Thursday, January 31, 2013

[Updated] At the LES Unity Rally

Tonight at 5:30, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and other community leaders convened on Avenue D and East Sixth Street in a solidarity march against gun violence. Joining the group was Arlene Delgado, the mother of 16-year-old Raphael Ward, who was gunned down in a dispute over his jacket on Jan. 4. There have been a handful of other shootings since last July in the area.

Said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. "We are marching today to keep our children safe, to prevent the next senseless death — and to stop another tragic shooting from scarring our streets."

"This has to end — how many more mothers have to go through this?” said Arlene Delgado. "I’m speaking out because I would love to save so many other children. I still have a six-year-old to look after, and we have to be more pro-active in our children’s lives. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and our village has to pull together."

[A memorial for Ward on Rivington and Columbia]

Photos by Bobby Williams.

Updated 2-1

Find more coverage at The Lo-Down ... and DNAinfo ...

Daffodils make an appearance in Tompkins Square Park

As EVG regular peter radley noted this afternoon, the daffodils are breaking through the soil in Tompkins Square Park...

[Updated] Report: The Red Room to close on East 4th Street

W.M. Akers at Astor Place Riot has the scoop this afternoon that the Red Room, the 32-seat performance space on East Fourth Street, will close in March. The Horse Trade Theater Company runs the space located upstairs from the Kraine Theatre and KGB Bar.

Akers has a comment from Horse Trade rep Emily Owens:

Horse Trade's landlord at 85 East 4th Street has decided to repurpose The Red Room, and it will no longer be a performing arts space. I believe he plans to turn it into some type of B&B. Horse Trade will continue to operate out of The Kraine Theater and UNDER St. Marks, and they're currently searching for a venue to replace The Red Room.

As Akers writes:

The Red Room was a tiny space — the kind that New York doesn't have enough of ... It was ideal for truly out-there theater, a hold-out for the Weird in an East Village that has gotten far too normal.

[Image via]

Updated 4:20 p.m.
Horse Trade just released the following...

After 15 years Horse Trade Theater Group (Heidi Grumelot, Artistic Director, Erez Ziv, Executive Director) is sad to announce that they will no longer be operating out of The Red Room, a 32-seat theater located on the third floor of 85 East 4th Street. The landlord has decided to repurpose the space, and it will no longer be a performing arts venue. Horse Trade will be searching for a new third venue, and in the meantime will continue to operate out of The Kraine Theater at 85 East 4th Street and UNDER St. Marks at 94 St. Marks Place, for the foreseeable future.

We couldn’t let The Red Room go without a proper send off! So the month of March will be full of special events in The Red Room, as we say goodbye to a beloved East Village staple.

Find the March schedule of events at the Red Room here.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

[Bobby Williams]

More photos from inside the renovated St. Brigid's (The Villager)

There are a lot of public drinking complaints around here (Gothamist)

Unidentified LES dog walker accused of abuse (BoweryBoogie)

The Little Bodega (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Apartment-for-rent ads circa 1983 (Ephemeral New York)

The latest Keith Haring installation at the New York Historical Society (Behind the Scenes)

Neighbors oppose the reopening of legendary Chumley's (DNAinfo)

... and Billy Leroy let us know that his reality series "Baggage Battles" premiered last night in France on Discovery Fr. (In the U.S., the show got picked up for a third season...)

And Billy is particular proud of this... "I was born in France. My Father is French. I have a French Passport," he said. "So it was a big deal for me."

How about some Crif Dogs with your vintage Burgundy?

Patrick Cappiello, a former sommelier at Veritas Restaurant on East 20th Street, shared a story with Eater yesterday about a bar regular — a hedge fund manager — who loved Crif Dogs. And they'd order them in for this guest.

One night, over a few B.L.T. Dogs and a magnum of Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet 1986, he starts eyeing the vertical of Henri Jayer ... After a bit of discussion, he decides to go with Vosne Romnee Cros Parantoux 1985, a steal at $5,000. This was the first, and at this point in my life, the only time I've ever had this wine. To say the wine was magical would be an understatement, and Crif Dogs have never tasted the same...

A look at the dwindling number of East Village lots

Tomorrow, the parking lot at 327 E. Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue is closing, as Curbed first noted...

Coming soon: A six-story, two-unit residential building, as we first noted on Aug. 10.

Curbed got the renderings for the new building...

Anyway, this is just the latest former lot (parking or previously vacant) to be gobbled up for new development.

Among some other notable lots-to-apartment buildings that we've been watching:

26 Avenue B

75 First Ave.

535-537 E. 11th St.

227 E. Seventh St.

277 E. 7th St. (Above)

321 E. Third St. (Above)

5-9 Avenue D

There are other developments in the works for crater-filled lots that we haven't covered just yet, such as the empty space on Avenue C at East Sixth Street, where plans are in place for a six-story apartment building.

So, yeah.

Now this isn't any kind of eulogy for empty lots, parking or otherwise. Rather, it's a round-up of future developments... and an inventory of remaining open space. (Still, we do like our empty, weed-filled lots.)

Meanwhile, here are some other currently empty lots being used for cars... or nothing in particular... (And we're not suggesting that all of these are on the market... just pointing them out...)

East 14th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

First Avenue between East Fifth Street and East Sixth Street...

East Third Street just east of Avenue C...

East Ninth Street just west of Avenue C...

A favorite: East Second Street between Avenue B and Avenue C...

East Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...

East Sixth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D...

East Eight Street just west of Avenue D. Plans have been scratched for an 6-story building (for now)...

East 10th Street east of Avenue B....

East 13th Street west of Avenue B... which has been on and off the market for several years (and where there were plans for a new building)...

Well, there are a few others. (What are we missing?) And it's not like you need an empty lot for a new building. For examples, just ask the current tenants at 79-89 Avenue D or 504 - 530 E. 14th St.

Speaking of East Village lots...

Former Mystery Lot update! With an old-fashioned time lapse showing the progress...

Thanks, as always, to EVG regular Katja for these photos... Previously.

What we'd lose if we lost the neighborhood delis

7-Elevens and neighborhood delis/bodegas have been a popular topic around here of late. (Specifically here ... and here... and here).

Sarah Goodyear had a thoughtful post on the topic yesterday at The Atlantic Cities titled "Battle Cry for the Bodega."

A few quick excerpts on the positive influence of the bodegas/delis... (she also points out their downsides, such as the less-than-sanitary conditions at some stores... but...)

[T]here’s no denying that the texture of the city would be flattened if the idiosyncratic bodega became an endangered species. Not so much because of what the stores sell as because of the larger role they play in the community.

As an example, she cites a friend, a single mom raising a 10-year-old son. They live across the street from a bodega ...

... where a group of regulars spends the whole day either out front (if the weather is good) or by the cash register. Sometimes they drink a bit much, it’s true. But they are a living example of the "eyes on the street" that Jane Jacobs loved to talk about. My friend’s son feels safe walking home from school because he knows those folks are watching out for him, always calling out to him by name as he passes by.

If that bodega became a 7-Eleven, it’s hard to imagine that the inspectors from corporate headquarters would want those guys in the picture. That would be their loss. And everyone else’s.

Read the whole piece here.

Also, we'll have more info later on Saturday's Bodega Walk with the No 7-Eleven Committee...

[File photo/Bobby Williams]

Your chance to live in this historic home above the Grassroots Tavern on St. Mark's Place

[Via Wikipedia]

There's a new listing for a home at 20 St. Mark's Place, above one of our favorite places, the Grassroots Tavern ... (and above Sounds) ... and we always forget just how nice the residences are here...

Per the Douglas Elliman listing:

2 beds, 2 baths unit occupying entire second floor.
Apartment features North-South exposures with garden views and partial city views, 12 foot ceilings, formal dining and a grand living space with wide plank hardwood floors throughout, oak moldings, three fireplaces.

Price: $2.1 million. Here are a few photos...

In case you don't know this building's history ... No. 20 is The Daniel LeRoy House, built in 1832 and landmarked in 1969 ... and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The historical marker out front reads:

This mansion was once part of the row that lined the entire brickfront. With its arched Federal-Barqoue doorway, grand proportions and original wrought iron handrailings at the stoop, it is now a rare survivor of a type, which because of its great cost, was never common. The row, one of the few ever built in this style in New York, was constructed in 1832, by Thomas E. Davis, a speculative builder. No. 20 was purchased by Daniel Leroy, brother-in-law of Hamilton Fish and son-in-law of Nicholas Fish, whose nearby home at 21 Stuyvesant Street is also a landmark.

Something to think about over your next $2 happy hour pint...

Report: Bowery Poetry Club planning March return

The revamped Bowery Poetry Club looks to reopen on March 18, Serena Solomon reported yesterday at DNAinfo. According to founder Bob Holman, the space will be known as Bowery Poetry at 308 Bowery.

More from the article:

Along with a shortened name, Bowery Poetry will also refine its focus — starting with its unofficial grand opening event on March 18.

"We will be more poetry centric and project driven," said Holman, who has scheduled a huge concert, poetry slam and dance for March 18 in celebration of two endangered foreign languages — Breton, a Celtic tongue, and Garifuna, from Central America.

As Solomon previously reported, Tribeca burlesque club Duane Park is merging with Bowery Poetry... here's how the two will split up the time — 308 Bowery will operate as a burlesque venue Tuesday through Saturday. Bowery Poetry will operate Saturday afternoons, Sunday and Monday.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Is Duane Park in the Bowery Poetry Club's future?

What is happening with the Bowery Poetry Club?

Bob Holman on the future of the Bowery Poetry Club

Clearing out the Bowery Poetry Club; plus, free knowledge!

Tonight: Lower East Side Unity Rally against gun violence

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Tonight at 5:30, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer will lead Lower East Side residents in a solidarity march against gun violence. There have been at least five major shootings in the Lower East Side since July of 2012 – and the most recent on January 4th resulted in the death of Raphael Ward, a local high school student.

Who: Manhattan Borough President Stringer, Arlene Delgado, the mother of Raphael Ward, other elected officials, LES community members, youths who have experienced violence, residents of Community Board 3, friends and family of victims.

When: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 5:30pm

Where: Assemble at Avenue D at East 6th Street, marching to Columbia Street and Delancey Street

Last night for Second on Second

As we first reported on Jan. 7, Second on Second, the 10-year-old karaoke bar at 27 Second Ave., is closing this month.

The farewell party is tonight... (which we have already noted)...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Second on Second sets farewell party

Claim: Second on Second closing this month on Second Avenue

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RIP Butch Morris

There's a small memorial outside 219 E. Seventh St., where Butch Morris lived. As you may have heard, Morris — the innovative jazz musician and conductor — died yesterday after a reported battle with lung cancer. He was 65.

The New York Times talks about his collective improvisation, which he called "conduction." Per Ben Ratliff's feature obituary today:

He introduced this concept in 1985 and at first met resistance from musicians who were not willing to learn the vocabulary and respond to the signals; he was often in a position of asking artists to reorient themselves to his imagination and make something new out of familiar materials. But he demanded to be taken seriously, and he was. After 10 years he had made enough recordings to release “Testament,” a well-received 10-disc set of his work. After 20, he had become an internationally admired creative force, presenting conductions at concert halls worldwide and maintaining regular workshops and performances at the East Village spaces Nublu, Lucky Cheng’s and the Stone.

Dave on 7th, who took the photos, recalls having drinks with Morris on several occasions.

"Very sweet and exactly as you'd want a guy like him to be."

There are tributes at The New Yorker ... NPR and The New York Times ...

Ray's 80th birthday celebration — now in video!

Earlier today we posted photos from Ray's 80th birthday bash last night at Ray's Candy Store.

Now! Thanks to Slum Goddess, there is video... a lot of video... so head right over here to watch Miss Bunny Buxom, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Miss Little Motown and Gal Friday... (Pervs!) Oh, kinda NSFW.

And happy birthday, Ray. Nice to see such a big smile from him.

A note to Con Ed from a small East Village restaurant

Our friends at The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space passed along this photo from today outside Matilda ... The Tuscan-Mexican restaurant on East 11th Street at Avenue C was one of the many businesses in the neighborhood to suffer extensive damage from the Sandy surge... (Find a video reminder here of 11th and C from Oct. 29.)

The Con Ed form letter points out that they are "not responsible for property damage or other losses," etc.

To which the folks at Matilda respond, "Shame on you Con Edison, after what you charge us small businesses!!!"

'No 7-Eleven' movement goes global with BBC report

The BBC is the latest media outlet to report on the growing "No 7-Eleven" movement in the neighborhood... (You can watch the Eyewitness News piece here.)

"The BBC spent a day and a night in the community to find out more." You can't embed the video, so you'll have to head over to the BBC site to watch the segment.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] More from the anti-7-Eleven front on Avenue A and East 11th Street

Avenue A's anti-7-Eleven campaign now includes arsenal of 20,000 stickers

Empire of the fog

A photogenic morning, in general... this shot from the East Village comes via @stevemotts

Out and About in the East Village

In this weekly feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village. Editor's note: Given the frigid temperatures last week, we arranged to do this one indoors.

By James Maher

Name: Paul Kostabi
Occupation: Musician, Artist, Producer
Location: 5th Street Between 2nd and 3rd
Time: 10:45 on Friday, Jan. 25

I was born in California and I moved here in 1984. I was 21, fresh out of high school and a college dropout. Music and art brought me here. I had sort of a music career in Los Angeles with a group called Youth Gone Mad and I came out here to chase the music dream. I landed on Rivington Street and opened a rehearsal studio since there were a lot of bands. It worked well and so I got another apartment on Ludlow street.

When I came here it was to play punk rock music and I was sort of shocked when I went to CBGB the first time. In LA, we had 2,000 kids at a show, sometimes 3,000, with helicopters in the sky and riots and all of this crazy stuff that I wanted to escape. So I came to New York and expected it to be bigger. But it wasn’t. It was very tiny. There were like 40 punks at CBGB, but they were important. It meant something. I felt like it had to be here because this is where the important stuff happened.

When I first got here I was like shit, there were like real nutcases walking around, like guys making sounds and hippies with long hair and grey beards and I was like, ‘Oh god, I don’t ever want to ever be that guy,’ but now I feel like I’m almost there. Oh god, I could get there.

On the Bowery we had the winos. It was their own doing or undoing. You’d just walk down the street and you’d have to step over people that were sleeping and passed out all night, with bottles of Thunderbird and Ripple. It had a very Bukowski type of feel to it. Saturday night was a big party because in New York you weren’t allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays and so they all stocked up. Sunday morning was incredible. The winos were all out and they all had their last take-homes from the night before. That was the Bowery and the Bowery Bums. Who would have thought a $200 million building would pop up next to the White House Hotel?

It was wild at the time. There were a lot of bands and a lot of groups. I was playing with them, starting a recording studio and recording them, and kind of discovering bands. One of the bands I was on was White Zombie in ‘85. In California, in the early 80s in the punk world, everyone was doing everything themselves. When I came to New York, even though New York gets credit for doing that, I didn’t notice that. Bands weren’t putting out their own records yet. But the East Village scene was doing that.

Fortunately, I have a music production career and I play in bands and have an art career. I’m still finding bands and producing them. I found this band called Sacco that I’m trying to sign to one of these uptown labels. I’m still in a band called The Damn Kids and I play all the time and it’s joyous. I joined this band in 1988 or ‘89. It’s the people I’ve been with for almost as long as I’ve been here. They were called Hammerbrain and part of the Tompkins Square Riot festivals. We played last [Thursday] night on the RBar on the Bowery.

My art is like a daily diary and past experiences. A lot of it is spontaneous. Now I’m doing these paintings about Hurricane Sandy that kind of destroyed my small place upstate. I’m doing switch paintings that are done with a bamboo branch. I cut one of those, dip it in paint, and literally whip the paintings. It’s flood energy and I’m painting on things that were destroyed in the flood. It’s a switch in style for me. Instead of the figurative expressionism, it’s abstract, although they’re kind of controlled. It’s a disaster series that I’m trying to turn into a beautiful show. The show’s opening on Feb 1 in Pennsylvania.

We used to always paint on the street all the time but you don’t see it anymore. It was good energy. Weather permitting I still do it all the time. The mural on the street last year was for the launch of the company called Bad Things. I’m making plastic device covers with them and the launch was in Colorado but I did the mural here and shipped it out for the event.

I’m at the point of saying, “Made in the East Village” for the covers. That’s where I got all of the inspiration. 30 years later, I go all over the world and travel and it’s sort of an East Village world. It’s influenced the globe. The world’s kind of more like the East Village than the East Village is now.
James Maher is a fine art and studio photographer based in the East Village. Find his website here.