Sunday, December 4, 2022

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo on Second Avenue by Derek Berg)...

• Brooke Smith revisits the neighborhood's 1980s hardcore scene with 'Sunday Matinee' (Tuesday

• Employee from Ray's Pizza & Bagel Cafe killed after an early morning hit and run on Third Avenue (Sunday

• Part-time faculty at the New School reject university's latest contract offer (Friday

• Lower East Side mainstay El Sombrero has closed (Wedensday

• 'Tis the season for the 3rd & B'zaar Holiday Market (Thursday

• Why the area behind the fieldhouse in Tompkins Square Park has been locked (Monday) ... The area behind the Tompkins Square Park fieldhouse is back open to the public (Friday

• Waffles & Dinges and Bobwhite Counter among the vendors at the incoming Zero Irving food hall (Wednesday

• Baker Falls will bring together a cafe, bar and the Knitting Factory at the former Pyramid Club on Avenue A (Monday

• Construction watch: 699 E. 6th St. (Thursday

• On the topic of long-vacant lots (Thursday

• A new Aura for 1st Avenue (Tuesday)

• About the ongoing removal of the former Kindred curbside dining structure (Monday

• The new recreation space at Pier 42 gets its official welcome (Friday

• Today in tight, dangerous turns (Monday

• Tree down on 3rd Street (Wednesday

• Holy smokes! 2 more unlicensed weed shops pop up in the East Village (Friday)

... and as seen at the entrance to Anna Delvey's East Village building (the location is not a secret — it has been featured in multiple interviews) ... photo by Steven...
Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

Do you have what it takes to be NYC's Director of Rodent Mitigation?

ICYMI. This was well-covered this past week (spotted first on Gothamist) ... sharing nonetheless since it involves a topic near and dear to all: RATS. 😍 

NYC is hiring a director of rodent mitigation. (Listing here.) 

Cutting-and-pasting from the job description: 
Do you have what it takes to do the impossible? A virulent vehemence for vermin? A background in urban planning, project management, or government? And most importantly, the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy – New York City’s relentless rat population? If so, your dream job awaits: New York's Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation. 

The Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation is a high-visibility, high-impact leadership role with one of the most important tasks in city government — keeping the city's rats in check and on notice. Despite their successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence, rats are not our friends — they are enemies that must be vanquished by the combined forces of our city government. Rodents spread disease, damage homes and wiring, and even attempt to control the movements of kitchen staffers in an effort to take over human jobs. Cunning, voracious, and prolific, New York City's rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city — we do. 

Reporting to the Deputy Mayor for Operations and in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall, the Citywide Director of Rat Mitigation is a 24/7 job requiring stamina and stagecraft. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter. 
Salary range: $120,000 to $170,000. 

Sharpen up those résumés and LinkedIn profiles! 

Oh, and as Gothamist pointed out, this is not a NEW role necessarily: As deputy mayor, Joseph Lhota was designated rat czar in the Giuliani administration. 

Top photo on Avenue A from December 2021 by Derek Berg. Perhaps the creator of that sculpture has ideas for this job!

A big birthday card for Ray

Ahead of Ray's 90th birthday next month, EV-based artist Lola Sáenz created a card for the longtime proprietor of Ray's Candy Store. 

She also collected some signatures from his many fans... there's a little room left on the card, which is now up at the shop, 113 Avenue A (at Seventh Street)...
Meanwhile, Ray's crowdfunding campaign (first reported here) has passed the $51,000 mark!

An open house at the George Jackson Academy on St. Mark's Place

Sharing some info from the George Jackson Academy, 104 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

The middle school for boys is hosting an in-person open house on Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m. for the fall 2023 academic year. 

You can find a video about the George Jackson Academy here.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

EVG Etc.: Remembering Aline Kominsky-Crumb; artists raising money for Ukraine

Some recent headlines from other sources include...

• Remembering Aline Kominsky-Crumb (The New Yorker ... The Associated Press ... Artforum

• The Times talked with several men who said they were drugged at gay bars in the city, including the Boiler Room on Fourth Street; the NYPD is now investigating two recent deaths as homicides (The New York Times

• Mayor Adams faces backlash for move to involuntarily hospitalize unhoused people (NPR) ... What forced hospitalization feels like in New York City (Gothamist

• This pop-up gallery on 13th Street features the work of Ukrainian artists to help raise money to aid the resistance against the Russian invasion (ABC 7

• Pinky's Space on First Street has filed paperwork with intent to sue the city after the removal of its sidewalk structure (Eater ... previously on EVG

• The MTA says it needs new sources of income (The City

• A recap of the community meeting in Tompkins Square Park on Nov. 17 (The Village Sun... previously on EVG

• The Wafra Group sold The Nathaniel at 138 E. 12th St. and Third Avenue to the Westover Companies for $56.8 million, roughly 42 percent less than the $98.3 million it paid for the luxury rental building in 2015 (The Real Deal

• Screenings in the "Four Weeks of Christmas" series include "Gremlins" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" (Village East by Angelika

• The Klezmatics Hanukkah Show is Dec. 11 at Drom on Avenue A (Official site

• How LES mainstay Economy Candy keeps up with consumer trends (Retail TouchPoint)

... and happening today...


A resident of 319 E. Ninth St. in the East Village shares this photo of a letter... intended for a resident of 319 E. Ninth St. — in Duluth, Minn. ... and mailed from Duluth, Minn.

Checking in on the Bowery mural wall

How the mural wall is looking here this morning on Houston at the Bowery.

As previously noted, people had been tagging the motorcycle mural by David Flores, the last commissioned art for the space. 

This prompted Jessica Goldman Srebnick, co-chair of Goldman Properties and curator of this wall, to issue a statement on Instagram in late May:
The creative process is an utter joy to watch. Filling a fire extinguisher with paint and spraying to destroy a work of art is not talent. It is sad and not only ruins the opportunity for countless artists, it ruins the opportunity for a neighborhood to live with glorious world-class art. The Houston Bowery wall could be just another advertising wall, but we’d prefer it to be a powerful beacon of the best of a movement.

For now, we don’t wish to wipe away what’s been done, we are simply taking a break...
Since then, the motorcycle has been covered with layers of new tags. 

Celebrating 'Sunday Matinee' this Saturday (TODAY!)

There's a book release and signing this afternoon at Generation Records for "Sunday Matinee," Brooke Smith's photo book of the neighborhood's hardcore scene in the 1980s.

The event, from 5-7 p.m. at the shop, 210 Thompson St. (between West Third and Bleecker) in Greenwich Village, includes a Q&A between Smith and Drew Stone of the New York Hardcore Chronicles

And at 9 p.m., there's an after-party at 96 Tears, the new bar-venue dedicated to Howie Pyro at 110 Avenue A at Seventh Street (the former Tompkins Square Bar).

You can read our Q&A with Smith (seen below in the 1980s!) right here.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Sweet 'Nothing'


Don’t Know What You're In Until You're Out is the just-released second record from the Philadelphia-based band Gladie ... the video here is for the anthemic indie-pop track "Nothing." 

They'll be at the Bowery Ballroom on Dec. 16, though that show is sold out.

Today is Bandcamp Friday, where the platform waives its revenue share, and all earnings go to the artists.

Season's greetings!

A reader shares that note from an undisclosed East Village apartment building...
To whoever stole every package delivered yesterday — I hope you enjoy Hell. :)

The area behind the Tompkins Square Park fieldhouse is back open to the public

Photos by Steven 

After three-plus weeks, the area of Tompkins Square Park behind the fieldhouse/office is back open to the public...
The gates had been locked since at least Nov. 8. There wasn't any signage to explain why this part of Tompkins was closed off to the public. 

And there were mixed messages about the reason... one employee claimed this happened after Sue Donoghue, commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, paid a visit and saw used needles in this area. (The Parks Department did not respond to previous requests for comment.) 

Later, two Parks employees told EVG contributor Stacie Joy that there is/was a broken pipe in the basement of the fieldhouse. 

For now anyway, you can visit this area to check out the Slocum Memorial Fountain or take in some remaining foliage...

Part-time faculty at the New School reject university's latest contract offer

Since Nov. 16, some 2,600 part-time faculty members at the New School and the Parsons School of Design have been on strike. According to these instructors, they have not received a raise in four years — representing an effective pay cut of 18% when adjusted for inflation, as Gothamist notedEVG contributor Daniel Efram reports on the latest developments this past week. All photos by Daniel Efram.

At a cost of more than $350 million, the New School's University Center, located at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street, was designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, making it one of the greenest academic buildings in the country. 

Nothing was left to chance with the design; even the stairways inside were designed to foster community inside and outside the building encouraging "chance meetings." 

Details matter. At this unique time in the school's history, it's fascinating to note that the University Center's facade is emblazoned with a course title like "Artists As Activists." Little did the school administration understand that its own public-facing ideology could be used against them as accusations of hypocrisy and lack of equity were shouted forth by dozens of faculty and students that marched side by side with the ACT-UAW Local 7902, the part-time faculty union, on opposite sides of Fifth Avenue on Monday. 

The rallying team — sometimes arm-in-arm, and most of the time with a brass band performing — held signs that illustrated their frustration with the negotiations, including "Rogue Capitalist Employer," "No More Unpaid Labor, Pay The Profs," and "Fuck Institutional Greed Respect Educators."
"Part-time faculty have not gotten a raise since 2018," said Rachel Aydt, a 20-year part-time New School/Parson faculty member. "And the increase being offered amounts to 1.8% per year, which does not come close to the cost of living increases in New York City during this time."

According to Annie Lee Larson, part-time faculty at the New School/Parsons, roughly 87% of the teaching faculty are part-time. They seek fair compensation, including for work performed outside the classroom, reliable health care, tangible recourse against discrimination and harassment, and job security. 

Though negotiations began in June, an agreement has yet to be reached. This past week, 95% of the faculty voted against accepting the last and best New School offer.

"The University is attempting to unilaterally implement their final offer against the will of part-time faculty without having reached an agreement via mutual consent via the collective bargaining process," Lee Larson said. 

She said that the New School does a great job of promoting an environment of social justice and promoting its brand of progressivism. 

"They put forth this image to students when they are deciding to come to school here that everyone in this community is cared for and is treated with equity, and they are finding out in attending school here firsthand that is not the case," Lee Larson said. "This strike is bringing a lot of attention to that. The students should be made aware of these atrocious working conditions."
The New School/Parsons directed us to their website for their latest proposal. You can find a letter about the labor negotiations from Dr. Renée T. White, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, at this link.

Holy smokes! 2 more unlicensed weed shops pop up in the East Village

Photos by Steven

Another day, another few smoke shops setting up for business in the East Village. 

Up top, we have Giggles Convenience (so many smoke shops, so few names left!), coming sooner than you think on First Avenue, just below Fourth Street. Signage includes a skeleton in a hat smoking from a bong.

And on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, Pride Smokes is offering "foreign snacks" and various items you can find in the other few dozen shops that have debuted of late...
Late last month, 28 individuals and businesses and eight nonprofits were designated Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licenses by the state Office of Cannabis Management ... for a total of 36 licenses statewide, per published reports

The Times had a piece last week titled: "How New York City Became a Free-for-All of Unlicensed Weed."

The sleek dispensaries and tacky bodegas are part of an explosion of unlicensed cannabis shops that have opened in New York over the past year as part of a rush to cash in on the state's legalization of cannabis. Now on the eve of the launch of the state's legal market, the authorities face growing pressure to address the shops, which have created confusion among everyone from tourists to police officers. 
The Police Department explained in an email to The New York Times that, in its view, the legalization law does not give officers the authority to make seizures or arrests when they see cannabis displayed or to shut down unlicensed shops. "The law only provides an enforcement mechanism if an actual sale is observed," its public-information office said.

Meanwhile, a survey (results here) conducted by the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association found the presence of potentially deadly E. coli, salmonella and pesticides in many products from 20 unlicensed stores that publicly advertise selling marijuana, as Bloomberg reported

As the Post noted, the study also found that there are "likely tens of thousands of illicit cannabis businesses currently out of bodegas, smoke shops, or other retail locations" that are licensed to sell other products. 

The new recreation space at Pier 42 gets its official welcome

On Tuesday, the city officially unveiled the new sports area at Pier 42 — aka Pier 42 Upland Park and Pier — along the East River... The space opened without any fanfare on Oct. 8. (You can read our post here about it.) 

And coming next summer, per the city's press release on the grand opening:
Parks is working on a related project to develop Pier 42's passive "upland park" section, which is slated to be completed in late summer 2023. The Upland Park was conceived as part of the Pier 42 master plan, created by Parks in 2012  ... The upland park will provide much-desired green space for the densely populated Lower East Side neighborhood. The pathway network throughout the linear park is inspired by the flow of water — a primary path with offshoots along its weaving line. It will also include an entry garden, a playground and a comfort station.
You can access the amenities at Montgomery Street/South Street at the entrance to Pier 36. Our previous post about it includes a Google map in case you want to find it and see the space for yourself.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tree-mendous work taking place

From the EVG tipline... city crews were out this morning jackhammering portions of the sidewalk on Avenue A just south of Sixth Street (outside Drom)... turns out they are putting in a tree bed. Ditto for the NE corner of Avenue A and Sixth Street... a tree bed is going in there as well outside the former Sidewalk/August Laura space. 

And maybe more trees are on the way elsewhere in the neighborhood?

'Tis the season for the 3rd & B'zaar Holiday Market

Photo by Stacie Joy

The third annual holiday market is open for the season at 3rd & B'zaar191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Once again, you can find vintage goods, art, holiday wear, jewelry, accessories, housewares, and more created by 30 local designers, artists and merchants through Dec. 24.

New vendors include Shorebird Vintage (@shorebird_vintage) and Case en Pointe Bags (@caseenpointebagsnyc). Meanwhile, local resident-entrepreneur Kadidja Kabore-Lamport is making a 3rd & B'zaar return with her natural beauty products.

The market will also be selling items from La Sirena on Third Street. While La Sirena owner Dina Leor is not a vendor, the 3rd & B team are big fans of her Mexican folk art and did a wholesale order with her.

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There's a special evening event on Dec. 17 with extended hours from 7-9.  

Construction watch: 699 E. 6th St.

Photos by Stacie Joy

The 6-floor residential building rising on the NE corner of Sixth Street and Avenue C is in its unglamorous cinderblock phase as work continues ...
As previously reported, the residential building will include 11 units, a storefront and space for an unspecified community facility on this long-vacant corner. (A gas station was the last tenant here in the 1980s.)

The plywood rendering has not been updated, and still lists a fall 2022 completion date...

On the topic of long-vacant lots

Once again, the entrance gate is broken to the long-empty lot at 89 First Ave. between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. (Thanks to Steven for the photos.) 

Despite this, the broken purple office chair that has been here for weeks remains in place...
There is some new news here. The Department of Buildings has given partial approval for permits to construct a 6-floor building with eight residential units (condos?) and ground-floor retail. (The permits had been pending since May 2020.) In total, the proposed structure is 8,183 square feet. 

In 2017, the city never approved plans for a similar-sized structure — eight units, six floors.

There isn't any timeline on when construction may commence here.

This previous EVG post has more about the space's history.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Multiple readers shared this clip via @whatisnewyork... someone decided to scatter the rats gathered in trashbags outside 13 (and 15) St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue...

6 posts from November

A mini month in review... 

• Baker Falls will bring together a cafe, bar and the Knitting Factory at the former Pyramid Club on Avenue A (Nov. 28

• The last days of Raul’s Barber Shop (Nov. 26

• Middle Collegiate Church seeks permission to demolish the remaining façade of its fire-damaged structure on 2nd Avenue (Nov. 22

• A visit with Moxie, a nearly 8-year-old East Village photographer with an eye for nature (Nov. 16

• A visit to Azaleas, celebrating 20 years in the East Village (Nov. 15

• Basquiat's former loft space on Great Jones is available for lease (Nov. 7)