Monday, July 22, 2019

Ruby’s Cafe bringing its Australian vibes to the former Martina space on 11th Street

Ruby's, the popular all-day café with two NYC outposts, will open a new location at 198 E. 11th St. at Third Avenue — in the former Martina space.

There's a Community Board 3 notice on the door now for an upcoming SLA committee meeting (no date has been released for the August meeting). The Australian-inspired Ruby's Cafe is applying for a beer-wine license for the space. (Martina also had a similar license)...

A rep for Ruby's confirmed their arrival here in an email to me, noting: "We can't wait."

Ruby's first opened in 2003 on Mulberry Street between Prince and Spring (they expanded next door in 2014) ... with an additional cafe on Third Avenue between 30th Street and 31st Street arriving in 2016.

Martina opened in August 2017 in this newly created space at 55 Third Ave., aka Eleventh and Third, the 12-floor residential building on the corner. The pizzeria, from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, never caught on, and closed this past March.

Thanks to the anonymous reader who shared the news of the Ruby's CB3 notice!

Nolita Pizza debuts on 2nd Avenue

Nolita Pizza debuted over the weekend at 128 Second Ave. here between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

EVG regular Lola Sáenz shared these photos from Saturday...

We're told that Tony Salihaj (far left), one of the owners here, was also an owner of the well-regarded Bleecker Street Pizza. (He made headlines in September 2015 for creating a papal pizza ahead of the Pope's visit to NYC.)

In an email, Salihaj said that Bleecker Street Pizza was sold, and that he was very happy now to be in the East Village.

Aside from pizza, they offer dishes such as baked ziti and chicken parm and a variety of salads. You can find their website here with more menu items. (The website lists a Kenmare Street location as well.)

Kati Roll Company closed here in April after two-plus years selling Indian street food.

The longtime previous tenant at the address, The Stage, the 35-year-old lunch counter, closed in March 2015. Stage owner Roman Diakun had been involved in an ongoing legal/eviction battle with Icon Realty, who took over as the landlord. (You can read that background here.)

1st sign of the San Loco signage on Avenue C

As a reminder — San Loco is opening soon at 111 Avenue C between Seventh Street and Eighth Street... the San Loco sign is now out front...

We first reported on the news in late April. You can find more background at that post.

As previously noted, the quick-serve Tex-Mex restaurant debuted on Second Avenue in the East Village in 1986. Owners Jill and Kimo Hing recently posted about that first San Loco on Instagram... here's a photo from 1986 at 129 Second Ave. (and next to B&H)...

San Loco would later move across Second Avenue to this spot.

Previously on EV Grieve:
It's official: San Loco is returning to the East Village

San Loco plotting an East Village comeback?

1st of 2 Flamingos Vintage Pound shops has opened in the East Village

The Flamingos Vintage Pound opened this past weekend here at 143 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street. (Thanks to Steven for the photo!)

In an interesting move, this is the first of two Flamingos outposts to open in the East Village. Another one is coming soon to 11th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Apparently they are opting for smaller storefronts as opposed to opening in a larger, more expensive space.

These are the latest locations for FVP, which as the name implies, sells vintage clothing by the pound. FVP opened on Stanton Street last summer. The company, now in its 10th year of business, has multiple stores in Europe, as well as in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami and Brooklyn.

Until December 2017, the First Avenue space was home to the bar-restaurant portion of Paquito’s. The quick-serve Mexican restaurant still operates a newly remodeled outpost next door.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Looks like a Flamingos Vintage Pound is coming to 1st Avenue

Bruno Pizza won't be reopening after fire upstairs last November

Last Thanksgiving weekend, an early morning fire broke out in the top-floor apartment at 204 E. 13th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. No injuries were reported in the blaze. (A cause has not been publicly revealed.)

The fire caused extensive water damage to Bruno Pizza on the ground floor. At the time, owner Demian Repucci told me that he was hopeful to get the restaurant up and running again.

Now, nearly eight months later, Repucci has decided that reopening the space wasn't feasible. He shared the news via Instagram earlier this month. Here's part of the message:

It is with a heavy heart that I bring you this news. The plethora of adversity that normally comes with running a restaurant was always made up for with the myriad amazing relationships I developed with you, the restaurant’s friends, neighbors, and pizza lovers. ...

But the water damage to the restaurant that resulted from the fire in the building upstairs has proven to be too much to overcome. After several months trying to figure out how to get the restaurant back on its feet, it seems recovery moved beyond my grasp.

So the difficult decision to close Bruno Pizza had to be made. The writing was on the wall. Or, rather, no longer on the wall (er... window). Thank you to everyone who came in, ate pizza, talked, drank, listened to my crazy stories, ate more pizza, and gave your love and support in spades. I appreciate it so very much.

I’m not sure another restaurant will ever be in my future, but pizza eating certainly will. As well as great conversation. So please do keep in touch.

[Photo from July 1]

Bruno Pizza, which milled its own flour, opened in July 2015. This was the first food establishment for Repucci, a restaurant designer-consultant.

Eater critic Ryan Sutton gave the restaurant's nouveau-Neapolitan pies high marks, with a post headlined "Bruno Is the Best Thing to Happen to Neapolitan Pizza Since Roberta's." Pete Wells at the Times was not so kind, dropping zero stars on the place. Two years after that punishing review (and after Bruno's original chefs left), Repucci offered to return the 0-star review to the Times.

In May 2016, Bruno Pizza won a judgment against a petition of eviction by landlord Steve Croman’s 9300 Realty.

14th St. Candy & Grocery has not been open lately

The 24/7 deli on 14th Street at First Avenue has been closed for the past week.

As you can see, someone plastered pages from the (July 16) Post on the front window and door. Not sure at the moment if this is a permanent closure or temporary renovation.

Signing off with a descriptive 5-star Yelp review of the store from 2011:

I started coming here after the place on the corner burned down..

VERY nice people.. and GOOD PRICES

There is always funny ass shit going on too. Like a lady coming in complaining about pain in her moller [sic], and some dude demanding he be given two free plastic cups...
and the cat, that crosses the street by herself.
And the orange trannys that walk around shamelessly

I once came in and this guy was screaming so loudly,
and i looked over, he was bleeding from his head so bad..

I dont know, but every time i come in its like another drama..
but its so funny.. and the owner handles it well

feels like home now..

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Heat Wave Weekend parting shot

Photo by Bobby Williams...

Sunday's parting shot

A scene today from the Tompkins Square Park dog run via Derek Berg...

Week in Grieview

[Jimi Hendrix on 1st Street via @ThePostman]

Posts this past week included...

Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street (Monday)

"Wealthy, anonymous individual" buys Boys' Club building; will remain in use for a nonprofit (Wednesday)

Local elected officials urge the DOT to explore bike lane options on Avenues A, B, C and D (Monday)

A visit to Metropolis Vintage on Broadway (Thursday)

Report: Red-tailed chick in Tompkins Square Park died from rodenticide poisoning (Friday)

Scoop: Mikey Likes It back in action on Avenue A (Tuesday)

Gone green: 12th Street bike lane returns (Wednesday)

"Summer and Smoke" at 72 Gallery (Thursday)

Next steps in the plan to rebuild East River Park (Friday)

This week's NY See (Thursday)

Lucy's is on summer break (Tuesday)

The China Star closed for actual renovations (Tuesday)

Reader report: Ticketed by the NYPD for double parking in bike lane during Alternate Side Parking (Tuesday)

Nightmarket is the new name for NuNoodle (Monday)

A bendy thing moment at 11 Avenue C as new development passes the halfway mark (Thursday)

A look at La Plaza's new fence (Wednesday)

Ainsworth eyes former DBGB space on the Bowery; Ruffian team to the Eddy (Monday)

Report: retail portion of Ben Shaoul's luxury condoplex on Houston and Orchard sells for a whopping $88 million (Thursday)

... and, randomly, the view from the top floor of the Loews Village 7 on Third Avenue and 11th Street yesterday ... showing the nearly empty streets below around 5 p.m. ...


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A look at the Tompkins Square Park spray showers

Talked with a few people who didn't realize that Tompkins Square Park even had spray showers... over behind the Park office and along 10th Street ...

Photos from early this morning...

Heat advisory: 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' screens Monday night at City Cinemas Village East

City Cinemas Village East is screening "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" tomorrow (Monday) night as part of its ongoing classic 35mm series.

The cut-n-paste synopsis:

Based on the famous Tennesee Williams play, this absorbing drama and six-time Oscar nominee centers on a wealthy southern family where the family members lust over the fortune of their dying patriarch. Truly a classic masterpiece, this film teases audiences by unravelling layers and layers of secrets through phenomenal writing and spectacular performances from Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives.

The film starts tomorrow (July 22) at 7:30 p.m. The theater is on Second Avenue at 12th Street. Ticket info at this link.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Saturday's parting shot

A snapshot of today's weather on St. Mark's Place this afternoon ... photo(s) by Steven...

Tonight's free screening in Tompkins Square Park

If you're looking for a last-minute idea to spend some time outdoors tonight... the Movies Under the Stars series presents the box-office hit "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" on the asphalt in Tompkins Square Park.

The synopsis for the G-rated film: "When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first."

The film is set to start at 8 p.m. As of 7, no one had arrived yet for a good seat.

Outdoor cooling centers

Two of the best outdoor spots for a quick blast of cool air...

• Delivery entrance (11th Street side) at the Loews Village 7 on Third Avenue.

• The south-facing side of the Cooper Union building on Sixth Street (as we've mentioned in the past).

Find details on the city's cooling centers here.

Open Garden Day NYC is today

[6th & B Garden via Instagram]

More than a dozen neighborhood community gardens are participating today in Open Garden Day NYC.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. you'll be able to take part in activities such as plant tours, composting and cooking demonstrations.

You can visit the NYC Parks website here for details on participating gardens... or look at this map thing...

Friday, July 19, 2019

The big 'Sick'

Vivian Girls have announced their first record in eight years (and their third overall). An LP titled Memory is due in September. Ahead of that, the trio just released this audio track for a song called "Sick."

EVG Etc.: Remembering Steve Cannon; saving the Tompkins Square Park asphalt

[A view downtown Wednesday night via Bobby Williams]

• Remembering Steve Cannon (The New York Times ... previously on EVG)

• Revisiting the case of Michael Stewart, who died in police custody in 1983 "and changed the city’s creative community forever" (BBC)

• Man who was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the 2009 strangulation death of a 39-year-old East Village resident was released from prison after a state appeals court found that the judge in the case violated the defendant’s constitutional rights during jury selection. (Gay City News ... previously on EVG)

• Why NYC skaters want to save the Tompkins Square Park asphalt (Highsnobiety ... previously on EVG)

• One suggestion on spending a day in the East Village (amNY)

• Man has throat slashed in barber shop bloodbath on Stanton Street (Daily News)

• Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program is faltering (City & State)

• Why it will take at least four years to expand Citi Bike to other parts of NYC (Streetsblog)

• A brief guide to NYC Bike Etiquette (Gothamist)

• 13 Emmy nominations for "Russian Doll," the Netflix series set in the East Village (Deadline... previously on EVG)

• A pop-up for new Adidas' AriZona Iced Tea sneakers turns into a "mini Fyre Festival" on the Bowery (Patch)

• Actor Justin Theroux part of the team opening this new bar on Chrystie at Rivington (Eater)

• Catch a late-night screening of "Rock 'n' Roll High School" this weekend (Metrograph)

Next steps in the plan to rebuild East River Park

On Wednesday night, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer hosted a public hearing at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, and the city's updated (as of last fall) plans to stormproof East River Park from Montgomery Street to 13th Street.

Under the current plan, now on tour through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), East River Park will close from March 2020 to (fingers crossed) summer 2023.

Aside from what city officials say will reduce flooding from coastal storms and the rise of sea level on the East Side, the all-new East River Park — elevated by eight feet — would include new amenities.

You can read about what transpired at the meeting via Gothamist ... and Curbed.

An excerpt from Gothamist:

“Whatever the park is giving us, you’re going to take it all away,” said Yvette Mercedes, a Baruch Houses resident, whose children play in the park. “We need fixing, but why do it all at once?”

Over 25 people testified at the hearing, and expressed their anger at how City agencies — the Department of Design and Construction, and the Department of Parks and Recreation — are handling the project.

The complete park closure, and health hazards brought on by the dumping of landfill are the two most contentious points among residents and city officials. Residents have also pled with city officials for a “greener” plan that is not only flood-safe, but environmentally friendly.

And Curbed:

Though Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer called for a two-month delay on the project’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) first deputy commissioner Jamie Torres Springer said at the hearing that only the DEIS comment period will be extended for two weeks.

Ian Michaels, a spokesperson for the DDC said that the comment period for the DEIS, which has been open since April, will now be extended until Aug. 30.

Next up: The City Planning Commission hearing on July 31 at 10 a.m., at 120 Broadway. The final vote via City Council is expected in late September.

Meanwhile, City Limits took a deep dive on the issue leading up to Tuesday's meeting. It's a good primer for what has happened to date. Read that here.

An excerpt:

Charles Krezell, the co-founder and president of LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens), was in disbelief last fall when he heard about the city’s new plan. “No one was prepared for it,” he says.

He is unsure that this project can be completed in just three years and worried that it will stretch beyond the current terms of elected officials who will approve it, diffusing accountability. “No one else [in city office now] is going to be in office at that point, so it’s going to be very difficult, the city can walk away, the city can run out of money, anything can happen,” he says. “We can have a flood tomorrow, there’s no barrier to protect us from anything.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
At East River Park

RIP East River Park

We're having a heat wave

[Cooling center at St. Stanislaus on 7th Street]

As you're likely well aware by now, the city is in for a heat wave — featuring oppressive heat and humidity and unbearable "Baked Apple" puns — through the weekend.

As always in situations like this, I cut-n-paste from The Wall Street Journal:

The National Weather Service said it predicts temperatures of up to 101 degrees in some parts of the city on Saturday. It is the first time since 2012 that temperatures in the city have been more than 100 degrees, according to the weather service.

In New York City, a heat wave is declared when the heat index is 95 degrees or higher for two or more consecutive days.

The heat situation here is bad enough that Mayor de Blasio canceled a weekend trip to Iowa and other early primary states as part of his presidential campaign, per the Journal.

Cooling centers are opening citywide. You can find an interactive map here to find one near you...

Nearby options include...

• Campos Plaza
611 E. 13th St.
Open: M - F 8a-11p; Sa - Su 3p-11p

• John Paul II Friendship NSC
103 E. Seventh. St.
Open: M - F 8a-4p

• Jacob Riis Community Center
80 Avenue D
Open: M - F 8a-11p; Sa - Su 3p-11p

• Sirovich Center
331 E. 12th St.
Open: M - F 8a-8p; Sa 9a-3p

• Lillian Wald Houses Senior Center
12 Avenue D
Open: M - F 8a-4p

• Ottendorfer Library
135 Second Ave.
Open: M - Th 11a-7p; F - Sa 10a-5p

In addition, outdoor pool hours are extended to 8 p.m. at all of the city's Olympic- and intermediate-sized outdoor pools today through Sunday. (Around here, that means the Dry Dock Pool on 10th Street and Hamilton Fish Park on Pitt.)

Find the city's heat tips here. Watch a fan video for "Heat Wave" from Bronski Beat's 1984 excellent debut The Age of Consent here.

Report: Red-tailed chick in Tompkins Square Park died from rodenticide poisoning

Rodenticide poisoning was cited as the cause of death for Amelia and Christo's chick, the one who was found unresponsive in early June. The result came from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as Goggla reported.

Here's Goggla with more:

Secondary rodenticide poisoning happens when the chicks are fed poisoned rats, mice or any other prey that has ingested rodenticide. The parents, Christo and Amelia, likely didn't eat the same food, or not as much of it, so didn't die. However, they are exposed to the same danger every time they eat.

The NYC Parks Department does not use rodenticide in Tompkins Square Park. However, it is used throughout the city and the hawks do not restrict their hunting to the park, so they can pick it up anywhere.


The Parks Department has been using dry ice to control rats in Tompkins Square. I think it's very effective and is not toxic to other animals, plants or people. However, if you look around the park or the streets of the East Village on any given day, there is trash and food everywhere. Until we, as a community, stop feeding the rats, nothing will change.

Find more details about alternative pest control options at her site.

Both of Christo and Amelia's offspring died this year, the first at the end of May. (The body of the first chick was never found.) Both chicks presumably died from rodenticide poisoning.

In the past two years, Amelia and Christo have lost three of their four offspring. In 2018, the chick died from a combination of rodenticide and West Nile virus.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday's parting shot

Tompkins Square Park today via Derek Berg...


Reported this afternoon via the Citizen app...


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.

A visit to Metropolis Vintage on Broadway

Photos and interview by Stacie Joy

Meeting Richard Colligan at the new location — as of late May — of Metropolis at 803 Broadway (between 11th Street and 12th Street) was a trip down memory lane.

Richard’s vintage shop was my neighbor on Avenue B back in the 1990s and I still have a t-shirt I bought there 20-plus years ago.

We played the “do you remember game” for a while reminiscing about the old days when he paid $1,000 a month for rent on the store, had Hells Angels shopping there for denim and bought from MTV VJs who lived in the area.

Here's what else he had to say...

You first opened the store in 1990 at 96 Avenue B between Sixth and Seventh Streets. Did you envision that nearly 30 years later you’d not only still be doing well in business, but also in a large retail space on Broadway?

Well, I really loved a store called Canal Jean Co. They always had a mix of new and vintage clothing and I wanted to be like Canal Jean. I wanted to open a big space for a long time so I guess, yes — it is a dream come true.

As for 30 years — WOW — I always wanted to make it to 65 and then think about quitting but the question was could I keep up with the younger dealers in vintage as per styles and sourcing?

[Avenue B photo via Richard Colligan]

How long had you been looking for a larger space? Was staying in the neighborhood important to you?

It took about a year between looking and negotiating to get the space. [Metropolis left Avenue B for 43 Third Ave. before heading to Broadway.] Yes, it was very important to stay in the neighborhood. I mean, I did think about Brooklyn or Harlem but my roots are in the East Village.

Your concert/band t-shirts always seem to be popular, accounting for approximately 50 percent of your sales. What are people coming into the store looking for these days?

Besides t-shirts? Definitely 1990s-style clothing. Like Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Cross Colours, JNCO jeans, lots of color. Denim is selling good to women, especially smaller-size jeans or high-waisted ones. In t-shirts, classic rock is big, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, the Grateful Dead.

Who is your typical customer? Are your in-store shoppers different than your online Etsy shoppers?

In store, the customer age range is 15 to 35, with lots of college students at the old Third Avenue location. But now that I am on Broadway, we get LOTS of tourist. Online Etsy customers sometimes come in but they’re looking for specific items. Inside the store customers can explore and find stuff but still it’s the same basic vintage customer.

How have you seen the neighborhood continue to evolve — at least from a retail perspective?

Well, Avenue B days it was very local, young high school kids from the neighbor and college age or older people who just moved in. The Hells Angels would come in buy denim. It was very very local years ago. The Third Avenue space had lots of college and high school kids from all over the NYC area and some tourists. About 15 years ago we started to get people who had the means to drop a lot of money starting to come in.

What do you think has made Metropolis a survivor here for nearly 30 years?

Very simple: focus on the customer. Go out every week and shop for new items and put things out every week. Don’t keep the best stuff for yourself, offer it to the customer first, let them have that experience of finding that special item. Keep your overhead low and look to new styles and vintage trends. It’s very easy to dismiss new vintage trends as you grow older. Exercise your eyes and train them to look forward and slowly give up on what the past good sellers were.

[Manager Stephen Voland]

[Sales associate Larry Gonzalez]

[Sales associate Skelton Boy]

[Sales associate Skunk]

What’s next for you and the shop?

Keep doing the same thing but refine it to make our formula better. Try to do more with TV and movie productions.


The shop is open every day, noon until 8 p.m.