Saturday, July 20, 2024

Saturday's parting shot

A view of Grace Church on 10th Street, where Broadway bends to the south-southeast. 

What's the scaffolding about? Per the church's Instagram account two weeks ago:
Restorations have begun in the south nave of the church, which is badly damaged from years of water infiltration. Over the next few months, you will see scaffolding inside and outside of the church as we work to restore the sanctuary and address the source of the leaks. We have tented the scaffolding and plan to vent the dust to the outside, so services will continue as usual.

ICYMI: Those Link5G towers that don't have 5G

A good morning from 12th and A

In a links roundup on Tuesday, we linked to items at Gothamist and Curbed about those Link5G towers around the city. 

However, only two of the nearly 200 towers installed since 2022 have been fitted with 5G equipment. 

Some cutting-and-pasting from Gothamist: 
The 32-foot-tall structures, which resemble giant tampon applicators emerging from the sidewalk, offer the same services as the LinkNYC electronic billboards that popped up around the city in 2016. Those were also installed by CityBridge. Both the original Link kiosks and the 5G towers provide free limited-range Wi-Fi, charging outlets and a tablet to connect users to city services. Data shared by the company shows that 16 million people have used the internet at kiosks since 2016, and the attached tablets are used to call for city services thousands of times each month. 
But unlike the LinkNYC kiosks, each new tower is topped with a 12-foot-tall cylindrical mesh chamber containing five empty shelves reserved for companies like Verizon and T-Mobile to store the equipment they use to transmit high-speed 5G internet service to paying customers. 

CityBridge officials concede the 5G expansion's rollout has been slow, mirroring a similar experience the company had with the kiosk installation nearly a decade ago. 
We heard from several readers about these 5G stories and are reposting here ICYMI. 

Another reader mentioned the petition launched to remove the 32-foot-tall 5G tower at 129 Avenue C and Eighth Street. 

There are three towers in the East Village: Eighth and C, 12th and A, and Second and Second. A map with the Gothamist story shows three more proposed sites for 5G Towers here: 37 Avenue B, 229 Avenue B and 135 E. Houston St. 

And from previous EVG coverage on May 30:

The Avenue C Block Association is urging the city to remove the 32-foot tall 5G tower that arrived in late April at 129 Avenue C between Eighth Street and Ninth Street. 

According to the group's recently launched petition
This tower is unnecessarily large and obtrusive and presents a jarring contrast with the low-rise tenement streetscape of the neighborhood. Avenue C has a narrow sidewalk, which is already crowded with pedestrian traffic, strollers, wheelchairs, trash cans, and numerous sidewalk cafes. The tower was installed only twelve feet away from the residential apartment building directly behind it, and negatively impacts the view of the street, and the historic urban landscape of the East Village. There has to be a better way to deliver technology in Manhattan that is less brutal in design. 
The group also points out the "potential adverse or long-term health effects of living or working in close proximity to these towers." 

Find the petition to city officials here

As amNY reported in 2022: 
The new structures are operated as a public-private partnership by consortium CityBridge, and are a revamp of the old 10-foot kiosks the firm set up under former Mayor Bill de Blasio starting in 2015 with free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, a tablet, a 911 button, and calling capabilities. 
The first 32-foot tower arrived in the East Village in August 2022 on Second Avenue at First Street ... then another on Avenue A at 12th Street

There has been political opposition to the 5G towers. Read more about Village Preservation's advocacy here.

About the No B Festival today

The No B Festival takes place today on Avenue B between 13th Street and 14th Street. 

From 4-8 p.m., in no particular order, Block Party-goers will find live music, food and drinks, raffles and prizes, and some local vendors. 

Nearby local vendors participating include Mona's, Revision Lounge, and the East Village Vintage Collective


A reader noted another block party on B today... between 10th and 11th...

Saturday's opening shot

Someone tagged a window at the new office building going up at 1-3 St Mark's Place at Third Avenue. Somone also called 911 to report it last night, per the Citizen app.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Friday's parting shot

Friday night prep work from Avenue A and Sixth Street...

Put into 'Practice'


The L.A.-based trio Julie sees the release of its debut record, My Anti-Aircraft Friend, on Sept. 13.

Ahead of that, the band released this single-video for "Clairbourne Practice" that showcases its take on experimental dream pop. 

Julie plays Webster Hall on Oct. 22... unfortunately, this is not one of the shows with locals Hello Mary on the bill.

Police: Turf war over drug trade cause of last week's deadly shooting in Tompkins Square Park

Photo (from July 12) by Stacie Joy
Reporting by Stacie Joy 

According to the police and media accounts, the victim, 74-year-old Fermin Frito, was selling drugs at the chess tables inside the 7th and A entrance when a suspect shot him and another man, 44-year-old Edwin Rivera, just before 10 a.m. 

"This is a targeted attack against a perceived drug rival," an NYPD source told us. The source went on to say that this is what happens if you engage in drug activity ... if you are buying or dealing and emphasized that the rest of the Park is safe, including the playgrounds. 

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny told reporters that Rivera was allegedly a "steerer" who directed potential clients to Frito. Kenny also said that two crews are fighting over the drug trade in Tompkins, as the Daily News noted. 

ABC 7 reported that Frito, who has 13 prior arrests, was stabbed in East Flatbush last month. Police are looking into any possible connection to the TSP shooting.

Our NYPD source said that the fact the police haven't released information about the alleged shooter means they have a pretty good idea who the suspect is and are trying to apprehend him without interference. 

The chess tables will be closed behind barricades, as they've been after previous bouts of violence. Our source said this is a short-term solution, and between this and 14th Street, the NYPD will need other city agencies to assist.

10th Street tree freed from death by concrete

311 worked!

On July 6, we noted that a tree outside 85 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue was entombed in concrete. 

EVG reader Ron, who shared the initial tip and the photo above, saw workers remove the concrete from the tree well on Wednesday. One of the workers said the building had received a fine.

As a reminder... from the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation website... in the tree pit section: 
A city tree must battle many urban hazards daily — from air pollution and bicycles to dogs and people. In addition to above-ground threats, tree roots also must contend with tough below-ground conditions. A tree pit or lawn strip provides limited space for these forest giants, and this soil is a tree's only source of nutrients. Because of this, it is essential to create as nurturing a tree pit as possible. 
Previously on EV Grieve

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Thursday's parting shot

The resident red-tailed hawks of Tompkins Square Park, Amelia and Christo, take in tonight's sunset from atop St. Brigid's on Avenue B and Eighth Street... thanks to Ben Lebovitz for the photo...

Large branch down in Tompkins Square Park

Unfortunately, last night's crazy-ass storm brought down a big Elm branch over the chess tables inside the 7th and A entrance to Tompkins Square Park. 

Goggla, who shared these photos, reports this SW corner of the Park is roped off. 
There's no word of any injuries. 

The chess tables have been barricaded off and under NYPD watch since the deadly double shooting here last Friday.

14th Street residents looking for solutions for the congregating e-bike delivery workers

While 14th Street has been in the news recently, some residents hope the city will also pay attention to a different block. 

According to residents on the south side of 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue, for several months, there has been a steady increase in e-bike delivery workers congregating as they wait to fulfill deliveries. (Residents acknowledged that this situation isn't unique to this EV block or even neighborhood.) 

According to one resident who lives in a building here, "they are brazenly driving on the sidewalks, littering and congesting the walkways for residents, and blocking entrances to local businesses." 

The resident went on to say that "the problem has gotten substantially worse." Despite filing complaints with 311 and calling the 9th Precinct and District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's office,  "we haven't had much success."

The resident shared this video clip...


The residents say they're not trying to demonize the delivery workers who rely on their e-bikes to make a living, instead to find a solution for the burgeoning population of the city's deliveristas.

One solution hasn't garnered the necessary support. Local community boards (downtown and on the Upper West Side) have previously nixed plans from the Adams administration to open a rest and recharging facility for app-based delivery workers in former newsstands, as Streetsblog reported in March.

Meanwhile, GrubHub and JOCO, a company that makes rentable e-bikes, teamed up last summer to open "a rest stop" to help improve working conditions for delivery workers. The spaces offer safe places to recharge batteries and access restrooms. 

There are now two — a small outpost on West 51st Street that can accommodate 15 people and one on 12th Street just west of Avenue A with a 75-person capacity.
In late February, the city unveiled its first public e-bike charging station on Cooper Square, part of a pilot program titled "Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan." However, this station is limited to providing an FDNY-reviewed way to recharge lithium-ion batteries. The stations do not offer restrooms or other amenities. 

Knitting Factory at Baker Falls temporarily closed for more soundproofing

Reporting by Stacie Joy

Yesterday, Knitting Factory Entertainment announced that Baker Falls was temporarily closed for additional soundproofing, effective immediately. 

The bar at Baker Falls will remain open, though without live events in the weeks ahead. 

East Village resident Nick Bodor, who has owned and operated several local businesses in the past 25-plus years, including the Library and, is behind Baker Falls, once home to the iconic The Pyramid Club. 

"We are so sorry and want to apologize to our artists and their fans as we had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our live performances so we can address some sound-proofing issues and keep doing good work at 101 Avenue A," Bodor told us about the space between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

Baker Falls had its soft opening just about a year ago

We've enjoyed seeing live music at the two-level venue, which has a coffee-cafe service during the day and a main-floor bar and the feverdream lounge on the lower level in the evenings. 

"We hope we can make it up to all the amazing performers who lost their shows — with very little notice, and we wish we could have done it another way," Bodor said. "But the light at the end of the tunnel is we hope to get them back on stage with a great room sound at the legendary [space] after the summer."

You can follow the KF Instagram for updates. You can also sign up for the Baker Falls newsletter at its website. We'll be continuing to monitor the situation here as well.

Previously on EV Grieve
• Generation next: Baker Falls will bring together a cafe, bar and the Knitting Factory at the former Pyramid Club on Avenue A (Nov. 28, 2022)

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Wednesday's parting shot

A view of the Most Holy Redeemer/Nativity Parish on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Previously on EV Grieve


Up on 108 Avenue B and Seventh Street ... the Marvel-Coca-Cola ad is gone (and so close to the opening of "Deadpool & Wolverine") ...  and the banner for the nearby Peter Jarema Funeral Home is back (again). 

 Previously on EV Grieve:

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new ABC No Rio building on Rivington Street

At long last, a new ABC No Rio building is ready to rise at the site of its previous home at 156 Rivington St. between Suffolk and Clinton. 

Yesterday, several city and local elected officials, along with a handful of activists and other members of the collectively run arts organization, broke ground on the lot.
The City is putting $21 million toward the project via the Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo: "ABC No Rio embodies the DIY creative energy and legacy of the Lower East Side like few other places." 

The environmentally friendly new structure, designed by architect Paul Castrucci, will include a computer lab, print shop, dark room and a zine library, among other amenities. (Find more details here.) You can read more about the groundbreaking and ABC No Rio history (founded in 1980) at The New York Times... The City ... and Hellgate (email registration required). 

Per officials, construction is set to start in three weeks... with a 2026 completion date. 

We hadn't heard much about the project since the summer of 2020, when DOB signage arrived on the plywood, showing an anticipated completion date of spring 2022 (see below photo from August 2020).

ABC No Rio first unveiled plans for a new home in March 2008. 

Its four-story building, said to be in disrepair, was demolished starting in March 2017 ... putting ABC No Rio's programming into "exile" at other arts organizations around the city.

Director Steve Englander shared a Facebook post in December 2019 addressing the latest setback at the site: "After excavating additional test pits to confirm existing conditions at one of the adjacent properties, we determined a redesign of our foundation and support of excavation plans was required." (Demolition of the Streit's Matzo Factory next door and the subsequent construction of the new condoplex on the site complicated ABC No Rio's plans.)

He also stated at the time: "We know that progress with the new building has seemed slow, but please be assured, we are moving forward. It's been tough, and we're glad that you’ve had our back."

Previously on EV Grieve:
At ABC No Rio's last HardCore/Punk Matinee on Rivington Street (for now) 

Top two photos via @CommishCumbo on X ... last photo, from 1980, by Anton van Dalen

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Tuesday's parting shot

Tompkins Square Park today... photo by Steven...

EVG Etc.: Those Link5G towers don't actually have 5G; the Swayze days of summer are here

• Fourth person dies from suspected drunken-driving collision on July 4 in Corlears Hook Park (ABC 7

• The Brooklyn builder linked to the Mayor Adams FBI probe is under scrutiny over the new development at 280 E. Houston St., seen above on the right (Gothamist... previously on EVG

• City records show that just 23 restaurants have hearings scheduled so far for the new outdoor dining program, with just three weeks left to sign up (Streetsblog

• The man preserving NYC's old signs and marquees, like the old Essex Card Shop signage (The New Yorker

• Baruch Bathhouse to remain empty as developer moves on from ice rink plan for the Lower East Side (The City

• Only two of the nearly 200 Link5G towers installed since 2022 have been fitted with 5G equipment (Gothamist ... Curbed ... previously on EVG

• The three juvenile red-tailed hawks are having a fun summer in Tompkins Square Park (Laura Goggin Photography

• More details about the two new EV spots from the Unapologetic Foods team (Eater... previously on EVG

• The Lower East Side's last Jewish pickle maker (The Jewish Chronicle

• Gov. Hochul signs a package of moped and e-bike safety bills into law (Streetsblog

• A look back at the work of "actor, agitator, musician, and writer" Zoë Lund, who wrote the screenplay for "The Bad Lieutenant" (Anthology Film Archives

• The Lazy, Hazy Swayze Days of Summer at Metrograph (Official site

... and memories...

Did you hear the one about the Upright Citizens Brigade NYC being in preview mode?

ICYMI: In recent months, the new home of the Upright Citizens Brigade New York has been in preview mode at 242 E. 14th St., between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

The UCB NY website lists nightly shows inside the two-level space, a former gym, through August.

No word on an official opening date. 

As previously noted, this marks a dual homecoming — first announced last summer — for the comedy brand.

UCB's East Village outpost, UCBeast, wrapped up its eight-plus-year run on Avenue A and Third Street in February 2019. At the time, UCB officials blamed the "extreme costs" of operating in the space for its closing. UCB then presented three nights of programming at SubCulture, a 130-seat venue on Bleecker Street.

Eventually, the whole empire — where Kate McKinnon, Donald Glover, Aubrey Plaza, and Broad City's Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, among many others — got their start, shut down. Amid ongoing financial difficulties made worse by the beginning of the pandemic, UCB closed all its remaining NYC locations in April 2020... and then in Los Angeles in December 2020.

A comeback was underway starting in March 2022 when longtime talent manager Jimmy Miller and former CEO/Owner of The Onion Mike McAvoy reportedly bought the brand.

Grillify-NYC opens in the former Le Burger space on 5th Street

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

New operators have taken over the former Le Burger space at 540 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

The brother-and-sister team of Estefanie and Luis Cuahutle (above) are running Grillify-NYC. 

While a variety of burgers remain a mainstay on the menu, they have expanded the offerings to include tacos, quesadillas, and wings. 

Look for various pop-ups and nightly specials along the way.
Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday. You can follow them on Instagram here

Le Burger opened here in the fall of 2022.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Today in sidewalk sarcasm

Photo by Stacie Joy 

As seen on Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street... where not everyone appreciates @7soulsdeep's soulful-ish sidewalk messages such as, "New York isn't the same without you." 

Here, someone responded: "Well, thank you. I just robbed 5 people and was sorta feeling bad about it till now."