Friday, May 31, 2019

6 posts from May

[Fleet Week on 1st Avenue at St. Mark's Place by Derek Berg]

A mini month in review...

Say hi to Sam, your new Ottendorfer librarian (May 29)

[Photos] Dancers in the Park: DanceFest 2019 (May 18)

Trader Joe's finally confirms that a Trader Joe's is opening on 14th Street at Avenue A (May 15)

Sidewalk bridge collapses at explosion site on 2nd Avenue; box truck culprit, witnesses say (May 10)

A visit to Gem Spa (May 10)

RIP Felicia Mahmood (May 3)

It is alive

Run Around The Sun, the new LP by the Glasgow-based duo Sacred Paws, is out today on Merge Records. The video here is for "Almost It."

EVG Etc.: Construction zone protections for cyclists; 'Punk Lust' at the Anthology

[The Miracle Garden on 3rd Street]

• LES/East Village takeaways from the NYU Furman Center's annual report, The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods (The Lo-Down)

• AG's office announces the second round of restitution funds for current and former tenants of landlord and convicted felon Steve Croman (Patch ... previously on EVG)

• Thanks to a bill via local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, construction firms must now create a safe, alternative route for cyclists if they block a bike lane — or have their permit revoked (amNY ... Streetsblog)

• Pride Guide for June (Grub Street)

• The city will create a permanent Greenwich Village monument to honor LGBTQ activists and Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) founders Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (Curbed)

• The casting director for "Russian Doll" explains how she put together the ensemble for the Netflix series set in the East Village (Backstage)

• Some history of 4 St. Mark's Place (Flaming Pablum ... previously on EVG)

• Starting today at noon, the MTA says OMNY readers will go live at 16 stations along the 4, 5 and 6 lines, starting the long goodbye of the MetroCard (Gothamist ... previously on EVG)

• Remembering the Eighth Street Bookshop (Ephemeral New York)

• The 1954 version of "A Star Is Born" with Judy Garland plays Monday (June 3) at the City Cinemas Village East on Second Avenue and 12th Street (Official site)

• This series starts tonight ... cutting and pasting: "In conjunction with the Museum of Sex’s exhibition “Punk Lust: Raw Provocation, 1971-1985,” the Anthology hosts a related film program that expands on the exhibition by surveying how Punk culture used the language of sexuality – both visually and lyrically – to transgress and defy, whether in the service of political provocation, raw desire, or simply to break through the stifling gender norms and social expectations of its time." (Anthology Film Archives)

• Beach Boy/noted asshole Mike Love releases a cover of "Rockaway Beach" (Billboard)

And via the EVG inbox...

Neville Dance Theatre in the premiere of "53 Movements"
Saturday, June 1 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St.
Tickets: $30; $18 for students
Reservations here.

Neville Dance Theatre will premiere director/choreographer Brenda Neville's 53 Movements, set to composer Terry Riley's musical masterpiece "In C," June 1. Often referred to as the founding composer of music minimalism, Terry Riley's pioneering 1963 work "In C," consists of 53 short, set musical phrases played by the musicians with improvisational choices.

I don't see you over there — yes, you!: Zoltar is MIA outside Gem Spa

A shocking sight is in store for visitors to Gem Spa on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place.


[Photo yesterday by Steven]

So are the newspapers.

We reached out to ownership to learn why Zoltar is not at his post, where he has told fortunes and offered wisdom on this corner starting on Sept. 23, 2012, not that we've been keeping track.

An employee told EVG Animatronic Fortune Telling Machine correspondent Steven that the 'tar — as no one calls him, tbh — will be back in a few days. We'll believe that when we see him again and insert our $2 to learn who he likes in the Belmont Stakes.

Meanwhile. Enjoy this EVG video flashback to September 2012...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Zoltar arrives on St. Mark's Place, sees 'a great deal of happiness' in return for $2

Zoltar is the greatest thing to happen to St. Mark's Place since ______________?

Zoltar awaits a service call; fortunes, wisdom on hold

Nobletree Coffee abruptly shuts down on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

[EVG photo]

After five-plus months in business, Nobletree Coffee abruptly closed yesterday on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

An EVG tipster told us that the move took staff by surprise yesterday morning — "not even shop manager was warned."

A sign on the door for Nobletree's "beloved customers" offers thanks ... along with a reason for the closure: "Because of the slow foot traffic at this location we were forced to close."

[Photo by Steven]

Slow foot traffic on St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue?

This prime corner space will be back to vacant, as it was the previous three years — ever since DF Mavens closed in January 2016.

Before the Mavens, we had the cafe Eastside Bakery (.net?). And there was Roastown Coffee before that. And the Gap a long time ago.

Updated 7:30 a.m.

Nobletree brass forgot to cancel the pastry order...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Nobletree Coffee is the next tenant for 37 St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue

Films on the Green coming to Tompkins Square Park for two Friday nights this July

The 2019 Films on the Green season begins tonight with the first screening in a summer-long lineup that "focuses on female directors in French and Francophone cinema through a selection of 13 movies."

Here's more about what to expect via the EVG inbox:

This 12th edition pays tribute to “Women Behind the Camera” in honor of Agnès Varda, feminist filmmaker and pioneer of the French New Wave, who passed away earlier this year.

This year's selection highlights the diversity of French and Francophone cinema, featuring movies from Lebanon, the Ivory Coast, Mexico and Turkey, and shines a light on well-known woman filmmakers as well as emerging ones.

Films on the Green is a free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks by the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks.

And there will be two screenings each in Washington Square Park and Tompkins Square Park:

• June 7 - Washington Square Park: WHERE DO WE GO NOW? (Et maintenant on va où?)
Directed by Nadine Labaki, 2011, PG-13, 1h 40, France-Lebanon

• June 14 - Washington Square Park: IN SAFE HANDS (Pupille)
Directed by Jeanne Herry, 2018, 1h 47, France

• July 5 - Tompkins Square Park: TOMBOY
Directed by Céline Sciamma, 2011, 1h 22, France

• July 12 - Tompkins Square Park: AYA OF YOP CITY (Aya of Yogoupon)
Directed by Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie, 2010, 1h 24, France-Ivory Coast

And a season-preview video that I whipped together for you ...

Happy returns: Anna's new East Village storefront debuts today

[Photos by Steven]

As we noted back on May 2, Anna is returning to the East Village.

And today is the Grand Opening Day for the womenswear boutique over at their new home at 304 E. Fifth St. just east of Second Avenue.

Here's their announcement via Instagram:

We are delighted to announce the grand opening of ANNA ... in the East Village!! We had a great time popping up in Brooklyn while we found the perfect spot for us back home. ANNA will open on Friday, May 31st and the store hours are every day 12-7.

Anna originally left the neighborhood for the West Village (and then Brooklyn) nearly two years ago.

Designer Kathy Kemp first opened Anna in 1995 on Third Street near Avenue A. Anna relocated to 11th Street in 2012. Read more about Anna and Kemp in this Out and About feature from 2014.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Anna returning to the East Village

Demolition watch: 99-101 E. 2nd St. (Stop Work Order edition)

Here's a look at what was 99-101 E. Second St. just east of First Avenue...

This two-story space housed several short-lived restaurant concepts in recent years, including Bento Burger ... Marfa... and Waikiki Wally's.

No. 99-101 and its property mate, 24 First Ave. (below), are coming down to make way for a 7-story, 22-unit residential building called 101E2 via developer Sergey Rybak.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, we spotted a DOB honcho outside the plywood speaking with a worker... telling him that he needed to have — something to the effect of — the proper paperwork for the property.

The official then slapped a full Stop Work Order on the site...


Previously on EV Grieve:
Building that housed Lucky Cheng's on 1st Avenue now on the auction block

Onetime home of Lucky Cheng's and adjacent property sell for $12 million

7-story residential building pending at the former Lucky Cheng's space

Demolition permits filed to bring down former Lucky Cheng's building on 1st Avenue

MAD Toast House bringing bubble tea and toast to 9th Street

[Photo on May 16 by Steven]

A new cafe called MAD Toast House is coming to 332 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The Toast House, which serves a variety of bubble tea, sparkling water and toast-related creations, is having a soft-opening today ahead of a grand opening on June 10, per the shop's Instagram account.

Speaking of Instagram, a look at some of their offerings...

This space was home for 44 years to Clayworks Pottery, which was forced to close in the fall of 2017 thanks to predatory landlord Raphael Toledano.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday's parting shots (aka It Takes a Swiss Village)

Swiss Village art (circa 1975) discarded on Seventh Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Photos by Derek Berg.

A free staging of 'Room With Stars,' about growing up as a radical teen on the LES in the 1960s

An item of interest via Facebook... this reading of "Room With Stars" is happening tomorrow (Friday, May 31) at 8 p.m.

Join us for a free staged reading and talkback at the Catholic Worker’s theater, 55 E. Third St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

A new one-act by Nina Howes on growing up as a radical teen on the Lower East Side in the 1960s ... directed by Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado. Light refreshments will be served.

Find more info at the Facebook event page.

Noted : )

A reader shares this sign for the thief :) from outside Arka, the Ukrainian shop on Second Street just east of First Avenue.

2019 CSA shares now available at the 14th Street Y

[Image courtesy of the 14th Street Y]

Via the EVG inbox...

It's that time of year again! Sign up for your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Mountain View Farm supplies farm fresh food to the 14th Street Y CSA.

Shares will be delivered on a bi-weekly basis from early June through the end of October, for a total of 11 distributions. Shares will include seasonally available fruit, such as, strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apples!

Farm share members will pick up a pre-boxed share filled with certified organic produce and fruit (organic when available) every other Tuesday in the lobby of the 14th St Y (344 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue) from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Each box will contain 8-12 different items, including vegetables, herbs and fruit. The cost of the share for 2019 is $420.

Sign up online at our website.

A visit to City Fun on 1st Avenue

Photos and interview by Stacie Joy

Every time I drop by City Fun (45 First Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets) there’s an album — actual vinyl — playing on the Technics turntable and buyer/manager Joshua Gabriel is usually folding t-shirts methodically or hunting for a particular size or band in the back.

The shop specializes in band and graphic tees, stocked alphabetically on shelves and hangers, and there is usually a steady stream of tourists, purists, families and fans hunting for the perfect tee or hoodie. Joshua carved some time out during a lull to answer my questions about the music, apparel and retail.

Can you speak a bit about the history of the store and how you came to be the buyer and manager?

Initially City Fun was called No-Lo Market, which succeeded Christopher’s, a new/vintage store from the late 80s/90s, located on Greenwich Avenue. When Christopher’s wound down, our current location presented as a new chapter, a repository for previous best sellers and a platform for current trends.

Sadly, this past July, the shop’s long-standing manager, a carryover from Christopher’s, unexpectedly passed away and the owner suddenly needed a replacement. A mutual friend recommended I get in touch ASAP, so I met with the owner the following evening. He and I quickly hit it off and I got the job.

During that initial encounter I recognized the shop’s potential and brought it up then and there; thankfully the owner was on a similar page and I was offered the opportunity to contribute to an upcoming t-shirt order. The contributions sold well, and I was invited to contribute further. Over the ensuing 10 months, I’ve become responsible for buying and redefining the majority of the stock.

The shirt selection is carefully curated. You mentioned no bootlegs, knockoffs or racist imagery. What else sets your t-shirt selection apart from other shops?

Our shirts are all officially licensed — sourced directly from either record labels, bands or legitimate vendors who legally act accordingly with the artists. This is intentional as we’re such music enthusiasts we want the musicians to get their proper financial due.

I’m very selective with what I bring in, adhering to a purely aesthetic criteria, though I intentionally avoid any and all acts bearing racist/sexist imagery and sentiments as well as bootlegs/cheap reproductions of any kind. The merchandise must have integrity otherwise it’s not worth it, very quickly people won't take us, or the product, seriously.  

There are a lot of equally great t-shirt shops in the area that we happily endorse, from Ted’s Formal Wear, Trash and Vaudeville, Search And Destroy, and I Need More, to vintage stalwarts Metropolis, Beacon’s Closet, Screaming Mimi's, and L Train Vintage.

Each one has its own unique personality, its own vibe and we just enjoy being part of the community ... though I suppose City Fun is as much informed by our record/film/book collections as by our friends, families, and the crazy/beautiful world around us. I hope that variety is evinced in the stock. 

What’s the best-selling t-shirt in the shop?

Our best-selling shirts so far have been Blondie’s “Bonzai,” David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel,” Prince’s “White Rose” graphic and the Tuff Gong record label logo shirt. However, since we’ve been effectively rebranding the shop since July 2018 our client base has been predominantly word-of-mouth and still evolving. One week we’ll sell out of a Tom Tom Club piece and the next week we’ll sell out of our Outkast shirts.

What was your first rock concert? What was your first rock concert t-shirt purchase? How about your most-prized  one?

My first rock concert was Chris Harford & The First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, Juliana Hatfield, and Therapy?, in that order, at CBGB spring 1993. I wanted  to go the Monsters Of Rock concert at Nassau Coliseum in 1986, alas, my parents thought 11 was too young to witness Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard and Motorhead firsthand.

My first music shirt was a Pale Blue Iron Maiden “Somewhere in Time” shirt from Long Island’s Tri-County Flea Market in 1986. Unfortunately I haven’t had that shirt for many  years now. My most-prized  one is a vintage Suicidal Tendencies shirt that my friend Hide gifted me from Japan.

What’s next for City Fun?

We've started buying vintage music/graphic tees as well as second-hand vinyl records and plan to have an equally curated selection to complement our regular stock. We may also get some plants.

The underlying/overriding objective for us is to create an environment that is uniformly inclusive, encouraging, and welcoming to people of all tastes to immerse yourself in the beauty of shapes, colors, and material and perhaps inspire dialogues, whether artistically, socially or internally.

You can keep up with the shop on Instagram.


Find previous A Visit To features here.

An update on the former Moishe's Bake Shop

[Photo from Sunday]

The other day, EVG contributor Derek Berg ran into Moishe Perl, owner of the now-closed Moishe's Bake Shop at 115 Second Ave. near Seventh Street. (The two have known each other for 30-plus years.)

Perl told Derek that several bakers are taking over the shop, where they will serve a variety of baked goods as well as coffee. He said that they may call the new venture Formerly Moishe's.

Perl also said that he'd stay on in some capacity, though his hours at the shop would be limited.

[Photo from Saturday]

Some background: On March 5, Perl announced that he was retiring after 40-plus years. By the next day, the shop was closed.

There were rumors after the closure that the building was sold. But that wasn't the case. In December, investor Jay Schwimmer picked up a 21-year lease for the entire three-story building with the option to buy it from Perl, who has been the owner since the mid-1970s, per The Real Deal. (There's nothing in public records indicating a sale — just a memorandum of lease.)

In any event, the closed-for-renovations narrative lines up with previous stories at Gothamist and Eater.

Meanwhile, there's a small "for rent" sign in the third-floor window...

It's not known what, exactly, is for rent. Is this being pitched for office space? A residence? (As far as I know, Moishe's had an office and facilities upstairs.) The agent at Keller Williams whose name is on the sign didn't respond to a request for more information.

According to the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District Designation Report, the Greek Revival building (with Queen Anne style alterations) dates to 1842-43 as a one-family row house. The storefront was likely added in 1908. Moishe's has been here since 1972 or 1974 or 1978, depending on the source. (Check out Off the Grid for more history of the building.)

Finally, as you'll notice, people keeping tagging the storefront. There's a sign now on the front door that reads: "Warning. Store was equipped with security system. Pictures of graffiti perpetrators have been turned over to police."

The sign hasn't been too effective, from the looks of the growing number of tags.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: After 40-plus years, Moishe's Bake Shop has closed on 2nd Avenue

Rafael's Barber Shop on the move around the corner

We've had a few queries of late about Rafael's Barber Shop at 159 First Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street ... where there are two "for rent" signs on the front window.

A regular tells us that Rafael is moving to a new location, currently under renovation, around the corner on Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

This space at 350 E. Ninth St. was previously Fashion Pickle, a women's fashion boutique.

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

[Updated] Reader report: Police SUV strikes cyclist on 1st Avenue and St. Mark's Place

According to several readers, an Interceptor SUV from the NYPD's 9th Precinct was traveling north along First Avenue — with its siren on and lights flashing — when it struck a cyclist crossing at St. Mark's Place this afternoon just before 4.

Witnesses believe that the cyclist, riding an e-bike and heading east, had the green light.

The images here are screengrabs from a 6-minute video that a reader shared showing the aftermath of the collision. (From the look of the crowd that had gathered, multiple people were filming this.)

The force of the impact propelled the cyclist into an area on First Avenue where a Verizon crew was working. One man on a hoverboard, a constant presence in the video, says: "He almost flew inside the truck! That's how hard they hit him."

From the video, the cyclist seems to be in a great deal of pain, screaming when the EMTs try to place him on a stretcher. He motions that he broke a leg. (The reader claims that the NYPD tried to make the man get up before the EMTs arrived, though that wasn't on the video.)

You can see the indentation where the SUV struck the cyclist...

We'll update when we receive more information about what happened and the cyclist's condition.

Updated 5/31

Patch follows up our story with a few more details.

The police were responding to a 911 call in which a 15-year-old boy was slashed at 14th Street and First Avenue.

The cyclist, 36, was taken to Bellevue with back and leg injuries.

And: "After the incident, cops slapped the e-biker with a summons for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and operating an e-bike."

Egads! E Smoke shop demolishes 7th Street mural

[Photo from May 2]

Earlier this spring, new owners took over the 7th Street Village Farm on the southwest corner of First Avenue and Seventh Street... and a few readers wondered if the owners of its replacement, E Smoke & Convenience shop, would keep the murals on the Seventh Street side of the building.

An EVG reader shared this photo today... not really a good sign...

No word on the fate of the MCA tribute by @cramcept that's also on the store's property.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Egads! 7th Street Village Farm morphs into an E Smoke shop

Say hi to Sam, your new Ottendorfer librarian

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

By Marjorie Ingall

The Ottendorfer Library was born in 1884 as NYC’s first free public library.

When it reopened in March at 135 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street — after seven months of fire-system and safety upgrades — a new librarian joined the team.

Friends and neighbors, meet Sam Jackson. (And she’s heard all your "Snakes on a Plane" jokes.)

Here's her story — and her love of manga — in her own words:

I grew up in Miami. My dad was a school janitor; my mom wanted to be a school social worker. Their pay wasn’t great, but what they had was time – if there was anything my sister and I were into, they were all let’s do this!

When I was into King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Egyptian gods, anime — they were all about letting me explore those things. When one day the TV broke, and my mom says, “We’re not going to replace it,” we were all, “OK, whaddaya gonna do? Let’s read!”

I had a reading disability as a child. So when parents tell me they don’t want their kids to read graphic novels because it’s bad for them and it won’t help them read – well, I can speak from personal experience: Manga gave me the visual stimulation I needed and helped me match the words with the images and helped me love reading.

After college, I did a teach-abroad program in Mito, a small Japanese town that’s mostly famous for its natto — fermented soybean. Natto is to Mito like pizza is to New York. I had it in omelets and with Kewpie Mayo and on toast and with radish. Love it. You can’t get natto like that here.

In Mito, I mostly hung out with the oba-chans, the little old ladies. I volunteered at local community centers and the oba-chans gave me informal Japanese cultural lessons. There can be a lot of xenophobia in Japan, but people in their 80s and 90s embrace foreigners.

After the war, the American government sent soldiers to help rebuild; Blacks and Latinos were often sent to the rural country and the Caucasian males were sent to the city. I learned the words “good people” and “good memories” – and “eat, eat!” Tabate tabate! Everywhere I went, the grandmas wanted to feed me. OK, I will eat this random rice ball on a random train from a random stranger!

I studied technical theater in college, and after Japan I started working Off-Broadway as a stage manager. Still reading my little manga backstage. I was doing "And Away We Go" with Donna Lynne Champlin — two hours, no intermission — and it was [looks down, mimes turning pages] read, hand over the cigarette, read, hand over the gun. Fun. But the hours and the junk food and the no sleep were getting to me. I’d always wanted to work in the library, and now I thought “I need to make this real because my health can’t handle this.”

I love being a librarian. Free books! All you can read! I love to help patrons. You want a place to visit for free while you’re visiting New York City? I got you! Arts and crafts with kids? Yes! I get paid to go to New York Comicon and Anime NYC!

I started out at Seward Park, where my manga collection was the whole back wall. It was so beautiful. A thousand books. The teens in that space would devour them. One summer, four of my girls read the entire collection. It is the most satisfying thing when I see a graphic novel I just ordered missing from the shelves.

A few days ago, I ordered Planetes, Food Wars! and Fairy Tale Book 1 – all good introductions to manga. And they’re all gone. It’s great.

For teens, I often recommend Assassination Classroom. It feels new and different. There’s an assassin creature that wants to destroy the world, and he’s working as a junior high teacher. It’s not what you think it’s about. For both teens and adults, I really like What Did You Eat Yesterday?, a cooking manga about two men who are opposites who live together in Tokyo. One cooks and the other eats. One is a lawyer and the other is a beautician. Each book is a year in their life. It’s emotional, and the cooking stuff is so great; it’s just a sweet slice of life.

Personally, I love Solanin. It’s such beautiful art, and it’s about growing up and finding your place in the world. Not everyone loves it, but I gave it to one of my teens and she was crying. Not like secret-crying, like fully open this is good stuff! crying. We were in the teen room and I played her the song in the book — Solanin was made into a movie, so you can listen to the song — and she was crying and her friend was crying and I was gonna cry and I’m all, “I’M GONNA GET FIIIIIRED!”

The NYPL in general has a really good collection of manga and graphic novels. What’s on the shelves isn’t a hundredth of what we have. We have over 100,000 manga in the system. I rotate the section at Ottendorfer out every other month. I’ll talk about manga to kids, to grownups — to anyone who’s willing to listen. I’m kinda pushy.

Come talk to me. If you tell me what you’re interested in, I can probably recommend a manga you’ll like.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The untold tale of East Village shopkeeper Santo Mollica's comic-book past

Final demolition phase for 1 St. Mark's Place; more questions about lobbyists attached to project

Workers shrouded the exterior here on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place last week as demolition enters the final phase.

As previously reported, 3 St. Mark’s Place, 23 and 25-27 Third Avenue are coming down to make way for an office building with ground-floor retail.

The size of this new building has yet to be determined. As previously reported, Real Estate Equities Corporation (REEC) wants to transfer the air rights from the landmarked Hamilton-Holly House at 4 St. Mark's Place to add more floors and square footage to their office building, a move that has its critics, including Community Board 3 and State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who reportedly called on the Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny the bulk waiver.

REEC has already filed permits (last October) for an as-of-right five-story, 29,030-square-foot building on the corner. If the air rights deal is ultimately OK'd, then the Morris Adjimi-designed building at 3 St. Mark's Place could bulk up to 10 stories.

Yesterday, the Daily News looked at the lobbyists tied to the project — those who happen to have connections with Mayor de Blasio. (We explored this angle back in February.)

Andrew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation, told this to the News:

"The mayor’s prodigious fundraiser, lobbyist Jim Capalino, is seeking favors from City Hall for his clients to lift restrictions and facilitate inappropriate development in the East Village. The number of projects this lobbying firm has gotten approvals for in this neighborhood is mind-boggling.

"Each new favor builds upon the next,” he continued. "First he got permission for an upzoning south of Union Square for an oversized ‘tech hub.’ Now he’s seeking air rights transfers to continue the spread of ‘Silicon Alley’ to St. Mark’s Place. The mayor’s pay-to-play practices are utterly transforming this neighborhood."

Capalino's spokesperson, Kenneth Fisher, had this response:

"Projects like these require multiple levels of public review and hearings and consideration of the merits by numerous public officials and professionals. Perhaps [Berman] would be more successful arguing on these merits rather than spreading absurd rumors."

As far as next steps, here's Curbed after the previous LPC meeting in April:

REEC will return to LPC at a not-yet-scheduled public meeting once they have altered their proposal to incorporate the commission’s recommendation that they lower the structure’s first setback to better align with St. Mark’s street wall and other feedback.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Demolition permits filed for northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

End is nearing for the businesses on the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

New building plans revealed for 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

Concern over potential air-rights transfer for new office building on St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue

Developers of 3 St. Mark's Place are looking to increase the size of their proposed office building at 3rd Avenue to 10 floors with air-rights deal

The lobbyists behind the air-rights transfer and zoning variance for 3 St. Mark's Place