Friday, March 31, 2017

Today in possible Tyrannosaurus rex sightings on St. Mark's Place

Photo by Grant Shaffer

Reality of the 'Situation'

Alison Moyet is releasing her ninth solo record this summer ... and heading out on a tour, which includes a stop at Irving Plaza on Sept. 15. Tickets for that show went on sale today.

The above video for "Situation" is from her time with Yaz (Yazoo!) from 1982.

Updated: Manhole explosions reported near Union Square

Emergency responders have been on Broadway between Union Square and 12th Street after a series of manhole explosions just after 8 this morning.

No word yet on the cause. There weren't any reports of injuries either. Will update when more information becomes available.

Updated noon:

Some details from the Daily News:

The blasts shattered the windows of the Strand Bookstore, which had not yet opened for the day, and forced the evacuation of 826 Broadway next door after eleveated carbon monoxide levels were detected, officials said.

The second manhole exploded under an FDNY firetruck that had rolled up to respond to the first explosion, damaging the vehicle, officials said.

The blasts were likely caused by damage from salt laid down during winter snowstorms and washed into the underground system by Friday morning’s rainstorm.

Updated 1:15 p.m.

Here's more from an updated WABC 7 report:

Multiple manhole fires that led to evacuations and building damage Friday, likely were caused by salt used on roads during snowstorms.

Salt laid down during winter washed into the underground system, according to the New York City Fire Department. When snow melts and mixes with salt, it can spark fires and explosions.

As for damage..

Three buildings had broken windows: 60 East 12th St., 70 East 12th St., 77 East 12th St.

There was interior damage and high carbon monoxide readings in 826 Broadway, which led to evacuations. In the basement of 817 Broadway, there also were high carbon monoxide readings.

There weren't any injuries reported.

That was then

[East 6th Street]

Though the years, Gregoire Alessandrini has shared some early 1990s photos of the city with us... (like here ... and here).

He recently added another set to his blog — New York in the 1990's Photo Archives.

Here are a few of the East Village-related shots...

[East 13th Street]

[East Houston]

[7th and B]

[10th Street and Avenue A]

Check out the rest of the set here.

The usual background: As a student here in the early-to-mid 1990s, Alessandrini always carried a camera around with him ... and he has been uploading the photos from that time to his blog. He lives in Paris these days.

Those Starbucks rumors continue to percolate on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place

[Photo from October]

Back in the fall, an EVG reader told us a worker was upgrading the electricity at 131 Avenue A ... because he said a Starbucks was going to be renting the former Nino's and Hop Devil Grill spaces on Avenue A at St. Mark's Place.

Meanwhile, last week, an Avenue A business owner asked us if we heard about a Starbucks opening on Avenue A. Now the rumor continues to pick up steam, as The Villager cites an unnamed source who tells the weekly paper: "I would say it’s a 90 percent certainty that Starbucks will be in the space."

Last fall, a tipster shared the flyer in circulation for the property...

At the time, a source with knowledge of the asking rent said that the corner space was seeking $15,020 per month and the inline storefront was going for $42,072 per month. The landlord was asking $52,000 for the combined spaces.

So far, there isn't any other evidence that this space has a tenant just yet. And Starbucks has been a handy rumored tenant in recent years ... for the corner of Avenue A and 11th Street and Avenue B and Fourth Street ... the contractor who said that a Starbucks was coming to First Avenue and 13th Street turned out to be correct, though.

James Morrissey, who owns The Late Late on East Houston and now VNYL on Third Avenue, had been after the spaces to create The Honey Fitz, a bar-diner-restaurant-cafe-networking space. Those plans never materialized early last year.

[Photo from yesterday]

To recap, Nino's closed in October 2015. As previously reported, owner Nino Camaj accepted a low six-figure amount to walk away from his remaining 10-year lease and surrender the pizza shop that he opened in 1989. He had been in a dispute with the landlord over back rent and a closure due to a gas leak in the building. Hop Devil Grill and its sister bar next door, The Belgian Room, were seized by the state in April 2015 for nonpayment of taxes.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A look at the retail listing for the northwest corner of A and St. Mark's Place

The former spaces for Nino's and Hop Devil Grill have been combined

Macaron Parlour leaves St. Mark's Place for larger space on the LES

[Image via RKF]

On Wednesday, Macaron Parlour closed its storefront on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue ahead of a move to a larger shop on the LES.

Owners Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand explained via Facebook:

We are so pleased to announce that we are moving our East Village shop to the Lower East Side. Our new address will be 44 Hester St., right beside our sister company Meow Parlour. We will be opening sometime next week (TBA) once we’ve settled in. In the meantime, you can find our treats in our UWS shop or the Meow Parlour Bakery.

Macaron Parlour East Village was our very first brick-and-mortar store, which we opened in October 2012. These past 4+ years have been truly amazing. What started out as just a dream has grown beyond our wildest imaginations. We will miss being in the East Village so, so much. We’ve simply outgrown the space and are looking forward to a bigger kitchen for production!

Finally, we wanted to thank our neighbors and regulars in the East Village who we have come to know and love dearly, our friends who have provided their never-ending support for us, and our customers who continue to come from near and far to try out our treats. We hope you will visit us at our new location in the LES!

We are excited to join the neighborhood and see what the future holds!

The space at 111 St. Mark's Place was previously home (briefly) to the Chocolate Library.

Addiction NYC heads across St. Mark's Place

Addiction NYC has closed up shop at 27 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... the tattoo parlor and smoke shop is headed across St. Mark's Place to No. 18...

As we understand it... Addiction will be merging with existing businesses from the same owner ...

No. 27 is one of the properties that controversial landlord Rapahel Toledano, who just filed for Chapter 11, is trying to sell. Meanwhile, the retail tenants here have received major rent increases. The Sock Man moved away (to 99 1/2 St. Mark's Place) from his longtime home in one of the spaces last January after the rent was hiked by 3x. The tenant Toledano's brokers found to replace The Sock Man, the rolled ice cream shop Lab -320°, closed after six months in business.

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Training day

#Parkour in Tompkins Square Park... Photo early this evening by Ryan John Lee (see more of his work here ... and here).

Become a member of the 6BC Botanical Garden; 1st orientation is Saturday

[Photos via 6BC Botanical Garden]

Via the EVG inbox... from the 6BC Botanical Garden on Sixth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C...

Hello, fellow gardeners! It's that time again! 6BC is seeking responsible persons interested in making a commitment to our community garden. Get out in the sunshine, meet your neighbors,and help us keep this lovely space green and growing for our community. And maybe make a new friend or two!

As a member of 6BC Garden, you will have year-round access to the garden, and invitations to members-only events,
Most importantly, you will be helping to maintain a priceless, serene, green space for our neighborhood and for yourself. So you know nothing about gardening? No problem! We all learn together. You don't even have to garden — there are other ways to help out.

Orientation Dates:
Saturday, April 1
Sunday, April 9
Sunday, April 23
Saturday, April 29
Sunday, May 7
Saturday, May 20

All orientations start at 11 a.m.

Find more details here.

Last year, 6BC received the Achievement in Landscape Design in the first GreenThumb Gardeners Recognition Awards ...topping 600 other city gardens.

The sign at the garden noting this distinction was recently enhanced...


An EVG reader shared these photos from Astor Place this morning... where a crew and cast were filming a commercial for the Tribeca Film Festival...

There were rumors that this was a new, quick-serve food concept...

Out east

Thanks to EVG reader Alex L. for today's sunrise photo from East River Park...

Report: Raphael Toledano files for Chapter 11; $145 million deal for EV portfolio is off the table

On Tuesday, an affiliate of Raphael Toledano's Brookhill Properties filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on a 15-building East Village portfolio, The Real Deal reports.

Meanwhile, the deal to sell the portfolio to Joseph Sutton, son of retail mogul Jeff Sutton, for some $145 million is also off.

All this has transpired about one month after Madison Realty Capital filed to foreclose on the package of multifamily walk-ups acquired by Toledano in 2015 from the Tabak family. (Toledano purchased 28 buildings in two separate portfolios from the Tabak family for a total of $140 million.)

Per The Real Deal:

Now that the deal with Sutton is no longer happening, Toledano is looking for other suitors, sources said.

The bankruptcy filing, submitted by Brookhill-controlled entity East Village Properties LLC, would buy Toledano more time to sell the buildings and avoid foreclosure.

Toledano and Sutton declined to comment. Sources familiar with the deal said that Sutton did not want to be associated with a deal tainted with a bankruptcy filing.

According to The Real Deal, the buildings in this portfolio are: 27 St. Mark's Place, 66 E. 7th St., 514 E. 12th St., 223 E. 5th St., 229 E. 5th St., 231 E. 5th St., 233 E. 5th St., 235 E. 5th St., 228 E. 6th St., 253 E. 10th St., 323-325 E. 12th St., 327 E. 12th St., 329 E. 12th St., 334 E. 9th St. and 510 E. 12th St.

The Brookhill Properties website previously showed that the company owned 21 buildings in the East Village.

As of last evening, the Brookhill Properties website was no longer online...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Foreclosure notice arrives on Raphael Toledano-owned building on 12th Street

Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'

Cleaning up 444 E. 13th St.

Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano

Health Department to inspect Raphael Toledano's East Village properties for toxic levels of lead dust

Image via the Brookhill website

Village Pourhouse is closing on 3rd Avenue; E.Vil is coming soon

Word is circulating that Village Pourhouse, the pub-crawling hosting hotspot, is closing on Monday. A tipster told us that management informed the staff last night.

However, the sports bar, which opened in the summer of 2006 on Third Avenue at East 11th Street, shouldn't be empty for too long.

The teaser site for E.Vil, the incoming rock club reportedly inspired by CBGB and Max's Kansas City, lists 64 Third Ave. — the current home of Village Pourhouse — as its address...

This new venture via, among other partners, club owner Richie Akiva, is "where you go to hear Aerosmith, the Clash, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, ’80s/’90s rock, the Cult," one source told Page Six.

E.Vil is expected to open on April 17, according to their Instagram account. They were not listed on the April CB3-SLA committee docket released yesterday for a new liquor license.

Previously on EV Grieve:
E.Vil is coming to the East Village (31 comments)

City ID cards available through April 13 at former St. Mark's Bookshop on 3rd Avenue

31 Third Ave. at Stuyvesant Street has been empty ever since St. Mark's Bookshop moved out in June 2014. There have been a few art shows here, which makes sense given that Cooper Union owns the building.

Starting tomorrow, though, the space will be an IDNYC center through April 13...

Here's more about the program:

New York City residents are now able to sign up for IDNYC – a government-issued identification card that is available to all City residents age 14 and older. Immigration status does not matter. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this initiative in his State of the City address in January 2014 and less than one year later proudly launched the largest municipal identification card program in the nation.

Find more details on how to sign up here.

No. 31 was home to the St. Mark's Bookshop for 22 years.

Do you have an apartment with an open floor plan for 'Broad City' to use?

Slum Goddess shares this flyer ... Crews are out scouting locations in the East Village for season 4 of "Broad City."

"We're looking for an apartment to film in for 1 day. The shoot is tentatively scheduled to take place sometime between April 3 and April 14. The apartment should be two bedrooms and up with an open floor plan ... The idea it is supposed to play as a dorm room.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today in free shit on 7th Street

FYI — someone has already nabbed the free lunch sign... photo by Derek Berg

Spiky structures complete outside Cooper Union

We've been noting the spiky structures under construction outside Cooper Union. Yesterday, workers finished erecting representations of John Hejduk's pair of architectural structures, "the House of the Suicide" and "the House of the Mother of the Suicide," that honor the Czech dissident Jan Palach.

Hejduk, a Cooper Union graduate, was the founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.

Known as the Jan Palach Memorial, which was permanently installed in Prague in 2016, this is the first public exhibition (via Cooper Union and the Department of Transportation) for the recently revamped Cooper Square plaza.

Curbed has more today about the project.

To install the outdoor sculptures ... Cooper Union assembled a team of current students and alumni. Hejduk was a big believer in the “social contract” of architecture, so the school wanted to assemble his work in that spirit.

Over two weeks the Cooper Union team, using power tools and socket wrenches, assembled 400 pieces into both sculptures. They used a wooden yoke to carry each of the 98 spikes onto the roof of each structure, which is 12 feet off the ground. The spikes — which weight about 100 pounds a piece —then project another 12 feet into the air. The framing of both sculptures is made of cedar timber, while the spikes are made out of sheet metal welded together.

This is part of a month-long exhibit featuring Hejduk's work that starts today. The sculptures will remain through June 11.


Here are some photos from later today via Vinny & O...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Celebrating the work of John Hejduk at Cooper Union

Today's Avenue A milling report

Workers were expected to mill Avenue A up to 13th Street last evening and overnight ... apparently the rain delayed the start of the milling festivities... which might explain why they just got to Sixth Street ...

Perhaps there will be more milling tonight. Also! Signs on St. Mark's Place note that milling will take place from Third Avenue to Avenue A tonight.

The morning view

Photos of today's selective sunrise by Bobby Williams...

D.L. Cerney returning to the East Village

[Photo by Steven]

In the past two summers, the D.L. Cerney boutique returned to the East Village, selling its hand-made, vintage-style clothes in a pop-up space on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Now, however, it appears that D.L. Cerney is making the Ninth Street stay permanent. A D.L. Cerney "open soon" sign arrived at 324 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

D.L. Cerney closed up shop on Seventh Street at the end of 2012 after 28 years in business. At the time, co-owner Linda St. John told Jeremiah Moss that the closure wasn't about rent, just about time. She wanted to leave the city for awhile and focus on her art and writing.

There isn't any word on an opening date. The space was previously home to Dusty Buttons, which closed last month.

Ghost signage and (eventually) gelato at 9th Street and Avenue A

Workers have been gutting the former Cafe Pick Me Up space at 145 Avenue A at Ninth Street... multiple readers have noted that some ghost signage has been exposed from a previous business — Wholesale Wine & Liquor Merchant... EVG Ghost Signage Correspondent Steven took these photos...

Anyway! As for the new tenant, word from a worker here is a gelato shop.

Cafe Pick Me Up moved out in May 2015 after 20 years in business. They were housed at 145 and 147 Avenue A, and had two different landlords — Icon on the left, Steve Croman on the right.

Café manager Rossella Palazzo told DNAinfo in March 2015 that a rent hike from No. 145 landlord Icon Realty was the reason for the closure. (Icon listed the storefrontat $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

Greecologies-Pure Green combo opens on 2nd Avenue

The Greecologies-Pure Green combo is now open at 152 Second Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

This is the second NYC location for Greecologies, whose menu includes a variety of grass-fed yogurts as well as desserts, coffees and teas.

Pure Green, which has multiple NYC locations, sells cold-pressed juices, smoothies and various bowls of açaí.

The building at 152-154 Second Ave. is the former Sigmund Schwartz Gramercy Park Chapel, which Icon Realty bought, gutted, added three extra floors and opened as luxury rentals.

H/T Steven!

Previously on EV Grieve:
152 2nd Ave. storefront to yield a combo Greek yogurt and smoothie shop

New retail space available on St. Mark's Place

A new retail space is now available at 94 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue ... in space on the west side of the building that houses Fun City Tattoo...

Per the listing:

Space in vanilla box condition. Brick walls and wood floor. Landlord to provide C/O for retail or food. Landlord installing new storefront with large bay window. Perfect for any use. Busy 24/7 East Village block.

The space is 600 square feet with an ask of $6,800.

As far as I know, the space was previously a residence...

[Image via LoopNet]

The retail space is also above the Under St. Mark's performance space. There were questions about the theater's status (they were on a month-to-month lease) when the building hit the market in 2011. However, Horse Trade Theater Group was able to secure a new 7-year lease then. Not sure what happens after 2018.

According to public records, the building changed hands last summer for $6.4 million. The buyer is listed as an LLC with a law office for an address.

Previously on EV Grieve:
94 St. Mark's Place on the market, and what will it mean for Under St. Marks?

Horse Trade Theater Group launches campaign to buy 94 St. Mark's Place

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Developer withdraws zoning variance request for former 14th Street post office site

[Photo from 13th Street Saturday by Bobby Williams]

As noted yesterday, reps for the developers of 432-438 E. 14th St. were to appear before the Board of Standards and Appeals today to seek a variance on their mixed-use building between Avenue A and First Avenue.

However, before this morning's hearing, Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate dropped their application for the zoning variance, according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP).

Reps for the mixed-used building had been lobbying to receive a zoning variance for a 12-story building — four more floors than the area's zoning allows — at the site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

Facing opposition from community groups and residents in previous meetings, the developers cut back their request by two-thirds. Their new proposal sought nine stories on the East 14th Street side of the building, one higher than the eight allowed under the current zoning.

The developers had claimed that the property "is burdened by a combination of unique conditions that result in practical difficulties in complying with the applicable zoning regulations."

The GVSHP was among the groups opposed to the zoning variance. GVSHP held a rally this morning with residents and union members before the hearing was to take place.

"This is a victory for the East Village and all New Yorkers who care about preserving our neighborhoods and ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules," GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman said in a statement. "We have reasonable parameters for the size and height of new developments in our neighborhood, which protects the East Village’s unique character. This developer showed no legal justification for being exempted from those rules."

The current approved plans on file with the city show an 8-story building with 114 residences (reportedly 23 affordable, 91 market rate) and ground-floor retail. The residential entrance to the building will be on 13th Street while access to the storefronts will be on 14th Street.

Updated: Town & Village has a recap here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished

The former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office will yield to an 8-story residential building

New residential building at former 14th Street PO will feature a quiet lounge, private dining room

A look at the new building coming to the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office property

EV Grieve Etc.: More about Angelica Kitchen's departure; Boss Hog returns

[Christo in Tompkins Square Park yesterday by Steven]

Boyfriend indicted for strangling Brooke Garcia, 27, in the Lillian Wald Houses (DNAinfo ... previously)

A wide-ranging interview with Leslie McEachern, owner of the soon-to-close Angelica Kitchen (Gothamist ... previously)

Ex-con arrested for attempted rape on Rivington and Norfolk (Daily News)

Jared Kushner, whose company owns 40-plus East Village buildings, is going to be busy (HuffPost ... The New York Times ... previously)

Ai Weiwei’s newest NYC installation will use fences to reflect on immigration, nationalism (Curbed)

Boss Hog are back with their first record in 17 years ... The Quietus has an interview with the band at 7B/Horseshoe Bar/Vazac's after practice at their nearby rehearsal space... while The New York Times also checks in with a feature here.

And a promo for the new record, Brood X...


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