Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tuesday's parting shot

An EVG reader shared this from an unnamed East Village community garden ... "the sky and trees on the surface of the pond makes it look like the turtle is swimming in the sky. She is my favorite turtle in the neighborhood — very curious and frisky."

A sticky situation this morning at the Keith Haring sculpture on Astor Place

Photo by Lola Sáenz 

A new day dawned at the Keith Haring's "Self Portrait" on Astor Place at Third Avenue ... with stickers (featuring a QR code for some film project) all over the sculpture ... 

[Updated with video of the crash] Another day, another car drives into Tompkins Square Park

The NYPD was on the scene early this morning after someone attempted to drive a car through Tompkins Square Park before crashing into a fence. 

Christopher J. Ryan took these photos at 5:48 a.m. ...
The working assumption is that the car entered the Park on Ninth Street and Avenue A ... and headed east before colliding with a fence just past the dog run. 

At this point, we don't have any other details, such as the condition of the driver or the number of passengers.

On Sunday morning, a man drove into the Park after allegedly hitting a female companion and sparring with people who came to her aid.

Updated 9:13 a.m. 

Here's a look at the collision site... given the skid marks and impact at the benches, observers believe the driver was speeding...
Thank you to the folks at the Tompkins Square Dog Run for the photo.

Updated 10:30 a.m. 

A reader shared this surveillance footage of the car driving at a high rate of speed and smashing into the benches and fence...

 

Here's a second video from the reader... showing the aftermath of the crash. Several people in the Park confront the driver, the man in shorts and a ponytail, and take his keys... and wait for the NYPD... the video does not show what happened after the police arrived and what, if anything, may have happened to the driver...

  

VIDEO: Watch the Nissan Sentra drive through Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning

Updated with comment from the NYPD below.

We've received a 25-second video clip of the driver taking several laps in Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning.

As previously reported, a man, possibly late 20s to early 30s, and a woman were seen arguing in the Park just before 11 a.m. Both the man and the woman are known to hang out near the chess tables in Tompkins.

According to witnesses, the man grabbed a shovel from a Parks maintenance truck and hit the woman multiple times. (It's not known the extent of her injuries.) One Park regular described this as "a crime of passion" to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. Per the regular: "I mean, she owed him money and whatever but like damn. A shovel?"

A group of men sitting nearby rushed to her defense and chased the shovel-wielding attacker from Tompkins. 

Witnesses said the man returned in a few minutes driving a Nissan Sentra with Pennsylvania plates. (Our previous post has info about traffic citations associated with this vehicle.) He entered the Park, which was hosting the weekly Greenmarket, at Seventh Street and Avenue A, "going down different rows while everyone is diving out of the way," as one witness described it. Witnesses believe he was looking for the men who had confronted him.

The person who shared this video shot it from Temperance Fountain. The clip starts with the car slowing down (with the hazard lights flashing) before revving up and taking another lap. 

Witness estimates put the driver in the Park between 1 and 2 minutes total. "Hard to describe how terrified people were for however short a time that was," one witness told us.

   

Before the man drove into Tompkins, he was seen — with a torn T-shirt and missing shoe — getting into the car with a woman who was also in the Park. (It's unclear if this was the same woman he allegedly hit with the shovel.) Witnesses said he drove the wrong way on St. Mark's Place toward First Avenue before turning around and making a right onto Avenue A, where he went in circles under the traffic light at Seventh Street before entering the Park. 

The NYPD arrived (along with a truck from FDNY Engine 5 on 14th Street) after the man had driven through Tompkins. He was stopped on Avenue A near St. Mark's Place. There's speculation the car broke down. 

To the disbelief of some onlookers, the man was not charged and walked away after spending some time talking with officers from the 9th Precinct. According to a resident who watched the police on the scene on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place: "One thing I noticed was that the police didn't seem interested in witness accounts."

We've talked with witnesses who saw the man allegedly hit the woman with the shovel... drive the car up St. Mark's Place and along Avenue A before entering the Park... and maneuver his way through the Park. No one we spoke with saw the entire incident from beginning to end. 

Witnesses described a confusing, chaotic and scary few minutes in the Park. Witnesses who saw any part of this unfold said that there were amazed no one was injured and shocked that the driver wasn't arrested.  

As of last evening, the car was still sitting on Avenue A at St. Mark's Place...
The car also received a ticket yesterday morning ...
... for "failure to display parking meter receipt" and "no expiration date on plate or elsewhere." Fine amount: $65.

Updated 8 p.m. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy asked a source at the 9th Precinct for a comment on what happened in Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning. 

"The event in the Park was a result of a dispute between the car owner, who was with his female friend, and another group of men who robbed the car owner. The car owner tried to get back his belongings from the robbers but he was jumped ... The robbers chased him with a shovel and in the process, he got into the car to run away from them. He proceeded to drive into the Park — not knowing it is a Park because he is not from the neighborhood," the source said. "So far the owner of the car and his girlfriend were the victim of a crime and the complaint is still being worked on by the detectives. So there is still an ongoing investigation." 

The current NYPD storyline is at odds with what multiple residents said they saw transpire. According to several witnesses, the driver of the car allegedly hit his girlfriend with a shovel before a group of men intervened. Witnesses said they also have seen the man in the Park on several occasions.

Love Thy Beast departing 5th Street for Brooklyn

Love Thy Beast, the 5-year-old dog boutique at 300 E. Fifth St. just east of Second Avenue, is moving next month to a larger (by 4x) space in Williamsburg (thanks to Steven for the photos)...
In an Instagram post, owner Tiziana Agnello wrote:  
There are many happy tears as I am looking back to all our photos. We put in so much hard work setting up the east village but after 5 years its time to move on. There are so many amazing surprises in store for our Brooklyn location that we know you'll be there on the regular.
Agnello, a former prop stylist, started selling her homemade creations online and in several pop-up locations back in 2012 ... before opening here in the spring of 2017. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

About the 188 Allen St. Takeover this week

Over the next few nights, #0H10m1keandfriends are hosting bands and sticker artists at 188 Allen St. between Houston and Stanton... 
The "Art Garage" (aka 188 Allen St. Outpost) arrived outside CheeseGrille here several weeks ago (and coinciding with a new mural above the restaurant by @SacSix). 

You can read more about what to expect here over the next five nights at this link.

Volunteer litter cleanup around Tompkins Square Park scheduled for Thursday

Here's an opportunity to pitch in and help pick up litter in Tompkins Square Park — thanks to a large rat! 

Jonothon Lyons, creator of Buddy the Rat, is launching a community litter clean initiative called "Buddy's Brigade: Litter Exterminators." 

Lyons and NYC entrepreneur Michael Quinn are hosting a series of volunteer community litter cleanups around New York City with material resource support from the Department of Sanitation.

The first cleanup will be around the perimeter of Tompkins Square Park this Thursday (Aug. 18) at 5 p.m. 

Volunteers can meet at the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A on Thursday. You don't need to bring anything: Quinn said that the Department of Sanitation will be supplying all of the necessary resources and equipment. They will also be coming back to pick up the trash, he said.

On 12th Street, Hi Noona says goodbye

Photo from last summer for EVG by Stacie Joy

After a year of serving unique Korean-influenced juices, smoothies and small menu items, Stella Pak has decided to close Hi Noona at 515 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Pak made the announcement on the shop's Instagram account
I have the deepest gratitude and love for the beautiful people I've met and the lessons I've learned in this space. My intention with Hi Noona was to explore my identity of what it means to be Korean American through the lens of health and food. 

Looking back on my explorations, I'm proud to say I've fulfilled that intention and will continue to do so through different expressions. 
Moving forward, she'll be working at Noona Noodles, her family's restaurant on West 32nd Street. 

In her 12 months on the block, she made a positive impression on those around her. On the Instagram post, she received good wishes from several nearby businesses, including All The Kings Horses Cafe, the East Village Vintage Collective and SLCT Stock NYC, who wrote: "the best neighbors we could ever ask for!"

Days of wine and closures

On Friday, workers removed the Wine Shop letters from the now-closed Trader Joe's Wine Shop on 14th Street near Irving Place...
As previously reported, the company abruptly shut the doors to the only Trader Joe's Wine Shop in New York State this past Thursday after 15 years in the retail space of NYU's Palladium Hall ... surprising patrons and staff in the process. 

The closure prompted a surprising amount of nostalgia for the shop, many related to buying bottles of Two Buck Chuck ... to spurring some existential crises, as one Twitter user asked, likely rhetorically: "Why God, why????"

It sounds like a Trader Joe's Wine Shop will return someday and somewhere. The signage on the door mentioned that. And in an email to staff, management stated (in part):

It is now time for us to explore another location that will allow us to optimize the potential of our one and only license to sell wine in the state of New York. In addition, the space currently used for the wine shop will be used to improve the overall operations of store 540, our grocery store in Union Square. 

Read the letter sent to employees at 12:01 a.m. here

A few readers got a jump on suggesting new locations for the shop, such as at the Trader's Joe's on 14th Street near Avenue A... 
... which won't work. For starters, it's not really centrally located... and, importantly. there isn't any available retail space in the building.

For people who shopped at Trader Joe's Wine Shop, there were also discussions about wine-store alternatives in the neighborhood. There are several solid choices around here... which will be for a good future post. 

A smoke shop for this block of 4th Street

The Green Apple Smoke Shop is now open on Fourth Street just west of Avenue B... in a long vacant storefront (previous tenants, some years back, included a hair salon and psychic).

The local smoke shop openings seem to be averaging about 2-3 a month of late...

H/T Stacie Joy!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Reader report: A chaotic scene as man drives car into Tompkins Square Park; no arrests

Reader-submitted photo

Updated 8/16: We posted a video of the car in the Park here. Updated with comment from the NYPD below.

--

An EVG reader described a chaotic and frightening few minutes this morning in Tompkins Square Park just before 11. 

The reader was sitting in a car on Seventh Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. Inside the Park, just past the recently barricaded chess tables, a sanitation truck from the Parks Department was stopped while workers were collecting trash. 

According to the reader, a man grabbed one of the shovels off the back of the truck "and started beating a woman who was sitting on the bench screaming 'don't tell me how to handle my woman.'"

Several men sitting nearby jumped to the woman's defense, chasing away the attacker. Moments later, the man entered the Park in a car — "a gray/silver sedan, maybe a Nissan" — at the entrance to Seventh Street and Avenue A, "going down different rows while everyone is diving out of the way." 

Another EVG reader told us this: "He drove into the Park right in front of me across from Niagara. He was moving fast." 

The first reader said the car made a few passes up and down the rows of benches and weaved around Temperance Fountain before exiting again on Seventh and A. The vehicle eventually stopped on Avenue A near St. Mark's Place. There's speculation that the car broke down.
It's not immediately clear if the man was arrested. The second EVG reader said police let the man walk away. There are no further details available at this time. 

Thankfully, despite a busy Park day with the Greenmarket set up along Avenue A, there weren't any reports of injuries. (We don't know the condition of the woman who was hit with the shovel. Witnesses said an ambulance was in the Park.)

"I have no idea how no one was hurt, but it seems like everyone was OK," the first reader said.

Updated 6 p.m.

I was walking in Tompkins Square this morning when a man drove his car through the park, narrowly missing people, going after the men who'd just beat him up. People fled. Witnesses said the man got beat up because he was beating a woman with a shovel, so hard the shovel head broke off the handle. Other witnesses said he beat the woman with the shovel because she stole from him. The cops talked to the man, and when they didn't arrest him, witnesses were outraged. One man on a bike, who'd nearly been run over, went to the man with the car and got an apology from him — they shook hands and made up. "That's the code," said the man on the bike, meaning the code of the street. 
Updated 8/15, 12:06 a.m. 

From a reader... the car that witnesses said was used to drive through the Park was still parked on Avenue A last night...
According to @HowsMyDrivingNY, the Pennsylvania plate has a total of 10 parking and camera violation tickets — all issued in the Bronx in 2020 — that resulted in $1,264.03 in fines. 

2 | Bus Lane Violation 1 | Blocking Crosswalk
1 | School Zone Speed Camera Violation 
1 | Front Or Back Plate Missing 
1 | No Standing - Day/Time Limits 
1 | No Parking - Day/Time Limits 
1 | No Parking - Street Cleaning 
1 | No Standing - Bus Stop 
1 | Double Parking

Updated 8/16 8 p.m. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy asked a source at the 9th Precinct for a comment on what happened in Tompkins Square Park on Sunday morning. 

"The event in the Park was a result of a dispute between the car owner, who was with his female friend, and another group of men who robbed the car owner. The car owner tried to get back his belongings from the robbers but he was jumped ... The robbers chased him with a shovel and in the process, he got into the car to run away from them. He proceeded to drive into the Park — not knowing it is a Park because he is not from the neighborhood," the source said. "So far the owner of the car and his girlfriend were the victim of a crime and the complaint is still being worked on by the detectives. So there is still an ongoing investigation." 

The current NYPD storyline is at odds with what multiple residents said they saw transpire. According to several witnesses, the driver of the car allegedly hit his girlfriend with a shovel before a group of men intervened. Witnesses said they also have seen the man in the Park on several occasions.

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo from Cooper Square Friday evening by Carol from East 5th Street) ... 

• Help for Chino Garcia (Friday

• The Trader Joe's Wine Shop on Union Square has permanently shuttered (Thursday) ... Here's the midnight email that employees of the Trader Joe's Wine Shop received about the closing on Union Square (Friday

• A visit to Aliens of Brooklyn on 9th Street (Thursday)

• On 5th Street, some residents say they want green space and not senior housing (Monday, 84 comments) 

• Cafe Mocha, destroyed by fire in 2020, is reopening in a new East Village location (Monday

• East Village cafe AO Bowl closes, owner blames Sen. Schumer (Monday

• A memorial for Jack the cat on 7th Street (Wednesday

• A look at the remaining red-tailed hawk fledgling in Tompkins Square Park (Tuesday

• TabeTomo owners have new venture planned for St. Mark's Place (Tuesday

• El Primo Red Tacos primed for 151 Avenue A (Wednesday

• Here's info about a Virtual Rat Academy for East Village business owners, gardeners and residents (Tuesday)

• Signage alerts: Hi-Note on Avenue B; Le Burger on 5th Street (Wednesday

• iSouvlaki has closed on 12th Street (Thursday

• Today in iconic hotel awning sightings (Monday)

• Manhattan Marketplace coming soon to 1st Avenue and 12th Street (Monday

• [solidcore] bringing the pilates to 14th Street (Monday

• 5 years later, signs of progress at 180 2nd Ave. (Wednesday

• Seeing (Empanada Mama) red on 14th Street and 1st Avenue (Thursday

 ... and earlier this summer, a Janovic Paint & Decorating Center opened at the former Duane Reade on Third Avenue and 18th Street... we missed that the company closed the outpost on Fourth Avenue near 10th Street... 
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Sunday's opening shot

In recent weeks, some folks have been creating this NYC streetscape mural on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B (near Minca) ... not sure who's doing it (the piece is not signed) and if it's complete yet... seems as if new details are added every few days.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Saturday's parting shots (aka, squirrel plays possum in Tompkins Square Park)

Photos by Steven 

Earlier today, some Tompkins Square Parkgoers were concerned that the squirrel in the tree (above!) had died... But! In a moment, the squirrel rolled over and opened its eyes...
Updated:

Thanks to the readers for pointing this out... wasn't sure if splooting occurred in trees as well...

A special screening of 'Grease' at Village East in honor of the late Olivia Newton-John

The Village East by Angelika on Second Avenue and 12th Street is screening "Grease" on Monday night in a tribute to Olivia Newton-John, who died this past week at age 73. 

The classic 1978 musical plays at 7 p.m. in the theater's large auditorium (aka Jaffe Art Theatre).

You can buy advance tickets here.

Coffee talk

As seen outside the recently opened Blank Street coffee on First Avenue and 13th Street...
"Caffeine [or caffiene] is a drug! And expensive shit. Smoke pot. Ha! ha!"

Caturday's news: 'Bad Pussies' mural tagged on 3rd Street

In the last day or two someone tagged (defaced?) the "Bad Pussies" mural on Third Street at Avenue B... The mural has been here since at least 2007 (the earlier Google Street View goes back) ... and some previous EVG coverage here.

Summer Streets Saturday No. 2 TODAY

Today is another Summer Streets day ... in which nearly seven miles of NYC roadways are closed to vehicles for people to run, walk, bike, reflect on all the good in the world, etc. 

As you likely know, this car-free zone includes Lafayette, Astor Place and Fourth Avenue from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

You can find more details about Summer Streets at this link.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Friday's parting shot(s)

Photos by Stacie Joy 

We're just admiring the newly painted and looking fine and fresh checkouts at Key Food on Avenue A and Fourth Street... still, the checkouts are on the list to be replaced in the ongoing Key renovation period ...

The live music in Tompkins Square Park tomorrow (Saturday!)

A good lineup of bands tomorrow (Saturday!) afternoon in Tompkins Square Park... with Claudi from Pinc Louds headling a slate that includes InCircles and Jade Tourniquet ... plus Datapool and Two-Man Giant Squid. Show times listed from 1:45 to 6.