Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today in free shit on 7th Street

FYI — someone has already nabbed the free lunch sign... photo by Derek Berg

Spiky structures complete outside Cooper Union

We've been noting the spiky structures under construction outside Cooper Union. Yesterday, workers finished erecting representations of John Hejduk's pair of architectural structures, "the House of the Suicide" and "the House of the Mother of the Suicide," that honor the Czech dissident Jan Palach.

Hejduk, a Cooper Union graduate, was the founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.

Known as the Jan Palach Memorial, which was permanently installed in Prague in 2016, this is the first public exhibition (via Cooper Union and the Department of Transportation) for the recently revamped Cooper Square plaza.

Curbed has more today about the project.

To install the outdoor sculptures ... Cooper Union assembled a team of current students and alumni. Hejduk was a big believer in the “social contract” of architecture, so the school wanted to assemble his work in that spirit.

Over two weeks the Cooper Union team, using power tools and socket wrenches, assembled 400 pieces into both sculptures. They used a wooden yoke to carry each of the 98 spikes onto the roof of each structure, which is 12 feet off the ground. The spikes — which weight about 100 pounds a piece —then project another 12 feet into the air. The framing of both sculptures is made of cedar timber, while the spikes are made out of sheet metal welded together.

This is part of a month-long exhibit featuring Hejduk's work that starts today. The sculptures will remain through June 11.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Celebrating the work of John Hejduk at Cooper Union

Today's Avenue A milling report

Workers were expected to mill Avenue A up to 13th Street last evening and overnight ... apparently the rain delayed the start of the milling festivities... which might explain why they just got to Sixth Street ...

Perhaps there will be more milling tonight. Also! Signs on St. Mark's Place note that milling will take place from Third Avenue to Avenue A tonight.

The morning view

Photos of today's selective sunrise by Bobby Williams...

D.L. Cerney returning to the East Village

[Photo by Steven]

In the past two summers, the D.L. Cerney boutique returned to the East Village, selling its hand-made, vintage-style clothes in a pop-up space on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Now, however, it appears that D.L. Cerney is making the Ninth Street stay permanent. A D.L. Cerney "open soon" sign arrived at 324 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

D.L. Cerney closed up shop on Seventh Street at the end of 2012 after 28 years in business. At the time, co-owner Linda St. John told Jeremiah Moss that the closure wasn't about rent, just about time. She wanted to leave the city for awhile and focus on her art and writing.

There isn't any word on an opening date. The space was previously home to Dusty Buttons, which closed last month.

Ghost signage and (eventually) gelato at 9th Street and Avenue A

Workers have been gutting the former Cafe Pick Me Up space at 145 Avenue A at Ninth Street... multiple readers have noted that some ghost signage has been exposed from a previous business — Wholesale Wine & Liquor Merchant... EVG Ghost Signage Correspondent Steven took these photos...

Anyway! As for the new tenant, word from a worker here is a gelato shop.

Cafe Pick Me Up moved out in May 2015 after 20 years in business. They were housed at 145 and 147 Avenue A, and had two different landlords — Icon on the left, Steve Croman on the right.

Café manager Rossella Palazzo told DNAinfo in March 2015 that a rent hike from No. 145 landlord Icon Realty was the reason for the closure. (Icon listed the storefrontat $15,000 a month for the space, which includes 600 square feet on the ground floor and 724 square feet in the basement.)

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rent hike forcing Cafe Pick Me Up into its smaller space next door on Avenue A (59 comments)

[Updated] Cafe Pick Me Up expected to close for good after May 31

Greecologies-Pure Green combo opens on 2nd Avenue

The Greecologies-Pure Green combo is now open at 152 Second Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

This is the second NYC location for Greecologies, whose menu includes a variety of grass-fed yogurts as well as desserts, coffees and teas.

Pure Green, which has multiple NYC locations, sells cold-pressed juices, smoothies and various bowls of açaí

The building at 152-154 Second Ave. is the former Sigmund Schwartz Gramercy Park Chapel, which Icon Realty bought, gutted, added three extra floors and opened as luxury rentals.

H/T Steven!

Previously on EV Grieve:
152 2nd Ave. storefront to yield a combo Greek yogurt and smoothie shop

New retail space available on St. Mark's Place

A new retail space is now available at 94 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue ... in space on the west side of the building that houses Fun City Tattoo...

Per the listing:

Space in vanilla box condition. Brick walls and wood floor. Landlord to provide C/O for retail or food. Landlord installing new storefront with large bay window. Perfect for any use. Busy 24/7 East Village block.

The space is 600 square feet with an ask of $6,800.

As far as I know, the space was previously a residence...

[Image via LoopNet]

The retail space is also above the Under St. Mark's performance space. There were questions about the theater's status (they were on a month-to-month lease) when the building hit the market in 2011. However, Horse Trade Theater Group was able to secure a new 7-year lease then. Not sure what happens after 2018.

According to public records, the building changed hands last summer for $6.4 million. The buyer is listed as an LLC with a law office for an address.

Previously on EV Grieve:
94 St. Mark's Place on the market, and what will it mean for Under St. Marks?

Horse Trade Theater Group launches campaign to buy 94 St. Mark's Place

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Developer withdraws zoning variance request for former 14th Street post office site

[Photo from 13th Street Saturday by Bobby Williams]

As noted yesterday, reps for the developers of 432-438 E. 14th St. were to appear before the Board of Standards and Appeals today to seek a variance on their mixed-use building between Avenue A and First Avenue.

However, before this morning's hearing, Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate dropped their application for the zoning variance, according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP).

Reps for the mixed-used building had been lobbying to receive a zoning variance for a 12-story building — four more floors than the area's zoning allows — at the site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

Facing opposition from community groups and residents in previous meetings, the developers cut back their request by two-thirds. Their new proposal sought nine stories on the East 14th Street side of the building, one higher than the eight allowed under the current zoning.

The developers had claimed that the property "is burdened by a combination of unique conditions that result in practical difficulties in complying with the applicable zoning regulations."

The GVSHP was among the groups opposed to the zoning variance. GVSHP held a rally this morning with residents and union members before the hearing was to take place.

"This is a victory for the East Village and all New Yorkers who care about preserving our neighborhoods and ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules," GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman said in a statement. "We have reasonable parameters for the size and height of new developments in our neighborhood, which protects the East Village’s unique character. This developer showed no legal justification for being exempted from those rules."

The current approved plans on file with the city show an 8-story building with 114 residences (reportedly 23 affordable, 91 market rate) and ground-floor retail. The residential entrance to the building will be on 13th Street while access to the storefronts will be on 14th Street.

Updated: Town & Village has a recap here.

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

EV Grieve Etc.: More about Angelica Kitchen's departure; Boss Hog returns

[Christo in Tompkins Square Park yesterday by Steven]

Boyfriend indicted for strangling Brooke Garcia, 27, in the Lillian Wald Houses (DNAinfo ... previously)

A wide-ranging interview with Leslie McEachern, owner of the soon-to-close Angelica Kitchen (Gothamist ... previously)

Ex-con arrested for attempted rape on Rivington and Norfolk (Daily News)

Jared Kushner, whose company owns 40-plus East Village buildings, is going to be busy (HuffPost ... The New York Times ... previously)

Ai Weiwei’s newest NYC installation will use fences to reflect on immigration, nationalism (Curbed)

Boss Hog are back with their first record in 17 years ... The Quietus has an interview with the band at 7B/Horseshoe Bar/Vazac's after practice at their nearby rehearsal space... while The New York Times also checks in with a feature here.

And a promo for the new record, Brood X...


A post shared by Boss Hog (@boss_hog_bitches) on

Get ready for some roadway milling tonight

Signs are up along Avenue A, from Second Street to 13th Street, announcing roadway milling commencing this evening at 6 ... and continuing through to 6 a.m.

Work will also take place on St. Mark's Place, from Third Avenue to Avenue A...

...and 12th Street from Fourth Avenue to First Avenue, per the city's Milling & Resurfacing Schedule (PDF here).

So all these areas are a tow-away zone.

Meanwhile, hopefully none of this milling business will interfere with the two film shoots scheduled in roughly the same area today and tomorrow...

The changing downtown skyline as seen from Avenue B

[Photo from last week]

Extell’s One Manhattan Square is becoming more prominent on the skyline, as seen above from Avenue B and Fourth Street ... the 80-story residential tower, at the site of the former Pathmark on Cherry Street, will feature 815 one-to-three-bedroom residences starting at $1.15 million.

And if you keep walking...

One Manhattan Square will likely be getting some skyline company: three more large-scale projects are being planned nearby along the East River. As The Lo-Down reported yesterday, the Department of City Planning announced that a "public scoping meeting" for a Two Bridges Environmental Review will take place on April 27.

LoveThyBeast coming to 5th Street

Been meaning to note the recent arrival of signage for LoveThyBeast on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue ... in the gut-renovated and rebranded Shops on East Fifth Street.

The store, which is expected to open very soon, sells accessories for pets — and their owners.

Founder Tiziana Agnello previously sold her pet wares at pop-up events and online as well as a few retail outlets, such as Urban Outfitters.

LoveThyBeast joins the coffee shop Southern Cross in this new strip of remodeled storefronts. One of the three retail spaces remains on the rental market.

Monday, March 27, 2017

2nd Avenue special

Photo today by Grant Shaffer...

The morning so far

Foggy with a chance of fog... photo by Bobby Williams

Developers pitching city tomorrow for extra floor at former PO site on 14th Street

Reps for the developers of 432-438 E. 14th St. will appear before the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) tomorrow to seek a variance on their mixed-use building between Avenue A and First Avenue.

As we reported on March 16, the developers — Benenson Capital Partners in association with the Mack Real Estate Group — have cut back their original zoning variance request by two-thirds.

Their new proposal is seeking nine stories on the East 14th Street side of the building, one higher than the eight allowed under the current zoning. Aside from ground-floor retail, the building at nine stories would contain 130 apartments, 26 of them tagged as affordable.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), one of the groups opposed to the variance request, broke it down further:

The developer is now requesting a 14.5 ft. increase in the allowable height of the building (restricted by zoning to a maximum height of 80 ft.), to allow the building to rise up to 94.5 feet. This is down from the 44 ft. increase requested in January, which would have allowed the building to rise up to 124 feet.

The developer is also now requesting a 10,000 sq. ft. increase in the allowable size of the development (restricted by zoning to a maximum of size of 103,800 sq. ft.), to allow the building to contain 113,929 sq. ft. This is down from a 27,550 sq. ft. increase in allowable size of the development requested in January, which would have allowed the building to contain 131,350 sq. ft.

As previously noted, the developers say the property "is burdened by a combination of unique conditions that result in practical difficulties in complying with the applicable zoning regulations."

[Photo from 13th Street Saturday by Bobby Williams]

The BSA's Public Hearing Sessions are at 22 Reade St., Spector Hall. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. This item is No. 18 on the agenda.

The GVSHP is hosting a rally at 9:30 a.m. before the hearing tomorrow...

Per GVSHP officials: "While significantly reduced, the developer is still asking to build larger than normally allowable, based upon what we believe are false and inaccurate claims about the project."

This was the former site of the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office, which closed in February 2014.

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

Little Tong Noodle Shop opens Wednesday

Little Tong Noodle Shop hosted a friends-family preview this past weekend... a rep told us that the restaurant from chef Simone Tong opens to the public on Wednesday.

They will initially be open for dinner daily from 5-11 p.m.

Little Tong will offer traditional rice noodle dishes from China's Yunnan province.

CBS 2 included Little Tong in a recent roundup of new NYC restaurants. From that report:

[The Yunnan province] is known for mixian, a non-glutinous rice noodle dish that is the main element of the dish. Chef Tong cooks the rice noodles in a copper pots and serves them in broth. Other dishes include wontons, marinated ghost chicken and cucumber salad.

Previously on EVG:
Little Tong Noodle Shop taking the former Schnitz space on 1st Avenue

Cadet is closing on 9th Street

Brooklyn-based designers Raúl Arévalo and Bradley Schmidt, who create military-academy-inspired menswear for their Cadet brand, are closing up shop on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

A for rent sign has been hanging above the shop, which opened in the spring of 2013, for several months now.

The Cadet sidewalk sign notes sales of up to 90-percent off... along with a few fucking laments...

This is the second high-end menswear store to close in the East Village this month. After 12 years in business, Odin shut down its location on 11th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

About Big Lee's legal battles

Back in December, Big Lee's (aka the Hard Swallow Saloon) closed its doors for several weeks at 140 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

At the time, some patrons of Big Lee's started a fundraising campaign to help keep the place open while its owners — Leroy "Big Lee" and Maria "Sasha" Lloyd, who are married with two children — sorted through legal issues with the bar's previous owners.

Big Lee's opened in the summer of 2015 in the former Spanky and Darla's (and Cheap Shots) space, which was reportedly owned by Charmion Raymond and Thomas McNeil, whose bar credits include the Village Idiot and Doc Holliday’s.

Allegra Hobbs at DNAinfo reports on what has transpired with the bar.

According to a complaint, the Lloyds in July 2015 entered a purchase and sub-lease agreement with Raymond and McNeil to take over the space.

Per the agreement, the Lloyds paid weekly installments of $3,500, which included rent due under the sub-lease and payments towards the company’s agreed-upon purchase price of $150,000.

In March 2016, Raymond and McNeil demanded an extra $50,000 on top of the usual installments and the Lloyds “uncomfortably” coughed up $30,000, the complaint states.

That fall, Raymond demanded the remaining balance due under the agreement be paid all at once — when the Lloyds refused, McNeil snatched the liquor license that was displayed in the space and Raymond padlocked the premises to keep the Lloyds out, declaring them to be in “default,” according to the complaint.

Big Lee's was able to reopen briefly in December but has been closed of late after its liquor license was deactivated.

As if that wasn't enough...

[T]he Lloyds said they found out that money they had been paying McNeil and Raymond under the sub-lease agreement, which was supposed to go to the property's landlord, had been withheld. McNeil and Raymond were also $54,000 in debt to the landlord in summer 2015 while handing over the keys to the bar, according to the Lloyds' new lawsuit...

Meanwhile, the Lloyds are seeking a new liquor license for the space (CB3's SLA committee gave their OK earlier this month), and hope to be open again by the summer, per DNAinfo.

Former Citibank branch on Avenue A hits the market

The for rent sign arrived last week at 50 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street.

I was curious what this former Citibank branch would be going for... Unfortunately, the listing at the Heller Organization doesn't provide many details ... other than:

-Prime East Village Retail availability
-Retail and/or F&B uses welcome
-Very high street Retail & Restaurant traffic
-Top location for proximity to nightlife

It's deceptively large too at 4,400 square feet.

The former Chase branch on Avenue A at Second Street is looking for $49,947 a month (or $139 a square foot). That's one good reason why the space has sat empty since November 2015.

Back in July 2013, Citibank's former building neighbor, Native Bean, moved down the block to 36 Avenue A. At that time, the asking rent for the space was $9,500. Villacemita eventually took the storefront, opening in March 2015.

Citibank closed on Jan. 13.

[Photo from 2012]

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Photo on 1st Avenue yesterday by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Angelica Kitchen closing on April 7; friends raising money to pay off expenses (Friday, 52 comments)

Che Cafe bringing empanada pockets to Seventh Street (Wednesday)

Mimi's Hummus closes on 14th Street (Wednesday)

4 St. Mark's Place prepped for renovations, expansion (Tuesday)

Jason Wang's Biang! closes after 15 months on Second Avenue (Tuesday)

The landmarked Father’s Heart Ministry comes back into view on 11th Street (Friday)

First sign of Fat Cat Kitchen on 14th Street (Monday)

Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe now open on Sixth Street (Saturday)

Out and About with Jennifer Brodsky (Wednesday)

Rock club E.Vil is coming to the East Village (Tuesday)

Retail space in the former Amato Opera House seeking to the tune of $35k monthly (Monday)

There are pigeons trapped inside the former P.S. 64 on Ninth Street (Monday)

Lions BeerStore has closed; Wall 88 Restaurant up next (Tuesday ... Thursday)

Black Market will be going by Sister Midnight on Avenue A (Monday)

A new all-you-can-eat sushi option on Second Avenue (Thursday)

Pizza-master Gino Sorbillo marks his arrival on the Bowery (Wednesday)

Make a bid on 64 Second Ave. (Monday)

Is this studio the East Village at its best? (Thursday)

Spring Spa signage blooms on Fifth Street (Monday)

The randomly placed piano in Tompkins Square Park is no longer randomly there (Monday)

A sign for Nobody Is Perfect on Fourth Street (Friday) outside the Second Avenue F stop ... mural by @pyramidoracle...

...and an EVG readers shared these photos of a new piece via @colp_one outside Spiegel on Second Street at First Avenue...


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter

Report: Maria Hrynenko looking to sell 2nd Avenue properties destroyed in deadly gas explosion

[Photo from yesterday]

On the 2-year anniversary of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion, the Post is reporting that landlord Maria Hrynenko "is poised" to sell her now-empty lots at 119 and 121 Second Ave., which could jeopardize the settlements of the victims.

Maria Hrynenko, 57, appears ready to cash out on her valuable Second Avenue properties before the criminal case against her goes to trial and as the civil actions wend their way through the courts...

Hrynenko could rake in at least $12 million, based on the sale price of a neighboring lot, if she sells both her parcels.

Authorities have said that siphoned gas at 121 Second Ave. is to blame for the explosion, which killed Moises Ismael Locón Yac and Nicholas Figueroa, and injured two dozen other people. A 21-year-old student visiting from Berkeley during spring break lost an eye and fractured his larynx. Two firefighters also suffered serious injuries.

In February 2016, the DA charged Hrynenko and her son, Michael Hrynenko Jr., with involuntary manslaughter ... as well as contractor Dilber Kukic and an unlicensed plumber, Athanasios Ioannidis. (A fifth person, Andrew Trombettas, faces charges for supplying his license to Ioannidis.) All pleaded not guilty.

More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Hrynenko, her companies — MAH Realty and Kiev Realty — the city, Con Edison and other defendants.

Lawyers for the victims say it would be virtually impossible to stop a sale — as long as it’s for market value and not to a straw buyer — and that the potential $12 million-plus windfall could be difficult to locate.

“Let’s say she sells the property and takes the cash and stashes it away in the Canary Islands, there’s no way for us to recoup that,” said Marius Wesser, a lawyer for Machendra Chongbang. The Nepalese immigrant was a chef at Sushi Park and was badly injured when he was blown into the basement.

According to the Post, a broker working with Hrynenko recently contacted the new owner of the lot at 123 Second Ave., who paid $6 million for the property. The broker reportedly said they had a buyer interested in purchasing all three lots.

However, the owner, Ezra Wibowo, declined the offer.

“For him, it’s a long-term investment. He’s not in a rush to build or develop,” the source said.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Living out of a suitcase 6 months after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Former residents talk about landlord Maria Hrynenko: 'it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment'

Report: 123 2nd Ave. is for sale

Selling 123 Second Ave.

And read our interviews with longtime residents of 45 E. Seventh St. Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.

How The New York Times is improving its home delivery

By including Free All Digital Access on any device and fresh-baked rolls.

Spotted on 11th Street near Avenue C this morning.


Second Street at Avenue A. And good morning.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday's parting shot

Marking the 106th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire today... Photo on Sixth Street by Derek Berg...


Today in photos of squirrels carb loading in Tompkins Square Park

Photo by Bobby Williams...

The squirrel collection grows

Aureus Contemporary hosting a temporary exhibit on 7th Street

Aureus Contemporary is hosting a group show on weekends through April at 116 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue...

The show is titled Bish Bash Bosh.

Thanks to Drew Bushong for the photos earlier this week!

Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe now open on 6th Street

The Italian restaurant had its grand opening last evening at 345 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Until earlier this month, the space was Edward and Neal's Fish Bar. Owner Shane Cover, who runs Upstate around the corner on First Avenue, told us:

"I needed to switch it up. I was never able to be there as much as I should. Running fresh fish places took all of my time. Also I thought the prices were too high. I have not raised Upstate's prices since we opened [in 2011]. So Edwin and Neal's had to compete with a fish place right around the corner with better price points."

Anthony DeGrezia, whose family owns several Italian restaurants, is managing Tableside. You can find their menu here.

Tableside is open 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; to midnight on Friday-Saturday; and 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Thanks to Vinny & O for the photos!

Previously on EV Grieve:
Edwin and Neal's Fish Bar gives way to Tableside on 6th Street