Friday, January 31, 2020

6 posts from January 2020

[Key Food, randomly enough]

A mini month in review...

• Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison (Jan. 17)

• About those detailed East Village drawings at the new Trader Joe's on 14th Street (Jan. 15)

• RIP Matthew Maher, longtime owner of McSorley's (Jan. 13)

• Exclusive: Video shows chaotic moments after fatal shootings on Avenue A (Jan. 10)

• How to help save the Lower East Side Ecology Center's community compost program (Jan. 9)

• A Visit to Don Juan’s Barber Shop on 4th Street (Jan. 8)

Won't You Be My Neighbour?

The Dutch quartet Neighbours Burning Neighbours just released two new songs, which are well worth seeking out (if you like the screech of, say, Sonic Youth and early Siouxsie and the Banshees).

The video here is for a 2019 single called "Hesitate."

At the Tribal Soundz reunion

An array of musicians gathered last night to celebrate the legacy of Tribal Soundz, the community-oriented world music store that had a 10-year run until 2008 at 340 E. Sixth St.

Nora Balaban (pictured below), who opened Tribal Soundz in 1998, invited the musicians and speakers to perform at the East Village Playhouse — the site of the former music shop between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the packed playhouse for part of the nearly four hours of music...

[Akim Funk Buddha]

[Rima Fand]

[Deer France]

[Francis Jacob]

... and here's a clip of an ensemble featuring members of the bands Timbila and mbiraNYC ...

Reminders: First East Village Photo Club meeting is tomorrow

Reposted from Jan. 23...

Updated 1/31

The Tompkins Square Library will be closed tomorrow for repairs. So the meeting is taking place at the Ottendorfer branch, 135 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street. Same meeting time: 11 a.m.

Susan Schiffman is looking to start a photo club for interested East Village residents.

Schiffman, who has been photographing the apartments of rent-stabilized tenants living in the East Village for her Instagram account, I Am a Rent Stabilized Tenant, shared this overview:

I want to invite people who love to take photos to come together to meet, to share and to talk about photos they have taken or seen or projects they are thinking about starting. Maybe we can put a show together.

We have a space to meet once a month at the Tompkins Square Library. It would be great if you could stop by and join the conversation about photography.

Please let me know if you are interested or have any questions. You may email me here.

We will meet the first Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to noon. The first meeting is Saturday, Feb. 1. If you would like to share your photos, then please bring prints or photos on a usb drive.

You may catch up on Susan's posts for EVG here. She was also featured in The New Yorker this past summer.

Pillow talk

In lieu of snow this January... here's what appears to be pillow stuffing in parts of Tompkins Square Park...

The stuffing arrived some time between 7-8:30 a.m., per Vinny & O, who shared these photos.

Updated 10 a.m.

EVG reader Annabelle points out the faux snowscape can be traced to a single pillow...

Partial reveal of the explosion site condoplex

Workers yesterday afternoon started removing the construction tarps from the new building at 119 Second Ave. (aka 45 E. Seventh St.) ...

The Morris Adjmi-designed building, which will include 21 condo units as well as ground-floor retail, went up on two of the three lots destroyed during the deadly gas explosion here on March 26, 2015.

In the spring of 2017, Shaky Cohen's Nexus Building Development Group paid $9.15 million for the empty lots at No. 119 and No. 121 that landlord Maria Hrynenko owned.

Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Jerry Ioannidis were found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and related offenses for their role in the blast. They were each sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. Hrynenko is out on bail as she awaits an appeal of the case.

Hrynenko, who took over ownership of the buildings after her husband Michael died in 2004, and the others rigged an illegal system to funnel gas from 119 Second Ave. to 121 Second Ave. to cut corners, according to prosecutors.

"What the defendants did, in a matter of speaking, was roll the dice with the lives of many people. The results, as we know, are catastrophic," Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus said on Jan. 17.

As for the new building, given its location within the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission needed to approve the plans, which they did in August 2018.

Residential units are one, two and three bedrooms. No word on pricing just yet.

[Rendering via Morris Adjmi]

The property will include a commemorative plaque that honors victims Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Locón, 27.

In October 2017, city officials unveiled new street blades that co-name the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street after the two men.

Updated 8:45 a.m.

Goggla shared these photos... the reveal continues...

H/T Andrij!

Previously on EV Grieve:
• Trio responsible for the deadly 2nd Avenue gas explosion sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison (Jan. 17)

• Convicted gas explosion landlord Maria Hrynenko out on bail; contractor, plumber remain behind bars (Jan. 18)

The Izakaya opening a 2nd East Village location

The Izakaya NYC, the low-key Japanese tapas bar at 326 E. Sixth St. that opened in 2015, is ready to debut a off-shoot on Fourth Street — aptly called the Izakaya NYC on 4th.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy got a quick preview of the space between Avenue A and Avenue B on Wednesday evening...

They were expecting to be ready to open tonight at 215 E. Fourth St. Haven't seen the menu just yet.

The Izakaya team also operates Diner at Nowadays, the indoor-outdoor space on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood.

No. 215 was previously Chouchou, the Mediterranean-Moroccan bistro that the Marshal seized last summer after two-plus years in business.

Spätzle alert: Zum Schneider's kitchen will be open for a few weeks longer

[EVG file photo]

As we first reported last month, Zum Schneider is leaving its home of 20 years on Avenue C and Seventh Street at the end of February.

The landlord, listed as 229 East 7th Street HFDC, would reportedly not renew the biergarten's lease.

Feb. 25 is the last day they're open to the public. This coming Sunday, Feb. 2, was previously listed as the date for closing their food service.

However! Zum Schenier announced yesterday that their kitchen is now open until Feb. 16. Via the EVG inbox:

We have some good news. We managed to make some arrangements for the kitchen to stay open for an additional 2 weeks. Yes, more Haxen, Reiberdatschi, Spätzle and sausages. Last day for our kitchen will now be Feb. 16. Until Feb. 9 we'll have the full menu and after following with a limited menu until Feb. 16.

We will then close the place for three days to get ready for the last hurrah KARNEVAL FINAL where some snacks will be available such as warm sausages, Obazda, Leberkäs, bread and more.

We're excited and look forward to serve you our Bavarian specialties for a bit longer.

Prost und an guadn!

Zum Schneider is searching for a new NYC home "with a landlord who appreciates our tenancy." They've already announced that they will once again host their Oktoberfest tent along the East River this fall.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Last Christmas for Zum Schneider on Avenue C: Biergarten on the move in 2020

More details about Zum Schneider's February closing date on Avenue C

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Thursday's parting shot

Photo in Tompkins Square Park today by Derek Berg...


This has been making the rounds ... first spotted by Brooklyn Vegan: Dr. Martens have paid tribute to CBGB, the iconic Bowery club (not restaurant at the Newark Liberty International Airport) with a line of boots "to relive the mayhem from its heyday."

You can find the two styles at the Dr. Martens website.

And as BV noted, Dr. Martens previously paid tribute to Joy Division, New Order and Sex Pistols with a line of boots.

Police looking for trio in vicious Jan. 1 attack on 9th Street and Avenue A

The NYPD is asking for the public's assistance in locating three suspects who are wanted in connection to an early morning assault on Jan. 1.

According to police, a 25-year-old man was assaulted by the three men near Ninth Street and Avenue A at 4 a.m. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a fractured skull and broken nose. According to the NYPD, the beating left the man with a traumatic brain injury.

Police sources said that the attack could have been the result of a prior dispute.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online. All calls are strictly confidential.

Are you missing your pet parrot?

Several readers noticed an exotic bird out in the wild this morning in Tompkins Square Park nearest to the entrance at Seventh Street and Avenue B.

EVG reader Clint was able to corral the bird, and now has it at home for safekeeping...

Per Clint: "It is a black-headed caique. It's very friendly and tame. It was obviously someone's pet and well cared for."

Does it belong to you?

Updated 1/31

Clint has not found the owner yet. There is a lead that it may belong to someone at St. Brigid's. Clint is talking contact there today.

Workshop next week will offer free legal resources for East Village small business owners

Several local organizations are joining forces to provide small business owners in the East Village with free legal resources during a workshop next week at Book Club on Third Street.

Via the EVG inbox...

Many small businesses and commercial tenants have concerns about non-rent charges and how they impact the bottom line.

Cooper Square Committee, East Village Independent Merchants Association (EVIMA) and Brooklyn Legal Services will bring free legal resources to neighborhood businesses and commercial tenants.

Join us for one or both of our upcoming sessions on non-rent charges. Lawyers will be available after each session to do one-on-one consultations.

Bring your commercial lease and your questions!

Morning and evening session available:

Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 9 a.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Book Club
197 E. Third St. near Avenue B

Now hear this: About the new book of East Village bar quotes from Billy the Artist

[Image via @Instagram]

Billy the Artist is never without his sketchpad, which aided him with his latest project — a book of illustrations with snippets of conversation titled "Things You Don't Hear Twice: Quotes From the East Village."

The copies just arrived ahead of a signing this Saturday at one of his favorite neighborhood haunts — International Bar on First Avenue.

In a recent exchange, he shared a little about the book and his thoughts on the East Village ...

I’ve lived in the East Village for 30 years and have always loved the vibe and people here ... I almost always have my sketchpad on me and would draw in my various East Village bars and, of course, hear the craziest quotes from my friends or strangers. I would write down the quotes in the back of my sketchpad and that’s how this book became a reality.

Living and working in my studio in the East Village I need to get out and be with people — be it in the afternoon or night. As I’ve gotten older, I tend to like the daytime in a bar because it [attracts] more regulars.

This book has been in the making for a long time, and both the quotes and illustrations I hope remind everyone how great the East Village was and still is.

[Image via @BillytheArtistNYC]

Billy the Artist will be signing copies of his book this Saturday (Feb. 1) from 2-6 p.m. at International Bar, 102 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

That unique pop-up gallery space on 7th and C is now home to a palm reader

[Photo from 2012]

For several years, starting in 2012, the shed/storage space outside Wholesome Foods on Seventh Street and Avenue C was home to the Stand, a wholly unique pop-up gallery and performance space.

The Stand featured work by street, homeless and unknown artists. You never knew exactly what you'd find there on a given weekend night. It lasted until October 2017. The space was a holiday market during the 2018 Christmas season, featuring the work of local vendors and offering entertainment such as a shakuhachi zen flute performance during the opening reception.

After that, we hadn't seen much, if any, activity here. Last fall, someone tagged the Bruce Lee mural on the gate.

Well, there's a new tenant now. The gate was open the other day, showing that the space is now home to a palm reader...

Pinks Cantina bringing the tacos to Webster Hall

Pinks Cantina is teaming up with Webster Hall to serve food during concerts and club nights starting on Tuesday.

Pinks Cantina, which started at the Bowery Market in 2018, has an outpost on the Lower East Side at 203 Chrystie St. that serves a variety of tacos and sides. (Find their menu here.)

The taco shop is an extension of Pinks Bar & Grill, which opened in the fall of 2014 on 10th Street near First Avenue.

The revamped Webster Hall, now owned and operated by BSE Global and The Bowery Presents, reopened last April with Jay-Z over on 11th Street between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wednesday's parting shots

Some time on Monday night or early Tuesday morning, someone took a firehose to the Con Ed substation on Avenue A between Sixth Street and Fifth Street...

This past August, someone sprayed DBDBDBDBDBDBDB from Sixth Street all the way across Avenue A. It took two months before Con Ed had the tagggggggg removed.

Thanks to Stacie Joy for the photos!

Recognizing Debi the Gardener for her years of service in Tompkins Square Park

Deborah Hulse, better known as Debi the Gardener to regulars of Tompkins Square Park, retired in December after nearly 15 years with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

During the January Community Board 3 meeting last night, local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera recognized Hulse for her years of service to the neighborhood. Hulse had worked in Tompkins Square Park since March 2009.

EVG correspondent Steven shared the above photo from the meeting. From left: Alan Good, who donated the ping pong tables to the Park, Hulse, Park regular Monica Rittersporn, and Rivera.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Debi the Gardener retires


A reader shared this today from along the Verizon building on 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

On the bright side, per the reader — at least the truck isn't parked in the bike lane.

Might need to revisit the Brown Paint Wars

EVG Etc.: Appreciating East Village street art; ranking City Council members

[Gnome side table spotting on Astor Place via Derek Berg]

Supporters trying to get activist Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement with roots in this neighborhood, canonized as a saint (The Washington Post)

Jeremiah Moss meets his new EV neighbors: "Young and funded, they belong to a certain type: utterly unblemished, physically fit, exceptionally well dressed, as bland as skim milk and unsalted saltine crackers." (N+1)

A look at some East Village street art (Off the Grid)

Ranking the City Council members — Carlina Rivera listed at No. 18 out of 50 (City & State)

Chinatown residents are stocking up on masks in the wake of coronavirus fears (Gothamist)

There's a Q&A with "JoJo Rabbit" writer-director (and Hitler star) Taika Waititi after the 7 p.m. screening Friday at the Village East on Second Avenue and 12th Street (Official site)

Peter Brant preps for a major Warhol exhibition in 2021 at his foundation's East Village HQ on Sixth Street (Architectural Digest ... previously on EVG)

Several swastikas were found scribbled inside the Hillman Houses on Grand Street (The Lo-Down)

Passersby lift SUV off woman after collision on Delancey and Norfolk; victim speaks (CBS 2)

A Manhattan judge awarded a Brooklyn-based artist more than $250,000 after a now-closed Lower East Side gallery failed to pay her for the pieces she sold there, and refused to return her unsold work (Daily News)

Recovery efforts underway to salvage the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America after last week's fire on Mulberry Street (Gothamist)

East Village, an overlooked UK band (1987-1991), gets the re-release treatment on Slumberland Records (Official site)

... and via the 9th Precinct... Enrique Jones was last yesterday afternoon leaving 420 E. 12th St. ...

A musical reunion to celebrate Tribal Soundz,

In 1998, musician Nora Balaban opened Tribal Soundz, a community-oriented world music store that had a 10-year run at 340 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

The shop's legacy has endured since closing in 2008. Tomorrow (Thursday) night, Balaban is hosting a Tribal Soundz musical reunion with a variety of performers in the space, now the East Village Playhouse.

Per the invite:

The space is now a wonderful small theater and we've been invited back to reunite, play some music, hang out, brainstorm & imagine what we can do together in the future. Come early for seating! Doors 5:30 p.m. Limited Seating.

The free performances will run until 9:30 tomorrow night.

I asked Balaban about what made the store special.

"Our tagline in the Tribal Soundz days was 'Bringing you the world's music, and everything you need to play it,'" she said. "Tribal Soundz was more than just a store — it was the nerve center for global music action in NYC. We sold instruments from around the world, CDs, held music workshops and performances. All kinds of musicians and people from the neighborhood were brought together, centered around global music."

And for one night, that will be happening again.

Behind the build: Amelia and Christo's dream nests 2020


In recent weeks, Amelia and Christo, the resident red-tailed hawks of Tompkins Square Park, have been busy building their 2020 nest.

East Village-based photographer Laura Goggin (aka Goggla!) shared these photos of the two in action...


Amelia and Christo have been working on two nests — one in a ginkgo on the east side of the Park, and one in a locust near Temperance Fountain.

To date, the Temperance Fountain location (seems a little noisy?) is further along ...


Hard to say which one they'll end up nesting in for the season...

Be sure to follow Goggla's website (link here) for updates on the red-tailed hawks ... and other urban wildlife ... as the year unfolds.

Deadline extended to apply to serve on a Community Board

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office has extended the application period for the 2020-2022 class of Manhattan Community Board members.

You now have until Feb. 14 to apply. Here's another look at the info:

Interested in what gets built in your community and how government works to deliver services in your neighborhood? Apply to join one of Manhattan's 12 Community Boards.

Every Community Board has 50 seats which are filled for two-year terms by volunteers, who are selected by the Borough President and local City Council members. Half the seats are up for appointment or reappointment every year.

Community Boards get a seat at the table in high-stakes land use, real estate, and zoning negotiations, and they work directly with city agencies to influence how government services are delivered at the neighborhood level.

If you'd like to serve as a member of your Community Board, apply online here! Community Board applications will be open until 5 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Physical applications (downloadable here as a PDF) may also be dropped off at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office or mailed and postmarked by Feb. 14, but online submissions are strongly preferred.

You can find more details about our local board — Community Board 3 — via this link.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tuesday's parting shot

Move-out day at Addiction NYC on St. Mark's Place ... photo today by Derek Berg...

Wallace was found

Updated 2:55. Turns out Wallace was found yesterday and is back home.

Several readers have shared these lost dog posters that were spotted along Avenue A and Avenue B in recent days. Wallace went missing back on Saturday.

H/T Gojira

A reading series at Odessa

Odessa has been playing host to a literary reading series in recent weeks on Wednesday evenings.

There hadn't been much notice about the events. Now, however, there's a sign up for the readings...

The series, which takes place in the back of the diner (near the bar) on Wednesday evenings, features several guests as well as an open-mic portion. There's a suggested donation of $5 as well as a request to order something from Odessa. (Ed pick: challah grilled cheese!)

Michael Graves, who started the Phoenix Reading Series in the West Village in the late 1990s, is the organizer. Amy Barone, Ron Kolm and Karen Neuberg are the featured poets tomorrow (Wednesday) night. The reading starts at 6 p.m. and runs to 8-9 p.m.

Demolition watch: 270 E. 2nd St.

Workers have prepped the four-story 270 E. Second St. for demolition here between Avenue C and Avenue D.

This is the former home of Barrier Free Living (BFL), the nonprofit that provides transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities.

In December 2018, BFL officials unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art facility to replace its current building.

As a reminder, here's a rendering of the new 12-floor structure, designed by JCJ Architecture ...

And here's more from the news release about the new No. 270:

The new 65,000-square foot facility will provide permanent housing specifically to meet the needs of this population and will include 74 apartments, administrative offices, a rear garden, an elevated outdoor recreation area, and community and support spaces.

The building will challenge assumptions about the aesthetics associated with supportive housing and create a more direct and engaged relationship for residents with the surrounding environment. The new facility is intended to efficiently serve the needs of BFL’s clients, to provide a sense of pride, place and home for residents, and to create a unique architectural presence in the rapidly changing neighborhood where the East Village and Lower East Side converge.

Inspired by the parameters of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing NYC Plan, this project will provide affordable housing and support services for a grossly underserved population. The project team will work alongside agencies and stakeholders including NY State Home and Community Renewal, ESSHI and NY City Board of Standards & Appeals. Funding for related services and rent support will come from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative.

BFL closed here in April 2018 after 28 years in service. The project was originally expected to be complete in late 2021.

Prince Tea House expanding to the East Village with an outpost on 10th Street

Prince Tea House, with six locations in NYC, is expanding this year, adding several new outposts — including one at 204 E. 10th St. just east of Second Avenue.

The new shop will be located in the currently empty space that last housed the Le Pressing dry cleaners (and perhaps next door?).

Expect some storefront renovations here in the weeks/months ahead... here's a look at the rending for the new 10th Street ...

This is a tea-heavy area with several established shops nearby, including Cha-An on Ninth Street ... and Uluh Tea House opened right around the corner on Second Avenue in November 2018.