Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31

EVG reader Riian Kant-McCormick sends along the photo with the following:

How can it be? I have no proof of date beyond the rain, but behold a very merry smelling tree at 13th and Avenue A.

And to all a good night.

Perhaps the storm below it here from January?

Shelter from the storm

Second Avenue and East Fourth Street via Derek Berg...

Meanwhile, here's a photo of a unicorn playing an accordian on Rivington Street this evening

Photo by @WaggytailRescue via Slum Goddess

Tree down on 1st Avenue

The first storm casualty? … on First Avenue at St. Mark's Place…

Images via Sam Teichman photo & video

Updated 7:47 p.m.

EVG reader Daniel sends along a few more shots…

Week in Grieview

[Photo on East 6th Street yesterday by Derek Berg]

Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened "to drop dynamite on the building" (Thursday)

Rumor: East Village Cheese Shop relocating to East Seventh Street (Wednesday)

More about the new Café Pick Me Up-Gnocco combo on East 10th Street (Friday)

Out and About with Alicia Mercado (Wednesday)

A bitcoins ATM (Wednesday)

Rent hike KOs Delicacity (RIP Robin Raj) on Third Avenue (Thursday)

The Second Avenue Spice is closing (Tuesday)

Mono + Mono hoping for a mid-summer return on East Fourth Street (Thursday)

Icon Realty bringing Sexyflow to Avenue A (Tuesday)

Reader report: Please don't destroy the trees (Monday)

Selling off the former Hop Devil Grill (Tuesday)

Fancy Juice for First Avenue (Tuesday)

East 14th Street building returns to the market for a few million dollars more (Wednesday)

Elusive night heron becoming less elusive (Tuesday)

Warning flyers posted about renting from Steve Croman's 9300 Realty (Wednesday)

Making the Tompkins Square lawn more seedy (Thursday)

Spicy House is now Young Chow III on Third Avenue (Tuesday)

… and keep an eye out for the hawklets on the Ageloff Towers on Avenue A…

[Photo from Thursday by Bobby Williams]

Manhattanhenge no-show

Clouds took care of any chance of a truly Instagramable Manhattanhenge for a second sunset in a row

Not sure about crowds elsewhere in wait… but there were a few dozen people at the end of East 14th Street at Avenue C hoping for a show…

The next opportunity will arrive in July…

Half Sun on the Grid
Monday, July 13 8:21 P.M. EDT

Full Sun on the Grid
Sunday, July 12 8:20 P.M. EDT

Thanks to EVG reader Peter Brownscombe for the photos

Aloha from Tompkins Square Park

[Click on image for more detail]

Park photo by Derek Berg…

Saturday, May 30, 2015

20 years ago on East 13th Street

[Photo by John Penley via the Tamiment Library]

By Felton Davis of the Catholic Worker

All night long, we kept vigil, while the huge quasi-military force gathered to clear the squats on East 13th Street.

At about midnight on May 29th, people brought in an over-turned car and filled it with gasoline. One match, or even a careless person with a cigarette, could light this up and create a fire that could spread to the buildings, and trap those who were barricaded inside, burning them to death. How would that help the cause of squatting? How would that help communicate to the public the enormous work that was done to fix up these buildings? Or was it just a desperate gesture, to let the clearing turn into "another Waco," after the fatal confrontation in Texas two years earlier?

The debate will still going on the next morning, when the police brought in a re-furbished military tank, even after most of the gasoline was drained out of the car. The driver sitting on top of the tank motioned the riot officers to get out of the way, because he did not want to stop for those in front of it.

I'm alive today because the officers blocked the tank and dragged us out of the way. The debate over this extreme confrontation, and the extreme tactics brought to bear, continued in Central Booking that night, and it continued in the court where Stanley Cohen represented us, and it continued in the street, as people tried to re-take those buildings, and the Giuliani administration flexed its muscle, and more squatted buildings were seized or bull-dozed by the city.

Thanks for those who kept their sanity during this frightening time, and did not condemn us to death by fire and conflagration. Thanks for the memories.

For further reading:

The Squatters of East 13th Street

Battle Over 13th Street

Tank KO's the Squatters
Daily News, May 31, 1995

Riot Police Remove 31 Squatters From Two East Village Buildings
The New York Times, May 31, 1995

Squatters of 13th Street Vs. Power of City Hall; More Than a Symbolic Battle for Control
The New York Times, July 12, 1995

Tompkins Square Park basketball courts closed for renovations; YouTube-backed hoops on the way

Workers yesterday began ripping up the basketball courts in Tompkins Square Park…

The city made the announcement about the court renovations on May 4 with the help of YouTube stars Dude Perfect, who were on-hand to do some trick shots and give out prizes, etc.

@dudeperfect takeover of #TompkinsSquarePark is happening now!!! #DudePerfectCourt

A photo posted by Chris Plehal (@plehal) on

Apparently the New York City Parks Department teamed up with YouTube for the renovations, which include an entire resurfacing of the courts with new cement and paint, and installing new basketball hoops. Parks officials said that work will be completed by the time the city schools let out for the summer on June 26. YouTube is funding the renovations, which are estimated at $300,000.

The courts are locked up for now… and apparently the gym equipment is off limits for the next month too… (Updated: EVG regular Jose Garcia says in the comments that people were using the gym equipment this afternoon.)

There aren't any signs posted about the closure … either at the courts or Park office.

Here's NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver via a news release: "Tompkins Square Park is one of New York’s best-loved green spaces, and the basketball have played host to generation of players. NYC Parks is grateful to Dude Perfect and YouTube for their generous effort to give the East Village a refurbished place to shoot hoops this summer."

Your new YouTube courts will look like this, via a rendering from YouTube…

H/T TubeFilter

Why Helen Mirren loves the East Village

Helen Mirren sightings are common around the neighborhood. She and her husband Taylor Hackford have had a place on St. Mark's Place for 14 years. Mirren, who won an Oscar for "The Queen," was a regular at the Stage. She was also the first customer at Enz's when the store reopened a few weeks ago.

There's a Q-and-A in the Post today with Mirren, who's up for a Tony for "The Audience."

The East Village seems a bit funky for Dame Helen Mirren.

I’ve always loved funky and young areas in any city. I prefer the small boutiques to the designer palaces. Other neighborhoods, like the West Village, are a bit chichi. We really love the East Village. It’s noisy with foot traffic, not noisy with car traffic. I can get a taxi day or night.


[W]e are spoiled for choice when it comes to incredible restaurants. I love the holes in the walls, the small restaurants. Sadly, some of our favorites are closed because of that terrible gas explosion [in March]. We loved the Stage and the B&H, and the Pommes Frites. [That] was completely destroyed.

Helen Mirren photos from May 11 by Derek Berg

At the Clemente Soto Velez Open Studios 2015

It's Open Studio weekend at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center at 107 Suffolk St. (at Rivington), where participating artists invite you into their workspaces… EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by for last night for a visit. The hours today are noon to 6 p.m.

[Raphael Tufino and Ana Trelles]

[Jenny Krasner]

[Kylie Heidenheimer with her husband]

[Amy Hill]

[Linda Griggs]

[Ignited New York]

[Tine Kindermann]

Waiting for Manhattanhenge

Not much of a Henge last night… people were out ready, though…

Perhaps it will by more Henge-worthy this evening at 8:12 for the Full Sun on the Grid.

Photo on Third Avenue and East 14th Street by James and Karla Murray

City Bike

Photo on East Fourth Street and Second Avenue last night by Derek Berg

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sees the day

Thee Oh Sees have a fine new record out titled "Mutilator Defeated At Last." There haven't set any tour dates around NYC just yet… so until then, enjoy some live footage from a show in Paris the other night…

[Updated] Avenue A is getting part of its sidewalk back

City Crews look as if they're finally finishing up their work outside 28 Avenue A between East Third Street and East Second Street, as this photo by EVG reader Carl Bentsen shows. (Apparently workers needed to remove an abandoned oil tank beneath the sidewalk outside New York Sports Club, per the club's GM.)

The orange barricades have been blocking much of this sidewalk in recent months, prompting at least one person to write signs asking for the return of this part of Avenue A.


A reader noted that the sidewalk is open … and Manny seems to be fully restocked.

EV Grieve Etc.: New bowling alley for the LES; Celluloid classics at Anthology Film Archives

[Photo on 1st Avenue by Derek Berg]

A bowling alley/entertainment venue called Splitsville Lanes set for Essex Crossing (The Lo-Down)

Celebrating some classic celluloid at Anthology Film Archives (The Wall Street Journal, find the schedule here)

Juice war shaping up in the East Village (The Awl)

At CB3's fundraiser to help Second Avenue businesses recover (NY1)

Reviews of newcomers Noreetuh and Oiji on First Avenue (Grub Street)

The hawklets are growing so quickly on Avenue A (Gog in NYC)

Some LES photos from the 1980s (BoweryBoogie)

When McSorley's finally admitted women (Ephemeral New York)

Try the Ramones or New York Dolls cookies (Dangerous Minds)

Be careful when installing your AC (New York magazine)

NYC-area airports are pretty awful, research says (Gothamist)

The Black Rose, which opened at 117 Avenue A a few weeks back, debuts their first live DJ series tonight: the Friday Night Disco Body Boogie Party, featuring 1970s disco DJ Joey Carvello spinning vinyl and hosted by Rebecca Lynn of Mobile Mondays. Starts at 10 p.m. More info here.

… and RIP Scandalous, who died Thursday at age 13 (and a half)… She lived on East Seventh Street with her owner Drew Rabbitclub…

Manhattanhenge requests the pleasure of your company this weekend

[Photo from Union Square last July by James and Karla Murray]

Manhattanhenge — "when the setting sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid and you line up to Instagram the shit out of it" — returns this weekend.

Here are the particulars via Gothamist:

Half Sun on the Grid
Friday, May 29 8:12 P.M. EDT
Monday, July 13 8:21 P.M. EDT

Full Sun on the Grid
Saturday, May 30 8:12 P.M. EDT
Sunday, July 12 8:20 P.M. EDT

The weather promises to be quite lovely this evening, so the Manhattanhenging should go well. Had a good practice run last evening... via ‏@WonderlandNYC...

More about the new Café Pick Me Up-Gnocco combo on East 10th Street

As we previously noted, Café Pick Me Up on Avenue A at East Ninth Street will close for good after service on Sunday.

The owners also operate Gnocco, and plan to move the cafe to that restaurant at 337 E. 10th St. just west of Avenue B next week.

DNAinfo's Lisha Arino has a few more details on how all this will work.

Gnocco has only been open for dinner, but beginning June 3, it will expand its hours and will start serving most of Café Pick Me Up’s coffee and food offerings, including pastries, sandwiches and omelets, said Gian Luca Giovanetti, who co-owns both locations with Pierluigi Palazzo and Clemente Valguarnera.

Daytime customers will also be able to order pizza at lunchtime, Giovenetti added. Gnocco will be open for breakfast, lunch and delivery every day starting at 10 a.m., he said.

Gnocco seats 74 people, he said, and includes a backyard outfitted with a few power outlets.

The Café Pick Me Up-Gnocco mashup is expected to open Wednesday, where you can get a free coffee starting at 10 a.m.

Café Pick Me Up's owners have said that a rent hike at 145 Avenue A courtesy of Icon Realty as well as higher property taxes led to the decision to close the 20-year-old space.

Icon is currently listing the storefront… asking $15,000 a month for the space, which includes 600 square feet on the ground floor and 724 square feet in the basement.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rent hike forcing Cafe Pick Me Up into its smaller space next door on Avenue A (59 comments)

[Updated] Cafe Pick Me Up expected to close for good after May 31

Café Pick Me Up closes Sunday night ahead of a move to share the Gnocco space on East 10th Street

Reader report: Con Ed enjoys digging up East 6th Street

From the EVG inbox this past weekend...

So, this is at least the fourth time since January that Con Ed has torn up East Sixth Street between Avenue A and B in front of our building. Jackhammers, heavy machinery, later tar and mechanical stompers. CRAZY NOISE! They obviously can’t find the problem.

My issue is they invariably show up at 6 p.m. on Friday to start the work. Start jackhammering about my son’s bedtime at 8. Now it’s a holiday weekend so its probably triple time. I think its a kind of boondoggle. There is no reason that this work always starts at 6 on Friday.

It makes the apartment uninhabitable. Of course, if there is a leak then they are simply incompetent. They were here two weeks ago and ripped the sidewalk in front of our building. I don’t know what’s worse, the noise or the fear they are incompetent.

Is there anything to do about it?

Going mobile on 2nd Avenue

Slum Goddess spotted this double-wide headed down Second Avenue at East Fifth Street last night…

Any ideas of where it's going?

Reminders: The Follow Me Friday Small Business Crawl on 2nd Avenue is tonight

Reposting from last week ... Via the EVG inbox...

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Rosie Mendez today announced the Council will host a “Follow Me Friday” tour of the East Village with local business owners, community members and elected officials on Friday, May 29.

The Follow Me Friday Small Business Crawl will help highlight and promote East Village businesses recovering from the aftermath of the March 26 building explosion ... and will begin with a moment of silence at the site of the explosion on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street. The small business tour will begin at 5:30 PM and will include the following stops:

• Moment of silence for victims of recent explosion (Northwest Corner of 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street)
• Tour of Moishe’s Bake Shop (115 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of New Yorker Market (107-113 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of Café Mocha (116 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of Bar Virage (118 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of Himalayan Vision (127 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of Enz’s (125 2nd Avenue)
• Tour of Jimmy’s No. 43 (23 East 7th Street)

Those wishing to join the event should RSVP by sending an e-mail here