Thursday, May 31, 2012

One consequence of all the photo shoots in Tompkins Square Park

Everyone starts posing.

Photos by Bobby Williams.

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

Last hope for Astor Place newsstand? (The Villager)

Historic Pen and Brush Club becoming a single-family mansion with pool on East 10th Street (New York Post, 2nd item)

New York magazine on punk in 1979 (Flaming Pablum)

Sending good wishes to Steve Ben-Israel (BoweryBoogie)

Someone put bubbles in the fountain at Union Square (Gothamist)

Chelsea Gallery Diner has closed, one more loss for the non-trendy crowd (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Olek beach yarn-bombing in the UK (BBC)

DayLife on Orchard Street Sunday (The Lo-Down)

"Artisanal, Reluctant Branding Pioneer, Dies at Age 474" (The Atlantic Wire)

The Yippie Museum Cafe is in financial trouble

[EVG, July 2011]

Troubling news from over at 9 Bleecker Street, longtime headquarters of the counterculture group and home of the Yippie Museum Cafe. There's a campaign under way to help revitalize the space. (Last summer, the Yippie Museum Cafe closed to make some renovations and add new menu items.)

[Click to enlarge]

According to a letter on the Yippie's online donation page:

As a Sea of Starbucks engulfs the East Village, one of the Last Castles of Free Thought and Artistic Freedom is under siege. The Yippie Museum Café is a movement encapsulated into a Coffee House Performance space, founded by artist/activists, maintained by artist/activists, and is still run by artist/activists. It is a rare state of affairs these days.

"The Yippie has every intention of remaining an East Village bastion of vibrant and varied live music, free speech, challenging art, the demand for social justice, and a place to get some affordable caffeine. But like many non-corporate businesses, the Yippie is suffering financially. It needs a new HVAC system, new equipment for its backline, and some essential physical upgrades. Help the Yippie, protect one of the last great East Village Castles."

As of last night, they had collected just $230, well short of its planned $10,000 goal. Megan Hayes, the Yippie's events coordinator, told me that "every penny is going to improving and revitalizing the space." (According to an article from 2006 in the Sun, the Yippies partnered with a group called the National AIDS Brigade to purchase their longtime headquarters for $1.2 million in 2004.)

There's also fundraiser on Sunday from 4:30-10 p.m. hosted by John Murdock and Joey Gay of WBAI's Occupational Hazards. There will be other various speakers and musicians during the late afternoon and early evening as well.

Is there any danger of The Yippie Museum Cafe closing?

"If we can't pay off our bills, sadly yes," Hayes said.

Witness to a new development: Avenue C's Kingdom Hall back on the market

The 3,050-square-foot, two-story Kingdom Hall owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses is on the market, Crain's reported yesterday. The site at 67 Avenue C near Fifth Street is zoned for a residential property of up to 10,000 square feet. Crain's notes that there is no asking price on the space.

Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services, who's marketing the property, said: "I am sure this property will be highly sought after by smaller residential developers."

Perhaps. But the current space is 3,050 square feet. And it's zoned for up to 10,000 square feet. You can do the math.

[Via Curbed August 2009]

There isn't the first name this property has been listed. I wrote about a potential sale back in August 2009 during a guest stint at Curbed.

Per that post:

For sale signs went up [last] week at the Lower Manhattan Congregation Jehovah's Witness at 67 Avenue C near East 5th Street. According to the Massey Knakal listing for the property, the space "is ideal for a user, investor or developer and will be delivered vacant." Indeed; asking $2.2 million.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New world order for Avenue C?

The CBGB movie will mostly be filmed in Savannah, Ga.

Seems as if there's more CBGB movie news coming out every day... Two weeks ago, the filmmakers announced that Alan Rickman will portray CBGB founder Hilly Kristal in the biopic about the club's origins.

Yesterday, BoweryBoogie had more casting news, including Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone...

[Via The Strut]

Now I'm wondering where husband-and-wife filmmakers Jody Savin and Randall Miller might shoot some of the scenes about the early days of CBGB on the Bowery...

Certainly the magic of movie-making can transform any block or soundstage into another world... Anyway, we have part of our answer here. According to post on the WTOC-Savannah website Tuesday, crews will be filming in that Georgia city starting June 25.

Per the article:

The inside of the bar is set to be built in Savannah's Meddin Studios, where all the filming will take place. Nadine Jolson, spokeswoman for the film, said director Randall Miller was drawn to Savannah and to Meddin after producing the film Savannah in the Hostess City last year. Georgia's generous film tax credits were another draw, Jolson said.

As for exteriors, in an interview published yesterday in the Savannah Morning News, Miller said "we'll do some shooting on the streets of downtown Savannah — and finally a few days in New York. We're using both Georgia and New York for New York."

According to the Times Miller hopes to debut the film at Sundance in January with a release later in 2013.

Next thing you know, there's a pork bun in the oven


And a Missed Connection, which you never know are for real...

You had me at "Can I get just one pork bun?" - m4w - 30 (East Village)
Date: 2012-05-30, 5:10PM EDT

My first Ippudo, you were so generous with the cucumber.

Let's try Alta next?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How was your Manhattanhenge?

The view west across 14th Street...

Top three photos by EV Grieve reader 8E, who noted "It was a partial viewing tonight. Clouds blocked the last five minutes."

Via John... at 14th Street and Avenue B...

And waiting at the ConEd plant by Faces ...

Late afternoon view above East Sixth Street and Avenue A

Cardinals vs. Blue Jays in Tompkins Square Park

You know, Interleague play... eh... birdwatching today...

Photos by Bobby Williams.

When discarded footie pajamas channel Keith Haring

From this afternoon at Ninth Street and Avenue C... the photo and headline come courtesy Andrew Adam Newman on Avenue C.

More details about Ninth Street Espresso's plan to sell beer

Yesterday, we pointed out a few of the more interesting items on the June CB3/SLA docket. Among them: A beer and wine license for Ninth Street Espresso, which plans to expand into part of the former Life Cafe space on East 10th Street and Avenue B.

DNAinfo talked with owner Ken Nye about his plans. A few items from Serena Solomon's article:

• They're asking for an 11 p.m. closing time.
• They'd offer a maximum of three beers on tap.
• Nye is planning to open by the end of the summer, "doubling the existing space with an enclosed backyard."

EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning edition

[Sixth Street and Avenue C]

RIP Atlas Barber School (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Teen shot in back with BB gun near Campos Plaza on East 12th Street (New York Post)

A 25-story building in the works for vacant Chrystie Street lot (BoweryBoogie)

NYC schools ignoring gay bullying (The Village Voice)

Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo talks downtown NYC (Lower Manhattan Diary)

Delays for Delancey Street safety upgrades (The Lo-Down)

A look at Calliope now open on Second Avenue at East Fourth Street (Grub Street)

About the larger Rai Rai Ken on East 10th Street (Fork in the Road)

The spirit of Coney Island (The Gog Log)

...and Goggla passed along these photos of something called Porchetta.Hog on East Fifth Street just east of Second Avenue...

...neither of us had noticed it before... and the menu says they opened on May 8.

Chowhound readers noted its arrival as early as May 14... and according to Chowhound commenters, the place is not affiliated with Porchetta over on Seventh Street... Anyone try this place yet?

Ben Shaoul and company put East Fourth Street buildings on the market for $25 million

[Massey Knakal]

Some residents of 118 and 120 E. Fourth St., which went under new management about 18 months ago, knew something was up in their building. One resident reported seeing various men in suits being shown around the building in recent months.

Now we know why. Massey Knakal has just listed 118-122 E. Fourth St.

Here's the listing:

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to arrange for the sale of three adjacent walk-up apartment buildings; one 6-story, one 5-story and a 4-story that includes newly added bulkheads to private terraces. The buildings are on two lots with 75’ of frontage, approximately 26,000 gross square feet and 69 units. Located just east of Broadway and the Bowery in one of New York City’s most famous and desirable neighborhoods, the East Village is known for its diverse community, vibrant nightlife, retail diversity & restaurant density, artistic sensibility, and recent gentrification.

The buildings feature 69 apartments split between 47 fair market and 22 rent stabilized units of which there are 31 studios, 34 one-bedrooms, 3 two-bedrooms and 1 three-bedroom. The fair market apartments have been fully gut renovated and feature beautiful dark hardwood floors, dark cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathrooms, new moldings, and high-end light fixtures.

Current ownership has also completely renovated all of the building’s common areas, installed a coin-operated laundry room, upgraded the electric, repointed the facade wherever necessary, re-paved the courtyard which has beautiful decorative stone that includes a bike rack as well as installed a new intercom system, private roof decks and private backyards in the 118 building. These improvements have dramatically increased the amount of upside to be realized with the building’s 22 remaining regulated units.

If you've been following along at Occupy East Fourth Street, the blog we featured here, then you'll know all about these recent "improvements." The site is full of renovation-demolition horror stories, like this one.

As we understand it, Ben Shaoul's Magnum Management, in partnership with Meadow Partners, bought the buildings in late 2010. Fortune East LLC is the company that manages the buildings.

The asking price for the buildings is $25 million.

Here's the reaction to this news by the blog Living in a Building Managed by Fortune East:

$25,000,000? I wonder if I’ll ever finally get a fucking door that fucking works

According to public records, 118 East 4th LLC bought 118 E. Fourth St. in November 2010 for $4.025 million; 120-122 East 4th, LLC bought 120-122 E. Fourth St. on the same date for $7,475 million... good for $11.5 million total.

Chloë Sevigny's East Village home is for sale

Last Thursday, we posted photos of that lovely home at 119 E. 10th St. that was new to the market. A commenter said that this was Chloë Sevigny's apartment.

Given how many times that we've seen her home in various publications, you'd think that we'd have recognized it. The folks at maison21 put it all together, matching up the photos from a 2007 House & Garden spread with pictures from the listing.

From the listing...

... and the House & Garden...

Yep, it's the same place. And it's current asking price is $1.7 million. (And if you're into this kind of thing, Parker Posey also lived in the same building...)

Anyway, Sevigny told this to New York magazine last month.

As for her home, she’s thinking about moving to a high-rise again; she wants more light and is tiring of co-op rules. “I’m looking,” she says. “Maybe I won’t find the right thing and I’ll just stay here. Or maybe I’ll fall in love and get married and move somewhere else entirely. You never know!”

This is the largest bone that I have ever seen lying on an East Village sidewalk

OK, or any sidewalk.

On Monday, we posted a photo by EV Grieve reader William Klayer showing a very large bone on the sidewalk... Well, we didn't quite get just how large this bone was... here's another angle of the bone that EV Grieve reader Mark spotted on First Avenue and Ninth Street...

New bone marrow dish at Prune?

Any theories? Conspiracies? Explanations?

Vandaag says goodbye (and 'Proost!')

Yesterday morning, we had the post about Vandaag being closed of late on Second Avenue at East Sixth Street... later in the day, Eater got word that the nearly two-year-old Dutch eatery had closed for good.

A goodbye sign went up later in the afternoon... via EV Grieve regular peter radley...

[Click to enlarge]

Robert Sietsema at Fork in the Road noted the signage and closure yesterday afternoon. You can read his thoughts on the matter here.

Meanwhile, in an email, an EVG regular wondered if Vandaag ever actually had a "plumbing emergency" like the handwritten sign on its front window suggested. "Did they decide to close before or after the 'plumbing emergency?'"

When a sculpture arrives on East First Street

A reader takes us over to East First Street late yesterday afternoon... where four men were delivering this...

The sculpture arrived in style...

The movers understandably didn't have much to say about what they were transporting...

Anyone know what this is...? Or who the artist is?

Angelina Cafe expanding, moving across Avenue A

[Circa 2009]

Well, finally some positive news about a neighborhood restaurant expanding and not closing... RyanAvenueA passes along word that Angelina Cafe on Avenue A near East Third Street will be moving across the street later in the summer to 37 Avenue A... the long-empty space that was previously home to the Two Boots Restaurant.

In recent weeks, workers put paper up on the front windows at 37. Work is expected to take another two months.

Angelina Cafe at its new address is on the June CB3/SLA docket.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial for Roxana Sorina Buta on Union Square

EVG reader John sends along this photo of a memorial at Union Square.

Early last Thursday morning, Roxana Sorina Buta was returning to her East Harlem home from her job as a waitress at Bar 6 on Sixth Avenue and 13th Street. She was reportedly crossing Broadway at East 14th Street when a dump truck struck and killed her. She was 21.

The driver reportedly never stopped ... and the woman's mother is asking for the driver to turn himself in. "He hit my daughter and he just kept on driving. Who does something like that? He should give himself up," the mother, Cristina Oprea, told the Post in an article published this morning.

Gothamist has more about the Hunter College student and aspiring actress here.

The above sign reads, "Sleep tight our darling sister, and stay with us always."

It is a dark and stormy night

Avenue A and Second Street a little earlier. Photo by @JessicaScherlag

No Manhattanhenge tonight, just clouds

Crazy Eddie gave it a try on East 14th Street... will try again tomorrow night. More on Manhattanhenge here.

Demolition starts tomorrow at former counterculture theater on Avenue B

EV Grieve reader Ron Z. spotted workers and a new sign up this morning at the long-empty 185-193 Avenue B at East 12th Street.

According to the DOB, demolition will start here tomorrow...

There are plans waiting approval at the DOB for a mixed-use seven-story building with 44 units. (You can read a short history of what's happening with the space here.)

The address was a movie theater for many years, first the Bijou in 1926, then the Charles. (The theater closed in 1975, and a church took over the space.) A fire broke out in the building in October 2006.

Earlier this year, Brooklyn-based photographer Matt Lambros took shots of the space for After the Final Curtain, his photo site on abandoned architecture.

You can find his photos here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Revival planned for church and theater on Avenue B

Inside the Charles

Former landmark countercultural theater now for rent on Avenue B

7-story building in the works to replace former countercultural theater/church on Avenue B

Jeff Buckley died on this date in 1997

[Jeff Buckley on St. Mark's Place circa 1993 via]

Peter Ferraro at East Village Radio reminds us that today is the anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death in 1997. After working with his band in Memphis on the evening of May 29, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor off the Mississippi River and drowned. Buckley was 30. He had one studio album to his name, the critically praised "Grace" that came out in August 1994.

"He did so much with one studio album," Ferraro said in an email. "It's one of my all-time favorite records. I could only imagine what would've come next."

Buckley, an East Village resident since 1990, was a regular at Sin-é at 122 St. Mark's Place in the early 1990s. (The St. Mark's version of Sin-é closed in 1996.) His Monday night residency was quite popular.

You can read his official bio here.

Late last summer/early fall, a few scenes for "Greetings From Tim Buckley" filmed in the East Village. Here's the official synopsis for the Jeff Buckley-Tim Buckley biopic:

Greetings from Tim Buckley follows the true story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. Through a romance with a young woman working at the concert, he learns to embrace all of his feelings toward the father who abandoned him — longing, anger, forgiveness, and love. Culminating a cathartic performance of his father’s most famous songs, Jeff’s debut stuns the audience and launches his career as one of the greatest young musicians of his time.

Penn Badgley from "Gossip Girl" fame — and no stranger to the East Village! — portrays Jeff. No exact release date yet for the movie. (There's another Jeff Buckley biopic in the works, which you can read about here.)

East Village Radio assembled a collection of Jeff Buckley videos, which you can find here.

Mystery Lot ready for retail

As you probably know, the Mystery Lot here off East 14th Street east of Third Avenue will become an 82-unit, eight-story development some day. The work permits, which are still pending city approval, say that the space will include 86,409 square feet for residential and 5,275 square feet for retail.

And now, the "retail opportunity" sign has arrived ...

Not a whole lot of info via the official retail listing...

However, there will be room for retail in two storefronts, which includes the current empty slot between Chickpea and the 123 condo...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Mystery Lot likely facing a luxurious end

On the CB3/SLA June docket: Beer and wine for Ninth Street Espresso (on 10th Street)

We'll have more about the June CB3/SLA docket later... (the meeting is June 18) ...

Here are a few notable items:

Sidewalk Café Application
• Starbucks Coffee (Starbucks Corp), 145 2nd Ave

Don't think this is for alcohol ... just getting their paperwork back in order for the sidewalk cafe that the city shuttered ...

Applications within Resolution Areas
• To be Determined, 34 Ave A (wb)

The mystery applicants for the former Aces & Eights space are back. Third month in a row that they've appeared on the docket. The new applicants have pulled out of the last two meetings.

New Liquor License Applications
• Nevada Smiths (92 Nuns Walk Inc), 100 3rd Ave (op)

Getting ready to settle into their new home.

• Ninth Street Expresso (Higher Grounds Café Inc), 343 E 10th St (wb)

As Scoopy first reported at The Villager, Ninth Street Espresso on East 10th Street is moving next door into half of the former Life Cafe space... and this move looks as if it will include a beer-wine list.

Also... mystery applicants for the former Hea/Friend House space on Third Avenue at 13th Street... and the Mercadito Cantina on Avenue B... and something new for Bar on A, which had been for sale...

And how was your weekend?

A few observations via Twitter...

Zaitzeff has closed on Avenue B

[EVG file photo]

On Sunday night, we noted that Zaitzeff was closing its Avenue B location. Turns out that the healthy burger joint closed up for good last night at 18 Avenue B near East Second Street. the Zaitzeff locations in Murray Hill and the Financial District will remain open...

The Typhoon Lounge has closed on St. Mark's Place

A tipster passes along word that The Typhoon Lounge on St. Mark's Place just west of First Avenue has closed. Sunday was the last night for the Japanese bar-restaurant, which opened in the late 1990s... Per the tipster: "The details behind it closing are a bit murky, but I was told earlier this week that the owner wasn't making enough money out of it to justify keeping it open."

Despite the steady weekend crowds and party groups that still came through, the place apparently couldn't make a go of it in the still-struggling economy.

While the tipster noted that the food and sushi weren't particularly exceptional, it was always solid ... and, more important, there was a steady community presence there...

Snack Dragon was closed all weekend on East Third Street

Last Tuesday, a reader told us that Snack Dragon on East Third Street near Avenue B got DOH'd... folks behind the tiny six-year-old takeout tacqueria were hoping to be back open for the weekend... Unfortunately, that never happened... and they were closed for the holiday weekend... Here are the signs posted on the Snack Dragon gate ... you can see the Orchard Street outpost was open for business...

They received 45 violation points on Tuesday... and 33 on the follow-up visit two days later... the usual evidence of various live things...

In case you want to see a really nice rooftop garden

[Photo by Bilyana Dimitrova]

Came across an article on the Remodelista website from the weekend ... in which two architects/designers discussed creating an East Village rooftop garden... The two "were tasked with maximizing the panoramic views while maintaining a sense of privacy, which they achieved via strategically placed walls, canvas screens, and plantings."

Speaking of privacy... There's an outdoor shower (photo below) ... per the article: "While the outdoor shower was designed for privacy, there is a view of the Empire State building from the small rectangular opening."

[Photo by Bilyana Dimitrova]

Forgot to go look where this is... maybe 11th Street just west of Avenue A?