Friday, May 17, 2024

'Close' encounters


Gustaf, the Brooklyn-based art-punk band, is wrapping up a tour with a homecoming finale next Thursday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Check out their live-wire set sometime if you can.

The video here is for "Close."

An evening of classical harp music at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer

Tomorrow (Saturday) evening, the Most Holy Redeemer/Nativity Parish on Third Street hosts another evening of free music ... featuring Juilliard harpist Amanda Kengor. 

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the church, 173 E. Third St., between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Unfortunately, we hear that this will be one of the last evenings of music programming here due to budget cuts. The last performance is scheduled for May 24.

After a fire upstairs, a gutted TabeTomo hopes to reopen on Avenue A in August

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

TabeTomo remains closed after an early morning fire upstairs at 131 Avenue A on April 24

According to ABC 7, five residents sustained minor injuries while fleeing the six-floor building on the NW corner of St. Mark's Place. Firefighters recovered a lithium-ion battery from a unit, per ABC 7. 

At TabeTomo, a tskumen specialty shop, owner Tomo Kubo (below) told me yesterday that reconstruction of his restaurant is expected to start in the week ahead.
Once underway, Kubo hopes that renovations will be complete in two to three months — with an eye on reopening in August if all goes well. 

The business was insured, he said. 

"It costs a lot — very expensive," he said of the gut renovation ahead. "We want to renovate and reopen as soon as possible." 

Kubo ushered me inside the space, where the air was still thick with the smell of a fire. 

"There was no fire damage — all the damage was water," he said. "Between the ceiling and the second floor, there was much damage to the wood, which could warp. And we want to avoid mold. It's not a good environment for food. We cannot sell food in here now." 

The interior has been stripped to its studs.
Tubo is grateful for all the support from neighbors. He also praised the FDNY for their quick response. 

"I appreciate people who care about the store and encourage me, and I care about the employees who work here," he said. "Since it takes so long to renovate, I am worried, Will customers return? It's heartwarming that people in the East Village care. This gave me confidence and a reason to reopen." 

The TabeTomo staff onsite yesterday (from the left): Esan, Victorino, Tomo Kubo and Abe Naoto.

On May 8, some tenants of 131 Avenue A rallied outside the building in conjunction with the Cooper Square Committee. 

The concerned tenants demanded that landlord Citi-Urban adequately address problems, such as cleaning smoke- and water-damaged units and allowing residents who feel unsafe to move out without penalty. Tenants, some of whom had to navigate rusted fire escapes, said that this was the second fire in the building in the past six months, the other occurring on Nov. 8.

A Celebration of Joey Ramone this weekend at Metropolis Vintage

Joey Ramone was born on May 19. In addition, 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ramones' first live show.

To honor his memory and celebrate his life, East Village resident John Holmstrom, the co-founder, editor, and illustrator of Punk Magazine, is hosting a special Joey Ramone Weekend in the basement at Metropolis Vintage at 803 Broadway at 11th Street. 

As Holstrom wrote in his newsletter: "A bunch of artists and cartoonists will be scribbling drawings on huge mural that will be auctioned off to raise money for the Lymphoma Foundation. So feel free to hang out with a bunch of crazy artists who love the Ramones..." 

Joey died of lymphoma on April 15, 2001. He was 49.

The mural event is tonight (around 7 p.m.). On Saturday evening, Monte A. Melnick, the Ramones' tour manager, is hosting a screening of "Rock ‘N Roll High School" at Metropolis.


The annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at Bowery Electric on Sunday night is sold out.

After a short break, Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery is back open on Avenue A

Photo yesterday by Lola Sáenz 

It was good to see the gate open yesterday at the wonderful Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery, 215 Avenue A between 13th Street and 14th Street. 

The Martinez family (Pompeyo and Maria) had been away for a break since May 7. Apparently, there wasn't a sign for patrons, and we heard from a few nervous Zaragoza fans. 

All is well!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday's parting shot

This week, a new mural arrived outside 50 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street. It was created by L.A.-based artist Corie Mattie and curated by the Lisa Project NYC.

The 18th Annual Dance Parade steps off on Saturday, ending in Tompkins Square Park

The 18th edition of the Dance Parade takes place this Saturday, winding up in Tompkins Square Park for the DanceFest. 

According to organizers, more than 10,000 participants —"representing a kaleidoscope of dance styles"  — will participate in the festivities starting at 11:30 a.m. on 17th Street and Sixth Avenue. 

The parade makes its way across Eighth Street to Astor Place, where there's a grandstand at St. Mark's Place, before ending in Tompkins where hopefully there will be more than three (unlocked) porta-potties for the thousands of people expected.
And here are details on the activities from 3-7 p.m.: 
The festivities culminate with DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park, offering a cultural extravaganza that's inclusive for everyone. Expect dance performances on two stages, site-specific acts, a DJ dance party, and free dance classes at The Joyce Theater's New York Center for Creativity & Dance offered by Grand Marshal Lil Buck, Mark Morris Dance Group and Peridance. Bring your dance shoes and rock out to disco DJs Tone Love, Misbehaviour, Kenny Parker, Ameer and a Soul Train set on the Social Stage. 
This is a rain-or-shine event, and the forecast looks pleasant enough RN, with overcast skies and temperatures in the 60s.

A look at Carnitas Ramirez, opening soon on 3rd Street in the East Village

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Work continues at 210 E. Third St., just east of Avenue B, where the owners of Taqueria Ramírez, the celebrated Greenpoint establishment, are debuting Carnitas Ramirez at the end of the month. 

Owners and life partners Tania Apolinar and Giovanni Cervantes opened the Mexico City-style taqueria in Greenpoint in September 2021. It later landed at No. 49 in Pete Wells' top-100 NYC restaurants for the Times

The other day, I met up with Cervantes (left) and Yvon de Tassigny, a former chef at St. Anselm in Greenpoint who will be heading up the kitchen.
True to its name, carnitas — slow-cooked pulled pork, supplemented here with just lard and salt — will be the specialty of the house. They will also offer a vegetarian option. There's a beer and wine license, too.
Carnitas Ramirez expects to open its doors on May 31. Initially, the restaurant will operate only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m. until "we sell out" or "about 7 p.m." 

You can keep tabs on opening dates via Instagram.

Wonder debuts its new kind of food hall today on Stuyvesant Street

Wonder, a new-era delivery and food-hall concept, debuts today along Stuyvesant Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Street. 

The brand currently operates 10 locations throughout New York City and New Jersey, offering pick-up, delivery, and dine-in (ordered via touch screens) from a collection of chefs, including Bobby Flay, Marc Murphy, Jose Andres, Nancy Silverton, and Marcus Samuelsson, and restaurants such as Tejas Barbeque, Di Fara Pizza, and Barrio Cafe. 

Meanwhile, at-home diners can choose their meals via a "super app." A list of available restaurant brands is available here

Marc Lore, a billionaire former Walmart executive and serial entrepreneur, is driving this venture. In an interview with the Times in March, Lore hinted at Wonder's potential, stating that it "could be the Amazon of food and beverage." According to the Times, the company has made strategic moves to solidify its position, acquiring the meal kit company Blue Apron, securing a $100 million strategic investment from Nestlé, and signing a deal with Walmart to establish Wonder in four of its stores. 

Wonder's arrival marks the end of a nearly 24-month vacancy in the building that Cooper Union had subleased to the Yoshida Restaurant Group for more than 25 years. (This post has more background.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Wednesday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

Umbrella trio on Second Avenue and Seventh Street...

At the first Show Brain show of 2024 in Tompkins Square Park

Photos by Stacie Joy 

The weather held out on Sunday afternoon for Mother's Day — and the season's first show by Show Brain, which has been bringing live music to city parks the past few years. 

Here is Ozzie Silva of Show Brain with East Village-based singer-songwriter-composer Franzi Szymkowiak of Lukka (her band was not on the bill this day)...
The lineup included the gloom punk of Desert Sharks...
... and the high-spirited eclectic punk fusion of headliners Pinc Louds...
And taking in the bands...
The next Show Brain production in Tompkins Square Park is on June 30. (Keep tabs via the SB Instagram account.) 

The next concert promoted by Chris Flash of The Shadow is on May 25. Follow these shows on Facebook.

The annual Ukrainian Festival is this weekend

The St. George Ukrainian Festival takes place on Seventh Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square this coming weekend. 

The three-day festival — one of the best neighborhood events — celebrates Ukrainian culture, music, and food with various performances and vendors selling traditional arts and crafts. 

The Festival kicks off on Friday evening, May 17, and continues through Sunday late afternoon, May 19. 

We haven't seen the schedule times for the outdoor performances just yet — they're usually on Saturday afternoon and evening and again on Sunday. We'll update you when we hear more about them.

Heading back to Downtown Beirut

Photo by David Vega via Flaming Pablum 

On Friday evening, you can revisit a celebrated and long-gone East Village bar (RIP 1994).

Lucky on B plays host to two shorts filmed at Downtown Beirut, 158 First Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street...
A description
Join Lucky for a little trip down memory lane with the premiere of two classic videos torn from the East Village's storied past: "The Look of Love" and "Night at Downtown Beirut." 
Created by Mike Enright, who has also contributed a bunch of CDs to our eclectic jukebox, these shorts were shot at the old Downtown Beirut, one of the best bars in history! We'll let people gather for a few drinks between 6 and 6:30, screen one film, take another drink break, and then screen the second film. They're each about a half hour long, and while everyone's drinking, Mike will be showing some of this other video art. 
Lucky on B is at 168 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. 

This screening is part of Lower East Side History Month

P.S. There was also Downtown Beirut II at 157 E. Houston St. near Allen. 

Previously on EV Grieve

Alex has more on DB at Flaming Pablum.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Tuesday's parting urban etiquette note

Photos by Stacie Joy 

As seen on 10th Street between Avenue C and Avenue D... 
Please have your alarm checked. It is going off and disturbing the community!

Fresh compost for Tompkins Square Park

Photos by Steven 

Tompkins Square Park received a fresh compost mound today via the LES Ecology Center...
The compost came from Governors Island, where Earth Matter runs a small farm. 

The LES Ecology Center has been without a permanent home since having to vacate East River Park in 2021 for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. 

This article from March at The City has updates on the uncertain future of NYC's composting program. Like many other critical city programs, composting faces severe threats due to city budget cuts

In a positive sign, during International Compost Awareness Week last week, the LES Ecology Center raised $27,000 to sustain their programs in the months ahead.

Citi Bike dock swap along Avenue A

EVG reader Newman points out that Citi Bike crews have removed the docking station on Third Street at Avenue A ... and relocated it to Fifth Street at Avenue A...
The Third Street dock arrived in February, and a Citi Bike rep told us that it was permanent. Citi removed the docking station on Fifth Street last fall to accommodate the (recently completed) Con Ed transformer work. 

We reached out to Citi/Lyft to learn more about this As the Docking Stations Move. 

Angels Boutique gets its wings on Avenue A

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Vintage-designer purveyors Angels on A has debuted its sister shop a few storefronts away here on Avenue A between Fourth Street and Fifth Street. 

Angels Boutique is in soft-open mode at 70 Avenue A (the former Halloween pop-up space) ... with a May 23 grand opening on the books. 

I caught up with owner Angel Ramirez and store manager Jess Parsons the other day...
"The store sells vintage designer collectible novelty fashion items," Parsons said of Angels Boutique. "They don't have to be luxury; they do have to have personality."
Daily hours: Noon to 8 p.m. 

You can follow Angels Boutique on Instagram here.

Planet Taco exits East Village orbit

Photos by Steven 

Planet Taco shut down its East Village operations on Sunday, bringing an end to the shop's three-plus-year run at 141 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street. 

In a note to patrons, ownership blamed "rising costs" for the closure...
The Planet Taco on Ninth Avenue remains open.

Planet Taco opened in March 2021 and received generally positive reviews from readers and critics

The address previously housed Otto's Tacos for seven years. Before that, many things came and went here, such as Good Guys, a Subway (sandwich shop), part of a Max Brenner outpost and Burritoville (!!!).

Noted (sidewalk bridge edition)

Photo by Stacie Joy 

As previously reported, G's Cheesesteaks is the new tenant for 6 Avenue B at Houston Street — the first in 15 years. 

The gut renovations of the long-vacant residential portion are also complete. The building — now going as The B (!) — is currently leasing.

G's owner, Giacomo Pisano, apparently tried to get the sidewalk bridge hauled away. Good luck! 

So there's now a G' s-branded sign on the bridge with the message, "We tried to get this scaffolding removed ... But this is NYC."

Pisano, whose family has been in the restaurant business for several generations, founded G's in Staten Island in 2015 at age 20. 

The opening date for the EV outpost is expected soon.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Some Cool pizza street art

As seen along St. Mark's Place.

Revisit our Cool archives here

Thanks to Eden for the photo!