Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Whistling in Tompkins Square Park with Michael Lydon

You may have seen — or at least heard — longtime East Village resident Michael Lydon in the ballfields in Tompkins Square Park. He's the guy whistling.

He has recently been practicing his whistling — from a safe and social distance from others.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy caught up him on Monday in the Park...

For a sampling...

Lydon and his wife, composer Ellen Mandel, are active in the local community, performing at Middle Collegiate Church, St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, Third Street Music School Settlement as well as the Tompkins Square Park Christmas tree lighting, among other venues.

Here's more about New York Theatre Workshop's virtual programming

Yesterday we mentioned that La Mama was streaming select productions and events.

New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), their Fourth Street neighbors, also has a slate of virtual programming, from Master Classes to live-streamed readings to Fireside Chats.

The next Fireside Chat is late this afternoon (April 8!) at 5 ... featuring NYTW Artistic Director James C. Nicola in conversation with performance artist Penny Arcade. (RSVP here.)

Visit this link to see more of their upcoming programming. Their programming is free and open to the public — you just need to register in advance. (They are also accepting donations.)

They are also launching a Virtually Neighbors program:

We recognize that this can be a lonely and isolating time for people (or just a moment where we all have some extra time on our hands) and we would like to bring our community together and make some new introductions! Since we may not be able to see our actual neighbors, we would like to create a community of new, virtual neighbors.

Are you looking for an email pal, phone call or video call once or twice a week? If so, please fill out this short Google form or email us at and we will be in touch to get you started with a virtual neighbor from the NYTW community!

Reader appreciation: Abraço

Trevor J. shares this via the EVG inbox...

The last quality coffee shop standing in the East Village? As if their signature espresso and olive oil cake slices weren't enough to maintain a little of the good life at this time, they're bottling cocktails to go and have added breakfast and lunch kits — and an occasional surprise (keep an eye on Instagram).

All available for pickup on East Seventh Street, with an option to order on their website in advance. They went takeout-only before PAUSE, have six-foot markers on the ground, and now accept credit cards.

Abraço is at 81 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. They are open Wednesday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a 9 a.m. start on Sunday.

Want to share an appreciation of an East Village business that remains open? Send us an email here. (We'll see how this goes!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tuesday's parting Instagram clip

A serene East Village rooftop scene late this afternoon featuring a boy, his bike and a dog... thanks to Steven Fabian for this!


Someone spraypainted this message overnight on the Con Ed substation along Avenue A.

There were reactions to it on Twitter...

Livestreams from La Mama

During the COVID-19 shutdown, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club on Fourth Street has teamed up with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events in recent weeks.

Here's what's happening tonight (April 7) at 7:

Café La MaMa Live: Take 1

Weekly live performances that experiment with form. Responding to calls for social isolation, Café La MaMa Live brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance. Guest curators each week give artists a digital platform to share their work with the world.

This Week:
Curator Theo Cote creates an evening of music, dance, poetry and short stories!

Artists include Amy Lawless, Rebecca Layton, Evan Gill Smith, Office Culture, Annie Rigney, Jeremy Wiles-Young and Ariel Yelen.

You can find details on upcoming online events at LaMama at this link. The events are free, though there is an option to donate.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Tompkins Square Library launches online programming this week

The Tompkins Square Park dog run is now closed

In an effort to combat against potentially overcrowded spaces, the Parks Department yesterday shut down dog runs citywide, including in Tompkins Square Park.

The dog runs will be closed until further notice. Per the Parks Department: "Our parks remain open to dogs and pet owners to get fresh air and exercise; however, dogs must be kept on a leash according to park rules, and dog owners must keep social distance."

EVG contributor Stacie Joy took these photos at 1 p.m., a few hours after the order was put into effect...

The closure of the dog runs comes on the heels last week of playgrounds shutting down.

Reader appreciation: Le Fournil Bakery

Via the EVG inbox:

The wonderful French bakery, Le Fournil, is open for takeout! They are selling delicious French pastries, some savory items and bread. I bought some indulgent items from them Saturday. Le Fournil's pastry lifted my spirits as only pastry can.

Le Fournil is at 115 Second Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street (in the former Moishe's space). Their posted hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed Mondays.)

Want to share an appreciation of an East Village business that remains open? Send us an email here. (We'll see how this goes!)

A new St. Mark's Place-like business opens on St. Mark's Place

New business alert from 18 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... a smoke shop is now open in the space ... where you can pick up, say, a new ​downstem and bowl​, ash catcher, carb cap or other ​water pipe accessories​...

At the time of these photos on Sunday (thanks Steven!) there wasn't a business sign up... the previous tenant here, Addiction NYC, the tattoo parlor and smoke shop, closed at the beginning of the year.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday's parting shot

Stacie Joy spotted Ramon, a longtime employee at the flower stand outside Key Food, back on Avenue A... he had been away the past few years...

Mystery of the Anti-COVID-19 volunteer drone task force

There's some mystery surrounding the drone that was spotted flying over East River Park yesterday telling people to maintain social distance.

CBS News posted a video of the drone, which played the following message over loudspeakers: "This is the Anti-COVID-19 volunteer drone task force. Please maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Again, please maintain social distancing."

Some people thought the voice sounded familiar...

An NYPD official said that it was not behind the drone. The FAA is reportedly investigating, per The Hill.

H/T Edmund John Dunn!

Edge of Tomorrow

Bayou shares this photo from the front window at Whiskers Holistic Pet Care, 235 E. Ninth St. at Second Avenue... featuring the words to "Tomorrow" from "Annie."

NY PAUSE extended through April 29

In case you missed the announcement today — Gov. Cuomo has extended the NY PAUSE order through April 29, meaning that all non-essential businesses will be closed for another month. The restrictions went into effect on March 22.

[Updated] Report of a missing East Village teen last seen on Avenue A and 2nd Street

Updated 12:30: A neighbor reports that Angelie has been found and back home safe with her family.

An East Village family is frantically searching for their 15-year-old daughter, Angelie Robles.

She was last seen last evening (April 5) around 6:30 on Avenue A and Second Street.

Here are details via the EVG inbox...

Name: Angelie Robles
Age: 15
Height: 4’9
Weight: 90 pounds
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Clothing: Grey jeans, red & white shirt, black jacket
Hair was in a ponytail

Last Seen: April 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Avenue A & 2nd Street

Anyone who spots her is asked to call the 9th Precinct (212-477-7812) or 911.

RIP Edgar Artur Cajamarca

Sad news from Miss Lily's 7A on the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A. Edgar Artur Cajamarca, who worked in the kitchen as a prep cook, died on March 24 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 46.

Here's more via an email from the Miss Lily's team (thank you to the readers who shared this):

We are very sad to announce the passing of our colleague and friend Edgar Artur Cajamarca...

Born in Ecuador on April 23, 1973, Edgar moved to New York in 2000. He joined Miss Lily’s in June 2016 as a delivery man at the Houston St. location before moving over to Miss Lily's 7A where he worked first as a dishwasher and then was promoted to prep chef.

A humble, hard working, much loved member of the kitchen crew, he was always a great team player. Edgar’s first love centered around his family. He was a devoted father and son. He was also an avid Barcelona FC fan and well known for his notable commitment to riding his bicycle to and from work to his home in Brooklyn, no matter what the weather.

Edgar is survived by his children Johanna, Paul and Christian, the children’s mother Maria, and his mother Maria Chunchi.

Edgar was working on building a house for his mother in Ecuador and if we could raise the $10k to fund its completion that would be incredible. Most of our team have already contributed and with only a few thousand dollars to go we are reaching out to our community to see if we can reach the goal. Every dollar donated would go directly to completing his mother's house ...

Please take care and be safe.

To date, they've nearly doubled their $10,000 fundraising goal.

Miss Lily's 7A Cafe closed for service on March 15 for the duration of the health crisis.

Mudspot Café closes for the week

[Photo today by MP]

Mudspot Café has announced that it's closing for the week here on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Aside from coffee, Mudspot had been selling a variety of pastries, grocery items as well as beer and wine in recent weeks.

Here's part of their message via Instagram:

Dear mudpeople,

we are taking a breath and closing for what is expected to be a pretty tough week in nyc. we aim to re-open monday 4/13.

thank you to our amazing staff for their unmatched endurance and beautiful souls. and thank you to all the health care and essential workers on the frontlines, who don’t have the luxury of staying home this week.

we all owe you a debt of gratitude...

Meanwhile, their online shop will continue to ship coffee.

Sunny & Annie's still holding it down on the corner of 6th and B

While some delis have decided to shut down (here and here, for example), Avenue B favorites Sunny & Annie's remains up and running on the corner at Sixth Street.

Over the weekend, they posted to Instagram ... thanking customers and reminding people about practicing safe social distancing ... (you can call 212-677-3131 to have a sandwich or two delivered)...

Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter and Two Boots Pizza have temporarily closed

Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, 94 Avenue C at Sixth Street, shut down last night after service... and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Bobwhite is the latest restaurant to close after giving the takeout-delivery route a try the past few weeks. As noted yesterday, Two Boots on Avenue A at Third Street also closed last evening to give its staff a break, with hopes of returning the week of April 20.

Yesterday, we updated our list of what's open for takeout and delivery ... striking 13 restaurants from the list.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday's parting shot

A makeshift playground on an empty Bond Street between Lafayette and the Bowery ... photo by Ben Lebovitz...

The $1 cookies at Subject

Subject, the cocktail bar at 188 Suffolk St. just south of Houston, is selling items (cocktails and bottles of wine) via its front window.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy mentions this draw: Co-owner Leslie Feinberg's house-baked peanut butter cookies. Available for $1, while supplies last.

The takeout window is open Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., with a 5 p.m. start Tuesday through Friday 5.

And as you may recall, Feinberg previously owned and operated Prohibition Bakery.

Week in Grieview

[A Stay Safe message WIP on 5th Street via Derek Berg]

• Exercise options and at-home workouts from East Village-based fitness providers (Monday)

• This is a list of laundromats and dry cleaners still open in the East Village (Wednesday)

• A visit to High Vibe on 3rd Street (Thursday)

• Another 'Star Spangled' cheer for health-care workers on 7th Street (Saturday)

• The East Village photography of Martin Mahoney (Friday)

• Demolition permits filed for former Church of the Nativity and La Salle building next door (Monday)

• On Avenue B, Ben's Deli is closing for now; first time in 45 years (Thursday)

• Construction next door causes Rossy's Bakery & Café to temporarily close on 3rd Street (Wednesday)

• B Bar & Grill lays off its staff without severance; August closing date rumored (Thursday)

• Tompkins Square Library launches online programming this week (Thursday)

• Documenting the coronavirus and helping 2 LES legends (Sunday)

• Coronavirus Urban Etiquette Sign of the day (Thursday)

• Sauce Pizzeria deliver free pies to hospital workers; landlord chips in and freezes rent (Friday)

• "We will not go quietly into the night!" A midnight fireworks display (Saturday)

• Odessa is back open for takeout and delivery (Friday)

• This week's NY See (Friday)

• The Chippery, now with signage on 1st Avenue (Monday)

• Report: These 9th Street tenants don't have to pay rent until building has C/O, judge rules (Monday)

• East Village Organic now closed until April 10 (Friday)

• Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery temporarily closes (Wednesday)

• Black Seed Bagels closes for duration of coronavirus outbreak (Monday)

• Commodities is now temporarily closed on 1st Avenue (Tuesday)

• B-Side has closed for good on Avenue B (Tuesday)

• The Starbucks on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place reopens today (Monday)

... and as seen on 7th and A last night...


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter for more frequent updates.

Instagram follow of the day

@sbirnbaum1 takes archival photos of musicians around NYC and matches them up to the same setting today, such as this pre-Dave Grohl shot of Nirvana at the East River Park bandshell.

Also, today (April 5) marks the 26th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.

And one more...

A webinar for East Village small business owners

From the EVG inbox via the East Village Independent Merchants Association...

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners their immediate needs. These programs are beginning to come online each day. As of today, applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are live.

We know that applying to these programs can be complex and often raise more questions than answers. To that end we are hosting an in-depth legal webinar with the generous support of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in partnership with Community Board 3. After a guided how-to of the PPP application process, the Freshfields team will be available to answer questions.

The webinar for East Village small business owners is tomorrow (Monday, April 6) at 1 p.m. You can register and find more details via this link.

Last day for Two Boots for the next few weeks

Two Boots Pizza on Avenue A and Third Street is taking a break after service today.

The longtime pizzeria hopes to return the week of April 20. Here's more via Instagram...

Free tomato seedlings on 7th and A

Someone carefully placed these seedlings out on Seventh Street and Avenue A at the entrance to Tompkins Square Park this morning.

The neatly written sign explains:

These seedlings were raised on a windowsill. Grown from seed (from a beefsteak tomato from Trader Joe's).

Planted on Feb. 20, so they should bear fruit in 4-6 weeks.

Plant them in a big pot (they'll get big!) (the paper pots will dissolve)

If you want to grow them outside, they'll need to be hardened off. (Google it. It's easy)

Thanks to the reader for this photo!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Another 'Star Spangled' cheer for health-care workers on 7th Street

Once again tonight, the #ClapBecauseWeCare cheer for health-care workers and first responders featured an electrified "Star Spangled Banner" here on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

And there were two special guests: two off-duty ER doctors from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx who drove up via a police escort. (They had seen the previous night's video.)

Alice Owen and Randi Himelfarb shot these videos...

Instagram follow of the day

Check out New York City: Then & Now, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like ... find the account here.

'We will not go quietly into the night!' A midnight fireworks display

An EVG reader shared the above video from last night.

A description from the reader: "Nearing midnight, an explosive celebration on April 3 in the East Village, looking Northwest-ish from First Avenue and Third Street."

There were apparently two rounds of rooftop fireworks — with one lasting nearly a minute. Several people were able to catch the second round...

H/T President Whitmore for part of the headline!

Village Farm Grocery has closed for now on 2nd Avenue

The corner market on the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Ninth Street closed yesterday...

This after reducing hours in recent days. As EVG correspondent Steven noted, Village Farm Grocery remained open even after the blackout and Superstorm Sandy... and they are the latest neighborhood deli to close during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, several blocks to the south on Second Avenue... East Village Farm and Grocery at Fourth Street is open — but only for deliveries... no customers permitted inside...

Friday, April 3, 2020

Friday's parting shot

Outside Forbidden Planet on Broadway today... photo by Derek Berg...

The 7 p.m. cheer, 7th Street style

The #ClapBecauseWeCare cheer for health-care workers and first responders tonight at 7 had a new wrinkle on Seventh Street — someone blasted the Jimi Hendrix version of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Thanks to Susan Schiffman for the clip!

Your very own Oh Sees concert

In lieu of any live shows in the foreseeable future... here's a recently (March 21!) released video of Oh Sees rehearsing their new record (not sure which one, given that they release about eight LPs a year!).

Enjoy all 56 minutes. Depending where we are in the world, Oh Sees are currently scheduled to play Webster Hall in September.

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.

Previously on EV Grieve:
RIP Nashom Wooden