Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday's parting shot

Today in discarded items on Seventh Street via Derek Berg...

Activity in the former DF Mavens space

EVG DF Mavens correspondent Steven spotted workers inside the former DF Mavens space this morning on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place...

Workers weren't too chatty about what they were working on ... perhaps a new tenant is taking over this prime retail spot?

DF Mavens, the vegan ice cream shop, closed in January 2016 after two years in business... and the storefront has remained tenant free and for-lease-sign free since then.

Every so often, a past-due rent notice arrives on the door.

The 23-year-old Starbucks on Astor Place is now closed for 'a major renovation'

The Starbucks on Astor Place went dark yesterday (h/t to the tipster!) ... as workers covered the windows...

... to mark the start of renovations ... actually "a major renovation," per the Starbucks signage...


The estimated cost of this work is $985,000, per the DOB.

Apparently this location — a popular spot outside the downtown 6 for its restrooms — was in need of an upgrade, at least according to some of the one-star reviews on Yelp.

For instance ...

This Starbucks is always full and the tables and chairs are always taken and theirs always a line to use the bathroom although that is next to the subway station entrance and across from a department store, this location needs lots of improvements and make the place more cozy for people.


First, it's desperately in need of a renovation: 1) All the tables are scratched and worn. The chairs are the same, plus most of them are ready to fall apart. 2) The roof leaks when it rains. 3) The bathrooms look like they run a cockfighting ring out of them.

This outpost opened in the spring of 1995 (RIP Riviera Cafe!) As The New York Times noted then, this 5,000-square-foot, 80-seat Starbuck's was "the chain's largest outlet in Manhattan."

Per the Times on April 2, 1995:

The Astor Place Starbuck's has floor-to-ceiling windows and a vaulted ceiling. "We've been looking at opening stores that are a larger format, using the architecture of the site to its fullest potential," said Kat Spellman, a company spokeswoman. It is the 11th Starbuck's Coffee in Manhattan; several more are planned in the next year.

Today, there are 317 Starbucks in Manhattan, according to the Center for an Urban Future.

The tipster who passed along this temp closure news noted that the Astor Place Starbucks was expected to reopen on Sept. 6.

407 E. 6th St. is for sale; one of the 'most sound-proofed properties in NY'

The five-story townhouse at 407 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Avenue A is now on the sales block.

Cushman & Wakefield has the listing, which notes that the building can be converted into a single-family home. Also, according to the listing, the recent renovations here apparently made it a very quiet place to live...

Originally built in the early 1800s this townhouse now consists of 4 high-end residential apartments, all of which are free market, and thus the building is positioned for an easy conversion to a single family home. The garden floor (a few steps down) and 2nd floor consist of a beautiful and spacious duplex apartment that has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 laundry rooms and an 800SF rear yard/garden. The 3rd, 4th and 5th floors consist of 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartments.

As a bonus, the basement has a large open finished storage space (approx. 700SF) with rear yard access. From 2014-2016, the property underwent a high-end gut renovation, including steel superstructure, high efficiency heating/cooling, full insulated hurricane windows (eliminating the need for security gates), all LED lighting, complete closed cell urethane insulation, soundproofing, steel superstructure with foundation footings/grade beams, silicone integrated roof coating on top of new EDPM roof system, separately metered utilities/systems are new from the street throughout the building, all exterior walls are protected with brick ties/rods.

The result is one of the best built, most energy efficient, sound-proofed properties in NY. This property is ideal for an investor to operate the building as a 4 family (plus bonus space) and utilize the air rights down the road, or for an owner/user who can occupy all or a portion of this gut renovated gem.

Asking price: $9.5 million.

The building has been on the market several times through the years, most recently in July 2012, when it was seeking $3.5 million. Public records indicates that the property sold for $3.6 million in December 2012. That sound-proofing really pays off.

Mexican restaurant back on for 157 2nd Ave.?

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

A for-rent sign remains on display in the front window at 157 Second Ave., which was most recently Yuan Noodle.

And for a few days, there was a notice from the State Liquor Authority (SLA) about a new applicant seeking to sell liquor here between Ninth Street and 10th Street ...

[Photo Saturday by Steven]

In May, applicants from Butter Midtown — doing business as E&Y Hospitality LLC — received CB3's OK to open a Mexican restaurant here.

However, the SLA notice has since been removed at No. 157. So the Mexican restaurant's status remains unclear at the moment.

Despite the application on file at the CB3 website back in May, Yuan owner Jacob Ding told Eater that his restaurant was not closing. Yuan shut down nearly two months later after a year in business.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Yuan Noodle may be yielding to a Mexican restaurant on 2nd Avenue

Report: A Moxy Hotel planned for the Bowery

[Google Street View]

There's yet another new hotel coming to the Bowery.

As The Real Deal reported yesterday, the Lightstone Group is in contract to buy 151 Bowery ... and will use the space — currently a lighting store at the southeast corner of the Bowery at Broome — to building their fourth Moxy Hotel in NYC.

The seller, Emmut Properties, previously had designs on an 8-story condo-hotel combo for the buildings at 151-153 Bowery (aka 331-337 Broome). Presumably the Moxy, Marriott's so-called millennial-friendly brand, will rise on this full parcel.

The 13-story Moxy East Village recently topped out on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

Other new Bowery hotels include the citizenM at 189 Bowery and Sister City at 225 Bowery.

Monday, July 30, 2018

About Fiona Silver's 'Thunder and Lightning'

East Village-based singer-songwriter Fiona Silver released her latest single today, a very personal track titled "Thunder and Lightning."

She talks about the song in an interview published at Bust:

"Thunder and Lightning" is a really special song to me. There are times when inspiration strikes, and it feels otherworldly — this is one of those rare times for me. I was struggling to cope with the loss of my older brother, sitting in the room he was born — where we grew up together in my small East Village apartment — and I wrote the lyrics to this song. It was about a year ago, right before my album was going to come out, and I took a phrase from the first line of the song and titled my album Little Thunder as a precursor to this track.

I knew I wanted everything about this recording to be significant and special to me. I had come to Memphis for the first time on tour and met Boo Mitchell (a Grammy award-winning producer) outside of the venue I played at, by chance. A few months later I came back to Memphis to record with him at Royal Studios, where his father recorded all of Al Green’s records.

Check out the song here.

Silver is currently on tour with Gary Clark Jr. ... they'll be out in Prospect Park on Aug. 9.

1 of the 2 red-tailed hawk fledglings in Tompkins Square Park dies from secondary poisoning

[Photo from July 3 by Goggla]

The older of Amelia and Christo's two red-tailed hawk fledglings died early Sunday morning.

Last Wednesday, NYC Urban Park Rangers took the sick hawklet from Tompkins Square Park.

Early testing showed anemia and exposure to rodenticide. The hawk was in the care of the Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. (WINORR) the past few days.

[Photo last Wednesday by Goggla]

WINORR's Cathy Stpierre shared an emotional Facebook post yesterday morning, writing in part:

[T]his is so gut wrenching. I've put all my efforts and energy into trying to fix the selfishness and ignorance of the human race. This beautiful young soul will never sore high up in the clouds bringing the caring people joy and happiness of watching his magnificence. He never got the chance to live his life. Instead he suffered a horrible death. How hard is it to clean up after yourselves and take pride in our planet and all that live in it???

Goggla has more here:

Secondary poisoning happens when one animal (like a rat) eats poison, then the predator who eats the prey animal dies from the poison. Our hawk likely ingested rodenticide from a poisoned rat or mouse that was brought into the park by its parents. Tompkins Square Park does not use rodenticide, but the surrounding area is full of it.

She also links to Raptors Are The Solution (RATS), an organization dedicated to educating people about the dangers of rodenticide.

Amelia's eggs arrived in late April. We got our first look at the chicks in early June.

Report: Rats running rampant in the Relaxation Garden on Avenue B and 13th Street

Residents say that rats measuring up to a foot long have been spotted in and around the Relaxation Garden on Avenue B at 13th Street, the Post reports.

The GreenThumb garden, part of the city’s urban gardening program, has been locked up the past two years during renovation work next door...

While closed, the garden has become a dumping ground ... and a breeding ground for rats, who apparently have a buffet at their disposal adjacent to the property.

Per the Post:

Some residents blame the growing rat infestation at the lot at Avenue B and East 13th Street on an adjacent trash-compactor area that serves neighboring buildings and NYCHA’s nearby Campos Plaza II housing development.

The trash compactor is privately managed, NYCHA spokesman Chester Soria said.

As a result, the sidewalk there has become a dumping ground for garbage, residents said Friday.

Making matters worse, another maintenance worker, who takes care of trash from two buildings on the block for C&C Management, said the city picks up garbage only “once every five days.”

Department of Sanitation spokeswoman Dina Montes said that “at a minimum” the agency “empties the compact container at this location three times a week.”

Aside from the fact that no one seems to know who's supposed to empty the dumpster (the city or a private company?), the construction at the building next door, 207 Avenue B, is at a standstill. The city issued a Stop Work Order in March 2017 because the contractor of record withdrew from the project.

The Parks Department is reportedly working with 207's landlord to expedite the work so that the garden can reopen.

The rat-baiting caution sign on the garden gate was last dated Feb. 27...

... and this is the poison that some property owners don't properly use, allowing any animal to ingest it... (one of the red-tailed fledglings in Tompkins Square Park died yesterday morning from rodenticide poisoning)...

Back to the Post:

“The city? They don’t do nothing,” added Juan Rivera, 57, who lives at the nearby Tanya Towers. “The rats are so big, like cats. I’m scared. Everybody is scared.”

Former Santander space for lease on Avenue A

This Santander branch closed at the end of April here on Avenue A at Fourth Street (southwest corner). And the for rent signs finally arrived late last week.

According to the listing via Newmark Knight Frank, "dry uses" are preferred...

The listing notes that the neighboring tenants are the coming-soon Equinox next to Katz's, Blink, New York Sports Club and Duane Reade.

The asking rent is $95 a square foot for the 3,700-square-foot space.

Pizza for 20 Avenue A

While on the topic of former bank branches on Avenue A ... the long-vacant former Chase space at Second Street (20 Avenue A) may finally have a tenant... the for lease banner came down on June 20.


Didn't spot any other info at the DOB ... such as the name of the new business. The monthly asking rent here had been $36,000, per the last listing for the address.

Chase vacated this storefront in November 2015. There were six or seven different brokers for the space in these past three years.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The retail-wine bar possibilities for the former Chase space on Avenue A and East 2nd Street

The retail space at 20 Avenue A no longer looks like a bank branch

Another broker for the former Chase branch on Avenue A

Pado bringing 'Modern Japanese Cuisine' to 2nd Avenue

EVG regular Shiv shared this photo ... showing the signage up at 199 Second Ave. for Pado, which will serve "Modern Japanese Cuisine." No sign of an Internet presence for Pado just yet (other than a placeholder on Facebook...).

This space between 12th Street and 13th Street was previously Oishi Village Sushi, which closed in late December after nine months in business.

Silky Kitchen in soft-open mode on 13th Street

Silky Kitchen is now serving its "Authentic Hunan Delicacies" at 137 E. 13th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

Signage points to a soft opening, with hours of 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. This link goes to Yelp, which has the Silky Kitchen menu, including a variety of house-made dumplings and entrees, such as Hot and Sour Chicken Gizzard, Pork and Pepper, and Stewed Beef.

And FWIW, in its first week, Silky garnered 21, five-star reviews on Yelp ... (and 13 of the raves are from first-time Yelp reviewers).

Previously on EV Grieve:
Silky Kitchen set for 13th Street

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Week in Grieview

[Photo on St. Mark's Place by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

East Village Fruit and Vegetable is closing on Avenue B (Tuesday)

New owner in the works for Downtown Yarns (Tuesday)

Report: 14th Street busway debuts in January to prep for the upcoming L-train stoppage (Thursday)

Consider donating clothes to the Bowery Mission this summer (Friday)

At the rally outside the former P.S. 64 Friday evening (Monday)

Demolition watch: 321 E. 13th St., future home of the new Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Hospital (Wednesday)

Vegan Love arrives on 10th Street (Thursday)

A request not to leave any more bread at the Great Jones Cafe (Friday)

This week's NY See (Thursday)

It's never too early to think about Halloween this July (Monday)

Viking Waffles opens on Avenue C (Friday)

Revamped McDonald's ready to reopen on 14th Street (Thursday)

A reminder to lock your doors and windows (Tuesday)

The Moxy East Village tops out on 11th Street (Monday)

On Avenue A, Key Food deploying 12 new self-checkout machines (Tuesday)

Inkstop Tattoo has left Avenue A (Monday)

Woman crashes Porsche on East River Park bike path (Saturday)

[Urban Etiquette Sign on 3rd Street b/t A and B]

Up to 4 more retail spaces available to join Target on 14th Street (Friday)

The EVG podcast: A 'Vanishing New York' conversation with Jeremiah Moss (Friday)

This year's Summer Streets celebration includes rocks and bubbles on Astor Place (Tuesday)

Report: Madam Vo team opening Madam Vo BBQ on 2nd Avenue (Wednesday)

Tatsu Ramen debuts on 1st Avenue (Wednesday)

Remembering some disappearing storefronts courtesy of Karla and James Murray (Wednesday)

For rent on St. Mark's Place (Tuesday)

And among the tweets of the week...


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter

On the wall: Mural of Michael Jackson, as a child and an adult, in progress on 11th Street

[Photo by Goggla]

Here's an in-progress look at the building-size mural going up on the southeast corner of 11th Street and First Avenue... Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra is creating mural showing Michael Jackson as a child and adult...

[Photo by Lola Saenz]

... and by early evening yesterday...

Kobra expects to have the mural completed by Wednesday.

His work "utilizes bright colors and bold lines while staying true to a kaleidoscope theme throughout his art. The technique of repeating squares and triangles allows him to bring to life the famous people he depicts in his images."

And a sampling of his work from around the world...


A post shared by Eduardo Kobra (@kobrastreetart) on

#martinlutherkingday #mlk

A post shared by Eduardo Kobra (@kobrastreetart) on


A post shared by Eduardo Kobra (@kobrastreetart) on

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday's parting topless shot

The Abracadabra Field Trip Mobile music jam bus on St. Mark's Place heading to Tompkins Square Park this evening... photo by Steven...


Today in photos of climbing walls being transported on 2nd Avenue

Photo by Derek Berg...

Porsche — there is no substitute

ICYMI... A woman driving a Porsche Cayenne wedged the car on the bike path adjacent to the Con Ed Power Plant at 15th Street early yesterday morning.

According to the Post, the wayward driver — "a woman who appeared to be in her 20s" — fled the scene. (The car has Pennsylvania inspection tags.)

It wasn’t immediately known how the driver ended up on the bike path ... or whether the Porsche was stolen.

Headline H/T!

Black swan

Photo on First Avenue via Grant Shaffer...


[Screengrab via CBS 2]

CBS 2 filed a report last evening with the headline "Summer Brings Wave Of ‘Crust Punk’ Homeless Nomads To East Village."

Here's an excerpt:

“It’s getting worse now than it was before,” said Tania Martinez who lives in the East Village. “Me paying a lot of money being here, I shouldn’t see things like this.”

The homeless nomads – known to hop freight trains – pop in and out of cities across the country like Seattle and San Francisco, often ending up in and around Tompkins Square Park when it gets warm out.

The pilgrimage dates back to the late 1970s when many began migrating for the neighborhood’s punk rock music scene. Like most subcultures, rejecting the status quo was a conscious choice by its members.

“It’s absolutely a choice,” said Dallas, one of the movement’s adherents. “We just hate our government system, the way it affects us as a whole.”


NYPD sources say there are more transient people this summer because of the city’s increasing opioid epidemic. The narcotics division has been patrolling the park to help, with police doubling arrests this year – many of them drug related.

Police sources say because of the stepped up enforcement, many “crust punks” have started sleeping inside abandoned buildings in the outer boroughs instead.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday's parting Instagram post

'The Figurehead' on the door

Here's the Cure in an early-goth phase with "The Figurehead" circa 1981 ... when they were working as a trio. This track appeared on the band's fourth studio album, the poorly-received-at-the-time Pornography.

The EVG podcast: A 'Vanishing New York' conversation with Jeremiah Moss

[Image via Vanishing New York]

This episode of the EVG podcast features a conversation with Jeremiah Moss, the writer behind the blog Vanishing New York. The paperback edition of his book, "Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul," is out this week. (The paperback launch event is tonight at 7:30 at Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St. in Brooklyn.)

Jeremiah joined me in the East Village Radio studio on First Avenue to discuss moving to NYC 25 years ago, starting his blog and attempting to save small businesses from extinction. We also talk about how he encouraged me to start the EV Grieve blog 11 years ago.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The EVG podcast: Red-tailed hawk talk with Laura Goggin

The EVG podcast with Mike Katz and Crispin Kott, the authors of "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City."

Consider donating clothes to the Bowery Mission this summer

In case you are doing some late-summer closet cleaning this weekend or next...

This link has donation details. The Bowery Mission is at 227 Bowery between Stanton and Rivington at Prince.

Viking Waffles opens on Avenue C

[Photo by Vinny & O]

The Viking Waffles retail space is now open at 137 Avenue C near Ninth Street.

The storefront now sells the popular protein-rich waffles that were previously only available online and in several health-food stores and gyms, including Barry's Bootcamp. (Benedicte Engen, a Crossfit trainer, is the founder of Viking Waffles.) There are several tables and chairs inside, and you can order your waffles with a variety of toppings.

Here's the menu...

The space will continue to serve as the HQ for Viking's wholesale manufacturing business.

It's a new era for the address, which went under extensive renovations (it's basically a new building) in recent years. The building's ground-floor was previously home to drunk-brunch magnet Sunburnt Cow until April 2014.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Sunburnt Cow space on Avenue C is the new home of Viking Waffles

Renovations in store for 137 Avenue C, home to the Sunburnt Cow

The Sunburnt Cow closes for good at the end of this month

A request not to leave any more bread at the Great Jones Cafe

[Photo from July 14]

The Great Jones Cafe remains closed (since July 10) ... yet the bread deliveries continue. The box that arrived on July 14 sat outside for several days before someone eventually emptied it.

Yesterday, an employee in the garage next door put up a sign asking the delivery people to stop leaving the bread...

The 35-year-old restaurant near the Bowery has not opened for business since the untimely death of owner Jim Moffett on July 10.

The status of the Great Jones Cafe is unknown at the moment. One tipster said that a broker was showing the space on Wednesday.

Up to 4 more retail spaces available to join Target on 14th Street

In case you missed the hoopla, Target opened last Wednesday on 14th Street and Avenue A. (Recaps of what transpired on Saturday with the store's homage to the neighborhood's past can be found at the following outlets, among others: Racked ... Noisey ... Pitchfork ... The New York Times ... Jezebel ... Vice ... Forbes ... The Architect's Newspaper ... Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal ...)

So that takes care of just one of the retail spaces in the new EVGB residential complex at 500 and 524 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

There are potentially two more storefronts for rent adjacent to Target...

...and two more at No. 524 toward Avenue B...

[Confusing, because this photo is looking to the west]

Newmark Knight Frank has the listings... the storefronts are part of what's being billed as "the East Village's most dynamic block" ...

Perhaps in the future we will see a CVS No Rio (that is @danieltbrennan's joke!) or a Sam's Club 57.

Also, on the north side of Avenue A, we're still waiting to learn what's coming to the retail space in the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office... Trader Joe's still? Doesn't seem like the best time for any business to open with the ongoing L-train entrance work ...

Anyway, in case you needed a reminder of Target's arrival... along Avenue A...

... or Sixth Street and First Avenue...

... or 10th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B...

... or The Weather Channel app...