Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Thai Direct setting up shop on Avenue A

Thai Direct, which sells ready-to-cook meal kits, is opening an outpost at 131 Avenue A between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

There's a sign on the under-renovation storefront for Thai Direct...

[Photo by Salim]

The company's website also notes that its new address is on Avenue A.

Thai Direct debuted in early 2017, serving Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick, according to this article via DNAinfo.

Here's more about them via the Thai Direct website:

Our Thai bowls are healthy versions of famous street Thai dishes using our own Thai sauces made with authentic, natural, and non GMO ingredients with no MSG and no or minimal amount of sugar added. Our Thai sauces are gluten and dairy free.

We offer two ways for you to enjoy our Thai bowls. You can either choose one of our beloved bowls or create your own signature bowl to enjoy it the way you most prefer. Kin Hai Aroy! (Bon Appétit in Thai)

The bowls are available for pick up or delivery. (Most of the 32-ounce bowls are priced at $12.)

A post shared by Thai Direct (@thaidirect) on

Not sure at the moment if Thai Direct is just moving into the smaller space at this address (the long-empty storefront that was Yoshi Sushi until late 2015).

Paper also covers the windows of the storefront next door, which was Baci e Vendetta until March. Before the gut renovations here, this space was the 10 Degrees Bistro until the fall of 2015 ... and the Flea Market Cafe before that.

Signage for VVNs Teas arrives on 1st Avenue

Signage is up for VVNs Teas at 154 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Per the VVN website:

VVNs TEA, simply pronounced like Vivian's Tea, is a place that not only sells tea, but also promotes a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is centered around the appreciation of tea and the sharing of art.

Every cup surface acts as an open canvas, printed with artworks by local artists. When you buy a cup of tea, you receive the whole experience — a tiny piece of artwork that you can share with your friends on social media.

The shop, which will be modeled after an art gallery, is expected to open in the fall.

The space previously housed the Neptune. The Polish-American restaurant closed in December 2016 after 15 years in business.

The landlord divided the former Neptune space. Chelsea Thai has leased the storefront on the south.

H/T Lola Sáenz!

Monday, July 16, 2018

A mosaic for McSorley's

EVG correspondent Steven spotted Jim Power today on Ninth Street... among Jim's projects this summer — a new mosaic for McSorley's, to be installed there later this summer...

Asbestos abatement notices arrive on the northwest corner of St. Mark's Place & 3rd Avenue

This past Friday, Asbestos Abatement notices were posted to two of the buildings that will demolished on the northeast corner of St. Mark's Place and Third Avenue.

The notices were spotted at the former Papaya King at 3 St. Mark's Place...

... and the former McDonald's at 27 Third Ave. ...

Permits were filed on March 15 to demolish the low-rise buildings here at 3 St. Mark’s Place, 23 and 25-27 Third Avenue.

A seven-story, 66,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail is reportedly slated for this corner. However, plans for this new building haven't been made public to date.

The Continental is one of two remaining businesses on the corner (the other being part of the First Rich Gift Shop/piercing studio). The bar received a three-month reprieve, and will remain in business until October.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Shake Shack effect? McDonald's on 3rd Avenue at St. Mark's Place has closed after 20 years

Report: Northeast corner of St. Mark's Place and 3rd Ave. fetching $50 million for development site

Report: NE corner of St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue will yield to a 7-story office building

Demolition permits filed for northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

The city appoints 14 members to its first Nightlife Advisory Board

[EVG file photo from outside the 13th Step]

Back on Thursday, a trio of city officials — Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Rafael Espinal and Mayor de Blasio — announced the appointment of the 14 members of NYC's first-ever Nightlife Advisory Board.

Here's part of the new release from the city...

As a complement to the newly formed Office of Nightlife, the all-volunteer board is charged with making recommendations to the City Council and the Mayor on ways to improve regulations and policies that impact nightlife establishments.

Ranging from DJs and hospitality advocates to regulatory attorneys, the appointees bring a variety of perspectives and expertise on New York City’s celebrated nightlife.

“New York City’s nightlife is second to none. It attracts visitors from around the world and is an economic engine across the five boroughs. The new Nightlife Advisory Board reflects the diversity that makes our city and our nightlife great. Working together, we will ensure the industry continues to thrive,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Nightlife Advisory Board will issue formal recommendations to the Mayor and the Council that will address the regulatory structure of the nightlife industry; common complaints about nightlife establishments; public safety concerns related to nightlife; zoning, enforcement, nightlife workforce conditions and the integration of nightlife into the city’s various neighborhoods. All members will serve two-year terms.

The Nightlife Advisory Board was established by the same legislation that created the City’s first Office of Nightlife. Sponsored by Council Member Rafael Espinal, the bill was signed into law by Mayor de Blasio in September 2017. In March 2018, Mayor de Blasio appointed Ariel Palitz as first Senior Executive Director of the Office of Nightlife.

Housed at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the Office of Nightlife is designed to serve as a central point of contact between City agencies, the nightlife industry, and city residents. Its mission is to promote a safe and vibrant nightlife scene that benefits businesses, residents and those who work in the industry alike.

City Council appointees

• Robert Bookman, regulatory and liquor licensing attorney, partner Pesetsky and Bookman

• Marti Gould Cummings, drag artist, LGBTQ advocate

• Alvester Garnett, drummer, percussionist, arts educator and advocate

• Pedro Goico, representative at New York Supermarket Association

• Olympia Kazi, architect, arts advocate and urban design critic. Member of the NYC Artists Coalition

• Andrew Praschak, environmental attorney

• Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance

• David Rosen, Brooklyn and Queens bar operator and community organizer, co-founder of Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants (BABAR)

• Susan Xenarios, director and founder, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals

Mayoral appointees

• José Francisco Ávila, founder and managing member of Garufina Afro-Latina Entertainment, LLC. and Chairman of the Board of The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc

• Kurtis Blow, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, DJ and Chairman of the Universal Hip Hop Museum who has released 15 albums over the course of his career

• DJ Tikka Masala composes and produces music for the Obie and Bessie award winning Brooklyn based feminist acrobatic dance company, LAVA, and is resident DJ at Henrietta Hudson, the oldest lesbian bar in the city. Tikka Masala has been working in NYC nightlife since 2004

• Susan Stetzer, district manager for Community Board 3, Manhattan, where she has served for the past 14 years

• Luisa F. Torres, owner of Mojitos Restaurant Bar and community activist

Over the weekend, several EVG readers reacted to the news via email, with one noting: "This has to be the most absurd concept ever. Meanwhile, homelessness is at a record high, NYCHA is gonna collapse and kids got lead poisoning, but we need more cocktails."


On the CB3-SLA July docket: Szechuan cuisine for Avenue A; No Reservations on Avenue C

[171 Avenue A]

CB3's SLA committee meeting tonight ... you can find the full rundown of applicants at the CB3 website.

Here's a look at two potential new ventures:

• 171 Avenue A

A restaurant serving Szechuan cuisine and dim sum is in the works for this space between 10th Street and 11th Street.

The applicants, who have not been licensed previously, are looking for a beer-wine license.

Proposed hours are noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; until midnight on Friday and Saturday. The PDF on file at the CB3 website includes a sample menu.

Chao Chao, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant, closed here without any notice to patrons in May 2017 after six months in business. Chao Chao evolved from Soothsayer, which opened in January 2016. Soothsayer, from the same operators, also closed without any notice to patrons at the end of September 2016. The applicants had hoped to secure a full liquor license, but couldn't make the space work with just beer-wine.

171 Avenue A was also the onetime home of Rat Cage Records and 171A, the illegal club-turned-rehearsal studio that produced records by Bad Brains and the "Polly Wog Stew" EP by the Beastie Boys.

[129-131 Avenue C from 2017]

• 129-131 Avenue C

A venture called No Reservations is being proposed for 129-131 Avenue C between Eighth Street and Ninth Street. (Not sure if the No Reservations name is some kind of tribute to Anthony Bourdain.)

The applicants were previously involved with The Grayson, the sports bar at 16 First Ave. The sample menu at the CB3 website shows comfort foods such as burgers, wings and... hot dog sliders.

The proposed hours are pretty varied — 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Wednesday; to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (with an 11 a.m. open on Saturday and Sunday)... the applicants are also looking to license the rear garden, which has a different set of proposed hours. You can find the application (PDF) here.

This space was last home to the hookah hotspot Babel Lounge.

CB3's SLA committee meets tonight at the Public Hotel, 17th Floor, Sophia Room, 215 Chrystie St. between Houston and Stanton. The proceedings start at 6:30.

Zen Yai Pho Shop leaving 6th Street for larger space; new concept TK

The Zen Yai Pho Shop was not open this past weekend... This outpost of the Sunnyside-based Zen Yai Pho Shop & Coffee just opened in April at 518 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

In an email, the owners explained that Zen Yai is moving to an (undisclosed) new, larger location ... and they will use the Sixth Street space for a new concept.

That Zen Yai Pho Shop was successful enough to move to a bigger space is good news for this address. Last year the storefront saw the quick arrival and departure of both Baron's Dim Sum and Tasty Garden.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Zen Yai Pho Shop coming to 6th Street

GNC closes location in NYU's Third Avenue North retail space

An EVG reader shared the above photo from this past weekend... showing that the GNC outpost on Third Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street has closed. (The GNC was located in one of the retail spaces in Third Avenue North, the NYU residence hall.)

Signage from the store is in the dumpster out front (FYI) ...

For now, the G of the GNC remains in place...

The GNC arrived here in the summer of 2014. Before that, 79 Third Ave. sat vacant for nearly four years. The space was previously home to East Hardware. A Yogurt Crazy was slated to open here, but that didn't go so well.

Meanwhile, the GNC outpost on First Avenue at 13th Street is still open...

Healthy Greens Gourmet for 10th and 3rd

A quickie follow-up to a post from this past Wednesday... the rest of the signage is up on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Third Avenue... here's Healthy Greens Gourmet...

This storefront was previously the Red & White Spa, which closed at the end of 2017.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Some breakfast and lunch for 10th and 3rd

'A Fresh New Look' coming to the 14th Street McDonald's

[Photo by Pinch]

As noted on July 5, the McDonald's on 14th Street near First Avenue closed without any notice... work permits point to an interior renovation.

This past week, a banner arrived on the plywood promising "a fresh new look" ... meanwhile, workers are gutting the inside ...

An EVG reader left this comment on the previous McD's post:

I live in the building so have this info: They will be closed for 3 weeks and are remodeling: Trying out a mostly black facade in an attempt to class it up.....

Previously on EV Grieve:
The McDonald's on 14th Street at 1st Avenue is now closed, and gutted, for the time being

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Downtown film classics return with 'The Spaghetti Chronicles at Pangea'

Starting tomorrow (Monday!) night, Pangea's back room will play host to a new film series.

Here are details via the EVG inbox...

American Montage’s Eric Marciano and Kevin Malony team up to curate a series of avant-garde downtown film classics every Monday night from July 16 to Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. Served up with $10 spaghetti dinners these $5 cash-at-the-door screenings called “The Spaghetti Chronicles at Pangea” will give you a delectable diet of little-seen and — in some cases — uber notorious downtown hits, including The TWEED Fractured Classicks series, as well as art-house wonders from Marciano, whose groundbreaking work is in the permanent collection at MOMA. It’s a veritable phonebook of household names from the East Village heyday.

Here are highlights from the first two nights in the series:

Screening 1 July 16
Untitled Fracture (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?)
Starring: Stephen Pell, Varla Jean Merman, Colleen O’Neill and Shelly Mars
The first of the Fractured Classicks. A legendary cast; an iconic play; a serious fracture that lead to other injuries.

Screening 2 July 23
“Un Chant ‘D’Amour” by Jean Genet (B&W - 25 minutes)
The only film created by Jean Genet “Un Chant d’Amour” offering contemporary viewers more than some unintentional gay giggles. Oh, those French boys!"

“Narrowcast” by Eric Marciano (Color - 21 minutes)
Starring Chris Tanner, Mary Lou Wittmer, Jeff Paul, Don Creech and David Anzuelos
Before Survivor, Big Brother, The Apprentice or Keeping Up with the Kardashian and Ru Paul's Drag Race there was “Narrowcast”, the most prescient film ever made about Reality TV.

The series concludes on Aug. 27 with the "surrealistic gender-fuck noir" "The Mailman Always Comes Twice," a loving tribute to "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

This link has more details on the series.

Pangea is at 178 Second Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street. Revisit our interview with Pangea co-owners Stephen Shanaghan and Arnoldo Caballero right here.

Hawklet watch on 8th Street

Since fledging on Friday afternoon, Amelia and Christo's chick has been hanging out on a fire escape along Eighth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. EVG reader Mike shared these bird's-eye-view photos from the scene...

Week in Grieview

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park yesterday by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

After nearly 40 years, Foot Gear Plus is closing on 1st Avenue and St. Mark's Place (Wednesday)

NYU student discusses random weekend attack: 'He got me right to the ground and kept punching' (Monday)

Demolition permits filed for 99-101 E. 2nd St.; first look at the condoplex to come (Monday)

Report: Proposed tech hub appears 'in question' without zoning protections (Tuesday)

Julie's Vintage is closing on 2nd Street (Monday)

Report: LPC wants some revisions to the proposed condoplex for 2nd Avenue and 7th Street (Wednesday)

NYC's first Fithouse is no longer open on the Bowery (Friday)

Mono + Mono reopens on 4th Street after 5-year absence (Tuesday)

This week's NY See (Thursday)

This block of St. Mark's Place lost 2 trees this week (Friday)

There are new plans to expand the mysterious 84 2nd Ave. (Monday)

Young hawk flies the nest (Saturday)

Grey Lady owner looking at new venture for the old Out East space on 6th Street (Thursday)

[Crossing the Bowery the other day via Derek Berg]

A few more details about the new Emmy Squared (Saturday)

East Village Tavern officially (re)opens (Monday)

Taiwan Bear House bringing bento boxes and bubble tea to 10th Street (Thursday)

Dry cleaners where Kim's Video got its start on Avenue A is closing (Thursday)

The Silky Kitchen signage arrives on 13th Street (Tuesday)

Rue St. Denis bids au revoir to Avenue B (Tuesday)

Eggloo closes 1 year in on Avenue A (Monday)

... and workers removed the sidewalk bridge from outside Search & Destroy on St. Mark's Place this past week... a few residents were hoping the bridge next door outside 19-23 St. Mark's Place would come down too... seems as if it's been up for an awfully long time...


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'Low and Slow' on 6th and A

EVG regular peter radley shared these photos of the lowriders that arrived on Sixth Street at Avenue A early last evening...

The cars were here for Cholo Noir's "Low and Slow Night...

SaturdayJuly ,14 @5 pm cholo Noir presents low@and slow night come check out the east coasts dopest low riders in all their class and meet the people who own these gorgeous cars . It will be a LA meets NYC night to remember! #eastcoastlowriders #nyclowriders #lownslow #lowridershow @lowridermagazine @hazardxmedia @jsalyi @lowriderlifemagazine @impalamafia @lowriderscenemagazine @lowriders_and_classics @the_lowriders @lowridersupershowjapan @lowridersunite @lowriderscalemodels @lowriders.li @lowride_x_worldwide @lowridertv @lowrider_oldies_ @lowrider_page_oldies @lowriderclothing77 @lowriderbicycle @100percentlowrider @lowriderflickz @lowrider_daily @hancholodesigns @cholo_sleds @cholo_style_ @chicanos_chicanas @evil_chicanos_car_club @chicano_culture_worldwide @cheechmarinofficial @heytommychong @officialdannytrejo

A post shared by CholoNoir (@cholonoir) on

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday's parting shot(s)

Lowriders on Sixth Street and Avenue A...

H/T Goggla!

Why they were here.

Welcome to the neighborhood: Mockingbird dive-bombs fledgling on 8th Street

Earlier today, the first of Amelia and Christo's offspring to leave the nest received a welcome from a mockingbird on Eight Street between Avenue B and Avenue C...

... complete with a few dive-bombs...

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

A few more details about the new Emmy Squared

Emmy Squared opened last Saturday evening at 83 First Ave. at Fifth Street.

Reps for the Williamsburg-based pizzeria shared some specifics about this location — their third — via email the other day:

The all-day menu features signature dishes from Emmy Squared's Williamsburg and Nashville locations, such as Broccoli Salad with broccoli, radish, pear, dried cherries, peanuts + miso-soy dressing, Spicy Chicken sandwich with salsa pico, pickles, radish, bok choy + homemade ranch and [chef Matt] Hyland’s eponymous burger, Le Big Matt.

A combination of the restaurant’s red and white pies are joined by new selections exclusive to the East Village spot, like the New Orleans-inspired Emmyletta with mortadella, Ezzo pepperoni + olive salad and Curry Row with onions, peppers and cauliflower tossed in Brooklyn Delhi achaar alongside dipping chutneys, an ode to “Curry Row” on the neighboring 6th Street and Hyland’s love for Indian cuisine.

Open first for dinner with lunch service in coming weeks, the bi-level space accommodates over 100 guests upstairs and 30 guests downstairs ... The bar on the second level will open later in August.

Open Tuesday – Sunday; Closed Mondays.

Tuesday + Wednesday 5 pm – 11 pm.

Thursday – Saturday 5 pm – midnight.

Sunday 5 pm – 10 pm.

You can find Emmy Squared menu here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
East Village location of Emmy Squared debuts today on 1st Avenue

Emmy Squared makes it very official on 1st Avenue

After nearly 26 years, Three of Cups is closing on 1st Avenue; Emmy Squared arriving next?

Young hawk flies the nest

One of Amelia and Christo’s two red-tailed hawk chicks in Tompkins Square Park fledged the nest yesterday afternoon (2:02 p.m., per a hawk watcher on the scene)... Steven caught up with the fledgling at St Brigid's on Eighth Street and Avenue B late in the afternoon...

The fledging ended up flying across Eighth Street and perching on a fire escape... where Steven spotted her/him this morning.

Head over to Goggla's site for a complete narrative and many more photos.

'What About Me' at the 6 and B Garden tonight

There's a free screening tonight of Rachel Amodeo's 1993 film "What About Me" in the 6th and B Garden... starts at 8:30 p.m.

The film, shot in the neighborhood in the late 1980s and early 1990s, stars Amodeo, Richard Edson, Nick Zedd, Rockets Redglare, Judy Carne, Richard Hell, Johnny Thunders, Dee Dee Ramone and Gregory Corso, among others.

In a review of the film from 2017, The New Yorker's Richard Brody calls "What About Me" "a hidden masterwork."

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday's parting shot(s)

Shawn Chittle shared these photos from an early-morning walk today through a very empty Tompkins Square Park ...