Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving morning, Tompkins Square Park

Potted palm mystery in Tompkins Square Park

[Photo yesterday by Bobby Williams]

A few people have asked about the dead potted palm tree surrounded by the barricades in the middle of Tompkins Square Park.

Not sure what this is about. In any event, the Parks Department has hired guards to keep a watchful eye on it...

[Photos by Derek Berg]

Unfortunately, without the overnight security detail, someone was able to navigate the barricades and knock the tree over...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Where the day takes you

Photo on First Avenue today by Grant Shaffer...

A quick check on fall

Photo in Tompkins Square Park this afternoon...

EV Grieve Etc.: Manhattan retail rents hit 17-year low; CB3 chair will step down

[Photo on Avenue A and 7th Street yesterday by Derek Berg]

Manhattan retail rents have slid into their deepest and longest slump in 17 years (The Post)

City's lead poisoning numbers in public housing may be misleading (WNYC)

As expected, Jamie Rogers to step down as Community Board 3 chair (The Lo-Down)

Mixed reaction over the pro-President Trump art at Cloister Cafe on Ninth Street (Patch)

High marks from Sietsema for Szechuan Mountain House on St. Mark's Place (Eater ... previously)

Dora goes on a hunt (Laura Goggin Photography)

A Revolutionary War hanging near the Bowery (Ephemeral New York)

An interactive map of every record store in the world (Dangerous Minds)

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre leaving longtime Chelsea home; the UCB's East Village location staying put (Chelsea Now)

Hal Hartley's first feature, "The Unbelievable Truth," screens Saturday night (Metrograph)

A look at the new Ziegzeld theater in Midtown (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

The long history of 140-142 Second Ave. and the Ukrainian National Home (Off the Grid) And here's New Order playing here in 1981 ... (the show starts at the 3-minute mark)...

... and EdenB notes that the formerly roving horse head is now sleeping with a Buddha on Seventh Street...

[Updated] Sweet Generation's Thanksgiving

In case you need something last-minute and bakery-related tomorrow...Sweet Generation, 130 First Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place, will be open on Thanksgiving day starting at 8 a.m.

Several residents told me that they were happy to find the bakery open last Thanksgiving.

I asked owner Amy Chasan about working that day.

"We will be open until at least 3 p.m., and will have tons of pies, assorted brownie and cookie platters, cakes, and seasonal cupcakes. I work the counter with my fiancé all day so my team can be with their families and we can still serve the community," she said. "We have a lot of fun working that day and helping people with last-minute treats."

Sweet Generation, who turns 3 in January, partners with several nonprofit organizations and local high schools to create an internship program that teaches baking, food safety, customer service, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to teens and young adults from low-income communities.

Updated 2 p.m.

Speaking of pies ... Bakeri, 627 E. Sixth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C, is open tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ...

A post shared by Bakeri NYC (@bakerinyc) on

Thanksgiving at the Bowery Mission

The Bowery Mission shared this on social media yesterday...

In just 5 ovens, our kitchen team is preparing over 700 turkeys to serve delicious, traditional Thanksgiving meals to our hungry neighbors. The team started cooking on Sunday & will continue around the clock until Thursday.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. donated 450 turkeys — "and a mountain of potatoes." The Bowery Mission expects to serve more than 10,000 meals during Thanksgiving week.

[Updated] Swiss Institute revamp now in sidewalk bridge phase

[Photo Tuesday by Steven]

As previously reported, the Swiss Institute, a non-profit cultural center, is moving to the Icon Realty-owned 130 Second Ave. at St. Mark's Place.

Workers have been gutting the former Chase branch since August... on Tuesday, the sidewalk bridge went up ...

[Bottom 2 bridge pics from yesterday]

Hopefully this will help preserve the wheatpaste ads that seem to change every few hours on the plywood.

Inside, here's more about what to expect via the Institute's website:

In Spring 2018, Swiss Institute looks forward to relocating to a new long-term home in New York City’s East Village, moving into a building at the corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue. Swiss Institute has hired Selldorf Architects to oversee the transformation of the new building. The 7,500 square foot space features four levels – basement, ground floor, second floor and roof.

The design for the building will create spaces for exhibitions, projects and public programs, a library, a bookstore, and a rooftop garden. SI’s new home is located within half a mile of several prominent cultural and educational institutions including Anthology Film Archives, Cooper Union, Danspace Project, ICP, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New Museum, New York University, The Poetry Project, and The Public Theater.

Updated 10:30 a.m.

The scaffolding and construction netting is going up now...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Swiss Institute moving into the former Chase branch on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

IBar signage arrives at the Coal Yard ahead of tomorrow's merger

[Photo by Scott McBride]

As noted here yesterday, the International Bar is closing after service tonight (early tomorrow morning) at 120 1/2 First Ave. Starting on Thanksgiving, sister bar the Coal Yard a block to the south near Sixth Street will be the home of the International.

Ahead of that, the International Bar lettering was added yesterday to the Coal Yard's front window.

The latest iteration of the iBar opened in June 2008. Word is that No. 120 1/2 landlord Steve Croman wasn't offering a lease renewal.

Former Caffe Bene space under renovation on St. Mark's Place

The former Caffe Bene space is getting the covered-window treatment on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

Renovations are underway inside the space... the work permits don't reveal who the new tenant is here at No. 24.


If you had to bet based on current neighborhood retail trends, then something involving desserts or noodles would be a safe wager.

The Caffe Bene outpost closed back in April after 17 months in business.

Before Caffe B, the address was a Pinkberry. The space was on the market for nearly six months before Caffe Bene signed a 10-year lease in August 2015, with a reported asking rent in the $240 per-square-foot territory.


This sidewalk addition apparently occurred last evening outside 421 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Just because the photo isn't of your face doesn't mean they can't identify you. At this very moment this picture is on its way to Washington where the FBI has experts in this type of identification. If you turn yourselves in now, you may escape a Federal charge.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday's parting shot

The view downtown this evening via Bobby Williams...

Joe to the world

Holiday decorations are up on the Joe Strummer mural outside Niagara on Seventh Street at Avenue A...

Cool places

Outside the former Golden Food Market on Seventh Street at First Avenue ... previously.

Headline H/T

The International Bar closing, merging with the Coal Yard on 1st Avenue

The latest iteration of the International Bar closes after service tomorrow night at 120 1/2 First Avenue. The bar will be merging with its sister saloon, the Coal Yard, one block to the south between Seventh Street and Sixth Street. The Coal Yard space will be rebranded as the International... and will be open on Thanksgiving. (This information comes from two bartenders and a handful of regulars.)

This move had been anticipated for some time as ownership knew that the landlord for No. 120 1/2, Steve Croman, wasn't going to renew the lease.

The International has had several lives since it first opened at 119 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue in the 1970s... owner Mary Petruno and her son Michael later moved the bar to No. 120 1/2 when she bought the building.

[International Bar & Grill, 119 St. Marks Place, 1986 © Ted Barron]

I'm a little hazy on details of when everything happened at No. 120 1/2, such as the bar moving from the north side of the space to the south side and back to the north side. (This post at Vanishing New York has some of the background.) The International closed in 2005 ... and the space sat empty until Shawn Dahl and Molly Fitch reopened the International in its current low-key neighborhood format in June 2008.

[The International the other morning]

Molly and Shawn opened the equally low-key Coal Yard in 2010.

Updated 11/22

From today's post.

[Photo by Scott McBride]

Updated 11:30 a.m.

Thanks to EVG reader John M. for this screengrab... when Keith Richards walks by the International when it was on St. Mark's Place during the "Waiting on a Friend" video...

... and once again...

Tompkins Square Library hosting the East Village Arts Festival on Dec. 13

The Tompkins Square Library branch on 10th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B is hosting an all-day Arts Festival on Dec. 13.

The day includes a variety of performances, workshops and displays by local artists from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. You can find the full rundown here.

Here's one highlight:

5-5:45pm: 16mm Film Screening. We'll be screening two short 16mm films from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts reserve film and video collection, both filmed on the Lower East Side, in our basement community room. The Heart of Loisaida (1979; 30 min.) Producers, directors: Bienvenida Matias and Marci Reaven. Shows efforts on New York's Lower East Side to revive abandoned buildings through the work and persistence of the local, predominantly Latino residents.

A la Guerra (1979; 10 min.) Producer, director: Thomas Sigel. Actor/poet Bimbo Rivas presents an ode to the struggle against assimilation being waged by the Puerto Rican community of New York's Lower East Side.

The 26th annual Unsilent Night returns on Dec. 17

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park via Instagram]

Via the official website:

Composer Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village in the 26th annual holiday presentation of Unsilent Night. People gather at the arch in Washington Square Park, and less than an hour and mile later, end up in Tompkins Square Park.

Phil Kline will hand out a limited number of vintage boomboxes from his collection — and cassettes and CDs for those who bring their own. The public is strongly encouraged to bring their own boomboxes or sound-blasters, and to pre-download the track. Find out more about how to participate and download the tracks.

Participants will meet at 5:45 p.m. in Washington Square Park ... the approximate end time is 6:45 p.m. in Tompkins Square Park.

Turntable 5060 returning after months-long hiatus

Turntable 5060 has been closed on Avenue B at Fourth Street since late July. A sign on the door pointed to a closure for renovations. (It never looked as if much renovating had been going on inside.)

In any event, now there's a new sign, one stating that they'll reopen on Dec. 1...

The restaurant serving Korean-style fried chicken and craft beers opened in July 2015. Turntable opened a new location on 33rd Street this past summer.

Monday, November 20, 2017


The Robb Report checks in today with an update on Ben Shaoul's 11-story, 94-unit condoplex on East Houston at Orchard Street.

Adam Rolston, creative and managing director at INC. Architecture & Design, discusses the handmade glazed bricks that they imported from a small fishing village in Spain for this development.

Rolston wanted a handmade, metallic-glazed brick that would evoke the old-world character of glazed terra-cotta while also bringing a touch of luxury. He found it in Cadaqués, a small community in Spain formerly visited by artists such as Picasso and Miró. “We went to Europe to find a handmade, metallic-glazed brick — and specifically the Costa Brava of Spain where this particular handmade brick-making tradition survives,” Rolston says.


The hand-laid, gilded-bronze brick — which reaches the second floor of the building — is infused with gold dust that becomes more golden over time as it oxidizes in the air. Imported directly from Cadaqués, the brick cannot be replicated in the United States, meaning that the building has a truly distinct and one-of-a-kind look.

The building will also benefit from a truly distinct and one-of-a-kind aroma from Katz's next door.

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

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

Send a salami to your boy next door in the condo

Trailer Park Santa trailer has arrived on 14th Street

If you weren't already in the Christmas mood in September, then you will be now.

EVG reader KT noted the arrival yesterday of the trailer that will house the Christmas-tree-selling crew on 14th Street near First Avenue.

Can we expect to see grubby ol' St. Nick (Trailer Park Santa Claus to a few) soon?

[EVG photo from 2012]

Report: Participants were paid to take part in a rally in support of 9th Street dorm project

On Friday, an organization called East Village Cares held a rally at City Hall in support of turning the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on Ninth Street into a dorm.

According to the Daily News, some of the 30 people who rallied behind organizer Jose de Yarza, co-owner of Donostia on Avenue B, were hired extras.

The News reported that they obtained a copy of the casting email that was seeking people to "beef up attendance" for the rally in exchange for a rate of "$50 CASH / 2.5 hour booking."

One person holding a sign at the event confirmed attending as a result of the casting call. Another declined to answer, saying it wouldn’t be right to discuss whether he’d been paid. Two others approached by the News denied being paid or getting the casting call email.

It seeks “individuals of all ages,” in particular those living in the East Village or Lower East Side, having family or other “significant connections” there or an ability to “speak and advocate about the neighborhood.”

“Note this is a real live protest, and protestors MUST look real and be enthusiastic and verbal about the subject. Signs will be provided by production,” it read.

An EVG reader shared part of the pitch email for the work...

Gotham Government Relations & Communications, the lobbying firm who reportedly organized the rally on behalf of East Village Cares and P.S. 64 landlord Gregg Singer, strongly denied the use of paid extras.

“We absolutely categorically deny any connection to any of those things that are alleged,” founding partner Bradley Gerstman said, adding he had no knowledge of the casting company.


De Yarza said he recognized between a dozen and 15 of the people at the rally as neighborhood residents or activists, and said he had “no knowledge of anybody being paid to be there.”

The Villager reported in its current issue that Gotham Government Relations was "best known for engineering the announcement of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, complete with cheering paid actors."

The Villager also reported that Singer has retained Gotham's services for $12,000 a month, starting this past July.

The landmarked building between Avenue B and Avenue C is back in the headlines after Mayor de Blasio said last month that his administration would take steps to reacquire the property ... without offering any further details on how the city would do this. (The building was also a contentious issue in the District 2 race for City Council. Read more here and here.)

Singer bought the property from the city in 1998. He wants to turn the landmarked property into a dorm called University Square, and continues in a holding pattern while the DOB maintains a Stop Work Order on the building. (Adelphi University has reportedly signed a lease for space here.)

Community activists, preservationists and some local elected officials have long been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return to use as a cultural and community center.

In a recently published article on the topic, The Indypendent included a statement from Gotham stating in part: "The East Village has changed in the 20 years since P.S. 64 was sold. The original group that occupied the building has no presence in today’s community."

Last Monday, Community Board 3's Arts & Cultural Affairs Subcommittee passed a resolution supporting de Blasio's call to reacquire the property, as Patch reported. The full Board is expected to vote on the resolution next Tuesday.

Queens-based bakery bringing Hawaiian-inspired desserts to 9th Street

[Photo by Steven]

Mahalo New York Bakery, which has two locations in Queens, is opening an outpost at 443 E. Ninth St. at Avenue A.

The signage went up back on Friday. (Thanks to Steven and Dennis for the photos.)

You can read more about them and their cupcakes, cakes and pastries here.

This will be the third business to take up occupancy in Icon Realty's recently renovated storefronts along Ninth Street ... joining Poke N' Roll and Beetlebug.

Previously on EV Grieve:
On East 9th Street Dusty Buttons is closing after 125% rent hike: 'Saying goodbye will hurt like hell'

Tenants and local elected officials speak out against Icon Realty

Wax on: Avänt Candle takes long-empty Avenue B storefront

The empty storefront at 165 Avenue B is now home to a production studio for Avänt Candle, an online seller that promises "the ultimate candle experience."

Per their website:

We differentiate ourselves by clearly expressing a genuine, relatable scent experience; without needing to articulate the subtle nuances that enhance each complex fragrance. The occasional emission of said nuances add ever-changing elements of discovery to each burn making Avänt Candles unique.

Our candles sizes aim to last longer than our competitors at a reasonable price point. Each candle is designed to last for the course of a week, a month, a season, half-year or annually. Finally, our burn-time-to-dollar ratio is better than our competitors by 150% on average.

It's not clear if this space will eventually become a retail outlet for the brand.

According to the Avänt Candle website, signature candles start at $50 for the small size. There are also Travel Sets for $60. The 365 Annual Candle with 720 hours-plus of burn time is $360.

Per the reader who shared this storefront news: "Their website is gorgeous and the scents are pretty tantalizing, I admit. But $50 for a candle? Man, $360 for a candle on Avenue B?!?"

The space between 10th Street and 11th Street has been vacant for years. A restaurant serving Cantonese-style food was in the works, but that never materialized. The last tenant was the junk-thrift shop Waldorf Hysteria more than 10 years ago.

Previously on EV Grieve:
165 Avenue B back on the market

165 Avenue B has been sold, and 2 apartments are on the market

Topping off Thirteen East + West on 13th Street

The twin, 6-floor condos on 13th Street topped out late last week here between Avenue A and First Avenue at the site of two former single-level garages.

To mark the occasion, reps for developer the Amirian Group issued a news release about Thirteen East + West ...

Composed of two, six-story buildings with facades of chic metal panels and Accoya wood cladding, THIRTEEN EAST + WEST will offer 12 sun-drenched, full-floor two-bedroom homes, with floor-to-ceiling windows, private storage, balconies, and roof decks. The 1,706 square foot residence offers top-of-the-line internationally-inspired finishes, with Lualdi Italian doors, Alta Cucine kitchens, Miele appliance package and Rossetto Italia wardrobes. Each building will feature one state-of-the-art penthouse with private roof deck and a private, single car parking garage.

“As the residential design architect for this exciting project we see this development as another step toward the East Village neighborhood transformation which we are so happy to be an integral part of,” said Murat Tabanlioğlu, Founder, Tabanlioğlu Architects.

Amenities in each building will include private storage rooms, a virtual doorman with smartphone capability, and a large key-accessed elevator. Located at 436 and 442 East 13th Street, THIRTEEN EAST + WEST is half a block from the L train on 14th Street and just one block from the new Target and Trader Joe's.

And the rendering of the final products...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Tracking the coming changes to East 13th Street between Avenue A and 1st Avenue

A look at the new luxury condos coming soon to East 13th Street

Temporary art and future condos on East 13th Street

Demo time for East 13th Street garages that will yield to luxury condos

A look at the residences coming to Thirteen East + West on East 13th Street

Tompkins Square Bar opens at 110 Avenue A

Tompkins Square Bar is now up and running at 110 Avenue A near Seventh Street ... in the space that had been Sister Midnight (briefly) and Black Market.

A reader who lives nearby said the new place debuted this past weekend... while the Bar's Instagram account first notes a Nov. 9 opening.

In any event, there are a few menu items (leftover from the Black Market days?) ... as well as a pool table...

Black Market abruptly closed here in March after seven years. The same ownership then debuted Sister Midnight in April... within a month, brown paper covered the front windows and the menu disappeared. Sister Midnight then advertised being in the downstairs space with the 132 1/2 E. Seventh St. entrance around the corner ... which is also the address of Lovers of Today and previously The Cabin Down Below ...

[Photo from yesterday]

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A look at Orchard Street's transformation into the 1970s for Martin Scorsese's Jimmy Hoffa film

Text and photos by Dan Efram

Last week, Martin Scorsese’s "The Irishman" took over the corner of Orchard and Broome for filming. Villa Roma Productions brought in classic vintage cars and made over this Lower East Side corner to resemble one from Little Italy a few blocks West — specifically Mulberry & Hester — creating historically accurate facades and business signage.

Set mere steps from the Tenement Museum, it's not surprising to anyone familiar why the area is so popular for period pieces. Previous productions shooting here are too numerous to mention, but this may be Orchard Street’s most significantly altered state since Steven Soderburg’s Cinemax vehicle, “The Knick,” was filmed here in 2014–2015."

Scorcese’s romance of 1960-70’s New York City, always brings out a bevvy of amazing images. Vintage cars littered the neighborhood and included a Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevy, Dodge and Plymouth. The scene in question on Friday evening included a swanky (mob?) family arriving via a Sedan De Ville to Umberto’s Clam House (Tictail Market). Across the street, Irving Coffee Roasters had been completely turned into Al’s Shoes, where the cast and crew was treated to a cupcake party celebrating their friend Marty’s birthday.

As is often the case on big production sets, there seemed to be one person for every specific task that could be imagined. Prior to the Umberto’s arrival scene, a scenic artist came out to paint dirt onto the facade.

The cast includes Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino (as Hoffa), Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano. This Daily Mail post has pics of the cast on set.