Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Does a quiet block even exist in the East Village?


A reader is looking to move apartments later this year, and is starting to do some research for an ideal block. Despite being in a so-called Resolution Zone, the Community Board continues to OK liquor licenses, and the block the resident lives on has "disintegrated into a chaotic nightly mess."

The reader loves the East Village (in general!) ... but was thinking — is there such a thing as a quiet residential block here?

The reader grew up here and is "well aware silence does not exist in this city, but there has to be a strip that's known to be more civil and residential and less likely to draw those bar crawlers who come from I don't know where."

Finally.

"While the neighborhood has certainly changed, I want to still believe there is hope."

I made a few suggestions, including:

• 10th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. (Yes, a major thoroughfare to and from Avenue A, but only one liquor license — the Brindle Room.)
• 11th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.
• 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.
• Seventh Street between Avenue C and Avenue D.
• Second Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

I made more suggestions... but that's enough for now.

There are many fine blocks, though I may not want to live on them. What do you think — is there a quiet block? (And would you tell us if there is?) What about the above picks?

[File photo outside Superdive back in the day]

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

You missed the two nicest blocks in the East Village.

8th St between B and C has no liquor licenses and is not a thoroughfare because Tomkins Sq Pk interrupts the street. It's also wider and boasts several community gardens.

Then there is 7th Street between C and D, known as Doctors Row for its tradition of well kept townhouses and beautiful apartment buildings, including the flower box building and the lovely renovated synagogue.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 7:30

Good choices! Those are both on my list. (The part that I didn't post!) Two upcoming construction/renovation projects could make that stretch of 7th a little noisy during the day....

Anonymous said...

4th Street between C&D is nice. Plus there's the renovated/rebuilt building almost done. I wonder how much those units will go for.

Anonymous said...

I looked at a place on 9th near B that was nice. Renovated and too expensive tho. The block is nice. The old school across the street could be a shitshow if a dorm or whatever ever opens there.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i sometimes fantasize about moving to either 11th or 12th between 2nd and 3rd. those blocks are kind of dead. in a good way.

Anonymous said...

I'm on 11th between B and C and it's great. I cannot imagine living on any of the avenues. Particularly if they face the street.

Anonymous said...

8th Street btwn B/C. Quiet, unless you're in a street facing unit. Then the chaos ensues on nights as the crowds trickle out of my beloved Zum Schneider, and all the other bars on C.

Anonymous said...

Sure, there are still some nice, quiet spots around the neighborhood, but who could afford them?

Anonymous said...

I would sooner announce I was carrying $5000 in unmarked bills in the middle of TSP than tell the World to move to my quiet EV block.

AC said...

I'm with anon 10:11

Regardless, my block is quiet and free of any "problem" bars. That doesn't mean it's quiet. To my great frustration, the Party Hardy Bud Light Boys now live in the apartment above me.

A block can be quiet, but your neighbors don't have to be.

Anonymous said...

So true AC...

We naively moved into an apartment facing the back thinking that we were safe from the bar noise..not so much. All the buildings across from us give ground-floor tenants backyard access, and as long as the weather is over 50 degrees someone is out there every night (Mondays, Tuesdays..doesn't matter) until 3 or 4 in the morning along with 20 of their buddies drinking and screaming and sometimes singing. I don't even know how they can be so loud (we live on a high floor, and they still keep me up all night). Definitely watch out for that.

Spike said...

2nd St between 1st and 2nd listed in the original post isn't that quiet. For at the midnight hour, the spirits of the Marble Cemetery rise. You can hear their banshee shreiks, their terrible moans and cries of "Wooooooo". So like the creepy caretaker in a Scooby Doo episode, I'd advise everyone turn around and leave before you are doomed.

blue glass said...

10h street 1-2 now has only one real bar (company) and many food (mostly japanese) establishments that serve beer and or wine.
there are still hoards of loud drunks all nights of the week and all hours.
many of them live on the block.
i think being a through street adds to the chaos.
and the horns! what are you late for at 3am while sitting in your car?

Anonymous said...

8th street between Avenue B and C is probably the quietest block in the area. No bars no restaurants actually on that block.

Anonymous said...

@Jeremiah - I live on 11th between 2nd & 3rd and it's lovely to be on the same block as St. Mark's Church but my back apt. faces the (wooo!) courtyard of the (wooooo!) 3rd North NYU (omigod! wooo!) dorm and I have come home late at night on more occasions than I care to remember to drunken morons (mostly, as far as I can tell, from Village Pourhouse, Nevada Smiths and Webster Hall) pissing on my steps :(

Where the Style Things Are said...

I live on St Marks (hear me out) between 2nd and 1st and there are only 3 restaurants evenly spaced out along the block. Maybe it just seems super quiet considering what bookends it, but I love my street. Facing the back of the building and I can hardly hear anything outside.

EV Grieve said...

@ Where the Style Things Are

I love that block too. Have never lived along that stretch, but would definitely consider it.

Anonymous said...

I lived on E14th between B and C for many years, and because it's a dead-end, with Con Ed standing guard at the corner, it's pretty quiet by EV standards. There are projects behind the string of brownstone-looking walkups, and they face Stuy Town. You pass by the mayhem and turn onto 14th, and it's like the city went to sleep. Sometimes Con Ed noise, sometimes cars race by to get on the FDR, sometimes the building that houses mostly deaf people on E13th has a really loud party--but all in all it's pretty nice. Good luck!

marjorie said...

Spike cracked me up! Clearly he is my neighbor, as I too live right by the cemetery and am oft awakened by the Poe-like moans of the Woo Cup Holders.

l.e.s.ismore said...

grew up in the hood,still here. lived on loud blocks, rite above bars, you name it. underrated in my opinion is 6th btwn a&b. maybe not as delicate as 8th btwn b&c but very nice nonetheless. sidewalk cafe is on the corner right by ave a but it doesnt stay open late. joes is closed for now but was never a noise problem. a community garden right in the middle of the block. theres actually an office of some sort like 2 or 3 people working in the daytime taking up one of the storefronts but thats a blessing to have instead of a "fine spirits and bitters establishment"- and of course special shoutout to the tiny two "massage" spots on the block. again, a blessing to have those instead of a meatball emporium.

Anonymous said...

@anon 9:00 AM

http://evgrieve.com/search?q=326-328+E+fourth+street

This particular Terrence Lowenberg building on E. Fourth St. is painted in a dark gray to be inconspicuous. The other building at 147 First Ave. is painted in the same color and for the same reason. The Bean will be opening in one of the retail spaces on the ground floor of the building. Icon is smart because people like The Bean, and it dismisses everything that they are doing in the neighborhood. Their tactics really works. It helps to deter criticism, and Icon Realty continues to squash the EV.

There is still an illegal hotel being run by Icon Realty at 325 E. 10th St. called the Hotel Toshi, public officials do nothing. The Sigmund Schwartz Gramercy Park Chapel will be demolished soon too, and many other things from Icon-


http://evgrieve.com/2012/04/demolition-under-way-inside-former.html

nygrump said...

You will not want to be on 6th St southside between 1st and 2nd - the noise from multiple restaurants 1960's exhaust fans that goes from noon to midnight (and frequently belch out horrible burnt grease fumes filling all the back yards) - and there is a recurring problem with some friggin beep beep beep alarm unending - FDNY actually came through at 6 am a few weeks ago when someone called it in. and there is an annual renovation from at least one restaurant or another - I think there are 3 going on right now.- which is a kind of use tax we are forced to pay.

Anonymous said...

I live on 8th between B and C and it's pretty quiet except for Friday and Saturday nights. Last weekend I was awoken to a group of Jersey assholes who were playing music out of their car, pissing in the street, and shouting at their girls. That was 4am. It would be nice if they didn't allow incomers to park on the block.

Anonymous said...

You know the noise from the bars is bad when people who have lived in the EV for 20 years or more are complaining. We are used to noise but it is even too much for us now. I hate to say it but I wouldn't recommend moving into the neighborhood if you don't already live here. It is getting worse and worse and even if there isn't a bar right across from your building, the screaming, drunk masses will make their way down your block all too often.

Anonymous said...

I'm on 13th between A and B - it is pretty damn quiet with exception to bars at the end of 13th and A (but honestly the patrons of those bars are pretty quiet compared to the insanity of other blocks). 12th between A and B also seems fairly quiet at night even on weekends.

Before that I lived on 9th and it was pure hell. I didn't get much sleep ever.

Anonymous said...

i've heard that the double decker tour buses are nice and quiet on the upper deck; plus you're not so close to street level smelly smells

Anonymous said...

East 5th Street between 2nd and 3rd used to be SUPER quiet before the Cooper Square Hotel (now the Standard East Village) was built. :_(
It was a quiet oasis with beautiful trees and hardly any traffic (foot or car).

Anonymous said...

Re: l.e.s.ismore

I live on 6th btw A and B, facing the backyards, and it would be perfect if it wasn't for the fact that a place in the middle on 5th St btw A and B has a private backyard with a ground floor apartment and the a******s there party and play super loud music for as much as 8-10 hours at a time. Last Sat, for example, it was since 2pm until 11pm. I've been there a few times to ask them to at least lower the volume late in the evening... Entitled, moneyed POS. I think I'll need to egg them one of these days.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:41 p.m., E. 12th Street between A and B is no longer quiet. The bar Double Wide on 12th near A is freakin' loud. People in the same building and all around it have complained, called the police, all that jazz. No change. Just get worse.

Anonymous said...

just get an apartment that faces the back yard - how simple is that?

I-)

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:54 PM:

Take a look at the posts from people who have to endure endless frat parties in backyards open to residents with frat mentalities. Some of those kids apparently think they're throwing a party in the Hamptons or something.

Glenn Belverio said...

Maybe I'm just used to any kind of noise after 21 years on this block (3rd btw B and C, closer to C), but I sometimes feel like I live in the country, it can be so quiet. The Projects are across the street and sure, there is the occasional late-ish al fresco merengue party on warm nights (maybe 3 times a month?) and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has long outdoor lines 3 or 4 times a month, but everyone waiting in the line is relatively quiet. They're not drunken NYU idiots, just a lot of honky liberals seeking some poetry-slam culture.

Anonymous said...

this whole topic makes me damn depressed

Anonymous said...

Why aren't more of us egging people on the street below?

Jen said...

I second @ Where the Style Things Are - I live there too, and as long as you face the back of the building, it is dead silent 99% of the time.
However, one of the Anonymous commenters raises a question that I 1% of the time wonder about- what can be done when the courtyard in the middle of the block has people in it talking late into the night? Beyond just yelling out the window like a grouchy old man, of course. I would call 311, but I don't have access to the courtyard through my building, and I don't know which building the loud talkers used to access the courtyard. The cops have no way of getting in the middle courtyard to a block, do they?

Goggla said...

5th St btw 1st & 2nd. The 9th precinct doesn't make much noise and there's also not much car traffic.

Alyssa said...

I lived on 13th between 1st and 2nd for three years and can vouch that it is very quiet (although, my bedroom window faced a courtyard, via which I could often hear the Jamaicans next door playing bongos and one of my neighbors having loud conversations out the window).

I'm now on 11th between A and B (closer to B) and it's not too bad. It does get a bit noisy on weekend mornings, when people are lining up for the soup kitchen/food pantry (Saturday) and performing music (Sunday) at the church across the street.

Anonymous said...

The problem begins with the city:
- Sirens are far too loud
- no enforcement of noise laws against motorcycles etc.
- no enforcement of anti-horn blowing laws
etc.

The city thus sets a precedent, giving the sense that loud noise of any sort is permissible and normal.

It's like the psychology of litter: people are far more likely to litter on an already dirty street than on a clean street.

esquared said...

Shhhh..... you know, some greedy landlords and real estate developers are probably reading all the suggestions and salivating at all these prospects.

Nonetheless, this house/apt. on Stuyvesant Street seems quiet and a fortress of solitude, albeit the streets where it's situated are walkway for the pub crawlers.

Anonymous said...

I used to live next door to the party guys on 5th street between a and b. It was a complete nightmare. I called the cops many times and they would come, but not do much except tell them to turn the music down. I moved to 12th st between a and b and I face the street. The jerka@@ owner of ciao for now refuses to cover the bench outside in front, so all night long people sit there drinking and yelling. The street also has an echo like affect where you can hear every word anyone says, and I'm on the 4th floor. No quiet streets left anywhere in the EV.

Anonymous said...

I live on 9th between 1st & 2nd. A few years back it was ideal. The noise level wasn't bad at all, since the block is mostly just boutiques & that sort of thing. Ever since the 13th step popped up it's torture. So loud. So drunk. At all times, everyday. Some nights it's insane. I miss the good old days.

Anonymous said...

I live on 1st street between 1st and 2nd- my windows face the back of the building/north. I can sleep with my window open no problem most nights. There's also hardly any traffic because most cars choose to take Houston to head west.

Anonymous said...

How I envy those of you on a peaceful block. I live on 9th Street by a club named Solas and it's an absolute freaking nightmare on the weekends. Between Midnight and 4 am the street fills up with the drunkards spilling in and out to smoke. The clubs sound system blares and towards closing time, rather then turn up the house lights, they play the same Rihanna song on loop for 20-30 minutes. After they closed last night, their customers lingered on the block frat chanting until 5 am. The street is currently covered with their garbage.

Anonymous said...

Solas is the worst!!!!

pablo said...

Well i say 11st between a&b is probably da quites ive lived there all my life im 34 90's were da worst