Sunday, September 30, 2018

6 posts from September

[My ship came in: Photo by Derek Berg]

A mini month in review...

A flyer about protected bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street ahead of the L-train shutdown (Sept. 20)

Nightmare scenario for residents who learn that 14th Street and Avenue A will be the main staging area for the L-train reconstruction (Sept. 17)

Stannard Farm pulls out of the Greenmarket; 20-plus year veterans of Tompkins Square Park (Sept. 14)

A visit to the Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen on 7th Street (Sept. 11)

Last weekend for Matcha Cafe Wabi on 4th Street (Sept. 8)

Jimmy Carbone is on the mend (Sept. 7)

Week in Grieview

[UN Week from outside the former Grassroots Tavern]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Help plan a park at the DEP shaft site on 4th Street (Thursday)

Get the lead out: Tenants call for protections from lead dust during renovations (Wednesday)

A final visit to the Tuck Shop, closing after 13 years on 1st Street (Tuesday)

More trash talk about those garbage trucks parked on 10th Street (Friday)

Same Old Gallery debuts tonight on Great Jones Street with Al Diaz and SAMO© (Wednesday)

During noon rally, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale (Saturday)

Handsome Dan's has closed on 1st Avenue (Tuesday)

Fables of the East Houston Reconstruction (Tuesday)

A fall day to remove the Winter Flowers from La Plaza Cultural (Sunday)

This week's NY See (Thursday)

Goodbye to Cucina Di Pesce (Monday)

What is this on 11th Street? (Tuesday)

Posthuman league: Fall season getting underway at Performance Space New York (Wednesday)

Brick Lane Curry House is now open on 2nd Avenue (Monday)

East Village residents ask Madison Realty Capital to 'See the Light' (Friday)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones headline Tompkins Square Park (Saturday)

Meet Noodles unveiled at new-look 50 3rd Ave. (Monday)

Marshalls, now with more Marshalls signage on Houston; and so long sidewalk bridge (Friday)

Protection for pedestrians arrives at 75 1st Ave. (Monday)

All's Fair on Avenue C: Fine Fare is now a Shop Fair (Thursday)

Homeware brand Burkelman opening flagship store on the Bowery (Monday)

Report: Ben Shaoul sells Liberty Toye/Bloom 62 on Avenue B for $85 million (Tuesday)

Concern for Dojo, which has now been closed for 2 weeks (Thursday)

Countdown to grilled pizza on 5th Street (Thursday)

Maybe you'll have a Whalebone of a good time at this pop-up bar on Avenue B (Thursday)

Cabin NYC unveiled on 4th Street (Monday)

... and on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place, an Urban Bike Etiquette Sign...

Thanks to Lola Sáenz for these two photos.


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Doug E. Fresh highlights Day 2 of the F*ck Cancer! Benefit for Kid Lucky on Avenue C

Today is Day 2 of the F*ck Cancer! Benefit for Kid Lucky at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space/C-Squat

Per the Facebook invite:

An originator of the art of beatrhyming, musician and activist Kid Lucky will be supported by a community of musicians and deejays in his fight against cancer in a full slate of musical performances September 29 and 30. Suggested donation $20 per person.

The photo above has a list of today's performances, including Human Beat Box Doug E. Fresh, expected on around 7:15 tonight.

The benefit is at MoRUS/C-Squat, 155 Avenue C between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

A fall day to remove the Winter Flowers from La Plaza Cultural

Garden volunteers today (around 10 a.m.) will start removing the Winter Flowers from along the Ninth Street side of La Plaza Cultural at Avenue C.

Rolando Politi started creating these handmade sculptures — best seen in the winter — from discarded materials here in 2000. The collection has grown to 244.

Here's what's happening, via the La Plaza e-newsletter: "Some will go to other gardens, some into storage. They have to come down in part because we're getting a new (and sturdier, more permanent) fence next year."

Volunteers likely won't get to all the work today, focusing on the sculptures that need restoration.

The flowers will remain along Avenue C...

In December, Politi is publishing a book of his work titled "Winter Flowers" ...

You may email Politi here to reserve a copy of the book.

Sunday afternoon poetry at Albert’s Garden

Via the EVG inbox...

Join us for an afternoon of poetry featuring Austin Alexis, Davidson Garrett, Jessica Nooney, Hilary Sideris, John. H. Trause and Jeff Wright.

Date: Sunday, Sept. 30

Time: 2-4:00 p.m.

Admission: Free, but donations are welcome

Albert’s Garden, begun in the 1971, is one of the oldest community gardens in Manhattan and offers a serene respite from the stress and noise of the city. It features a goldfish pond and a striking wall mural by the Belgian street artist Roa.

The garden is at 16 E. Second St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Thanks to Francine Lange for the photo!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Saturday's parting shot

Finally back from Burning Man? Photo on 10th Street and Second Avenue today by Lola Sáenz....

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones headline Tompkins Square Park

There was a huge turnout this afternoon in Tompkins Square Park for the benefit concert for Jimmy G. of Murphy's Law... with headliners the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who played a 21-song set.

Thanks to Steven for sharing these photos...

Jimmy G., who has had multiple surgeries in recent months, joined the Bosstones for the last song...

Stage set for Mighty Mighty Bosstones show today in Tompkins Square Park

As noted Thursday, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are playing a free show in Tompkins Square Park this afternoon as part of a benefit concert for Jimmy G., the frontman of NYHC veterans Murphy’s Law.

Jimmy G. — aka James Drescher — was hospitalized in July and subsequently needed several surgeries. (Read the GoFundMe page for more.)

EVG reader Peter D. shared these top two photos... showing how the stage is looking around 11 a.m. ...

And Steven took these shots...

There is a suggested $20 donation for today's benefit show, which includes Sheer Terror, Killing Time and Combust. Mark Yoshitomi of Generation Records is overseeing a raffle.

The show is scheduled from 2-6 p.m. I don't have exact set times at the moment. MMB expected to come on at 4:30 p.m.

During noon rally today, local elected officials will seek postponement of Boys' Club building sale

Local elected officials are speaking out today to urge officials at the the Boys' Club of New York (BCNY) to postpone their plans to sell the Harriman Clubhouse building on 10th Street and Avenue A.

Per the media advisory:

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and representatives from Manhattan Community Board 3 will hold a press conference to demand that the Board of Trustees for the Boys Club of New York postpone the sale of the historic 117-year-old Harriman Clubhouse on East 10th Street.

Attendance at the Harriman Clubhouse, particularly from boys and young men from lower-income families, has increased in recent years despite claims of enrollment made by the board to justify the sale.

I first reported on the BCNY's plan to sell the Clubhouse. Under this plan, the 7-story clubhouse would remain in use by the BCNY through June 2019. (You can find more background here.)

According to a letter in June from BCNY Executive Director Stephen Tosh, they will look to rent space somewhere on the Lower East Side to continue with programming for Harriman members after the closure next summer. The letter also states that the sale of the East Village building will allow BCNY the opportunity to start new programs in other communities, including Brownsville, East New York and/or the South Bronx.

Last month, Hoylman and other local elected officials asked for a community meeting to hear more about the BCNY's plans.

As Patch reported yesterday, Tosh declined the meeting offer in a Sept. 14 letter. "Our role in the neighborhood defines us. It is also bigger than any one building. Wherever our East Village clubhouse is situated, we remain a vital part of an ever-changing area."

Hoylman told Patch: "We'd lose ... a crown jewel of youth and civic engagement precisely at a time in our city's and nation's history when we need these institutions for boys and young men. What we're concerned about is that its services might be non-centrally located and that the clubhouse would be converted into condominiums and hotels, which would be a double whammy for the community."

The rally starts at noon today outside 287 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Local elected officials urge Boys' Club officials to postpone sale of the Harriman Clubhouse

Boys' Club of New York selling East Village building; will remain open through June 2019

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday's parting shot

Riding atop Engine Company 5 as always... photo on Second Avenue today by Steven...

Surfbort party

Surfbort's new Troma-esque video premiered yesterday ... "Trashworld" is a track from the Brooklyn-based band's debut record, Friendship Music, out on Oct. 26 via Cult Records/Fat Possum.

Read more about the video over at Brooklyn Vegan.

Reader mailbag: Looking for proposal pics from Tompkins Square Park

This past Saturday, EVG reader Haley got engaged in Tompkins Square Park.

She remains hopeful to find the person who took a few photos of the proposal in the southeast corner of the Park.

Haley said a woman with a smartphone "snapped a couple photos and walked away. I was in too much shock to notice. I would love to find these photos and hoping that person lives in the neighborhood and reads EV Grieve."

So on the chance that this person is reading this post... you can contact me via the EVG tipline.

More trash talk about those garbage trucks parked on 10th Street

[Photo from yesterday by Vinny & O]

As I first reported on Sept. 18, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is now using part of 10th Street west of First Avenue to park garbage trucks.

The DSNY no longer has use of their garage at 606 W. 30th St., and are relocating their fleet elsewhere, including 10th Street and at Pier 36.

This move has sparked numerous complaints from residents and merchants alike who have called out the problems with the smell, noise and negative impact on business.

The story has since received a good deal of press coverage. Here are a few updates.

• Mayor de Blasio is promising action.

Here's CBS 2 from Wednesday night:

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to “relieve the immediate pressure” on a residential street in the heart of the East Village that has become a parking lot for Department of Sanitation vehicles.

“Do we want garbage trucks parking on residential streets? Of course not,” said de Blasio. “What we’re trying to do every day is figure out the kind of facilities that will help avoid that in the future.”

• District 2 City Council member Carlina Rivera is not pleased.

Per Patch on Wednesday:

"[The Department of Sanitation] must immediately move their vehicles to locations that do not place an undue burden on our vulnerable constituents and mom-and-pop stores and should engage in a meaningful dialogue with these communities," wrote Councilwoman Carlina Rivera in a recent letter to the Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

• This is what the DSNY has to say about the move to 10th Street and other East Side locations.

Per The Villager on Tuesday:

[T]he Sanitation Department says that this is the only option until another garage location is secured.

“In short, we’ve been working for years to find garage space, which is the only solution,” said Belinda Mager, the department’s spokesperson. “This is the option of last resort, and what’s needed to be able to provide essential services to the district.”

• This is getting ugly.

Per ABC 7 last night:

A feud over garbage trucks parking on a residential street in the East Village heated up Thursday after a New York City Sanitation Department employee was captured by a surveillance camera dumping trash out of his garbage truck into a planter on E 10th Street between First and Second Avenues outside Pinks...

• And that Post headline from Sunday:

Aside from 10th Street, garbage trucks are also being parked by P.S. 184 on Cherry Street on the Lower East Side. CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer told me that she's also receiving complaints from many parents there.

Rivera and CB3 officials will be meeting with DSNY officials early next week.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Questions and concerns as the sanitation department begins using 10th Street to park garbage trucks

East Village residents ask Madison Realty Capital to 'See the Light'

In the rain on Tuesday evening, members of Tenants Taking Control, a coalition of residents from buildings formerly owned by Raphael Toledano, along with the Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir and the Cooper Square Committee, held a march and vigil to urge Madison Realty Capital (MRC) to end their pursuit of nearly $250,000 in legal fees from the SmithStone family.

The congregation of activists, clergy, and community members assembled on Union Square and later marched to 24th Street, where the group held a candlelight vigil outside the apartment of MRC’s co-founder and managing principal Josh Zegen, urging him to release the family from the responsibility of paying the corporation's legal fees.

Here's background on the situation via the Cooper Square Committee:

In October 2003, the SmithStone family moved into an apartment at 233 E. Fifth St. They opened the nonprofit Phoenix Theatre Ensemble a year later. Their theatre offers a full season of performances as well as lessons in theatre to aspiring actors, seniors and kids in local public schools.

Their building was purchased by Raphael Toledano in 2015, with a loan from Madison Realty Capital. The fledgling landlord asserted that the family’s apartment had lost its rent-stabilized status in 2003 and sued to retake possession of the unit, but the family opposed Toledano’s claim, arguing that the apartment was rent stabilized. The legal battle lasted 34 months. In the midst of it, Toledano defaulted on his loan. Madison Realty Capital reclaimed the properties as de-facto landlord and continued prosecuting the lawsuit.

In June 2018, the Appellate Division of NY State Supreme Court ruled against the family, and Madison Realty Capital immediately began eviction proceedings. Due to a clause in their lease, the SmithStones are now being held accountable by Madison's lawyers for Toledano/Madison Realty Capital's legal fees, amounting to about $250,000. As dedicated artists and educators with 3 college-age children, these fees would be disastrous to the family.

Here are a few scenes from Tuesday's march and vigil...

This is the second SmithStone rally for the group. On Aug. 23, Tenants Taking Control, supporters of the family and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein also gathered outside Zegen’s home, calling on Madison to drop their pursuit of the legal fees.

The court date to decide whether the family is subject to these fines was adjourned until early November.

Photos via the Cooper Square Committee.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Petition asks Madison Realty Capital to waive legal fees for evicted East Village family

Report: Raphael Toledano files for Chapter 11; $145 million deal for EV portfolio is off the table

Raphael Toledano tenants take to Midtown streets to speak out against their landlord and his lenders

Santa delivers sacks of coal to Madison Realty Capital, Rafael Toledano's lenders

Amid claims of being a rent-stabilized tenant, Raphael Toledano faces eviction from his home

A demonstration tomorrow to keep the neighborhood from becoming Midtown South

The Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation is hosting a rally tomorrow (Saturday) at noon. Here are details via the EVG inbox...

Please join us on Saturday at 11th and Broadway, in front of the old St. Denis Hotel, for a demonstration to save our neighborhood. The historic former hotel, built in 1853, is to be demolished for a large glassy office tower.

This is part of a broader trend of demolitions and completely inappropriate new development in this area south of Union Square, fueled by a lack of zoning and landmark protections, the expanding tech industry in the area, and the commercial upzoning for the Tech Hub recently approved nearby on 14th Street. That deal, passed by the City Council and local Councilmember Rivera, failed to include any of the promised meaningful protections for the affected adjacent Greenwich Village and East Village neighborhoods.

Developers now increasingly see this area of our neighborhood as an extension of the ‘Midtown South’ office district and of the tech industry’s “Silicon Alley” ... we are continuing to push for landmark protections that will preserve this and other buildings in the area.

Find more info on the rally here.

Marshalls, now with more Marshalls signage on Houston; and so long sidewalk bridge

Workers yesterday removed the sidewalk bridge from outside 197 E. Houston/196 Orchard between Ludlow and Orchard... providing a better view of the incoming Marshalls ... well, at least the Marshalls signage...

The off-price department store chain is expected to debut on Oct. 4 at 8 a.m. here next door to Katz's...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Making way for Ben Shaoul's new retail-residential complex on East Houston

Katz's is now the last business on East Houston between Ludlow and Orchard

Marshalls opening next month in Ben Shaoul's luxury condoplex on East Houston Street

The Grand Opening for Marshalls on East Houston is now Oct. 4

Here's your Marshalls signage on East Houston

Thursday, September 27, 2018

All's Fair on Avenue C: Fine Fare is now a Shop Fair

Two weeks ago, an EVG reader reported that the Fine Fare on Avenue C at Fourth Street was under new ownership... this afternoon, workers have installed the awning for the new supermarket — Shop Fair. (Thanks Stacie Joy for the photo!)

The grocery has several NYC locations, including in Washington Heights, Jamaica and Far Rockaway.


A Santa with two modes of transportation today on Fourth Street at Second Avenue ... photo by Derek Berg.

Grant Shaffer's NY See

[Click to go big]

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.

Concern for Dojo, which has now been closed for 2 weeks

Dojo Restaurant on West Fourth Street at Mercer has been closed since a visit by the Department of Health on Sept. 13...

The DOH closure notice has remained in full view on the front door without any accompanying note. There's no mention of a closure on Dojo's website or social media.

And now few regulars are starting to worry that Dojo won't be coming back at all. (An email to Dojo was not returned; the phone goes to a message about a Time Warner Cable phone customer that hasn't set up a voice mailbox.)

According to the DOH website, Dojo's received 62 violation points during the visit on Sept. 13, including for:

1) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F.
2) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
3) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan.
4) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

So the Dojo faithful remain hopeful that ownership just hasn't thrown in the towel. (In May 2013 there were reports that Dojo was shutting down due to a rent hike.)

Dojo, of course, got its start in the East Village... beginning with the Ice Cream Connection on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue in March 1970. Dojo's Japanese-inspired vegetarian cuisine came along in 1974. And via the Dojo website:

In 1982, Dojo took over the space next door and expanded even more. Then in 1991, Dojo in the West Village was created – both Dojo East and Dojo West were favorite local gems. Unfortunately in 2007, Dojo East was closed down due to high rent. BUT Dojo West is still going strong!

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones headline benefit show in Tompkins Square Park on Saturday

Ska-punk favorites The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are playing a free show in Tompkins Square Park on Saturday afternoon as part of a benefit concert for Jimmy G., the frontman of NYHC veterans Murphy’s Law.

Jimmy G. — aka James Drescher — was hospitalized in July and subsequently needed several surgeries. (Read the GoFundMe page for more.)

Aside from the other announced bands on the bill, Sheer Terror, Killing Time and Combust, the afternoon will include a raffle overseen by Mark Yoshitomi of Generation Records.

For fans of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who are currently on tour with a new record, there's a meet-and-greet with the band before the show at the Continental (23 Third Ave. at St. Mark's Place) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Facebook event page has the latest info. (Here too.)

There's also a post-concert show at Coney Island Baby at 169 Avenue A starting at 7:30 ...

Help plan a park at the DEP shaft site on 4th Street

That long-vacant lot on Fourth Street between 2 Cooper Square and the Merchant's House Museum has always been a bit of a mystery ... seems like prime space just waiting for a, say, hotel!

Since the 1990s, the Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) has used this city-owned space to work on shafts connected to the underground network of tunnels that supply the city's drinking water.

Now, as promised some years ago, this lot will be turned into a city park — or rather "passive recreation space."

On Monday night, reps from the city will host a meeting to discuss usage for the site...

Per the invite:

Please join us to discuss creating a passive recreation space at the DEP shaft site on East Fourth Street

Monday, Oct. 1:

6:30 p.m. — Meet first to see the DEP shaft site

7 p.m. — Scope meeting at JASA Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery

This project was funded by Mayor de Blasio and former Council Member Rosie Mendez, and is supported by Council Member Carlina Rivera.

NYC Parks is starting the design process for this project by holding a scope meeting, in which local residents and stakeholders to learn about the opportunities at the site and provide feedback. With this input, we will develop a design to be presented to Community Board 2 for public review.

The park space here will measure 9,750 square feet. This DNAinfo article from 2016 has more background.