Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Superdive Diaries

Reader Paul W. sent along the following report from this past Saturday on Avenue A:

Just walked past superdive. there were these schmucky "dudes" screaming at the top of their lungs and chanting something at the girl across the street on a bench at OST. one "dude" was wearing a us marine corps shirt and i literally saw him rip off his dog tags and howl. his other "dude" friend was wearing a full on white 70's track suit with white terrycloth headband and aviators. the room was otherwise empty and there was a kegerator near them. i walked past and felt the need to walk past again. on the second go around tracksuit dude was humping the air with one leg up off the floor while simultaneously doing the motorboat sound with his lips. it was about 4:15 pm.

i live [nearby] and needless to say, I'm terrified.

Previously on EV Grieve:
At Superdive (with new comments)

NYU de-dorms 200 Water St.; preps the 12th Street residence hall

As we noted yesterday, NYU plans on expanding into parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Well, there are plans for developing up to 6 million square feet of additional space by 2031 in the area around Washington Square Park.

Meanwhile, what else is happening in the NYU dorm world? First, 200 Water St. in the the Financial District is getting de-dormed. Since 1998, NYU has housed some 1,200 students in these 32 floors. As the Times reported on April 3, 1998, the building went up in 1971 as an office tower for the securities and insurance industry. It was converted from office space to residential space for NYU by the Rockrose Development Corporation.

The decision to lease the Water Street building comes as part of the university's drive to provide housing for a student body that includes fewer New York residents than ever before.

"Ten years ago, half of a typical freshman class was from New York," said John Beckman, a spokesman for NYU. "Now that is about 20 percent."

According to the Water Street home page, "Our theme for the 2008 – 2009 year is "Leave your Watermark" inspired by Water Street’s last year as an NYU residence hall." What's going in this space? Not sure! (According to a commenter here, Rockrose is converting the units to rentals.) But at least they have that new Duane Reade anchoring Fulton and Water. So the students will be moved to other dorms closer to campus.

In recent weeks, all the old dorm mattresses -- hope the students didn't leave their watermarks here! -- were stacked up in the lobby at 200 Water St. and carted off to...

... I don't know, perhaps the new eyesore called the 12th Street dorm that sort of, but not really incorporated the façade of St. Ann's into the residence hall's entrance. This 26-floor dorm between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue will house 700 freshman starting this August.

Here are a few of the articles The Villager has done on the 12th Street dorm in recent years.

See you at the Village Pourhouse in August kids!

12th Street's field of barbed wire

Speaking of NYU's 12th Street Residence Hall... Have you noticed all the barbed wire on the fence that protects the parking lot just to the west of the dorm? What is this, Sing Sing?

However, when the dorm went up, most of the rest of the barbed wire was removed... easy enough now to jump over the fence... making what remains look rather ridiculous.

Though, for the record, I do like barbed wire. And Barb Wire. And you pretty much knew that I was going to do this.

Summer is an "ideal time" for St. Brigid's renovations

In his most recent letter to friends and supporters (dated June 19), Edwin Torres, chairman of the Committee to Save St. Brigid's, said that the construction manager, architects and contractors recently met to plan the first stage of the renovations, "which should start shortly." As he noted, "The summer months when the school is closed is an ideal time for the major construction." He continued: "I am confident that in ... no time St. Brigid's Church will be restored to her original splendor and we will ... realize what we almost lost."


There's probably a very good explanation why a sign for an UWS gelato bar was in the trash at Second Avenue and Second Street

Why Cooper Union can thank the Chrysler Building for some of its good fortune

Interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal today on how Cooper Union has sidestepped the economic crisis while other college endowments suffer.

Cooper's most valuable asset is a gift from Peter Cooper's family -- the land under the Chrysler Building. With 1,000 students and a $57 million budget, Cooper currently receives $7 million annually in ground rent from the iconic Art Deco skyscraper. And under an unusual arrangement with roots in the school's original charter, the holder of the Chrysler lease is assessed city real-estate taxes -- but that money, currently $12 million annually, goes to the school. Over the decades, New York City has challenged the arrangement, but Cooper has prevailed in court.

Bunny bin Laden

Can't say that I've ever seen Bunny bin Laden street art before... and I've spotted several in recent days...

Monday, June 29, 2009

ABC No Rio receives city money for new home

Wow. Had today been April 1, I'd be suspicious of that headline.

Anyway, to the Times:

Formed in 1980 after an art show on gentrification, ABC No Rio endured attempts by the Giuliani administration to evict it from its city-owned building on Rivington Street in the 1990s. So when the Department of Housing Preservation and Development decided in 2006 to turn the building over to the collective in exchange for $1 and an agreement that the group would make badly needed repairs, many saw the deal as a crucial step for the survival of a beloved local landmark.

Soon after the transfer, however, an architect determined that the building was beyond repair and would have to be replaced. The budget for the project soared to $2.4 million, from $700,000. And then fund-raising — never easy for a small organization run mainly by volunteers — became even more difficult as the economy declined. Housing officials became concerned that renovations did not begin as quickly as expected; others questioned the group’s ability to finance the expensive task of a new structure.

But much of the uncertainty vanished last week when the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, and City Councilman Alan J. Gerson allocated $1.65 million for a new building.

Mr. Stringer arranged for a capital grant of $750,000, citing ABC No Rio’s resilience and cultural value.

ABC officials said they would likely demolish the Rivington Street building next spring. They have "designs for a one-story building with a basement that will extend farther back than the current structure and provide roughly the same amount of space."

For further reading:
ABC No Rio Web site

Waiting for a sweet taste

On Friday, PinkBerry busted out new FroYo flavs. And you could get free samples at participating PinkBerrys (PinkBerries?) starting at 5 p.m. And, at one point, the line for a taste (of FroYo) stretched from the PinkBerry on St. Mark's Place halfway down the block and around the corner on Second Avenue.

Coming soon to Avenue A: Mary O's

Mary O's at 32 Avenue A almost looks ready for action...

We took a quick look inside. Looks classy. No one was around to ask about an opening date. But it looks close. (And, for once, a decent, subtle-looking bar sign.)

Coming soon to Avenue A: "Best taco shop and boutique in NY!"

Well, that seems like an odd combination. Won't all the boutique items smell like, say, tacos?

Anyway, first. I spoke with someone who works here. If all goes well with inspections, etc., La Lucha will be open in two weeks. Or so.

Only later did I see these fliers taped to their shop window on Avenue A between Ninth Street and 10th Street (just steps away from San Loco too...) I'm curious about the food/boutique combo.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Coming soon to Avenue A: Wrestling tacos

A new twist on the Man With Van moving wars


On the liquor license agenda in July: Iggy's and others...

Here's what's on tap for the next Community Board 3's SLA & DCA Licensing Committee meeting on July 20:

Butter Lane is back on docket. (It was scratched from last month's agenda.)Iggy's, which is taking over the Five Rose's space, is applying for a license. A few interesting transfers (maybe!) at 40C and Cafe DeVille...

Trash and Vaudeville pays its respects

On St. Mark's Place Friday.


Hmm. Hard to read... it's sponsored by "a very popular very smooth vodka." Spotted at 10th Street and Third Avenue.

Something other than a bar opens on Avenue A

At least temporarily? The "for rent" sign is still up...The Johnny Air Cargo ... which was on First Avenue...now at 214 Avenue A, at the site of the former Gramstand Cafe that closed last December.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

NYU looking to run Greenwich Village out of town

[Image via NY Post]

"It's the purple octopus that ate Greenwich Village! New York University plans to add 6 million square feet of space by 2031 -- development that may include a 40-story residential tower, the tallest in the Village." (New York Post)

The purple octopus? Hmm. Not bad. How about:

Somewhere over Fifth Street

The weekend sky theme continues ...

I will now not ruin the moment by playing something by Rainbow, though I thought about it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More photos of last night's sky

Here are some more cool photos of last night's sky... these were passed along by EV reader Sergei. (And he didn't edit any of the colors...)

When you're out this weekend, please buy something at Ray's

Seventh Street and Avenue A, of course. Photo by Melanie.

Meanwhile, what you can do outside today

Starting at 2 p.m. in Tompkins Square Park


"Kick-ass entertainment by Jessica Delfino, Killy Dwyer, Cathy Cathodic, Rubber Room Rats, Dethrace, Jennifer Blowdryer, and other performers to be announced." [Brought to you by Our Lady of Perpetual PMS and The SHADOW]

More info. here.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

The city’s medical examiner said that Lesia Pupshaw died from a drug overdose. (The Villager)

"Cops Friday arrested two teens who have been terrorizing Jewish residents and sites on the Lower East Side with eggs, smoke bombs and swastikas." (Daily News)

New site for NYC bargoers in their 30s (35Saturdays)

The greatest movie ever about teen angst and dancing and like, having jacked-up abs that look good when you wear a tight white tank-top while dancing in a convenient rainstorm -- all in 3D mind you! -- continues to film on the LES (BoweryBoogie)

An appreciation of mom-and-pop shops on the UES (New York Times)

Gothamist has more photos from last night's sky (Uh, Gothamist)

Now please go outside.

Seven photos of the sky taken between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. yesterday

East Village Podcasts has some really nice shots of the storm clouds too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cole Comfort

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

Heritage of Pride Parade is Sunday (NYC Pride) The Drag March is tonight in TSP. Dyke March Saturday starting at Bryant Park.

The man who made bowling "sexy" (Crain's NY)

Drinking at the classic Reynold's Cafe in Washington Heights (Eater)

A shot of another classic (Greenwich Village Daily Photo)

Munchies done-chie? (BoweryBoogie)

$4 million survey finds that Buildings Department is a disaster (Daily News via Curbed)

First dog run in NYC? Tompkins Square Park, remember? (Ephemeral New York)

TV Smith show change (Stupefaction)

Subway/bus hike kicks in Sunday (Gothamist)

Swastika painted on LES synagogue (NY1)

The NYC of "The Wiz" (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

And on this topic: I'm not trying to be disrespectful here. Just curious what Jackson's death means for the cottage industry of Michael Jackson impersonators, such as the Mini Michael Jackson at 42nd Street.

At Superdive

Superdive opened last night at 200 Avenue A. (So it was Thursday the 25th after all!)

A reader sent me a fairly lengthy e-mail early this morning after a night out at Superdive. The reader started off by saying: "Maybe you can excerpt something useful from this, but I don't know. It just wasn't that interesting." We'll be the judge of that!

To the reader's e-mail:

Upon entering, confronted with a wall of noise. It's *incredibly* loud. You can't make anything out — total wall of noise.

Near the door are some mini kegs stuck in ice. By the window are guys filling mugs from a mini kegerator. Very fratty, all around. Fratty smell, especially.

We try to figure out the bar situation. Confusing. It looks like there is no bar and patrons are just doing whatever, but really there is a bar. It's just surrounded by patrons. We eventually get drinks. My mixed drink is quite strong. This is good, as it took an eternity to get it. It was served by a bartender wearing legwarmers on her arms. As we're trying to secure drinks, we're hit by a blast of flatulence. Did I mention this place is fratty? We get our drinks and head toward the front. The girls here are CUTE.

There is a live band in the back, playing under an enormous lit sign that reads APPLAUSE. The sign is always lit. I do not clap. There is a guy on piano, trying to sing over the noise, and he's accompanied by a drummer. They're playing "When a Man Loves a Woman."

There are plastic cups everywhere.

We go for another round of drinks. We ask how much, and the bartender says "Ummm.... 30?" as if we're bartering. We pay. It seems fair for the amount of drink we're walking away with.

A cringing girlfriend leading her man away from his friends.

A group of girls enter, high-fiving each other. They are cute.

A guy in a yellow shirt starts to lose composure, head in hands. He's had enough beer.

"Thriller" is played (the pianist/drummer are done now). There is cheering, dancing.

And that's about it. We get bored and go for pizza.

Reindeer games

Spotted Wednesday on Eighth Street near Avenue C.

Please place bottles, cans and pink boas in the blue trash cans

On Second Street near Avenue B.

Why you won't be able to find any hair spray on Long Island

Check out the next two weeks at Jones Beach!

Aerosmith and ZZ Top!

Doobie Brothers and Bad Company!

Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick!

Judas Priest and Whitesnake!

And yes — I'd go to every one of these shows!*

P.S. Cheap Trick opening for Poison and Def Leppard?

(*If I had a free ticket and the shows were like down the block and not at Jones Beach, which is a lovely spot for a show but sucks to get there and back and that whole no booze thing.)

The plan to save what's left of the Bowery

The Villager has coverage this week of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) meeting from June 16.

From The Villager:
The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN) last week presented a plan to limit the size of new buildings and preserve traditional commercial uses on the east side of the Bowery between Canal and E. Ninth Sts.

The alliance, which includes artists, loft dwellers and local merchants, has been calling for preservation of the east side of the thoroughfare for the past three years as new high-rise residential and hotel towers have been threatening to overwhelm the low-rise character of Bowery.

“This is the first step in gathering support for the plan,” said Anna Sawaryn, president of BAN, who led the group’s June 16 forum. “We intend to present it eventually to Community Board 3 and ultimately to City Planning.”

“We felt it was important to preserve the wholesale lighting, restaurant-supply and jewelry businesses that remain on the Bowery,” said Mitchell Grubler, a member of BAN. “Rezoning was the only way to do that before those businesses are forced out by expensive high-rise development.”

There's more coverage at Save the Lower East Side! and BoweryBoogie.

Grand opening for 52E4!

I see. It's for the business next door to the 15-story condo on the Bowery at Fourth Street. Seemed odd to spend $89 gajillion dollars on a condo and 39 cents at the 99-cent store on a "grand opening" sign.

ConEd repairs treacherous sidewalk

Near 130 First Ave. and St. Mark's Place. Just five days after a woman fell and smashed her face last Friday evening.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Accident waiting to happen happened