Friday, April 30, 2010

Left to your own devices

Stiff Little Fingers, yeah.

Your Shepard Fairey/Cooper Square Hotel daily update!

Getting a kick out of the Shepard Fairey mural

This week, Jeremiah has discussed some of the ongoing vandalism issues with Shepard Fairey's mural at Houston and the Bowery... (You can read those here, here and here.)

Now it appears someone has taken a good swift kick to the mural...

And we must have crossed paths with DNAinfo's Patrick Hedlund... who also filed a story on this.

Oh! And we didn't realize that our friend BoweryBoogie was first with this earlier today... Here's his post.

Blockbuster: 147 First Ave. set for demolition

Wow. EV Grieve reader Steph sends along the photos and word that 147 First Ave. at the corner of Ninth Street is being prepped for the wrecking ball... She walked by and workers were hammering off the lock on the front door. When asked, the workers said the building would be torn down.

The building has been sitting empty for several years... Angelica's Herbs was the last tenant here.

We'll have a lot more on this later...

Looking at "ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery"

[Exterior of ABC No Rio's Animals Living in Cities show with dog stencils by Anton Van Dalen, 1980. Photo by Anton Van Dalen]

Marc H. Miller sent along a note to tell me about a major addition to the 98 Bowery Web site ... Indeed.

The previously out-of-print book ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery from 1985 is now online. Miller and Alan Moore edited the book.

Here's more about what you'll find from the 200-page book that's now all online ...

With new layouts and color scans, the online version of ABC No Rio Dinero preserves the early history of a pioneer Lower East Side art space that was the unplanned progeny of the "Real Estate Show," an illegal exhibition in an abandoned, city-owned building squatted by artists on New Year’s Eve 1980.

[Outside the "Real Estate Show" at 125 Delancey. Photo by Anne Messner]

Compiling art and articles from the period, sections of the book spotlight Collaborative Projects Inc. (Colab), the Time Square Show, the South Bronx art space Fashion-Moda, Group Material, PADD, and East Village music and art in the 1980s. Amongst the featured artists and writers are young, up-and-comers of the 1980s like Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness, John Ahearn, Tim Rollins, Walter Robinson, Jeffrey Deitch, and Bob Holman; the No Rio stalwarts Becky Howland, Bobby G, Peter Cramer and Jack Waters; photographers Martha Cooper, Lisa Kahane, and Tom Warren; and established voices like Lucy Lippard, and -- in a poetry section edited by Josh Gosciak -- Amiri Baraka, Miguel Pinero

[ABC No Rio at night during the Tube World exhibition. Photo by Jody Culkin]

The photo below is from the Crime Show, from Jan. 15-Feb. 6, 1982. According to the book: "The Crime Show, organized by John Spencer, had the biggest crowd of any opening, perhaps an indication of the relevance of the theme. For years, the economy of the Lower East Side was to a great extent based upon organized crime -- the sale of drugs, and illicit industry involving entire families in its wide range of tasks. Crime of all kinds in the neighborhood remains high. One artist experienced this first-hand on her way home from an opening when she was mugged in the subway. It is probably safe to say that every artist on the Lower East Side knows someone who has been mugged or robbed. Household burglaries are endemic, as the heavy gates on neighborhood windows testify."

[Photo by Harvey Wang]

The book also includes the orignal ads... "The ABC No Rio book was a labor of love mostly pushed by volunteer labor. Along the way a few small grants paid for typesetting, veloxes and other preparatory material. However, as the book neared completion a daunting financial reality confronted us: we needed a substantial sum to get the 200-page book printed. The solution was advertisements placed in the back of the book. Bettie Ringma volunteered to be our ad representative and quickly discovered receptive clients among the galleries representing No Rio artists and the many fledgling businesses betting their fortunes on the emergence of the East Village as a trendy art center. Today these advertisements gathered in 1985 are a time capsule of the first moments in the careers of up-and-coming artists and of some of the early hot spots of the short-lived East Village art scene."

Here are a sampling of the ads:

As Marc says, the ABC No Rio art space is still going strong today, maintaining a commitment to an interactive aesthetic that mixes art, politics and community.

And as you know, ABC Rio will soon begin construction of a new facility.

Find the whole ABC Rio book here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Life at 98 Bowery: 1969-1989

20-plus police officers respond to a disturbance involving one teenage girl on East 11th Street

An EV Grieve reader sent me the links to these two videos on YouTube filmed by Robert Galinsky. The following note was posted by Galinsky along with the first video... The video is dated April 24, 2010:

Before you watch these videos you need to know what went down before the camera rolled: This teenage girl was unruly, loud, and having words with a woman and being disruptive on 11th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. When the police arrived, she ran and got one block away with two officers in pursuit. They caught up to her and dropped her on the sidewalk. The two officers jumped on her, kicked her, cuffed her, smashed her face into the sidewalk, dragged her up and lifted the cuffs behind her back as to put pressure on her shoulders, her pants were falling down and they raced her back to the police car. She was crying and screaming the whole time. When back at the police car the two officers put her in the car and then pulled her out - this is when we began filming. As you watch note how many police officers, cars arrive. Note the tone of the officers as they speak to the young girls who arrive on the scene, note the panicky energy as they tell us to move back (they have a teenage girl cuffed on the ground, not a hulking brute) ... WHY WHEN SHE WAS IN THE CAR DID THEY NOT DRIVE HER TO THE PRECINCT TO DIFFUSE THE SITUATION OR EVEN AROUND THE CORNER? WHY DID 20-PLUS OFFICERS SHOW UP FOR A TEENAGE UNRULY GIRL?

[Please note: May be NSFW]

First video:

Second video:

Will "The Smurf Movie" give The Bourgeois Pig any ideas?

Last night, "The Smurfs Movie" came to life on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... and The Bourgeois Pig had a starring role... at least the fictitious sidewalk cafe that was put up by the crew for the scene... in which lead Neil Patrick Harris exited a cab and walked into 111 E. Seventh St. next door... However, given how the sidewalk cafe looks, will the Pig brass get any ideas about opening their own now...? Would this get ok'd by CB3?

The crew set up the tables very early ... around 6:30 a.m. yesterday...

Exclusive: The Smurfs show their immature side while filming in the East Village

The corner of 10th and C ripe for something new and trendy?

Christine's Deli and Grocery on Avenue C at 10th Street has closed... the inside has been gutted.... and the roll-down gate was freshly painted by workers this week...

There's always the Avenue C Deli on the corner of 12th Street, though be mindful about loitering....

Anyway, as for 10th and C... I'm curious about the future here... what direction will it go? Something for the community (grocery, laundromat, etc.) or, say, another bar to complement the nearby Sunburnt Cow and East Village Tavern?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A lot of fuss to watch Neil Patrick Harris exit a cab for 10 seconds

I was one of the many fools people who stood around for a bit to witness the filming of "The Smurfs Movie" on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue tonight... we were all basically there to watch Neil Patrick Harris exit a cab and enter 111 Seventh St. carrying a box. Then they did it again... and again...

And this is a huge production... with trucks and equipment on Avenue A from Sixth Street up to 11th Street...

Seventh Street, 5:41 p.m., April 29

Your Shepard Fairey/Cooper Square Hotel daily update!

"7th grade heaven" on Seventh Street

Previously on EV Grieve:
On Seventh Street tomorrow: Smurfs, Ted Danson, craft services

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

Ray's benefits denied again (Neither More Nor Less)

Punk redux (Flaming Pablum)

Billy Leroy is a "believer in the spirits and ghosts of the old Bowery" (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Remembering "Little Spain" on West 14th Street (Ephemeral NY)

The future of Coney Island boardwalk is worse than you think (Curbed)

Farewell to Freddy's (The Brooklyn Paper)

Proposed Belgian Ale House in the "Crazy Landlord" building on Second Ave. unleashes some branding (Eater NY)

A Bank of America treasure map? (BoweryBoogie)

Smart Crew hits Second Avenue...

Also, noted on 10th Street:

Exclusive first look at "The Smurfs Movie" filming today in the East Village

Well, I can dream that they film a scene in the Mystery Lot...


How Lit Lounge is trying to be a better neighbor

During the CB3/SLA meeting on March 15, the owners of Lit Lounge -- the two-floor bar/music venue/art gallery at 93 Second Ave. -- were requesting a license transfer to launch a new venture in the space.

As Eater reported that night: "The pitchforks and community outcries came out ... several community members brought signs and spoke out against the owners of Lit, complaining about crowds on the sidewalk forcing pedestrians to walk in the street and music that plays past 4 a.m. on weekends."

There was more: "You run an unbelievably irresponsible business," said one young man who moved above the bar six months earlier. (He's not renewing his lease.) Nearly every speaker invoked the same phrase: 'Lit is not a good neighbor.'"

As The Lo-Down reported: "One resident called the owners 'a lawless group,' who don't bother cleaning up broken glass on the sidewalk, refuse to control their customers and are unresponsive to complaints."

The owners withdrew their transfer request until they can demonstrate that they are willing to make changes.

I recently contacted David Schwartz, one of Lit's co-owners, and asked him what Lit has — and will — be doing in the coming weeks to be a better neighbor.

Via e-mail, he sent me a lengthy list of the steps they are taking. Among them:

Hired an extra person outdoors for crowd control from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and to tell patrons to watch belongings inside. Also, we're now asking people to kindly move on after smoking outside or go back inside. We also have brand-new red ropes for two separate corrals for smokers outside.

Noise control
Limiters for sound system
Turn amps down to take control away from DJs.
Informed all staff to tell appropriate parties to lower music if too loud.
Informing people who are controlling the levels how to adjust the system to keep levels fair and balanced.
Lowering bass.
Hiring sound engineer to do meter readings next door.
Soundproofed whole side of bar.
Music off at 4 a.m. mandatory

All signs have been replaced or made noticeably bigger.

Band loading
Making sure someone is at Lit while load in takes place and load out happens safely and earlier than later.

Gave out a memorandum that stated that the some neighbors and community board were not happy with Lit. Listed different topics for them so they could give me some more creative, serious ideas to help us be better neighbors.

The Lit owners have also places fliers on adjacent apartment buildings...

Last Thursday, Schwartz met with members of the East 5th Street Block Association, several of whom spoke out at the March 15 CB3/SLA meeting. The Block Association will be approving and signing a list of the stipulations... I hope to have those soon...along with some more local reaction.

Schwartz said that Lit will likely wait several months before returning to the CB3 to make sure that they're doing things right...

Mud Truck ready again for action?

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Mud Truck was seen on Astor Place... as Eater noted, the truck was hit by the Department of Health...

However, last night, I spotted the truck out front of its home on Ninth Street near Avenue C...

... looking ready for action... and no sign of the telltale DOH sticker...


Maybe not... no Mud Truck in the usual spot on Astor Place a little bit earlier this morning ... but the guy in the DOT van here was drinking coffee...

Final dance for the Musical Box?

Given it's draped front door, it's always hard to tell when the Musical Box on Avenue B near 13th Street is actually open... However, it appears the well-worn former hotspot might be closed for good...

Northern Spy expands

Six-month-old Northern Spy on 12th Street was closed on Monday and Tuesday for some renovations...

The restaurant reopened last night... and team Spy have simply removed the cases that sold to-go items in the back and replaced them with a few more tables... makes sense, given that the place seems to be getting more popular...

More info via the Northern Spy Web site.

Will old PS 64 get a theater for nonprofit groups?

Last Thursday I noted that the sidewalk shed had been removed by workers at the old PS 64 space owned by developer Gregg Singer ... fueling plenty of speculation, mostly by me.

Anyway! The plot thickens here on East Ninth Street ... Scoopy notes the following in his column in The Villager this week..

"Michael Rosen, a Christodora House neighbor and founding member of the East Village Community Coalition, tells us there may be a new twist: A local preservationist ... recently told him that, while plans are still to make the building a dorm, now the owners also want to renovate the old school's existing basement theater and rent it out to a nonprofit theater company. And Singer is still very much involved."

And then the Scoopster let's loose:

"Clearly, Singer wants to exploit preservation-specific tax credits he can get for renovating the landmarked building — the same building he ironically defaced only a few years ago, trying to reverse its landmarking. Talk about 'theater of the absurd.'"

I forgot what H was for

Here's an exclusive, upclose look at the H in the new HSBC branch sign at Second Avenue and Ninth Street... yep, she's a beaut. Thanks guys!

Hoist her up!