Thursday, November 30, 2017

Reader report: Man spotted exposing himself in Tompkins Square Park

Several readers shared information about a man who was seen exposing himself in Tompkins Square Park near the children's playground yesterday afternoon around 12:30.

According to a post on the Tompkins Square Park Dog Run Facebook page:

The man "began threatening some dog owners with a brick when they chased him away. He lost his pants and cellphone as he ran off which were given to the police — however it’s unclear whether the police will pursue as the dog owners stated the police told them they needed to come to the precinct to make a complaint.

The Facebook post has a NSFW video clip of the man fondling himself as well as a photo of him on First Avenue and 13th Street holding a brick and carrying his pants. He appears to be wearing lipstick.

[Image via Facebook]

One reader said the man is known in the Park and was spotted rubbing his genitals in front of two women last fall. (See this post.)

Brooklyn man accused of punching ex before leading cops on a chase through the East Village

A Brooklyn man was arrested last night after leading police on a 10-block chase through the East Village.

According to the Daily News, Brandon Morrison, 28, apparently got into an argument with his former girlfriend while driving her to the Best Buy on Union Square around 7 p.m.

An NYPD spokesperson said that Morrison then punched and choked the woman.

To the News:

She tried to escape at the corner of E. 12th St. and First Ave., and he floored it to Second Ave. as she hung out of his car, cops said.

The woman managed to escape and flag down a cab, but Morrison tried to pull her back into his vehicle and grabbed her bag, police said.

By then, witnesses were gathering, and two officers approached them. Morrison threw his former flame’s purse at one of the cops and sped away, authorities said.

Morrison was apprehended on Second Street and First Avenue.

A video a witness to the arrest took shows Morrison claiming that the woman used pepper spray on him.

He was charged with robbery, assault, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal obstruction of breathing, unlawful imprisonment and reckless driving.

Updated 12/1

The Daily News has a follow-up article, reporting that Morrison was held on $20,000 bail. He is also on probation for wire services fraud in Pennsylvania, per the DA's office.

Inside the mind of LinkNYC

Second Avenue and Fifth Street today via Derek Berg...

I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant

East Village resident Susan Schiffman has been photographing the apartments of rent-stabilized tenants living in the East Village for her Instagram account, I Am a Rent Stabilized Tenant. She will share some of the photos here for this ongoing EVG feature.

Photos and text by Susan Schiffman

Tenant: June, since 1979

June came to NYC from Chicago in 1964.

Why did you move to the East Village?

I had been married. We moved to a three-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side from a rent-controlled brownstone also on the Upper West Side. I was unhappy in that apartment. When we got divorced I got the apartment. I hated that apartment. I did love that it had been all musicians and artists when I moved in. There were a lot of musicians because it was close to Julliard.

When the building and the neighborhood started changing the people who were moving in were not musicians or artists and they had day jobs. The landlord approached me and offered me a buyout. I got myself a lawyer. She got me not a huge amount of money but I was able to stay in the apartment for up to a year until I could find a new place. It covered my moving expenses, plus I got some cash.

How did you find your East Village apartment?

I had a boyfriend who was living on Seventh Street and I was working downtown. I had to be at my job at 11 a.m. Every day, from 9-10:30 a.m., I walked around the neighborhood and talked to people. I rang the doorbell at a storefront looking for the super. A woman answered. She was living there, but was not a super. She wrote for Al Goldstein’s Screw magazine. Her husband was a lighting designer. She had been in the neighborhood for years. She gave me a cup of tea and a joint. She told me if she heard of anything she would give me a call.

A week later she called me and said the girl on the top floor is moving. I went to look at the apartment. There were walls with interior windows. Because of the slope the rooms were all rhomboids, in other words you got dizzy just standing here because they were all so askew. The boyfriend of the woman living there must have gotten paid in supplies because there was sheetrock stacked up and boxes of supplies everywhere. But I looked at the height of the ceilings and the view. And I just knew this was it.

The landlord, Arthur Brown, owned most of the block. He was a wonderful guy. His deal for all of his tenants was if you supplied the labor and included the receipts for supplies for work done, you could take that amount off of your rent.

I still say to people who are looking for an apartment: Choose your neighborhood and then spend time there walking around and talking to people. You will find something.

What do you love about your apartment?

When I moved in I worked with a guy who lived in another building. We took all the plaster off of the walls. Something, actually, that I’m sorry I did. The brick dust is just endless. We took down the interior walls. I like the openness. We took all of the closets out, they were useless, terrible closets. We took down the walls in between the rooms. My other apartment had so many rooms and doors and walls so I wanted something open.

I love that this is open, I love the high ceilings, I love the 19th-century details like the tin ceilings. I used to have that old kind of toilet with the oak box. It had a little leak and I told the super. I thought he could just glue it. He ripped it out and put in a regular toilet. I was heartbroken.

More than anything else I love the view. Notice how the chair is turned. I’m retired. I spend a lot of time sitting at this window. I love the view but not just the view — I love the activity that goes on. I’m not just watching leaves fall.

If you're interested in inviting Susan in to photograph your apartment for an upcoming post, then you may contact her via this email.

The 26th annual tree lighting in Tompkins Square Park is Dec. 10

Here's a save-the-date if you're interested: The tree lighting ceremonies in Tompkins Square Park are from 4-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 ... we'll post more details on the programming when those details are available.

Afterwards, the East Village Independent Merchants Association is hosting a holiday celebration with specials at a handful of local businesses. More about this later as well.

Street co-naming set for Public Theater founder Joseph Papp and community activist Mary Spink

There are two street co-naming ceremonies to note...

Tomorrow morning at 8:30, the intersection of Lafayette and Astor Place will officially be co-named Joseph Papp Way, in honor of late Public Theater founder Joseph Papp ...

[Image via Playbill]

The ceremony takes place on the Astor Place plaza. Playbill has more on the story here.


Saturday at noon, the southeast corner of Avenue A and Second Street will be co-named in honor of community activist Mary Spink...

Spink, a local business owner and member of CB3, later served as executive director of Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association. She died in January 2012 at age 64.

Turntable 5060 is now Tapanju Turntable, and it opens tomorrow

[Photo via @ArtisanMatters]

Last week we noted that Turntable 5060 was reopening on Dec. 1 after a months-long hiatus on Avenue B and Fourth Street.

Since then, a banner arrived announcing Tapanju with the Turntable logo. The restaurant's website simply offers: "Turntable 5060 in the East Village is now TAPANJU TURNTABLE." (And they are accepting reservations starting for tomorrow.) There isn't any mention of what the differences between Turntable 5060 and Tapanju Turntable might be.

Tapanju's hours will be:

Monday: 5-11 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 5-midnight
Saturday: 2-midnight
Sunday: 2-11 p.m.

The restaurant serving Korean-style fried chicken and craft beers opened in July 2015. They closed for renovations at the end of July.

Baar Baar opens tomorrow (Friday!) on 1st Street in Avalon Bowery Place

In recent months we've been watching the gut renovation of the former L'Apicio space at 13 E. First St. in the Avalon Bowery Place complex between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

As we've been reporting, noted chef Sujan Sarkar was bringing "upscale modern Indian cuisine" to the address.

The New York Times has a preview of the restaurant, called Baar Baar, which opens tomorrow.

At Baar Baar, which means “again and again,” [Sarkar] dabbles in sous-vide, foams, gels and such, but they do not dominate the menu. His small plates, assorted mixed thali platters and bigger plates provide a range of flavors, including traditional (like tandoori mushrooms, Kashmiri-style lamb ribs and butter chicken) and innovative, like potato and bone-marrow kulcha, asparagus pepper fry with cauliflower mousse, and oysters with guava, chile granita with lemon foam.

He makes liberal use of avocados and offers creative cocktails, some mixed with Indian spirits. “When it comes to contemporary Indian food, New York is years behind,” he said.

Sarkar is also the chef of Rooh, a similar-sounding restaurant that opened in San Francisco early this year.

L'Apicio closed in May after five years of serving high-end Italian.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Chef Sujan Sarkar bringing 'upscale modern Indian cuisine' to the Bowery

L'Apico ends its 5-year run tomorrow night

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Volunteers on a mission to help reinvigorate Alphabet Scoop on 11th Street

In 2002, the Father’s Heart Ministries launched Alphabet Scoop adjacent to the church on 11th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The seasonal ice cream shop hires and trains at-risk teens from the neighborhood ... and provides them with mentoring.

A group of volunteers are now working to give Alphabet Scoop "a boost that it needs." A crowdfunding campaign is underway, with a goal of raising $70,000 by the end of the year. (They've already reached the halfway point.)

The volunteers include an architect, a contractor, a financial analyst, a lawyer and project managers. They want to redesign and renovate the space and help with business operations and financial management.

Per their campaign info:

Alphabet Scoop has yet to be profitable and has relied on the financial support of the Father's Heart Ministries to keep the lights on.

The mission is incredible but there are three main problems:
• The business is undercapitalized and the store has not been properly maintained or renovated in over a decade.
• An undifferentiated brand limits awareness and the ability to reach a wider audience.
• The lack of systems has led to operational inefficiencies.

They are hoping for an April 2018 Alphabet Scoop relaunch.

You can find more about the campaign here.

Studio of the day

A studio has been on the market this past month on 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

Per the listing: "This unit features hardwood floors, a separate kitchen and room for a bed and small couch. Don't miss this opportunity to live just steps from Union Square for a below market price!"

That price is $1,895.

The listing promises a "separate kitchen."

More like "kitchen separated by the fridge."

On the positive side, it's a full-size fridge ... if you can get the door open all the way.

Pizza in the mix for former Cock space on 2nd Avenue

Looks as if there's a retail tenant for the new-look 29 Second Ave.

The work permit on the front window notes the renovations are for a "pizza shop."

Not sure just who is behind the incoming pizzeria, but likely someone with some dough. (Sorry.) The retail space has been asking $23,000-plus change.

The previous tenant here, The Cock, moved a few blocks to the north in December 2015.

Earlier this year, Highpoint Property Group purchased the building for $4.55 million from Jared Kushner's Westminster Management, according to public records.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Looking at the new-look 29 Second Ave.

NiceBrow bows on 9th Street

NiceBrow is now open at 436 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue, as these photos by EVG Eyebrow Correspondent Steven show.

The salon offers a variety of services, including the namesake NiceBrow — "a permanent makeup method" ... and they are offering some Grand Opening specials...

Here's more about them via the NiceBrow website:

NiceBrow's methods were originated around the 19th century in China. By 2010, these methods had rapidly became very popular in East Asia and Europe. As the techniques had matured over the years, it had undergone many enhancements and had deemed safe and sounded. We believed that this approach is going to transform the entire cosmetic industry, the same way that had transformed the retail industry.

The previous tenant here, Love Gang, the women's boutique, moved two storefronts to the west back in May.

Canal Pizza opening in the former Cup & Saucer Luncheonette space on the LES

Going down to the Lower East Side for a moment ... where the signage has arrived for the new tenant on the northwest corner of Canal and Eldridge — Canal Pizza.

BoweryBoogie first reported on this yesterday...

The corner space had been home since 1940 to the Cup & Saucer Luncheonette.

According to the Lo-Down, a steep rent increase to $15,000 a month was too much for the owners (for the past 30-plus years), John Vasilopoulos and Nick Castanos, to make work. The classic diner closed back in July. There was some talk that the owners would revive the diner elsewhere. No word on how that's going.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Cup & Saucer Luncheonette closing next week on the LES

[EVG photo from 2011]

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The best Daddy Burger deal on Avenue A?

EVG reader Melissa shared this photo... tucked among the Christmas/holiday trees outside Bueno East Mart on Avenue A and Third Street is a box of greenery labeled "Daddy Burger $10 each."

I'm not up on Christmas/holiday decorating lingo, so... turns out Daddy Burger is a pretty popular swag (aka suspended wreath or garland)... anyway, just passing this along in case you want some Daddy Burger for your front door. $10 seems like a fair price.

Preliminary work underway at city-owned empty lot on 3rd Street

An EVG reader said that there was a Davey Drill taking core samples last week in the long-empty lot at 276 E. Third St. between Avenue C and Avenue D...

Public records show that the NYC Housing Preservation and Development owns the property ... and there are approved plans on file (since 2008) with the DOB for construction of a 4-story building. The work permit shows that this will be an "eight bed group home for children."

Not sure of that is still the city's intention for the new building. In any event, it looks as if the lot is being prepped for some future construction.

Fire under sidewalk bridge on 13th Street temporarily brings an end to homeless encampment

[Reader photo from October]

In recent months, several residents have said that a growing number of travelers/crusties have been living under the sidewalk bridge next to the Verizon building on 13th Street between Second Avenue and First Avenue.

Early Sunday evening, there were reports of a small fire under the sidewalk bridge.

Shortly after the FDNY departed, a dump truck arrived, and a crew discarded the various mattresses and furniture.

[Scorched-wall photo yesterday by Steven]

One resident on the block shared this about the recent activity under the sidewalk bridge "where the crusties have made home."

They live and sleep there. They openly shoot up, get drunk, fight, party all night and block the sidewalk with mattresses, chairs — even tables.

The situation has become a total nightmare now. This scaffolding — I swear it seems like it's been up 10 years and I've seen them do about maybe 10 days work on the building that entire time. It's become the homeless heroin spot now and it's incredibly disturbing to watch people shooting up. We really don't know what to do but something definitely has to be done.

Said one nearly 20-year resident of 13th Street:

Our block has been gross for the last six months. The homeless have moved in under the Verizon scaffolding ... I witness drug deals on the regular and the cops have only parked on the block one day — I’m ready to move! And now they cause a fire?

EVG correspondent Steven spoke with a super who works on the block. The super said that residents have called 311 "to no avail."

A few scattered items remained on the sidewalk yesterday...

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

As for the Verizon-owned building, there are multiple work permits on file with the city, including for "mechanical chiller replacement. Removal and replacement of chiller along with related piping." There are also permits for "new steel dunnage and steel framing to support new generator and fuel piping." There doesn't appear to be any current tenants in the circa 1923 building. (The building was also the site of a major fire in 1975.)

In several recent years, Verizon was engaged with the local graffiti community in the ongoing brown paint vs. tagging battle.

Meanwhile, one of the readers said that a few people had returned last night to sleep on 13th Street.

[Reader-submitted photo]

7 years later, a Ben & Jerry's is returning to the East Village

Back on Friday, we noted that the former Caffe Bene space was under renovation at 24 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

And yesterday, EVG contributor Derek Berg spotted the coming soon signage for the next tenant — Ben & Jerry's. (H/T to Bayou, who noted in the comments on last Friday's post that a Ben & Jerry's was coming to the block. The former DF Mavens space was also a contender.)

There was a Ben & Jerry's outpost at 41 Third Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street for 22 years before its closure in September 2010.

[41 3rd Ave. from 2011]

No word on the opening date just yet on St. Mark's Place.

Caffe Bene closed back in April after 17 months in business. Before Caffe B, the address was a Pinkberry.

Vape in store for 2nd Avenue?

It looks like a new tenant is in place for the recently departed Village Eyecare space at 150 Second Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street...

EVG correspondent Steven spotted a note for the Post Office on the gate...

Vape N Smoke – "Please throw mail here."

Previously a reader stated that the Village Eyecare merged with Eyes on Second at 170 Second Ave. (If anyone else can verify that.)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Watch a bike theft in progress on 3rd Street

An EVG reader shared this surveillance video from early Saturday morning... showing a man (with a lookout) cut through two locks with a portable angle grinder and leave with a bike on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... (the bike owner filed a police report and shared the footage, minus the musical accompaniment ...)

Today in sidewalk finds

Earlier today, EVG contributor Derek Berg spotted this Singer antique treadle sewing machine with cabinet table up for grabs on Seventh Street ... a short time later, he spotted this couple taking it home...

Agozar! is closing this week on the Bowery

Agozar!, the 15-year-old Cuban bistro-bar on the Bowery near Bleecker Street, is closing after service on Thursday.

The restaurant's owners — the brother-sister team of Gerardo Perez and Diana Mastrodimos — made the announcement on Facebook...

The post reads:

After 15 years of serving the East Village and the Bowery, we would like to regretfully inform everyone that we will be closing on December 1st. Our last day of service will be November 30th. It has been a pleasure serving the community for over a decade. Our family would like to thank our hardworking dedicated staff, our customers, and regulars for your loyalty and patronage throughout the years. THANK YOU! We hope to see you soon!

H/T EVG reader Erin!

Kona Coffee and Company now open on 2nd Avenue

The coffee shop opened during the holiday weekend at 57 Second Ave. between Third Street and Fourth Street.

Their Facebook account notes that their beans "come from small, family-owned farms in Kona." Sidewalk signage shows a few of their offerings ... as well as the hours — 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Kona Coffee and Company coming to 2nd Avenue

[Updated] Gino Sorbillo opens his pizzeria tomorrow on the Bowery

Tomorrow marks the official grand opening of Sorbillo, the first U.S. pizzeria from "the Neapolitan celebrity super-chef" Gino Sorbillo at 334 Bowery between Bond and Great Jones...

Here's more on Sorbillo from a profile at Eater in September:

Though he's unknown to most Americans, Gino Sorbillo is one of the most famous pizzaioli in Italy, with regular guest appearances on MasterChef Italia, three restaurants in Naples, and a reputation for having fought the mafia — beating back crime in Centro Storico, the neighborhood that’s home to his flagship pizzeria.

The pizzeria will be open from noon to 11 p.m. daily (until midnight on Friday and Saturday). You can find their menus here.

...and a look at the product via the pizzeria's Instagram account...

Gino Sorbillo on the Bowery! @sorbillonyc official opening on TUESDAY 11/28 🍕🚀 📷: @sharibayer

A post shared by Sorbillo (@sorbillonyc) on

A post shared by Sorbillo (@sorbillonyc) on

A post shared by Sorbillo (@sorbillonyc) on

Will Sorbillo be able to break the streak of quick openings and closings at this address on the Bowery? Most recently, the hyped PYT — "Home of America's Craaaziest Burgers" — imploded here after just three months in business in early 2016.

The space was home to Forcella Bowery for nearly three years until November 2014 … only to be replaced in December 2014 by the tapas-friendly Espoleta, which closed six months later to make way for Gia Trattoria. They quickly closed.

Updated 7 p.m.

The Mayor was unhand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon...

Previously on EV Grieve:
A step back in time on the Bowery

Pizza-master Gino Sorbillo marks his arrival on the Bowery