Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday's parting shot

A sunset view this evening via Bobby Williams...

Report: Suspect in 6th Street slashing seeking a sentencing deal in court

The man facing charges for slashing a social worker's face on Sixth Street in January 2016 attempted to bargain with a judge yesterday for a better deal, according to published reports.

Per the Daily News:

Francis Salud, 29, balked at the offer of 14 years in prison in exchange for his guilty plea made by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser even though prosecutors had argued for an additional four years and five years parole.

Salud made a desperate push for less time in the slammer, even blaming his attorney for his bad spot. He had demanded new counsel in a letter to the court.

His counter-offer was for 10 years.

Konviser told Salud that 14 years was her final offer, and gave him two weeks to think about his decision.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2016, Anthony Christopher-Smith, a social worker from Newark, N.J., was walking on Sixth Street east of Cooper Square to meet a friend when someone came up from behind him, shoved him down and cursed. His face and back were slashed in the process. Smith reportedly underwent eight hours of surgery, and needed nearly 150 stitches for the wound from his right ear to his lips.

Salud was arrested several days later at an apartment on Fourth Street and Second Avenue. He was previously arrested and charged for a slashing that happened Oct. 18, 2015. He was out on bail at the time of the second attack.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Man's face cut in random slashing on East 6th Street

Report: East 6th Street slashing suspect blames victim (and the government) for attack

Suspect in custody for East 6th Street slashing

Mermaid In (the trash)

EVG reader Jennifer Kellow shares these photos from First Avenue and Second Street from yesterday afternoon...

Public forum set to discuss special business district in the East Village

Community Board 3's Economic Development Committee is hosting a public forum on June 7 to discuss a proposed special district in the East Village "to encourage retail diversity and promote small and independent businesses."

Here's more via a Q-and-A on the CB3 website on the issue:

Why a special district in the East Village and why now?

CB 3 has experienced a dramatic loss of small “mom & pop” businesses in the past 10+ years, and a resulting decrease in the diversity and affordability of local goods and services. Driven by a combination of high commercial rents and real estate taxes, competition from an over-proliferation and concentration of destination nightlife businesses and national chain stores who can afford exorbitant rents, and a lack of daytime foot traffic, the loss of small businesses has been sustained in recent years.

What are the goals of a special district in CB 3?
• preserve the unique, individual character of our neighborhoods
• facilitate a diverse, affordable, and appropriate mix of retail and service providers that meet local needs
• encourage daytime businesses that do not have a disruptive effect on residents
• support existing businesses serving local needs
• limit the ground floor presence of inactive street wall frontages
• promote strong and affordable neighborhoods that are inviting to all New Yorkers, especially families

How will a special district affect certain uses?

The special district is not meant to push out existing businesses and nightlife establishments. Rather, the effort is to strike a balance and create a level playing field for small businesses. In the current proposal, eating/drinking establishments, banks, and chains would have restrictions on maximum total size (2,500 square feet) and maximum street wall width (25 linear feet). They would also be prohibited from combining storefronts across separate buildings.

Additionally, there would be restrictions on how much of a block’s street frontage can be occupied by a particular use — for example, no more than 25 percent of any given block’s street frontage can be occupied by eating/drinking establishments and there cannot be more than 1 chain store or bank per block.

I am thinking of opening a business in the East Village that does not meet the parameters of the special district. Does your current proposal take exceptions into consideration?

In the current proposal, applications for exceptions will require a mandatory review process and referral to the Community Board for a recommendation.

Based on the current proposal, where will the special district be located?
• 14th Street to Houston; 2nd Avenue to Avenue D (excluding N/S sides of Houston and 14th)
• St Marks between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue

The meeting is Wednesday, June 7, from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Sirovich Senior Center, 331 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Ramen Setagaya reopens today after renovation on St. Mark's Place

The St. Mark's Place branch of Japanese chain Ramen Setagaya has been closed for the past few weeks... with brown paper covering the windows.

But there is a note (as well as new signage) here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... noting a reopening today...

There's also a reopening event this weekend... where the already-affordable student-friendly menu will offer two $5 specials...

Report: Morton Williams won't be taking over the 14th Street Associated after all

[EVG file photo]

After learning that a Trader Joe's was coming to the new development at the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office on 14th Street, Morton Williams has decided not to sign a lease for the nearby Associated, according to a report yesterday in Town & Village.

So for now, Associated will continue on here between Avenue A and First Avenue. The supermarket's lease is up at the end of the year.

Per Town & Village:

Asked about Morton Williams’ decision to withdraw from negotiations, Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, said no lease had been signed. Last week, he mentioned this as well, though he confirmed there were negotiations.

“Associated continues with their lease,” he added. “No final decision has been made with respect to the tenant for this space on a go-forward basis.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Associated owners not having any luck shopping for a lease renewal on East 14th Street (34 comments)

Petition drive underway to help save the Stuy Town Associated on East 14th Street

Report: New Stuy Town owner pledges to keep a grocery story on East 14th Street, but it may not be Associated

Report: Morton Williams will take over the Associated space on 14th Street (27 comments)

Against the Grain yields to sustainable omakase restaurant on 6th Street

Against the Grain, the beer annex of Grape and Grain on Sixth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C, has closed to make way for Mayanoki, a sustainable omakase restaurant that has been operating as a pop-up spot in Brooklyn the past five years.

According to Eater, Mayanoki co-owners Josh Arak and David Torchiano are subletting the small space "with the expectation that it will become a long-term arrangement."

Per Eater:

Mayanoki’s $95, 15-course menu will serve varieties such as squid, black sea bass from New Jersey, Spanish mackerel, scallops, oysters, albacore tuna, grouper from Florida, and more. The varieties will change based on what is in season and sustainably available, and the restaurant will work with organizations such as Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and Ocean Wise to guide sustainability choices. To fit in with the local theme, there’s also an all-New York wine and beer list, though sake will be flown in from Japan.

The restaurant officially debuts tonight on Sixth Street. (They had a soft opening this past weekend.) Mayanoki is open Wednesday-Sunday, with seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A 50th anniversary show commemorating the Grateful Dead playing Tompkins Square Park

[Image via]

On June 1, 1967, The Grateful Dead played their first East Coast show, which reportedly drew 3,000 concertgoers to Tompkins Square Park.

To mark this 50th anniversary on Thursday afternoon, the folks who put on the monthly Dead Night at Clem's in Williamsburg are hosting the following in Tompkins Square Park:

Live music by Grateful Dead cover band Ice Petal Flowers
Pre-show DJ set by Newguy
2 pm - 6 pm

Find the Facebook event page here.

As for the Dead's show in 1967, here's part of a recap via The Village Voice:

June began on Thursday, and the Grateful Dead were in town, and, despite some rumble rumors from the Puerto Ricans, the prospects for peace looked promising. A happy, scruffy parade of 80 marched down St. Mark's Place, complete with police escort, to present the Dead with a white carnation key to the East Village, graciously accepted by Pigpen. And the Tompkins Square bandshell rocked with San Francisco glory until a noise complaint was lodged in the late afternoon. Rather than tune down, the Dead turned off.

H/T Stephen Popkin!

Looking at the future home of 14th Street's 2nd Trader Joe's

[View from 14th Street]

Trader Joe's has reportedly signed a deal to open a two-level grocery in the new development that replaced the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at 432-438 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The Real Deal, citing anonymous sources, first reported on this late last week.

The food purveyor quietly signed a lease about two months ago with Mack Real Estate and Benenson Capital Partners ... for 8,531 square on the ground floor and 14,170 square feet on the lower level.

In May 2016, there were reports of Trader Joe's taking the retail space in Extell's incoming retail-residential complex one block to the east between Avenue A and Avenue B. Target ended up signing a lease for the corner at 500 E. 14th St. The remaining storefront at No. 500 is 14,500 square feet.

The residential entrance (there will be 114 units) to the 8-floor building will be on 13th Street... while access to the Trader Joe's will be on 14th Street.

[View from 13th Street]

The Trader Joe's will likely have a little competition across the street with, reportedly, a Morton Williams. [Updated: Town & Village reports that Morton Williams will not sign a lease now.] Not to mention the small-format Target, which will feature grab-pay-then-go food items and other groceries.

In 2014, a Facebook group was advocating for a Trader Joe's for Ben Shaoul's condoplex at 98-100 Avenue A. That retail spot is now Blink Fitness.

Will a second Trader Joe's on East 14th Street help alleviate the pre-storm lines at the current location between Third Avenue and Irving Place?

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished

The former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office will yield to an 8-story residential building

New residential building at former 14th Street PO will feature a quiet lounge, private dining room

A look at the new building coming to the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office property

Love Gang is moving on 9th Street

[Photo by Steven]

Love Gang, the women's boutique at 436 E. Ninth St., is moving this week — two storefronts to the west here between Avenue A and First Avenue.

"The rent was just getting too expensive — you know the perpetual NYC issue," co-owner Carmen Ruiz-Davila said. "I'm glad that we found a place, especially one that's so close."

The new storefront at No. 434 had last served as a pop-up shop.

Love Gang hopes to be open here on Thursday.


Read our interview with Love Gang co-owners Cara Bloch and Ruiz-Davila from December here.

Esperanto offshoot closes on 1st Street; may return elsewhere

Esperanto Fonda, the satellite location of Avenue C mainstay Esperanto, has closed on First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. A for rent sign now hangs on the right side of the entrance.

The quick-serve restaurant, which opened last August, served a variety of tacos, empanadas and burritos.

An Esperanto rep said via email that "Fonda closed due to high rent costs but will be reopening at another location in the near future, with the same exact program." In the meantime, the rep said that Esperanto is set up for to-go window service and delivery with the same menu as Esperanto Fonda.

The First Street address was most recently home to BARA for two years and Prima for three years. The Elephant, a Thai restaurant, was previously here for 17 years.

Moustache has closed on 10th Street

Moustache, the reliable Middle-Eastern restaurant with a backyard garden, has closed on 10th Street. Back on Friday, workers were gutting the space mid block here between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

No word on why they closed. (The Moustache location remains open in the West Village.)

In any event, the space won't be empty for long. An applicant going by Small Plates Inc. is on the June CB3-SLA docket for a beer-wine license for the address. The applicant's questionnaire isn't online just yet.

No Malice Palace 'waiting for legal things to happen' on 3rd Street

As previously noted, No Malice Palace, the bar on Third Street just west of Avenue B, has not been open this year. (There were reports of a few parties, according to a neighbor.)

No Malice owner Phil Sherman died right before Thanksgiving 2016.

Also, as of last summer, Northstar Properties is the new landlord, and they have been renovating the building at 197 E. Third St.

In any event, the bar remains closed ... the latest sign says they are "waiting on legal things to happen" ...

The State Liquor Authority lists this license as active through January 2018.

The Continental's 5-shot deal bumped from $10 to $12

[Via Google Street View]

For years now the Continental on Third Avenue at St. Mark's Place has advertised that $10 for five-shots-of-anything promotion. (Apparently it has been a money loser.)

Not sure when this happened — the deal just got more expensive by $2...

The Continental website still lists the special as $10.

The website (rather Trigger the owner) also addresses any questions people may have about about the shot quality:

- Not only are the shots not "watered down" but this practice of diluting good brand name liquor with cheaper, generic stuff has never happened in my bar!!! Not once! Let alone as an ongoing practice.
- I understand that people can't believe the 5 Shot deal so they assume that it's got to be a scam but I can personally guarantee you that it's for real. Want to verify this for yourself???
- I've given my bartenders permission to let customers choose a random bottle from our back up stock that's in plain view and you, yourself can open the bottle and feel the seal break when you open it!!! (except on weekend nights when we're slammed but you can request this early or late on a weekend night)
- You can also order 1 or more shots from the bottle you just opened and compare it to the liquor that you've originally ordered from the already opened bottle! I absolutely guarantee that there will be no difference whatsoever.
- I don't make money on the shots. It's my gimmick to draw people in as we don't have food, karaoke, live music or any of the other things most places have one or more of. So please... come in and see for yourself!

Meanwhile, The Real Deal reported in June 2015 that real-estate investor Arthur Shapolsky was buying three properties at the corner of Third Avenue and St. Marks Place: 23 Third Ave., 27 Third Ave. and 3 St. Mark's Place. Basically everything from McDonald's to the corner. I haven't heard anymore about that since then. There's nothing in public records noting a deal ... or on file with the DOB noting new construction.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Hello again: black crowned night heron spotted in Tompkins Square Park

An EVG reader shared the above photo from last night in Tompkins Square Park... the return of [an elusive] black crowned night heron!

This one, with the dark markings on its back, looks different than the one(s) spotted in previous years (here and here for instance).

Here's a photo of one from last June...right before it foraged the remnants of an Açai bowl blended with banana and apple juice and topped with strawberries and granola...

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

In previous years, the heron(s) returned to Tompkins Square Park in May.

And here's quick cut-n-paste heron refresher via the National Audubon Society:

Seen by day, these chunky herons seem dull and lethargic [ed note: gee, don't sugarcoat it], with groups sitting hunched and motionless in trees near water. They become more active at dusk, flying out to foraging sites, calling "wok" as they pass high overhead in the darkness. Some studies suggest that they feed at night because they are dominated by other herons and egrets by day.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The night heron apparently comes out at night in Tompkins Square Park

Elusive night heron becoming less elusive

Formerly elusive night heron makes triumphant return to Tompkins Square Park

Love and shrooms for Gregg Allman outside the former Fillmore East on 2nd Avenue

Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, died Saturday at age 69.

Someone left this homemade tribute to him outside the former site of the Fillmore East, the music venue on Second Avenue at Sixth Street where Allman and company were regulars...

There are also some mushrooms. As Rolling Stone once noted of the band: "They ingested such vast quantities of psychedelic mushrooms that the mushroom became a band logo: Each member got one tattooed on his upper calf."

Cloudy with a slight chance of Manhattanhenging tonight

[Photo from last July by ‏@WonderlandNYC]

It is time again for Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid and #Manhattanhenge starts trending on social media.

Here's Neil deGrasse Tyson at the American Museum of Natural History with more:

What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England. For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. A rare and beautiful sight. These two days happen to correspond with Memorial Day and Baseball's All Star break. Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball.

Here are the dates... starting tonight...

Half Sun on the Grid

Monday, May 29 8:13 P.M. EDT
Thursday, July 13 8:21 P.M. EDT

Full Sun on the Grid

Tuesday, May 30 8:12 P.M. EDT
Wednesday, July 12 8:20 P.M. EDT

However, Manhattanhenging from 14th Street — or any other of the other major cross streets — looks pretty iffy given the cloudy forecast, per AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

“We’re talking about something that requires the sun to be out, but we’re talking about just a very narrow window of time,” Abrams said.
Clouds are expected to be covering the New York City area [tonight]. There may be some breaks in the clouds on Tuesday evening, but a shower or thunderstorm could move into the city.

“It’s reasonable that there will be a chance to see it on Tuesday evening, but all it takes is one cloud at the right moment to ruin it,” he said.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Friday evening outside Sidewalk on 6th and A]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

AG Schneiderman introduces new bill — the Tenant Protection Act of 2017 (Wednesday)

Speculation about Webster Hall's closing date (Monday)

New broker for former home of Lucky Cheng's and adjacent property (Tuesday)

Films on the Green return to Tompkins Square Park this July (Tuesday)

Report: Morton Williams will take over the Associated space on 14th Street (Wednesday)

An early-morning fire at 328 E. 14th St., home of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (Friday ... Saturday)

Reader report: Neo-Nazi slogan spotted on East Village sidewalks (Thursday)

Shake Shack coming to the Death Star (Friday)

Out and About With Jerry Shea (Wednesday)

The Marshal seizes Palà on Allen Street (Wednesday)

A celebratory ad on the purchase of 139 E. Houston St., current home of the Sunshine Cinema (Thursday)

Baby hawk! (Tuesday)

Commercial co-op on 10th Street, guarded by Rex, is for sale (Wednesday)

Babu Ji going and coming (Monday)

Chi Ken signage arrives on St. Mark's Place (Thursday)

Jones LES sold for $61 million (Friday)

David Choe next up on the Bowery mural wall (Friday)

New East Houston condos "effortlessly embody the sophistication of Lower East Side living" (Monday)

Blink Fitness on Avenue A extends hours (Tuesday)

The #rednose installation is now on Astor Place (Monday, 17 comments)

Former Joe and Misses Doe space for rent on 1st Street (Monday)

...and on Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B, the Wood House Spa looked like a goner this past week. The no-frills spa (pretty good as far as these places go) was emptied out...

But! After a few days, the closed for renovations signs arrived... noting a reopening on Thursday...


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Fun with this caterpillar/dinosaur

EVG contributor Derek Berg spotted this three-person creation yesterday... taking part (presumably) in the annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts on 10th Street...

Derek thought it was a caterpillar. I thought it was a dinosaur. In any event, they seemed to be having a nice time and no one wanted to ask them what they were supposed to be ... suggesting that it wasn't obvious to passersby...

The Festival continues this evening. Find details here.

A Basquiat appreciation

On the occasion of the Basquiat painting of a skull titled "Untitled" selling for $110 million, The New Yorker's art critic, Peter Schjeldahl, checks in with an appreciation of the artist.

Let’s take a moment to be nauseated by the price paid, which attests to the obscene amount of excess wealth sloshing around in the world today. Now let’s ignore it. A more worthwhile question is whether Basquiat rates high in valuations of recent art apart from the pecuniary. I think that he does.

Read the full piece here.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Remembering the Allman Brothers on 2nd Avenue

Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, died today at age 69.

Allman and the band have a connection to the East Village... They were one of promoter Bill Graham's favorite bands, and he had them play the last three nights when the Fillmore East at 105 Second Ave. closed in June 1971.

The space today is a bank branch... though there is a commemorative plaque out front. You can read more about the Allman Brothers and the Fillmore East at Bob Egan's PopSpots site ... and Off the Grid. Rolling Stone has an oral history of the shows as well as the "The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East" album here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bank branch becomes bank branch at former site of the Fillmore East

The Loew's Commodore Theatre

Rock of ages: Commemorating the Fillmore East on 2nd Avenue

A look at the fire-damaged 328 E. 14th St.

Here's a look this morning at 328 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Early yesterday, the FDNY responded to a two-alarm fire that reportedly started inside Artichoke shortly after the pizzeria closed at 5 a.m.

Here's more via the Post:

The fire spread from the ground level to second- and third-floor apartments through walls in the six-story building, according to the FDNY.

A manager said he called 911 after a neighbor texted him a photo of the burning building.

Firefighters had the fire under control by 6:27 a.m. There were no injuries, and it is not clear how the fire started, officials said.

One fire source said the blaze did not appear to have been intentionally set.

The city posted vacate notices on Artichoke ... and the newish Alibaba Smoke Shop next door (which does not look to have sustained any damage)...

Artichoke has yet to comment on the fire, at least via their website or social media properties.

As you can see, most of the windows facing 14th Street have been boarded up. One 328 resident left this comment on yesterday's post: "Few of us have been displaced and need to find a new home because of the extensive damage to our apartments."

The 14th Street Y down the block opened its doors for residents ... and the Red Cross was on the scene to provide immediate assistance.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Arc of a diver

The Brooklyn-based Arc Waves headline the Mercury Lounge Sunday night. The above track, "Galaxies," is from the band's self-titled debut EP from 2015.

Friday-of-a-holiday-weekend vibes from the Tompkins Square Park dog run

Photo today by Steven...

[Updating] Report of an early-morning fire at 328 E. 14th St., home of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

A two-alarm fire tore through 328 E. 14th St. early this morning. According to the official FDNY Twitter feed, the fire started just before 6 a.m. in the ground floor, which is home to Artichoke Pizza here between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

A large number of firefighters were congregated outside what is Artichoke's dining room...

The damage extends to the second and third floors of the building...

The FDNY called it under control by 6:30 a.m.

No word just yet on cause or injuries or extent of the damage. As of 7 a.m., the NYPD still had 14th Street closed off between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Artichoke is planning on opening in a new location directly across the street from here. Artichoke debuted at No. 328 in 2008.

Updated 10 a.m.

The Daily News reports that the fire caused "extensive damage" to Artichoke.

Witnesses said that the fire started right around its 5 a.m. closing time.

"I woke up to drunk girls on the street eating pizza and taking Snapchats, saying 'Holy s--t! There's a fire,'" said Morgan Crouse, 25, who lives above the pizzeria.

Updated 2 p.m.

The story in the Post noted this: "One fire source said it did not appear to be intentional."

The 30th annual Loisaida Festival is Sunday

Via the EVG inbox...

Loisaida, Inc. is proud to announce the 30th Annual Loisaida Festival, Sunday, May 28, from 11 am to 5 pm along Loisaida Avenue (Avenue C) from 6th to 12th Street. This year the Festival celebrates three decades as the largest public open-air event in Lower Manhattan dedicated to preserving Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, deeply rooted in Loisaida — Spanglish for the Lower East Side.

The 30th Anniversary Festival, which will attract well over 15,000 visitors, is dedicated to The Spirit of the Immigrant and Migrant community and their unique contributions to the Lower East Side, New York City, and beyond. Marine-combat-vet-turned actor, singer, and activist, J.W. Cortes, will return this year as the Festival’s Host and Community Ambassador.

Salsa, Samba, Charanga, Mambo, and Rock and Roll will rule the Festival’s mainstage with a lineup that brings together a magic mix of established and rising Puerto Rican and Latin American artists. This year’s bombastic musical program will feature the Legendary Puerto Rican musician, composer and producer Fran’ Ferrer, founder of Puerto Rico 2010 and Descarga Boricua.

The lineup also includes, Rock and Roll Neoyorquino by Rubí, A Vibes Tribute to Tito Puente! and Cheo Feliciano courtesy of Supermambo – created by Grammy nominated Felipe Fournier; performances by Batalá, an all women Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae Percussion Band, and 70s Charanga music and dancing by Son del Monte.

The Festival will open at 11 am with a Carnival Parade, the result of a month-long intensive collaborative atelier on parade-making & Cabezudo techniques that Loisaida, Inc. commissioned engaging three masters in the arts of street theater — Pablo Varona, Daniel Polnau and Adam Ende — to kick-off the annual celebration.

As always the street-level experience will feature an array of vendors with delicious homemade ethnic cuisine, community organizations distributing critical health and wellness information. The Festival spotlights Healthy Living, Artisan and Eco Zones plus a fun roster of Kid Friendly activities and workshops by El Museo Del Barrio, Friends of the High Line and the Bio Bus, among others.

Find all the details here. Find photos from the 2016 Loisaida Festival here.

​The 22nd annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts is this weekend

​The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts begins this evening at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. at 10th Street. Here are some details via the EVG inbox...

The three-day downtown arts festival, whose theme this year is Art V Tyranny, seeks to show a lively downtown arts scene in an era when everything from funding cuts to technology, science and affordable housing puts pressure on the arts.

The festival includes hundreds of well-known and emerging artists ranging from theater to dance, music to movies, a street fair and art exhibit. This celebration collectively provides a showcase of downtown’s artistic diversity and energy, while seeking to “take up art” against a sea of troubles.

The theme of Art V. Tyranny, with the V as a kind of victory sign as well as a sign of resistance, seeks to shine a spotlight on the need for the arts for a healthy life and economy.

As part of the festival, TNC typically closes down 10th Street between First and Second avenues for a street festival filled with vendors.

Find details on specific programming here.

A quick look at the all-new Quad Cinema

Been meaning to post something about the refurbished Quad Cinema... not too far away from the neighborhood on 13th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

The four-screen cinema reopened on April 14. These photos are from April 16...

On this day, I went to see the 12:20 p.m. screening of Katell Quillevere’s "Heal the Living" (quite compelling!) ... it was Easter Sunday, and at this hour there were only three other people in the theater... (it was much more crowded during other visits)...

As previously reported, the Quad Cinema, family-owned and operated since 1972, was sold in 2014 to real-estate developer, film producer-distributor and movie buff Charles S. Cohen (his distribution company was conveniently behind the U.S. release of "Heal the Living"). The theater then went under an extensive renovation to upgrade the space. Cohen hired C. Mason Wells, the IFC film programmer, and Gavin Smith, former Film Comment editor, to help with programming.

The Quad has been screening some interesting work, showcasing foreign, independent and classic films... upcoming, for instance, they're featuring retrospectives of New York-born director Frank Perry and his screenwriter wife Eleanor Perry ... as well as actor Sam Elliott (including "Road House" on June 8!).

There's a lot to choose from on any given day. For instance, tomorrow (Saturday), there are nine different films featured, including screenings of "The Man Who Fell to Earth," "Stranger Than Paradise," "Liquid Sky" and "Superman." (Tickets are $15, which is the same at the Village East Cinema on Second Avenue ... and less than the $17.50 that the AMC Village 7 on Third Avenue fetches.)

There is a cafe connected to the Quad's lobby. It was not open when I was there. And the cafe is for pre or post screenings. This isn't a theater where you bring drinks into the auditorium (a la Alamo Drafthouse).

In any event, I've enjoyed going to the Quad... it's one more choice to go along with the Metrograph on Ludlow Street and my usual go-to theater, the Anthology Film Archives on Second Street and Second Avenue... not to mention the Film Forum, the IFC Center, the Angelika Film Center and Cinema Village.

I'm glad the Quad is there. I'm still going to miss the Sunshine when it ultimately closes next year. The Sunshine is the closest theater to where I live, and I'll miss running out for those last-minute, early-afternoon screenings on the occasional days off...