Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Collapsing Scenery and Bush Tetras playing free benefit show Friday in Tompkins Square Park

Collapsing Scenery is headlining a free show in Tompkins Square Park on Friday afternoon.

The duo, Don Devore and Reggie Debris, released their latest album, Stress Positions, on June 28. As Brooklyn Vegan described the LP: "It’s quite the gonzo record that mixes post-punk, shoegaze, hip hop, dance music and more into one heady cocktail."

Also on the bill: LES no-wave legends Bush Tetras (who are releasing a new 7-inch single this month) as well as ZAH and Nymph. The show is scheduled from 2-6 p.m.

The show is also a benefit for Avenues For Justice, formerly the Andrew Glover Youth Program, around the corner from the Park on Avenue B. As amNY recently put it, Avenues for Justice is "a court advocacy program dedicated to rescuing New Yorkers in their teens and early 20s from the soul-crushing spiral of incarceration."

A look at La Plaza's new fence

La Plaza Cultural, the community garden/green space on the southwest corner of Ninth Street and Avenue C, has been closed to the public since the spring for an installation of a new fence.

As you can see from these photos from the other day, the fence is up and around the garden, though work remains. (OK, there are technically two fences up ...)

Per the most recent La Plaza e-newsletter dated July 12: "Much of it’s in, but the work has not yet been completed. We’re waiting to hear what the hold-up is. Either way, it’s close! And it's a really beautiful, well-crafted fence that should stand a good long time."

No word just yet on an official reopening date for La Plaza, which local residents and activists founded in 1976.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A fall day to remove the Winter Flowers from La Plaza Cultural

A wake for the last willow trees at La Plaza Cultural

At the Weeping Willow Wake

Gone green: 12th Street bike lane returns

EVG regular Greg Masters reports that the city repainted the 12th Street bike lane yesterday ...

The city milled and paved the street in early May, and finally got around to putting down a fresh coat of green paint.

This eastbound bike lane arrived last November ahead of the anticipated L-train shutdown to help alleviate anticipated commute congestion.

However, after the shutdown became the slowdown, the city announced in April that the bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street would remain permanent.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16

An EVG reader shared this photo today from Fourth Avenue between 12th Street and 13th Street... guess this heat is making people do crazy things like discard their perfectly good Christmas tree from last year (or maybe the year before). This one just needs a little water and should be good as new. Likely best for an apartment that doesn't have any smokers.

The tradition continues

Photo today on Seventh Street between Avenue B and Avenue C via Sylvia G.


July 10 via Jill...

July 13 via Dave on 7th...

Scoop: Mikey Likes It back in action on Avenue A

Mikey Likes It is back open this afternoon on Avenue A between 12th Street and 13th Street, per EVG regular Lola Saénz, who took this photo of founder Michael "Mikey" Cole at the ice cream parlor.

In late June, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance seized the shop for nonpayment of taxes. Apparently all that has been worked out...

Noted, Bonobos edition

Crews will be shooting a commercial tomorrow for Bonobos on Ninth Street... the south side of the street between Avenue A and First Avenue is now blocked off for filming ....

EVG regular Carol from East 5th Street, who shared these photos, asks why all these spots were blocked off today at 9 a.m. for a shoot that starts the following morning...

This week's public meeting about stormproofing East River Park

By now you know what the city has planned for East River Park starting in March. (If not, quickly: City officials, starting next spring, plan to close East River Park for three-plus years, burying it with 8- to 10-feet of soil to help protect the east side from future storms as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.)

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night from 6-8, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is hosting a public meeting on the the project. The NYC Department of Design and Construction will present the plan, "followed by testimony from all those interested." (Two hours doesn't seem like enough time TBH.)

The meeting takes place in the Podell Auditorium in the Bernstein Pavilion at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel at 10 Nathan D. Perlman Place. (Roughly off of 15th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

The DDC presented an updated version of their plan, which incorporates community input, before a CB3 committee last week. Curbed has coverage here.

Early last week, Brewer called for a 60-day delay "to answer the profusion of questions and consult with independent environmental experts." As she told Streetsblog: "This is an important project that shouldn’t be rushed. I want to ensure that there is enough time in the review process to allow community members to understand the plan and how it will affect their communities."

On June 25, CB3 approved the proposed plan with a list of specific conditions, as Patch reported.

The plan is now on tour through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), with a deciding vote expected via City Council this fall.

Meanwhile, there have been sightings of various Davey drills along the East River Park... presumably taking soil samples ahead of the work that's to commence next spring...

A group called East River Park Action is hosting a meeting Thursday evening at 6:30 at La Plaza Cultural on Ninth Street and Avenue C, per flyers spotted along the waterway...

You can find out more about East River Park Action here.

Reader report: Ticketed by the NYPD for double parking in bike lane during Alternate Side Parking

The city is apparently serious about issuing tickets to cars and drivers parking or stopping in bike lanes — at least temporarily.

Yesterday, an EVG reader who lives on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B told me that she received a $110 ticket for double parking in the newly created bike lane while waiting for the street sweeper during Alternate Side Parking.

She explained that the established practice on the block for at least the past seven years is that you double park, often even leaving your car unattended for a short period of time, and wait for the street sweeper to pass ... then you move your vehicle into a freshly swept space. It's the usual game of musical vehicles that takes place citywide on alt-parking days.

Yesterday, every car that was double parked on the block received a $110 ticket — for "double parking in a bike lane." (The ticket would have been far less expensive — $65 — had the drivers simply not moved their cars for Alternate Side Parking.) According to the resident, this was the first time — at least the past seven years — that the city ticketed drivers for such an offense during street cleaning.

The bike lane is new along here, however. In late June, the city added pavement markings and signage on Third Street between Avenue D and Second Avenue.

In response to increased road fatalities this year (an 18.3-percent increase over 2018) and including 15 cyclists, Mayor de Blasio in early July ordered the NYPD and DOT to crackdown on drivers and cars parked in bike lanes.

As Curbed noted, "The heightened enforcement seeks to target violations including speeding, running lights, not yielding to bikers and pedestrians, obstructing bike lanes, and double parking from July 1–21." (Of course, the NYPD is often the worst offenders of parking in bike lanes.)

In any event, cycling activists weren't impressed by the mayor's directive earlier this month. As Jon Orcutt of Bike NY told Streetsblog on July 2. "Treating it like a momentary aberration won’t protect cyclists in August or thereafter."

As for the resident, she wishes at the very least that the 9th Precinct would have given residents a heads up about the ticketing blitz, which will likely cease after July 21.

The China Star closed for actual renovations

A closed gate of a favorite place during business hours is always cause for concern.

Which bring us to the China Star, the family-owned takeout-delivery spot at 145 First Ave. near Ninth Street. The restaurant has been closed since at least Friday.

However, China Star owner Jay Yang told EVG correspondent Steven that they are getting a new customized refrigerator. While waiting for that delivery, they are also going to do some tile work and painting. He told Steven that they’ll be back open in another week or so. (A note on the gate for customers might be nice!)

You can read our interview from October 2017 with Jay and learn the backstory of the China Star at this link.

Lucy's is on summer break

Speaking of notes for customers... Lucy's at 135 Avenue A between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street is now temporarily closed (this after service on Saturday night).

A note, with a more elaborate smiley face, is on the front door...

Lucy usually takes off for several weeks this time of the summer to visit family in Poland. Come back soon!

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday's parting shot

Spying some Shaggy and Scooby art on Seventh Street... photo by Derek Berg.

Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street

Two East Village residents are opening Book Club, an independent bookstore featuring a cafe at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Erin Neary, who's operating the space with her fiance, Nat Esten, said that the book portion of the storefront will carry a broad selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and a children's section ... they'll also offer a variety of greeting cards and gifts. As for the cafe section, they'll be serving MUD coffee, among other items.

"Our vision for the space is a cozy, living-room vibe: a place where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine or coffee while reading a book, but also a place for the community to come together for various events, such as author readings and signings, and literary trivia," Neary said.

They'll appear before CB3's SLA committee tonight for a beer-wine license for the address, which was previously No Malice Palace as well as the Christmas pop-up Donner and Blitzen's Reindeer Lounge.

"As East Village residents for the last decade, we're committed to having Book Club be a celebration of the spirit and diversity of the neighborhood," Neary said.

The shop has a website with a sign up for a mailing list ... as well as an Instagram account...

Local elected officials urge the DOT to explore bike lane options on Avenues A, B, C and D

[Avenue B, currently without bike lanes]

The proposal for a two-way protected bike lane on Avenue B has turned into a broader exploration for better and safer passage for cyclists on Avenues A, B, C and D.

Last Wednesday, local elected officials sent a letter to Ed Pincar, the Department of Transportation's Manhattan borough commissioner, to expedite and expand on the installation of protected bike lanes on Avenues A-D "as a result of the fast approaching East River Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project."

Here's more from the letter:

"We would encourage you to look at Avenues A through D spanning from East Houston to 14th Street to determine the best location for a one or two-way bike lane, understanding the multiple needs of the city and the impacts these options may have for cyclists and the community.

These new protected bike lanes would serve as a vital alternative to the East River greenway, which is projected to close starting in 2020 during the ESCR project. Recent reports of cyclist accidents in the area suggest the increased safety that protected bike lanes will provide is urgently needed."

The letter was signed by Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

The parent-led campaign to secure two-way bike lanes on Avenue B, an increasingly congested 14-block corridor currently without any marked paths for cyclists, began in April. Bike-lane organizers say they now have the support of nearly 30 businesses along Avenue B.

In late June, Community Board 3 passed a resolution asking city officials to study safety issues and improve bike infrastructure on Avenue B, as Patch reported.

Per that resolution:

CB3 asks DOT to conduct a safety analysis and report back to CB3 about whether it is feasible to install a two-way protected bike lane or other bicycle safety improvements along Ave B from Houston to 14th St. CB3 also asks DOT to determine where truck loading/unloading zones should be installed along Avenue B, and report back to CB3 with a proposal.

The report to CB3 should also discuss any impacts of such installations to street-side parking, teacher parking, loading zones, and overall street congestion, especially during the weekend nightlife hours.

There aren't any marked bike lanes now on Avenue B. Meanwhile, Avenues A and C have white-painted bike lanes without any separation barriers such as on First and Second avenues.

[Avenue A]

[Avenue C]

Avenue D does not currently have any markings for cyclists...

Bike advocates and elected officials have been urging the city to do more across NYC to ensure safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists — 15 of whom have been killed by drivers this year, five more than all of 2018.

Overall, there have been 110 road fatalities this year — an 18.3-percent increase over 2018, according to the DOT and as reported by Streetsblog. As of July 9, 56 pedestrians have been killed so far this year on NYC streets.

Mayor de Blasio recently ordered the NYPD and DOT to create emergency plans to protect cyclists. The DOT's plan is roughly due this coming week.

On the CB3 agenda tonight: AMA Raw Bar on Avenue B, The Pineapple Club on 6th Street

There are several items of interest on tonight's CB3-SLA docket. Here's a look at two of the applicants:

• 190 Avenue B

A restaurant going by AMA Raw Bar is in the works for the former Kingsley space between 11th Street and 12th Street.

The food here is described as "Asian seafood," per the questionnaire posted to the CB3 website. The applicant, listed as Harvey Woo, plans to use the backyard garden. In total, there are 30 tables for 64 guests as well as a 10-seat bar. The proposed hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; until 3 a.m. on Friday ... with an 11 a.m. open on Saturday and Sunday.

Kingsley closed back in early September without any notice to patrons after three-plus years in business.

• 509 E. Sixth St.

The Pineapple Club will be bringing "American Polynesian" cuisine to the former Out East space here between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The public questionnaire on the CB3 website shows that the two-level space will have 40 tables seating 101 guests, with another 20 seats for the bar. The proposed hours are listed as 5 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a 4 a.m. close Thursday through Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday. There's also a brunch service on Saturday and Sunday.

The questionnaire doesn't mention the background experience for the applicants — listed as Travis Odegard, Panos Kourakos and Nazar Hrab.

There's also a sample menu with the online questionnaire ...

Like Kingsley, Out East quietly closed... the space went dark in December 2017 after eight months serving a seafood-centric menu from the proprietors behind places like Beauty & Essex and Stanton Social.

Tonight's CB3-SLA committee is at the Perseverance House Community Room, 535 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. You can frontload at Sophie's or the Ace Bar on the block.

Ainsworth eyes former DBGB space on the Bowery; Ruffian team to the Eddy

Here's a quick look at several more of the applicants on tonight's CB3-SLA committee meeting docket. These are existing East Village operators looking to expand...

• Ainsworth to the Bowery

Ainsworth, the growing chainlet of upscale sports bars, has applied for a new liquor license for 299 Bowery in the Avalon Bowery complex between First Street and East Houston Street. (Questionnaire here.)

This outpost of Ainsworth (there's also one on Third Avenue at 11th Street) will be open for lunch and make use of the sidewalk cafe that DBGB tried to muster enthusiasm for.

DBGB closed here nearly two years ago, with chef-owner Daniel Boulud citing "erratic" patronage on this corridor during the week. Perhaps Ainsworth, a SantaCon hotspot, can bring in a steady stream of patrons.

• Ruffian Wine Bar owners taking the Eddy space on Sixth Street

In a sale of assets, the owners of Ruffian on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue plan to open an "American/Italian" restaurant called Kindred here between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (Questionnaire here.)

The Eddy closed last month after five-plus years at the address.

• The Woodstock in the works for 99 Third Ave.

The owners of The VNYL across the Avenue here between 12th Street and 13th Street have plans for a Neapolitan pizzeria called the Woodstock for this address. (Questionnaire here.)

The previous occupant, Thaimee Table, was seized by the Marshal in early May.

Tonight's CB3-SLA committee is at the Perseverance House Community Room, 535 E. Fifth St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Nightmarket is the new name for NuNoodle

[Photo from June 30 by Steven]

NuNoodle has been closed at 130 First Ave. since late June.

Workers have given the space a new look... and name. (Photos by Steven)

NuNoodle's owners are also behind the new concept here — Nightmarket, which debuted over the weekend...

Haven't seen the revamped menu here just yet.

The quick-serve NuNoodle, serving a variety of noodle dishes, opened here near St. Mark's Place last October. There's a lot of competition nearby for similar food, with buzzy places like Hunan Slurp, Ho Foods, MáLà Project and The Tang located within one block.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Rainbow Music shop will be a Chinese restaurant

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday's parting shot

Christo on the lookout in Tompkins Square Park... photo by Steven...

A campaign to co-name part of 6th Street after Donald Suggs Jr.

Donald Suggs, a longtime resident of Sixth Street, died in October 2012 from an apparent heart attack. He was 51.

His friends and loved ones have a campaign underway to petition the city to co-name the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Avenue B Donald Suggs Jr. Way. (There was a similar campaign in late 2012, though those plans didn't materialize.)

Suggs lived for years at 526 E. Sixth St. There are petitions up along the block here between Avenue A and Avenue B for people to sign...

Some background on him from a Donald Suggs Jr. Street Naming Project website:

Donald was a senior editor at The Village Voice, a former associate director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and a program director at Harlem United Community AIDS Center.

His work as an organizer included an early campaign against homophobia in the music industry that was the basis for the British Broadcasting Company film by Isaac Julien, "A Darker Shade of Black."

Through numerous appearances on "The Ricki Lake Show," he became nationally known for his witty commentary as a relationship expert and for his scathing critiques and rigorous insight into modern white backlash against people of color and LGBTQ communities’ decades before “Alt-Right” rebranding and Trumpism.

He penned the first major article about the transgender Harlem Ballroom Scene in New York for The Village Voice and his writings from The Advocate to The New York Times and his activism, which began as a pro-feminist undergraduate at Yale University, led to ground breaking discourse on black LGBTQ people around the world.

Donald was former board chairman for the public access cable network Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). In 2001, he founded People Using Media to do Prevention, or the PUMP project, which taught young people from neighborhoods decimated by HIV how to produce HIV prevention videos to combat the spread of HIV within their communities ... His work continues to be cited for changing the landscape of American HIV messaging campaigns.

The petitions will be imp through tomorrow (Monday) on Sixth Street.