Saturday, March 31, 2012

'Imagine you're a deer...'

Tompkins Square Park.

Headline: C-

Photo by Bobby Williams.

Lake Mars

Second Avenue and First Street this morning.

Leftover from the water used yesterday for the bendy thing working at 11-17 Second Ave.?

Bottom photos by Bobby Williams.

Breaking: EV Grieve did not win the Mega Millions

Of course, we never even bought any tickets. Still, you never know. The winning tickets for the $640-million jackpot were from Maryland, Kansas and Illinois. (Just think: $640 million is roughly 3 percent of Mayor Bloomberg's $22 billion net worth!)

In any event, we did enjoy some of the homemade signs with updates during the Mega-Millions frenzy

And, here on Second Street and Avenue A, the Penistrator, or a clever imitator, did this last week...

[Via Matt LES_Miserable]

And, to telegraph it...

No Powerball jokes, please.

Does your son have what it takes to play Kristen Wiig's son?

[Click to enlarge]

As we noted yesterday, Ben Stiller's remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is filming around here next week. The movie co-stars Kristen Wiig. There are flyers up in Tompkins Square Parks seeking boys. (These signs always seem creepy.)

Per the sign, Wiig's character's son Rich "is good-natured, a native New Yorker and loves to skate."

"Must be able to skateboard. Tricks like Ollies and kickflips a plus."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Subway, 108 First Ave., 8:37 p.m., March 30

Today on the Tompkins Square Park ping pong table

Photos by Bobby Williams.

Sundown, you better take care

Wanna be the son of Frankenstein

The B-52's and "Song for a Future Generation" circa 1983.

Play here

"Play... or you'll be sorry."

Spotted on East 14th Street by @robbyohara


From the EV Grieve inbox... a warning from a reader about a Living Social deal... in which 1,164 people have purchased tickets for this on Sunday afternoon...

This spring, grab a basket fit for a grown-up and join in an epic egg hunt for adults: Pay $30 for one ticket to the Scavenger Egg Hunt in the East Village (regularly $60). Arrive decked out in a costume (for extra points) at SideBAR at noon on April 1 to enjoy two complimentary drinks and some appetizers during team registration. Once the three-hour hunt begins, you'll hop through the East Village and surrounding areas, while solving riddles, answering trivia questions, and deciphering picture challenges to clues as to where the eggs and Easter bunny are hidden — not to mention a few golden eggs containing gift certificates. Enjoy drink specials at neighborhood bars along the way, and conclude the journey with an after-party at a secret location.

Other recent area pub crawls have included:

The Furry Vest pub crawl

The Ugly Sweater pub crawl

St. Patrick's Day ...

The Greenwich Village Spring Bar tour ...

The Halloween pub crawl and scavenger hunt ...

The Viking Helmet pub craw ...

The King of Pop Pub Crawl...

The Snuggie pub crawl ...

The rugby pub crawl ...

The Red Dress Run ...

[Updated] Things that are broken

The commenting system at Google's Blogger platform is currently fucked up once again not working. Larry Page sends his apologies. And now, back to the Google Product Forums to read all the comments from pissed-off blogger types!

Updated: 9:46 a.m.

Comment function is working again. Thanks Larry!

And now, seven years later, here's 219 First Avenue!

Woo! Yesterday, EV Grieve reader evilnyc passed along photos of 219 First Avenue, the rehabbed and taller building at the northwest corner of 13th Street. Last month, workers dropped the construction netting and stuff to reveal the new-look building. Yesterday, the plywood came down at the retail space. So we can now see the whole thing as a developer wanted us to.

And here's a quick look inside the retail space...

The retail listing is chain baiting... so you might expect something chainy here...

Anyway, this space has been boarded up/under construction since roughly 2005... and because someone will mention this, the ground floor here once housed the Mee Noodle Shop, a favorite spot for Allen Ginsburg...

[A shot from 2007 via Flickr]

532 E. Fifth St. ready for renting

Figure it's time to look in again at 532 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. Curbed had an update last week on the 10-unit apartment building. Here it is as of yesterday:

As Curbed noted: "The entire building consists of 2BR, 2BA rentals with a sustainable bent. We see one listing, for $4,495/month. Amenities: common roof deck and garden, in-apartment washer-dryer, building-wide secure WiFi, and general eco-friendliness."

That listing is no longer available as of yesterday on Streeteasy. There is an active listing for a unit at $5,695.

The listing at No Fee Rentals notes, "The East Village attracts people not only for its diversity, but for its relatively affordable rents. The East Village is also known for its nightlife — a must see is Saint Mark's Place, which is famous for its many clubs, bars, cafes, and restaurants."

In February 2011, someone affiliated with the project told us that the owner of the brownstone that once stood here wanted to rehab the building, but there were serious problems with the foundation.

Or, as a piece in Real Estate Weekly put it yesterday: "The project began as the restoration of a brownstone, but the structural integrity of the building made it cost prohibitive to save, so the complete removal of the building was necessary."

According to that article, Jakobson Properties hired DOORtoDOORrealty, the Staten Island-based development firm, "to ensure the property adds to, rather than detracts from, the neighborhood's attractiveness and pride."

What do you think?

And from our archives, a few photos of the demolition and subsequent construction...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Beaming up on Fifth Street

Demolition on East Fifth Street

On the way: A five-story apartment building for Fifth Street

How to successfully walk past the Prune brunch line

Regardless of the season, there's usually a line to enter Prune for the first seating on weekend mornings. The line seems even longer on nice spring mornings. Like this past Saturday. So if you find yourself on the north side of East First Street around 9:50 or so...

You simply need to take a quick zag to the the right then straight in an easterly fashion. Then, right before you get to the last person in line, you should get skinny, like the arrow below, turn sideways and kind of shuffle, either with your butt toward the crowd or the cars. (We prefer butt toward the crowd.) If you're carrying bags, then just try to hold them over your head, as if you're wading through a stream. You could also say EXCUSE ME, PARDON ME. But they're not really listening to you.

Or, you can just walk on the other side of the street.

The Miracle on Avenue A™: World Famous Pee Phone™ has a phone again

Pee Phone™ watchers have been distraught since last August (carefully documented by our Melanie at East Village Corner), the last time that the Pee Phone™ actually had a working phone.

[August 2011 via Melanie]

And with the recent news that the city is getting rid of payphones (or payphones as we knew them) ... this sighting yesterday comes as a surprise... A phone! A phone that works!

[Bobby Williams]

Meanwhile, will these prices return for the summer season? (It's less expensive in the off-season.)

Coming soon to Fourth Avenue: Glaze Teriyaki Grill

A second outpost of the Glaze Teriyaki Grill is opening here on Fourth Avenue near 13th Street... (the flagship location is at Lexington near 54th Street...) The website describes the food as "Seattle-Style Teriyaki."

And more from the website:

Locally sourced, farm fresh, all natural and organic
From New York and Maine to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we source our produce locally and bring it in FRESH EVERYDAY (we are just that awesome!). Our farm-fresh ingredients are always all natural and we do our best to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Early warning about Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller's remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" will be filming around here next week... Bobby Williams spotted these signs going up yesterday on East 10th Street between Avenue C and Avenue D ... Promises to be a big production. Aside from directing, Stiller stars alongside Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt and Shirley MacLaine.

The original from 1947 starred Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo and Boris Karloff.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earlier today on East 14th Street

Too late.

Photo by Bobby Williams.

Joe's Bar is joining the Sophie's-Mona's family

[Joe's Bar last fall]

Longtime favorite Joe's Bar on East Sixth Street has remained closed since proprietor Joe Vajda died this past Thanksgiving. (Joe's opened in that space in 1973. Joe and two other partners previously had a place across the street.)

There were rumors that several people were looking to take over the space between Avenue A and Avenue B from Joe's domestic partner Dottie.

Richard Corton confirmed that he and his business partner Kirk Marcoe, who own Mona's and Sophie's, have signed a lease and sales contract with Dottie.

Which will all be good news for anyone tired of bars with drinks toting, say, heritage pork-infused artisanal ice cubes and shaved nutmeg. And good news for people who really like the neighborhood aspect of Joe's (and great neighborhood bars like Sophie's and Mona's), something in short supply around here these days. Corton isn't expecting to modify much about Joe's.

"Small changes. Clean up. Maybe, if we feel ambitious, we might redo the wallpaper with exactly the same wallpaper. We love that wallpaper but it is in really bad shape," Corton said via Facebook.

Meanwhile, Corton and Marcoe need to seek the approval of CB3 (they are on April's agenda) and obtain a Letter of No Objection from the DOB. If all goes well, then they plan to open this July.

One last detail.

"Per Dottie's request, we are gonna change the name," Corton said. "Joe's will become Josie's."

Alien nation

East Village-based photographer Steven Hirsch has unveiled a provocative new project. (You might recall his site crustypunks.) With Little Sticky Legs, Hirsch has taken his acclaimed portrait format to document another little-known American subculture — alien abductees.

Hirsch recently traveled to Arizona for The International UFO Conference, where he found his subjects, such as Cynthia (pictured).

Each portrait includes a story of abduction. Per Cynthia: "As far as the abductions. I've had numerous of them where they've shown me around various ships. They've also explained to me about the Hybrids and about the Starseeds that are here on planet Earth, why they're here and how they're here to help humanity."

April's CB3/SLA meeting: Mystery applicants for 8 Extra Place, Nice Guy Eddie's and 34 Avenue A (again)

[34 Avenue A]

Here we go. (Didn't we just do this?)

SLA & DCA Licensing Committee
Monday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. — JASA/Green Residence, 200 East Fifth Street at the Bowery...

At this point, we don't know a lot about some of the new applicants just yet... Have a tip about any of these? Please let us know via the EV Grieve email ...

So. Here are a few items of interest... (find the full rundown here...)

Renewal with Complaint History
• Pyramid Club (Moonwalkers Restaurant Corp), 101 Ave A (op)

Corporate Change with Complaint History
• Ugly Kitchen, 103 1st Ave (op)

Sidewalk Café Application
• Gelato Ti Amo (Quality Edibles LLC), 68 2nd Ave (unenclosed)

The new gelato place that we pointed out near East Fourth Street.

• Veselka Bowery LLC, 9 E 1st St (unenclosed)

Don't they already have a sidewalk cafe?

Applications within Resolution Areas
• To be Determined / The Great Life Hospitality Group LLC, 34 Ave A (wb)

Here we go again with this space, seemingly doomed to any applicant since Aces & Eights held the liquor license... As you probably know, CB3 has rejected all the recent plans for a bar-restaurant-performance space here. Will this be any different? The applicant is only vying for beer and wine...

• Ellsfred Inc, 520 E 6th St (op)

The owners of Mona's and Sophie's hope to take over this space. See this post for details.

• Liberty Head Tavern, 116 Ave C (op)

• Downtown Dining LLC, 5 Ave A (op)

5 Avenue A is the address for Nice Guy Eddie's. Does this mean the place is closing? Anyone? (As far as we know, CB3 member Dave McWater is still involved with the current ownership.)

Meanwhile, would the new ownership paint over the mural here...?

[Via Eater]

• San Matteo Panuozzeria E Birra (San Matteo Panuozzeria Inc), 127 St Marks Pl (b)

That new panuozzo place that opened in the old crepe joint near Avenue A.

• Yong Fa Restaurant Inc, 507 E 6th St (wb)

Held over from last month. This is the former 6th Street Kitchen space, which never reopened after that awful fire in Janaury 2011. The space had been for rent.

• Babel, 129 Ave C (op)

• The Standard East Village (Cooper AB LLC), 25-33 Cooper Sq (op/close 2nd floor bar terrace/new outdoor space on north/alter hours/other alts)

Wait — "new outdoor space on north" ... the north side of the building? That would be the former 35 Cooper Square site...

New Liquor License Applications

• To be Determined, 90 3rd Ave (op)

This was last Montein Thai Cuisine near 12th Street... the DOH closed them in January 2011, and they never reopened. Others have tried to give this place a whirl...

• Tara Thai Cuisine, 137 1st Ave (wb)

• The Northern Spy Food Company (The Northern Spy Food Co LLC), 511 E 12th St (op/upgrade)

• Extra Place (Extra Place America LLC), 8 Extra Pl (wb)

Heard a few rumors what was going in here... nothing worth repeating just yet...

• Sake Bar Satsko (Aw Creative Associates LLC), 202 E 7th St (wb)

• Raclette (New York Raclette LLC), 508 E 12th St (wb)

Something cooking for the former Jubb's Longevity space...

• Raasa (Mumbai New York Corp), 328 E 6th St (wb)

• MR Restaurant Holding Corp, 320 E 6th St (wb)

• Porchetta LLC, 110 E 7th St (wb)

• Golden Cadillac, 500 E 11th St (op)

They tried for the Mug Lounge space back in the fall (to no avail) ... now they're angling for the Angels & Kings space... where we thought Keybar was headed after January's meeting... Difficult to keep track of bars that we've never been to before...

b=beer only | wb=wine & beer only | op=liquor, wine, & beer | alt=alterations |up=upgrades

Reader mailbag: Do East 15th Street residents 'still suffer from rancid bacon smells ...?'

From the EV Grieve inbox...

What's the status on the unfortunate situation regarding the back of the new iHop on 14th Street? Has anything been changed? Or do people still suffer from rancid bacon smells permeating their apartments?

Good question! We have no idea!

Back in November, a commenter (or two) posted several, uh, comments about how awful it is to live behind the IHOP. For instance: "The noise from the equipment never, never stops, and the smell! The SMELL!!!! My apartment stinks like a cheap hotel kitchen after the breakfast rush now. If you own an apartment in one of the neighborhoods slated to get their very own IHop (I'm looking at you, Limelight neighbors), sell now."

Has the situation improved, East 15th Street? People are asking...

If you have $14 million or so, then you could buy the building that IHOP is in... it's on the market.

Reader report: A $50,000 rent hike for Stuyvesant Grocery to return (not to mention that $1 million upfront)

[Spring 2010]

A reader shared this from the other day... the reader ran into the worker on 14th Street and Avenue A...

I spoke to one of the former Stuyvesant Grocery (14th and A) employees. He said he doubted they would ever reopen. The landlord was asking for $1 million upfront and wants to raise their rent from $30K to $80K. I didn't get a chance to ask if he thought the landlord intended to put up some high rise.

As you'll recall, a three-alarm fire wiped out the corner on May 12, 2010... taking with it neighborhood favorites Stuyvesant Grocery and Pete's-a-Pizza.

The space still sits empty behind the plywood. Two for rent signs are hanging on the sidewalk shed. Just what you get to rent is open to interpretation.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Conspiracies: What next for 14th Street and Avenue A?

Renovations in order for Stuyvesant Grocery and Pete's-A-Place?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Just now.

It was all brown just a few days ago.


An expanded dining room and a legal fight

Our friends from @biggayicecream sent along this photo the other day... an in-progress look at South Brooklyn Pizza's new dining room opening adjacent to the pizzeria on First Avenue...

Meanwhile, today, Jeremiah Moss reports at Vanishing New York that former East Villager Kati Duncan, who has a 25-year-lease on the storefronts at 122 First Ave., is in a "legal brawl" with South Brooklyn Pizza, who is subletting the space. In 2010, South Brooklyn took over the space next door as well... the former Ruben's Empanadas. Duncan said that this was done without her knowledge.

Per the post:

Duncan's lawyer says that South Brooklyn Pizza is "encouraging the Overlandlord to bring an eviction proceeding" against her, so they can take over the lease.

Read more about it at JVNY.

316 E. Third St. has been demolished

Back in May 2010, this ivy-covered townhouse between Avenue C and Avenue D hit the market for $3.995 million... We knew was in store at first glimpse of the listing:

The townhouse itself is not landmarked, and there are approximately 22,900 buildable square feet available to the purchaser of these combined 2 lots, offering myriad opportunities for creative expansion.

Preservation groups to try to protect the circa-1835 house, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected a hearing... setting up the new home for a Karl Fischer-designed, 33-unit apartment building...

Workers started prepping the house for demolition on Feb. 7. And, as you probably figured from the headline, the house is gone. Here's how it looked last evening.

...and the view from Houston...

According to the DOB, the city has yet to approve the plans for the new apartment building. DOB officials disapproved the plans on March 12.

Previously on EV Grieve:
33-unit, Karl Fischer-designed building rising at former home of Community Board 3 member

Landmarks Preservation Commission rejects hearing for 316 E. Third St., paving way for 7-floor condo

Lovely townhouse with bucolic gardens on East Third Street ready for "creative expansion"

East Village history, now more interactive

[Click to enlarge]

Marc H. Miller told us yesterday about his new website for the comic-style pictorial maps that he has published at Ephemera Press since 2001. The East Village map now has a new scroll-over effect ... (Look at the site here to figure out what we're talking about...)

Illustrators James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook created the original East Village map, which features a walking-tour guide to the neighborhood's historic sites. The itinerary includes 68 East Village spots, each briefly described, and located on a secondary map specifically designed for those visiting the area. (Those who care about the history and not the bars...) For instance, the map lists all six addresses that Alan Ginsberg had in the neighborhood... as well as the location of Andy Warhol's first New York apartment on Avenue A ... among many other notable addresses...

Miller also has maps for other parts of the city, such as the Harlem Renaissance and Queens Jazz Trail, both illustrated by Tony Millionaire.

For further reading on EV Grieve about Marc H. Miller:
Life at 98 Bowery: 1969-1989

Revisiting Punk Art

Your chance to weigh in on CB3/SLA polices

From the EV Grieve in box...
SLA Policy Hearing

Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 pm — Community Board 3 Office, 59 East 4th Street (btwn 2nd Ave & Bowery)

• Resolution area changes regarding hours for beer/wine applicants
• Request for SLA rule change to have licensees notify community boards when applying for changes in stipulations or other Method of Operation changes

CB3 has been working for over a year to revise its policies regarding recommendations for liquor licenses. Some of the recommendations impact “resolution areas”—those areas considered oversaturated and for which residents have requested that CB 3 not recommend new licenses. (To find areas, go here.)

We are specifically looking at whether applications for beer/wine licenses should be exempted from resolution area policy if the business is primarily a daytime business that will close by a yet-undefined early hour. Since Community Board 3 created the original policy with community input, it is essential that we hear from you regarding any changes. This meeting will also provide an opportunity to explain some criteria the SLA uses in making decisions regarding full liquor and beer/wine licenses and how other criteria, such as zoning, impacts the decisions.

Please attend this meeting March 28 at the Community Board office (59 East 4th Street) to share your thoughts and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Photo by Shawn Chittle