Friday, August 31, 2018

6 posts from August

[Photo from Avenue D]

A mini month in review...

• Chelsea Thai debuts on 1st Avenue (Aug. 6)

• LPC OKs condoplex for gas explosion site on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street (Aug. 8)

• This is what's happening with the former Grassroots Tavern space on St. Mark's Place (Aug. 9)

• City Council unanimously approves tech hub; some disappointment in lack of zoning protections (Aug. 9)

• B&H Dairy celebrates its 80th anniversary (Aug. 22)

• Marshalls opening next month in Ben Shaoul's luxury condoplex on East Houston Street Aug. 24)

Reader report: Body found in car on 12th Street near Avenue B

A man's body was found inside a car on the south side 12th Street just west of Avenue B early this evening.

EVG reader Blair Hopkins shared this photo.

The word here is that the man was unknown to anyone who lived on the block, and that he was likely there for three to four days. The car has Florida license plates.

Will update if/when more information becomes available.

Updated 8:22 p.m.

According to an EVG reader who lives on the block, there were pill bottles laid out on the hood of the car.

The police are apparently looking at security camera footage from the building across the street from the car.

'Divine' madness

The Breeders released Last Splash 25 years ago today. This is the second single, "Divine Hammer."

RIP Village Voice

[EVG photo from October]

Per Gothamist:

Three years after buying The Village Voice, and a year after the paper shut down its print edition, owner Peter Barbey told the remaining staff today that the publication will no longer be posting any new stories.

"Today is kind of a sucky day," Barbey told the staff...

Barbey said that half of the staff, which is around 15 to 20 people, will remain on to "wind things down," and work on a project to archive the Voice's material online.

A few reactions...

Baking news: Westville Bakery coming to 9th Street

Signs for Westville Bakery just went up on Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue ... where this storefront will be selling the cakes, pies, cookies and seasonal desserts offered at the six Westville locations, including on Avenue A and 11th Street. (The baking is done in Chelsea.)

Jay Strauss, Westville's founder, told EVG correspondent Steven they hope to be open in six weeks.

This space was Zucker Bakery for the past seven years. Zucker's owner decided to retire from the business on July 1.

Westville, the vegetable-centric restaurant, first opened here in 2003.

Updated 9/5

Eater has more details:

Westville’s longtime pastry chef Meital Cohen will be in charge of the food, focusing on sweets such as carrot cake, apple and blueberry pies, assorted cookies, and seasonal specials like a dragon fruit smoothie bowl with berries, almond butter, and granola. But there will also be a savory menu featuring sandwiches, tartines, quiches, and salads. Specific tartines include ones with smoked trout, crème fraîche, and chives or marinated fennel and chickpea salad with whipped feta, while quiches may have roasted vegetables and herb goat cheese or grilled onions and mixed mushrooms. Expect vegan and gluten-free options too.

The EVG podcast: More hawk talk with Laura Goggin

[The Tompkins Square fledgling by Goggla]

I invited East Village-based photographer Laura Goggin (aka Goggla!) back to the East Village Radio storefront studio on First Avenue for another EVG podcast. (Listen to our first session from June here.)

We talked about what has happened this summer with the red-tailed hawks of Tompkins Square Park, including:

• The joy of the young red-tailed fledgling
• The death of the older fledgling
• The hawks loving the concerts in the Park
• The parenting skills of Christo and Amelia
• The latest on Dora, Christo's ex-mate now in wing rehab (The Post might be interested in her status!)

Anyway, we had a lot of fun recording this...

This link will take you to Goggla's site for more photos and red-tailed hawk narratives. And stay tuned for more EVG podcasts — I'll be posting another one next week.

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

The EVG podcast: Mike Katz and Crispin Kott on the "Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City."

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

EVG Etc.: Christening the new LES ferry stop; defending the Smith

[A little help? Avenue A at 4th Street]

A guide to next month's NY primaries (Curbed)

The actual number of NYCHA kids who tested positive for lead (The Post)

Displaced tenants from 85 Bowery return home after 7 months (amNY)

Spend your weekend looking at the city's new NYC Street Map, with an interactive tool that lets you view alterations made to the city map dating to 1938 (Off the Grid)

Reading David Wojnarowicz at the Whitney next Friday, Sept. 7 (Official site)

The history of 307 E. 12th St., the onetime Elizabeth Home for Girls in the 1890s (Ephemeral New York)

Christening the new LES ferry stop (The Lo-Down ... amNY... but are ferries really a good solution to transit problems?)

New film series highlights Westerns "that focus on a female protagonist, foregrounding the importance of women both to the Western genre and to the history of the American West" (Anthology Film Archives)

At home with Kiki Smith (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Life in Hell Square (Marketplace)

Check out the Hot Spot Popshop (Art on A Gallery)

In defense of The Smith, the brasserie whose first outpost opened on Third Avenue and 11th Street (Eater)

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former attorney, cleared about $7 million in sale of two properties, including 133 Avenue D (Bloomberg... earlier)

NYC map hit with anti-Semitic vandalism yesterday (The Verge)

We're getting a "London Calling" postage stamp (Flaming Pablum)

Jeremiah Moss on the no-cash-allowed Morgenstern's taking over the former Silver Spurs space on La Guardia (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

... and photographer Kevin Shea Adams is selling prints of photos taken inside the former Hollywood Theatre at 100 Avenue A (demolished to make way for Ben Shaoul's condoplex) ... find his site here.

... and in photos from the mounds of discarded contents from apartments, a Hollywood Legends Last Supper with Marilyn Monroe in the Jesus seat ... spotted on St. Mark's Place...

On this date in 1928

From the NYPL Digital Collections...

P. L. Sperr took this photo, dated Aug. 31, 1928, from Fourth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B ... looking toward the north at the back of the tenements of Fifth Street.

Per the description: "Buildings shown across the horizon, are the Consolidated Gas Co., the Metropolitan Life Insurance and the N.Y. Life Insurance Co."

Renovations for rooftop cottage on 1st and 1st

The Cape Cod-style cottage on the roof at 72 E. First St. at First Avenue is now undergoing renovations... you can see from the street that part of the structure is now covered...

The cottage is part of the penthouse unit, which sold for $3.5 million last September after about six weeks on the market.

The work permits don't offer any specifics on the scope of work taking place.

Here's more on the space, per the original Compass listing:

The crown jewel of this offering is a loft penthouse built on the roof in design of a Nantucket cottage with weathered shingles, cupola and wraparound terrace. New Marvin true divided light windows and a glass block wall highlight extraordinary open views through three exposures. Direct access to the private roof terrace from double french doors create a charming retreat and a rare offering in all of Manhattan. The cottage includes a full bathroom and kitchenette.

As the Post reported last summer, Gale Barrett Shrady was the owner. The cottage addition was the handiwork of her late husband, artist Henry Merwin Shrady III.

She called the charming cottage a "magical little spot" that served as her son's bedroom through college.

[Image via Compass]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Penthouse with rooftop cottage sells on 1st Avenue

That penthouse with a cottage atop 1st Street and 1st Avenue is for sale

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thursday's parting shot

Ready for winter all summer long at East Village Wines on First Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street...

A block party to celebrate the 'masters of hip-hop' tomorrow in Tompkins Square Park

This is happening tomorrow (Friday!) in Tompkins Square Park from 1-6 p.m.

Via the EVG inbox...

Great Minds will be hosting a special edition of I Still Love HER, a monthly event dedicated to celebrating Masters of Hip Hop.

Ending the summer on a high note, they are taking the event outside to Tompkins Square Park for the I Still Love HER Block Party with an all-star lineup of legendary DJs and artists to highlight the history and positive influence Hip Hop has had on our culture and communities.

Grant Shaffer's NY See

Here's this week's NY See, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's comic series — an observational sketch diary of things that he sees and hears around the neighborhood — and perhaps elsewhere.

All about EVE, the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office-replacing rentals on 14th Street

[View of 432 E. 14th St.]

Work continues (one year in!) along 14th Street, as crews are putting in new, ADA-compliant entrances at Avenue A and a new power station at Avenue B for the L train.

Renderings show that one of the Avenue A L-train entrances will be right in front of the new residential building at 432 E. 14th St., site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office branch from 1953 to 2014....

And that residential building has a name — EVE (not to be confused with EVGB on the next block), which is ready to start leasing this fall. CityRealty first noted this earlier in August. Per their report:

Prices of the 113 studio through two-bedroom apartments will range from $2,000 to over $5,000. These figures are consistent with the East Village median rent of $3,963/month, according to CityRealty data. Further apartment details are not yet available, but amenities will include a courtyard, lounge, outdoor exercise and yoga room, bike room, and laundry room.

Here's an updated rendering showing the 13th Street side, where the residential entrance is...

[Via SLCE Architects]

No word on exactly what EVE might stand for (East Village Expensive?). There was some hope that the building would have a name that paid homage to the previous tenant, the much-loathed post 0ffice, such as Next Window Please or You Can Come Back Tomorrow If You Want.

And no word about affordable housing in EVE. The Benenson Capital website still notes the following:

Benenson and the Mack Real Estate Group have formed a joint venture to develop a mixed-use residential and ground floor retail property in New York City's East Village. The 80/20 property will provide both market and affordable housing units.

Reps for Benenson and Mack Real Estate previously sought a variance to build four more floors (to 12 from 8) than the zoning would allow to make up for the "extraordinary construction costs" from poor ground conditions here. They withdrew this request in March 2017.

As for the commercial space, which will have the 14th Street entrance ... the CityRealty post states: "To the delight of residents and neighbors, Trader Joe’s is the building’s retail tenant." There were rumors that the TJ's wasn't happening.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Today in rants: the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office

Meanwhile, at everyone's favorite local post office branch...

UPDATED: Did you hear the rumor about the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office branch closing?

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

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

The Peter Stuyvesant-PO-replacing residential building tops out on 14th Street

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company opens Tuesday on 8th Street

[Photo from Aug. 9]

Way back in April 2017 we spotted the signage over on Eighth Street just west of Broadway for an outpost of Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company... coming in the fall of 2017.

As we wrap up the summer of 2018, the shop is ready for bagel business. They announced on Instagram that they open next Tuesday (Sept. 4!) here at 63 E. Eighth St.

Despite the name, the 16-year-old company has three locations in Astoria, one in Chelsea and zero in Brooklyn. You can find their menu, which includes a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads, here.

In 2016, Gothamist named Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company the city's "Best Chain Bagels." Per Gothamist:

[They sell] spectacular hand-rolled doughy bagels, appropriately crispy-crusted and accompanied by what seems like thousands of spreads and proteins. They have a flavor-of-the-week cream cheese that has, at times, been cannoli cream, red velvet, spinach and white chocolate raspberry. Expect long lines in Astoria on weekday mornings, but your breakfast will be worth the wait.

How you all doing tonight? Grand opening at the New York Comedy Club on 4th Street this evening

After two weeks in soft-open mode, which included a Jim Gaffigan drop-in, the New York Comedy Club officially debuts tonight at 85 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Amy Hawthorne, the club's director of operations, sent along the opening announcement. Per that release:

The club ... will hold its Grand Opening on Thursday, Aug. 30 with two shows at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.

The shows will feature NYCC favorites, including Yamaneika Saunders, Sherrod Small, Adrienne Iapalucci, Jon Fisch, Matt Pavich and Matt Richards, along with special guests and unannounced drop ins.

NYCC is offering discount admission through the end of September to anyone who lives or works in the area. Locals can redeem this offer at by using code NEIGHBOR at checkout to receive $10 admission Sunday-Thursday. In addition, full-priced weekend admission comes with a free VIP Season Pass for free admission to most shows through January 2019 with RSVP.

You can find the East Village schedule here.

This is the second location for the New York Comedy Club, which opened in 1989 on 24th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

They are taking over the former home of the EastVille Comedy Club, which departed for Brooklyn in April.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Funny business: Comedy club replacing comedy club on 4th Street

Did you hear the one about the comedy club opening tonight on 4th Street?

Chi Ken, the Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Store, no longer coming to St. Mark's Place

[Photo from May 2017]

Chi Ken, the Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Store, had been set for 58 St. Mark's Place. The signage first arrived in February 2017.

Apparently that's no longer in the works — a for rent sign is now up on the storefront here between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Next door, Clay Pot, serving traditional Hong Kong style open-flame cooked clay pot rice, opened in February...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dog days of summer (obviously)

A short film by Grant Shaffer... shot today on 10th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...

August 22nd 2018

August 22nd 2018

Emerging from a Summer
that never seemed able
to pass that over bearing
mix of: too hot, too humid,
too wet, too long, just too …

will we now be teased by
a breeze, a night
cool enough to sleep
false security, maligned teasing
summers cruel little joke

what did I expect
an unreasonable summer of old
foolish I know, just call me a
Pollyanna. In the summer sweat,
hopefully, in the Winter shiver.

peter radley

A look at the East River Park Track, due to reopen next month

[Reader-submitted photo from Sept. 18, 2017]

Last Sept. 18, the Parks Department shut down the the East River Park Track at the FDR and Sixth Street — without any advance notice — for a year-long renovation project.

Well, here we are almost one year later... and according to the Parks Department website, the construction is 84 percent complete.

A look at the track yesterday shows that work is wrapping up... with noticeable progress... and few, if any, alarming signs (like, say, mounds of dirt on a muddy track)...

The $2.8 million initiative was set to "reconstruct the synthetic turf soccer field and resurface the running track," per the Parks Department website, which includes this rendering highlighting all the improvements...

[Click on image for more detail]

A Parks Department official said the track will reopen on Sept. 10 [Updated 9/12: That didn't happen] ... with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to follow.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The East River Park Track is now closed for renovations; September 2018 reopening expected

Cholo Noir is currently closed 4 renovations

Several readers have noted that Cholo Noir has been closed since at least Aug. 19 here on Sixth Street just east of Avenue A ... Handwritten signs arrived on the front back on Aug. 22 noting a closure for (4) renovations...

There's no mention of the temporary closure on their website or social media properties. Their phone is currently not in service.

Cholo Noir, a Chicano-inspired bar-restaurant, opened in July 2017.

As previously reported, CB3 twice denied a liquor license for the proprietors in 2016 ... among other reasons, there are 20-plus full on-premises liquor licenses within 500 feet of the address. CB3 members also didn't see much public benefit from the concept on a mostly residential block in a nightlife-saturated neighborhood.

Given the amount of work that they already put into the space, ownership went to the State Liquor Authority for a license.

In 2014, the owners received $15,000 by winning the New York Public Library’s New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Another no for Cholo Noir

'Low and Slow' on 6th and A

Shinbashi Sushi hasn't been open lately

Over at 85 First Ave., the gate has been down lately at Shinbashi Sushi between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. There aren't any notes on the storefront to note a closure for one reason or another... and the phone is currently not in service.

Shinbashi Sushi opened in the spring of 2016 ... and I've never heard anything about the place. The Yelp reviews range from "Excellent excellent excellent excellent!!!" to "WHATEVER YOU DO...DO NOT EAT HERE!"

Before the sushi arrived, the small space sat empty... the previous tenant was the wine shop Tinto Fino, which closed in May 2013.

And... several years earlier...

[Photo from 1997 by EVG reader Dave Buchwald]

... it was Mod World, the boutique that had a 12-year-run here between 1994 and 2006.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A good happy hour

$2 cold brew at the Juicy Lucy's stand on First and First... 4-6 p.m. Monday though Friday.

Health scare for remaining red-tailed fledgling in Tompkins Square Park

[The fledgling with its eyes closed on Friday via Steven]

We've already lost one fledgling (due to rodenticide) this summer in Tompkins Square Park ... and back on Friday and Saturday, things weren't looking good for his sibling.

Goggla was on the scene for a good portion of the weekend, even helping Ranger Rob try to capture the fledgling for evaluation.

Here's part of Goggla's report from yesterday:

The fledgling spent all of Saturday perched high in the trees, remaining very still with his eyes closed and his head often dropped forward. I really didn't think he'd make it through the day and prepared for the worst.

Then, around 7 p.m., he opened his eyes and looked alert. He flew to a bench where he looked unsteady, but still managed to catch a rat. After eating, he flew to a low branch hanging over the main lawn and stayed there until dark.

But by Sunday morning...

I returned ... and was relieved and elated to see the entire hawk family — fledgling, Christo and Amelia — flying around the park. They all perched together in their favorite locust tree on the east side of the park and the fledgling loudly harassed his parents for food for several hours.

Find more about this health scare here.

[Fledgling photo by Steven]


This fledgling has proven to be quite precocious this summer. I was going to post this early last week...

[Photo by Goggla]

Goggla has an excellent update on the fledgling in Tompkins Square Park, who is enjoying exploring every nook and crazy of his surroundings... learning the trade from his parents Amelia and Christo...

Read all about it here.

Meanwhile, in other red-tailed hawk activity... Zak Wojnar shared these photos on Aug. 16 from Essex and Canal, across from Seward Park ... showing a juvenile red-tailed hawk dining on a pigeon on a fire escape ...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The red-tailed fledgling is having the most fun in Tompkins Square Park

Tuesdays at Sophie's

Kyle de Vre is never without a camera. So it made sense that de Vre, an East Village resident who has worked at Sophie's for the past four-and-a-half years, would put his camera to use while behind the bar.

During his Tuesday afternoon bartending shifts, de Vre started taking portraits of patrons seated in the comfortably worn bar on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The results can be seen in a new photo book, appropriately titled "See You Next Tuesday," which he'll release in a limited edition next Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Sophie's.

As he writes about the project on his website: "All of the subjects positively impact the neighborhood in one way, shape or form. Community is important and these are the types of people that make this neighborhood special."

I asked de Vre a few questions about the book.

What compelled you to start taking photos of patrons from behind the bar?

I had brought my camera to Sophie's a few times over the first two-to-three years that I worked there. I mostly took street photography as well as photos when I travelled. I got a new camera early last year, which was great for taking portraits — something I had never really done before.

So I started taking it into the bar every Tuesday because I knew I would have subjects to shoot. There was just enough light in the bar that I could [take photos] without a tripod or flash on Tuesday afternoons.

At what point did the idea for a book come about?

A friend was on the phone and I just started taking photos of him from behind the bar. Although the images weren't the greatest, the idea and framing were there.

So the next week, [my friend] Kayla came into the bar to chat with someone. I asked her if I could take her photo from behind the bar — more so along the lines of a traditional portrait. I shot four images of her while she drank her gin and tonic. When I saw the photos, it just kind of clicked in my head — why not start taking photos of everyone I know who visits me on Tuesdays.

What is your favorite thing about - or any day — at Sophie's?

The Tuesday day shift was just my first shift at Sophie's. Every day at Sophie's is pretty much any old day at Sophie's — and that's why I like it.

The "See You Next Tuesday" book launch is Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. at Sophie's, 507 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. All photos by Kyle de Vre. Posted with permission.

A new look outside for the 11th Street Bar

Over on 11th Street, Vinny & O shared these photos of the new awning outside the 11th Street Bar between Avenue A and Avenue B...

Back in the late spring, Dan Sweeney, a bartender at the pub these past seven-plus years, took over the ownership (along with his partners, Diarmuid and Meghan Joye).

Sweeney told EVG correspondent Steven in May that they weren't planning on many changes, aside from a new awning. So check that one off the last.

The bar also has a new website (unveiled yesterday), which you can find here. The 11th Street Bar has also continued its free live-music programming five nights a week.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A (familiar) new owner for the 11th Street Bar