Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bring your skates...

...if you want to walk on the north side of East Second Street today...

On the bright side, Brandon Jacobs thinks the Giants will be in the Super Bowl next year

Ouch. From the Post:

"You can only get so much blood out of a stone" with budget cuts and other measures, the mayor said.

He proposed closing a $4 billion budget gap in 2010 with $955 million in cuts and savings that reached into every agency -- from the NYPD, which stood to lose another 1,000 cops through attrition, to the FDNY, which could see 12 companies vanish, to the child-welfare agency, which was asked to absorb 608 layoffs.

George Schneeman, 74

From the Times:

Painting, playing poker till dawn and boiling up pots of midnight pasta for friends in his apartment in an East Village tenement, Mr. Schneeman was sometimes described as New York’s last bohemian. That was not quite right. Seventy-four at his death, he was certainly younger than some of the artists who still animate what were once the city’s unfashionable neighborhoods

Schneeman died this past Tuesday.

In a post on his blog, Michael Lally remembered Schneeman:

George created a life that was perfect for an artist. In the old days his day job was teaching English to immigrants. But he had a rent-control apartment on St. Marks Place, right in the heart of the action that made the 1960s the 1960s — and ditto for the following decades. Even now, the street reflects the times in ways no other part of the city does.


Item: "Wall Street bonuses were more than $18 billion last year — roughly what they were in the fatty, solvent days of 2004."

“My bonus is ‘shameful’ — but I worked hard to get it,” said John Konstantinidis, a wholesale insurance broker, lunching Friday at Harry’s at Hanover Square.

“I’m a HENRY,” Mr. Konstantinidis added. “High Earner but Not Rich Yet.”

Friday, January 30, 2009

Glenn Branca: Structure (1981 The Ascension no wave noise)

A homemade video by suburbanbatherson.

Mid-morning musical interlude

"Strange Powers" by the Magnetic Fields from 1992. Just take in that Coney Island sun. (Oops...I had embedded the wrong video earlier...Heh.)

At the Holland Bar yesterday afternoon

Uh, still not open yet. And the gate was down.

On Tuesday, the Times ran a feature saying the Ninth Avenue dive might be open as soon as the next day! Seemed awfully optimistic, especially given the state of the place that I saw the previous week. At that time, two weeks even seemed like a stretch to for the bar to reopen.

In any event, the place will be open again...just don't know when for sure.

An unusual tag

After leaving the Holland yesterday, I walked on West 35th Street ... where on the door to this rather abandoned-looking building, I spotted some ususual graffiti...

Not a tag that you see everyday.

I consulted with The Graffiti Friend of EV Grieve. He had never seen such a tag either. More of an intellectual twist on the ubiquitous Baby Dino and Chef Pants. Just one of those interesting, mysterious things that you see around the city, The Graffiti Friend of EV Grieve said in a rather intersting, mysterious way.


Ah, Bruce...brings back some memories....

Danger: Swamp Ass Area

On Cooper Square.

Meanwhile a little farther north...At the under-construction Cooper Union building at Cooper Square between Seventh Street and Sixth Street. Charming!

Chloe Sevigny dig promptly lands St. Mark's retailer Daily News feature story

From the Daily News today:

He doesn't like being called grumpy, but if the sock fits ...

The East Village sock salesman deemed the "grumpiest man on Earth" by actress Chloe Sevigny isn't embracing the title -- but he isn't denying it, either.

"I have my moments," acknowledged Marty Rosen, 45, owner of The Sock Man on St. Marks Place. "I'm from New York. We all have our moments."

The Villager remembers "the father of bicycles"

Emey Hoffman, who ran several shops through the years, most recently Busy Bee Bicycles on East Sixth Street near First Avenue, died on Jan. 7. He was 63. “Emey started on bicycles when he was about 10 years old hanging around bike shops on the Lower East Side,” his brother Jon told The Villager. “When I told George, who has a bicycle shop on E. Fourth St., that Emey died, he started to cry and said, ‘The father of bicycles is dead,’”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New York Sun paper holders still being put to good use

Somewhere in Midtown today.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

Meet the man behind Stogo (New York Observer)

The end of the NYC yunnie? (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

The hipster rent boys of NYC (New York Observer)

Fewer fatcats and corporations buying private jets (New York Times)

Apparently there's no salt for the sidewalks in Stuy Town (Lux Living)

East Village to Be Renamed Momofuku Village? (Esquared)

Ride the MTA circa the 1970s (Greenwich Village Daily Photo)

LES skyline keeps on growing and...(BoweryBoogie)

The Yankee Stadium replacement parkland overrun even fatter than CC Sabathia's contract (Washington Square Park)

The Trump SoHo feature: All is well here!

The New York Post's real estate section today has a cover story titled "Rock, Hudson!: TRUMP'S NEW TOWER SHAKES UP SLEEPY HUDSON SQUARE AREA."

I'll say.

The piece is so full of whoppers, it's hard to know where to start. So how about here:

"[Trump SoHo] is a fantastic emblem to have on the corner," says Prudential Douglas Elliman's Frances Katzen, who is selling the Renwick, a condo building set to rise in Hudson Square. "[But] the building has had a lot to overcome."

Despite protests from neighborhood groups and other controversies -- including the discovery of a 19th-century African church burial ground on the site -- Trump is rising quickly.

"We thought there was a place for younger product downtown," says Ivanka Trump.

Phew! Did away with those "controversies!"

All the "Rock, Hudson!" author had to do was pay a visit to Curbed or maybe just read the headline and second deck of Michael Idov's feature on the property last March 30 in New York:

Trump Soho Is Not an Oxymoron
It’s a 46-story skyscraper being built on a graveyard that’s brought together shadowy Russians and a billionaire brand name to attract internationals in a zoning-skirting scheme that’s enraged the neighborhood, sent glass shattering to the street, and killed a construction worker. It’s New York in the aughts, and inside there’s a luxury suite just for you.

The worker's name was Yurly Vanchytsky. He lived in Brooklyn. He died last Jan. 14. According to reports, he fell 42 stories when he was knocked over by a wooden form used to set concrete collapsed as it was being moved by a crane.

The survey asks: So how are we feeling New York?

To the press release!:

Each year, the Citizens Committee for New York City conducts Speak Out New York, a citywide survey to find out how New Yorkers feel about their neighborhoods and what they are willing to do to make them better.

So how are we feeling Manhattan? To a whole lot of bulleted points!

Civic Engagement
• 44 percent of residents said they were “very interested” in neighborhood and community affairs and
51 percent said they were “somewhat interested.”
53 percent said they had done something in the last year to improve the community.
• 58 percent said they had attended a resident-led activity such as a block party and 41 percent said
they had attended a public meeting, rally or discussion about a neighborhood issue.
• 60 said they were interested in becoming more active in community affairs.
• The most common barriers to their increased involvement was not knowing about existing
opportunities (37 percent) and the perception that “there are no organized groups in my
neighborhood” (12 percent).
• The activities that residents were most likely to become involved in were a beautification project
such as planting trees or flowers (23 percent), a project for young people (14 percent) and a housing
or neighborhood preservation project such as a tenants rights campaign or a campaign to preserve
affordable housing (14 percent).

Quality of Neighborhood Life
38 percent said they were “very satisfied” with the quality of the neighborhood, 52 percent said they
were “somewhat satisfied” and 10 percent said they were “not at all satisfied.”

• 86 percent said the quality of the neighborhood was ‘very important” to their overall quality of life,
13 percent said it was “somewhat important” and 1 percent said it was “not at all important.”
• 26 percent said they would like to move to a different neighborhood.
Interactions among Neighbors
36 percent of residents selected “we greet each other in the hallway or outside,” 22 percent chose
“we are acquaintances,” 17 percent characterized their neighbors as “friends,” 14 percent chose “we
can count on each other for small favors,” 9 percent chose “we do not know each other at all” and 2
percent chose “we have had conflicts.”

• 73 percent said they would like to get to know their neighbors better, 9 percent said they would not
and 18 percent said they were unsure.
Future of the Neighborhood
• 57 percent of residents felt that the cleanliness and overall attractiveness of the block was going to
improve and 32 percent felt it would remain the same.
• 46 percent said that the overall sense of community pride would improve and 42 percent said it
would remain the same.
• 42 percent of residents felt that the neighborhood would get better with respect to resident-led
activities such as street clean ups and tree planting and 46 percent said it would remain the same.
• 37 percent felt that “positive social interactions in the neighborhood” would improve and 48 percent
felt it would remain the same.
57 percent of residents felt that their neighborhood would become too expensive for them to live in.

You can download a PDF of the survey here. Meanwhile, you can read about the survey in the Post and find out why people in Queens are so much happier than us. Fuckers.

Sure, the Hotel Carter may be the dirtiest hotel in America, but it sure is photogenic!

Been meaning to pay a visit to the Hotel Carter on West 43rd Street in Times Square. Yesterday, Gothamist had the roundup on the Carter being named the filthiest hotel in America by the voters at TripAdvisor. Woo-hoo! You're No. 1! So what seems to be the problem(s)? Ah, the usual. Rats. Mold. Dust. Dangerous electrical outlets. Dead bodies. That kind of thing!

So why do I want to pay the Carter a visit? The photo opportunities! Just look at some of the shots I found by typing in "Hotel Carter" on Flickr...(And check out Ken Mac's post on the Carter at Greenwich Village Daily Photo.)

(Photo by fantaz)

(Photo by Bob Jagendorf)

(Photo by 24gotham)

(Photo by Strange Red)

(Photo by Jeffrey Docherty)

Anyway, how bad could it be?

Previously on EV Grieve:
Checking out the Vigilant Hotel: "Perfect for the bored with responsibilities of maintaining a traceable address"

Elk in the City

At the Hotel Edison: An appreciation

A few signs from the recession

Three shots that I took Sunday...

DeRobertis Caffe on First Avenue in the East Village...

Uh, some men's shop on...uh, Sixth Avenue near 23rd Street. I think.

Supermac on Seventh Avenue.

Not sure what happened with this photo...this would be the laser hair removal recession special...shot on Clinton Street between Houston and Stanton.

Also from last fall...a sign that Eater has noted on 14th Street near Third Avenue...the sign is still there...

Meant to mention this earlier...$5 for mac and cheese? And that's a recession special? How much does a box of mac and cheese cost at Key?

The Really Really Free Market may need a new home

For the past four years, the Really Really Free Market has held their monthly exchanges at the St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery on East 10th Street. As the the Times reports, they may need to find a new home, perhaps just temporarily.

Organizers said the Really Really Free Market has never seemed more relevant than in the current economic climate. But now the future of the market, at least at St. Mark’s, is in doubt. Elizabeth Arce, 20, a member of In Our Hearts, the network of collectives and individuals that runs the market, said that a church staff member told her this month that the market would have to move.

“He said the Really Really Free Market could not be held at the church anymore,” she said.

Ms. Arce said that if she and others could not reach an agreement with the church, they would begin looking for another site for the next gathering, scheduled for the end of February.

James Benn, the church administrator, said the free market would be suspended for the time being, while the church awaited the appointment of a new priest, but was not permanently banned.

Save the date/reminder...And the Archdiocese now has half of the money to restore St. Brigid's

Meanwhile, Edwin Torres, chairman of the Committee to Save St. Brigid’s Church, had the following news to report:

This year will bring a lot of change to St. Brigid’s Church. We would like inform you that work is progressing. There is currently on site testing going on. We will continue to monitor the situation.

The Archdiocese has informed us on Dec 16, 2008 the second installment (5 million) was received, a total of 10 million has been received and is earmarked for the restoration of the church. The Archdiocese will also be filing a motion to to render our case moot. We will inform everyone of the outcome through the website. The case is scheduled to be heard in The Court of Appeals on February 11, 2009.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ugh: Etherea Records is closing

Karate Boogaloo brings us the awful news this afternoon at Stupefaction: After 13 years, Etherea Records is closing shop on Avenue A next month. Expect nice savings on everything there until then.

As KB notes: "I'm sad, as this is yet another record store biting the dust. One less place to drop by. One less place to discuss music face to face with actual other human beings."

Meanwhile, could someone please hit me over the head really hard with a shovel? Thank you.

Snow job: The Penistrator fails to rear his ugly head

Given the international attention the Penistrator has received, we figured this snow fiend would strike again at the first sign of the white stuff. Like last night. As our profiler noted, "all the attention is going to his head." With that, we set out once again to catch the so-called snowffiti "artist" in action...(and by we, I mean me....)

We walked for what seemed like days, finishing the blackberry brandy that we brought to keep us warm some five hours before we actually left. And we walked....

And walked...

And walked...

Twenty minutes later, still nothing. Oh, he resisted the urge! This Penistrator is a crafty one...

Until another day, one that brings snow, football and a drink-and-drown happy hour. (Trust us, we're not doing this every snowfall.)

And if you woke up this morning to a street full of snow penii, please let us know. As our new motto goes, If you see something, like a snow penis, say something.

Previous Penistrator coverage on EV Grieve is here.

The East Village Penistrator finally gaining attention of the international community

Thanks to the good people at the River blog for reporting on this news that deserves global coverage, especially overseas. Anyway, my Italian isn't so good. So I have no idea what this post says.

Our intern ran the post through The Yahoo! Babelfish translator...and it goes something like this:
To Rome on the dirty cars there is who writes "washes to me", or more varying others veraci. To New York, from some time, there was a joker who went designing make them and an other series of "obscenity" on the parked cars. After a big wave of collective curiosity, of the case the net has been taken care also pettegolezza of Tmz, that it has sguinzagliato for Manhattan its photographers. At the end the graffitaro-penologo has been pecked: it would be such Haley Joel Osment, university student and protagonist of "The Sixth Sense".

This week's sign of the apocalypse

Daniel Boulud's new beer and burger joint opening on the Bowery is tentatively titled DBGB. (New York Post, via Grub Street)

Updated: For further reading:

Boulud on Bowery #03: DBGB Shall Be the New CBGB (Eater)
It's Official: Nothing is Sacred! (Flaming Pablum)

[CBGB photo via UrbanImage]

New York's disappearing storefronts

A friend recently turned me on to the work of James and Karla Murray, photographers who split time between NYC and Miami. Last month, they released their latest book, "Store Front -- The Disappearing Face of New York." According to their site: "'Store Front' provides an irreplaceable window to the rich cultural experience of New York City as seen through its neighborhood shops. These stores have the city’s history etched in their facades. They tirelessly serve their community, sustaining a neighborhood’s diverse nature and ethnic background, in a city with an unmercifully fast pace and seemingly insatiable need for change.

Through March 29, you can see their work at the Brooklyn Historical Society's exhibition, "The Disappearing Face of Brooklyn’s Storefronts." (Via Gowanus Lounge)

Meanwhile, here's a video they did on Emily's Pork Store in Williamsburg.

Since seeing their "Store Front" work, I've started paying even more attention to the great old shops that remain in the neighborhood...and elsewhere in the city...

A good storefront

On 14th Street near Third Avenue.

Two storefronts on West 36th Street

After checking out the Holland Bar the other day, I walked a bit on West 36th Street between Ninth Avenue and Eighth Avenue. Always glad to see some good, old-fashioned businesses, storefronts that haven't been turned into a Marc Jacobs or something. Here are two examples. Neither of these stores really need to have any kind of compelling window displays. (Not sure how much of their business comes from people who just happen to be walking by..."Say, I should stop and get my sewing machine repaired!") Yet I'm glad they give it a try.

A WTF storefront

Good old Rite Aid...both the location on 14th Street near the Blarney Cove and on First Avenue at Fifth Street have the same storefront...some sort of wellness theme...where we get a good view of some yuppie's armpit at sunrise...

and some yunnie honey's butt-revealing running shorts...

It's like American Apparel as reimagined by David Zinczenko.

Two places temporarily closed for renovation/construction

First, as of last night, the Australian Homemade candy shop on St. Mark's Place near Avenue A was closed...seems as if they'd want to be open leading up to Valentine's Day...

(Hasn't been a good week for Australian places on St. Mark's Place, by the way...)

Meanwhile, over on Seventh Street between Second Avenue and First Avenue, Klimat, the Eastern European beer joint, remains closed. Haven't been here myself (a little clean and suburbany for my tastes), but a friend of EV Grieve's is bummed this place has been closed for several weeks...

At least it looks as if they'll be back in time for your Valentine's Day.