Sunday, May 19, 2019

The gates are open: You may visit the New York City Marble Cemetery today on 2nd Street

It's the first Neighborhood Open Day of the year today at the New York City Marble Cemetery on Second Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Here are the spring-summer open days here:

• Sunday, May 19
• Saturday June 15
• Sunday, July 14
• Saturday August 17

The cemetery is open on those days from noon to 6 p.m.

Read more about the history of this space at this link.

Meanwhile, here are the spring-summer open days for the New York Marble Cemetery at 41 1/2 Second Ave. between Second Street and Third Street:

• Sunday, May 26
• Sunday, June 30
• Sunday, July 28
• Sunday, Aug. 25

The cemetery is open those days from noon to 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday's parting shot

Stormtroopers? Here? We're in danger. Photo along the Dance Parade route on St. Mark's Place today by Derek Berg...

Dancers in the Park

Hundreds of dancers took part in the DanceFest in Tompkins Square Park this afternoon at the conclusion of the 13th annual Dance Parade... EVG contributor Stacie Joy was there to capture some of the participants...

Reminders: the Dance Parade and DanceFest is today!

As you've likely noticed, barricades are up along St. Mark's Place (above) ahead of the 13th annual Dance Parade (and DanceFest!) this afternoon.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. at 21st Street and Broadway, and will feature live bands, DJs and a lot of dancers — more than 80 styles of dance and nearly 200 groups. (This link has a list of all the participants.)

The route eventually passes Astor Place and moves along St. Mark's Place ... wrapping up in Tompkins Square Park... where DanceFest 2019 happens from 3-7 p.m. "with choreographed performances, dance lessons, aerial and social dance – on five stages, all free to the public."

Rain date today for the annual 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden plant and bake sale

Last Sunday, the annual 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden plant and bake sale got rained out... so, they'll be hosting a do-over today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Per the invite:

This is a fundraiser and the proceeds from sales goes to fund the 6&B Events Program that brings you FREE Events-Music, workshops, poetry, screenings and much more throughout the Summer months! Help support us — buy a plant, a yummy home-made baked good, a T-shirt and more!

Happening today: The 4th Annual Lower Eastside Girls Club Comix Fest

Via the EVG inbox...

The 4th Annual Lower Eastside Girls Club Comix Fest!
Saturday, May 18
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
At the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 402 E. Eighth St. at Avenue D.

Meet the women (and men) who write and illustrate some of your favorite characters, including our host Fly Orr, Javier Cruz Winnik, the Fearless Feminists, Isabella Bannerman, Katherine Arnoldi, Women in Comics NYC Collective International, Bronx Heroes, the Spicy Mangoes & more artists & creatives TBA!

Comix Market:
Discover the coolest comics and zines available for sale.

Stop by our comics workshops and drawing stations led by NYC comic art professionals, Girls Club instructors and members (for kids of all ages!)

Learn how to make mini comics, create characters, develop story ideas, get drawing tips or just have fun reclaiming your power and creativity with crayons and sharpies!

Friday, May 17, 2019

All eyes and ears

After a sting of EPs, The Liz Colby Sound, based right here in the East Village, is releasing its full-length debut — Object To Impossible Destination — on July 19.

Ahead of that, the band released the above video for "Eye on You" recorded at the Bowery Electric.

Read more about the band in this feature at Billboard.

FleaVCS happening tomorrow at the East Village Community School

There's a flea market — FleaVCS — tomorrow (Saturday) from noon to 4 p.m. at the East Village Community School, 610 E. 12th St. between Avenue B and Avenue C.

You can buy a bag of clothes for $10 ... there's also a bike-and-scooter swap... they're also accepting clothing donations (NO SHOES!) ...

All proceeds go to the Parent Association to fund schoolwide programs.

Reminder: The Ukrainian Festival starts this afternoon!

The 43rd edition of the Saint George Ukrainian Festival kicks off later this afternoon in the usual place — Seventh Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square.

The main stage shows are tonight at 6:30 ... tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ... and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

[Photo from 2017 by Derek Berg]

And the Festival hours to enjoy Ukrainian culture and traditions:
Friday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

And the weather looks promising...

A visit to Sei Shin Dojo on Avenue A

Photos and interview by Stacie Joy

I have zero experience with martial arts, not in any form, so I wasn’t sure what to expect setting foot in a dojo that teaches close-quarters live-blade combat fighting, or Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (PTK) and American Jiu Jitsu (AJJ).

The second-floor space at Sei Shin Dojo, 34 Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street, is large, well-cushioned, spotless and airy.

And owner Glenn Genovas, an East Village resident who is a third-degree black belt in AJJ and a certified instructor and guro in PTK (as well as being a licensed massage therapist), was welcoming, precise and patient in answering my novice questions.

I also got a chance to observe both a kid’s and an adult’s class as well as seeing — from a safe distance — Genovas wield dual swords.

Can you speak a bit about the history of Sei Shin Dojo?

Sei Shin Dojo doesn’t have a long physical history, but spiritually it has deep roots. A friend of mine opened a dojo in SoHo in 2001, where I trained and taught since 2004. It was a multi-discipline dojo with four styles of martial arts offered.

Each style had its own head instructor, and each ran his own program at the space. My friend, the owner, was the head instructor for American Jiu Jitsu. In 2014, he decided to let it go: the dojo would have to close.

While the other three programs went their own ways and found new spaces, there was no one to take over the American Jiu Jitsu program. I had been running much of it for some time, so when he told me he was going to close it, I had to decide: either lose it completely or take over the program myself.

There were many students of higher ranks training, so I decided it was worth continuing to keep the program available for the core students — and to build on its success if I could. “Sei Shin” means pure heart, and it was with a pure heart that I decided to open in January 2015.

What made you choose the East Village to open your dojo, and when did you do so?

I always wanted to live in the East Village. I was born in NYC but raised in Huntington, Long Island. Growing up out there, my imagination was captured by amazing stories about the East Village.

As I grew older and was able to come into the city in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I saw the East Village as a place without judgment, where you could dress as you liked, be who you wanted, and, for the most part, where people from all walks of life got along.

Of course, back then there was some funkiness mixed in, but that made it exciting! I moved in — and stayed. Between my childhood love of the East Village and already living here, it felt natural to bring my dojo here too.

Even though the East Village has changed over the years, it still has that neighborhood feel I like. I enjoy meeting my neighbors and chatting with them about their businesses and the neighborhood. Knowing your neighbors, who they are as people, not just the business next door, lets me feel like I am not just any old business, but part of a real community.

So, after a couple years renting spaces from other local martial arts and dance schools, I knew I wanted to settle the dojo somewhere south of 23rd Street and north of Canal Street.

While finding a space, getting equipment, and managing all the paperwork that comes along with owning a dojo are challenging, I finally found this place on Avenue A, took the chance, and opened Sei Shin Dojo in its first real home in January 2017.

Can you talk a little bit about your history with martial arts and how you feel the practice benefits the community?

I have studied martial arts since 1982. Through the years, I’ve met, studied, and trained with other martial artists, most intensively in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Filipino Pekiti Tirsia Kali. I also have experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, and arnis. I went to college for athletic training/sports medicine and I’m a licensed massage therapist as well.

Combining the two disciplines (martial and healing arts), gives me an understanding of human anatomy from two different, complementary perspectives: the knowledge of anatomy and body mechanics in movement, the understanding of the body’s responses to injury or trauma, and the skills to heal sports injuries; and how that double skill set can be practically applied, both to martial arts techniques and to helping people recover from trauma or injury.

Having my healing practice in the same location as my martial arts studio enables me to optimally combine both disciplines when teaching about not only self-protection, but living healthfully through movement as well.

Teaching movement based on sound body mechanics will keep my students healthy in their later years, while it builds the confidence to successfully handle difficult life experiences.

[Dojo assistant Alan McGrath]

What can newcomers expect in your classes?

We expect new students to learn and have fun. We are a semiformal dojo, where we aren’t too strict about formalities. Our goal is to educate our community about the connection between health and movement, using the healing arts of medical massage and acupuncture, the movement arts of yoga as well as the martial arts.

What’s next for Sei Shin Dojo? Any plans to expand?

We plan to offer a special seminar to the public in June on using an umbrella/cane for self-protection. We would like to stay in the East Village area as long as rent stays affordable. Even with all the changes going on in our area, the East Village still has the charm that inspired me when I was a kid.