Saturday, January 21, 2017

At the Women's March on NYC

EVG correspondent Steven shares a few photos from along the Women's March on NYC route this afternoon...

Crowd estimates in NYC are at 200,000-plus ... the route stretches from 47th Street and Second Avenue to the Trump Tower. There are reportedly hundreds of other marches in cities across the world ... "to march in support of equality and promote civil rights for every human."

Updates later.

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day

I was unaware of this day. Thank you NYC Parks!

Well, then let's repost some squirrel shots from the vast EVG Squirrel Photo Vault ...

[Photo by Goggla]

[Photo by Mr. Baggs]

[Photo by Steven]

[Photo by Goggla]

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

[Photo by Goggla]

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday's parting shot

Photo tonight on Fourth Street by Derek Berg...

State fare

Some synth-pop and white pant suits circa 1984 courtesy of Industry's "State of the Nation."

Avenue A, 3:10 p.m., Jan. 20

At Fifth Street... RIP

EV Grieve Etc.: RIP Wayne Barrett; a 'Coping with the Election' film series at the Anthology

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

Wayne Barrett, who spent 37 years at The Village Voice investigating developers and landlords, has died at age 71 (The New York Times)

Investigation is ongoing in the murder of Brooke Garcia, 27, who was strangled in the Lillian Wald Houses (Patch)

Luxury developers discuss Lower East Side real estate (The Lo-Down)

Anthology Film Archives on Second Avenue and Second Street launches "Inauguration of the Displeasure Dome: Coping with the Election" series (Anthology Film Archives)

City art galleries close on Inauguration Day (DNAinfo) ... while several NYC museums are offering free admission today (Curbed)

Before the Palladium there was the Academy of Music on 14th Street (Ephemeral New York)

On Wednesday, Caffe Bene reopened on Avenue A at 13th Street following a renovation that saw the arrival of a more-extensive menu and new seats... (Rish, the owner, is on the left in the photo below...)

[Photo by Lola Sáenz]

Founded on Mott Street in Chinatown in 1933, Fong Inn Too has closed (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Remembering Lydia Lunch’s "The Gun Is Loaded" (Dangerous Minds)

...and a contingent from the Lower East Side Girls Club are among the locals taking part tomorrow in the Women's March on Washington. The girls worked with artist Sophia Dawson on Monday to create signs for the march...

Girls Club photos by Amy Goldwasser

When there was a bank building in the middle of East Houston at Avenue A

EVG reader Steph Romeo was watching "The Naked City" from 1948 when she spotted this...

...and a view from East Houston near Norfolk looking west to Essex and Avenue A... a thin building in what is now the middle of East Houston...

On the left, you can spot the Provident Loan Society Building, which is still there today (not for long, though) on the southwest corner of Houston and Essex...

Steph look further, and found this image from the comprehensive digital collections at the NYPL... here's a shot of the building's front entrance circa 1929 ... showing the Community State Bank (not another bank branch!) and a dental office in the address that is listed as 2-4 Avenue A aka 240 1/2 E. Houston. ...

[Via NYPL]

I didn't have a chance to do any further research to find out when the building was razed ... it's also a good reminder to rewatch "The Naked City" and the subsequent TV series inspired by the film, which has many Lower East Side locations. I've haven't watched any of that in more than 10 years.

2 units hit the market at Poppy Lofts on Avenue B

Back in September, we noted that the new condos at 26 Avenue B near Second Street were going by the Poppy Lofts, a name that likely has nothing to do with the area's former reputation as a heroin hotspot.

In any event, there are now two units available via Ryan Serhant's crew at NestSeekers International.

Here's more about the development in general:

Positioned at the convergence of the East Village and the Lower East Side, Poppy Lofts is an exciting new development that possesses 5 incredible floor-through units with stylish interiors and private outdoor space. The building features a Glen-Gery dark gray brick façade adorned year-round with outdoor planters that contain seasonal flowers and manicured greenery. Amenities include a virtual doorman system, deeded storage units, bike racks, and a private keyed elevator.

Crafted to fit the needs of a modern lifestyle, each apartment boasts an open layout and a wealth of thoughtful finishes. Residence features include double-pane energy windows, coffered ceilings, radiant heated floors in all bathrooms, in-unit Bosch washer/dryers, LED lighting, hardwood floors, and sleek kitchens with solid quartz waterfall countertops and stainless steel appliances.

As for the units, the three-bedroom penthouse (1,309 square feet) is asking $2.215 million... while a two-bedroom residence (943 square feet) is fetching $1.95 million.

The two-level penthouse includes four outdoor spaces. Here's the description of that unit via Streeteasy, where you can also find a bunch of photos of the place:

The first level of the home is conveniently partitioned into a living area and a sleeping area. The living area contains an open-concept living room, dining room, and kitchen as well as a powder room and a slender balcony adorned with French doors. The kitchen is equipped with solid quartz countertops, cabinets from German Kitchen, and a suite of luxurious appliances that include a Bosch electric cooktop and wall oven, a Blomberg stainless steel refrigerator, and a Sharp microwave. Both of the homes spacious bedrooms lie opposite the living area.

The second bedroom has its own closet space and a west-facing window while the master bedroom contains a pair of closets, a pristine ensuite bathroom, and a roomy balcony. On the second level resides a sizable office/den/library that has eastern and western exposure and comes with an attached full bathroom. The room is flanked on either side by a pair of large terraces that work as spaces for entertaining guests or as secluded oases of privacy.

In the 1980s, the nearby corner of Second Street and Avenue B was a notorious heroin cop spot. As Andrew Roth pointed out in "Infamous Manhattan," the intersection of East Second Street and Avenue B "probably saw more heroin retailing than any other spot on Earth."

There's an open house here Sunday afternoon from 2:30-4 near a notorious brunch cop spot.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] 6-story apartment building ready to rise from the former Croxley Ales beer garden

[Updated] Report: 28 Avenue B has been evacuated

Full-stop work order served at construction site adjacent to evacuated Avenue B building

Resident wants stuff back that workers took from not abandoned apartment

Is 26 Avenue B ready for its new building now?

Avenue B condos near former heroin hot spot named Poppy Lofts

El Sol Brillante garden members collecting funds to repair their fence

[Image via]

An EVG reader shared this crowdfunding campaign that has been underway the past month for El Sol Brillante, the community garden on the south side of 12th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

In 1993, our garden, with help from the Green Acres Foundation, commissioned a beatiful, one-of-a kind iron fence to be built by the talented artist and welder Julie Dermansky.

This amazing work of art replaced our broken down chain link fence that was approximately 15 years old and becoming unable to hold out those who wished to break in. Since then, it has become a beloved fixture in our neighborhood, and has even been celebrated in several publications.

Despite our periodic painting and TLC, after almost 25 years, the harshness of weather and sidewalk existence have taken their toll on the posts, bottom support and panels with rust setting in.

As you can see from the pictures, the fence requires serious repair. We have met with 3 contractors and have received their bids. Ironically, the repair will cost more then the original fence.

We're asking for your help to raise the funds we'll need to preserve this treasured landmark in our community.

As of this writing, the garden has raised $505 of an estimated $10,000 to repair the fence. You can read more about the campaign here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

That's a wrap for this holiday/Christmas tree

Someone went to a good deal of work wrapping up a holiday/Christmas tree and discarding to in a city trashcan on Seventh Street and Avenue B...just a few hundred feet (or so!) from the mulching pens in Tompkins Square Park...

EVG reader Noah Shannon, who shared these photos, also unwrapped the tree and dragged it in the Park to join the others for treecycling...

You will still have a few more seasons to enjoy the East Houston Reconstruction Project

Here's part of an EVG post from Jan. 15, 2016:

Anytime that you've tried to cross East Houston from Avenue A west to the Bowery these past, oh, six years, you've probably wondered, When, dear [____], will this construction ever end?

To answer that very broadly — sometime this year. Probably!

Anyway, one year later, word comes that the already-delayed project has a new completion date — summer instead of the spring.

Here's DNAinfo with more:

The Department of Design and Construction is now in the final stretch of the years-long overhaul of the thoroughfare as workers prepare for the installation of a new water main near the Bowery intersection and the construction of a pedestrian island at Second Avenue, according to a DDC spokeswoman.

Officials initially anticipated a spring completion date for the work, but the department ran into delays due to interference with existing underground wiring while preparing to install the 20-inch water main west of Chrystie Street.

The East Houston Street Reconstruction Project newsletter (PDF here) also notes something about the addition of a "safety island" (no word on rents here) for East Houston and Second Avenue.

The DDC started this project in June 2010, reconstructing/replacing combined sewers, trunk main, water mains, catch basins, fire hydrants, sidewalks, etc., etc., along East Houston Street, from the Bowery to the FDR Drive.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Coming soon to East Houston: Construction, hell, rodent control stations

Long-threatened East Houston reconstruction starting this month

East Houston Street construction will be a living hell for an extra year

Image via Google Street View

Construction watch: 688 Broadway, aka 1 Great Jones Alley

It appears that the 12-floor condoplex rising at the former open-air shops on Broadway near East Fourth Street has reached the top... as the photo from the last sunny day here shows...

The 16-unit project is known as 1 Great Jones Alley, which will include a "private gated alley" via Great Jones...the broker bunting on the sidewalk bridge promises "a private paradise" ...

Here's some more about the project via the 1 Great Jones website....

On the very street where Andy Warhol once lived and other artists like Basquiat and Haring exchanged ideas with musicians and writers, a new legacy is born.

While that one sinks in... check out the private wet spa, which "pays homage to the bathhouses that once populated this area of Downtown Manhattan, incorporating Corten steel, Venetian plaster, stone, glass and wood throughout."

[Via the 1 Great Jones Alley website]

Three units, ranging from $4.95 million to $8.95 million, are currently available, according to the property's website.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Retail plans revealed for 12-floor condo building replacing open-air market on Broadway

NoHo flea market gutted ahead of new condo project on Broadway

Looking at One Great Jones Alley, 'a private paradise'

At the former home of the Broadway flea market, condos will cost upwards of $22 million

Secara has not been open lately on 4th Street

Secara, the family-owned Latin-American restaurant on Fourth Street, has been dark of late. A neighbor notes that the gate has been down for the past two weeks. The phone goes unanswered. There haven't been any updates to Secara's Facebook page since a post about "bottomless brunch — $15 two hours all u can drink!!!" on Dec. 16.

The restaurant between Avenue A and Avenue B opened in July 2015. It took over the space at No. 234 from The Cardinal, the Southern-style restaurant that closed after nearly four years in March 2015.

Spanish street artists PichiAvo will bring 'Urbanmythology' to the Bowery Graffiti Wall

Landlord Goldman Properties confirmed yesterday that the Spanish street-art duo PichiAvo will be the next artists to work on the Houston/Bowery Mural Wall.

Here's more on the announcement via the EVG inbox...

The artist team are recognized for their ability to ignite relationships between art and social contexts — fusing classic ancient gods and contemporary urban art to create exciting new works. Painting will begin, weather permitting, Monday, January 23, and will continue throughout the week until approximately February 4. Titled “Urbanmythology” the mural will remain up until the end of May 2017.

According to the artists, “We are excited about the opportunity to bring our “Urbanmythology” to the Houston Bowery wall, where we’ll combine classics that coexist in the city. It is an honor and we are very excited to share our artistic concept with New York and the world in a year where we celebrate 10 years as PichiAvo, enjoying and working together as one.”

This will be their first mural in NYC. Here's a sampling of their work from Lisbon in 2014...

[Image via]

And here's how the wall was looking early yesterday...where there's a blank slate for the taking...

After nearly a five-month run, workers recently removed the stenciled tapestry by Logan Hicks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Highjinks today at the City Cinemas Village East on Second Avenue at 12th Street, as @EdenBrower shared... with a marquee that includes jokey film titles such as "My Dinner Without Andre" and "A Fistful of Dollhairs."

Turns out (H/t @David_Fitz) that crews were here filming a scene for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

About the East Village Small Business Forum tomorrow

Via the EVG inbox today...

[Click to go big]

Small business owners/employees are asked to please RSVP by calling Steve Herrick of Cooper Square Committee at 212-228-8210 or by emailing Please put “Small Business Forum” in the subject line.

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.

By James Maher
Name: Eric Rignall
Occupation: Owner, Inkstop Tattoo
Location: Avenue A, Between 12th and 13th
Time: Friday, Jan 13 at 5 p.m.

Originally I was born in Egypt to an American dad, and we traveled a lot. I lived in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Dominican Republic, New York and Philadelphia. I moved to New York in 1989 and I’ve been here since then. I started out in Staten Island — cheap rent there, and then I moved to Queens. I’ve been there for 25 years now.

I went to the Philadelphia College of Art for four years. When I moved to New York, I hoped to find something in that field but I ended up in screen printing, working in a factory, and then I opened up my own screen-printing business for a few years, but I got tired of it and wanted to do an apprenticeship to learn how to tattoo.

So I started doing that and I did it under the radar before it was legal. I had my screen printing studio on Sixth Avenue and 28th Street and was tattooing out of there for about a year. I was actually sitting in at City Hall in the hearings to see if they were going to make tattooing legal or not so I could be one of the first ones to jump on it and find a spot.

I opened up officially in this spot in February 1997. It was a little difficult at first because no one wanted to rent out to a tattoo shop. They figured that it was going to just be bikers, parties, and all sorts of craziness, but luckily I had someone who had a shop in Jersey to vouch for me and back it up.

The landlord asked for a big deposit to make sure, but once I got the spot it worked out very well. A lot of people thought I wouldn’t succeed here because they said there was a curse on this place. It was a funeral home and a driving school, but the funeral home got shut down by the marshals for smuggling drugs in the coffins. They figured there was a cloud over this place, but luckily I’m not superstitious.

The neighborhood was very different. The rents were very low obviously. I used to park my car across the street where that apartment building is — there was a little gravel lot there that charged 100 bucks a month for parking. The neighborhood was just starting to become better. At the time, Avenue B was still a little rougher and Avenue C you wouldn’t even go to. There were still a lot of bars, including my favorite across the street, Z Bar. There was a good underground music scene going on, more than there is now. Avenue A was definitely a little bit more raw, more gritty.

I got to know all the local people around here. Everyone knew everyone. Everyone was always outside — whole families out there. For example, the ladies with their chairs out of the sidewalk feeding their pigeons, and the guy selling the Piragua — the flavored ice. They were always outside and a lot of people were selling odd stuff. It was [accepted]. There was no problem.

I had a lot of local people coming in for years. Initially, it was just people in the neighborhood and then a few years went by and we got a much wider range of people from all walks of life coming through. I’ve had people around for 20 years, but as you tattoo someone for 20 years they run out of room, but we’re doing generations now. I’ve got someone on Monday who’s bringing in his son. I’ve been here long enough that I’m tattooing their kids. I had some friends who came in years ago when I first opened, their daughter was in a stroller, and now I’ve done three tattoos on her already — makes me old.

When we’re busy maybe each person will do three or four people a day. Generally speaking, three hours is a good appointment. Anytime longer than that and people start to get a little squirmy, but we break it down into sessions for larger work. They’ll come back in a couple weeks once its healed and do another round.

I like to do the real detailed larger pieces. I like to put everything into each piece. There was one that was a Mayan temple back piece. It had the same amount of steps as Tikal. I did the drawing from the photograph and did it exactly like the actual ruin, so I was cursing myself out for trying to be so accurate when I was drawing and tattooing it. My God, these are a lot of steps.

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

Report: Staten Island pizzeria Joe & Pat’s taking over the Lanza's space on 1st Avenue

[Photo from Monday night]

Joe & Pat's, the family owned pizzeria that has been serving up slices on Staten Island since 1960, is opening a second outpost — at the former Lanza's space on First Avenue.

Owner Casey Pappalardo told Eater, who first reported this news, that he and several uncles will be running the outpost and expect to open the 50-seat restaurant with a bar in the next six months.

Eater has more on the pizzeria's thin-crust pies in this 2015 video feature here.

[Image via Facebook/Joe & Pat's]

The state seized Lanza's last July for nonpayment of taxes here between 10th Street and 11th Street.

The old-world Italian restaurant, which first opened in 1904, sat languishing until an auction of its contents on Jan. 5.

Reminders: Community meeting about the former PS 64 is tonight

[EVG photo from Jan. 8]

As we noted back on Jan. 9, plans continue moving forward to convert the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street into student housing.

Developer Gregg Singer, who bought the property between Avenue B and Avenue C from the city in 1998, is reportedly pushing Mayor de Blasio's administration to remove a stop-work order that has been in place since 2015.

According to published reports, Singer has a signed lease with Adelphi University, and hopes to have students move in by the fall of 2018.

Here's more from Crain's in a piece published on Jan. 11:

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and other local officials wrote to Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler in October, saying that the lease does not meet the "community use" requirement, because Adelphi would use only part of the building. The officials also objected to the university's position that dormitories count as an appropriate community use. In an October letter to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Fisher argued that a dormitory would meet the deed-restriction requirements.

The disagreement touches a political nerve partly because the city's recent removal of a deed restriction a few blocks away allowed Rivington House, a nonprofit nursing home, to become high-priced condos. Unlike in that case, P.S. 64's deed restriction was issued by the City Council, and only the council may lift it. Singer is not seeking the restriction's removal, but the sensitivity stemming from the Rivington controversy and local opposition has kicked a Buildings Department matter up to the mayor's office.

CBS 2 also filed this report...

Preservationist groups and other residents have been opposed to Singer's plans, and want to see a return of the landmarked building to use as a cultural and community center.

All this and more will be a topic of discussion during a community meeting tonight (first noted here on Jan. 9)...

The meeting tonight is at 6:30 at Loisaida, Inc., 710 E. Ninth St. near Avenue C (next to Ninth Street Espresso).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Community meeting set as dorm plans continue moving forward at the former PS 64

The space for Turntable Lab, soon to move to 10th Street, is for rent

A Seventh Street resident noticed the arrival of two for rent signs from different brokers outside Turntable Lab on the block between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The resident said she was sorry to see the business closing. In this case, however, as we noted back in November, the store that sells a variety of vinyl, stereo equipment and assorted DJ gear is moving to a larger space on 10th Street.

Turntable Lab will be setting up shop at 84 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue some time next month.

[Photo from last month]

For now, Turntable Lab remains on Seventh Street. However, a listing for the space did arrive yesterday on LoopNet.

Here are the details:

Wonderful ground floor retail space in well maintained building is available for the 1st time in 15 years! PERFECT FOR RESTAURANT OR BAR. ALL USES CONSIDERED. This spaces includes a full basement and the stunning backyard is an option to be included in the lease for this space.

Amazinglocation! Pure east village commercial space for rent. Located on high traffic destination... On the same block as major East Village retail & restaurant destinations such as Big Gay Ice Cream, Miss Lily's, Avant Garden, Pylos, Giano, Koan, Rose & Basil, Trash & Vaudeville, Luke's Lobster....etc....

Asking rent on the 750-square-foot space: $7,500.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Turntable Lab reveals new 10th Street storefront

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1 more year for the phone book, apparently

I recalled reading last summer that Verizon was ending the print distribution of its business directory (aka telephone books) in New York.

According to published reports, "the company delivered 6.3 million business directories [in 2015]. Verizon estimates that by eliminating the printing of massive phone books it will save 13,600 tons of paper per year from entering the waste system."

In any event, as you may have noticed in recent days, Verizon has dropped a few tons of phone books off around the neighborhood...

[3rd Street between C and D]

[7th Street between A and 1st]

[6th Street between A and B]

In one case, I noticed that someone actually took one of the books...

[3rd Street between A and 1st]

I took one too — just to see if they listed EVG correctly... oh well — maybe next year...