Saturday, July 31, 2010

Late afternoon on Ninth Street

Thanks to EV Grieve reader Steve for this shot... At the Loisaida Summer Block Party on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

St. Mark's Block Party under way

Well, it wasn't at the time that I took these photos this morning.. but by now, probably... balloons...dunk tanks... dead horses... between First Avenue and Avenue A...

Also today: The Loisaida Summer Block Party on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

'Margin Call' on the Bowery

"Margin Call" is filming on the Bowery and Houston this morning... The Wall Street thriller stars Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore... and the two fellows filming a scene in this convertible, Paul Bettany and Penn Badgley...

Wonder if ol' Penn is going to the Mars Bar later?

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Times goes to the Mars Bar with one of those guys who's in "Gossip Girl"

A terrible experience prompts bedbugs art

We've posted some bedbug art by Samuel Mark here in recent weeks... there's a short Q-and-A with him over at The Wall Street Journal... As he says about his bedbug art: " I am actually just trying to raise awareness. To me, it’s a big problem. I actually experienced bedbugs firsthand and had a terrible experience."

[Photo by EV Grive reader Dan N.]

Friday, July 30, 2010

Surf's up

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

GammaBlog has some great photos and video from last night's Paul Revere ride (GammaBlog)

Talking with street photographer Laura Rubin (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

More photos from the 1990s (Flaming Pablum)

Upcoming shows for the East River Park SummerStage (BoweryBoogie)

Before Second Avenue and First Street was a glassy condo (The Gog Log)

Tips on freelancing for the Voice (Runnin' Scared)

Darryl Strawberry is opening a restaurant in Queens (Grub Street)

Alone in the subway (Blah Blog Blah)

Union Square's old "Dead Man's Curve" (The Bowery Boys)

More on the Russian Orthodox Cathedral battle (The Villager) And Save the Lower East Side! has thoughts on the matter here

And noted:

Breaking: "Fear not — the SUPERDIVE sign burns brightly!"

Well, since I noted the gates were down last weekend at Superdive, Superdive watchers have been busy speculating about the bar's future... with some rumors even suggesting that the keg-tapping gang's space at 200 Avenue A had been seized by the marshal's office.

Not so!

After asking the landlord of 200 Avenue A what was what... we heard from the Superdive Team firsthand:

We are currently closed through the summer for completion of our PA work and AC upgrade. In addition, we are scheduled to appear before CB 3 for an alteration application. This gives us more time to enjoy the sun and surf during this torrid summer.

As one of our favorite bands says " Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world!"

Fear not — the SUPERDIVE sign burns brightly!

Keep cool and try to minimize water and electric usage. (yes those are low wattage energy efficient bulbs in our sign!)

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we will keep you updated on any new and exciting developments at the super bar SUPERDIVE!

On the liquor license docket: Hot & Crusty! Superdive! (Again!) DBGB's sidewalk cafe!

Well! The CB3/SLA agenda for August is now online... Eater and the Lo-Down had the early word on several of the more interesting items. (Clearly they hacked into Susan Stetzer's hard drive! ... Kidding!)

Anyway! Here are some of the items of possible interest ... with helpful comments afterwards in italics...

Monday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 pm — JASA/Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at Bowery

Renewal with Complaint History
• Cheapshots, 140 1st Ave (op)

Good luck given recent history there.

Sidewalk Cafe Applications
• The Penny Farthing (East County Louth, Inc), 103 3rd Ave

Thought this had already been OK'd...

• DBGB (Bowery Restaurant LLC), 299 Bowery

But of course!

Applications within Resolution Areas
• D Burger Inc, 26 1st Ave (wb)
• D Pizza Inc, 26 1st Ave, Store #2 (wb)

The Rama Cafe space...

• Kate's Joint, 56-58 Ave B (alt/op/usage of basement as storage/minor kitchen modification)

Storage for what? That Post intern who blew the lid of the fact that underage people sometimes go to bars and drink?

• Habibi Lounge (Zaika Restaurant Corp), 198 Ave A (alt/op)

Still haven't met anyone who has been here...

• Superdive (Rapture Cafe & Books LLC), 200 Ave A (alt/op/kitchen/size & location of bar)

Hahaha...fifth time they've been on the agenda in the past six months...

• East Village Tavern (Brooklyn Bar NYC Inc), 158 Ave C (alt/op/stips/extend hours/add live music)

Live music? Longer hours?

• Corp to be Formed, 200 Ave A (trans/op) (Superdive)


New Liquor License Applications
• Stromboli Pizza (Stromboli Pizza Inc), 83 St Marks Pl (wb)

Just noting.

• Dans Le Noir (Dans Le Noir Corp), 107 Norfolk St (op) (Tonic)

Eater has more on what may be coming to the long-dormant Tonic space...

• Corp to be Formed (Alexander Stupak), 101 3rd Ave (op)

Oh, the old Cosmic Cantina space... Eater noted that pastry chef from wd~50 has his name on this ... which probably maybe means -- high-end dessert!

• Hot & Crusty (14th St Bella Pizza Corp), 400 E 14th St (b)

Beer for Hot & Crusty?!

[Image via]

A bad sign at Bon Vivant

Late yesterday afternoon I noticed that Bon Vivant, the Greek diner on Broadway near 12th Street, was closed... no sign out front... No one answered the phone when I called... I'm hoping that this is just temporary, like, something suddenly came up...

As New York magazine noted: "Imagine a prototypical old-school diner and, chances are, you’ll get a close approximation of Bon Vivant. Owned for decades by a Greek family, it has a huge illustrated menu, vinyl maroon booths, and chrome chairs." The Bon Vivant was especially welcome in a Broadway corridor filled with chain eateries such as Quizinos and Cosi...

[Update: Called again this morning and didn't get any answer...]

Bedbugs getting bigger, more colorful

More from Samuel Mark. Undisclosed location.

New bus lane signs for First Avenue

New bus lane signs went up this week on First Avenue... perhaps this will ease some of the ongoing confusion here with parking and not parking and what not...

Meanwhile, as the outline on the Avenue shows, there's apparently more work to do here...

Like, perhaps, one of these island/divider thingamajigs from further down the Avenue...

[Many thanks to Blue Glass for the top two photos]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Looking at First Avenue's new bike lanes and "floating lane"

Celebrity dares cyclists to hit him

On First Avenue near First Street.

Still waiting for Chloe Sevigny's community board application

Remember all that hippity-doo about Chloe Sevigny wanting to be on Community Board 3? Back in May?

Anyway! The Scoopster remembers! Scoopy followed up with an item on it this week in the East Villager News:

The actress ... still hasn’t applied to Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office to be considered for a board appointment. "We are waiting for the application and we are looking forward to the interview," said Stringer. (All community board applicants are interviewed and screened by a "blue-ribbon panel" created by Stringer.) The B.P. noted that Sevigny — and anyone else who's interested — has until Jan. 15 to apply for the next appointments in April

[Image via]

Words for an accused dog killer

Speaking of Scoopy's column this week.... he also has a follow-up item about the puppy who was stomped to death outside Tompkins Square Park. He spoke with Patrick Miller, a.k.a. P. Miller, a.k.a. P. Mills. According to Scoopy:

"He's 86'ed," P. Mills said of the puppy murderer, if he ever returns to Tompkins. "I'm gonna kill him. We don't like trampling dogs. We don't like violence against animals. Yeah — word live."

Jellyfish invasion on 13th Street

A store called Jellyfish New York is opening on 13th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue...

...based on the sign, I'd say (duh!) that it's some kind of clothing shop for kids... another sign said that the store was opening in August

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paul Revere ride under way

Organized by Times Up!, a group of 20-30 cyclists have just left Tompkins Square Park for a peaceful ride to help bring awareness to the city's endangered community gardens...

Before things got started, though, the 9th Precienct paid a visit and spoke with organizer Benjamin Shepard ... who said that his wife would kill him if he ended up in central booking tonight...

The cops left them go, but stuck around...

Here's a story on the ride from the Daily News today.

[Photo via the Daily News]

And here's what's at stake.

Bedbug artist strikes again with a tribute to bedbug-riddled stores

A mysterious e-mail just arrived with another bedbugs creation by Samuel Mark... On St. Mark's Place near Second Avenue last evening... And the e-mailer confirmed his identity as the elusive street artist Samuel Mark, who previously left a bedbug-ridden couch for Shepard Fairey.

Now with some video...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Bedbugs inspire local artists

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition

Info on two block parties this Saturday (East Village Feed)

The swirly door on East Fifth Street returns (The Gog Log)

Patrick Hedlund interviews The Grumbler (DNAinfo)

The Grumbler on the perils of public sidewalks in our reality-show world (The Grumbler)

Price chopping on East 10th Street (Curbed)

The guy from Crowded House was ready to move into 240 Houston right before it caught fire (HuffPo)

115 Norfolk reveals itself (BoweryBoogie)

A hotel room on Bleecker Street for $2.75 a night (Ephemeral New York)

Underground rock scribe Jack Rabid leaves the East Village for Park Slope (Brooklyn Paper) Why? "I got married, and we bought a house. The other half of it was, I started to really hate the East Village. I used to say you’d never get me out of there with a crowbar, but it’s not the East Village I grew up loving in the late 1970s. There’s not a trace of the underground culture anymore."

And EV Grieve reader Blue Glass reports that Kathy's has completed the move a few doors down on First Avenue between 14th Street and 13th Street...

Good news... but what will become of the Tats Cru-painted gate?

13th Step owner discusses frat rap, telephone booths and bar names

On Tuesday, Billy Gray had a piece at Guest of a Guest titled, 13th Step Vs. Billy Hurricanes: Which Will Be The East Village's Most Hated Bar?

As Billy wrote, "The 13th Step is part of a massive evil empire whose leaders, unlike Billy Hurricanes', haven't even feigned interest in preserving neighborhood character. But the locals have already taken the all-important first step and admitted they have a problem with (decreasingly) out of place new arrivals."

I've been pretty tough on the 13th Step too... so, in fairness, I asked Michael Asch, one of the two senior co-owners of the 13th Step, and its sibling bars Down the Hatch, The Stumble Inn, Off the Wagon, et al, for his reaction to Billy's article...and other topics... we exchanged messages via Facebook (Michael previously invited me to the 13th Step's opening on July 6, which I did not attend) ... here's, in part, what he had to say ...

"[I found the piece] completely obnoxious ... and immature. The fact that we are being labeled frat bars and bad for a neighborhood's character is totally uncalled for and, for that matter, just plain ignorant."

On the Telephone's legacy:

"How many times are people going to say how upset they are about the removal of telephone booths and for that matter, the Telephone Bar? Has it not occurred to them that the Telephone Bar, as well as many other places that people hold onto in their memories, are going out of business for a reason?"

[Telephone photo via]

On their business model:

"My partner and I spend months and big bucks doing everything that we possibly can to build new spaces with tons of character and old-world charm. In fact, that is what we pride ourselves on.

"We end up with a classic, well-thought-out, safe environment ... a great and inexpensive venue where locals can come and eat, drink, watch sports (yes on 28 TVs -- is that so bad?) ... for just a few bucks.

"We always stay within the letter of the law, and have always run our establishments with the community in mind on many levels. We have had virtually no violations of any kind over a combined 50-plus years in New York. We get involved with many charities, both local and national, sponsor local groups and teams, and attend police precinct meetings regularly and proactively.

"We, too, are saddened by Duane Reade, Starbucks and the other big-chain-store takeovers of these neighborhoods. We are the exact opposite. We try and move with the times, by opening venues that will give value, and most important, create jobs for the city and these areas."

On coming up with the name the 13th Step:

"We do use names that make you stop and laugh, smile or, maybe in some few instances, grimace, but that is solely a marketing tool that has been successful for our formula.

"We never knew of the unofficial meaning regarding a new AA member being flirted with by current members when we chose the name. We always do a naming contest with friends, family and regulars. We get thousands of creative and comical names, and then a committee votes. [The 13th Step] was meant to be nothing more than the fictitious step that a person would take after having completed the 12-step program. They jokingly would naturally go have a beer and a burger in their local pub. Nothing more, nothing less. We polled dozens of New Yorkers who have been to, or are currently attending, AA meetings, and found 100 percent of them, young and old, to not only find the name funny, but many think it is fantastic, genius, creative, etc.

"Mind you, while we are very inexpensive compared to most other venues in NYC, we DO NOT promote binge drinking, or excessive drinking at all. We strive for great times to be had by all, in a safe and relaxed atmosphere."

At the Mars Bar: "Nothing in here 'works' properly"

Heh. Slum Goddess captured and posted this photo from the Mars Bar...

77 Ludlow papers the East Village

While walking on East Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B last evening, I noticed that nearly every car on the block had a flyer under the wipers...

...upon closer inspection... it turns out to be an ad for commercial and residential space at 77 Ludlow St... Might be a reason for a big street marketing push... as far as I can tell, a few of these spaces have been on the market for more than a year...

So I visited the website listed on the flyer... (hey, this street advertising works!)

...and found some videos... the renovated storefront with the bags of trash and buckets of paint and stuff look so much more classy accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra...

Meanwhile, I eventually spotted the fellows distributing the flyers...

Ads on First and First still want us to feel badly about our bodies

EV Grieve reader K. Knipfing points out the new ad on the northeast corner of First Street and First Avenue...

"You can never be too thin." As K put it: "A timeless message from Pretzel Crisps lightly reminding you that you will never reach any 'goal' when it comes to your body."

Previously at this spot, H&M advertised its $4.95 "bikini tops" ...

The Summer of Bedbugs continues...

What does the sign say...? I can't make it out from this distance...

Seventh Street between Avenue B and Avenue C...

Meanwhile, CNN had a piece last night on the city's new battle against bedbugs...

Last days for Pet World

Last week I noted that Pet World on East Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B is closing...

Signs out front say that tomorrow is the store's last day...

Per a commenter yesterday:


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NYPD raises Shepard Fairey threat level to 'high'

Heh. No! Just the NYPD protecting the Houston corridor for the Obama motorcade this evening...

Many thanks to EV Grieve reader Anna for the photos...

Thankfully the Penistrator didn't deface Shep's work for the President to see...