy go here.

Where can you find help? 
If there is any question you might have about your lease, repairs, confrontations with your landlord/managing agent, or any housing issues there is help.
Cooper Square Committee (You can pick up a Tenants' Rights Guide here)
61 East 4th Street
(212) 228-8210
Metropolitan Council on Housing
339 Lafayette Street, #301
212-979-0611 (hotline Mon-Wed-Fri 1:30 to 5 p.m.)
University Settlement (Project Home)
184 Eldridge Street (at Rivington Street)
(212) 674-9120

Also, Henry Street Settlement, GOLES and Tenants and Neighbors too!

So, whether you are in a stabilized unit or not; get your rent history, be aware, and don't assume that your best interest is being looked is not.


Finally, your chance to own the 3-level penthouse at the Brownstone East Village

[Photos via New York Magazine via Curbed]

The building at 224 E. 14th St. near Third Avenue remains a rather interesting work of over-the-top luxurious architecture. (Check out Curbed's archives on the place here.)

Workers began renovating the space about five years ago... and developers added some of the more curious amenities to blow up the neighborhood, such as a retractable glass wall that we've never actually seen retract. (Think of those views of IHOP!)

You can see a before-and-after up above courtesy of New York magazine, who got inside the place a few years back.

Otherwise, this place has seemingly been as transparent as the Kremlin.

Until now! The listing for the building's penthouse (which, we think, belonged to the developer, Carol Swedlow) just hit the market. It doesn't disappoint. According to Corcoran:

A Penthouse triplex condominium in the East Village: This two-bedroom, two full and two half baths loft residence is accessed directly via keyed elevator and sits on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors including a private outdoor terrace & full roof deck. On the sixth floor, with 12' ceiling heights the living room is sun drenched facing south and the kitchen is suffused with northern light through a glass fold-away automatic garage door that spans the entire length of the building, and opens to a setback dining terrace. On the top floor, a rooftop cabana opens to a 608 SF private roof deck with N,S,E,W views. The fifth floor is split between 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths. An unbelievable layout.

And here it is...

And here's a chance for you see it live: there's an Open House Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m. And please bring your $1.995 million.

New commercial turns historic St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery into a bank branch

Thanks to an EV Grieve reader for pointing out this new Capital One commercial featuring Jerry Stiller ... which eventually desecrates one of the the East Village's finest treasures...

Watch the whole thing for yourself here.

Don't get any ideas, Capital One!

Oh, great: East Village well-represented in 'best dive bars in NYC' listicle

Complex magazine has issued a listicle titled The 50 Best Dive Bars in NYC.

As we've discussed here before, "dive bar" is a tired, meaningless term that should be retired. But! For the sake of a pointless Friday conversation... here are the nearby bars that made the top-50 list.


2 — The Holiday

5 — Blarney Cove

7 — Blue & Gold

11 — Coal Yard (called "an East Village legend" — already!)

13 — Lakeside Lounge

14 — Lucy's

17 – 11th Street bar

18 — Vazac's

27 — Doc Holliday's

35 — Cherry Tavern

40 — Milano's

44 — Continental

45 — Crocodile Lounge

46 — Heathers

47 — Double Down Saloon

49 — B-Side

50 — International

A real, live page-turner at East Village books

So the Post has a piece (an exclusive! FRONT-PAGE story) about this guy, described as a "serial thief who reportedly stole books from the New York Public Library." So the guy would rip out the official-looking library pages and sell the books around town.

Donald Davis, owner of East Village Books on St. Mark's Place, had been fooled by the guy before. So they set a trap for him the next time he walked in.

Anyway, long story, the guy returns... and, after a confrontation, a tussle ensues, the Post reports. But! Davis was a wrestler in high school. He pinned him until the cops arrived.

“There’s no other situation where I would do this. I was so angry that he was stealing from the library,” Davis said. “The library is just a very important piece of our community.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It was a dark and stormy day

Photos by Bobby Williams.

...until it cleared up

Tompkins Square Park after the rain, by Bobby Williams.

Moments before the storm this afternoon

Whoa. Photo looking south over the East Village via EV Grieve reader Tom.


Photos by Dave on 7th.

EV Grieve Etc: Mourning Edition

[Filming at Vazac's last evening, by Dave on 7th]

Meet 82-year-old St. Mark's Place resident Steve Kraus, publisher of "New York Good News" (DNAinfo)

Many new additions to the EV Grieve animated GIF tribute site (EVGif)

More ramshackle newsstands replaced by robotic Cemusa boxes (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

The fallout from the 135 Bowery preservation fiasco (The Lo-Down)

Beer and basketball at Pier 36 (Grub Street)

"Dickensian London" on the LES (Lost City)

A promising-sounding cafe in the works for Orchard Street (BoweryBoogie)

Pulino's is a "critic-proof" eatery (NY Post)

Loving an animated New York City (Runnin' Scared)

NYPD cop's second pepper spray attack vs. Occupy Wall Street protestors (The Daily Kos)

From the Cooper Square Committee on the St. Mark's Bookshop: "We believe that Cooper Union is stonewalling this issue, hoping our community will forget about the bookstore. We need you to send this petition out to all of your friends and family today. Help us reach 50,000 signatures by the middle of October." (Up to 39,000 now, with Michael Moore on the way tonight.)

RIP Robert Loughlin (CBS News)

Reader report: Cops and a BB gun hole at 2A

From an EV Grieve reader:

I was walking home last night around 7 and a cop came barreling down the wrong way on 2nd St. toward A. By the time I got to the corner, there were about 8 cops and they were looking at what appeared to be a small bullet hole in the window of the 2A bar. It was on the side facing 2nd St and toward the middle on the bottom. It might have been a bb gun — hole wasn't that big. Did you hear anything on this?

We did not hear anything about this. Anyone?

[Updated] Looking at the October CB3/SLA committee agenda: Booze for Jane's Sweet Buns, Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter for Avenue C

First! The meeting is Monday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 pm at the JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery...

And now, some of the agenda items above Houston (a fairly slim list at 23 applicants in total — might get out by 1 a.m.!)

Applications within Resolution Areas
• U2 Café (JDY Café Inc), 6 St Marks Pl (wb)

I've honestly lost track of the comings-and-goings at the former Mondo Kim's space.

• Yankee Pizza Restaurant Inc, 181 Ave C aka 647 E 11th St (wb)

A scratch from last month. Part of the growing Yankee Deli empire.

• SRI Padmavati Corp, 115 Ave C (op)

This is the former Porch space, which we reported is moving to another part of the city. Rumor is an Indian restaurant is opening here.

• Fonda Avenue B LLC, 40 Ave B (op)

This space previously housed Octavia's Porch. Will be "contemporary Mexican." UPDATED: The Local's Daniel Maurer notes that this is from the same folks behind the Fonda of Park Slope helmed by Roberto Santibañez, formerly the culinary director for the Rosa Mexicano restaurants.

[Photo of Jane by Allen Semanco]

• Jane's Sweet Buns (DeRossi Chelsea LLC), 102 St Marks Pl (wb)

Wine and beer to pair with the dessert, right?

• Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, 94 Ave C (wb)

Interesting... this is the former Singas Pizza... (and before that, Joselito's, who moved to Avenue D.) Anyway, that name sounds awfully precious.

New Liquor License Applications
• Ichibantei LLC, 401 E 13th St (wb)

This is the the eatery that serves a range of Japanese "soul food" just east off First Avenue. A scratch from August.

• Rai Rai Ken (Tokyo Mama Inc), 218 E 10th St (wb)

Looks like the former Teriyaki Boy will become part of Rai Rai Ken's expansion.

• Kotobuki (Kotobuki Manhattan Inc), 54-56 3rd Ave (wb)

Looks like we have a taker for the long-dormant space that previously housed Lan between 10th and 11th Street...

• Shoolbred's, 197 2nd Ave (op)


• Golden Cadillac, 446-448 E 13th St (op)

This is the address for Mug Lounge, which has been for sale.

• To be Determined, 351 E 12th St (op)

Not much to go on. But this is the address for Resto Leon. Which was rumored to be for sale, per Grub Street.



b=beer only | wb=wine & beer only | op=liquor, wine, & beer | alt=alterations |up=upgrades

The Mosaic Man is working on the Tompkins Square Bagels sign

Here at 165 Avenue A, Jim "the Mosaic Man" Power has been working on the new sign for the coming-soon Tompkins Square Bagels... he was there yesterday...

...and here's a look at the sign in progress...

...and a few days before that...

And have you been to Jim's new website? It's right here.

Meanwhile, the shop will also exhibit the work of local artists on a regular (monthly?) basis... first up, V.H. McKenzie and her metro used subway transit card art ... She'll be featuring some neighborhood scenes, such as the TSP Ratstravaganza...

She's also soliciting ideas for local/East Village scenes or icons that she could paint on the cards, so if you have an idea...


The Bowery losing its Legend?

Looks like 52E4 — the 15 stories of condo on the Bowery and East Fourth Street — is losing a celebrity tenant.

According to Jennifer Gould Keil at the the Post today, nine-time Grammy Award-winner John Legend's two-bedroom condo is on the market for $2.95 million. (He paid $1.9 million for the place in 2009.) We didn't see the listing posted just yet...

The Post is quick to note that he "still loves the apartment but also loves looking at real estate and could be ready to upgrade."

What's not to love about the surrounding area with the 7-Eleven coming soon to the building's retail space on the Bowery and that godawful-looking hotel in the works for the former Salvation Army residence on the corner of East Third Street?

Anyway, you may remember seeing Legend's apartment via Esquire and the photo shoot with his girlfriend, Chrissy Teigen, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

Can't wait for the Open House!

So long spaceship windows! Rolling out the barrel at the Cooper Craft and Kitchen

Over on Second Avenue and Fifth Street, work continues on the former Kurve/Rhong Tiam space...

And workers have now replaced the space-aged windows...

...with rather normal-looking windows...

And on the inside? EV Grieve reader Sy on 5th Street got a glimpse. Very barrel-ly!

Meanwhile, Bobby Williams got a look at the front...

As previously reported, the space will be a craft-beer-focused bar-restaurant called Cooper Craft and Kitchen from the team behind Dempsey's and Sláinte. They got a full liquor license approval back in June.

Bonus photo of the former curvy Kurve windows!

Hell in Austin

The Austin Chronicle has a quick recap of Richard Hell's book reading there in Texas Tuesday night:

Funny, ecstatic, historic, depraved, revealing, Hell hit all the bases, beginning with Television’s first rehearsals (“It was like creating the world”), CBGBs’ early days (“sticking a needle in my arm felt adult, more independent than any choice I’d ever made”), Pere Ubu and Rocket From the Tombs drug casualty Peter Laughner (“so pure and so tainted”), cocaine nights (“under cocaine my brain and cock were the same”), and his road to addiction recovery in 1983.

Why the Mosaic Cafe closed

[Dave on 7th]

Yesterday, we reported that Mosaic Cafe had closed on Avenue C between Ninth Street and 10th Street... I asked co-owner Rachel Fuchs what happened. Here's her response, via email:

"Business was going well. Unfortunately, we had to close due to issues with the landlord. We are very upset about the whole situation and love the neighborhood... so hopefully we will be able to relocate in the East Village in the near future."