Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Report: Rent Guidelines Board approve increases between 1.25 and 2 percent

The Rent Guidelines Board approved rent increases last night for residents living in the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments.

The approved increases are 1.25 percent on 1-year leases and 2 percent on two-year agreements ... this after ratifying rent freezes the previous two years.

Back in April, 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.

Per Curbed today:

The final vote erred on the more conservative side of those recommendations, but for both sides — tenants and landlords/owners — that may still be unsatisfactory. Tenants’ rights groups, who showed up to the meeting in droves, wanted a third consecutive freeze; landlords, meanwhile, wanted bigger hikes to offset the costs allegedly incurred as a result of the last two years of freezes.

According to the Post:

Tenants who packed a Baruch College auditorium for the board hearing Tuesday night delayed its 7 p.m. start for more than an hour, chanting “How low can you go?” and dancing the limbo in front of the stage.

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: Sierra Gilboe Zamarripa (and Cecilia)
Occupation: Owner, Lovewild Design
Location: La Plaza Cultural, 9th Street and Avenue C
Time: Tuesday, June 13 at 4 p.m.

I’m from 10th and A. In high school my dad bought a house in the South Bronx, and we ended up leaving because when I was a baby we were stuck in a drive-by. So we moved to the East Village to be safe, and it was still scary then, but it was better than the South Bronx.

My parents had a store on 10th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A called Wandering Dragon — it was an antiques and oddities store. There was lots of taxidermy, two-headed calves, weird medical instruments, general antiques, wax heads — just every weird thing. The store was a constant array of characters wandering in and out, street people, artists, writers, occasional celebrities and celebrities to be. A lot of weirdos! Although rarely open, it was never dull. There was also a Times article that profiles our house and all the crazy taxidermy and stuff in it. The kids on the block called it the voodoo house and it wouldn’t get robbed because they were so scared of it — it looked insane.

After my father passed away last year, our friend David Wolen articulated our lives at the shop better than I ever could:

"The Wandering Dragon Trading Company was an amazingly strange and impossibly tiny store in the East Village. It was NEVER open but we would walk by all the time and stare in the windows at the weird antiques, taxidermy, wax mannequin heads, glass eyeballs, and skulls. One night we were coming home from a bar at 3 o’clock in the morning and the door was open and 1920s jazz was playing inside. We went in and entered the magical world of Adrian Gilboe."

This was when the neighborhood was a lot more colorful. As a kid, I would play junkie and try to gnaw off the neighbors’ kids ears. Now I look back and I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ I had a lot of unconventional babysitters as a kid on the block. Jay Yuenger and the other guys of White Zombie were some. There were always amazing people around us — my baby photos were taken by Spencer Tunick.

On 10th between 1st and A was Chester — he had a string of storefronts, and he had like a smoothie bar but really he just sold pot, and I was probably the only kid that went in and ordered smoothies. It just seemed normal.

I met my husband Mike in the Tompkins dog run after each of us had just adopted dogs. My dog Lucy was adopted from the short-lived rescue on 10th Street, which coincidentally was one of the storefronts I grew up in. Our story makes for a good East Village meet-cute. He was a squatter and he’s also in a New York punk band from high school called Thusla Doom. He got the apartment because the city sold it to the people who were squatting in there for like $250 as long as we did all the work ourselves. There is some taxidermy in our apartment – there is a two-headed calf and then some birds, which were all inherited.

I opened a business on June 24 called Lovewild Design in South Williamsburg [at 348 S. 4th St.]. I started doing custom invitations and letterheads in May of 2014 and I made a little line of products for markets for Hester Street Fair and people actually liked the products that I made, so it just sort of snowballed. And now my mom works for me full time and Cecilia works with me all the time, which is really nice, sometimes. Cecilia will grow up in the shop like I did, but it won’t be at all the same.

We do custom graphic design, but we also have a line of stationery that is plantable, so it’ll grow flowers. We have a line of teas, various home goods, screen printed totes and towels, and then recently we came up with a line of active gifts, where a percentage goes to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU.

The store is in South Williamsburg, which is a lot like Avenue C and Avenue D like 5 to 10 years ago, with the Hispanics mixing with younger white kids. My dream would have definitely been to open my shop up over here but that wasn’t possible due to the rents. It just seemed like an inevitable path. I grew up as an entrepreneur, and my parents and my grandmother were entrepreneurs. I used to take things, just find random things outside or in the shop, and I would fix them up and sell them right outside the shop, and then I had a shoeshine business, and then I sold milkshakes, and this was all before the age of 6.

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

A new lease for Three of Cups

Three of Cups has been on the northwest corner of Fifth Street and First Avenue since 1992... and it appears they will be around for longer now. The owners of the Italian restaurant took to social media this past weekend to announce that they had secured a new lease...

Fledgling No. 1

Here's a quick update via Goggla on Christo and Dora's lone offspring (the couple's 10th overall) this year in Tompkins Square Park. (Hawk watchers apparently have multiple nicknames for the juvenile hawk, including Fledgling #1, Ten, Manhattan, BioTen.)

For starters, you can see how large she has gotten in just the past two weeks since fledging.

In the top photo from this past weekend, a blue jay is dive bombing No. 1. Per Goggla: "Although she hasn't done anything to deserve their bullying yet, they have been giving her a hard time."

And in this photo, she is eating on a fence in the Park. "This was a monumental moment as it was the first time she retrieved dropped food from the ground rather than begging Christo to go get it for her," Goggla said...

Find more red-tailed hawk updates from Goggla here.

Meanwhile, Bobby Williams took these photos of Fledgling No. 1 in the Park yesterday...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This week at the Village East Cinema

Two special screenings to note this week at the Village East Cinema on Second Avenue at 12th Street...

Wednesday, June 28, 7 p.m. — "Bad Lieutenant"

Twenty-fifth anniversary screening of Abel Ferrara's corrupt cop drama with Harvey Keitel as The Lieutenant with a drug and gambling addiction, among other addictions. Plus, he's a Met's fan.

Fun for the whole family!

Thursday, June 29, 7:30 p.m. — Hedda Lettuce presents "Serial Mom"

The comedy by John Waters from 1994 gets the Hedda Lettuce interactive treatment.

Find ticket info for both movies here.

Did you lose your dog?


This mattress and frame are on Ninth Street near Avenue A... someone wrote "all things free & clean" ... and then "once owned by Basquiat" ...

Thanks to Steven for the photos

1st look at the Other Music documentary

The first trailer for the Other Music documentary premiered this morning... the film aspires to chronicle the 20-year history and legacy of Other Music, its influence on music in New York City and its closure last June.

The clip features a variety of musicians (Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields and Daniel Kessler of Interpol, among others) and a few actors (Jason Schwartzman and ... Benicio Del Toro?!) talking about what the place meant to them as well as an array of footage from the many in-store performances through the years.

The production is still in the Kickstarter phase, with a way to go before reaching the $70,000 production goal.

The store on Fourth Street between Lafayette and Broadway closed last June 25 after 20-plus years in business. Other Music's owners cited rising rents and the changing face of the music industry as reasons behind the closure. According to The New York Times, the rent more than doubled from the $6,000 a month the store paid in 1995 while its annual share of the building’s property tax bill has also increased.

Meanwhile, someone has removed the for rent signs at the former storefront. There isn't any sign of a new tenant yet — just the brown paper on the windows...

[Photo from Sunday]

The retail listing for the space includes a bland rendering of the storefront's potential...

Your ideas wanted on improving McKinley Playground

[4th Street entrance]

Reps for the Parks Department will be collecting input this Thursday evening on improving the McKinley Playground on Fourth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...

[3rd Street entrance]

Here's a flyer about the meeting, which is Thursday night from 6:30-8 at P.S. 63-The Neighborhood School, 121 E. Third St. between Avenue A and First Avenue...

Per the flyer:

"NYC Parks is starting the design process for this project by holding a scope meeting, in which local residents and stakeholders discuss how they would like to see the playground improved. With this input, we will develop a schematic design, which will be presented to Community Board 3 for public review."

I can't make the meeting, so please put me down for a bandshell for live, late-night concerts.

Saltwater NYC bringing Australian coffee to 12th Street

[Image via @Saltwaternyc]

A coffee shop called Saltwater NYC is coming soon to 345 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue... adjacent to Pata Negra.

The teaser site for the shop simply notes "Australian Coffee Culture." The window signage notes an August opening.

No. 345 previously served as a to-go spot for S'Mac two storefronts away.

The New Stand coming to Patricia Field’s former storefront on the Bowery

The New Stand — a concept described as "If your favorite bodega and your favorite blog had a baby" — is opening a retail outlet at 306 Bowery, Patricia Field's former storefront.

The Real Deal, who first reported on this transaction, notes that the New Stand already has retail locations inside the Union Square subway station, at Brookfield Place and at the Turnstyle market at Columbus Circle. This will be the New Stand's largest space.

Wired had a feature on the New Stand from November 2015:

The New Stand is an underground newsstand, updated for modern commuters. We’re standing in The New Stand in Union Square, which once was “an old newsstand that sold chocolate bars and Snickers and magazines and Snapples, and has done that exact same thing for 30 years,” [co-founder George] Alan says. ... It’s stocked with an array of snacks, on-the-go toiletries (including Help Remedies kits, Binchotan charcoal toothbrushes, and Sir Richard’s all-natural condoms), as well as consumer candy like Google Cardboard sets, Closca collapsible bike helmets, and instant Instax cameras. It’s a mix of truly useful and genuinely covetable.


Like the newsstands of yore, The New Stand will serve news. But instead of selling Posts and TimeOuts, it will blast easily digestible nuggets of news from an app that will work underground, with or without Wi-Fi. It’ll include daily playlists, reblogged news stories, and photos and videos making the rounds online.

In December 2015, Field announced that she was closing her boutique at 306 Bowery to concentrate on her film and TV work and other various projects.

Field, who has run a shop for 50 years, starting in the West Village in 1966, had been at this location between East Houston and Bleecker since 2012.

A call to expand the boundaries of the proposed special business district in the East Village

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

Under the proposal, the special district would be 14th Street to Houston; Second Avenue to Avenue D as well as St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. (Read a PDF about the proposal here. You can read recaps from the meeting here and here. Read REBNY's reaction here.)

The borders of the proposed district didn't sit well with some members of the East Fifth Street Block Association, who plan on discussing the topic during the public speaking section of tonight's full CB3 board meeting.

According to an email via the Block Association, streets between the Bowery and Second Avenue should be included in the proposal:

The East 4th Street Cultural District, which is between Bowery and 2nd Avenue, is a cultural hub. Having chain stores at its western approach would destroy its sense of context and historic place.

With the Bowery’s west side above Houston protected by the NoHo Historic District, it would be irresponsible and degrading to the East Village’s sense of historic place to have major gateway at Bowery become the sole repository for these awful chain stores. That would give a negative first impression of this wonderful neighborhood.

Second Avenue is not the gateway to the East Village. The Bowery/Third Avenue is the gateway to the East Village, and all of it should be included in the EV Special Zoning District.

The full CB3 meeting is tonight at 6:30, PS 20, 166 Essex St. between East Houston and Stanton.

Thoughts on the 9/11 mural on 9th and A

[Photos from Saturday]

On the previous post about Gelarto, the new gelato shop at 145 Avenue A, Nigel, one of the shop's proprietors, left several comments.

For starters, he's interested in receiving input about the 9/11 mural on the Ninth Street side of the building (read more about the mural here) ...

Per Nigel:

We would love to do something with the 9/11 mural that has now been graffitied over on our black wall and it would be great to get some local feedback or suggestions for this. What would everyone like to see — the same but cleaned up, or a new 9/11 commemorative mural?

Meanwhile, he apologized that the shop will be closed for a few days.

"We are moving things around a little in the store, ready for our proper official opening (no more test runs), with full menu and all staff up to speed. I will post on this blog when I am 100% certain of the opening day and we will advertise in the area, but I hope you will all be able to make it as it will be a great opportunity to try our gelato for free. I look forward to meeting you all."

These flyers arrived on the storefront yesterday...

[Photo by Steven]

Previously on EV Grieve:
The 9/11 mural on 9th and A

Monday, June 26, 2017

Report: Avenue B resident stabbed during push-in robbery

A 31-year-old resident was repeatedly stabbed when a man pushed his way into her apartment on Avenue B near 13th Street last night, according to published reports.

The woman reportedly heard a knock on her front door at 8:30 p.m.

Per DNAinfo:

She opened her door a crack, but then the stranger shoved his way in, stabbing her repeatedly in her torso, arms and hands, police said.

The suspect then grabbed $500 and fled.

The resident's injuries are not considered life-threatening, authorities said. She was in serious but stable condition at Bellevue.

ABC7 spoke with a neighbor of the victim.

"It's crazy," one building resident said. "They need to focus on those doors and security and locking them."

The resident, who did not want to be named, believes an open security door may have given a suspect access to the building.

"It's always open," the resident said. "And nobody has fixed that security buzzer. There are a lot of issues."

So far, the only description of the suspect is as follows, via DNAinfo: "He's about 18, 5 feet 10 inches and 160 pounds, police said. He was last seen in blue jeans and a red shirt."


The attack happened at 207 Avenue B...

[Photo from tonight]

It was a grand piano

[Photo Saturday by Derek Berg]

After a 19-day stint in Tompkins Square Park, the Sing for Hope piano — which the artist named "All That Jazz" — has been packed up for delivery to its new home in an NYC public school...

[Photos by Steven]

In total, there were 400 artist-designed pianos throughout NYC’s parks and public spaces this month. The one here was put to good use.

DOT looking for feedback about the Village Plaza

EVG reader Sheila shared this info... reps for the Department of Transportation (DOT) were out on Saturday soliciting input from residents about the Village Plaza south of the Peter Cooper Triangle (roughly that area in front of the former Village Voice Building at 36 Cooper Square)...

They were looking for feedback regarding suggested uses as well as complaints about the recently revamped Plaza, which was part of the $21 million Astor Place-Cooper Square reconstruction project. (While the Village Alliance maintains the Alamo Plaza and the cube, the DOT is responsible for the Astor Place Subway Plaza and this area.)

The reps said that the Village Plaza is available for use by any community group with the proper application.

[File photo]

Unfortunately, as Sheila notes, there isn't a set time that the survey takers will be working here, but they will continue to pitch their DOT tent until they have 100 responses.

Anyway, in case you see them and want to provide some feedback... plus there's a free prize for taking the survey!

A new home for S'MAC on 1st Avenue and 12th Street

It looks as if S'MAC will have a new, more high-profile home... several storefronts away from their current location on 12th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

EVG regular dwg shared these photos showing the transformed space on the northwest corner of First Avenue and 12th Street...

There's also a sign on the door for the UPS/FedEx folks...

Caesar Ekya, who owns and operates S'MAC with his wife Sarita, told me that they hoped to have the new location open the weekend after the Fourth of July holiday.

The macaroni-and-cheese specialists opened on June 24, 2006.

The corner space previously housed East 12th Osteria, the Italian restaurant that closed and moved back in January.

Mancora now open in new 1st Avenue home

[Reader-submitted photo]

Mancora made a pretty quick transition to its new location at 97 First Ave. ... last Monday we noted that the Peruvian restaurant was moving across Sixth Street to the Spicewala Bar Indian Cuisine space.

Anyway, Mancora is up and running again, as several EVG readers pointed out. (Has anyone been to the new spot?)

As previously reported, since Banjara moved in late 2013, the restaurants at No. 97 went through seven name changes/concepts.

Something called Ummburger had been vying for the now-former Mancora space at 99 First Ave. Haven't heard anything else about that project.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Mancora returning to 1st Avenue in new location

More repairs for the Dry Dock basketball courts

Starting today, the Parks Department is closing the Dry Dock basketball courts for repairs.

As you may recall, the entire Dry Dock Playground here on Avenue D and 10th Street was closed for six months from July 2015 to January 2016 for a $1.5-million upgrade.

Apparently things weren't properly done the first time around. A rep for Councilmember Rosie Mendez's office said that she did a walk-through following the reopening and found several things that still needed to be repaired on the basketball courts. And now the Parks Department is just getting around to the work.

Repairs are expected to last a week.

Looking at the Allegro Coffee Roasters coming to Whole Foods Market® Bowery

There's a reveal to, uh, reveal over at the Whole Foods Market® Bowery ... where workers have removed the brown paper from the windows at the corner space on Chrystie and East Houston... the previously promised coffee bar (in the spot of the former WF Beer Store) will be an outpost of Allegro Coffee Roasters...

Those stools don't like too comfortable to sit on... in either direction...

The Colorado-based Allegro also has an outpost at the Whole Foods Market® Third & 3rd in Gowanus.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Whole Foods Market® Bowery replacing beer with coffee in prime corner spot

Sushi Lounge emerges from a crowded combo of brands at 31 St. Mark's Place

[Image from June 15 via Facebook]

Since March 2016, the restaurant at 31 St. Mark's Place was a Hakata Hot Pot/Zen 6/Sushi Lounge combo.

Now, though, it appears the owners have opted to go with the familiar Sushi Lounge name for the space, as the new sign debuted here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue last Friday...

Also, here is the new menu cover...

[Image via Facebook]

So it appears to officially be Noodle Cafe Zen presents Sushi Lounge & Hakata Hot Pot.

To recap!

Higher rents chased Sushi Lounge from St. Mark's Place and Avenue A at the end of October 2013. (The corner space is now home to Empellón al Pastor, a bar with tacos.)

The owners of Sushi Lounge were also the new proprietors of Natori at 58 St. Mark's Place. (The original Natori, a longtime favorite, closed in November 2012.)

Then what was operating as the second Natori became Sushi Lounge in January 2014. Then they added the Hot Pot component. Then they all moved out of No. 58 to No. 31 in March 2016.

Previously on EV Grieve:
As the sushi turns: Sushi Lounge now operating out of the former Natori space on St. Mark's

55 Third Ave. sells for $57 million — AGAIN

A transaction from last week to note... in which Benchmark Real Estate Group sold 200 E. 11th St. (aka 55 Third Ave.) to an affiliate of Shorenstein Properties for $57 million, per The Real Deal.

That was the same price that Benchmark paid for the building in 2013. However, they sold the retail condominium portion in 2015 for $25 million, The Real Deal reported.

In 2014, the previously rather drab and dormy-looking building received a facelift and rebranding to become more luxurious with rents going upwards of $10k a month.

Flashback to 2013!

Meanwhile, this seems like a good time to recap the retail coming-and-goings here.

For starters, M2M closed here back in February. In the photo below, the discrete red arrow points to where work continues on the space for Wagamama, the London-based chain of Japanese restaurants, set to open later this year. And the greenish arrow points to where Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group is opening Martina, a pizzeria, at 198 E. 11th St. ...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Someone actually paid $57 million for this East Village building

Reimagining this 12-story East Village building, now on the market

NY Copy & Printing forced out of longtime E. 11th St. home, opening second location on E. 7th St.

Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group planning Martina for 55 3rd Ave.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Christo feeding the rescued juvenile hawk Flatbush in Tompkins Square Park. Photo by Steven]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

San Loco closes 2nd Avenue location (Tuesday)

Report: Lease extension in the works for 14th Street Associated (Monday)

At the 2017 Drag March (Saturday)

Astor Place (Wednesday)

More about plans to add 2 levels to this possibly haunted 10th Street beauty (Tuesday)

Retail space with tragic past now on the market for the first time in decades (Wednesday)

Report: Polish G. I. Delicatessen is closing at the end of the month (Thursday)

Veteran Japanese restaurateurs bringing Dokodemo to 4th Street (Friday)

Mazmaza is the 4th restaurant to try 320 E. 6th St. since last September (Monday)

Recognizing 27 Cooper Square's role in local history (Tuesday)

1st sign of the Old Monk on Avenue B (Friday)

Out and About with Miss Joan Marie Moossy (Wednesday)

250 E. Houston is officially no longer Red Square (Tuesday)

Gelato shop opens on Avenue A (Monday ... Wednesday)

Former Kabin space on the market (again) (Thursday)

Another random fish head (Tuesday)

Loverboy bringing pizza and cocktails to 8th and C (Thursday)

Stuffed Ice Cream coming to 1st Avenue (Thursday)

Flowers for a former Juice Press on 10th Street (Wednesday)

12-story condoplex set for this corner of Bleecker and Mulberry (Friday)

... and thanks to EVG reader Cheyenne for sharing these photos of the recently-completed murals by XORS at the 12C Outdoor Art Gallery on 12th Street and Avenue C...


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