Wednesday, April 26, 2017

EV Grieve Etc.: Origins of the Liz Christy Garden; Efforts to protect Chinatown


[Photo on 2nd Avenue by Derek Berg]

How the Liz Christy Garden on East Houston came to be (WNYC)

A member of one of Israel’s richest families is among the largest investors in the companies owned by Jared Kushner, whose real-estate empire includes 40-plus buildings in the East Village (Bloomberg)

"Despite a concerted and ongoing campaign, the fact remains that, in New York, few motorists involved in fatal crashes with pedestrians or cyclists are ever charged with even minor traffic infractions." (The Village Voice)

The effort to protect Chinatown (City Limits)

"Rivington Act" bill shot down (DNAinfo)

The 67-year-old Hotel 17 on Stuyvesant Square closes for now; city says it's an illegal SRO (Town & Village)

A review of Little Tong on 1st Avenue and 11th Street (Grub Street ... previously)

Recap of the rezoning rally on Broadway from Saturday afternoon (GVSHP ... NY City Lens)

A crowdfunding campaign is underway to help legally blind street photographer Flo Fox with health-care expenses (GoFundMe)

Seward Park Liquors is losing its home of 40 years on Grand Street (The Lo-Down)

Another boozy brawl at the DL (BoweryBoogie)

About "Tard Core: There Are No Safe Words," the new residency at Joe's Pub that, among other things, pokes fun at hyper-gentrification (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

The tragic end of a songwriter on the Bowery in the 1860s (Ephemeral New York)

...and the Uber-Lyft battle continues...


[Avenue A the other day]

Out and About in the East Village, 2017 recap



Taking a week off from Out and About in the East Village (aka OAAITEV) to revisit our interviewees to date from 2017. Thank you to East Village-based photographer James Maher and everyone who has taken part in this series. OAAITEV will return soon.

Jan. 11 — Ali Sahin

Jan. 18 — Eric Rignall

Feb. 1 — Lola Sáenz

Feb. 8 — Lola Sáenz, Part 2

Feb. 15 — Delphine Blue

Feb. 22 — Delphine Blue, Part 2

March 1 — Mark Seamon

March 8 — Merle Ratner

March 22 — Jennifer Brodsky

April 5 — Terry and Harmony

April 12 — Elizabeth Atnafu

April 19 — James, the Leather Man

Townhouse rich in art history for sale on 11th Street; air rights included



A lovely old townhouse at 217 E. 11th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue is new to the market.

Here's the pitch (H/T Curbed!) via Corcoran:

Built in 1856, this Anglo-Italianate style townhouse with a beautiful façade and high stoop has a lot to offer the right buyer. Rich in history, this was the home of Dore Ashton, a well-known writer, professor, and art critic. Ashton was the matriarch of the abstract art movement; seemingly, every major artist got their start at her home.



Bring your architect and customize this townhouse to your liking. Located on a tree-lined East Village Street, the townhouse stands five floors plus a basement. Currently configured as two units, there are six bedrooms and three baths. The layout offers multiple possibilities. Enjoy income while living in the upper portion of the house and renting out the garden level apartment. Alternatively, create a single-family dream home.

The townhouse features an impressionable parlor floor, high ceilings, and original details such as hardwood floors, moldings, and fireplaces. There are no tall buildings in the vicinity, affording very nice light. Perhaps best of all is the enchanting 60-foot garden, surrounded by other townhouse gardens creating openness and a feeling of serenity.



According to PropertyShark, considerable air rights are available. Property Shark shows the maximum usable floor area is 5100 SF, of which 2639 SF is used and 2460 SF is available.

Asking price $4.5 million.

Ashton, who taught art history at the Cooper Union, the New School and SVA, died in February at age 88.

More about Artichoke's move across 14th Street

As we've been reporting (here and here), Artichoke is moving to a new space directly across 14th Street from their current establishment between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Co-owner Francis Garcia, offered a few more details to Eater, noting that the lease is up at 328 E. 14th St., "so they took that as an opportunity for bigger and better. The new location will allow for expanded offerings, like cauliflower fritters, broccoli rabe sandwiches, and more."

No word on when they plan to move. According to the SLA website, Artichoke's liquor license for No. 328 expires at the end of June.

The rent is due at Watch Witch on St. Mark's Place



Watch Witch, the specialty food shop at 115 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue, has not been open since the end of December.

We've been waiting for a for rent sign to arrive on the space. However, on Monday, legal papers were attached to the front door... noting that the latest rent is due. In total, the operators owe a little more than $7,500, which includes the $4,699 rent, $2,256 real-estate tax escalation, $500 legal fee and $100 late fee. (So, even though the storefront was closed, someone paid rent January through March?)

The shop opened in early November, and sold a variety of specialty sandwiches, cured meats, artisanal cheeses and drip coffee, among other items. The previous tenant, Box Kite Coffee, closed just as abruptly last August.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

50th anniversary screening of 'Cool Hand Luke' tomorrow night at Village East Cinema



The Paul Newman prison classic, nominated for nine Academy Awards, gets a 50th anniversary screening tomorrow (April 26!) night at 7 at the Village East Cinema, Second Avenue and 12th Street. Details here.

[Updated] Preliminary vote tonight at Cooper Union for rent-stabilized apartments

Last week, reps for the Rent Stabilization Association proposed increases of up to 8 percent for the city’s rent-stabilized apartments during a public hearing. (The calls were for a rent hike of 4 percent for new one-year leases and 8 percent for two years, per the Post.)

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) froze rents for one-year leases the past two years.

Tonight, the RGB will take a preliminary vote on the new rates in the Great Hall at Cooper Union at 7. There will be five public hearings before the final vote on June 27.

Expect some debate. Via this Facebook invite:

The Rent Justice Coalition is bringing Tenants from across the City together to make our voices heard! RENTS ARE STILL TOO HIGH and RGB must change that!!! RGB will VOTE on Preliminary Rent Adjustments for 2017-19.
Rally at 6pm
Doors open at 6:30pm

The RGB does not set the rent increase for vacancy leases, rent-controlled apartments, unregulated apartments or subsidized housing.

Updated:

The RGB voted to recommend a 1 to 3 percent increase on 1-year leases, and a 2 to 4 percent increase on 2-year leases, according to ABC-7.

Something for future generations to discover on 2nd Avenue



The incoming 10-story residential building continues its ascent at 24 Second Ave. and First Street ... EVG regular Daniel points out the the construction is getting ready to obscure the the mural by Brazilian twins Os Gêmeos ...



The mural went up at the former site of the BP station in August 2015 ... nearly one year after the BP shut down.. (There's also a mural of a ballerina by French street artist JR on an adjacent building facing the lot.)

Permits show some 45,000 square feet for the 31 residences (rentals? condos?) … and another 5,700 square feet for the commercial space. And, as a reminder, the rendering...



Previously on EV Grieve:
The 2nd Avenue BP station has closed

Permits filed to demolish former 2nd Avenue BP station

More about the 10-story building taking the place of the former BP station at 24 2nd Ave.

Check out the new 10-story building for the former 2nd Avenue BP station

A ballerina for 2nd Avenue

2nd Avenue residential complex now complete with renderings on the plywood


[Photo from August 2015]

Yuan Noodle in the works for the former Biang! space on 2nd Avenue



CB3 hasn't yet posted the schedule for May meetings just yet... until then, we at least know about one applicant that will appear on the SLA committee docket... an EVG reader shared this photo from 157 Second Ave. ... showing a flyer for a new restaurant called Yuan Noodle...



No word just yet who's behind this venture. Biang! — the sit-down Chinese restaurant via Xi'an Famous Foods owner Jason Wang — closed here between Ninth Street and 10th Street back in March after 15 months in business.

The previous tenant at 157 Second Ave., Wylie Dufresne's bistro Alder, closed after two-and-a-half years at the end of August 2015.

If Wang and Dufresne, given their successes, couldn't make the space work ... not sure who can. Other recent restaurants here (before 2013) included Plum and Cafe Brama.

CB3's SLA committee meeting will be on May 15. We'll update when more information becomes available.

Sandwicherie opens tomorrow (Wednesday!) on 4th Avenue



Sandwicherie New York opens Wednesday/tomorrow on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and 13th Street.

Here's more about them via their Facebook description:

Our aim is to give our customers a natural, healthy and vibrant lifestyle ... we strive to build our small family owned business one SANDWICH(erie) at a time.

We are committed to serving you fresh and healthy meals, coupled with a pleasant shopping experience and premium service. Operated by a seasoned and very talented team that consistently puts out chef-inspired or made to order salads and sandwiches that are packed with great flavor. Eye popping New York breakfasts and lunches that include healthy quinoa and wild rice bowls, fresh-pressed juices and a large assortment of bakery and desserts.

This is the second NYC location for Sandwicherie ... joining the outpost on 42nd Street near Grand Central. You can find their menu offerings with meat and vegan options here.

And this has been a challenging corner for businesses since the longtime deli was rent-hiked out of here in November 2012. The space has been home to Fresh & Co. and Pie Face in a little more than two years.

Whole Foods Market® Bowery replacing beer with coffee in prime corner spot



Meant to mention this much earlier, given how popular posts about the Whole Foods Market® Bowery are... So, the store has shut down its sizable Beer Room (as of April 17) on the corner of Chrystie and East Houston ... signage points to an incoming Coffee Bar, likely a much better all-day draw than a beer store. (One employee said she thought that the Coffee Bar would be two levels.)

However, WFB isn't done with beer... the sizable suds stock has been moved into the main part of the store... though without any kind of growler service (WFB did away with its homebrew stock in 2013) ...







This is just the latest in WFB enhancements for the 10-year-old store ... including a rebooted bakery and prepared foods region.

There was news yesterday that Albertsons may make a bid to buy Whole Foods.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunny's is closed for a day or two (nothing bad no worries)

The gates are down over at the corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street ... home of Sunny's Florist... there is a sign noting being "closed due to family matters" ...



...with a "nothing bad no worries" reassurance ... Sunny's is expected to reopen on Wednesday ("for sure").

The shop is operated by Sun "Sunny" Ja Hwang and her son Edward... and it's a great place for flowers.

Thanks to Vinny & O for the photo!

'The Story of a Junkie' at the Metrograph this week


The film is playing tomorrow at 5:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The Metrograph is at 7 Ludlow St. between Canal and Hester. Details here.

Permits filed for 6-story building in long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.


[Photo from Friday]

Plans were filed last week with the city for a 6-floor building at 89 First Ave., the long-vacant lot between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.

According to the pre-filing info at the DOB, the building will house eight dwelling units in nearly 7,400 square feet of space. The nearly 1,000 square feet per unit suggests condos. There's another 900 square feet listed for the ground-floor storefront.

As you may recall, we heard a rumor in the fall of 2014 that there were preliminary plans in place to build a 7-floor residential building here.

Since then, we've spotted workers clearing the lot of various weeds and trees and taking soil samples (here and here, for instance).

Florence Toledano was the owner of this lot. In 2013, public records show that the deed for the property was transferred from the Florence Toledano Living Trust to 89 First Avenue LLC. The DOB permit lists Daniel Toledano as the manager of the property. (We do not know the relationship between Daniel Toledano and Florence Toledano. One reader said Daniel is a nephew of Florence.) Andrew Fredman is listed as the architect of record for the new building.



Daniel Toledano is also listed as the owner of the lot that housed the 2Bn2C sculpture garden at 231 E. Second St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. Development plans have been rumored there in recent years as well. There is nothing on file with the DOB for this property.


[231 E. 2nd St.]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Will this long-empty lot on 1st Avenue yield to affordable housing?

Drilling and soil testing commences at the long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.

Silverstone Property Group gets to work on buildings (previously) owned by Raphael Toledano



News broke (via The Real Deal) last week that Madison Realty Capital was replacing controversial landlord Raphael Toledano as the property manager of 15 East Village buildings while a deal to transfer the ownership was worked out.

A judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York directed all forthcoming rents and managing rights to Silverstone Property Group, the property management arm of Madison.

Per The Real Deal:

As part of the order, the judge prohibited Silverstone from renovating the vacant apartments for the time being aside from emergency repairs.

“Through its initial visits with the properties, [Silverstone] has determined that many of the issues are related to the prior manager’s elimination of staff from the properties, which in [Silverstone’s] opinion are crucial to the smooth operation of the properties,” Silverstone managing director Phillip Lavoie wrote in a court document.

An EVG reader shared the above photo from a building on 12th Street... showing a flyer in which Silverstone reps were to inspect each apartment. "Each inspection will take around approximately 15 minutes. This inspection is to address and identify all necessary repairs within each apartment." Similar flyers were found on the other former Toledano buildings. (We did not hear about how all this inspection business went.)

Silverstone has been accused in the past of predatory practices, allegedly cutting the gas to a building in Chinatown after elderly rent-stabilized residents turned down buyout offers, according to DNAinfo. (The tenants eventually won the right to have the gas restored.)

Madison has reportedly said that Toledano owes some $140 million, including $125 million in loans against the 15 properties, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.

Meanwhile, this message is on the front door of a building on Fifth Street ... next to the five buildings that Madison has taken over from Toledano...



Previously on EV Grieve:
Foreclosure notice arrives on Raphael Toledano-owned building on 12th Street

Report: Raphael Toledano files for Chapter 11; $145 million deal for EV portfolio is off the table

Raphael Toledano tenants take to Midtown streets to speak out against their landlord and his lenders

Pop-up bubble tea exhibit brings crowds to the Bowery


[Photo yesterday by Derek Berg]

The Boba Room made its debut Saturday at the Open Space Gallery on the Bowery between Third Street and Fourth Street.

Here's more about the pop-up exhibit via Gothamist:

Conceived of by Chaimi Food Studio co-founders Yanqiong Zeng and Iris Danlu Xing, Boba Room is an intersection of art, design and food that combines the duo's appreciation for food with their backgrounds and experiences in visual art, photography and food engineering and science.

And per The Daily Meal: "For those who are in the dark about boba, it’s an edible, chewy ball made from the cooking and cooling of tapioca. Boba is used in bubble tea."

The Boba Room is open through May 6 (from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week; 10 p.m. on weekends). Tickets are $10 each ($7 for kids or seniors).

A retail vacancy at 51 Astor Place



Back in September 2014, hotelier-developer Ian Schrager became the first ground-floor tenant at 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star with the sales office and model apartment for his incoming hotel-condo tower at 215 Chrystie just below East Houston.

That's all built and mostly sold now (just one residence out of 11 left!), so they've packed up and left...



Leaving a nice space for rent on the Ninth Street and Third Avenue side...



There haven't been any for rent signs posted just yet ... and no word on what might be joining the building's other retail tenants — CVS, Flywheel Sports, Orangetheory Fitness, Bluestone Lane Coffee and Chopt.

Thoughts/wishes on a new tenant? Duane Reade? An all-ages venue for unsigned bands?

Previously on EV Grieve:
You can finally shop at 51 Astor Place!

Ben Shaoul's East Houston Street condoplex makes first street-level appearance


[Photo from Saturday]

It has been about two years since the demolition of the one-level row of storefronts on East Houston at Orchard Street... and now Ben Shaoul's incoming condoplex finally makes it above the plywood (aside from that steel beam).

Here's a look at the site from yesterday...







As noted, the available condos here in the 11-story, 94-unit building range from a 551-square-foot studio for $1.075 million to a 2,069-square-foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom apartment asking $5.995 million. There will also be a three-level Equinox (gym) in the retail space.



Previously on EV Grieve:
Making way for Ben Shaoul's new retail-residential complex on East Houston

Katz's is now the last business on East Houston between Ludlow and Orchard

Send a salami to your boy next door in the condo

Matcha tea shop opens today on 7th Street



As previously mentioned, there's a tea shop opening at 74 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... and today is the opening day for Setsugekka...



The storefront will be a shop run by the owners of Tea-Whisk, whose aim "is to introduce the beauty of Japanese Tea Ceremony in NY."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekend parting shot — you've lost that loving feeling



Photo off Third Avenue by Rob Halpern...

Today in freebies on 6th Street



A collection of Nora Ephron's writing, an unopened pack of women's briefs by Hanes and three tubes of foot and hand creme with avocado all here between Avenue A and Avenue B... photo via EVG reader Mark White...

Week in Grieview


[Monday morning on Avenue A via]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

NYPD offers explanation into Kelly Hurley's death: "she slipped" (Tuesday)

Madison Realty Capital now managing Raphael Toledano's East Village portfolio (Tuesday)

The owner-founder of JuiceGo on 9th Street dies (Monday)

Checking in on John's of 12th Street (Thursday)

Caffe Bene closes on St. Mark's Place (Monday)

A look at Che Cafe, home of empanada pouches (Wednesday)

Angelica Kitchen space for rent (Wednesday)

Demolition watch: 118 E. First St. (Monday)

A coffee at the Famous Cozy Soup 'n' Burger (Friday)

Out and About With James the Leather Man (Wednesday)

Long-vacant retail space hits the rental market at 250 E. Houston St. (Tuesday)


[St. Mark's Place wedding party photo yesterday by Derek Berg]

Time for the Sixth Street Community Center CSA (Tuesday)

On 3rd and 13th, Blue Mercury arriving; dinosaur mural not yet extinct (Monday)

Pizzeria in the works for former pizzeria at 130 St. Mark's Place (Friday)

The Mosaic Man's smokin' tribute to David Peel on Astor Place (Wednesday)

Looking for signs of Artichoke on 14th Street (Monday)

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company coming to 8th Street and Broadway (Thursday)

Report: Avenue A deli clerk arrested for assault; allegedly calls customer a tranny (Wednesday)

A new vendor for the Bowery Market (Thursday)

EV photographers James & Karla Murray hosting workshop on capturing disappearing storefronts (Thursday)

Full FULL reveal on 1st Street, Avenue A and the Bowery (Tuesday)

Disc-O-Rama closing on 8th Street (Monday)

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Neon by Cheng opens on 7th Street



Neon by Cheng opened last week at 66 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... the boutique is via designer Cheng-Huai Chuang


The space last housed Barbara Feinman Millinery, who moved down the block... and now goes by East Village Hats...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday's parting shot



Photo on Second Avenue at Fifth Street by Derek Berg ... Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

Happy Earth Day!



Hop in and we can catch the end of the March for Science!

Photo on Lafayette by Lola Sáenz

Zero wasting

Noted



Not sure how long this plywood has been here on Third Avenue at 14th Street. Did someone really place it here yesterday and will pick up today? Or is it like one of those wacky Free Beer Tomorrow signs you might see in a bar? Tomorrow never comes.

Or maybe someone at the Dept. of Transportation has a cousin who owns a sign company



Earlier this week, a worker was putting up new signs about the parking meters along Seventh Street... EVG Street Sign Correspondent Derek Berg captured the two versions of the signs...



The new posted sign features upper- and lower-case letters that are slightly larger. Easier to read? As I recall some years ago (WNYC story here), the feds were requiring the city to use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters as part of a safety move. Outrage!

Anyway, font commenters please chime in!

Aside from Record Store Day, it is also Earth Day



Perhaps after picking up that Superchunk "Cup of Sand" compilation on vinyl at Academy Records, you can head out for some Earth Day activities...as the above flyer shows, there's a parade starting at noon at the 6B Garden on Sixth Street and Avenue B... ultimately arriving for an Earth Day Celebration from 2-4 (p.m., though you never know) at El Jardin Del Paraiso on Fourth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D. Find more details here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, it's Record Store Day



Every day is Record Store Day... but tomorrow (Saturday!), is the official day this year. Here is the local action...

Turntable Lab, 84 E. 10th St. between Fourth Avenue and Third Avenue


Good Records NYC, 218 E. Fifth St. between the Bowery and Second Avenue


Academy LPs, 415 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Avenue A


A-1 Records, 439 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue

Shoulder to shoulder affair

A post shared by A-1 Record Shop (@a1recordshop) on


Find the official Record Store Day website here ... and the list of special Record Store Day releases here...