Saturday, August 24, 2019

Back to school

Welcome Week is underway at NYU... and starting tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 25), new and returning underclassman are able to return to the dorms.

Something to keep in mind if you were planning on a trip to, say, Trader Joe's on 14th Street tomorrow afternoon. Also, No Parking signs are posted around the various dorms on streets including, but not limited to, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th and 9th. Expect some extra vehicular traffic, double parking and frazzled parents and guardians, among other things.

The scoop on the street photography exhibit at Mikey Likes It

Mikey Likes It plays host to street art photography showcase... the opening is today (Aug. 24!) from 4-9 p.m. at the ice cream shop, 199 Avenue A between 12th Street and 13th Street.

The exhibit, titled #ShootersStreetArt and featuring 20 photographers, will be on display for the next month.

Street scenes

From 11th Street at First Avenue ...

Big match today for Mo Salah and the Reds in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the Premier League as Liverpool takes on Arsenal at 12:30.

Photos by Vinny & O.

Friday, August 23, 2019

A matter of TR/ST

Here's "Iris," synth pop courtesy of TR/ST (aka Robert Alfons and FKA Trust) ... the track is on the Destroyer 2 album that's out in November. (Destroyer 1 was released in April.)

Con air

Photo on Avenue D featuring the Con Ed plant and the former St. Emeric ... thanks to jdx for the photo. Find more of his work on Instagram.

Nearly 11 months in, Tompkins Square Park playground rehab winding down

Crews are apparently wrapping up the renovations at the Tompkins Square Park Avenue B children’s playgrounds.

The work started last Oct. 1 on the southeast portion of the Park, which saw the closure of the entrances on Seventh Street at Avenue B and Eighth Street at Avenue B.

Here's a look at the revamped playground area from Monday...

A worker told EVG correspondent Steven yesterday that the heavy-duty construction fences should be taken down in about a week — following an inspection of the new playground equipment. The Parks Department website lists this project at 94 percent complete, with a September 2019 reopening date.

The upgrades have included the reconstruction of two playgrounds with new safety surfacing, spray showers, seating and fencing. A schematic from the Parks website offers more detail...

The Parks Department is supplementing the project's funding with its Parks Without Borders initiative that will lower the fences from its present height of 7 feet to 4 feet, a move that stirred plenty of concern in early 2017.

Parks officials believe the shorter fences make the play areas safer — "lowering barriers that block sight lines discourages negative behavior while at the same time making the green space more open and aesthetically pleasing," as DNAinfo reported at the time.

Speaking of shorter fences, Steven took these photos on Wednesday...

This renovation project had been in the making three-plus years at the start of the construction.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Your chance to brainstorm ideas to renovate the Tompkins Square Park Playground (27 comments)

Reminders: Meeting on possible improvements to the Tompkins Square Park Playground

Join Rosie Mendez to discuss improvements to the Tompkins Square playgrounds tomorrow night

Community meeting set to discuss lowering the playground fences in Tompkins Square Park (28 comments)

Report: There's opposition to lowering the playground fences in Tompkins Square Park

Playground renovations underway in Tompkins Square Park

Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen will be open on Sunday

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen is getting ready to reopen after its customary summer break here on 33 E. Seventh St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square.

To that end, the basement cafe that helps generate income for the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church up the block on Seventh Street, will be serving on Sunday (Aug. 25) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular hours will be announced shortly. Until then, it's a good time to stock up on items like vareniki (Ukrainian dumplings) that are made with the help of volunteers every Friday (including today!) ...

Visit Streecha's Instagram account for daily specials and reopening details.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A visit to the Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen on 7th Street

Oh oh it's Magic: Signage arrives for the new 99¢ shop on Avenue A

[The OLD sign at 47 Avenue A]

The signage arrived yesterday for the mystery discount shop that opened at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street back on June 24.

The awning for the previous business, Avenue A Copy Center & Shipping Outlet, had remained above the storefront these past two months. No more, though. Please welcome 99¢ and Up Magic Deals to the neighborhood...

Upon its opening, we were told that this was a 99¢ shop ... though became naturally suspicious when most of the items we window shopped were clearly more expensive than 99¢.

This name offers plenty of wiggle room for the owners, said to be related to the nice folks who run Essex Card Shop at 39 Avenue A (as long as they actually have items for 99¢).

Anyway, as the new sign shows, the store carries a variety of housewares and toiletries. A further investigation is likely necessary.

Headline H/T

Your last weekly McDonald's update until next week

The under-renovation McDonald's on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street reopens on Monday, an employee told EVG McDonald's correspondent Steven.

The updated interior includes self-serve ordering kiosks and some uncomfortable looking stools...

This McDonald's outpost, which opened here in the early 1980s, closed for the upgrade back on July 29.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday's parting shot

Photo on St. Mark's Place today by Derek Berg...

Things that likely wouldn't have appeared on the front door when the previous tenants were here

[Photos by Steven]

Spotted on the front door of 77 E. Third St., which was until March the longtime home of the Hells Angels...

As previously reported, No. 77 has new owners (Better Living Properties), who plan to convert the building between First Avenue and Second Avenue into luxury rentals following a $2 million renovation. Preliminary renovation work is apparently underway at No. 77, which the Angels had in their possession since 1969.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Photo exclusive: Take a look inside the former Hells Angels clubhouse on 3rd Street

Grant Shaffer's NY See

Here's the latest NY See panel, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's observational sketch diary of things that he sees and hears around the neighborhood.

About the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park Sunday

[Carl Allen]

The 27th edition of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is underway ... and, as always, the grand finale takes place in the East Village.

Here's the lineup for the free show Sunday (Aug. 25) from 3-7 p.m. in Tompkins Square Park:

• Carl Allen's Art Blakey Tribute
• George Coleman Trio
• Fred Hersch
• Lakecia Benjamin

Per the official SummerStage program:

Carl Allen’s jazz bonafides are indisputable—as a young drummer out of William Paterson University he earned a spot in Freddie Hubbard’s band, and would go on to play with the saxophonists George Coleman and Phil Woods (among others), and serve as the Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. The quintet he brings to SummerStage — featuring Jeremy Pelt, JD Allen, Eric Reed, and Peter Washington — pays tribute to one of his heroes, the legendary drummer Art Blakey.

Allen is joined by NEA Jazz Master and one of the most respected musicians out of the hard-bop era George Coleman and his trio, the multiple Grammy Award nominee pianist Fred Hersch, who has been proclaimed as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz” by Vanity Fair, and the saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, who has played with the likes of Missy Elliot, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Macy Gray, the Roots and Anita Baker.

Here's what to expect from Carl Allen ... this clip is from the recent San José Jazz Summer Fest ...

Charlie Parker, who died in 1955 at age 34, lived at 151 Avenue B from 1950-54.

The sunflowers on the Bowery

We've been watching these sunflower plants grow this summer on the Bowery between Bond and Great Jones... not sure who has been tending to them, but thank you...

Khiladi debuts on Avenue B

Khiladi opened last night at 175 Avenue B and 11th Street.

The Times had a mini preview in Off the Menu:

Southern Indian fare like idli lentil nuggets, fried kingfish, chickpea puffs, and dosas with various fillings share the menu in this 60-seat spot with a few cross-cultural creations like an Indian chile dog and idli poutine. The chef and an owner, Sruthi Chowdary, has entered into a partnership with Godavari, a national chain of more than two dozen Southern Indian restaurants.

Eater noted that "the menu is inspired by Chowdary’s childhood meals as well as the street markets of Andhra Pradesh on India’s southeastern coast."

[Image via Instagram]

The space was previously home to Old Monk, which closed here at the beginning of the year after 18 months in service.

Beach day at the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run

The large dog run in Tompkins Square Park was briefly closed yesterday, as workers brought in new sand, as these photos via Steven show...

The dog run was open later ... and there were new hills to explore...

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

[Photo by Derek Berg]

Workers are expected to smooth out the mounds of sand today, which may prompt a brief closure...

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday's parting shot

Summertime scene today on St. Mark's Place via Derek Berg...

Wednesday's rainbow

EVG reader Danny shared this from Ninth Street this evening... you can just make out the outline of the second rainbow...

EVG Etc.: East Village Queer Film Festival in progress; Café Tabac in memoriam

[Early today on Broadway near Astor Place via Vinny & O]

• The East Village Queer Film Festival continues through Sunday at the Wild Project on 3rd Street (Official site ... feature at B+B)

• The failure of de Blasio's Vision Zero (Jalopnik ... H/T Streetsblog)

• A feature on SSHH, the design studio and creative event space on Sixth Street — "bringing back the weird in a city ruined by wealth" (AIGO Eye on Design ... previously on EVG)

• The fight over the 14th Street busway could determine NYC’s transit future (Curbed ... previously on EVG)

• The Post drops an editorial on the garbage trucks parked on 10th Street. "It’s yet another case of the city failing to do its basic job, while Mayor Bill de Blasio is off playing carnival games at state fairs and giving 'speeches' to near-empty rooms in his fantasy bid for the White House." (The Post ... previously on EVG)

• The oldest home in the East Village (Ephemeral New York)

• "Fashion’s so corporate these days, 'Desperately Seeking Susan' reminds us that clothing is a personal signifier of identity connected to place and time." (Vogue)

• Fong Inn Too makes a comeback in Chinatown (The Lo-Down)

• An oral history of Café Tabac (1992-1997) on 9th Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue (The Face)

• A recent evening with Christo (Laura Goggin Photography)

• In celebration of the 500th anniversary of Havana, the Anthology Film Archives joins forces with the Cuban Cultural Center of New York to offer a wide-ranging film series inspired by the city's history and culture (Official site)

• The sad state of Dean & DeLuca’s flagship shop on Broadway and Prince (Eater)

... and if you haven't seen it... Flye Lyfe — formerly a subway vendor — opened late last month at 434 E. 11th St. just west of Avenue A ... and selling T-shirts, hoodies, prints, etc. ...

And in Hump Day freebies, you can find the Nutmobile handing out "free food made with delicious Cheez Balls powder" today on Astor Place... Lola Sáenz spotted the Nutmobile en route ...

Veniero's to celebrate 125th anniversary on Sept. 23; free mini cannolis for all!

[Photos by Steven]

In case you want to plan ahead... Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffé, 342 E. 11th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue, is now promoting its 125th anniversary, taking place on Sept. 23...

Antonio Veniero founded the bakery at this address in 1894, as I first reported. You can find articles about the history of Veniero's — purveyors of the best cannolis and cheesecake in NYC??? — at this link... and this one.

Robert Zerilli is the fourth-generation current owner and great-nephew of Antonio Veniero.

And thanks to EVG regular Lola Saénz, who shared this photo in Friday morning's light...

The 1st Pangea Jazz Festival starts Friday

Pangea, the restaurant-supper club on Second Avenue (and an EVG favorite), is hosting its first-ever jazz festival starting Friday evening.

Here's a quick overview of what to expect via the EVG inbox...

The shows vary from sophisticated outré cabaret by the Downtown legend Joey Arias, to jazz vets like Joe Giglio and Keith Loftis, all the way to unexpected turns by tapper Felipe Galganni, and indie improvisers Plaster Cramp, and a number of new and newish groups like the David Stern Quartet, The Theory Conspiracy and Marty Isenberg’s The Wes Anderson Project.

Find ticket information and details on the nightly shows at this link. The festival runs through Aug. 31.

Pangea is located at 178 Second Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Ruby's Cafe marks their new 11th Street cafe

OK, so it's difficult to tell from these daytime photos... but the neon signage for Ruby's Cafe recently arrived outside 198 E. 11th St. at Third Avenue ...

As reported here last month, the Australian-inspired all-day cafe will be opening here this fall. CB3 OK'd a beer-wine license for them this month. (As for all day: Their hours on Mulberry Street are 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Not sure what their hours will be on 11th Street.)

Ruby's debuted in 2003 on Mulberry Street between Prince and Spring (they expanded next door in 2014) ... with an additional cafe on Third Avenue between 30th Street and 31st Street arriving in 2016.

This 11th Street space was last home to Martina, the pizzeria from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group that never caught on, closing this past March.

Numero 28 Pizzeria is closed until Aug. 26 for renovations

[Photo by @jeremyblock]

From the EVG inbox: Questions about Numero 28 Pizzeria on Second Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Workers are gutting the space. The restaurant, which serves Neapolitan pizza and a variety of traditional Italian dishes, is in the midst of a two-week closure.

The sign on the gate notes a reopening on Aug. 26...

[Bottom two photos via Harry Weiner]

Numero 28 Pizzeria, which opened in the East Village in late 2009, has multiple locations around NYC as well as one in Miami Beach and Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pete Wells visits Foxface

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

Late last year, East Village residents Ori Kushnir and Sivan Lahat opened Foxface, a small sandwich operation inside the William Barnacle Tavern at Theatre 80 on St. Mark's Place.

And for his latest review at the Times, Pete Wells pays a visit... and he liked what he found.

Lately I have fallen under the spell of an East Village restaurant called Foxface. The cooking there is hard to pin down, geographically. Stopping in a few weeks ago, I ate Low Countryish wild red shrimp on grits, with sweet corn off the cob and a potent saffron-lobster sauce. More recently, I had skinless pork sausage inspired by sai ua, the spicy and tangy specialty identified with the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. The soft tripe I enjoyed the other weekend had been simmered with ’nduja, the fiery and malleable Calabrian sausage, and then covered with a few thin shingles of shaved pecorino.

He also describes the unique (and small!) work environment in which Kushnir and Lahat create their sandwiches...

Like the fox in the logo, Ms. Lahat has coppery hair and wears cat’s-eye glasses. She prepares the orders in the room behind the window, which measures 48 square feet. Inside the building, under the stairs, Foxface has a second room. Mr. Kushnir thinks it could be as large as 14 square feet.

A variety of equipment is stowed in the two rooms, including three induction burners, a roaster, a smoker and a dishwasher. After business hours, some of it comes out as Mr. Kushnir supervises the more time-consuming roasts and stews. He describes the food that he and Ms. Lahat cook as “dishes we like to eat, reimagined as sandwiches.”

In the end, the review reads a lot more positively than you might think for one star (it is a NYT Critic's Pick).

Meanwhile, read our Q-and-A with the owners at the link below...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Longtime East Village residents open Foxface, now serving sandwiches at Theater 80

H/T Steven!

St. Dymphna's opens in new home on Avenue A this Thursday

[Photo from Sunday]

The new location of St. Dymphana's officially opens Thursday (Aug. 22) at 117 Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place. Doors open at 4 p.m.

As we previously reported, this is an encore presentation for the Irish-style pub, which closed on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue last fall after 24 years in service. The new team includes previous owner Eric Baker, Brendan McElroy, proprietor of Dr. Brendan Mac Repair on St. Mark's Place, and a "St. Dymphna's family member."

Baker told me this about SD2 in March:

"I would not say we are trying to replicate the original space into the new one at all. Our goal is to honor the original while letting the new space dictate to us what it should be. Our goal is to recreate the community and cultural atmosphere, which is much more to important to us than architecture. We will be honoring the old space but this is much more of a reincarnation than replication."

Meanwhile, the former location on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue remains for rent... and available for taggers...

The rent is $15,000 per month, according to a listing at LoopNet.

Previously on EV Grieve:
St. Dymphna's eyeing a return engagement, this time at 117 Avenue A

Reincarnations: St. Dymphna's set to return late spring-early summer on Avenue A