Tuesday, June 30, 2020

6 posts from June

[As seen on Avenue A]

A mini month in review...

• Curb your enthusiasm: A look at more East Village businesses with their doors back open (June 19)

• East Village volunteers expand their outreach to feed more neighbors in need (June 18)

• An appreciation: East Village Books (June 9)

• "You are here profiting off of our fucking pain" (June 3)

• Scenes from the start of last night's peaceful protest on Avenue D (June 2)

• Here's the moment of the break-in early this morning at Alphabet City Beer Co. (June 1)

Alphabets swan song

As we reported yesterday, after a 35-year presence on Avenue A, Alphabets has closed. Owner Linda Heidinger is moving the novelty-gift shop to Palm Springs, Calif.

Earlier today, workers removed the sign here between Fourth Street and Fifth Street. The shop moved here in 2014 after a previous long tenure at 115 Avenue A next to Ray's.

Based on the 30 comments on yesterday's post, Alphabet's will be missed.

Thanks to Vinny & O for the photo!

Former Haveli Banjara space is being converted into an apartment on 2nd Avenue

The Haveli Banjara Indian Restaurant is officially done — at least at 100 Second Ave.

The restaurant has been closed since late October here between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. A "Sorry we are closed today" sign greeted potential customers for months.

Recently approved work permits with the city lists the following work happening at the address: "Convert first floor eating and drinking establishment into a residential apartment."

Public records show that the building changed hands in March for $6.1 million ... with the Highpoint Property Group listed as the new owner. The Group's other East Village properties include The Slater at 174-176 First Ave. and The Topanga at 202 Avenue A. And in keeping with the the theme, No. 100 goes by The Callahan.

One EVG source said that the previous landlord died. The building had been on the market since September 2017, with an original asking price of $8.6 million.

In November 2017, the restaurant's staff told patrons that they would be closing in early 2018, with the hopes of finding another location nearby.

Haveli was the oldest surviving Indian restaurant in the East Village, opening in 1987. Banjara moved in here in November 2013.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Haveli Banjara Indian Restaurant said to be closing and relocating early next year

Nolita Pizza leaves 2nd Avenue

After nearly a year serving up some solid slices, Nolita Pizza has left its East Village outpost at 128 Second Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Saturday was the last day in business for the pizzeria, which is now operating from a newer outpost down on Kenmare Street. (H/T Lola Sáenz!)

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

We reached out to owner Tony Salihaj for comment. Unofficially, we heard that it was a combination of the COVID-19-related slowdown in business bumping up against the high rent for the space.

Kati Roll Company bowed out here in April 2019 after just under three years in business.

The longtime previous tenant at the address, The Stage, the 35-year-old lunch counter, closed in March 2016. Stage owner Roman Diakun had been involved in an ongoing legal/eviction battle with Icon Realty, who had taken over as the landlord.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Stage Restaurant will not be reopening

Monday, June 29, 2020

Another crazy stormy, then another double rainbow

[Photo by Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir]

For the second consecutive day... we were treated to an intense early evening storm (today complete with hail) ... and then a double rainbow somewhere over the photogenic ConEd Power Plant on 14th and C...

[Photo by Jeanne Krier]

And a few other views... via the BagelGuy...

... and Danny...

This parakeet has been spotted in the wilds of Tompkins Square Park

[Photo courtesy of Dennis Edge]

In the past week to 10 days, there have been multiple sightings of this parakeet, a mix of blues, greens and yellows, in Tompkins Square Park... the Park's budding ornithologists are unsure if the bird is someone's pet MIA ... or if its owner decided to abandon the parakeet on the way out of town...

H/T Steven!

Alphabets has left the East Village

[Photo by Lola Sáenz]

After 35 years on Avenue A, Alphabets has left the East Village.

Owner Linda Heidinger is moving the novelty-gift shop to Palm Springs, Calif. While there won't be a physical NYC presence, the store's new website will be active for online purchases.

[Staff pack up the shop on Saturday]

In 2014, Alphabets moved from 115 Avenue A to 64 Avenue A. (This coincided with a rent hike courtesy of new 115 landlord Steve Croman.)

Heidinger opened Alphabets in 1985.

[64 Avenue A earlier this month]

Updated 1 p.m.

Here's the official post via Instagram...

Essex Card Shop is now open in its new Avenue A home

As previously noted, Essex Card Shop has moved from its longtime home at (the city-owned) 39 Avenue A one block to the north at 47 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street...

The new outpost is now open, and EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the space where co-owner Jayant Patel was at the front counter...

...and here's a look around as the staff continues to stock the stationery shop, which will also include a few of the household items that the previous store here — 99¢ and Up Magic Deals! — carried...

... and from Saturday, a few photos of the old storefront being packed up...

Previously on EV Grieve:
"Desperate Endeavors" leads to the Essex Card Shop on Avenue A

Completion date for new office building at 3 St. Mark's Place is February 2022

As we've been reporting in recents weeks, work has commenced on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place, site of a future 10-story office building.

New on the plywood: A vague schematic of the future structure...

The signage also offers a piece of news: the completion is listed as February 2022.

And for a more detailed view of the all-new 3 St. Mark's Place ... as seen in this before and after...

The total square footage of the building has yet to be determined. Cutting and pasting from before:

The City Planning Commission will cast their vote at a later date as part of the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. They are expected to approve the plan to transfer air rights from the landmarked 4 St. Mark's Place to the new development across the street at 3 St. Mark's Place. In issues such as this, City Council usually follows the lead of the local Councilmember. (Carlina Rivera spoke out against the transfer plan in in early March.)

With the air-rights transfer, developer Real Estate Equities Corporation (REEC) would be allowed to build 8,386 square feet larger than the current zoning allows.

Regardless of an extra 8,000 square feet, construction will still happen. As Gothamist reported in early March, the project's architect, Morris Adjmi, emphasized a building of a similar height size would be built as-of-right.

REEC picked up the 99-year leasehold for the properties here for nearly $150 million in November 2017.

Previously on EV Grieve:
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

GNC closing its remaining East Village outpost

With nearly $1 billion in debt, GNC filed for bankruptcy last week, announcing that it may close nearly 1,200 shops.

The East Village outpost of the vitamin and dietary supplement company is one of those that will shut down. Closing signage is up at the location on First Avenue at 13th Street.

A GNC closed on Third Avenue in NYUville in July 2018.

Thanks to Pinch for the photo!

A new surface for Extra Place

[Photos from Saturday]

Been about 2.5 years since we mentioned anything about Extra Place, the pedestrian walkway off First Street between the Bowery and Second Avenue... workers recently replaced the concrete sidewalk...

And the space remains quiet. The main tenant back here, David Chang's Momofuku Ko, hasn't reopened yet from the COVID-19 PAUSE. The Japanese housewares boutique Nalata Nalata has the corner space and there's also a prep kitchen for Daniel Boulud at the end of the walkway.

Through the years, only Momofuku Ko has had any success in this former alley that ran behind CBGB. (Danny Fields photographed the Ramones for their third album, Rocket to Russia, here in 1977.)

As noted here through the years, a handful of restaurants and businesses have come and gone, such as Red Hook Lobster Pound.

In January 2007, reps for Avalon Bowery Place unveiled plans to make Extra Place "a slice of the Left Bank, a pedestrian mall lined with interesting boutiques and cafes."

[Tony's Place?]

Previously on EV Grieve:
With new restaurant opening, will Extra Place finally become a dining destination?

Extra Place now officially a Dead End

Sunday, June 28, 2020

This evening's double rainbow

[Click to go big]

Well that was one helluva thunderstorm... and then the double rainbow on this Pride Sunday. Lauren of 7th Street shared the top photo...

And EVG reader Danny shared this from Ninth Street...

Another another photo via @cecilscheib...

Week in Grieview

[Photo on Avenue A by Vinny & O]

Posts from this past week included...

• How Henry Street Settlement is helping neighbors in need during the COVID-19 crisis (Tuesday)

• East Village Postal's raffle raised more than $20,000 for BLM-related charities (Monday)

• A letter about racial profiling and harassment in a residential building on 14th Street (Tuesday)

• A masked ball: At the start of the 2020 Drag March in Tompkins Square Park (Saturday)

• A second look at Phase II dining in the East Village (Thursday) Also: Now entering Phase II (Monday)

• Checking in on Blanche’s Lucy’s Tavern (Friday)

• St. Mark's Place at 3rd Avenue promises to be a hot construction mess for the next few years (Monday)

• This week's NY See panel (Thursday)

• Fireworks-related roof fires (Sunday... Friday)

• Activity at the former Eleven Consignment Boutique (Thursday)

• Checking in on Anwar Grocery (Wednesday)

• Primary Day with Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street (Tuesday)

• Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen is open this summer (Thursday)

• Nomad, the great restaurant on 2nd Avenue that has everything but the interest of food writers (Friday) Also: Cucina Di Pesce returns as a pop up at Nomad on 2nd Avenue (Monday)

• Today is the last day for the Essex Card Shop before a move up the block (Wednesday)

• First Lamb Shabu has closed on 14th Street (Monday)

• For those who survived remote learning (Friday)

... and it was a tough night for SUVs. Aside from the parked SUV that went into the sinkhole on Second Street between Avenue A and First Avenue last night... two parked along Avenue A had their back windows smashed in...

[SUV pics by Vinny & O]

... and The Long-Lost Intern of EV Grieve points out that someone probably nabbed the last of the Cellino & Barnes ads...

[14th Street at 3rd Avenue]


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

(A return of the?) Dumpster of the day

For our 2-3* dumpster of the day fans. As seen on Bleecker at the Bowery.



As seen on Sixth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Photo can also be used as a motivational screensaver for aspiring writers.

Sinkhole nearly swallows SUV on 2nd Street

Shortly after 1 a.m., a sinkhole opened on Second Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... nearly swallowing an SUV that had been parked on the south side of the roadway...

According to a report on the Citizen app, firefighters at the scene stated that the SUV was resting on a gas line.

As of this morning, the van had been removed... Con Ed and DEP workers have the street blocked off as repairs are underway...

Updated 12:30 p.m.

Per the Daily News:

Neighbors nearby complained that sinkhole was caused by an ongoing sewage problem. A few basements nearby the incident were flooded and still had standing water in them on Sunday morning.

“I’m telling everyone in our building not to flush their toilets because it backs up into our basement,” said John von Hartz, 87, who lives nearby and woke up to city workers trying to access the sewage line in his basement.

There wasn't any immediate cause for the sinkhole, per the DEP.

Thank you to our friends at Il Posto Accanto for the top photo!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

A masked ball: At the start of the 2020 Drag March in Tompkins Square Park

The 26th annual Drag March took place last evening ... starting, as always, in Tompkins Square Park before participants made their way over along Ninth Street to Sheridan Square and then the Stonewall Inn... marking the start of Pride Weekend.

It was a much smaller, and more organic gathering this summer... there was social distancing and outfits incorporating face coverings (including a gas mask or two) as well plenty of support for Black Lives Matter ... EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos...