Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday's parting shot

Photo on Fourth Avenue today by Derek Berg...

Point of no return

NYC-born artist Yuno (now in Jacksonville, Fla.), who was recently signed by Sub Pop, released his first music video this past week... and Tompkins Square Park has a starring role... the above video is for "No Going Back."

H/T EVG reader VP!

The Webster Hall marquee

Here's a look at the Webster Hall marquee this morning.

As first reported last Sunday, the marquee became partially dislodged from the front of the landmarked building on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue. Crews erected this sidewalk bridge to keep the marquee from landing on the sidewalk.

Anyway, I fixed it...

Updated 2 p.m.

The downside of the repair...

Please remember to take your rice cooker with you when exiting the train

A rice cooker that someone left behind on the F train last night at Essex and Delancey led to a bomb scare.

Per the Daily News:

Initial reports from authorities said the device was a pressure cooker with wires sticking out of it, but police later determined the electronic was not an explosive.

Subway trains were stopped while the bomb squad investigated and resumed running moments after cops gave the all clear around 8:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, in other MTA news from last evening, via PIX 11:

According to data released at an MTA meeting this week, New Yorkers took 1.727 billion trips taken last year, compared to 1.756 million taken in 2016, so roughly 30 million fewer trips.

"I'm not surprised. The subways have been pretty bad lately," said subway rider Leslie Spencer.

Friday, February 23, 2018

'Metro' NY

"Street Safari," the second record from Public Access T.V., was released today ... the above video, featuring actor Kevin Corrigan, is for the song "Metrotech."

Not sure where the band calls home these days... in 2015, they were living at 123 Second Ave., which was destroyed during the deadly gas explosion. (The band was on tour out west at the time.)

The decibelists tell New Yorkers' displacement stories in this new music video

Decibelists are an experimental pop band founded by native New Yorkers Emma Alabaster and Leo Ferguson.

They're sharing their new music video for “Galapagos” here (the East Village makes a few cameos).

Here's the band with more about it:

This video features born-and-raised New Yorkers who have experienced loss in some way brought on by gentrification. With powerful visuals, it shows the ways that People of Color, low-income New Yorkers, queer folks and artists experience displacement, loss of community spaces, and heartbreak as more and more neighborhoods gentrify.

The video was created through an interactive process of community engagement in which born-and-raised New Yorkers were invited to tell their “displacement stories” and create short narratives for the video. The song was written and performed by decibelists and uses rising tides and extinction as a metaphor for this displacement.

The video is a mix of dreamy cityscapes and ocean surf, real estate signs, construction sites and yuppie douchebags, set against the stories of real, very pissed-off New Yorkers.

And here it is...

On March 1, the band is hosting a fundraiser for grassroots anti-gentrification organizations featuring local artists and performers at Starr Bar in Bushwick. Find more details here.

Report: Gothamist will live on thanks to 2 anonymous donors


In a deal largely funded by two anonymous donors, WNYC is acquiring the news site Gothamist, including its archives, domain name and social media assets. The move comes as part of a larger deal involving two other public radio stations and Gothamist's network of local news sites. KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., will take over LAist, while WAMU in Washington will acquire DCist.

"For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news," New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker said in a press release. "That resonates with us at WNYC, where we are committed to telling stories rooted in New York and that matter to New Yorkers. As we’ve seen a decline in local journalism in even the largest metropolitan areas across the country, even at a time when it’s so vital, we remain committed to strong, independent reporting that fills the void."

Per Wired, the deal was spearheaded by Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung, who will start publishing again this spring.

Publisher Joe Ricketts abruptly shut down Gothamist and DNAinfo last Nov. 2.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Updated: Joe Ricketts just shut down Gothamist and DNAinfo (46 comments)

Audrey Hepburn print continues curbside tour

[Jan. 29 via Steven]

From Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place... to the Bowery and Great Jones this morning...

[Photo via Lola Sāenz]

I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant

East Village resident Susan Schiffman has been photographing the apartments of rent-stabilized tenants living in the East Village for her Instagram account, I Am a Rent Stabilized Tenant. She will share some of the photos here for this ongoing EVG feature.

Photos and text by Susan Schiffman

Tenant: Joey, since 1995

How did you find your apartment?

I’ve been in this apartment on and off since 1995. A couple of times when I was homeless I lived on a couch right here in this spot. Another time when Babs’ roommate didn’t want to give up his share but he wanted to move in with his boyfriend, I sublet his room. The tower room, I call it, because it’s right next to the steeple on the church next door. Then he moved back in.

I screwed myself on that one, because I kind of counseled him to not staying with his boyfriend if he wasn’t happy living there with him. I became homeless again. That was all the last millennia. This millennia when Babs started getting really sick, she moved back to St. Louis. I met Babs and her director friend when they cast me in a commercial. I met her at a gay rock-and-roll club down at Don Hill's on Greenwich and Spring. It was called Squeeze Box. It was a gay rock-n-roll night on Friday nights. So there I was on Friday night after drinking at the Wonder Bar on Sixth Street and another place called the Bar, which is by the Boiler Room near Second avenue and Fourth Street. I drank a lot of vodka on that corner.

After that we went to Don Hill’s. On Friday nights it was drag queens playing rock-n-roll. Mistress Formica. It was great. I like beer and rock-n-roll. I shake it too. I’ve been known to go to a disco. I’m more into the rock-n-roll thing. Weed and wine. There she was. Her and her director friend came up to me and said “we would like to use you in our commercial if you’re available.” Babs was an actor, she did voice-over. She had a great voice, great diction, great vocabulary. Unfortunately, she had to leave the apartment. It was still in her name. It was hard for her to keep track of and her health. That was 2002.

Babs and I were practically married, but we weren’t. She was going to marry me but then she married another guy who needed a Green Card. He was going to work at the U.N. and take care of her. But that didn’t work out. I had just started at NYU in 1997 and I wanted to marry her so she could use my benefits. And we were kind of together anyway. I had boyfriends and she had girlfriends but we were still like lovers. We were inclusive. We didn’t discriminate. If there was a vibe, there was a vibe. We never forced each other to change. We would sleep together.

The landlord knew about our friendship. She said, "take your time, go month to month. When you’re ready I’ll let you sign the lease in your name."

What do you love about your apartment?

I don’t take it for granted at all. My whole life is below 14th Street. I live and work within 10 minutes. I work by Washington Square Park and I live by Tompkins Square Park. I do not take that for granted.

It’s almost like a shrine to Babs. She would be pissed if she heard me call it that.

I grew up here with Babs. We had so many great memories. That’s Saint Mark's over there. I see all kinds of parades on Saint Mark's from up here. This is the Chrysler Building chair and this is the Empire State Building chair. The lights just went on the Chrysler Building. It's 5:30.

If you're interested in inviting Susan in to photograph your apartment for an upcoming post, then you may contact her via this email.

Still House relocating to 9th Street

Still House, which sells jewelry and home goods, is moving from 117 Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue ... to 307 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue (next to Mudspot) ...

The signage for the Ninth Street location arrived yesterday...

EVG correspondent Steven, who shared these photos, said that they will be making the move in about three weeks.

The Ninth Street space was previously the women's boutique Pinkyotto.

A look at the former GG's space on 5th Street

GG's ended its three-year run on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B two months ago to the date — Dec. 23.

The pizzeria's ownership decided to focus on other projects. It had been reported that Emmy Squared, the Williamsburg pizzeria serving Detroit-style pizza, was taking over. (CB3 OK'd their new liquor license back in December.)

A few readers asked what was happening with the space... there hadn't much activity here. In fact, a look inside in late January showed a motorcycle parked in the former dining room...

Since then, the space has been cleared out...

I reached out to the Emmy Squared folks a few weeks back... and they didn't have any updates just yet. They originally expected to open this spring, per Eater.

Emmy Squared is also opening an outpost soon in Nashville.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sunset at the Sunshine

This Sunset mural went up last evening on the gate of the former Sunshine Cinema on East Houston ... not sure at the moment who the artist is, and if the new owners of the property — who plan on putting in a 9-story boutique office building — commissioned the work.

The Sunshine closed on Jan. 21.

Thanks to @michaelkbusch for the photo earlier today!

Updated 9:30 p.m.

Faust is the artist. (H/T Mike H!)

EV Grieve Etc.: Recognition for composer Julius Eastman; props for Szechuan Mountain House

[C.H.U.D. 3? Photo on 1st Avenue by Derek Berg]

Homeless woman on First Street awaits reunion with her pit bull named Red (Daily News)

28 years after his death, composer Julius Eastman, who lived in the East Village, gets a publishing deal (The New York Times)

A former top city official sues Mayor de Blasio for $5 million-plus over claims he was illegally fired for blowing the whistle on alleged City Hall corruption (The Post)

More about the clay pot cooking at Clay Pot on St. Mark's Place (Eater ... previously)

A visit to Spark Pretty on Ninth Street (Nylon ... previously)

How did the subway delays get so bad? (The New York Times)

A Q-and-A with East Village-based author Arthur Nersesian (Convicts ... previously)

Boubouki closing in the Essex Street Market next week (The Lo-Down)

NYU prez apologizes after dining hall serves Black History Month meal that included red Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored water as well as ribs and collard greens (Washington Square News)

Roland, auctioneers of antiques, leaving its home in the St. Denis building at 11th Street and Broadway (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

The films of Iranian documentarian Mehrdad Oskouei (Anthology Film Archives)

Cop Shoot Cop alumni news (Flaming Pablum)

More pics from the Mr. Lower East Side Pageant (Slum Goddess ... previously)

"Way Out West" with Sonny Rollins (The Village Voice)

Three stars for Szechuan Mountain House on St. Mark's Place (Eater)

The Who’s 1968 Live At Fillmore East — the former concert venue on Second Avenue at Sixth Street — has been fully restored and mixed for an April 20 release (Addicted to Noise)

5 Pointz owner plans to appeal $6.7M settlement verdict (Curbed)

The building that used to house Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Karpas Health Information Center on First Avenue at 18th Street has been sold and will soon be demolished (Town & Village)

Airbnb and the unintended consequences of "disruption" (The Atlantic)

And watch bearded drag queen Levonia Jenkins performs Fergie's recent rendition of the National Anthem at Club Cumming on Sixth Street (via Hornet)

A spin through Downtown Yarns on Avenue A

East Village-based photographer Gudrun Georges recently highlighted one of her favorite shops in the neighborhood — Downtown Yarns, 45 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street.

From Gudrun's photo site:

Rita Bobry, the owner who studied art and loves to work with colors, opened this gem of a store 17 years ago ...

The store has a finely edited collection of yarns, many of them local and sustainable, as well as all of the necessary supplies for the needle crafts.

The store offers a whole range of classes from beginner classes to advanced sweater design workshops. The super friendly staff is always happy to help.

There is Rita who besides being an expert knitter always comes up with the most stunning window displays.

You can find more of Gudrun's photos from Downtown Yarns here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Favorite East Village places: Ink on A

Avant-Garde-Arama at Performance Space grand re-opening

[Alexandra Tatarsky]

Photos and text by Dan Efram

Performance Space New York — formerly PS 122 — celebrated its grand reopening with a free night of their longest-running program "Avant-Garde-Arama" on Sunday night.

The multi-stage show welcomed hundreds of people to check out the wonderful renovated venues in the building on First Avenue at Ninth Street and kick off its new season in earnest. You can find the full list of performers here.


[Cornelius Loy]

[Pat Oleszko and Brooks Leslie]

[Murray Hill backstage]

[Charles Dennis]

[Salley May]

[The audience]

Performance Space is hosting an East Village Series through June. Find that schedule here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Here's the sidewalk bridge-free corner of 9th Street and 1st Avenue — and the 122 Community Center

Come along on a tour of the under-renovation 122 Community Center on 1st Avenue

All is quiet at 75 1st Ave.

The first level of the incoming condoplex at 75 First Ave. recently made it above the plywood here between Fourth Street and Fifth Street... However, the site remains locked up... the city served up a full stop work order back on Jan. 12.

The DOB complaint notes "no protection for pedestrians" (not all that safe for cyclists either as the construction site and trucks take up the bike lane) ...

DOB records show that there's an outstanding $10,000 penalty due as well for "failure to designate and/or have a construction superintendent present as required."

Sales commenced last August for the 8-floor, 22-unit condoplex. The four units on the market are asking between $1.79 million and $2.25 million.

Things seem to be progressing pretty slowly here. We noted the foundation work here dating back to October 2016. And it's not a very large site.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Developer: A shorter building in the works now for 75 First Avenue

High-rise for 75 First Avenue back in play

Long-stalled First Avenue site now has a brand-new rendering

Report: Long-dormant 1st Avenue development site changes hands

Plywood report and the future of 75 1st Ave. (Spoiler: condos)

Sales underway for Rite Aid-adjacent condoplex on 1st Avenue

Last weekend for the Stone on Avenue C

The Stone wraps up its 13-year run (some 7,500 performances, and no refreshments or merchandise!) this weekend on Avenue C at Second Street.

John Zorn announced back in December 2016 that he would be relocating his experimental performance space ... which turned out to be at the Glass Box Theatre at the New School. (Zorn has been hosting weekend residencies there since June.)

As the Voice reported in early 2017:

He will continue as artistic director of the nonprofit venue, with musicians doing all the curating and volunteers providing support. Artists will continue to receive all revenue from tickets, which will remain priced at $20. The seating capacity — 74 — will stay the same. “And our aesthetic will not alter one bit,” Zorn said.

For Zorn, the move isn’t one of need, his club’s lease wasn’t up. “It was simply time for a change,” he said.

The final show on Avenue C is Sunday night. Find the lineup of remaining shows here.

The corner space hit the market last August. The listing, which stipulated "no bars," is off the market as of Dec. 17.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The NYPD's 9th Precinct hosting a blood drive tomorrow (Thursday!)

Noon to 6 p.m. at the Ninth Precinct, 321 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Checking in on the dislodged Webster Hall marquee

As we first reported back on Sunday, the Webster Hall marquee became partially dislodged from the front of the landmarked building on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

On Monday, workers started erecting a sidewalk bridge for protection until repairs can be made. Steven shared these photos from this morning ... where workers appear to continue to secure the marquee...

With the temporary structure in place, 11th Street is open again to traffic.

The new owners of the building, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, along with AEG-backed The Bowery Presents, filed permits in December to renovate the facility — for use in years ahead as a concert hall — and make it ADA compliant. Those permits are still waiting the city's approval, per the DOB.

Report: Financial firm takes the Death Star penthouse

A quick note about a new tenant at 51 Astor Place/IBM Watson Building/Death Star at Third Avenue and Ninth Street.

Los Weiss at the Post has the story.


CBAM Partners, a fast-growing financial firm with $6.8 billion under management, is moving from Hudson Yards to 51 Astor Place, where it will have a dramatic 12th-floor penthouse of 25,401 square feet.

And what of the previous 12th-floor tenant?

Its former occupant, Claren Road Asset Management, was a financial darling, but in 2015, it was rocked by billions of dollars in redemptions. The following year, backer Carlyle handed back its 55 percent stake to the founders. Claren Road’s market value was down to $891,000 last fall.

Sources said the company gave back the space to 51 Astor developer Edward J. Minskoff Equities...

Pile driving for new building on Avenue C prompts arrival of crack monitors next door

Last week I noted that the pile driving had started up again at the development site on Avenue C and Houston Street/Second Street where 10 floors of luxury rentals are slated.

There were multiple complaints filed with the city earlier last year about the construction possibly destabilizing the building next door — 249 E. Second St. There was a partial stop-work order issued in April 2017 when No. 249 reportedly shifted.

Anyway, since the last post, workers have erected a sidewalk bridge at No. 249 and enveloped the building in scaffolding ...

There's a new work permit for the address "for minor parapet repair work."

Meanwhile, a resident in the building shared this about the pile driving:

The developers of the building next door originally considered buying 249 E. 2nd Street in order to empty it of tenants but in the end decided it would take too long. They may regret that decision now. The current situation began almost a year ago when the city ruled on 3/21/2017, the construction in the adjacent lot damaged 249 E. 2nd Street. The city’s ECB Violation report ( DOB Violation Number 032117EX103JT04 and readily viewable online at the DOB site ) cited Noble Construction GR LLC of 1 Harmon Plaza, Secaucus, NY, for “FAILURE TO SAFEGUARD ALL PERSONS AND PROPERTY AFFECTED BY CONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS NOTED: THAT DURING DRILLING OPERATIONS AT CONSTRUCTION SITE CONTRACTOR CREATED DAMAGES TO THE ADJOINING FOUNDATION OF BUILDING 249.”

A violation categorized as “Aggravated Offense Level 2.” There was a partial stop work order. The construction company could not do any more work accept to perform abatements of the damage it had done to 249 E. 2nd Street. Evidence of the damage was plentiful in the numerous prominent cracks in interior hallway walls and around door jambs, the sure sign of the building having shifted.

When last week’s pile driving began it was so severe tenants in four surrounding buildings spontaneously gathered in the street to discuss a collective action to thwart the construction activity and set off a flood of complaints to the DOB through the city’s 311 complaint phone line. Which is what originally brought the inspection that resulted in the previous violation citation.

249 E. 2nd Street now has surveyor’s gauges permanently affixed to key parts of the exterior, and crack monitors on the interior hallway damage, to facility monitoring of the ongoing situation. Almost every day surveyors are taking readings to catch any further building damage. Where this will end is anyone’s guess. But there is absolutely no mistaking the danger to the tenancies of the current occupants of 249 E. 2nd Street.

The reader also shared photos of the crack monitors...

When complete, the all-new 11 Avenue C will have 4,600 square feet of ground-level retail, 45 residential apartments and a landscaped roof terrace.

Top three photos from Saturday

Previously on EV Grieve:
New residential building for former Mobil station lot will be 10 floors with 0 zero affordable units

A look inside the last East Village gas station

Pile driving resumes at the site of the East Village's last gas station, where a 10-floor building will rise