Sunday, August 31, 2008

New York Herald Tribune!

Breathless at the Film Forum today and tomorrow. And it's 2-for-1 with Band of Outsiders.

Tonight's forecast at Delicatessen: golden showers

Apparently some residents who live above Nolita hot spot Delicatessen -- with the glass-roofed lounge -- are unhappy with the party atmosphere that it created on their stretch of Lafayette Street. As the Post reports, "one unidentified building resident has taken matters into his own hands, emptying his bladder on the see-through ceiling from his apartment window above."

Mickey Campbell, 45, who has lived in the building for 18 years, tells the Post he "gets woken up nightly by garbage trucks and drunken patrons. The restaurant is filled with "f---ing wankers" and "yuppies, yuppies, yuppies." Delicatessen opened in July.

Oh, and the Post notes: Owners Susan Leonard, Mark Amadei and Stacy Pisonne opened Cafeteria, a 24-hour upscale diner in Chelsea, a decade ago. It quickly became a staple "Sex and the City" shooting location.

That article from the Times on becoming New Yorkers

There was a lot of reader feedback to Cara Buckley's article in the Times from Tuesday on "the sometimes painful adjustments faced by newcomers to New York City."

As she reports in the City Room, "scores of people, it seems, were reminded anew of the growing pains, and delight, that often go hand in hand with moving to the city. Readers’ comments ran the gamut, from lonely newcomers who still felt lost to people who remembered their early days here with great tenderness."

"A few native New Yorkers insisted that it was the arrivistes, rather than people born in the city, that acted standoffish and brusque, and gave the city its reputation for being rude."

Dennis Kelly, who grew up in Long Island and works in Queens, wrote:
As someone who regularly holds doors open for other people, and who is born and raised in New York I find that the rudest “New Yorkers” are younger professionals transplanted from other places that are trying a little too hard to be “real” New Yorkers. Everyone knows the stereotype from movies, and they try to live it. Their only guides along this path are other transplants who have “made it” because they have that “real” New Yorker attitude. Your article only managed to further entrench this stereotyping. Rude is not the new black. It never has been.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Second Avenue on Saturday night

"Nightlife destination" mania continues: 10 new applicants for full liquor licenses on the docket

Save the Lower East Side! brings news regarding the Community Board 3 committee that reviews liquor licenses. Its first meeting of the season is Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., at 200 E 5th St., corner of Bowery.

Rob reports:

As Among the 40 applications, there are no fewer than 10 new applications for full liquor licenses (called "op" for "on premises" -- scroll down to item 21).

They're everywhere: one on Grand; another just around the corner from it on Eldridge Street; Chrystie is getting hit; around the corner on Rivington too; Allen off Stanton (right next to Epstein's Bar); 2 on 10th Street. Some are restaurants, some are bars; all add to the "nightlife destination" mania, the rising commercial rents, the selling off of the LES to Generation Bloomberg.

Is this finally the end for Astroland?

The Post reports:

The end could finally be here for Coney Island's fabled Astroland Park.

Longtime operator Carol Albert sent a recent letter to lawyers for the site's landlord, controversial developer Joe Sitt, threatening to shut down the 46-year-old amusement park if she doesn't get a two-year lease extension by Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. at the same rate, sources said.

Sitt, however, isn't budging.

"We are extremely disappointed that Carol Albert has decided to give up on the future of Coney Island when her current lease isn't even up for a number of months, said Sitt spokesman Stefan Friedman," adding Astroland would be replaced next summer by new "amusements, games, shopping and entertainment galore."

Astroland appeared doomed only last year until Albert and Sitt struck an 11-hour deal to keep the park open through 2008.

Many expected Astroland to return in 2009 since the city is at least a year away from implementing an area rezoning plan that, in part, would replace Astroland and other attractions with new amusements.

Bud select

Man watching an Anheuser-Busch truck receive a parking ticket the other day in the Financial District said to no one in particular:

"A beer truck getting a ticket? There oughta be a law against it."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Houston and Avenue A, 5:03 p.m., Aug. 29

[Photo by Mrs. Grieve]

Dee Dee B. Goode

Dee Dee Ramone in 1994. For a Friday.

"Apparently they will be serving beer in Hell"

That's Gawker commenter seancasio's reaction to news that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, "the tumbleweeds from MTV's high-gloss people-spoof The Hills," are planning on opening an "upscale sports lounge" on 29th Street and Third Avenue in Murray Hill. [W via Gawker]

The grittiest, most realistic 90 seconds of any film ever set in New York City

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the particular clip that I was looking for from Taxi Driver. Or The French Connection. Or Sweet Smell of Success. Or...

But! We do have Weekend at Bernie's. Which is appropriate since this classic from 1989 is set during Labor Day weekend. I'm still trying to figure out what route our heroes took to work...

Meanwhile,...I can't remember what the critics thought. They loved it too, right?


"I know this town, brother, because I got clothes on my back!"

This is to make up for the Weekend at Bernie's nonsense.

James Cagney in City for Conquest

Going away this weekend...

...or are you having, in the words of the Times, a "staycation?" As the paper notes:

It is a ridiculous word, but that hasn’t stopped the sprouting of so many Web sites with perky “I ♥ N.Y.” staycation ideas — Circle Line, a museum visit, a tenement tour and bialy on the Lower East Side.

And, admittedly, it’s a very fun word to say. Staycation. How was your staycation? My parents went on staycation, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. Our son-in-law threw his back out on staycation.

As is so often the case, this new thing is nothing new in many parts of New York City. It’s just that it was never named by those level-headed working men and women who do not need a tarted-up pseudoword to enjoy a nice week without work.

Giving thanks to Mixed Use

Thank you to Patrick Hedlund at The Villager who wrote about this site and Bowery Boogie in his Mixed Use column this week.

[By the way, the photo is by Helen Levitt from 1971. Find 24 of her photos of New York City street scenes from seven decades right here.]

Scoopy sees the Christodora's fabled swimming pool

In The Villager this week, Scoopy gets a guided tour of the Christodora's fabled swimming pool and gym. He reports:

Wanting to get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all, this week we found ourselves gazing into an empty, gray, 50-foot-long pool in Christodora House’s basement. It was 8 feet deep at one end and sloped up from the center to a shallow depth at the other end. From the looks of it, it hadn’t been used for 50 years.

We also toured an adjacent gym with decrepit, old basketball backboards without rims and a high, cement-slab ceiling barely hanging onto rusted rebar and looking like it was about to come crashing down any second. The gym and pool spaces are zoned for community-facility use, meaning they could be offices for doctors or nonprofit groups. But, according to our tour guide, the building isn’t under any obligation or deadline to rent these spaces. In fact, Christodora tried to convert the gym to residential use a few years ago, but the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals rejected the condo tower’s hardship application.

Local dog groomer alienating Gossip Girl crowd

On 12th Street near Avenue B.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More fancy $12 cocktails coming to "the Lower East Village"

Eater brings news of Ella, the newest nightspot on the "Lower East Village," as its owners are calling the area. The bar will be at the site of the former Julep at 9 Avenue, next door to the Library.

A list of $12 specialty cocktails, such as the Plum Gin Fizz (Muddled sour plum, 2oz Gin, splash of simple syrup, splash of lemon juice, shaken in a Collins glass) will be served nightly. Bottles of beer are $7 and glasses of wine will range from $10 to $20.

"The Ella staff will fit the theme dressed in classic sexy and sophisticated 1920's attire."

BREAKING: Bed bugs infiltrating bedroom(s) of Avenue B

Looks like just another unassuming pile of trash of the curb on Avenue B, just past the Christodora, right?


[On Avenue B, between 9th Street and 10th Street]

Walking on Broome Street

On the north side of the street, near the Bowery.

Al's Bar, 1987-88

Just enjoying a shot of the Bowery via amg2000's Flickr page. Plenty more provocative photos there.

Al's Bar, 108 Bowery, circa 1987-88. (Closed in 1994)

An EV Grieve FYI

On 25th Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ziegfeld is a "movie palace," which is why the Mets game will be playing there tonight

First, a moment of appreciation for the Ziegfeld, one of two (the Paris Theatre on 58th) remaining single-screen movie theaters in Midtown. A rarity these days. As the Clearview Cinemas Web site notes:

The Ziegfeld Theatre was a Broadway theatre formerly located at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1927 and razed in 1966. The theatre was named for Florenz Ziegfeld, who built the theatre with financial backing from William Randolph Hearst.

The 'new' Zeigfeld Theater, built just a few hundred feet from the original Ziegfeld theater, opened in December 1969 and the movie house was one of the last big palaces built in the United States.

The theater features 1,169 seats, with 863 seats in the front section and 306 seats in the raised balcony section in the rear. The interior is decorated with sumptous red carpeting and abundant gold trim.

The Ziegfeld is, arguably, the last movie palace still showing films in Manhattan

Not to be Gloomy Grieve, but I do worry about this place. Aside from being a desired chunk of real estate in Midtown. It hasn't even been 1/5 full the last view times I've been there. (Granted, I'm not going to see, say, Iron Man, on opening night either.) I also enjoy their Hollywood Classics series.

So! What to make of this: The Mets-Phillies game is being shown there this evening. (This is becoming an annual event.)

As the press release for this evening's game at the theater touts, "Fans watching the action in larger-than-life style on the Ziegfeld's 50 foot x 23 foot viewing screen will participate in traditional Shea Stadium in-game entertainment and fan giveaways . . . Mr. Met and the Pepsi Party Patrol will also be on-hand to provide entertainment throughout the evening."

There will be beer sales and T-shirt launches too.

Tonight in Tompkins Square Park: Stand by Me

You guys wanna see a dead body?
Oh Vern. How you've lost that baby fat and become Jerry O'Connell and married Rebecca Romijn.

The "last of her kind" on the LES

The Times travels down to Stanton Street for a feature today on Lucita Cangemi, a Roman Catholic nun who has been a social worker in New York since 1961.

Sister Lucita is the last working New York member of an order of Catholic religious women, the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, who have served as social workers with Catholic Charities since 1953. Having taken vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, they became experts in prostitution, jails, diapers, rent, drugs and jobs.

This is really not about me, but about the exodus of a community that has worked hard in New York, that loved New York and loved their work, and gave services to the city for 50 years,” Sister Lucita said.

The base of their operations for many of those years was on the Lower East Side. Long before the clever restaurants and dress shops, the streets and tenements were home to poor people. The same human problems run across every class and culture, but on the Lower East Side, those problems lacked the insulation and camouflage that money can buy. Another member of the community who just retired, Sister Marion Agnes, worked to salvage abandoned apartment buildings through sweat equity, and more recently converted an old Catholic school into affordable housing.

No word on what will become of her LES office. Maybe a hipster barber shop?

Awfully quiet here...everyone in Denver?

On the Lower East Side in Knickerbocker Village.

Looking at ads on Third Avenue

I spend too much time looking at ads. Especially stupid ads.
For instance, this Nike ad has been bothering me at 11th Street and Third Avenue. What's up with her expression? Did she just soil her Nike sportswear?

And this. Across the street. Just an unfortunate positioning. Or not.

And for no reason.

Taking a picture of a staircase on the Bowery

The appreciation of the Bowery continues. The door to the stairs of these apartments/lofts/whatever was ajar the other evening. On the west side of the Bowery, close to Houston.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saving Coney Island (on film)

Kinetic Carnival brings us the news that there's a new Coney Island documentary on the way. Here's the trailer for Save Coney Island: the Movie:

NY baseball fans: "Some of them are also facing startling increases in ticket costs during a serious economic downturn"

The Times hits on one of EV Grieve's favorite topics today: New Stadiums: Prices, and Outrage, Escalate.

No American market has witnessed anything like it: two baseball teams and two football teams will open three new stadiums within 17 months and 20 miles of one another, with everything set to be in place by the fall of 2010.
But even as fans of the Mets, the Yankees, the Giants and the Jets look forward to state-of-the-art stadium architecture, better sightlines, wider concourses and more bathrooms, some of them are also facing startling increases in ticket costs during a serious economic downturn.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Even rich people can't afford to see the Mets or Yankees next season

Any bets that S.I. Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones ticket prices go up as well?

More change coming to Avenue C: "The possibilities are endless!"

Yeah, it's no secret that this building on Avenue C between 6th Street and 7th Street is for sale. It's just when you see the ad for the property in the Elliman window that...that, well, just read the description of this "rare opportunity" for yourself. Then you can throw up on your own shoes.

The building is delivered "vacant and renovated." Like to know what happened to the former tenants...

On Staple Street

In Tribeca. Two short, heavenly blocks -- west of Hudson Street, from Duane to Jay to Harrison Streets.

According to a February 2001 article in the Times:

In 1894, New York Hospital built the House of Relief, a downtown clinic, on Jay from Hudson to Staple, with an ambulance entrance facing Staple. In that year The New York Herald noted that the hospital was sending its ambulance out as often as seven times a day, sometimes on emergencies involving sunstroke, "which so often occurs in the lower part of the city," perhaps because of the large number of men working outdoors on the docks.

In 1907 the hospital built an annex across Staple Street (replacing the saloon/row house at Jay and Staple) as a stable and laundry, connecting it at the third-floor level using a pedestrian bridge.

I didn't do any research to see if this block is earmarked for a condo or something. I just want to enjoy it.

One man's dream: Colorful trash bags in the city

From today's Metro New York:

Adrian Kondratowicz is tired of the “bland and mundane” black trash bags tossed onto city sidewalks. His dream is to see an entire swath of Manhattan south of 14th Street lined with cheerily colorful polka dotted bags for at least one week.

That’s still the goal of his project, TRASH:anycoloryoulike, but for now, the Helmut Lang model-turned-artist has scaled down his vision to a handful of installations using bright pink biodegradeable bags.

“It was difficult to get sponsorship,” Kondratowicz said. “Everyone liked the idea, but no one wanted to write me a check. So I wrote myself one.”

He coughed up $8,000 to make eco-friendly bags because he “didn’t want to create more waste.” They decompose in one to seven years.

And thank you for answering my question. Cost.

The bags are costly to make and are not yet a “mass product,” Kondratowicz noted. He sells signed bags as collectors items — or for trash, if a buyer chooses. The bags range from $10 for the pink with white polka dots to $25 for gold dots.

Meanwhile, don't mind me. I need to do this.

Ad of the day

On West Broadway. Just one of the four icons that Vans has chosen for this new campaign. Oh, and Motörhead's new album is out today.

At the bar with the young fellows who want bacon in their drink

A recent post from The Barmaid Blog:

"Hey, honey, can you guys make a Benton's Old Fashioned?" asks the bedheaded hipster who looks too skinny to support life.

It's a relatively slow moment for a Friday night, so I take a second to appraise him and his friend. Of the nine thoughts that cross my mind in that moment, including the obnoxious juxtaposition of "honey" with "guys," I settle on replying, "I make a great Old Fashioned, but I have to admit I don't know what a Benton's is, and I don't get stumped very often."

"So you're in need of a good stumping?" That's from Bedhead's buddy, a bespectacled dude with a big shrub of curly hair like he's auditioning for the lead in "Knocked Up 2: Electric Boogalo."

I raise my eyebrows. "And you're just the guys to give it to me?"

Bedhead says, "We had it on the Lower East Side a few weeks ago at this place called PDT, but we couldn't get in tonight."

"Dude, PDT's in the East Village," says Jewfro.

"I thought it was Alphabet City?"

"Yeah, Alphabet City is part of the East Village. The Lower East Side is below Houston."

"I thought that was NoLiTa and SoHo."

I smack my hand on the bar a few times.

By the way, a Benton's Old Fashioned is made with bacon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking at New York, I Love You

Moe at Gawker has a post this afternoon on New York, I Love You, which IMDB describes as "an anthology film joining several love stories set in one of the most loved cities of the world, New York." The movie stars everyone: Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Chris Cooper, Orlando Bloom, Shia LaBeouf, Blake Lively, Kevin Bacon, James Caan, Julie Christie, Christina Ricci, etc., etc. (And a dozen or so people are directing the vignettes...including Scarlett Johansson.)

The trailer was released the other day too.

Anyway, here's Moe's take:

Here is the movie's most profound thought thus far leaked:

"This is what I've always loved about New York. Those little moments on the sidewalks, you can watch the buildings and feel the air and look at the people, and sometimes meet somebody you feel like you could talk to."

Which sort of highlights the problem, doesn't it! Like, hey, you can actually look at buildings and talk to strangers, technically, in any place that exists but in New York people have actually bought into the notion that their most mundane experiences and interactions are more special because someone might write a movie about them someday.

And the trailer:

Happy birthday, Gene Simmons!

We don't usually do this kind of thing here. But! Seeing as Kiss is the second-greatest band from New York who liked to get gussied up, we're making an exception! Anyway, Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons was born on this date in 1949 (born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel). He and Queens native Paul Stanley formed Kiss in New York in December 1972.

Simmons, of course, is also featured in two of the greatest motion pictures ever made.

Runaway from 1984:

And! The masterpiece: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park from 1978:

Meanwhile, AMC took to Coney Island to discuss Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (via Kinetic Carnival)

We imagine Gene will be doing some really low-key today to celebrate.

Meet the young real-estate moguls in this week's Page Six Magazine

[Image via Harper's Bazaar]

This week's Page Six Magazine features under-30 real-estate moguls in the city. First, there's cover model Ivanka Trump, the "mogul-ette" who helps run her father's real-estate business. 

Though she is, as defunct lad magazine Stuff once put it, “hot enough to liquefy your assets” — whatever that means — she’s smart enough to do it, too. “My passion is real estate,” she says. Discussing a new Trump property in the Dominican Republic, she says, “We sold 63 estate lots for $365 million, on a price per square acre standpoint which rivals homes in Greenwich, Conn. That was done in six hours a year ago with 20 percent hard deposits.” Even though much of this is incomprehensible, what’s clear is that Ivanka means business. “I rarely go out past midnight,” she says. “I get up between 5:45 and 6 a.m. and ride my beach cruiser bike around the loop in Central Park for exercise. It's cantharric."

Oh, and earlier in the piece:

The double lariat necklace around Ivanka’s neck is from her jewelry line, aptly called the Ivanka Trump Collection, which launched in September 2007. According to Ivanka, the line is “designed off my personality and my aesthetic.” The diamond tassel she’s wearing today, for example, is “feminine but with a modern twist on old Hollywood.” It retails for $140,000 at Ivanka’s marquee store on Madison Avenue.

The good stuff comes in the sidebar, though, where we meet the real sweethearts. Like Ben Shaoul!

According to his feature:

At the tender age of 19, Ben dropped out of college in Miami to buy a building in New York and begin his rise to mini-mogul status. Since moving to New York in 1997 and setting up shop in Soho, though, he’s made enemies with East Village hipsters who accuse him of gentrifying their gritty hood. He reportedly even threatened squatters at 120 St. Mark’s Place with a sledgehammer. And he’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty in other ways, either: “I’ve unclogged toilets, laid brick, done dry wall,” says Ben. “I’ve been doing this since I was 19, which is longer than a lot of the older guys.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
Landlord accused of harassing longtime tenants

Why the Village East Cinemas will be showing documentaries all this week

The Post explains:

It used to be that movies in the documentary category had to play for at least three consecutive days in 12 different cities, sometimes resulting in token showings at off hours in the hinterlands.
But now, to be nominated for an Oscar for a full-feature documentary, the films have to play at least twice a day for seven consecutive days in both Manhattan and Los Angeles before the end of August.
That's why the city is overstuffed with documentary screenings this week, with a dozen flicks opening here to make the cut.
The Village East Theater at Second Avenue and East 12th Street is offering two showings a day of the documentaries "Loot," "Fuel," "Crossing Borders," "An Omar Broadway Film," "War Games," "The Choir," "No Subtitles Necessary: Laslo and Vilmos," "The Dalai Lama Film" and "Blessed is the Match."

Beats Indiana Jones on all the screens.

The East Village per-man, per-truck moving wars continue

OK. Given the signs we've seen last week. Do we hear $15?

The good life in New York movies (1987 version): cardigan and wine edition

Catching up with a good Goldenfiddle post from last week:

1987, Fatal Attraction, Glenn Close’s character makes Michael Douglas’ character a spaghetti dinner in her white on white on white New York City apartment. Opera blares from the stereo as he uncorks a bottle of wine. He wears a blue button-down shirt and a navy-blue cardigan, with the sleeves rolled up. Clearly, he is living the good life.

Later that same year, 1987, Wall Street, Daryl Hannah’s character makes Charlie Sheen’s character a spaghetti and sushi dinner in his newly renovated, faux-demolished New York City apartment. Opera blares from the stereo as he uncorks a bottle of wine. He wears a white button-down shirt and an argyle cardigan, with the sleeves rolled up. Clearly, he is living the good life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The following photos are presented without comment

Move-in day for some NYU students. At 11th Street and Third Avenue. Sunday morning.

At the Staten Island Yankees game

Last Sunday, Mrs. Grieve and I went to our first S.I. Yankees game of the season. Unlike what the Yankees (and Mets) are charging (and will be charging) for tickets and food and booze, an S.I. game seems downright cheap. So to speak.

Transporation: S.I. Ferry (free, of course)
Tickets: They range from $5 to $13
Beer: $5 for a 16-ounce draft

Anyway, here are several shots from the game and ride. There are more on Flickr. Several home games remain this season.

Wikipedia's whoppers

In the Post today, Steve Cuozzo takes a look at Wikipedia's New York City entry. Let's just say it's not very accurate. Cuozzo writes:

[W]hen it comes to the city's geography and streetscape, Wikipedia can be wildly out of date - like its notoriously wrong-headed story on Hunts Point, which (to the neighborhood's dismay) cites 20-year old crime data.

Other entries read like dumb bus-tour guides' off-base spiels. One states that the East Village "is considered part of the Lower East Side" - by morons, maybe, but not by anyone who has ever crossed Houston Street. Nor was the East Village "formerly known as the Bowery."

Changes on East Houston; coming soon -- the Lee

From the Times:

Months may pass before the city’s planning commission decides on a 111-block rezoning of the East Village and the Lower East Side. That rezoning could allow for larger buildings on the neighborhoods’ major streets.

But the connective tissue between the neighborhoods, East Houston Street, is already showing signs of change, as for-sale signs go up and buildings fall — whether because of the proposed rezoning or despite it.

The Lee, for example, is a 12-story glass-and-masonry tower rising at Pitt Street on the site of a former boys’ club. Its nearly 100,000 square feet of space will hold 263 rental units, almost all studios.

In recent years, rentals on East Houston, like the hulking Avalon Chrystie Place and the Ludlow, have catered to the luxury market. But even if the Lee does have similarly large dimensions, as an “affordable” complex it is intended for quite different tenants.

For 105 of the units, the rent will be about $700 a month if the renter moves in from a nearby location and earns no more than 60 percent of the median income, or about $30,000, said David Beer, a director of Common Ground, a nonprofit group based in Manhattan and the Lee’s developer. Applications will be accepted starting in January.