Monday, July 31, 2017


As you may have heard this morning, Nine Inch Nails announced a last-minute show for tonight at the closing-soon Webster Hall on 11th Street.

As of 4:30, tickets were going for as high as $545 on StubHub...

A price drop from earlier...

'Before we got Starfucked' — an exhibit on Avenue A tomorrow evening

Jen Fisher, who has operated the book stand on Avenue A at St. Mark's Place the past four years, is hosting an exhibit of East Village history at the space tomorrow evening.

Here are some details via the EVG info box...

Before we got Starfucked

A personal archive from the late 1980s to early 1990s of photographs, newspaper cuts, flyers and B&W Xerox books will be displayed on Tuesday, August 1 from 5:30-8 p.m.

The archive is based on 1980s and 1990s events such as The Tent City in Tompkins Square Park, the annual Stations of the Cross, Father George Kuhn, and the fight against gentrification as it was recorded and put together by a resident of the Lower East Side. Seen in the light of today's ongoing destruction of our neighborhood, we believe that this archive has acquired historical relevance as a record of the Lower East Side and the life it once contained.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Starbucks confirmed for Avenue A

SobaKoh has closed on 5th Street

SobaKoh, a soba restaurant on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue, has closed.

A sign appeared on the gate this past weekend noting the closure...

[Photo by EVG reader Natalie Walshe]

Said one neighbor: "This is a real heartbreaker. The restaurant was so good. The owner made his noodles in the window."

We have not heard an official reason for the closure of SobaKoh, which opened in early 2005. On Facebook, the restaurant noted that the owner "will be returning to Japan after his retirement."

The (unofficial) word on the block is that it didn't have to do with a lack of business or a rent increase, but rather an unscrupulous contractor who bilked Hiromi Takahashi, the restaurant’s chef and owner, over repair work. A neighbor said that he decided to throw in the towel rather than incur more expenses.

Signage arrives for Ahimsa on 10th Street

[Photo by EVG reader Cheyenne]

Signage is up for Ahimsa, the new vegetarian Indian restaurant opening at 265 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The restaurant's Thompson Street location boasts an $11.95 buffet lunch special. (You can find the Ahimsa menu here.)

The previous tenant here, Moustache, the reliable Middle-Eastern restaurant, closed back in May.

About the 5th annual MoRUS Film Fest, starting Wednesday

Here are details about the fifth annual film festival by the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space ... via the EVG inbox...

Opening Night: Wednesday, Aug. 2, 8:30 pm
Umbrella House roof garden, 21 Ave C
**(Accessibility Note: The building does not have an elevator. Access to rooftop requires climbing six flights of stairs)
2014 – Film directed by Johanna Hamilton – Runtime: 79 min
The FBI was unaccountable and untouchable until 1971, when a group of ordinary citizens uncovered its illegal domestic spying programs.

Cointelpro 101 & Still We Ride
Thursday, Aug. 3, 8:30 pm
6B Community Garden, corner of East 6th St. and Ave. B
Cointelpro 101, 2010 – Documentary directed by Freedom Archives – Runtime: 56 min
Cointelpro 101 exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the US government in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.
Still We Ride, 2013 – Documentary directed by Andrew Lynn, Elizabeth Press & Chris Ryan – Runtime: 37 min
Still We Ride showcases how group bicycle rides in New York City faced harassment by police during a crucial growth period of the cycling movement.

The Informant
Friday, Aug. 4, 8:30 pm
Orchard Alley Garden, East 4th St. Between Ave. C and D
2011 – Film directed by Jamie Meltzer – Runtime: 81 min
The Informant delves into the life of Brandon Darby, a community organizer turned FBI informant.

Citizen Four
Closing Night: Saturday, Aug. 5, 8:30 pm
La Plaza Community Garden, SW corner of 9th Street and Ave C
2014 – Documentary directed by Laura Poitras – Runtime: 94 min
Citizen Four followed Laura Poitras as she encountered with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong before he handed over classified documents providing evidence of mass illegal invasions of privacy by the NSA.


A limited supply of all-inclusive passes for $20 will be on sale soon through Eventbright or by visiting MoRUS, 155 Avenue C between 9th and 10th Streets during hours of operation. Admission to each individual screening will otherwise require a suggested donation of $6. For updates visit the Film Festival website here.

Report: DBGB is closing on the Bowery

[EVG file photo]

Daniel Boulud has announced that he is closing DBGB Kitchen and Bar on Aug. 11 after an eight-year run in the Avalon Bowery complex between First Street and Houston.

"In this location, it’s busy on weekends but erratic in the early part of the week," he told The New York Times. "I hope to find a more appropriate space for it in New York."

Per Eater: "The neighborhood is changing," says Boulud of his decision to close the "very good restaurant" serving tuna tartare, lamb ribs, and boudin Basque.

Curious how the neighborhood is changing in his estimation — getting too upscale for the likes of DBGB? Or changing in that the Bowery hasn't really taken off like people anticipated. A good number of retail businesses have come and gone. Ditto for restaurants. For instance, PYT — "Home of America's Craaaziest Burgers" — closed after just three months in a space that was previously home to three restaurants in fairly quick succession. L'Apico closed in May after five years around the corner in the Avalon Bowery Place complex.

Anyway, farewell to DBGB... I enjoyed keeping tabs on its sidewalk cafe in the restaurant's early days...

Previously on EV Grieve:
How DBGB is 'pissing on the grave' of punk rock

Why we're writing about Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar in Buffalo

Breaking: DBGB making sidewalk cafe look less barren

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Opossum, where art thou?

As the Daily News reported, it was "marsupial madness" today as an opossum was discovered inside the Classic Gourmet Deli on First Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

There isn't much more to the narrative, other than the NYPD Emergency Services Unit was called in ... and the critter "was safely removed in a crate by Animal Care Centers." He was then released on the rooftop garden at Steiner East Village.

Seats with more legroom now available on St. Mark's Place

The overhead bin space looks iffy, though. EVG reader Peter D. spotted this row on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue...

Week in Grieview

[Photo by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

RIP Neftaly Ramirez (Monday)

At the new home of the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy on 2nd Avenue (Thursday)

A bad sign at Heart of India on 2nd Avenue (Wednesday)

Polish G. I. Delicatessen has officially closed (Monday)

Reader report: Cleaning power and a clean up on Cooper Square (Thursday)

Becky's Bites and Stuffed Ice Cream are now open (Friday)

The Joey Ramone street sign is currently MIA from Joey Ramone Place (Friday)

Wagamama says hello on 3rd Avenue (Friday)

98/99 Favor Taste opens on St. Mark's Place (Tuesday)

The Great Jones Café is now closed, permanently or not (Friday)

1st LinkNYC kiosk coming to St. Mark's Place (Monday)

The Pourhouse might be in the poorhouse with back rent due in excess of $60k (Tuesday)

Michelle Alteration & Boutique now open on Avenue C (Wednesday)

Dokodemo now serving Japanese street food on 4th Street (Friday)

80 E. 10th Street rises, teases (Tuesday)


Oh yes the former Caffe Bene storefront is still for rent (Wednesday)

Former San Loco space for rent on 2nd Avenue (Monday)

The blanding of Union Square West (Tuesday)

Bonefade Barbers mark arrival on Avenue A (Monday)

Retail rent at 190 Bowery is $2 million a year (Wednesday)

Campaign to get a wax statue of Paul Giamatti at Madame Tussauds™ comes to the East Village (Sunday)

All ping-pong pics in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg...


Follow EVG on Instragram and/or Twitter for more updates

Report: Explosion victims seek to freeze Maria Hrynenko's assets

Victims of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion are now looking to freeze the assets of former landlord Maria Hrynenko, who last month sold two of the three properties destroyed in the blast on March 26, 2015.

The Post today reports that Hrynenko and her companies have been hit with 28 lawsuits.

Per the Post:

The legal motion asks that a judge forbid Hrynenko from “removing, destroying, selling, assigning, gifting, encumbering and otherwise disposing” of cash from the sale.

As I first reported in June, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group, Inc., paid $9.15 million for both lots — 119 and 121 Second Ave. To date, there haven't been any new permits filed at the DOB.

The DA charged Hrynenko and several others, including her son, with involuntary manslaughter and other alleged crimes. The criminal case against her has yet to go to trial while the multiple civil actions are still making their way through the courts.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Exclusive: 2nd Avenue explosion sites have a new owner

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday's parting shot

Photo in Tompkins Square today by Derek Berg...

Remembering Eddie Hunt

Eddie Hunt, a familiar figure in the neighborhood who worked in East Village bars such as the Coal Yard and the International, died last Saturday of an apparent heart attack. He was 54.

Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 2 p.m., Eddie's friends are gathering at Manitoba's, 99 Avenue B between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, for a tribute party.

'Vanishing' point

[Photo from July 19]

"Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul," the book by East Village-based writer-blogger Jeremiah Moss, was published this past week.

You can read an exclusive excerpt of the East Village chapter at Longreads.

He was also on the cover of The Village Voice last week (July 18 issue date). You can read that here.

The official book launch party was the past Thursday. There are several more upcoming events, as well as an appearance on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC Thursday at noon. Find those details here.


[Photo from the other day]

Summer Streets start next Saturday. (Plus, Smellmapping!) Find more details here.

'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' getting the 35th anniversary treatment at Union Square

Here's the official blurb about the 35th anniversary screening....

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures are bringing Fast Times at Ridgemont High to select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event, which also includes an introduction from a TCM host. Academy Award winner Sean Penn stars in the film that defined the outrageous and bold teen comedy genre.

It's playing Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and again on Wednesday at the same (fast)times at Regal Union Square Stadium 14 on 13th Street and Broadway. Find more details here.

And now, the dated trailer...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday's parting shot

Tonight's sunset photo courtesy of Goggla...

The honest truth

I was reading about Drag City, the Chicago-based indie label, finally giving in to industry trends and releasing most of its catalog on Apple Music this week.

Here's a track from Drag City favorites, the Royal Trux, with "Liar" from the 1998 release Accelerator.

EV Grieve Etc.: An idea to save small businesses; a study on bicycle intersection safety

[Photo on the Bowery by Derek Berg]

How to save locally owned small businesses (CityLab)

Department of Transportation launches a study of bicycle intersection safety, including mixing zones like at First Avenue and Ninth Street where cyclist Kelly Hurley was killed by a truck (DNAinfo ... previously)

Rubie’s Costume Company, an affiliate of New York Costumes, buys the retail condominium at 808 Broadway and 108-110 Fourth Ave. that houses the shop (The Real Deal)

About the new wave of Vietnamese restaurants in the East Village (The New Yorker)

More about the Darkstar Coffee-In Living Stereo mashup (Patch ... previously)

And check out Flatbush, the rescued juvenile red-tailed hawk, go at it with a squirrel in Tompkins Square Park via Goggla...

Summer of Love '67 slideshow in Tompkins Square Park (The New York Times)

Details on a City Council District 2 Candidate Forum on Monday on Sixth Street (The Lo-Down)

Inside Kushner Companies’ murky relationship with rent stabilization (The Real Deal)

A revival of "Farrebique," Georges Rouquier's acclaimed 1940s documentary on farm life in France (Film Anthology Archives)

A wide-ranging interview with Jim Jarmusch, whose band has released a new EP (The Village Voice)

STIK’s 7-Story mural on Allen Street raised $12,500 for the Tenement Museum (BoweryBoogie)

The owners of Babeland, the sex-toy shop with several locations, including on Rivington, have sold the business to rivals Good Vibrations (DNAinfo)

French Roast closed after 24 years on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street (Grub Street)

Details on the new Frank Ape gallery show (Official site ... previously)

Latest dessert choices: cream cheese creations; ice-cream doughnut sandwiches

Becky's Bites opens today at 122 E Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

According to the shop's Facebook page: "Becky offers a range of novel cream cheese based bites from bagels & parfaits to tiny tarts & cookie sandwiches."

Here's a copy of the Becky's menu...


Meanwhile, over on First Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street...

Stuffed Ice Cream opens tomorrow...

[Photos by Steven]

... and they specialize in doughnut-ice-cream sandwiches called cruffs... ("NYC's First Cruff," per Stuffed's Instagram account)...

Three days left until we start taking applications to #ClubCruff First member: @yeahfoodbeer 📸: @soulill

A post shared by Stuffed Ice Cream NYC (@stuffedicecreamnyc) on

Previously on EV Grieve:
Becky's Bites bringing cream cheese creations to 7th Street

Stuffed Ice Cream coming to 1st Avenue

Golden State Warriors, come out to play!

As we mentioned last week, the basketball courts at Open Road Park adjacent to the East Side Community School on 12th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue were getting refurbished thanks to NBA star Kevin Durant (via his charity foundation, KDCF).

Durant was on-hand Monday for the official unveiling.

This was the eighth basketball court in the city to benefit from the KDCF program:

In 2015, NIKE, Inc., Kevin Durant, and the KDCF partnered to create the BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL Courts Renovation Initiative to increase the number of high quality basketball courts accessible to underprivileged youth across the United States and internationally. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL will propel the mission of the KDCF to enrich the lives of youth from low-income backgrounds through various educational and athletic programs.

The court is now painted in the same colors of Durant's team, the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

The refurbishment includes a KDCF mural by Bronx-based artist André Trenier

Headline H/T!

The Joey Ramone street sign is currently MIA from Joey Ramone Place

The light pole on the northeast corner of the Bowery and Second Street appears to be under repair...

And with that, the street sign for this co-named stretch of Second Street — Joey Ramone Place — is also gone... (all the street signs on the pole are MIA)...

I reached out to the Department of Transportation to see when the sign(s) might return. An agency rep promised to get back to me.

And perhaps they'll be a new Joey Ramone Place sign. The one in place looked as if it had been whacked a few times...

[Photo from 2016]

The sign first went up in November 2003. The sign is pretty high up there now after reportedly being stolen a half-dozen times. Workers raised the sign to 20 feet. Standard street signs are between 12 and 14 feet off the ground, per the Post.

[Wikipedia Commons]

The Great Jones Café is now closed, permanently or not

Updated 8/2: Great Jones Cafe is reopening tonight.

A sign appeared in the window yesterday at the Great Jones Café noting the following...

"We are closed. Hope to reopen soon!"

On Tuesday night, news spread — via the waitstaff — that the 34-year-old Cajun restaurant just west of the Bowery was permanently closing after service on Wednesday evening. (One waitress told a diner that their lease was up.) Meanwhile, in recent months, several people formerly employed by the CafĂ© had said the end was near, that ownership would try something more upscale to appeal to the changing neighborhood. There were a lot of rumors.

Later in the day on Wednesday, an unnamed employee told the Daily News that the Great Jones would close for a week of clean-up, and decide then whether or not to reopen. The employee said a permanent closure was a possibility, "but nothing has been decided yet."

Per Bedford + Bowery on Wednesday: "This evening, an employee at the Jones [said] that it’s closing for a week; after that it will reopen — or not. More likely not, she said."

And DNAinfo reported this:

A waitress working Wednesday night's dinner rush, who declined to share her name, was more vague about its future, saying the eatery was shuttering for an unknown period of time due to proprietor James Moffett's health.

"The owner is not in good health and we are closing indefinitely," she said. "It may be a week, a month, a year — we don't know."

One EVG reader who went for a last meal there Wednesday night was told by the waitress that that was it for the Great Jones while the bartender said they might reopen. The reader had the impression that no one really knew what was going to happen with the place. Other accounts of the evening (here and here, for instance) didn't hint that the Great Jones Café will ever be back.

For what this is worth, Yelp has already stated that the Café is permanently closed...

And there are some longtime Café regulars who feel the place died when longtime GM Bill Judkins was dismissed back in March, taking his 45s from the acclaimed jukebox with him.

Previously on EV Grieve:
After 34 years off the Bowery, the Great Jones Café closes tonight (79 comments)

Wagamama says hello on 3rd Avenue

Yesterday, workers dropped the plywood at 55 Third Ave. at 11th Street... revealing [drumrolling]...

Wagamama/ramen coming soon signage...

As previously reported, Wagamama, the London-based chain of Japanese restaurants, is opening an East Village location. This will be the second Wagamama in NYC; the company has nearly 150 worldwide. There isn't any mention of an opening date just yet on the Wagamama website or social media properties. (They are currently hiring cooks and servers.)

Updated noon: A tipster says they are shooting for an October opening.

You can find their menu full of noodles, rice and curry (and more) here.

...and, as a bonus, right around the corner on 11th Street — the finished M-A-R-T-I-N-A...

Previously on EV Grieve:
A few details about the Wagamama coming to 3rd Avenue

Dokodemo now serving Japanese street food on 4th Street

Dokodemo, serving "fast casual Japanese street food," opened this week at 89 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Here's more on the place via the restaurant's website:

Founders Shin Takagi and Kazu Kamehara bring over thirty years of experience from Japan's legendary food culture straight into the heart of New York City.

After opening more than ninety locations throughout Japan, DokoDemo is their first restaurant in the United States.

Dokodemo's listed hours of operation are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; until 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Here's a look at one of their dishes...

Takoyaki with octopus, shrimp, pork, or beef.

A post shared by @dokodemonyc on

The Dokodemo space was part of Cucina di Pesce at 87 E. Fourth St. As we reported in May 2016, Cucina di Pesce gave up this room next door at No. 89, which belonged to a different landlord. Cucina di Pesce remains open ...

Papaya King, now with its own bottled sodas

Via the EVG inbox... if it's of interest...

Beginning this Friday, July 28, Papaya King’s new line of bottled, ready-to-drink sodas will be available at all New York locations. The Papaya King bottled beverages come in five flavors — Grape, Pineapple, Black Cherry, Orange and Vanilla Cream.

This launch marks Papaya King’s first entry into the ready-to-drink soda category.

The bottles will be available at the 3 St. Mark's Place location.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

[Updated] Free Shakespeare at La Plaza Cultural this weekend

Via the EVG inbox...

This Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. [time change from 7 p.m.] at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden!

WalkUpArts presents "Much Ado About Nothing." Directed and original cut by Matt Engle, with performances by Samantha Cunha, Cassie DeMarco, Anthony Gabriele, Stefanie Harris, Germainne Lebron, Kat Peña, Hallie Samuels, Alexander Stene, Jenna Tanzola, and Chelsea Thiboutout. With costumes by Will Atkins and live music with Philip Santos Schaffer.

Admission is Free!

Given the rainy forecast on Saturday, organizers said they'd move the audience into La Plaza's gazebo area. La Plaza is on the southwest corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street.

Find more details here.

McDonald's loses its golden arches on 1st Avenue

In a dramatic development at McDonald's on First Avenue, a crane crew was on the scene here between Sixth Street and Seventh Street for a signage switcheroo this morning...

As you can see, workers replaced the McDonald's with the stylized yellow "M" of the Golden Arches to...

... a sign that a typographist standing nearby believes is now entirely Helvetica Neue Black...

There was no immediate response from anyone else in the area.

At the new home of the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy on 2nd Avenue

All photos by Stacie Joy

Earlier last month, the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy (CHKA) moved from the second floor of 34 Avenue A to its new home at 122 Second Ave.

No. 122 between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place houses the Ukrainian Sports Club, which has a space in the rear of the building. (The Club plans to be here for two more years.) The two-level space arrived on the market last fall, with signage noting retail/restaurant space for rent.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that CHKA, a 20-plus-year-old martial arts school offering classes in Kenpo karate and kickboxing for children and adults, was moving into the space. And not like, say, a gastropub.

I recently stopped by for a quick tour and to talk with Jane Ray, CHKA's program director, about the move. (The studio is owned by Sandra Shamburger. Her husband, Sifu Jack Shamburger, is the Academy's head instructor.)

[Jane Ray]

"We were looking for about a year-and-a half for a new space," Ray said. "We have so many kids from the neighborhood who come here — hundreds of families. And we work with the schools. So staying in the neighborhood was of paramount importance."

On Avenue A, CHKA was simply outgrowing the space.

"Before, we would run three classes side by side. We had sort of an invisible divider," said Ray, an East Village resident. "We were working in 800 square feet — we were bursting at the seams."

CHKA is now spread over two floors. They will eventually have locker rooms with showers and offer early-morning sessions for people who may wish to take a pre-day-job class.

For years CHKA has offered a free self-defense class (aka SMASH CLASS) for women on Tuesday evenings. Ray said that up to 50 participants would show up for a class. They have recently added a session on Thursday evenings ... and, just during the summer, one at 3 p.m. on Sundays.

"The women’s self-defense class is in the process of being incorporated as a not-for-profit entity, so that will help us get grants and funding to grow that program," Ray said. (CHKA also offers scholarship for kids and provides outreach at the Boys' Club of New York and other community groups.)

According to the Commercial Observer, Jerry Lebedowicz purchased 122 Second Ave. for $9.1 million last October. Before him, the Ukrainian Soccer Club owned the property since 1959. The building dates to 1920. There are also two apartments and 2,400 square feet of office space above CHKA.

The landlord will be installing a new façade with floor-to-ceiling windows.

"For a martial arts school, you always want people to see in and what we are doing. We have boxing, kickboxing — the visuals are a great marketing tool," Ray said with a laugh.

[Ray in action]


Saturday afternoon from 2-4, Steve "Nasty" Anderson — considered the greatest sport karate fighter of all time — is hosting a seminar at CHKA. Find details here.