Monday, August 31, 2015

This interactive map lets you track the neighborhood's sidewalk cafes

In case you didn't see this news earlier today (DNAInfo, The Lo-Down and Crain's, among other outlets), the Department of Consumer Affairs has launched an interactive map that shows the locations of the city's 1,300-plus sidewalk cafes.

The map also shows pending applications, license status and health grades. Per Crain's: "The goal is to boost transparency and reduce confusion surrounding the licensing process, said Julie Menin, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the licensing of sidewalk cafés."

In our Community Board 3 area (covering the East Village and Lower East Side), there are currently 97 sidewalk cafes, many of them not even on Second Avenue or East Third Street and Avenue B.

Check out the map here.

Subway riders preparing for all scenarios now when taking the L train

Because an avalanche hasn't caused delays on the L... yet.

Photo at the First Avenue L stop this morning by Andrew Adam Newman on Ave C.

202 1st Avenue is for sale, 'a prime East Village asset'

The 6-story building between East 12th Street and East 13th Street is new to the market.

Here's part of the listing via Cushman & Wakefield:

The building consists of a ground floor retail unit, 17 free-market apartments and three rent stabilized apartments. A majority of the units are two-bedrooms and multiple apartment lines have the ability to be converted into three-bedrooms apartments. The average in-place rent is approximately $58 per square foot which is well below market.

The retail unit is currently leased to No Relation Vintage, which has a lease until March 2017. The building features recently renovated common areas, a new boiler, and new electrical systems. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a prime East Village asset with upside potential and over 39’ of frontage on 1st Avenue.

Price: $21.5 million.

Image via Cushman & Wakefield

Updated at noon with correct address.

Also, we posted about the building being for sale in 2013. At the time the asking price was $13 million./

Psychic coming soon on East 4th Street

During the weekend, EVG reader Alexis noticed some activity in the retail space that Bikes, By George! previously occupied on Fourth Street just east of Avenue A… a sign then arrived in the front window noting "Psychic coming soon."

That almost sounds like a warning.

George Philbert closed up his 7-year-old shop here at the end of June. He told customers that he couldn't afford the new higher rent. I do not know what he was paying, but, according to the listing, the asking rent is $3,750 monthly for 340 square feet.

These days you can find George selling bikes on East 11th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Avenue A Wine & Liquor has closed

The shop at 196 Avenue A between East 12th Street and East 13th Street is now closed.

We're not sure exactly when they shut down. A call to the shop reveals a disconnected number.

There had been some difficulties in the past. The Marshal seized the storefront in February 2012.

Wine, brandy and French-Mediterranean cuisine in the works for the former Luca Bar

[EVG photo from June]

The former Luca Bar space at 119 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue hit the market in the early summer.

And there's a taker for the space. Reps for Le Delice are on tomorrow night's CB3/SLA committee meeting docket for a new liquor license. The bar-restaurant will serve French-Mediterranean cuisine, according to the PDF on file at the CB3 website.

The notice on the front door refers to Le Delice as a "wine and brandy establishment."

The application shows a configuration with 10 tables good for 24 seats and a bar with 15 stools. The proposed hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Monday-Wedneday; until 1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday… and there are opening hours of 11 a.m. on the weekend for a likely brunch service.

The SLA meeting is at the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Luca Bar closed back in late April.

East 14th Street Dunkin' Donuts shuffle complete

[Copyrighted photo by EV Arrow from July]

As we've been pretty much exclusively reporting, the Dunkin' Donuts at 218 E. 14th St. was moving a few storefronts to the west toward Third Avenue (see above photo).

That move is compete with the Grand Opening of the new (smaller) DD at 208 E. 14th St….

Meanwhile, back at No. 218, workers are dismantling the old DD space… Unfortunately, we were unable to save the Eli Manning "Smoke the Competition" ad for the smoked sausage breakfast sandwich…

This storefront had been for rent at $144 a square foot … the listing notes the space is now off the market.

East Village Thai will be closed for a few weeks

The excellent East Village Thai at 32 E. Seventh St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square is going to be on a break for the next few weeks, per the sign on their gate…

They will be back on Sept. 16. There isn't any reason listed for the closure, though it seems as if they have shut down at this time in previous years.

Back in 2012, the Daily News gave high marks to East Village Thai, calling it "a hidden gem" serving some of the best pad Thai in the city.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week in Grieview

[Outside St. Brigid's today on Avenue B via Bobby Williams]

RIP Shane Keogh (Sunday)

The Birdman of First Avenue is retiring, will close Rainbow Music next month (Thursday)

Rooftop fire on Third Avenue (Thursday)

New, confusing signs up at the former Lit Lounge space (Monday)

At the East Village Vintage Collective (Friday)

Another report of stolen packages from an East Village lobby (Wednesday)

Out and About with George Cameron (Wednesday)

Report: Uncle suing nephew broker Raphael Toledano over $100 million East Village deal (Friday)

A refurbished 330 Bowery comes into view (Thursday)

Le Marécage closes on First Avenue (Monday)

Superiority Burger adding another night to its schedule starting next week (Friday)

Highlights from the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park (Tuesday)

Cow tippers at large (Monday)

Caracas Arepa Bar back open after an 18-day, gas-related hiatus (Thursday)

Former Russian Souvenirs shop for rent on East 14th Street (Monday)

A new marquee for the First Avenue McDonald's (Tuesday)

Several trees coming down in Tompkins Square Park (Tuesday)

There'll be no more trespassing at the Cooper Union academic building (Monday)

NYPD busts the 2nd Ave. Convenience Store (Tuesday)

Reader report: Bike room burglarized at Icon's Second Avenue residential building (Wednesday)

Details on Black Seed's soon-to-open First Avenue location (Tuesday)

Virgola bringing oysters to East Seventh Street (Friday)

City removes Sandy-damaged willow from 9th Street Community Garden Park (Tuesday)

Yummy Asian Food coming to East Third Street (Wednesday)

New tape shop for East Second Street (Monday)

Something new in the works for 25 Avenue B (Thursday)

Arthouse cinema, bookshop planned for Ludlow Street (Tuesday)

Former Jones Diner lot on Lafayette primed for new development (Thursday)

Nicoletta looking to upgrade to a full liquor license (Wednesday)

… and apologies for not telling you about the pop-up shoe shop on Cooper Square on Friday…

[Photo by peter radley]

New murals at work

The new mural work — featuring Jerkface, Zeso and Daphne Arthur — continues until 6 p.m. over at the 12C Outdoor Art Gallery … on Avenue C at East 12th Street.

Photos by Lola Sáenz

A loss of 'community and individual enterprise'

[Photo by Steven from Aug. 18]

Back on Aug. 19, we noted that the Glasgow Vintage Co. closed its retail space at 331 E. Ninth St. after less than a year here between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Glasgow's closure is a jumping off point for a piece at HuffPost the other day by Nancy Cohen-koan, who laments the loss of more small shops in the neighborhood.

"My neighborhood gets sadder and sadder," she writes. "As the greed machine grows and grows, so goes community and individual enterprise."

As for Glasgow Vintage:

They had always dreamed of having a shop in New York's East Village, after successfully owning a top vintage store in Glasgow. What they didn't bargain for was an avaricious landlord who had scaffolding and a trash bin in front of his shop for most of the year. The company was very busy building upward on the old tenement. That meant that shoppers couldn't easily see the shop to come in and browse. Naturally, the landlord wouldn't give these decent folk a break.

The Kushner companies bought 329-335 E. Ninth Street (and 325 E. 10th St.) in the spring of 2013 for $28.75 million.

Previously on EV Grieve:
East 9th Street buildings will soon be taller thanks to the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals

East Ninth Street parking lot will yield to 6-floor residential building

East 9th Street buildings starting to grow taller

Today, I rescued the Niagara sidewalk sign

This morning, while walking along Avenue A near East Ninth Street, I noticed the Niagara sidewalk sign-board thing tossed in the bush in Tompkins Square Park.

At first glance, I thought someone had left especially large, stale bread (matzo?) for the pigeons (and later the rats).

Anyway, I took a photo and was going to try to be funny or something and say they have extended their happy hour, etc. I started to walk away, but it didn't seem cool to just leave it there. So I hopped the fence [etc. etc.] and returned it to the bar on Avenue A and Seventh Street. I rang the doorbell and ran.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Report: Firefighter busts would-be burglars breaking into his car on East 13th Street

Firefighter Bill Sessler was returning to Ladder 3 on East 13th Street early Friday morning when he spotted two men rummaging through his 2000 Toyota Corolla parked out front of the station between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

As the Post reported, Sessler and his FDNY colleagues detained the two men until the NYPD arrived.

Jason De Jesus, 21, reportedly took Sessler's sunglasses and an air freshener.

“They’re just round, polarized sunglasses,” shrugged Sessler. “They’re just fishing sunglasses. I fish a lot.”

In addition, the NYPD reportedly found marijuana and cocaine on De Jesus, who was charged with petit larceny and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. The second man, Andre Kinard, 31, was charged with petit larceny.

Sessler is usually stationed at Ladder 9 on Great Jones Street, where his car has been broken into twice even though he doesn't keep valuables inside.

"It's kind of common in the neighborhood," he told the Post. "It’s been happening a lot."

A 'Spray and Play' day tomorrow on Avenue C and East 12th Street

There's an all-day mini block party of sorts tomorrow on East 12th Street at Avenue C. As the above flyer notes, three graffiti artists will be on hand to create new murals at the 12C Outdoor Art Gallery.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There'll be some music too.

FYI — NYU Welcome Week is underway

NYU's Welcome Week is now underway with NYU's Welcome Day, where the university, well, welcomes new undergraduate students and their family members.

Around here, students are moving into Palladium Hall on East 14th Street, Founders Hall on East 12th Street and Third North on Third Avenue at East 12th Street.

Anyway, this doesn't really impact any of you, so don't worry about it, OK?

Haha. Kidding!

A few things. If you hate the Earth and have a car are looking to park on, say, East 13th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue…

… or East 10th Street between Third Avenue and Second Avenue …

You can't. I mean, you can technically, but either you'll get your ass towed or be given a dirty look by someone wearing a violet Welcome Week T-shirt.

Also, the Citibike docking station on East 12th Street just west of Third Avenue is not in service this weekend…

Finally, not that you would be going anyway, but if today is the day you were finally going to suck it up and head to Bath, Bath and Beyond…

Just don't. (And probably ditto for Basics Plus … and Kmart. You should have bought your Halloween candy by now anyway.)

[Sidenote: Whose idea was it to close Fourth Avenue today for a street festival at the same time as thousands of students and their families are moving into the dormitories? This would not have happened under Amanda Burden's watch!]

So now, let us begin.

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Several readers recently noted that there haven't been quite as many street fairs/festivals this summer around here.

Hopefully we can squeeze in 5-6 before Labor Day weekend. Cross one off the list, as a fair/festival is slated today on Fourth Avenue, roughly from East 14th Street down to East Ninth Street.

The avenue was still open to vehicular traffic when we passed through… where a lonesome sausage stand stood…

Previously on EV Grieve:
Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Street fair! Street fair! Street fair!

Friday, August 28, 2015

It felt like Love

Thirty-one years in, Yo La Tengo has a new release — "Stuff Like That There" — out today via Matador Records.

The new record includes some covers, like of the Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" (above), as well as some new material... and some reworkings of tracks from 1990's "Fakebook."

Other Music on East Fourth Street is hosting a record release party tonight at 8. (Limited capacity!)

At the East Village Vintage Collective

Photos and article by EVG contributor Stacie Joy

The newly opened popup shop, East Village Vintage Collective (545 E. 12th St. between Avenues A and B), is fully operational and full of inexpensive housewares, vintage clothing, books, and gifts.

The shop is run by four people (Maegan Hayward/Red's Vintage Threads; Melanie Ön/Rad Vintage Shop; Claire Marston/Eco in Disguise; and Chaim O'Brien-Blumenthal/Shoestring Records & Books) who met on the vintage and resale market circuit in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

They found that the cost of renting out booths and carrying in/loading out was growing too burdensome, so they decided to pool resources with a rental shop. The four originally planned just to rent out the East 12th Street space for a month (opening date was Aug. 1), but have since decided to stay longer now.

I stopped by to chat with Melanie, who handles the Collective's children's stuff and 1970-80s merchandise.

"We’re all finders and seekers," says Melanie. "The shop came together really nicely."

She sees the place as a "kitschy gift shop where someone could get the perfect gift for a friend, something one of a kind." And noted that "everyone shops here: from NYU kids to neighbors to moms and dads and visitors to the city."

New merchandise is added weekly — if not daily — and guest vendors make their wares available as well.

There is a large space downstairs with room for records, books, knickknacks, dolls and toys. Some local artists also display their work on the downstairs level. Melanie likens this floor to "peeking and shopping in your friends' closets."

Every Monday the shop hosts an 1980s movie night (BYOB and snacks) at 7:30. They put down blow-up mattresses and cover them with the (for sale!) afghan blankets. This week they screened "Heathers." Next week they will screen "Three Amigos." They are also hosting a poetry night on Sept. 10.

The downstairs space is available for rentals. The store is especially keen on being a space for the community.

The store plans to evolve and add new merchants and artists and material and hopes to stay for a long time to come. For now, though, the shop will remain open through October.

They also buy vintage books, records and housewares, so feel free to book an appointment to show your stuff. You can keep up with the store on Instagram here.

Store hours:
Monday through Thursday, noon until 9 p.m.
Friday, noon until 10 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Sunday, noon until 9 p.m.

Report: Uncle suing nephew broker Raphael Toledano over $100 million East Village deal

[Photo from May by Stacie Joy]

Let's get right to the Daily News with the story:

Aaron Jungreis, one of the top building sales brokers in New York, is suing Raphael Toledano, his nephew, for allegedly agreeing to form a joint venture with his uncle to acquire the buildings, then going behind his back to buy them himself.

Jungreis accuses his nephew of being “motivated solely by greed” and says he mentored him in the real estate business for years and shared his network, only to be cast aside when Toledano felt he could go it alone.

The lawsuit is over a 16-building portfolio in the East Village owned by Morton Tabak & Co. (The sale has not yet hit public records.)

As for that portfolio of buildings, The Real Deal lists them as the following:

• 253 East 10th Street
• 510 East 12th Street
• 228 East 6th Street
• 329 East 12th Street
• 327 East 12th Street
• 334 East 9th Street
• 323-325 East 12th Street
• 95 East 7th Street
• 514 East 12th Street
• 27 St. Mark’s Place
• 231-233 East 5th Street
• 229 East 5th Street
• 223 East 5th Street
• 235 East 5th Street
• 66 East 7th Street.

It has been a busy legal year for Toledano. In May, rent-regulated tenants at 444 E. 13th St. filed a lawsuit against Toledano and his Goldmark Property Management for "deplorable conditions" as well as for alleged ongoing threats and harassment.

On Monday, the Daily News reported that state officials have launched an investigation into Toledano following the accusations of strong-arming tenants into giving up their rent-regulated apartments on East 13th Street.

Meanwhile, in the East Fifth Street buildings that are reportedly part of the sale, a resident claims that Toledano has already been visiting the properties even though the sales haven't been finalized. According to the resident, Toledano will introduce himself as Rafi, Ralph or Raphael.

The East Fifth Street resident also claims to have recently witnessed the following:

Arriving in a convoy of three black SUVs in the morning or evening, [Toledano] has been hanging out on the street, asking tenants if he and his entourage can enter their apartments. Others he shadows to or from their apartment house entrances with accusations that they "should not be living in rent-regulated apartments," that he has had them investigated, all the while referring to specifics on their Facebook pages.

Residents here have been in contact with GOLES and The Urban Justice Center.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'

Reader report: Large portfolio of East Village buildings ready to change hands

Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano

Superiority Burger adding another night to its schedule starting next week

A photo posted by @superiorityburger on

Superiority Burger opened on East Ninth Street back on June 25 to very favorable reviews for its namesake veggie burgers and side dishes such as the burnt broccoli salad.

We checked in with proprietor Brooks Headley, who reported that Superiority will add an extra evening to its schedule starting next Wednesday… So on Sept. 2, Superiority will be open Wednesday through Monday nights. (They were previously closed on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.)

"We will go to seven days very soon," he said. "Lunch and delivery are a little further off. Probably by the time it gets cold outside."

For now, the hours remain 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Superiority Burger is located at 430 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Oysters coming to the former Bourgeois Pig space on East 7th Street

We'll continue to look at some of the applicants on CB3's SLA committee meeting for September.

There's a new applicant looking to take over the former Bourgeois Pig space at 111 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. According to paperwork (here's the PDF) at the CB3 website, Joseph Marazzo, who owns Virgola over on Greenwich Avenue, is opening a second location of his oyster-and-Italian-wine bar here. He is seeking a beer and wine license.

The questionnaire on file at CB3 shows daily hours of 11 a.m. to midnight ... with room for eight tables (seating 29) and a bar for 17 patrons. The paperwork includes a sample menu for Virgola...

Marazzo told DNAinfo that the East Village location will have the same vibe as the original — "with a dimly lit, black interior similar to the Greenwich Avenue bar and a new steel bar."

"It’s dark and sexy, more of an aphrodisiac style of an oyster bar," he said.

Virgola will have some oyster competition here, as Desnuda is across the street ... not to mention Good Night Sonny, which recently opened on First Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

The Bourgeois Pig closed for good in late January, moving to a new location on MacDougal Street. As Eater reported back in November, a rent increase was behind the 10-year-old bar's East Village departure.

The SLA meeting is at the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Sad planters will greet arriving students today

Marymount Manhattan College brand-new student residence at 200 E. Sixth St. officially opens today here on Cooper Square.

According to the school, the Cooper Square Residence Hall will accommodate 272 students in total. This year, 199 MMC students will be moving in ... while the additional 73 spots have been contracted out to Cooper Union.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Marymount Manhattan College's Cooper Square dorm opens on Aug. 28

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Updating: Fire reported on the rooftop at Kiehl's on 3rd Avenue

The address is Third Avenue at East 13th Street. In the building that houses Kiehl's. The rooftop features the cottage-style penthouse.

[EVG file photo]

Here's a photo from 4 p.m. via William Klayer...

Updated 4:07



Via EVG reader Justin, who is at the scene: "Hard to know for sure, but it the FDNY seemed to have it under control quite well. Dozens of firefighters on the ground standing by, a couple on the ladder/bucket, and maybe only 10 on the roof. Seemed like routine work for them. It's mostly out now; no flames visible anymore."

And here's a photo via Justin from just after 4...




The FDNY told CBS 2 that there weren't any injuries. There's no word yet on the cause of the fire.

The penthouse cottage was in contract, according to Curbed. The asking price had been $4.4 million.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Live in tranquil cottages overlooking … 3rd Avenue (but still)


Photo today by Bobby Williams

Report: The Birdman of 1st Avenue is retiring, will close his shop next month

[Photo by Jessie Auritt]

Back in March 2014, we first heard that one of the neighborhood's more intriguing shopkeepers, a man known as the Birdman who works amid the stacks of used CDs, videos and cassettes at Rainbow Music, will be closing his store at 130 First Ave. in the coming months.

The Birdman told a reader that he had lost his lease here just south of St. Mark's Place. However, he has remained open for business.

Now, though, the Birdman says it's time to close up his shop, as Gothasmist is reporting this morning.

"I'm not being forced to retire, but I want to retire."

He plans to close at the end of September. So you have some time left to go test his ability to recall every obscure item in the wonderfully cluttered store. I'm going to see about that "License to Drive" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

[Photo in March 2014 by EVG reader Chris F.]

A few years back Jessie Auritt made a 10-minute short about the Birdman... which you can watch right here...

You can read our Q-and-A with Auritt here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Birdman of the East Village