Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Yorkies Eve

Derek Berg spotted those Yorkies (mother, son and friend) outside Porto Rico Importing Co. on St. Mark's Place today …

Police searching for man now suspected of 2 sexual attacks

[Image from the Dec. 28 attack]

The man accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman inside an East Sixth Street apartment building early Sunday morning is also wanted for forcibly touching another woman on Dec. 16, police said.

According to published reports, the previous attack occurred in a building along FDR Drive. Gothamist reports from the NYPD report: "a 19-year-old woman walked into the elevator 'when the suspect entered behind her and grabbed her buttocks and breasts and attempted to forcibly kiss her. A struggle ensued and the victim fled the elevator and the building where again, the suspect grabbed her buttocks before fleeing the location.'"

The police released this video from the East Sixth Street incident … from a building between Avenue D and the FDR…

The Daily News describes the suspect this way: "dark skinned, around 25 years old, approximately 180 pounds, and wearing a dark baseball cap during both attacks."

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

Today is the last day in business on East 5th Street for Jamie the check-cashing guy

[Photo from August by James Maher]

Back in July, the owners of three business had to vacate their storefronts due to a structural issue in an apartment above in 300 E. Fifth St. just east of Second Avenue.

Since then, Jamie the check-cashing guy, whose family has owned the business for 68 years, had been operating from a secure van outside his shop.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make it work as repairs dragged on in the building.

Today is his last day.

The check-cashing business has been at the current address for 58 years … and on East 10th Street for 10 years before that. Jamie's grandparents opened the shop in 1946.

We interviewed him for our Out and About in the East Village feature back in September.

My grandparents used to take me into the store when I was 8 years old. They had four stores. All the brothers and my grandfather had a store. There was another store on Broadway and Bleecker. I was always taken to that store. That was where my grandmother would take me, away from my grandfather and uncle. I was always the guy running up the bills, when everything was pen and paper. On the weekends if I didn’t run out fast enough it was, ‘You’re helping grandma today.’ That was how I got started.

Previously on EV Grieve:
3 small businesses temporarily closed due to structural issues at 300 E. 5th St.

Updated: Gone but not forgotten

Remembering a few of our friends and neighbors who died in 2014...


Lisa Julian (aka Spike or Lucretia), Tompkins Square Park regular

[Photo by Lori Der Hagopian]


Rebecca Lepkoff, acclaimed street photographer

[Image via]


Erdelyi Tamas, aka Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the Ramones

[Via Brooklyn Vegan]


Michael Brody, longtime East Village resident, mysterious neighbor

[Courtesy of Lili Barsha]


Mike Bakaty, owner of the city's longest-running tattoo parlor

[Photo by James Maher]


Hayne Suthon, owner and operator of Lucky Cheng's

[Photo by Biljana Ustic via Facebook]


Derek Lloyd, popular figure in the local theater community

[Image via PS 122]


Dennis Zentek, co-founder of d.b.a.

[Photo by KM Keller via Facebook]


Akkas Ali, florist at East Village Farm and Grocery


Marty Thau, music producer-manager-entrepreneur

[Thau, right, with David Johansen and Muddy Waters in the early '80s. Photo via Facebook]


Will Connell, saxophonist/composer


Don Holley, father, champion of East Village schools


Evelyn Dahab, author, bar owner

[Image via Facebook]


Maggie Estep, writer-poet-performance artist and all-around cool person

[Photo from October 2013 by Marissa Molnar via Facebook]


Several readers reminded us about Anne Ardolino, aka Anntelope, aka 1st Avenue rooftop pigeon lady, poet, animal rescuer, neighbor, friend …

[Photo by Clayton Patterson]


Karen Kristal, matriarch of CBGB

[Photo via CBGB on Facebook]


Wen Hui Ruan, father, retired garment worker

[Photo from 2006 via CBS 2]

St. Dymphna's owners look to take over the former Yaffa Cafe space on St. Mark's Place

[EVG file photo]

The owners of St. Dymphna's, the neighborhood pub at 118 St. Mark's Place, have plans to open a restaurant in the former Yaffa Cafe on the same block.

There's not much information just yet regarding the plans. This is one of the items scheduled for the January CB3/SLA committee meeting.

According to paperwork (PDF!) on file at the CB3 website, the new restaurant will feature 16 tables (three of the tables are on the sidewalk cafe) with a total of 35 seats.

The proposed hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Food will be served during all business hours. The paperwork doesn't include a proposed name for the new venture or what type of food will be served.

There is, however, a diagram showing the layout…

The plans for the restaurant do not include the back garden, which the city ordered Yaffa's owners to discontinue using back in September. After nearly 30-plus years in business, the DOB issued a partial vacate order on the backyard space because it didn't have the proper fire exits and because it was zoned for residential use. Yaffa's owners decided not to reopen the restaurant.

Meanwhile, the owners of The Wayland are opening a tavern-restaurant in the former Simone Martini Bar space at First Avenue and St. Mark's Place. Yaffa's owners also operated Simone, which closed at the end of last month.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Yaffa Cafe is officially gone; back garden dismantled

More about Yaffa Cafe closing

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reader report: An assault on East 4th Street

Via the EVG inbox…

A man walking east on the south side of East 4th Street between First and Second Avenues at 3 this morning was brutally hit in the face so hard he was knocked to the ground by a person who was walking west.

The person who was assaulted is very large and it had to have been a vicious hit. No money was taken. It may have been a hate crime as the person had just left the Boiler Room, the gay bar near Second Avenue. The victim refuses to file a police report and the 9th Precinct does not take third-party reports.

And that is the only information the reader included…

Honoring 'Honeymooners' star Joyce Randolph at Theatre 80

On Saturday night, Joyce Randolph, best known for playing Thelma "Trixie" Norton on the TV classic "The Honeymooners," added her name and handprints to the celebrity walk of fame outside Theatre 80 at 80 St. Mark’s Place.

Randolph's cement imprimatur joins others such as Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford and Myrna Loy.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy, who took these photos, shared this about the 90-year-old Randolph.

"She was witty, sharp, funny and gracious — and endlessly patient with the media requests."

In addition, Penny Arcade gave a sweet introduction and spoke of how Randolph inspired her and about what an ensemble team could create.

In 2010, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation recognized Theatre 80 with the Village Award for its place in the history of the community. And maybe you can get a drink at the great bar at Theatre 80 — the William Barnacle Tavern.

More on the closure of East Village Bed & Coffee

[Photo by Dave on 7th]

The city shut down East Village Bed & Coffee, which operated as a bed and caffeinated-beverage breakfast these past 16 years at 110 Avenue C near East Seventh Street, in late November.

Last week, the Observer took a deeper look at the bed-and-breakfast issue in the city … and talked with owner Anne Edris, who was licensed to operate the facility, and paid state, city and hotel occupancy taxes for her business.

She was one of the many operators who got swept up in collateral damage during the state's ongoing fight against Airbnb.

Per the article:

Ms. Edris sits at her kitchen table, surrounded by manila folders of zoning and codes, tax returns for a loan application, and copies of her violations. “My dad just died, I’m absolutely broke, and my mother’s ill. It’s just too much at once,” she said, “New York City is becoming this heartless City.”

Ms. Edris has been a denizen of the East Village for 22 years. “There’s been so much support and friends and family and love and effort put into this business. That’s what hurts the most, the thought of having to walk away.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
City deems East Village Bed & Coffee an 'illegal hotel' on Avenue C

Bikinis has closed on Avenue C

Bikinis, named for a style of sandwich from coastal Spain, closed for good after service Sunday night at 56 Avenue C near East Fourth Street.

The tipster who told us about the closure noted, "So sad. The food was good and unique for this neighborhood."

However, several residents who live in the apartments above claimed that Bikinis was a lousy neighbor. (Bikinis also apparently had a no laptop policy — even when the place was empty.) Back in March, CB3 denied their application to extend the space into the empty storefront next door and in the rear yard.

Bikinis opened in September 2012.

Previously on EV Grieve:
About Bikinis (sandwiches!) slated for Avenue C

The 13th Step is a work of art

Several readers have noted that this man with the easel has been painting a still life of The 13th Step on Second Avenue near East Ninth Street …

We used up the last of our mulch puns last year

Sure, you have about 18 to 24 weeks of life left in your Christmas/holiday tree, but if you just have to dump the damn thing so early, then head over to Tompkins Square Park … where there is a tree depository in the middle of the Park ahead of MulchFest.

MulchFest 2015 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And we'll be selling VIP wristbands for $500 that get you:
• Commemorative VIP party laminate
• MulchFest gift bag with exclusive merchandise
• Specially designed MulchFest tour apparel item
• Early entry into the venue before general doors
• Crowd free merchandise shopping
• Designated VIP check-in

The Sweet Generation awning arrives

The awning arrived yesterday here at 130 First Ave. near St. Mark's Place, where the custom bakery is set to open early in the New Year.

As we first reported last month, this is the first storefront for owner Amy Chasan, a former high school arts teacher who quit her job to open the made-to-order cookie and cupcake business.

Here's more about the place:

Sweet Generation not only funds Arts education for youth, but engages young people in the business itself. A portion of Sweet Generation’s sales are donated to Arts organizations, and we support their fundraising efforts through in-kind donations of our baked goods. We also started an internship program that teaches baking, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to teens and young adults from low-income communities.

In 2013, the Voice named Sweet Generation the "Best Cupcake" in NYC.

After 30 years here, proprietor Wieslawa Kurowycky and her family decided to retire and close First Avenue Pierogi and Deli in early July.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Coming soon to 1st Avenue: Sweet Generation, 'A Bakery for Arts Education'

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sidewalk fire on East 6th Street

A small fire broke out earlier this evening on the sidewalk next to Walter De Maria's former home-studio at 421 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue... @chewbaklava shared this photo with us... a neighbor coming out of his apartment saw someone light a bunch of cardboard boxes and run off... no word on any damage here...

[Updated] High rents KO the 2nd Ave. Smoke Shop & News

The 2nd Ave. Smoke Shop & News has closed… EVG contributor Derek Berg spotted workers clearing out the deli/bongwater-pipe shop here on Second Avenue near East Fifth Street…

Word is the smoke shop rent doubled to $10,000. A for rent sign has been hanging on the space for months now.

Updated: 2:13 p.m.

Ah! Matt Rosen in the comments tells us that the shop is moving down Second Avenue … to the east side past East Fourth Street where Gelato Ti Amo recently closed … we even had photo evidence of this from last night via Slum Goddess

Report: Police searching for suspect in East 6th Street sexual assault

[Image via NBC New York]

The NYPD is looking for a man accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman inside an East Sixth Street apartment building early yesterday morning.

According to NBC New York, the man allegedly followed the woman into the building at about 6 a.m. and sexually assaulted her in the stairwell. The victim was treated for minor injuries at Beth Israel.

NBC New York's report described the suspect this way: approximately 25 years old and 180 pounds with short cut hair. He was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, black bubble jacket, blue jeans and black sneakers. (The NBC report also does not list the building address or cross streets.)

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

Updated 9:18 p.m.

WABC has an interview with the victim here.

Fight continues to save the Church of the Nativity

[Outside Church of the Nativity]

As previously reported, the Church of the Nativity on Second Avenue between East Second Street and East Third Street is on Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan's closure list as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York undergoes a massive reorganization. (Under the plan, the church would merge with Most Holy Redeemer on East Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.)

Meanwhile, some of the church's parishioners continue to do what they can to keep the church open. (They have created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.)

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that "at least 18 parishes are now seeking recourse with the Vatican to overturn or limit the scope of the imminent merger."

And the Church of the Nativity is among the parishes at various stages of the appeals process.

Last Tuesday, two parishioners visited the Archdiocese of New York to read Nativity's decree letter, the official document that states the reasons they want to close the church. According to the Keep Nativity Open Tumblr, the reasons given are a change in demographic and a decline in priests.

Per Keep Nativity Open:

We have been speaking with canon lawyers and according to canon law, a decline in parishioners and decline in priests are not valid reasons to close a church. We are seeking recourse with the Vatican.

The Archdiocese cannot sell our building within a two-year period

We are fighting the merger, and the closing of Nativity. If we do merge with Most Holy Redeemer, Nativity’s parishioners need to stay united because we might have a chance to keep the building from being sold in two years. (The Archdiocese can’t sell the building for another two years). If Nativity’s parishioners are separated and divided, the Archdiocese can easily sell our building. But if we are united, we may have a chance to save Nativity when that time comes.

As for a timeline on all this. Back to the Journal:

An appeals process can take years, according to canon lawyers and church advocates around the U.S. The process, they say, is a complicated, highly technical one, following a strict timeline and involving several benchmarks set by canon law, the regulations set by the Catholic Church.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Parishioners fight to save the Church of the Nativity on 2nd Avenue

Reminders: The 41st Annual New Year's Day Marathon Reading

[Photo from Jan. 1, 2014 by Ted Roeder via]

The Poetry Project's annual marathon reading is set to start Thursday at 2 p.m. at the St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.

Some 140 writers, musicians, dancers and artists will be involved this year.

Here is a list of who is expected to take part:

Adam Fitzgerald, Adeena Karasick, Alan Felsenthal, Alan Gilbert, Alex Cuff, Ali Power, Alli Warren, Andrew Durbin, Anne Waldman w/ Fast Speaking Music, Anselm Berrigan, Ariel Goldberg, Arlo Quint, Avram Fefer, Beth Gill, Bill Kushner, Billy Cancel, Bob Rosenthal, Brandon Brown, Brendan Lorber, Bruce Andrews & Sally Silvers, CAConrad, Callers, Charity Coleman, Charles Bernstein, Christine Kelly, Cliff Fyman, Cori Kresge, Dan Owen, Danniel Schoonebeek, David Berrigan, David Henderson, David Vogen, Dia Felix, Diana Rickard, Don Yorty, Dorothy Friedman August, Dorthea Lasky, Douglas Rothchild, E. Tracy Grinnell, Ed Friedman, Edgar Oliver, Edmund Berrigan, Eileen Myles, Elinor Nauen, Elizabeth Willis, Erica Hunt & Marty Ehrlich, erica kaufman & Matt Longabucco & Nicole Eisenman, Ernie Brooks, Peter Zummo & Bill Ruyle with Walter Baker & Billy Fica, Evan Kennedy, Farnoosh Fathi, Filip Marinovich, Foamola, Georgia Faust, Gina Myers, Grey Vild, Ian Spencer Bell, Janet Hamill & Lost Ceilings, Jason Hwang, JD Samson, Jennifer Bartlett, Jess Fiorini, Jim Behrle, Joanna Koetze, Joel Lewis, John Coletti, John Giorno, John Kruth, John Priest, John S. Hall, Jonas Mekas, Joseph Keckler, Karen Weiser, Karinne Keithley Syers, Katy Bohinc, Katy Lederer, Kiely Sweatt, Kim Rosenfield, Kristin Prevallet, Laura Henriksen, Lee Ann Brown, Lenny Kaye, luciana achugar, Marcella Durand, Maria Acconci, Mariana Ruiz Firmat, Martha King, Maryam Parhizkar, Matthew Shipp, Mel Elberg, Michael Veal, Mike DeCapite, Miriam Atkin, Monica de la Torre, Morgan Parker, Morgan Vo, Nat Otting, Nick Hallett, Nicole Peyrafitte, Nicole Wallace, Niv Acosta, Norman MacAfee, Patricia Spears Jones, Penny Arcade, Peter Bogart Johnson, Philip Glass, Pierre Joris, R. Erica Doyle, Rachel Levitsky & Susan Bee, Rachel Tractenburg, Ray Brown, Rob Fitterman, Samita Sinha, Sara Jane Stoner, Simon Pettet, Simone White, Siobhan Burke, Steve Dalachinsky, Steve Earle, Steven Taylor, Tammy Faye Starlite with Steve Earle, Ted Dodson, Thom Donovan, Thomas Sayer Ellis & James Brandon Lewis, Todd Colby, Tom Savage, Tommy Pico, Tony Towle, Tonya Foster, Tracey McTague, Ursula Eagly, Vito Acconci, Will Edmiston, Xena Semjonova, Yoshiko Chuma, Yuko Otomo, Yvonne Meier and others TBA.

You can buy advance tickets for $20 each here. All proceeds benefit the continued existence of the Poetry Project.

You can not spin the Keith Haring sculpture at 51 Astor Place

Workers have removed the barriers around the Keith Haring sculpture that sits in the public plaza at 51 Astor Place.

Several people have pointed out that it looks as the sculpture is on some type of turntable-swivel-something base…. meaning you could give it a spin. Maybe to make up for the temporarily displaced cube at Astor Place.

Anyway, after doing some field testing, the sculpture does not rotate.

So people will have to come up with different ways to interact with it.

The circa-1989 sculpture, titled "Self Portrait," arrived here on Dec. 2

The 1 remaining piece of the Salvation Army's former East Village Residence on the Bowery

Workers have torn down the Salvation Army's former East Village Residence on the Bowery at East Third Street … but one piece of the structure at 347 Bowery remains… as we spotted through the handy blogger portals on the plywood…

Perhaps the developers of the incoming 13-floor, 30,000 square-foot mixed-use residential building are keeping this detail for some authenticity? (Heh.)

New building construction eats up Avenue A sidewalk

Last Tuesday, workers added more plywood/fencing to 98-100 Avenue A … extending the wood to the curb… and putting pedestrians in a makeshift walkway here between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street…

There are approved permits on file with the city for developer Ben Shaoul's incoming 6-story retail-residential building.

[Photo by Bobby Williams]


Sunday, December 28, 2014

A memorial for the man killed by a tire swing in Tompkins Square Park

[Photo by Bobby Williams]

There is a small memorial in Tompkins Square Park for Harlem resident Aleim Perkins. According to published reports, he was playing with his 6-year-old niece in the playground off East Ninth Street and Avenue A on Dec. 15. Witnesses have said he was aggressively pushing an empty tire swing when it struck him in the face. He was rushed to Beth Israel, where hospital officials said he was dead on arrival.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Witness to a tragedy in Tompkins Square Park