Saturday, September 23, 2017

2nd Street firehouse collecting donations of hurricane-relief supplies for Puerto Rico

Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that more than a dozen firehouses across the city will be collecting supplies to send to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

In the East Village, Engine 28/Ladder 11 at 222 E. Second St. between Avenue B and Avenue C will be accepting donations daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Below is a list of items NYC is collecting:

• Diapers
• Baby food
• Batteries
• First Aid Supplies
• Feminine Hygiene Products

From the media advisory: "Please note the City is only collecting the items listed above. All donated items must be non-perishable, not second-hand, nor contain any liquids of any kind. Open or unsealed donations of food or hygiene supplies will not be accepted. Wet wipes will also not be accepted. Any other items will be kindly returned."

Safely dispose of your harmful household products tomorrow (Sunday!) in Union Square

This SAFE Disposal Event is happening tomorrow (Sunday!) in the north plaza in Union Square from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Per the site:

The NYC Department of Sanitation is holding a series of SAFE Disposal Events (Solvents, Automotive, Flammable, Electronics) to provide NYC residents with a one-stop method to get rid of harmful household products.

Materials accepted include common household products such as auto fluids, batteries, electronics, strong cleaners, medications, paint and more.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome to the 'Machine'

V, the latest record by the Horrors, is out today. The above video is for "Machine."


Photo in Tompkins Square Park this morning by Derek Berg... apparently Deborah, the Park's gardener, collected these from nearby into one spot to dispose...

EVG Etc.: Guide to the L train shutdown; premiere of 'Hunting Pignut' at MoRUS

[Photo on St. Mark's Place by Derek Berg]

Department of City Planning debuts community portal, which brings together basic demographic information about each community board (The Lo-Down)

L train shutdown: everything you need to know (Curbed)

More on the lawsuit over bottomless brunch, with a report that concludes with the trolling quote: "I mean it’s the East Village, it’s the most upcoming neighborhood in Manhattan. If you’re not happy with the alcohol usage in this neighborhood – maybe its time to move out." (PIX ... previously)

Prune, still got it (The New York Times)

The Astor Alive! outdoor performing arts festival returns to Astor Place tomorrow for a day of dance, music, poetry, cabaret, etc. (Facebook Events page)

More on Richard Boch's Mudd Club book (Dangerous Minds)

Van Leeuwen opening an outpost in the former Ludlow Guitars space (BoweryBoogie)

East Village podcaster looking for new home for his studio (Daily News)

Mayor says 50 electric car charging hubs coming to NYC by 2020 (DNAinfo)

Local brands will disappear from Whole Foods (Money)

Tomorrow (Saturday!) night, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) at 155 Avenue C is showing "Hunting Pignut," a coming-of-age film set in the Newfoundland punk scene that's now in limited release in Canada. It is based on the life of writer/director/editor Martine Blue, who lived in C-Squat on Avenue C for seven years. The film is inspired by her friends and her time here.

Her first film, "El Evictor," will precede "Pignut," a B-horror short filmed at C-Squat. Slum Goddess has a part in it. Find more details on the screenings here.

The screening starts at 8 p.m., and is followed by a Q-and-A with Blue.

And tonight, there's a party at Scumbags & Superstars, which sells "clothing and accessories for weirdos" down at 100 Clinton St. between Rivington and Delancey... a good chance to check out the store...

Kona Coffee and Company coming to 2nd Avenue

Work continues at 59 Second Ave., where sidewalk-bridge signage has arrived for Kona Coffee and Company here between Third Street and Fourth Street.

Don't know too much about this operation. Their Facebook account notes that their beans "come from small, family-owned farms in Kona."

This is already a pretty competitive stretch for coffee, with the Bean set up almost directly across the Avenue ... and the Coffee Project and Southern Cross on Fifth Street just off the Avenue. (Not to mention two corner delis.)

Until October 2015, the address was home to Allied Hardware, who was on a month-to-month lease with the building's owner until Icon Realty bought the property in early 2015.

RIP Diane Maguire

Several readers shared the news that Ninth Street resident Diane Maguire died on Saturday. She was 59.

Diane grew up on Sullivan Street and eventually moved to this block between Avenue A and First Avenue. She could be seen on most days sitting outside on her building's stoop with her dog Josie talking to neighbors.

There's an obituary for her here. A cause of death was not disclosed.

Someone left flowers and a poem, titled "Crazy Lady," in the doorway of her building. Said one reader: "She always lit up the neighborhood and talked to everyone who passed by ... usually telling a dirty joke as well, asking what the difference is between sex and snow..."

Thanks to Michelle Simes for the photos and Steven for the reporting.

Capa Café now serving inside the International Center of Photography on the Bowery

The Capa Café is now up and running inside the International Center of Photography (ICP), 250 Bowery between Houston and Stanton.

A Café rep sent along details yesterday ... via the EVG inbox...

The International Center of Photography ... is tapping Great Performances (GP), the sustainability oriented New York City food service and events company, to re-invent and operate the ICP Museum’s café. Reimagined and debuting this fall as the Capa Café — a nod to ICP founder and noted photojournalist, Cornell Capa — the 40-seat eatery features a revamped menu, complete with a robust coffee and tea offering as well as seasonally sensitive fare for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks, including baked on-site breads and pastries, made-to-order sandwiches, and hot entrées.

The Café will also unveil a new look later this month, per the announcement. The Capa Café is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The ICP opened here in June 2016. Maman, which ran the first cafe in the space, quietly closed back in March, as BoweryBoogie reported. Another cafe later opened in its place.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

City installs pre-tagged Big Belly on 7th Street and Avenue A

This afternoon, Derek Berg noted that a worker delivered a Big Belly to the northeast corner of Avenue A and Seventh Street ... one that, ingeniously or not, had already been tagged... (save someone the trouble of doing it later) ...

Back in June, workers placed these solar-powered trash cans in and around Tompkins Square Park as part of the city's $32-million plan to combat vermin in rat-popular neighborhoods, like here. (As I recall, the northeast corner of 7th and A didn't have its own Big Belly.)

As previously noted, the rat-proof trash cans — which cost $7,000 each, per the Daily News — might work when they are not full or have trash stacked next to them...

[Sept. 2]

[Sept. 9]

ICYMI — Mayor forms Office of Nightlife

In case you didn't see this news from Tuesday night... when Mayor de Blasio arrived at House of Yes in Bushwick to announce the formation of the city's Office of Nightlife, where a soon-to-be-appointed Night Mayor will reign.

Per DNAnfo:

The new appointee will field complaints and mediate disputes between nightlife establishments and city and state agencies, as well as residents with complaints and concerns.

"[Nightlife] is part of the magic of New York City," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by former Ramones drummer Marky Ramone and jazz double-bassist Ron Carter, at the Wyckoff Avenue venue. "Where the culture happens is essential. Without the venues, the culture simply can't exist."

The administration is in the process of interviewing candidates for the job, which is expected to be filled by the end of the year.

The Office of Nightlife will have an estimated annual budget of $407,000, including $37,000 for office space, supplies and computers, as well as $370,000 to pay the Night Mayor and an assistant director of the office, according to a financial impact statement.

"The office will be led by who someone who will undoubtedly be more popular than me and will wield tremendous power," de Blasio said.

As those de Blasio fans at the Post noted:

Despite the presence of community boards and the city’s own Department of Small Business Services, the mayor believes another layer of government is needed to deal with quality-of-life issues and to help keep struggling clubs from going under.

Gothamist has more on the creation of this Office here.

East Village resident sues State Liquor Authority over bottomless brunches

East Village resident Robert Halpern, a lawyer who has lived here for more than 30 years, is in the news after he sued the State Liquor Authority over a loophole in the 1999 law that allows bottomless brunches (drunk brunch, drunch, etc).

The Real Deal first had the story yesterday:

These weekend specials, where you pay a set price for unlimited alcohol during brunch hours, are prohibited by law, according to Halpern’s complaint, and they’re contributing to the “deterioration of the neighborhood.”

According to Halpern’s calculations, there are 679 active liquor licenses in the East Village alone, and the Liquor Authority keeps approving more. There were 305 new liquor licenses approved in the area in 2016, and 243 in 2017.

“There are too may people running around drinking all the time,” Halpern told The Real Deal. “It’s become more and more of a drinking culture here.”

From the Post:

“Anybody who has lived in this neighborhood for a while knows that it’s gotten out of w​h​ack. There’s no balance anymore in terms of people living here and people just deciding to have fun here,” he said.

The SLA has claimed that bottomless brunches — where customers pay a set amount for endless mimosas and Bloody Marys — are exempt from a rule prohibiting unlimited drinks because the “service of alcohol is incidental to the event.”

Halpern insists that’s nonsense.

“Alcoholic beverages are not ‘incidental’ to the bottomless brunches, they are intrinsic to them,” he said.

And the Daily News:

A Liquor Authority spokesman said that state law prohibited over-serving — even during bottomless brunch.

"Serving unlimited drinks is prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverage Control law, and instances of over serving by our licensees are aggressively investigated and prosecuted," SLA spokesman Bill Crowley said, adding that the law does provide for certain "special circumstances."

His complaint reportedly enumerates 17 bottomless brunches available in the East Village, including the Cloister Cafe on Ninth Street, Jeepney on First Avenue and Pardon My French on Avenue B.

A celebration of tenant groups this weekend

On Saturday, the Middle Collegiate Church is hosting a Tenant Empowerment Conference.

Here are the details via the EVG inbox...

The goal of the conference is to celebrate all of the great work that's been done by tenant groups in New York City over the past few years.

We will also discuss the most effective means for tenants to assert their rights in the face of misbehaving landlords, rapacious developers and greedy banks.

In attendance will be tenants who have confronted predatory equity-practicing landlords (ie., Steve Croman, ICON Realty, Renaissance Properties, Jared Kushner, Samy Mahfar, Raphael Toledano, Madison Realty Capital etc.), as well as affordable housing advocates, local small business owners who are being threatened, local press, elected representatives and other interested parties from all over the city.

The conference will last from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be a welcome address and a keynote speaker. There will be three panel discussions, run sequentially.

Tenant power packs, continental breakfast and lunchtime sandwiches will be provided to attendees.

The TTC (The Tenants Coalition, formerly the Toledano Tenants Coalition) and Cooper Square Committee are the co-hosts. The Middle Collegiate Church entrance is at 50 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Here's a slide show that that the groups put together ... showing some of what tenant organizations in the city have done in the past two years:

Time for the 6th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival this weekend

More than 100 events are scheduled this weekend in the neighborhood's community gardens as part of the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival.

You can head to the LUNGS website here for a rundown of the various performances, concerts, screenings and other related events.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday's parting shot

Sunset pic by Bobby Williams ...


Here's the sunset view from Fourth Street by Maya Falmagne ...

'Also Starring Harry Dean Stanton' starting Friday at the Quad Cinema

RIP Harry Dean Stanton (1926 - 2017)

A post shared by Quad Cinema (@quadcinema) on

As you may have heard, Harry Dean Stanton died on Friday at age 91.

Back on Aug. 16, the Quad Cinema, nearby on 13th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, had announced a retrospect of the actor's work scheduled for Sept 22 to Oct. 3.

Per the Quad:

Few actors are as recognizable in American movies as Harry Dean Stanton. The singularly mild-mannered face of the New Hollywood, his repertoire expands to dozens of appearances in beloved studio, cult, and independent movies, with only a handful of lead roles to his name.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Stanton’s inimitable hangdog persona revealed a distinctive capacity for harebrained agitation and laconic, low-key melancholy that prove equally disarming. Stanton has worked with many cinema greats, from Carpenter to Wenders to Lynch. On the occasion of his starring role in Lucky (opening September 29) ... the Quad is proud to present a wide-ranging selection of his most memorable roles.

Screenings start on Friday, and include "Paris, Texas," "Repo Man," "Alien," "Escape From New York," "The Straight Story" and "Pretty in Pink," among many others.

The final print edition of The Village Voice is out today

The last print edition of The Village Voice — a 176-page commemorative issue — is out today with Bob Dylan on the cover.

Facing declining ad revenues, among other factors, owner Peter Barbey (since 2015) announced the end of the print era last month.

Here's part of editor Stephen Mooallem's farewell letter in this issue:

When I talk with people about the Voice, they often refer to it as an “institution.” But I think of it more as having a constitution. By that, I don’t mean a document containing a statement of essential principles by which the Voice is governed — I mean a constitution in the way that a person has a physical constitution. If you treat it well, then it can flourish; if you don’t, then it withers. Its existence is not inevitable. It needs to be fought for. When I look at what this paper has been for the past (almost) 62 years, I see the names of many people who have done just that for the Voice, and we’ve decided to dedicate this final print issue to them. The Voice may be bigger than print and ink or any owner, editor, medium, or era, but this paper belonged to New York, and the people who have worked for it have served both the Voice and the city in exemplary fashion.

The Village Voice was founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer. It will continue on as an online publication.

[Updated] The State of New York seizes Brick Lane Curry House on 2nd Avenue

EVG contributor Derek Berg shares these photos this morning ... showing that State has seized the restaurant here at 99 Second Ave. between Fifth Street and Sixth Street for nonpayment of taxes ...

In March 2016, the State seized the other two Brick Curry locations in the city, in Midtown and the Upper East Side.

According to Eater, Brick Lane owner Sati Sharma owed nearly $350,000 in unpaid taxes "when combing all four of his NYC restaurants, including the locations of Brick Lane Curry House and an Italian restaurant in Midtown called Radicchio Pasta and Risotto, which has been closed since at least January [2016]."

The "vast majority" of owed cash at that time was from unpaid sales tax, per a spokesperson for the Department of Tax and Finance.

The Second Avenue location is the last of the Brick Lane empire in the city.

Brick Lane moved to Second Avenue from Sixth Street in 2014.

Updated 9/21

The tax issues have apparently been taken care of... Brick Lane is back open today...

[Photo by Steven]

Out and About in the East Village

In this ongoing feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village or Lower East Side.

By James Maher

Name: Pepe Flores (who was a little camera shy)
Occupation: Retired, Daycare Teacher
Location: Avenue C and 4th Street
Time: 3:30 pm on Friday, Sept 15

I was born in Puerto Rico in 1951 in public housing near the docks in Old San Juan, but then we moved to the countryside when I was 4 years old. I was raised on the sugar cane plantation.

I went to college at the University of Puerto Rico. I got involved in the left [political movement], and I had to leave because my life was in danger. There is political persecution in Puerto Rico — it’s been going on since 1898, the minute that we were invaded. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States, so anybody who looks for the independence for Puerto Rico, in a pacific way or in a violent way, is a threat. So I moved to this neighborhood 45 years ago when I was 20 years old.

There was a two-bedroom apartment for $90 on 3rd Street between C and D. In those days, New York was affordable, you know what I mean? There was a big Puerto Rican population when I got here. There was a barrio uptown, one in the Bronx, then one in the Lower East Side. There was a big community, working class. We don’t consider ourselves immigrants because we are American citizens. I have an American passport.

I didn’t plan to live here — it was just that I was working in a bilingual program on 4th Street and all of a sudden I found myself in this community. I met somebody who was part of the adopt-a-building program, to adopt buildings that landlords had abandoned. So I got involved with the organization and I got an apartment in there. From there I moved to 11th Street. That’s where I got involved with the homesteading, with the renovation on the building. And now I’ve been in the same apartment on Avenue C for 35 years.

This is the first place where I saw performance art, the mix between dance, music, video, and all kinds of styles of creativity. One of the famous places for that was out on the corner on 2nd Street and Avenue B where the gas station used to be. The Gas Station was the abandoned gas station. These people took over and that’s where they had their performances.

And then you had the Nuyorican Poets Café that started on 6th Street between A and B and then they moved to 3rd Street. There was another place also that I collaborated with, it was called the Nuyorican Village. It was where the Jazz Boat used to be. The Jazz Boat was a jazz club on Avenue A between 6th and 7th Street, and when it was abandoned this guy Eddie Figueroa took it over. His approach was that, because the term Nuyorican can be a little bit of a put down, he believed that it was the “New Rican,” it was a new kind of Puerto Rican — we were vegetarian, macrobiotic. It was a very vibrant cultural community here.

People tend to treat this area as a drug haven, but it wasn’t like that. There was a working-class community. The people portrayed us as living on welfare, but you know what? In my building, out of 16 units, 14 people were working people, and I don’t know anybody who used to live on welfare. We were all working-class people, and most of the people in this neighborhood, or a lot of people that I know, they used to work in the Garment District, because the Garment District had steady jobs. It was close to the people, and it had pretty good paying jobs – enough to pay rent and live a decent life.

I would associate the decay to the disappearance of the Garment Center as a place for jobs. All these people lost their jobs. All these people that come from Puerto Rico, most of the people were people who came from the countryside. Once we lost jobs, then drugs came in, heavy drugs, heroin, cocaine. Those are hard, and it turned around the neighborhood. And then AIDS — I buried so many people here who died of AIDS, young people, adolescents, children, and they didn’t care.

They knew what was going on over here. They knew. I mean, if you see at 6 in the morning on 5th Street, 80 people lining up, you’re a cop, you say coño. They’re not going to church. They were there to score, at 6 in the morning. [The city] knew the whole thing about the drug trade that was going on here. They didn’t do nothing because that was a way to gentrify the neighborhood. That was a way to get people out of here. It’s a way that the system, the powers that be use to oppressed people. When you’re doing drugs, you don’t care about housing, education. You just care about your habit and that’s it.

And then with the economic depression that turned out, the landlords, they couldn’t collect the rents, and the easy way was to burn the buildings. They would pay somebody to go and burn a building with people in it. The building that I lived in, and all the buildings, we had to have volunteers to be security at night, especially at night because that’s when people came to burn out the buildings. They wanted to get the insurance money.

Besides that, I was a daycare teacher for 30 years of my life. It used to be on First Avenue and 9th Street, where P.S. 122 is. I took care of the children of Philip Glass, Ornette Coleman. After 30 years I left, but I’m still involved in the community. The things that you have to provide for the community are housing, education and health services. I consider myself a community activist. I’ve been involved with the gardens. There is a center on 9th Street between C and D called Loisaida Center, and I’m volunteering with them. My motto is, I’m not a volunteer, I donate my time. That’s another way to look at it.

I’m still here, I have two children even though they’re grown ups now, They’re doing great. I love this neighborhood. I want to give you an example – I used to walk out of the door and before you got to the corner you say, ‘hello’ to 5 or 10 people. It’s the community, the sense of community, the sense of caring about each other. You care about the old, the young, the adolescents. There are parks, youth centers. This is my neighborhood; this is my barrio. I think that concept comes from agrarian societies – that concept of barrio, of community. For some reason, the people who moved here had that spirit of community. The gardens are an example of that. People get together — the old, the young — and plant. There are more gardens between Houston and 14th, from A to D, than in any other neighborhood in New York City – and great, incredible gardens. I don’t play favorites – I love all of them.

James Maher is a fine art and studio photographer based in the East Village. Find his website here.

Mark Burger 'gone for now' on St. Mark's Place

The quick-serve slider-speciality restaurant with a rotating batch of craft beers at 33 St. Mark's Place is currently closed.

The sign on the front door here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue reads: "Gone for now but not for good. Thanks to the ones who still believe in Mark. Our sliders don't have an expiration date."

The sign writer says to follow along on one of the Mark's social-media properties (like Instagram) for updates. So far there isn't any mention of this closure on any of the Mark's accounts.

Mark Burger opened in the fall of 2009.

A sneak preview of the world's largest rhino sculpture, coming to Astor Place early next year

[Photo Thursday by Derek Berg]

Last Thursday, EVG contributor Derek Berg ran into a group of people on Astor Place doing some preliminary planning for "The Last Three," what is being billed as the world's largest rhino sculpture courtesy of artists Gillie and Marc Art.

[Photo by DB]

Here's more about the project, which will be unveiled on Astor Place near the Cube on Jan. 10:

We're honored to announce that in early 2018 Astor Place will become home to the world’s largest interactive rhino sculpture that you can photograph, touch and hug.

Created by internationally acclaimed monumental sculptural artists, Gillie and Marc Art, the incredible 16-foot sculpture will depict the world’s last three Northern White Rhinos, Sudan, Najin and Fatu.

The sculptures unveiling at Astor Place will officially launch the “Goodbye Rhinos” project, which aims to collect one million goodbye messages from across the globe, forming a petition to stop the poaching trade and illegal sale of rhino horn, the cause of the Northern White Rhinos imminent extinction.

After the New York City unveiling the sculpture will then visit major cities across the world to raise awareness of the rhinos plight and conservation.

You can read more about the project here.

Gillie and Marc Art are investing $150,000 of their own money for the project. (There was also a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $50,000.) Cable network Nat Geo Wild is the main sponsor.

City moves to potentially landmark 827-831 Broadway

[EVG photo from August]

Plans to demolish 827-831 Broadway for a 14-floor office building are on hold for now as the City has decided to begin the formal process of considering them for landmark designation.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission moved yesterday to calendar the pair of cast-iron buildings built in 1866 here between 12th Street and 13th Street. "That means the commission will ultimately hold a public hearing on the buildings’ designation and subsequently vote on it (one way or the other) within one year from now," as Curbed reported.

As previously reported, Quality Capital and Caerus Group bought the parcel between 12th Street and 13th Street last summer for $60 million. The deal reportedly included 30,000 square feet of air rights.

In the late 1950s, Willem de Kooning had a studio in No. 827, one piece of the history of these buildings uncovered by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), who has campaigned the past 18 months to preserve these buidlings.

GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman co-authored an op-ed at the Times in early August, providing more history of the addresses and making the case for why they should be landmarked.

The buildings were designed by Griffith Thomas, called “the most fashionable architect of his generation” by the American Institute of Architects.

You can read more about the buildings and the next steps in the landmarking process at the GVSHP website here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: 14-story building planned for 827 Broadway

An appeal to landmark these buildings on Broadway

Wagamama opens Oct. 4 on 3rd Avenue

Signage is up in the windows at Wagamama, announcing an Oct. 4 opening date here on 11th Street at Third Avenue...

This is the second NYC location for the London-based restaurant that serves Japanese-inspired cuisine. (You can find their menu here.)

And here's a look inside the space the other day...

Thanks to Vinny & O for the top two pics!

Previously on EV Grieve:
A few details about the Wagamama coming to 3rd Avenue

Dr Smood is now in on Houston and Orchard

[Photo from Monday]

Dr Smood debuted yesterday on Houston at Orchard, in part of the former American Apparel space.

Here's their description, via Facebook:

Dr Smood is an organic boutique cafe offering a carefully crafted menu of performance food for mind, body, and soul. We work closely with our partners to produce the highest quality products from sustainable sources, pure water, and nutrient-rich soil.

They are also billing themselves as...

This is the fifth Dr Smood location in NYC. (The company started in Miami.)

And this Well + Good article has more about the owners. Such as: "The idea came to Danish business developer Rene Sindlev and his wife, Patrizia Manici Sindlev, when they were living in Denmark and feeling frustrated by the lack of healthy, grab-and-go restaurants."


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Willow tree post mortem at La Plaza

Back on Friday, workers removed the rotting willow tree from the southwest corner of La Plaza Cultural on Avenue C and Ninth Street.

EVG correspondent Steven stopped by the community garden today... there is a pile of chips from the 40-year-old tree, nicknamed Cher, available to take...

Also, it appears that following the clean up after the removal, community gardeners found steps to a path inside La Plaza ...

Previously on EV Grieve:
A wake for the last willow trees at La Plaza Cultural

At the Weeping Willow Wake

[Photo from Sunday]

Final date set for Clayworks Pottery on 9th Street

Last month, Helaine Sorgen announced that she was closing Clayworks Pottery after 44 years at 332 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

"My building has been bought by a predatory landlord who will not renew my lease," she said at the time. "It's been over a two-year fight, and the time has come to close up shop." (You can read her closing letter here.)

At the time, she was unsure of her closing date — some time around Sept. 15.

Sorgen provided an update on Facebook this past weekend:

"I am sad to report that my court ordered last day at Clayworks will be September 30th. However, the exorbitant amount of money judgment levied against me doesn't quite make up for the extra week. Still, it gives me the opportunity to see many of you again and share memories and say goodbye. I look forward to seeing you all before Clayworks closes forever."

Jeremiah Moss interview Sorgen for a post that you can find here.

Storefront photo from 2009 via Facebook

7th Street townhouse once owned by John Leguizamo to be demolished for new development

In September 2016, a permit was filed with the DOB to demolish the 3-level townhouse (circa 1848) at 264. E. Seventh St. between Avenue C and Avenue D.

In late October, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced that they would not consider a row pastel-colored residences here for landmarking.

While the fate of No. 264 (above) remains in limbo at the moment, its neighbor two buildings to the east will be demolished to make way for a new development.

As New York Yimby first reported yesterday, the city approved a demo permit last month for the three-level 268 E. Seventh St. ...

[268 E, 7th St.]

The permits (filed on Friday) awaiting approval show that the new 7-floor structure will have 8,043 square feet of residential space divided between two units.

Actor John Leguizamo owned No. 268 starting in 1995. In February 2013, the building hit the market with a $4 million ask. However, as Curbed noted at the time:

It's unclear how recently Leguizamo lived in the place, or whether or not he even still owns it — the deed was transferred to an LLC in 2002, and the listing says that it was "Recently a single family residence; currently used as a 3-family" ...

Leguizamo watchers on the block figure that the actor moved away from here about 2001 or 2002.

According to public records, No. 268 sold for $3.65 million in September 2013 to investment banker Wilco Faessen, who's listed as the developer.

There isn't any word on when the demolition/construction might start at No. 268.

Across the way, work continues at 253 E. Seventh St., where there are approved permits for a 6-story residential building ...

Previously on EV Grieve:
City says no to landmarking row of 7th Street homes, clearing way for demolition of No. 264

Come live in John Leguizamo's former home here on 'Artists Row'

The East River Park Track is now closed for renovations; September 2018 reopening expected

A longtime East Village resident said that he was "shocked and vexed" yesterday to discover that the East River Park Track at the FDR and Sixth Street was closed without any warning "until further notice" for reconstruction.

This project has been in the works since 2013. Per the Parks Department website, "this project will reconstruct the synthetic turf soccer field and resurface the running track."

The fine print notes that the construction will start this month, and take one year to compete. There wasn't any advance communications about this seemingly sudden closure.

The note the Parks Department left on the gate lacks many specifics, such as the reopening date...

Per the reader, who's training for the New York City Marathon: "Seems like a disservice to the schools, clubs and individuals who use the track in the prime months of September and October."

[Updated] Sentencing day for landlord Steve Croman

[Image via the Croman Tenants' Alliance]

Back on June 6, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the guilty plea of Steve Croman. The landlord will be sentenced this morning by Justice Jill Konviser as part of that plea deal.


Updated from The Real Deal:

Steven Croman will get to spend the Jewish holidays at home instead of behind bars.

At a sentencing hearing ... Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser postponed sentencing for Oct. 3.

Prosecutors in the office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman – who dubbed Croman the “Bernie Madoff of landlords” – opposed the motion, but Konviser granted it nonetheless


Here's the original statement about the plea from the Attorney General's office...

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Steven Croman, a major New York City landlord with more than 140 apartment buildings across Manhattan, for fraudulently refinancing loans and committing tax fraud. Under the terms of his plea, Croman would serve one year of jail time on Rikers Island and pay a $5 million tax settlement – marking a significant precedent in the effort to combat landlords who base their business model on the displacement of rent-stabilized tenants.

Rarely, if ever, has a landlord been sentenced to serve time in jail for engaging in these practices. The jail time and multi-million settlement announced today send a strong message to landlords that the Attorney General will pursue anyone who engages in these types of practices to the fullest extent of the law.

“Steven Croman is a fraudster and a criminal who engaged in a deliberate and illegal scheme to fraudulently obtain bank loans,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “He went to outrageous lengths to boost his bottom line – including falsely listing rent-stabilized units at market rates when his efforts to displace those renters had failed. Now Mr. Croman faces a year in Rikers and a $5 million settlement – and unscrupulous landlords are on notice that we’ll pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

The AG's office still has a pending civil case against Croman accusing him of forcing tenants from their rent-controlled apartments. His next court date for the civil case is now scheduled for Nov. 13.

Schneiderman first announced the charges against Croman in May 2016. Those charges included multiple felonies for his role in an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain several multi-million dollar refinancing loans between 2012 and 2014.

The civil lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan and the product of an independent investigation, alleges that Croman used, among other things, the illegal tactic of pressuring tenants into surrendering their apartments by repeatedly filing baseless lawsuits against them.

Croman's real-estate portfolio includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.

Members of the the Stop Croman Coalition will be present at the sentencing, set for 9 a.m. at the New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre St., Room 1333 (13th Floor).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Following eviction proceedings, Steve Croman's 9300 Realty has a new office