Saturday, October 31, 2020

Saturday's parting shot

A moment from the Moral Panic show tonight on Second Street... look for more photos later... Happy Halloween!

6 posts from October

A mini month in review...

• Documenting 166 Avenue A through the years (Oct. 22

• This is the new building slated for the corner of 6th Street and Avenue C (Oct. 19)

• A look back at the first Avenue B flea (Oct. 13)

• An Art Attack at East River Park (Oct. 12

• Owner's retirement will bring a close to EV children's treasure Dinosaur Hill next month (Oct. 8

• Bread alert: Sullivan St. Bakery pop opens a 9th Street outpost (Oct. 6)

Photo of the Hare Krishna tree in Tompkins Square Park from Thursday night


As seen on 10th Street and Avenue A... 

Pumpkin via @little.things.ny ... photo by Robert Miner...

Naming the Lost at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery

Given the pandemic, the Annual Day of Dead festival is not happening over at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery on 10th Street and Second Avenue this year.

Instead, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders and Naming The Lost created a memorial to remember local residents who died of COVID-19...
The memorial is now on the church fence... and will be here through Monday...
The church's website has more information about the project at this link.

Thanks to Lola Sáenz for the information...

A break in at Tompkins Square Bagels on 2nd Avenue

Workers arrived at the Second Avenue location of Tompkins Square Bagels this morning to find that someone broke into the storefront here between 11th Street and 12th Street...
Owner Christopher Pugliese said that the door, with an estimated cost of around $3,500, was the worst of the break-in damage. The now-smashed register contained $200 in change.

An invitation for Day of the Dead at Campos Community Garden

Via the EVG inbox...

Te invitamos a nuestra Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead.) This is an invitation to our neighbors from the members of Campos Community Garden on 12th Street.

Being respectful of COVID-19, we won’t be hosting a large event this year, but we will continue to honor our lost loved ones, especially those souls lost to the pandemic, police brutality and racism.

On Sunday, Nov. 1 from noon to 4 p.m., our altar will be open for viewing by the entrance and for leaving objects in memory of your beloved.

If you can’t make it during that time, we will also have our fence decorated and at anytime on Sunday you can also leave/attach your objects to the decorations there.

Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Campos Community Garden is on 12th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday's parting shot

A scene this rainy morning on Astor Place courtesy of Derek Berg...

A car-motorcycle collision on 1st Avenue

Several readers reported a serious-looking collision this afternoon between a car and a motorcyle on First Avenue at Seventh Street... 

From a reader report (thanks Bill!): "A black car with an Arizona plate hit a motorcycle going north on 1st, which was in the left lane. The car swerved from the right lane into the motorcycle." 

In a positive sign, another reader said that the motorcyclist was moving as he was loaded into an ambulance. We'll update this post if any further information becomes available. 

Thank you to Derek Berg for the photo...

Built to Spell

Siouxsie & the Banshees have been on heavier heavy rotation in recent days... the video is for "Spellbound" from 1981. Top of the Pops!


An EVG reader shares this from Third Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... where the recent strong winds carried in an outfit from Christmas past for a collision of holiday seasons...

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black headline Halloween show in Tompkins Square Park

A big show tomorrow (Halloween!) afternoon from 1-6  in Tompkins Square Park... find more details — like the list of bands and special guests — at this link.

A Visit with Michelle Joni and Glinda the Good Bus

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

Back on Oct. 11, we wrote about Michelle Joni and her Expand-a-Band taking Glinda the Good Bus out on the streets of the East Village for a rooftop tribute show to John Lennon in honor of his 80th birthday.

This was not the first time that you've likely seen Joni and Glinda on the road together for this mobile popup party... and you may see it again this Halloween weekend... here's some backstory...
Late in the summer, I joined Joni and a band of dancers, musicians and merry-makers during a multiple-night ride through the neighborhood that started from Amy Van Doran’s now-closed Modern Love Club, 156 First Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

I’ll be honest, I was somewhat petrified to be rolling around the East Village on a platform built on top of a bus, but I sucked it up and climbed aboard.

A few things I hadn’t counted on: low-hanging soaking-wet branches that smack you in the face, having to duck lest stoplights clock you in the head, the look of wonder and curiosity as people stopped to whip out cellphones and record, the urgent through-the-rooftop-porthole communication between the band and its driver, DJ Mikey Microphone, “Mikey, pull over, there’s a line of M14 busses behind us!” 

Joni later answered a few questions about the bus, her art project and creating during the pandemic.

How did Glinda The Good Bus come into existence?

I imagined this bus into existence! For many years I researched busses online, and learned the buslife ways from my bus peers. I just wanted to travel and bring joyful experiences to people, with all my toys and tricks in one place. When I found this bus on Craigslist I knew it was it. I pictured the unicorn horn immediately. Glinda was born in community and collaboration and continues as such!

Can you speak a bit about your AlphabetiX project and how it came to be hosted at Amy Van Doran's Modern Love?

AlphabetiX is a philosophy and practice I’ve been discovering for years, since I first asked “What’s your Power Letter?” and continued, realizing everybody knew intuitively but nobody is talking about it or doing anything with it! There’s also an AlphabetiX calendar, so you can experience time in letters. I use this system to hone energies, doing my best to awaken others to the practices of modern myth-making! I had the workbook coming out, and Amy Van Doran was kind enough to hand me the keys and let me use the space to my heart’s abcdesire.

How has it been creating art during the pandemic? 

It’s been prime time for art making in my opinion, and I wish I’d been doing it way bigger TBH. There have definitely been challenges! This is the time for artists to be paving the path to the new world...any block to that results in depression.

What was the experience like rolling through the East Village on top of the bus? What was the reaction you received?

It was so much fun! The East Village is one of my favorite places in the city. I lived here once upon a time, and again during the pop up (’cuz I live in my bus!). The artistry and surprise of the East Village seems to be missing and I feel this was able to bring back a sense of hope and creativity. Reactions are the heart of why I do it — witnessing that moment of awe that causes people to gaze doe-eyed, smile and temp-check their reality...perhaps take out a phone and film it, cheering, Venmo-ing! It keeps me going.

Any future plans to bring the bus and performers back for another trip?


The Bean is returning to its former home on 2nd Avenue

A familiar tenant is coming to the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Third Street: The Bean.

Owner Ike Escava shared the news... the coffee shop-cafe will reopen in the space some time in November. 

"We belong there — it feels like going home," he said in an email. 

As you may recall, The Bean closed two EV locations last November — this location and the one on First Avenue at Ninth Street. At the time, Escava blamed rising costs on the closures. The outposts on Third Avenue at Stuyvesant and Broadway at Ninth Street remain in operation. 

The Bean outpost on Second Avenue and Third Street first debuted in December 2011. The retail space has been vacant since the Bean's departure.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Vote or...

As a reminder, the early voting period runs though Sunday. 

The hours: 
  • Friday, Oct. 30 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 1 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Our local polling location, where Son of 7th took the above photo, is at Campos Plaza Community Center on 13th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C. We heard that there was a minimum wait today... and if anyone else wants to chime in about their early-voting experience in the comments...

And find your absentee ballot info at this link

Grant Shaffer's NY See

Here's the latest NY See panel, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's observational sketch diary of things that he sees and hears around NYC ... as well as political observations on current events...

Report: Officer in violent arrest on Avenue D resigns ahead of departmental trial

[Screengrab from video taken by Daquan Owens

The NYPD officer who violently arrested a bystander on Avenue D this past May 2 has reportedly resigned instead of face a departmental trial.

According to the Daily News, the internal misconduct trial for Officer Francisco Garcia was to start today.

Garcia, who was stationed at PS4 on Avenue C, had been on desk assignment following the ugly confrontation when an attempt to enforce social distancing rules escalated on a spring Saturday afternoon.

Garcia and his partners originally approached a man and a woman outside the corner deli on Ninth Street and Avenue D over a lack of social distancing, police officials previously said. This encounter reportedly led to an arrest on marijuana and weapons charges.

As seen in a widely circulated video shot by a witness, Garcia, who was not in uniform, then walked toward several bystanders, including Donni Wright, a nearby resident who works for the NYCHA. Police officials originally defended Wright, who they said took a "fighting stance," which led Garcia to shout the n-word and brandish a taser before wrestling him to the ground and kneeling on his head. (See top image.)

Social justice activists and local elected officials have pointed out the similar tactics in this arrest with that of now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes before he died on May 25.

Wright was arrested and was initially charged with assaulting an officer, menacing, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. The charges were later deferred by the DA's office. Wright has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city.

In late May, The New York Times reported that the officers involved would face disciplinary charges.

While Garcia had been investigated by Internal Affairs, with a recommendation that departmental charges be filed, police officials never provided any updates or offered clarity on why further actions were taking so long. 

Local community leaders and elected officials gathered in late August to demand action against Garcia.

As for the news of the resignation, here's some coverage via Gothamist:
"The fact that this police officer resigned is important, but what's really important here is that he be criminally prosecuted, convicted and sent to jail for what he did," attorney Sanford Rubenstein, who's representing Wright in a civil lawsuit, told Gothamist.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has opened an investigation and interviewed Wright about the incident, but has not filed charges, nearly six months later. A spokesperson for the office declined to comment on the investigation.

In a statement, PBA President Pat Lynch said that Garcia was left "holding the bag" for the failures of City Hall and NYPD leadership.
The city had paid out nearly $200,000 to settle lawsuits involving Garcia, an eight-year veteran, as previously reported.

After Dinosaur Hill: The March Hare is a new toy store coming to 9th Street

The March Hare is coming soon to 321 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

Per the shop's Instagram account, they will carry "Puppets, Marionettes, Board Games, Puzzles, Stuffed Toys and More!"

The shop will be carrying on for Dinosaur Hill, whose owner, Pamela Pier, decided to retire after 37 years. Dinosaur Hill will be closing at the end of November, as we first reported here. Veselka plans to expand into the toy store's space in the future.

Current Dinosuar Hill employee Karen McDermott and her husband, Jason McGroarty, will be running the shop — with Pier on board as consultant. They plan to maintain Dinosaur Hill's legacy — on the same block, no less.

Thanks to Steven for the photo and tip!

Previously on EV Grieve

Hi, who does this random curbside dining space belong to on the Bowery?

You've likely seen this red curbside dining structure over on the west side of the Bowery between Fourth Street and Great Jones... it's probably been there about a month... enough people (two!) have mentioned this now, so... who does it belong to?

There isn't any restaurant on that side of the Bowery now... Hecho en Dumbo was the last place in business at No 354, closing in June 2018... and Sage Kitchen next door has been closed for a few months. And there aren't any tables or chairs or anything helpful for dining out.

Anyway, it's there if you need some outdoor space...

Waygu spot J-Spec taking over Jewel Bako space on 5th Street

J-Spec, which will specialize in Wagyu beef, is opening soon at 239 E. Fifth St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square. (Thanks to @unitof for the tip and photos!)

The signage went up this week... as did the under-construction curbside seating...
This space was previously Jewel Bako, the celebrated sushi restaurant that maintained a Michelin star for the last 15 years. The Jewel Bako closure was made official in May.

As for J-Spec, you can check out their menu that's already up on Seamless.

Con Ed work temporarily shutters Cafe Himalaya and Prim Thai

Running a restaurant during the pandemic is obviously challenging enough... Cafe Himalaya has had its share of challenges in recent months, including having someone break into the 18-year-old Tibetan/Nepalese restaurant on First Street here between Avenue A and First Avenue and steal the cash drawer.

On Tuesday, owner Karma Dolma discovered that Con Ed will be doing emergency work on the building — forcing Cafe Himalaya and neighbor Prim Thai to close in the interim. 

Con Ed said that they will need at least a week, which in Con Ed time, means a lot longer. Probably. (And yes — this sucks for the residents too.)

We'll update when the two places will be able to reopen.

Previously on EV Grieve:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Creepy discarded pumpkin creeping people out on 9th Street

And it has been here all day just off Avenue A...
(And I don't know when/if Doc Holliday's will reopen.) 

Thanks to Vinny & O for the top photo and Steven for the nighttime pic.

RIP Kid Lucky

Terry Lewis, a longtime East Village resident who was known as Kid Lucky, a beatbox and beatrhyming pioneer, died on Oct. 23. Friends say that he had been battling cancer for the past three years.

Kid Lucky created events like the Hip Hop Subway Series and The American Human Beatbox Festival, and performed at various downtown venues as well as Astor Place and the subway. 

Penny Arcade, a longtime downtown performance artist and archivist, shared her thoughts on his generous spirit.
Lucky was an artist and human of great dignity and authenticity. I have never met a braver person. He was unfailingly generous to me regarding my work and my influence on him as well as a selfless promoter of other artists. He was a great mentor to many as well as a prolific organizer of events for the art form he loved. 

Lucky was gentleman of the highest order and he had an innate elegance and deep sophistication that was the result of the strength of his intelligence and personal inquiry...not something that was handed to him thru the luck of birth or connections. He was cosmopolitan in the true sense. Lucky was also a  proud and devoted father to his son Psyence. 
Fly Orr shared Kid Lucky's story of moving to NYC in one of her PEOPs portraits...
He received the 2018 American Beatbox Lifetime Achievement Award. "The American Beatbox Community would not be where we are today without his years of hard work," the group said at the time. 

Will update this post when there's additional information about a memorial.

'Songs' of the fall season as it's diorama time at the 9th Street Community Garden & Park

Peephole Season is upon us at the Ninth Street Community Garden & Park on the northeast corner of Avenue C... as East Village artist J. Kathleen White has unveiled her 2020 collection of dioramas. 

This year's theme: "Songs," featuring Ship, Camp, Bog and Bird.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy shared these photos in case you can't see them in person...
White started creating and sharing the dioramas in 2005.