Sunday, September 30, 2012

Moving day

Someone piled leftovers outside Tompkins Square Park on Avenue A...

[Bobby Williams]

... and some people apparently moving on Avenue B saved time by dropping trash bags of items onto the street below...

[Andrew Adam Newman on Ave C]

Activists: Pol who called Lady Gaga a slut for smoking pot must resign

Last week, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro inexplicably called Lady Gaga a "slut" during a youth anti-drug program, as the Daily News reported. This outburst came after the singer was photographed smoking a joint at her concert in Amsterdam.

Later last week, she revealed that she has struggled for years with bulimia and anorexia, both of which are alleviated by medical marijuana, whose use she has supported.

Tomorrow at noon, longtime activist and medical marijuana proponent Kenneth Toglia and others will rally at the steps of City Hall to call for Molinari's resignation.

Via Facebook, I asked Toglia why he is organizing the rally.

"I am promoting a common sense 'East Coast' perspective on medical marijuana: Lady Gaga recently announced she has struggled with bulimia and anorexia for years, a very brave stance, I believe, and one that shows, well, common sense," Toglia said. "When asked recently about her smoking of pot, she said: 'I want you to know it has totally changed my life and I've really cut down on drinking. It has been a totally spiritual experience for me with my music,' acknowledging something we all know but very few people are brave enough to say: that pot is safer than alcohol."

Plus: "I think the SI Boro Prez calling her a slut is scandalous and sexist."

In late 2000, the NYPD arrested Toglia for running a medical marijuana club at the University of the Streets at East Seventh Street and Avenue A. The authorities later dismissed the charges. (You can read more about his work in this article in the Voice.)

He has been working to help legalize medical marijuana in New York State. In addition, Toglia is offering a free pot-screening service at the University of the Streets on Thursday nights. Per an article from The Villager last month on the screenings, Toglia says that there is a cancer-causing fungus called Aspergillus fumigatu found in a lot of NYC street pot.

As for tomorrow's rally, Toglia is also encouraging attendees to dress up like Lady Gaga.

Here comes 'Golden Boy'

Crews working on a new TV series called "Golden Boy" will be rolling into parts of the neighborhood this evening... we spotted the above sign on Seventh Street and Avenue B ... there are others along parts of Avenue A and B ... and some side streets...

According to IMDB, "Golden Boy" involves "the making of a man that tracks one cop's meteoric rise from officer to detective to police commissioner." The cast includes Al Sapienza, Nicolette Pierini and Theo James.

Week in Grieview

[East Second Street]

Remember Bob Arihood (Friday)

Damaged wall displaces students on East 12th Street (Tuesday)

Robert Sietsema's State of the East Village Dining Union (Wednesday)

A new bakery on East Fifth Street (Friday)

Looking for the sidewalk bike mechanics (Tuesday)

Rumors about East 14th Street's future (Friday)

A new awning for First Avenue Pierogi & Deli (Tuesday)

Zoltar arrives on St. Mark's Place! (Monday)

A Cold Stone Creamery for East Houston (Friday)

Topping off 21 E. First St. (Monday)

A Stop Work order for the incoming 7-Eleven on Avenue A (Friday)

Plantworks is closing on East Fourth Street (Tuesday)

Opening date for the Hyatt Union Square (Thursday)

Steve's on the Bowery has closed (Saturday)

Sign arrives for Nevada Smiths (Thursday)

Another Saturday night, another stretch limo idling in the bus lane

Last night, Dave on 7th noted that car that was pulled over on Avenue A, causing the M15 driver to honk his horn for 10 minutes before finally just going around the vehicle...

Another reader shared this scene from Second Avenue at East Sixth Street... where a stretch limo was parked in the bus lane...

Only to be replaced by a stretch Hummer several hours later...

Per the reader: "Kudos to NYPD Traffic Enforcement for their business-friendly attitude."

Looking at the 2 Bros. fire damage

Things were pretty quiet on St. Mark's Place this morning (save for the group of crusties camped out adjacent to the 7-Eleven) ... Not much sign of damage from last night's fire in the apartment above Little Tokyo and 2 Bros. Pizza.

Little Tokyo was sealed up, but the 2 Bros. gate was open (this is the one that sells the $1.50 "supreme slice") ...

Workers at the scene wouldn't answer any questions, such as what the extent of the damage was or when they might be able to reopen.

Per an EVG and witness to the fire: "The place next door to 2 Bros, Little Tokyo, is devastated; a wall was torn out and everything up against it smashed or thrown onto the sidewalk. Those poor guys are going to have a hell of a cleanup..."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bus stop on Avenue A

Dave on 7th noted this tonight ... a car pulled over on Avenue A at East Sixth Street...

Per Dave:

"The bus just keeps honking his horn. He can't or won't go around the car illegally parked in the stop in front of Benny's. Going on for about 10 minutes so far."

Finally, the bus pulls around the car...

More about the fire on St. Mark's Place tonight

Multiple readers passed along information about the fire that broke out tonight on St. Mark's Place above 2 Bros. Pizza just west of Second Avenue...

[Top photos via EVG reader John]

Per another reader who took all the photos below...

"Many fire trucks, the street is blocked off. Firefighters broke through windows on the apartment above the pizza shop. The fire started around 5:45 pm ... No visible damage to the exterior of the restaurant or the apartment above, other than the now-smashed apartment windows."

So far we haven't heard about any injuries... and per our reader who sent the above shots:

"The place next door to 2 Bros, Little Tokyo, is devastated; a wall was torn out and everything up against it smashed or thrown onto the sidewalk. Those poor guys are going to have a hell of a cleanup..."

And via Facebook...

Fire on St. Mark's Place

We'll have more photos and info later tonight. The FDNY is leaving the scene as of 7 pm.

Meanwhile, at the Williamsburg Bridge

Photos by Bobby Williams.

The line for the first day of Octoberfest at Zum Schneider

Octoberfest starts today at Zum Schneider on Avenue C and East Seventh Street ... doors open in a sec at 11:30 ... four people were waiting at 10 a.m. ... and soon enough...

...and the schedule...

If you can't get in here, then you could always try Zum Schneider Montauk on Oct. 19-21.

Steve's on the Bowery has closed, more 'glam fashionistas' on the way

In June, I spotted a retail listing for Steve's on the Bowery ... Agents remarked how this was a "prime retail location on the Bowery."


At the time, a worker at Steve's said that they'd be open through the end of this year.

Looks like they didn't make it until October. The rather grubby deli apparently closed yesterday, and workers were gutting the space this morning...

In August, BoweryBoogie had the scoop that the Intermix brand was taking over the Steve's space. The company describes itself as a "fashion boutique for trendsetters, A-Listers and glam fashionistas. We carry an exclusive mix of the best designers, styles and trends."

Curious what role the 7-Eleven across the street played in closing Steve's. The Bowery 7-Eleven opened on Dec. 23. Of course, the landlord knew that he or she could get a lot more $$$ from a big brand like Intermix than a store where single cans of beer in a bag were the hot sales item.

And a shot of Steve's with the gate down on Christmas morning, 2011...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Afterwards, they played poker

Tompkins Square Park Dog Run today ... photo by Bobby Williams.

Step and repeat

Thee Oh Sees with "Meat Step Lively" from a few year's back... the San Francisco-based band performed during All Tomorrow's Parties last Sunday at Pier 36... on the stage set up under the FDR.

Something in the works to take over the former Polonia space on First Avenue

[EVG file photo]

CB3 just sent out the October CB3/SLA docket (meeting is Oct. 15). It hasn't been posted yet online...

One item of particular interest — No. 18, which is the former Polonia space, the Polish diner that closed in December. We heard that a "foodie type" was eyeing the space, which has been on the market. (The ad called for "established food operators.") We'll see if we can track that one down over the weekend.

We'll have more on all this on Monday... but here it is in the meantime:

Renewal with Complaint History

1. One & One Bar (Nexus Lounge), 76 E 1st St aka 12 1st Ave (op)

Applications within Resolution Areas

2. One More Thai Corp, 6 Clinton St (wb)

3. Apartment 13 (115 Avenue C LLC), 115 Ave C (op)

4. Tiny Fork (Project 6 LLC), 167 Orchard St (op/alt/add bar in basement)

5. 106 on the LES LLC, 106 Rivington St (op)

6. Yardbird LLC, 162 Ave B (wb)

7. Nublu, 151 Ave C (op)


8. Jane's Sweet Buns (Derossi Chelsea LLC), 102 St Marks Pl (wb/alt/lengthen bar)

9. Parkside Lounge (Sterling Parkside Corp), 317 E Houston St (op/alt/additional bar)

New Liquor License Applications

10. Paulaner Brauhaus Restaurant LLC, 265-267 Bowery (op)

11. Entrez (Entrez Bar & Grill Inc), 162 2nd Ave (op)

12. Sunshine Lounge (Cinema Beverages Holding Company LLC), 143 E Houston St (op)

13. Souvlaki Gr LES (Uber Caffe LLC), 116 Stanton St (change of class from existing wb to op)

14. Shanghai Asian Manor Inc, 21 Mott St (wb)

15. CMH BBQ Holdings LLC, 103 2nd Ave (op)

16. Glaze 4th Ave LLC, 139 4th Ave (b)

17. To be Determined, 269 E Houston St (op)

18. To be Determined, 110 1st Ave (wb)

19. Noodle Bar (One Noodle Bar Inc), 141 1st Ave (wb)

20. La Meridiana I Ltd, 176 2nd Ave (wb)

21. Cowboy Pizza LLC, 201 Clinton St (wb)

22. Seven Spices (Village Grill 82 Inc), 82 2nd Ave (wb)

23. To be Determined, 123 Allen St (op)

24. Organic Grill, 123 1st Ave (wb)

Corporate Change (not heard at committee)

25. Balade (Great Caterers LLC), 208 1st Ave (wb)

26. Hotel Chantelle (The Amber Avalon Corp), 92 Ludlow St (op)


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

Report: The LES Pathmark is closing in December

Dunno if you ever shop at the Pathmark down on Cherry Street by the Manhattan Bridge. The Lo-Down gets confirmation that the store is closing at the end of December.

Per a store spokesperson:

We are relinquishing the lease to accommodate a large scale residential development and improvement project, while preserving the right to operate once the project is complete.

There was an uproar back in November 2007 when rumors circulated that an enormous development would take the store's place. This time it seems like a done deal.

Tonight, the Last Unicorn returns to the Pyramid, until the seas go dry

From the EV Grieve inbox...

On FRIDAY SEPT 28, we shall dance once more pon de floor with our superpsychedelic 'chef's choice' dj's, radical go-go pushers & special guest performers.

'the unihorned wonder' ~REVE~
'the great performer' ~MIKE DIANA~
'legendary lord of the dance' ~DON ENG~
'tiny might rapper' ~HILA THE KILLA~

'the sultan of swag' ~MIKE BILL$~

When will we stop partying? Only when the sun rises in the west, sets in the east. When the seas go dry, when the mountains blow in the wind like leaves.

$6 - entrance to both!!

...and this Hila the Killa video is a good one...


Lucky Cheng's celebrates its 19th anniversary this weekend

And over on the Lucky Cheng's Facebook page, there's a post that this weekend marks the cabaret's 19th anniversary... "Come celebrate with us one last time at our birthplace in the East Village."

And per the Lucky Cheng's Twitter feed:

A look back at our humble beginning. Mr. Cheng with the original 1993 staff: Tora, Poupée, Mama Mei-Ling, and Daisy.

Not sure when they are actually moving up to Times Square. There have been a lot of different dates mentioned via various sources. So we'll just go with "soon."

Meanwhile, for more on the Lucky Cheng's building on First Avenue at East Second Street, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York has a nice history of the space here.

Remembering Bob Arihood

Bob Arihood died last Sept. 30. One year later, his presence is still felt along Avenue A ... where an awning hangs at Ray's in his honor ...

... and a clipping about his death from The East Villager is taped to the front door of Lucy's.

I miss my email exchanges with Bob. His assessments of what was going on in, say, Tompkins Square Park. His theories. I'd occasionally ask for advice about a story. He'd offer wisdom. He sometimes seemed to be looking for some, mentioning that he was getting too old to be doing his site, Neither More Nor Less, and later, Nadie Se Conoce. (Both sites have been preserved, and are an invaluable resource about the East Village.)

Then I'd see him perched near the entrance to Tompkins Square Park at East Seventh Street and Avenue A talking to some regulars. Camera strapped around his neck. He would never be too old.

I miss his photos, his brand of journalism and the narratives that captured another side of the neighborhood. The side that has been on its way out, but still holds on despite the ongoing changes.

Every person who I talked to about Bob in the past few weeks leading up to this anniversary said how much they missed him. His best friend, Mike, said that he thinks about him every single day.

In recent weeks, a law office relocated from Avenue B to the storefront apartment that Bob lived in on East Fourth Street.

I hesitated to post the photo. This is a situation where I'd ask Bob what he thought.

For further reading:
Many people wrote tributes about Bob last year. Here are some of them.

Slum Goddess


Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

The Gog Log

Marty After Dark

Runnin' Scared

NY Through the Lens

East Village Corner


Shawn Chittle


The Villager

[Dave on 7th]

Those ongoing rumors about the future of East 14th Street between Avenue A and B

Ever since the fire wiped out Stuyvesant Grocery and Pete's-a-Place on East 14th Street at Avenue A, we've heard all sort of rumors about what was coming next. Dorm! Hotel! Condo!

The usual.

In the past six weeks, we've heard from a dozen different people who passed along various tips about incoming development. To date, there hasn't been much hard evidence, such as a real-estate listing or demolition permit.

We heard more after yesterdays's post about the East Side 99¢ store relocating.


Someone recently told me the stretch of 14th Street between Avenue A down to the Blarney Cove is about to get a major overhaul.

Per Gojira:

The vet at ABC Animal Hospital, Dr. Tufaro, is also looking for new space; he told me yesterday that the whole south side of that block from the former Stuyvesant Grocery down to his location is slated for demolition and development. He also said the owners of Bargain Bazaar were in court trying to hold onto their lease, which runs through 2016 but which the landlord wants to break. Can you say "upscale luxury condo", boys and girls? Sure you can.

This is consistent with what we've heard. And various tipsters/readers have passed along three different scenarios:

1) All the space to the west of the Rainbow clothing shop, the area that fell to fire, will be developed into some type of housing-retail complex.

2) All the space starting at the Rite Aid west to Avenue A will be developed into some type of housing-retail complex.

3) The big one. All the space starting at the ABC Animal Hospital west to Avenue A will be developed into some type of housing-retail complex.

So far, there isn't anything to prove any of these rumors. And remember — they're only rumors at this point. (We recall walking into the Blarney Cove about 10 years ago only to hear the news that they were closing soon due to a new development. And we got to drink for free since they were closing!)

However, the last time we heard this much chatter about a rumored development: 74-76 Third Ave. ... and in a few months, all that became official with the news of an 82,000-square-foot, nine-story residential building with 94 units.

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

Those persistent rumors about 74-76 Third Avenue and the future of Nevada Smiths

[Images via Google]

Speaking of low-rise stretches of businesses that will soon be extinct

On Sunday, I was walking along Delancey. I stopped to look at the incoming Holiday fucking Inn coming to the corner at Suffolk. I took a photo, and tried to imagine how noisy a room would be here given its location overlooking an insanely busy bridge and thoroughfare.

Taking in the block, I figured the one-level row of businesses to the east of the hotel had a short life span. Not exactly a visionary statement given the ongoing rush to develop parcels of land with so much potential.

In any event, BoweryBoogie had the news yesterday that the one-story strip of 156-164 Delancey Street next to the Holiday Inn is on the market. Per the listing, there are 11,990 square-feet of developable air rights. The parcel has a $3.95 million price tag.

Wonder if that Holiday Inn has triple-paned windows ...

A Stop Work order at Avenue A's incoming 7-Eleven

A tipster points us to the front door at 500 E. 11th St. at Avenue A, where workers erected a lot of plywood over the former bars here to build out for a 7-Eleven via developer/landlord Ben Shaoul.

In any event, the city served a Stop Work Order here dated Sept. 21 (but apparently served on Monday) for "BLDG CONSTRUCTION WORK BLOCKING SECONDARY MEANS OF EXIT."

Per the notice, the only work allowed here is to "cut access holes in the fence for fire escapes."

Previously on EV Grieve:
7-Eleven alert: Are 2 chain stores replacing Bar on A and Angels & Kings?

[Updated] Bakery replaces Porchetta.Hog on East Fifth Street

Porchetta.Hog quietly opened on East Fifth Street just east of Second Avenue back in May... And by the beginning of September, they were temporarily closed, as Slum Goddess first noted.

Apparently that "temporary" is more permanent. Yesterday, a new bakery opened in its place. We stopped by, and found about eight kinds of bread baked on the premises and a few trays of cookies... The young man working didn't know much about what was happening here. He rather sheepishly admitted that he didn't even know the name of the place. Maybe something with a G?

It was as if the new owner had his nephew watch the place for 5 minutes while he ran an errand...

As far as we could gather for now, the place will sell bread and cookies and eventually add more items, such as sandwiches...

And we bought a baguette of sorts ... for $1, which may not have been the right price. (He had a sheet of paper with prices in his pocket ...) But the bread was very good. And we'd go back.

Thanks to @SarahMShaker for the tip.

Updated 10:09 a.m.

Eater has a few more details, including their hours: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. And the name: Ballaro.

When you open a restaurant, should you trash your more popular and established competition?

When it comes to restaurants, perhaps trash talking the popular, well-established competition isn't the best business tactic, at least based on two quick closings in the East Village.

Case in point No. 1:
The Meatball Factory

In June 2011, an EVG reader talked with one of the partners opening the Meatball Factory on Second Avenue at East 14th Street.

Per our coverage:

Then the worker fired the first meatvolley, saying that the meatballs here "will put the Meatball Shop to shame."

The Meatball Factory opened to some fanfare in October, before closing temporarily in May, then reopening, then mercifully closing for good in early July.

Case in point No. 2:

Porchetta.Hog quietly opened on East Fifth Street just east of Second Avenue in May ... not too far away from the popular Porchetta on East Seventh Street ...

Per an EVG reader:

I ate a coupla sandwiches at P.Hog: deeply meh, and the guy behind the counter talked shit about Porchetta.

Earlier this month, a sign appeared on Porchetta.Hog's door that they were temporarily closed. That closure became permanent with the opening of a new bakery yesterday.

And, for the record, I've never been to The Meatball Shop ... and I don't care for Porchetta based on the two times that I tried it... Competition is always good, of course... but the work should speak for itself. Or not?