Saturday, March 31, 2018

6 stories from March

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park today by Lola Sāenz]

A mini month in review...

• Tibetan speciality shop DöKham is now open on 1st Avenue (March 2)

• Historic Bathhouse Studios for sale on 11th Street (March 7)

• Bar taking over former HiFi space on Avenue A is called Coney Island Baby (March 8)

• A memorial for Elizabeth Lee on Cooper Square (March 15)

• Bookstore coming to the former St. Mark's Bookshop on 3rd Street (March 21)

• Permits filed for Sunshine Cinema-replacing boutique office building (March 30)

Easter at the 6th and B Garden

Egg hunt tomorrow (Sunday! Easter!) at the 6th and B Garden from noon to 2 p.m.

Report: Mayor wants to penalize landlords for keeping storefronts vacant

[DF Mavens on 2nd Avenue has been tenant-free since January 2016]

From today's Post:

As a growing number of vacant storefronts dot the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said he wants to penalize landlords who leave the shopfronts sitting empty.

“I am very interested in fighting for a vacancy fee or a vacancy tax that would penalize landlords who leave their storefronts vacant for long periods of time in neighborhoods because they are looking for some top-dollar rent but they blight neighborhoods by doing it,” he said on WNYC. “That is something we could get done through Albany.”


The borough’s overall vacancy rates doubled from 2.1 percent to 4.2 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to a City Council report published in December. The report blamed landlords charging skyrocketing rents right as brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling with growing online competition.

Easter weekend egg watch in Tompkins Square Park

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

Red-tailed hawk watchers in Tompkins Square Park are expecting Dora to lay eggs soon. Christo and Dora were spotted mating (again) yesterday in the Park.

Anyway, here's the most recent post from Goggla on the situation:

Last year, Dora laid their first (perhaps only) egg on or around March 14. It seems all the city hawks nests are running a bit late this year, but Christo and Dora also went through the extra trauma of Dora's injury, subsequent absence, and then the introduction of Barucha/Nora. Christo and Dora seem to have settled into a routine of nest-building, mating and eating together, so we can expect egg-laying any time.

To date, Christo and Dora have had 10 hawklets these past few years.

Meanwhile... here's a photo from several weeks ago showing Dora atop one of the buildings in Village View...

Thanks to East Village and Village View resident Max Pyziur for this photo!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday's parting shot

Photo this evening via Bobby Williams...

'Freak water problem' KOs Veselka till Monday

Tough break for Veselka this holiday weekend. The restaurant on Second Avenue and Ninth Street will be closed until at least Monday afternoon.

Veselka management shared their status on social media:

Due to a freak water problem, we have to give the experts time to make repairs — and they’re estimating that we’ll be UP AND RUNNING by the AFTERNOON OF MONDAY, APRIL 2nd. (And, no, this isn’t our April Fools prank.)

Updated 10/31

At Veselka today... at least two disappointed diners...

Updated 4/2

Veselka reopened lat this afternoon... and as a commenter noted, this turned out to be a closure via the Health Department following an inspection Friday that yielded 48 violation points.

'Les' is more

The video dropped this week for Brooklyn-based Surfbort's new single, "Les Be in Love," off of their first EP with Cult Records.

Good Friday on 3rd Street

Parishioners from several churches in the neighborhood, including Most Holy Redeemer, Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Mary's Grand, took part in the stations of the cross on this Good Friday ...EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos from Third Street between Avenue B and Avenue A...

EVG Etc.: Coffee shop thieves on Union Square; hawklet egg watch in Tompkins Square Park

[Last night in Tompkins Square Park]

Thieves targeting coffee shops around Union Square (Town & Village)

Criticism over NYCHA's Lower East Side development plans (The Lo-Down) ... NYCHA residents suffer while politicos trade barbs (CBS New York)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission wants to eliminate some public hearings over building modifications (B+B)

Egg watch for Christo and Dora! (Laura Goggin Photography)

Longtime EV resident and storyteller Phillip Giambri stars in this short film "The Boho's Lament" (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York ... previously)

Union Square subway history (Ephemeral New York)

Rose and Basil on Seventh Street recently launched a new dinner service (Official site ... previously)

Electoral Dysfunction, a long-running political comedy debate show, coming to the Kraine Theater on Fourth Street (Official site)

Two East Village-based restaurants are opening second outposts: Little Tong in Midtown East (Eater) and Avant Garden to Williamsburg (Eater)

The Grace Jones retrospective that you've been waiting for (Metrograph)

The owner of Mercer Street Books & Records discusses the woes of small-business owners (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

A wide-ranging Q&A with Mike D (Vulture)

Random diversions: Nico's first single, featuring Brian Jones and Jimmy Page (Dangerous Minds)

... and workers finally removed the sidewalk bridge surrounding the Christodora House on Ninth and B ...

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

Permits filed for Sunshine Cinema-replacing boutique office building

[EVG file photo]

Reps for the developers of the newly branded 141 East Houston have filed the permits with the DOB for the new 9-story office building with retail space on the site of the former Sunshine Cinema.

As previously reported (via The New York Times), the new 68,000-square-foot building will be designed by Roger Ferris. Demolition of the current circa-1898 building is expected within the next two months ... with a completion date for the new glass box in late 2019...

[Via East End Capital]

East End Capital and K Property Group bought the building for $31.5 million last spring. Gregory Kraut, a managing partner at K Property Group, recently told the Commercial Observer that they are putting the building up on spec.

The five-screen Sunshine Cinema closed on Jan. 21 after 17 years in service.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Discarded theater seats and goodbyes at the Sunshine Cinema

The 9-story boutique office building coming to the former Sunshine Cinema space

A celebratory ad on the purchase of 139 E. Houston St., current home of the Sunshine Cinema

Last weekend for Three of Cups

This is the last weekend for Three of Cups, which opened on First Avenue at Fifth Street in December 1992.

As first reported on March 22, the pizzeria and Italian restaurant was closing after service on April 1. (A few people thought this might be an April Fool's Day joke. It is not.)

Owner Anthony Barile wrote this on Facebook:

The reasons are many that we are at this moment, with all of them meaning that I can’t sustain it any longer. It’s the end of the longest thing I’ve continuously been involved with, almost 1/2 my life, nearly 26 years.

My wife worked here before we were married, my children grew up playing here and my son has worked here with me for the last two years. Three of Cups is a big part of our home and lives.

The Three of Cups Lounge is closing too.

Emmy Squared, the Williamsburg-based restaurant serving burgers and Detroit-style pizza, is expected to take over this corner space in the months ahead.

Previously on EV Grieve:
After nearly 26 years, Three of Cups is closing on 1st Avenue; Emmy Squared arriving next?

Jillery is closing on 7th and B

[Photos by Steven]

A "store closing" sign is up now in the front window at Jillery, the jewelry and home accessories shop on Avenue B at Seventh Street...

No word just yet why Jillery is closing here ... or when their last day is. (I reached out for more details. Updated: the end of May.)

Artist Jill Fagin, who launched her business in 1987, moved to this corner from 10th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue in the summer of 2013.

Amaran, which specialized in imported home goods, was the previous corner business until February 2013.

As for what might be next, the president of the board of directors of the co-op at 184 E. Seventh St. told me this in 2013: "Our co-op is very proud to have rejected chain stores, banks, bars and loud food establishments. We are proud to have chosen a local business like Jillery who has been in the neighborhood for many years ..."

Construction watch: 150 Rivington St.

Here's a Passover look at the former Streit’s Matzo Factory ... where an under-construction, 7-story condoplex housing 45 units now stands at Rivington and Suffolk...

And the final condo product, as you've likely seen previously...

[Volley Studios]

Streeteasy shows a handful of units still on the market, from a little more than $1 million to $2.7 million.

This corner space was home to Streit’s Matzo Factory from 1925 to 2015. The family-owned business sold its original factory to Cogswell Realty in January 2015 for a reported $30.5 million.

Streit's, who left the LES in 2015, now operates out of more modern facilities in Rockland County. Here's a story about how they're doing today.

...and here's the slot for the future new ABC No Rio next door...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Times reveals the Streit's-replacing condos; Ben Shaoul wordsmiths gentrification

A celebration of Streit's Matzo Factory starts tonight on Avenue A

Matzo madness as Streit's documentary by East Village resident debuts at the Film Forum

At ABC No Rio's last HardCore/Punk Matinee on Rivington Street (for now)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

March 29

Just in time for Easter... photo on Fourth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue today via Lora Ewing...


A wood lathe spotted waiting for a call on St. Mark's Place near First Avenue... thanks to EVG reader Peter D. for the photo today...

Branching out at the Brant Foundation

EVG reader Steph shared these photos today... showing workers loading in a shipment of birch tree branches (thank you comments!) at the under-renovation future home of the Brant Foundation on Sixth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...

The Brant Foundation's EV outpost, which will house Peter M. Brant's permanent art collection, will reportedly open this spring.


Goggla shared this photo... showing the trees in the new garden to the west of the building...

And here's a night view via Riley McCormick...

The FDNY remembers fire marshal Christopher T. Zanetis on 2nd Street

The FDNY and NYU are hosting a Celebration of Life today in remembrance of FDNY fire marshal and U.S. Air Force Major Christopher "Tripp" Zanetis, who died in a military helicopter crash in Iraq on March 15.

Zanetis, 37, was on leave from the department, where he had been a marshal in the Bureau of Fire Investigation.

After graduating from NYU, he was appointed as a firefighter in 2004, and was assigned to Engine Company 28, Ladder 11 on Second Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. Zanetis was promoted to fire marshal in 2013.

Yesterday, the FDNY turned out to honor Zanetis on Second Street...

Thanks to EVG reader Victoria L from Second Street for the photos.

Updated 11:30 a.m.

EVG reader Karen shared these photos of the FDNY procession from Engine Company 28...

8-story residential building underway in this empty 9th Street lot

There has been talk dating to 2010 about a new residential building at the site of this empty lot (used for parking) in the 600 block of Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

As these photos via Bobby Williams show, workers have started excavation at the site (officially 639 E. Ninth St.) ...

The rendering on the plywood reveals an 8-story building...

The permits are a little more confusing (at least to me), showing a combination of lots — the empty one along with No. 641 to the east. (Same landlord — Adeia Associated LP.) The 8-story building rising in the empty lot looks to have 14 residential units.

In any event, there's a partial stop work order on the lot now after a complaint filed with the city last week noted "CONSTRUCTION EXCAVATION IS SHAKING MY BUILDING."

Here's a photo of the lot from 2012...

Benny's Burritos & Empanadas will not be reopening on 7th Street

Benny's Burritos & Empanadas has not been open of late. And yesterday, owner Mark Merker confirmed that the small shop at 86 E. Seventh St. near First Avenue has closed for good.

Merker, who launched Harry's and Benny's Burritos in 1987, opened Che Cafe last April. In January, Che Cafe went dark for several weeks ... reopening at the end of the month with a new business partner ... as well as an expanded menu featuring burritos, empanadas, tacos and chicken tortilla soup, and a new name — Benny's Burritos & Empanadas.

"The partnership didn’t quite work out," Merker said in a Facebook message. "For now I will be doing catering only."

Benny's Burritos closed on Avenue A and Sixth Street after 27 years in business in November 2014. (The Benny's to-go space next door closed in February 2015.)

The 400-square-foot space has been on the market for the past month. The listing doesn't mention the asking price, which we hear is $4,200 a month. The space was home until the fall of 2016 to Abraço, the popular coffee shop/cafe that moved across Seventh Street.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A look at Che Cafe, home of empanada pouches

Double Wide signs off after 7 years on 12th Street

Earlier this month, we noted that Greg Boehm, the founder of Cocktail Kingdom, a manufacturer and distributor of professional barware, and a partner in the cocktail bar Mace on Ninth Street and Boilermaker on First Avenue, was taking over the Double Wide space at 503-505 E. 12th St.

In the past few days the bar with a menu serving Southern-style food wrapped up its seven-year run here between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Here's their goodbye message via Facebook...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Cocktail specialist looking to take over Double Wide on 12th Street

The Subway (sandwich shop) isn't returning next to the McDonald's on 1st Avenue

Last week, we reported that the Subway (sandwich shop) on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street had closed... this after the Marshal seized the storefront on behalf of the landlord.

As we've seen in the past, a visit by the Marshal doesn't always mean the end for the business. However, as these photos show, workers have cleared out this 6-year-old Subway next to the McDonald's ... removing all but one of the Subway signs...

This marks the marks the seventh Subway sandwich shop to close in the immediate area in the past five-plus years.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Marshal takes possession of the Subway (sandwich shop) on 1st Avenue

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A look at a popular concert in Tompkins Square Park — in 1891

Back on Monday, I posted the above flyer about the Tompkins Square Library presenting a walking tour of Tompkins Square Park this Saturday morning from 10-11. (Find all the details at the Library's website here.)

Anyway, I was taking a closer look at the image on the flyer...

[Click on image for more details]

The piece is titled "Popular Concert In Tompkins Square, N.Y." and dated 1891. The illustrator was Thure de Thulstrup, a Swedish-born illustrator who contributed to Harper's Weekly, where this piece appeared.

The info with the photo at the NYPL doesn't mention what kind of concert this was (likely German music, per the Bowery Boys).

The illustration is part of the NYPL Digital Collections.

Updated 3/29

This image was dated from the 1870s... showing St. Brigid's...