Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January's parting shot

Early evening in Tompkins Square Park... see you next month!

Seat saved for Merrick Garland on Astor Place

Tonight at 8, President Trump is expected to reveal his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, earlier today... this sign went up in the seating area outside 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star...

EVG reader Rosemary shared these photos... showing reserved seating for Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit...part of a broader #SaveMerrickASeat campaign...

President Obama nominated Garland to the Supreme Court last March to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. However, Garland never had a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

As of this evening his seat remained here...

[Photo by Steven]


EVG reader Sheila writes in: "Peter Cooper, advocate for public education, seems to be going down in flames today."

No one to our knowledge has claimed responsibility for the paper fire just yet...

That last day of January when it snowed a little bit

Some flurry action on Astor Place (photo by Daniel) and on 10th Street and Avenue C (photo by Bobby Williams)...

Report: East Village landlord Raphael Toledano close to losing prize Chelsea building

Raphael Toledano, who has had a tumultuous few years as an East Village landlord, is facing foreclosure proceedings on a Chelsea rental, according to The Real Deal.

Toledano’s Brookhill Properties acquired the 39-unit, 39,000-square-foot property for $41.5 million in 2015. At the time of the purchase, the firm secured $34 million in financing from Madison, including $29.8 million in immediate funds to buy the building. The remainder, to be provided at a later date, was allocated for proposed renovations.

Madison, in its capacity as the lender, filed the summons filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court, to initiate foreclosure proceedings over the building, which has $29.8 million loan.

Toledano reportedly named the West 16th Street building "the Devorah" after his wife.

In previous articles in The Real Deal, critics have said that Toledano is overleveraged.

Meanwhile, as previous noted, Toledano is in the process of unloading 13 of the 21 buildings — mostly walk-ups — he owns here.

The Real Deal says that he is in contract to sell 97 Second Ave. to investor Dominic Gan for $15 million. The 6-story building between Sixth Street and Fifth Street was one of the first East Village properties purchased by Toledano. (Public records show that Toledano paid $4.95 million for it in April 2014.)

[Image via Cushman & Wakefield]

Toledano, 26, has been accused of a variety of predatory practices. In addition, 20 of his buildings were tested for toxic levels of dust. Last spring, Toledano agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged that he harassed rent-regulated residents at 444 E. 13th St. He also apparently ruined Thanksgiving for a few East 12th Street residents.

In December, tenants of more than 20 buildings owned by Raphael Toledano, along with local elected officials and community organizers, went to Midtown to call out Madison Realty Capital and Signature Bank for their role in lending money to Toledano.

Mandolino Pizzeria has opened on 13th Street

The pizzeria opened its doors this past weekend on 13th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue...

EVG reader Daniel shared these photos...

They offer a variety of salads, pastas and whole Neapolitan pies (no slices)...

You can find their menu here ... and read more about the owners here.

Mandolino Pizzeria is open from noon to 11 p.m. daily.

The space was previously home to Sahara Citi, the hookah/hummus restaurant that closed last summer after four years in business.

Checking in on Artichoke's new 14th Street home

As we first reported last November, Artichoke Basille's Pizza is apparently on the move to a new space across from its current 14th Street digs.

EVG regular Pinch passed along word of the progress on the storefront (above), which had been vacant for as long as we can recall.

No word on when the popular pizzeria might be ready for the move.

Artichoke's first location opened here in 2008.

There are currently nine Artichoke locations, eight in NYC and one in Berkeley, Calif.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Artichoke appears to be moving into a new space on 14th Street

Monday, January 30, 2017

At the 'Lower East Side Rally Against Hate' tonight in Tompkins Square Park

Several hundred protestors joined local elected officials and other community leaders tonight in Tompkins Square Park "to stand together" against the Trump Administration's executive order on travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations and Syrian refugees.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos from the rally. (amNY has a recap here.)

The event was organized by City Council member Rosie Mendez...

Among the more than a dozen speakers were Public Advocate Letitia James ...

... Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer...

...and Debbie Almontaser, board president of the Muslim Network ...

And in the crowd...

This was the latest rally in the city to protest President Trump's ban.

Pichi & Avo wrap up new work at the Houston/Bowery Mural Wall

After a week of work, the Spanish street-art duo PichiAvo have completed their piece on the Houston/Bowery Mural Wall today...the first in NYC for them.

Some detail ... the two are known for fusing classic ancient gods with contemporary urban art

...and a look at the mural from last night...

The mural, titled "Urbanmythology" according to a news advisory from Goldman Properties, will be up through May. (I've also seen the mural titled "Urban Homeric Hymn to Poseidon.")


Spotted on the streets...

14th Street at First Avenue...

...the Bowery at Third Street...

10th Street near Avenue A...

Avenue B at Sixth Street...

Community meeting set to discuss Mt. Sinai's plans for an expanded facility in the East Village

As you probably know, major changes are coming to the Mount Sinai Health System, starting with a transformation of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on Second Avenue and 14th Street...

[Rendering via Perkins Eastman]

We won't rehash all the coming changes (outlined in this post). There's an FAQ page as well that may have details you are looking for related to health care and the construction.

Tomorrow night, City Council member Rosie Mendez and CB3 are hosting a meeting to learn more about the construction timeline for the new Mount Sinai Downtown Beth Israel.

Reps from Mount Sinai's Real Estate and Community Affairs Departments will be on hand for the discussion, taking place from 6-7:30 p.m. in the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, 310 E. 14th St. (in the third floor conference room).

The hospital's downsizing from its campus on First Avenue and 16th Street is part of a $550 million plan by Beth Israel’s owner to adapt to a changing health care landscape where patients are using more outpatient care and spending less time in hospitals, as previously reported.

Mount Sinai will sell the 16th Street property, which has a current reported value of $600 million. Beth Israel reportedly has outstanding debt of some $200 million.

Kenneth Davis, president and chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Health System, previously stated that it will cost $250 million to build the new hospital and upgrade the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on Second Avenue and 14th Street.


Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen is now open daily on 7th Street

[EVG file photo]

Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen, the basement cafe that serves as a fundraising arm of the St George Ukrainian Catholic Church just up East Seventh Street, has expanded its hours.

They are now open daily here at 33 E. Seventh St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square.

Here's a look at their reasonably prices menu items...

And as you can see, they also have an Instagram account... to keep you posted on their daily specials...

And volunteer work...

Previously on EV Grieve:
At the Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen

Updated: East 12th Osteria closes on 1st Avenue, moving to the West Village

East 12th Osteria looks to have permanently closed. Someone removed the sign from the front door here on First Avenue at 12th Street...

EVG reader dwg said the dining room was cleared out on Friday.

Back on Dec. 12, the State seized the space for nonpayment of taxes. Eater reported that restaurant serving Northern Italian cuisine owed more than $190,000 in unpaid taxes.

However, without any notice, East 12th Osteria then resumed service several days later.

The restaurant opened in March 2013.

From restaurant's website: "East 12th Osteria will be moving to the West Village, and would henceforth change name to Osteria."

A spokesperson for the restaurant told us in an email:

We opened 2 days after NY State Department of Taxation and Finance shut us down. We've paid the principal amount months back, it is the interest and other fees that we're trying to negotiate down. 120% interest is a lot.

Having said that, earlier this month we chose to close down East 12th Osteria because we found a bigger location in the West Village, and will be opening sometime in the summer.

East 12th attracted regulars Ron Chernow... Preet Bhararra and Scott Stringer, lots of NYU faculty and gallery owners. We thank our supporters in the East Village — a warm welcome awaits them at our next Osteria, opening soon just a few avenues away.

New bakery on the way for the Whole Foods Market® Bowery

Renovations continue at the Whole Foods Market® Bowery ... where there's a temporary entrance to the store on Houston and the Bowery... the reason — the arrival in March of a bakery on the premises...

The current bakery seems rather scattered back by the salad bar region.

Unrelated, avocados are on sale five for $5.

Gramercy Cafe closes; Gramercy Kitchen coming soon

Heading a few blocks outside the East Village for a moment... multiple readers passed along word that the Gramercy Cafe on Third Avenue and 17th Street had been dark all weekend.

Signage soon arrived at the 24/7 diner... telling patrons not to worry...

The other sign thanks Elias and his team for 24 great years... and notes that the corner spot will soon be known as Gramercy Kitchen...

[Photo via Harry Weiner]

The interior looks to be in some disarray...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Valentine's Day tragedies: When you mix up Gramercy Cafe and the Gramercy Tavern