Monday, September 30, 2019

6 posts from September

[Tompkins Square Park via Vinny & O]

A mini month in review...

• Night fever: The East Village Vintage Collective celebrates 4 years on 12th Street (Sept. 20)

• A visit to ANNA on 5th Street (Sept. 19)

• At the Gem Spa Cash Mob (Sept. 16)

• Breaking: Parks officials say they will NOT be putting down a synthetic turf in Tompkins Square Park; skateboarders rejoice (Sept. 6)

• On Avenue A, Coney Island Baby transforms into Lola; live music to share stage with club nights (Sept. 5)

• The return of "yuppie scum" at the former home of the Sunshine Cinema (Sept. 5)

Reader report: 'Vomit situation' on Avenue B (aka noted)

From the EVG inbox... location: West side of Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street...

"The smell came Friday. There was a large industrial black trash bag that was leaking vomit. It was terrible and stunk up the whole block all weekend."

Mmmm. And this morning?

"Now it appears the trash bag has disappeared and all that is left is an industrial amount of vomit."

The reader signed the email: ?????????

St. Mark's Market is closing for good

Over the weekend we heard from multiple tipsters that St. Mark's Market at 21 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue had started its going-out-of-business sale.

An employee confirmed the closure to EVG correspondent Steven yesterday. He did not know the final day.

For now, store items are on sale...

And there's still a pretty good inventory...

[Photos by Steven]

There were signs of trouble back in July, when the one-time 24/7 market went dark for several days before reopening. At the time, a store manager cited multiple problems, starting when a resident on the building's third floor complained about a gas leak. The fire department came shut the store down. The FDNY said they were leaking freon gas. The store’s technician disputed that finding, claiming that their refrigerator tanks were full.

And it can't help that this building has been draped with a sidewalk bridge for the past two-plus years.

This address has a storied history (you can read about it here)... the building was demolished in a mall-style upgrade in 2003, which marked the arrival of the market.

The Chipotle upstairs in the complex closed in August 2018. A Chinese restaurant is going into that space.

Koko Wings spreading to 1st Avenue

[Photo from January by Steven]

Koko Wings will be setting up shop at 192 First Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street.

This will be the second NYC location for the restaurant (the other is on West 106th Street) that specializes in Korean fried chicken.

Here's how our friends at the Westside Rag described the UWS menu when it opened in 2014:

The wings are marinated in either soy garlic or hot and spicy sauce, both of which were tasty. You can also order drumsticks or chicken strips in the same marinades. The Kimchi cole slaw had a nice kick, as expected. Other Korean dishes like mandu (dumplings) and pa-jeon (scallion pancakes with seafood) are also on the menu...

According to Meridian Retail Leasing, this space will also feature an 800-square-foot backyard.

This storefront was home for a brief five months to Chelsea Thai, which closed in January — this after 21 years in the Chelsea Market. Chelsea Thai founder-chef Saruj Nimkarn said that there wasn't enough business here to make the rent.

The address was previously the Neptune. The Polish-American diner closed in December 2016 after 15 years in business. According to one source, the rent doubled.

After Neptune's departure, the landlord divided up the restaurant into two retail storefronts. Space 194, a hybrid tea-coffee shop-gallery, is in the other half.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Chelsea Thai coming to former Neptune space on 1st Avenue; Filipino fare for Avenue A

Chelsea Thai debuts on 1st Avenue

Chelsea Thai closes after 5 months on 1st Avenue

New Herbal World has moved away from 14th Street

New Herbal World, which offered a variety of herbs, teas and tonics as well as acupuncture, has left 14th Street.

There's a small note with a forwarding address at the gate here at 442 E. 14th St. just west of Avenue A... they moved down to 109 Lafayette St. ...

The shop had been stuck in the L-train renovation hell zone for the past two-plus years.

The access to these shops was a mere 28 inches for months... and the businesses have reported a decline in sales...

[Photo from September 2018]

Report: Landlord alleges tenant using 7th Street townhouse for sex parties

[Image via Streeteasy]

The Post reports that the current tenant of 189 E. Seventh St., a recently renovated four-story townhouse between Avenue B and Avenue C, has played host to sex parties in recent months, according to claims by the landlord in a Manhattan Supreme Court filing.

Tenant Avraham Adler reportedly signed a two-year lease here on April 1. Within a month, property owner Wonwoo Chang alleges that Adler started hosting "lewd" parties where “on premises sex took place.”

To the Post:

An investigator for Chang scoped out one of Adler’s August events and found a bouncer at the door, a bar on the rooftop and naked partygoers throughout the home, the landlord claims in his filing.

On the first floor, he noted, “a naked man who sat on a swing was being spanked by two women clad in lingerie.”

Another area featured mattresses on the floor and two naked women sitting on a couch, Wang said.

Sangria was going for $8 a cup, while the marijuana cookies were $15.


The parties have resulted in multiple complaints from neighbors about the noise, visits from cops and violations for garbage piled up outside, said Chang, who alleges that Adler’s illicit use of the property could damage Chang’s reputation and that of the building.

An event scheduled for Saturday night apparently didn't take place as advertised — at the orders of a Manhattan Supreme Court judge.

The Eventbrite posting described the address as "THE MOST LUXURIOUS PLAYSPACE IN THE CITY FOR NAUGHTY!"

In an email to the Post, Adler denied the allegations, writing: "Not sure what you’re trying to gain from this nonsense. I just don’t get this whole thing no parties are going on."

Court papers also claim that Adler illegally parks his car at a hydrant.

The circa-1860 townhouse underwent a gut rehab in recent years, emerging in early 2017 with an ask of $6.25 million.

Here's how Sotheby's was pitching the space then:

Upon entering this beautiful townhouse, there are 22-foot-high ceilings. Located on the first floor is a Poggenpohls custom chefs kitchen with custom Statutori marble countertops. The kitchen offers a fully marble covered island, along with a Six Burner Wolf Range, Miele Dishwasher, Viking Fridge and modernized ez-touch cabinets.

The 2nd floor is an open library and living room. The 3rd floor presents a one-of-a-kind open master suite layout with a separate standing shower on a class of its own. The vanities are a combination of top pieces from Ferguson, Kohler, and Restoration Hardware. The 4th floor presents two additional bedrooms, each personalized with their own all-marbled bathrooms and Porcelanosa vanities. At the top of the home lies a private oasis, roof decked in custom Runnen Tiles, along with a Calcutta Stone front ledge and Statutori back ledge.

Streeteasy last listed the monthly rent (in March) at $15,000.

The former Social Tees space on 5th Street is for rent

[Photo by Steven]

A few weeks back we mentioned that Social Tees is looking for a new home. The 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue has had several storefronts in the East Village, mostly recently at 325 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Meanwhile, that space, in a building owned by Steve Croman, is on the rental market. The for lease sign arrived late last week. In case you are wondering, the asking rent is $4,995 a month for 500 square feet.

As for Social Tees, you can follow them on Instagram for updates on a new space as well as pets for adoption.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Week in Grieview

[On the Bowery yesterday via Derek Berg]

Posts this past week included...

Bushwick-based pizzeria Roberta's coming to Avenue A (Tuesday)

At the march and rally to save East River Park (Monday)

Report of a slashing on Seventh and B (Saturday)

Southern Cross Coffee has closed on 5th Street (Wednesday)

First work permits issued for the former Hells Angels HQ (Tuesday)

M15 Select Bus Service routes will soon carry surveillance camera to bust lane blockers (Thursday)

Is Facebook leaving Astor Place? (Thursday)

Reader mailbag: Is this a new dog run in Tompkins Square Park? (Friday)

Helping celebrate 125 years of Veniero's (Tuesday)

This week's NY See (Thursday)

What's new below 14th and B? (Monday)

Report: Associated expected to close by the end of November (Thursday)

Soothr, a Thai noodle bar, coming to the former Bruno Pizza space on 13th Street (Monday)

October CB3-SLA docket: An applicant for 99 Avenue B, former home of Manitoba's (Thursday)

Strings Ramen signage arrives at 188 2nd Ave. (Monday)

Plywood tumor marks the future home of Sanpoutei Ramen on 2nd Avenue (Wednesday)

May the "Four Force" be with you at the Ninth Street Community Garden & Park dioramas (Tuesday)

A reinterpretation of "The Jazz Singer" on the Lower East Side (Monday)

A garden party to help rebuild the East Side Outside Community Garden (Friday)

Hanoi House expansion in-progress on St. Mark's Place (Thursday)

Another bubble tea chain setting up shop in the East Village (Monday)

Squish reopens on St. Mark's Place after summer hiatus (Tuesday)

... and a quick nut run in Tompkins Square Park this morning via Vinny & O...


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A revisit to Sixth Street Specials

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

The New York Times today features Hugh Mackie and Sixth Street Specials, his motorcycle shop on Sixth Street near Avenue C.


To call Mr. Mackie, 61, a dying breed is probably an exaggeration, but maybe not here. Nestled between Avenues C and D in the East Village of Manhattan, his motorcycle garage, Sixth Street Specials, is among the last in the borough, a vestige of a neighborhood that scarcely resembles its past — and of an iron-horse culture that the city seems determined to throttle.


There used to be more places like this in Manhattan: four or five in the East Village, Mr. Mackie guessed, and maybe a dozen more farther downtown. Now they’re in North Brooklyn. Some resemble fashion boutiques, tailored to the tastes and money of upwardly mobile guys who want the glamour but not the grease.

You can read the full piece, with nice black-and-white pics by Daniel Weiss, here.

Meanwhile, you can revisit Stacie Joy's photo essay and interview with Mackie for EVG back in March. You can find the post at this link.

Sunday morning day starter

An early morning view today looking east on Fifth Street toward Second Avenue (click on the image for more details).

Thanks to EVG reader Tobias for sharing this photo!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

EVG Etc.: The Mayor walks East River Park; the police look for vape store puncher

[Coffee time on 2nd Avenue via Derek Berg]

• A survivor of the Second Avenue gas explosion shares his story in court (New York Post ... previously)

• The Mayor tours East River Park, blows off local pols and at least one reporter (Patch)

• East Village parents angry at city over lead-filled apartment (New York Post)

• Local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera introduces bill to limit construction outside normal business hours (Crain's)

• New music venue from Baby's All Right team finally set to open on Lafayette (Brooklyn Vegan ... previously on EVG)

• Reflections on the 1970s-80s East Village art scene (Document Journal)

• Cops are looking for an underage suspect who punched a clerk after refusing to sell him a vaping device at the Smoke & Vape Shop on Fourth Avenue (ABC 7)

• Homeless advocates revive sleep-out protest at City Hall Park (Gothamist)

• A review of Debbie Harry's new memoir (The Washington Post)

• Remembering Hilly Kristal on what would have been his 88th birthday (Off the Grid)

• Long reads: The development battle in Two Bridges (Curbed) Meanwhile, One Manhattan Square has resorted to a rent-to-buy plan (The Lo-Down) Will luxury towers edge out the last of the working-class in Chinatown? (Vox)

• A 10,600-square-foot mural coming to Essex Crossing (Patch)

• Why Labor on Canal Street is the city's "most beloved" skate shop (i-D)

Readers reports: Police activity on 7th and B

[Photo by Vinny & O]

Police have the area around Seventh Street and Avenue B closed off to traffic. (The view above is from Sixth Street looking north.)

There was a report of a robbery and slashing this morning on the corner of Seventh Street and Avenue B. The Citizen app states that the injury was non-life threatening....

Per one anonymous tip: "I didn’t see the slashing, but I saw the guy who was slashed running after the slasher. Guys in the Park think it might’ve been a punk robbing an older drug dealer." The reader notes that this description of the crime is only speculation.

Updated 11:45 a.m.

Parts of the Park are still blocked off by crime-scene tape... these photos are via Steven...

Video: Recap of the East River Park march and rally; 1st City Council hearing set for Oct. 3

[Photo from Sept. 21 by Stacie Joy]

Community activists came together last Saturday to protest the city’s resiliency plan for East River Park that will see the space closed for three-plus years starting in March. (Find our photo recap here.)

Yesterday, The Indypendent published a recap of the march and rally, which included this video...

The stormproofing project is in the final stages of the city’s land use review process. The Planning Commission approved the plan back on Monday. The plan will head to City Council next for a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 3. This link has details.

Previously on EV Grieve:
• At the march and rally to save East River Park (Sept. 21)

• An annual reunion in East River Park (Aug. 4)

• A visit to East River Park (July 10)

Friday, September 27, 2019

I want to believe

Pixies tickets went on sale today (and quickly sold out) for a Dec. 9 show over at Webster Hall.

Here's a live clip of the band from 1991 playing their — obviously — best-song ever. OK, I like this song too and this one.

[UPDATED] Flashback Friday: When the Cable Doctor was in

EVG reader Shiv shares this signage reveal from 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... where the Cable Doctor (1996-2013?) was uncovered... this space was most recently Aum Shanti.

And one of these days Williamsburg Pizza is expected to take this space along with the former Krust Pizzeria next door.

Updated 8 p.m.

Whoa. One more layer of signage has been revealed! EVG regular Bayou shared this! Anyone remember Dairycrest Frozen Custard?

Behind the scenes of the new group show 'Love No Border' with Scooter LaForge at the Lower East Side Girls Club

On Monday evening, "Love No Border," a new group show, opened at the Lower East Side Girls Club on Avenue D at Eighth Street.

Per the official description:

How do we cope in a world with almost a billion refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons? How do we respond in a country that separates families, puts children in cages, denies basic human rights and dignity to tens of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge at our doors? It’s been said “Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others.” Love No Border is an artists’ call to action.

In this show, "Love No Border," artists from throughout the United States and Mexico are using their time and talents to give voice, to give witness, to give love and support to those who, like them, are standing up for others.

East Village resident Scooter LaForge, known for his sculptures and large-scale graffiti-inspired paintings, is among the artists showing work here.

Leading up to the event, LaForge worked with members of the Girls Club and staffers Mary Adams and Amarilis Jimenez to create his contribution, a 12-foot sculpture created out of donated stuffed animals that were turned into "immigration-enforcement monsters." LaForge and the members also made signs for the protest installation.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy joined LaForge and the Girls Club members for two art workshops, first in April then in August...



And here's the final work, as seen on Monday...

"Love No Border" is on view through Nov. 30. There will also be events throughout the run of the show to raise funds for immigrant aid organizations. Find the schedule at this link.

Fall Friday with Christo in Tompkins Square Park

Photo of the resident red-tailed hawk this morning by Steven...

A garden party tomorrow to help rebuild the East Side Outside Community Garden

[Photos from Sept. 20]

A sizable chunk of the East Side Outside Community Garden on 11th Street just east of First Avenue has been damaged during the post-fire work behind First Avenue.

In recent months, workers have accessed the garden space to gain entry to the rear of 188 First Ave., which suffered a major fire last October. While the structural stability of No. 188 was reportedly unaffected by the fire, the extension behind the permanently closed Uogashi needed to be removed.

Meanwhile, the garden is in poor shape as a result of the demolition work...

Tomorrow (Sept. 28), garden volunteers and other community members are coming together in support of East Side Outside at El Sol Brillante Garden, 522 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B starting at noon (to dusk). Per the invite:

Come join us for food, drink, and raffle prizes from local businesses! Raffle will happen at 4 p.m. ... We are excited to announce that photographer David Croland has donated a beautiful portrait of Debbie Harry in her prime, for sale to benefit the garden!

East Side Outside Community Garden was partly destroyed in the aftermath of the October 2018 fire at 188 First Ave. We need to clean up and rebuild almost everything from scratch, and are trying to raise funds to help us reopen for the 2020 season.

East Side Outside Garden is a public community garden in the NYC Parks GreenThumb program. We offer green space and programs for community members and businesses, provide a learning lab for students at the adjacent schools, and operate a community composting program. Help us rebuild better and stronger!

There's also a crowdfunding campaign underway at this link.

The stone wall dating to the 1860s that lines the garden was also badly damaged during the work behind the First Avenue buildings. You can read more about that at the link below...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Cemetery wall knocked down during post-fire work behind 1st Avenue

Reader mailbag: Is this a new dog run in Tompkins Square Park?

[Reader-submitted photo of the West Lawn]

From the EVG inbox...

I was playing with my toddler in the unlocked area in Tompkins Square Park — north of the chess tables and south of the St. Mark's Place entrance. I’ve noticed the New Amsterdam School playing there so I assumed it was a space where children are allowed. A couple of people came in and let their very large dogs off leash. One woman informed me that this area was now an official dog area, though there is no sign posted. She said that for over a year this is the only area (besides the official dog run) where you won’t get a ticket for letting your dog off-leash.

I was wondering if you knew if this area is an official dog area, or just an area that dog owners are claiming for themselves.

The reader asked to put this question out to readers. (One vote for B — dog owners are claiming it for themselves.)

This came up several times last year... when Park regulars complained about more and more people letting their (large) dogs run loose in sections of Tompkins Square Park — especially in that West Lawn the reader above described ...

One owner of a large dog said at the time last year that he didn't like to use the official dog run because it gets too crowded.

Park officials eventually padlocked the West Lawn... for awhile.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Makeshift dog run in Tompkins Square Park has been padlocked

Thursday, September 26, 2019

What 300 or so Gem Spa T-shirts look like

A shipment of 850 Gem Spa T-shirts arrived today... at Gem Spa on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place.

Steven took these shots. Parul Patel, who's running the shop these days, estimated that 300 were in these photos...

These are the T-shirts (a popular item now) that people pre-ordered BEFORE Sept. 23 either at the cash mob on Sept. 14 or via the store's PayPal account.

And only buy the shirts via Gem Spa. Apparently there is a black market Gem Spa operation out there!

View this post on Instagram

Guys DO NOT BUY the GEMSPA T-SHIRTS from any webites!!!! We are ONLY selling them at the store and for $20 Please share this post and dm the names of any websites you see selling them. Oh please report them and tell them to refund your money since they are selling knockoffs. Thank you so much for your ongoing support & love!🥤🥤🥤🥤🥤🥤🥤🥤🥤. 🥤🥤 #gemspa #eggcream #madonna #basquiat #nydolls #davidjohansen #leonardodicaprio #leodicaprio #dreadematteo #tedbarrigan #nyceats #eavieats #nycc #nycgo #nycityworld #nycity #nycblogger #eastvillagenyc #eastvillagetour #nycstyle #nyclife #nycliving #visitnyc #newyorkcitystyle #newyorkcityfashion #newyorkcitylife #newyorkcity🗽 #tshirt #nytimesfashion #cbs

A post shared by Gem Spa (@besteggcream) on

Previously on EV Grieve:
• At the Gem Spa Cash Mob (Sept. 16)

• Get your Gem Spa t-shirts or photos of Madonna — at Gem Spa! (Aug. 16)

• A July 4 moment at Gem Spa (July 4)

• Will you buy a Gem Spa T-shirt? (June 28)

• The Gem Spa Zoltar is alive and well and telling fortunes an L-train ride away in Bushwick (June 19)

• "Gem Spa is open!" (June 18)

• What is happening at Gem Spa? (June 11)

• A visit to Gem Spa (May 10)