Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday's parting shot

Black Friday, and we had the first fake snow sighting of the season... crews for "Tick, Tick... Boom!" — a musical drama directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda based on the semi-autobiographical musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson — are back on Forth Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery. (The cast includes Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Vanessa Hudgens, Judith Light and Bradley Whitford.)

Photo today by Derek Berg.

A slice of 'Life'

Last weekend, after an ill-advised doomscroll, I was feeling a little down... walking along Avenue A, a cyclist went by with a speaker attached to his messenger bag. This song by the Damned was playing... which I hadn't heard in years. A fleeting moment that lifted my mood. From the under-appreciated Strawberries LP from 1982, this is "Life Goes On."

Oh look at the opossum in Tompkins Square Park

An EVG reader shared these photos from Tompkins Square Park today ... where an opossum was spotted lurking in some holly bushes... right there!
Nearly three years have passed since our last opossum sighting here (whatever happened to Nicodemus Punch Sugarpop aka Parachute ChingChing Yanoonoo aka Opie...?) 

Updated 7:30 p.m. 

Steven and Eden had a sighting this evening...
Previously on EV Grieve:
• The opossum has pretty much made Tompkins Square Park her/his home now

• The opossum of Tompkins Square Park — now on video

• Opossum where art thou?

• Opossum drama in Tompkins Square Park

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 and NYC...

A break in at Popeyes

The NYPD is at the Popeyes location on First Avenue between Second Street and Third Street this morning... after a report of a break in here...
As you can see, someone smashed in the front door. 

According to the Citizen app at 6:49 a.m., "two suspects reporteldy fled from the scene on foot." It's not known at the moment if anything was taken. 

The fried-chicken franchise opened here on Oct. 17.

A visit to Hello Banana Vintage

Vintage veteran Bailey Leiter has opened her very first shop... Hello Banana Vintage — named from a Tommy James and the Shondells song, "I Am a Tangerine" — debuted last weekend at 156 First Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.
Bailey got the space via Amy Van Doran when she closed Modern Love Club last month. Turns out She used to live in an East Village building owned by the same landlord as 156 First Ave. So she has a good working relationship with them and is excited to be open. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the well-curated shop for a look around...
The shop is open Tuesday-Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Follow Hello Banana on Instagram here

There won't be an official SantaCon this year

SantaCon, set to terrorize NYC again on Dec. 12, is officially off, organizers announced on their website this week.

In the usual tone-deaf humor that has been a hallmark of SantaCon through the years, the announcement (screengrab above) reads in part: "All of the reindeer got the 'rona, so the elves have advised Santa to hold off on the in-person merriment."

The announcement also reads "there is no official SantaCon in 2020," leaving open the potential for unofficial Santa pub crawls this holiday season.

In any event, SantaCon organizers offer alternatives to "spread merriment (not infection) this year." Suggestions include donating to Helping Hearts NYC and, more on brand, playing a drinking game to "light up your holiday spirit like Rudolph's suspiciously red nose."

Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Thanksgiving feast for neighbors in need at the East Village Community Fridge

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

This morning, a few dozen volunteers got together to prepare and serve Thanksgiving holiday meals to those in need at the East Village Community Fridge, located at S’MAC on the northwest corner of First Avenue and 12th Street.

East Village residents cooked, wrapped, labeled and bagged homemade meals while local restaurateurs Jill and Kimo Hing of San Loco and Marco Canora of Hearth provided additional supplies and assistance. 

Spearheaded by organizers Diane Hatz of East Village Neighbors mutual aid group and Sarita and Caesar Ekya of S’MAC, this effort fed more than 75 individuals and families. 

Says Sarita, “Today is a wonderful day for many and a yet also terribly lonely and hard day for many. We wanted to bring some joy through food to those who otherwise wouldn’t get that. Isn’t that what true community is all about?” 

Diane added, “The pandemic has really brought out a sense of community in the East Village. Every day I see more and more neighbors dropping things off at the fridge, and more and more local businesses are donating items and even hosting fundraisers. Most people who donate to the fridge drop off a few items as they go by, and others are stopping to take a few things they need. This really is a collective community effort.” 

Today’s bagged meals included items like turkey and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted veggies, cornbread, green bean casserole, shortbread cookies, and slices of pie. 

Masks were also provided to those who needed them. If you are interested in making a donation to the Community Fridge, then you can bring labeled, wrapped food by anytime or make a cash donation here.
Community Fridge organizer Diane Hatz ...
Marco Canora of Hearth...
Kimo Hing of San Loco with Jill Hing's homebaked cornbread, cranberry loaves, and pumpkin chocolate chip bread ...
and Jill Hing's pecan chocolate homemade pie ...

ABC Special: Pinc Louds edition

ABC News has a feature today on local busking sensations Pinc Louds, which you can read (and listen to!) right here

The piece is titled "New York City buskers look back on a pandemic summer." 

Music blogger Charley Crespo shared this familiar sentiment about the band:
"[Pinc Louds] pretty much saved the summer in downtown Manhattan by playing in Tompkins Square Park two or three times a week. They were probably the first. Their music is energizing. It was exciting and for anybody who passed through the park, it was just the most wonderful experience to hear live music again."
And here's a quote from lead singer Claudi about playing in Tompkins Square Park:
"You got all the weird, crazy people, and you got familie. It's just like a wonderful mix of people, all kinda getting by, you know? Sometimes with a little bit of friction — but it's that friction that makes life more special right? And it makes it more New York."
Meanwhile, you can catch Claudi playing tomorrow (Friday!) evening from 6-8 outside B-side on Avenue B... and the full band Saturday in Tompkins Square Park from noon to 3 p.m.

Photo of Claudi from August by Stacie Joy

Previously on EV Grieve:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gallery Watch: NYNY2020 by Melissa Brown at Derek Eller Gallery

 Text and photos by Clare Gemima 

NYNY2020 by Melissa Brown 
Derek Eller Gallery300 Broome St.

Melissa Brown's work is an equally refreshing and dystopian take on the year of severe global chaos.

The upheaval of all normalcy has forced us to take a step back — can we even remember how we lived before the pandemic wiped out our rituals and routines? What has COVID-19 made us bereft of or even worse, adapt to? 

NYNY2020 highlights the beauty in the banal and takes viewers into atmospheres that seem so out of reach in 2020. 

Zoom, New York’s subway system and famous art museums are subjects shown glorified throughout Derek Eller Gallery’s latest show. It was the first space I had visited that had more than two people in it. All wearing masks of course, but the irony of the work's commentary rang true during my physical encounter at the gallery. 

How do we safely look at art anymore? Especially when these seemingly cheerful paintings take a while to figure out. 

Brown’s distortional collages are created with layers of oil paint, stencil, airbrush and screen printed digital photography that undulate with reflective mark makings and contrasting textures. Brown’s use of light is also unique as it ranges from natural to digital, illustrating how ubiquitous the glare of a screen has become for us as our world turns increasingly virtual. 

NYNY2020 is somewhat of an optical illusion in that it turns ordinary objects into surreal terrains. The intimacy of portraying commuting, being in an office or heading to a virtual work meeting displays the new set of demands our society faces, particularly in what was once the world’s epicenter.

Another interesting feature of the work is that it occasionally involves a human hand, suggesting that this work is in fact about us. Our consumption, our surveillance, our addiction to our cellular devices. The world is still in our hands during this pandemic, but the way in which we see and control it will be altered tremendously ... and forever. 

This show is so uncomfortably relevant that it is almost scary to think how else 2020 in New York City will be depicted in the future. Melissa Browns work forces you to slow down, to stop and think about this year and to understand our home with an entirely different appreciation.

NYNY2020 by Melissa Brown is showing at Derek Eller Gallery until Dec. 19

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ 

Clare Gemima is a visual artist from New Zealand. New-ish to the East Village, she spends her time as an artist assistant and gallery go-er, hungry to explore what's happening in her local art world. You can find her work here: 

Giving thanks at the Mariana Bracetti Plaza

This past Saturday, the proprietors of bar-restaurant the Cabin NYC on Fourth Street, Joey Aponte and his brother, chef Dennis Aponte, paid a surprise visit to the Mariana Bracetti Plaza

The brothers, along with local entrepreneur Freaky Frige, donated more than 20 turkeys to the residents here on Third Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

The Apontes, who grew up in the Vladek Houses, were planning do to several other surprise turkey drop-offs in other public housing complexes on the LES.

"It feels good to give back to people in need from my neighborhood, the Lower East Side," Frige told EVG contributor Stacie Joy, who shared these photos. "I love my hood."

Max Fish says farewell to 120 Orchard St.; new outpost planned

As expected, Max Fish has closed its location at 120 Orchard St. between Rivington and Delancey. 

The bar had not been open since July, and rumors circulated that this was it. In October, reps for the company that runs Grey Lady and Short Stories appeared before CB3 for a new liquor license for the space, as BoweryBoogie previously reported

Yesterday, Max Fish posted the official closing announcement on Instagram, though they vow to return again one day:
This is not the end of Max Fish by any means. In the meantime while we look for a new location we will be working on our webstore, collaborations, and participating in pop up events. We look forward to seeing you at our new location in better times! 
Thank you all for your love and support. We’d also like to shout out bar and service family and friends throughout the city, best wishes to everyone, please stay safe. These have been hard times for all of us. Hopefully we’ll see all of you sooner than later! 

From The Max Fish Family

This was the second iteration of Max Fish, the second on the Lower East Side. The bar opened here in August 2014... this after 24 years at 178 Ludlow St. 

Higher rents caused them to move out to Williamsburg after the Ludlow Street original closed in July 2013. However, those plans for a bar in Brooklyn never materialized. 

So here's to Max Fish 3.0.

Previously on EV Grieve:

A Thanksgiving without Odessa

This is the first time in nearly 13 years of EVG history where we haven't hyped up the Thanksgiving special at Odessa five or 10 times by this date in November. (Please see the link farm at the end of the post.)

As you know, the diner, dating to the mid-1960s here on Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place, closed in July. Longtime manager Dennis Vassilatos said that Odessa was shutting down after a prolonged slump in business due to COVID-19.

Closer to the last day, however, co-owner Steve Helios told Gothamist that Odessa was only closing temporarily, that the space would be renovated. (The building's landlord is Odessa partner Mike Skulikidis.)

To date, four months later, no work has been done on the space... here's a look inside this week...
As for Thanksgiving... through the years they stuck with a winning offering — glass of wine, cup of cream of turkey soup, etc. And pricing — and signage! — for the Complete Dinner remained unchanged since 2014, when management bumped the meal from $15.95 to $18.95.
We are thankful for all the meals that we enjoyed at Odessa through the years. Perhaps we'll see another Odessa bounty next year.

Tree Riders pulling onto 2nd Avenue

The Tree Riders are prepping their holiday home outside St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery here on Second Avenue between 10th Street and 11th Street... they'll be starting their 10th season selling Christmas trees and wreaths, etc., at this spot starting on Friday. 

Updated 8:30 a.m. 

The tree stand is now up along Houston at Essex/Norfolk too...

Greenwich Marketplace coming to this 4th Avenue storefront

Signage is up on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and 12th Street for Greenwich Marketplace (thanks Doug for the photos!)...
Based on that banner, it looks to be a deli with sandwiches, smoothies, salads... and cheesecake. 

The previous tenant, the PokéSpot, officially closed this past summer after four years. Before that, we had a Subway (sandwich shop) here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tuesday's parting shot

A view from Astor Place late this afternoon via Vinny & O...