Sunday, February 28, 2021

When Charles the dog blasted Daft Punk on 2nd Avenue in a video directed by Spike Jonze

Earlier this week, the French electronic duo Daft Punk announced that they were calling it quits after 28 years of creating music together. 

EVG reader David reminds us of the 1996 video for the band's "Da Funk" release ... Spike Jonze directed the 5-minute clip, titled "Big City Nights," which follows Charles, an anthropomorphic dog with a boombox (with a broken volume knob) playing Daft Punk's "Da Funk" as he hobbles along Second Avenue. 

The video concludes outside the now-closed Nightengale Lounge on Second Avenue at 13th Street. You might spot a few more familiar locales along the way...

6 Posts from February

A mini month in review... with an armless mannequin on St. Mark's Place...

• City releases COVID-19 vaccine data by ZIP code; where do local neighborhoods rank? (Feb. 17

• Local elected officials, NYCHA reps get a firsthand look at the problems at Mariana Bracetti Plaza (Feb. 9

• City's first plant-based community fridge is up and running outside Overthrow on Bleecker Street (Feb. 8

• Ray's 88th birthday at Ray's Candy Store goes global with virtual greetings (Feb. 6

• About that rolled-up carpet in the crosswalk (Feb. 5

• The Marshal seizes the Lower East Side Coffee Shop on 14th Street (Feb. 5)

Week in Grieview

Posts from the past week included ... (with a photo on Seventh Street by Derek Berg) ...

• Community groups and small businesses rally for commercial rent relief (Friday

• East Village Neighbors offering help scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments (Tuesday)

• A grocery store is coming to the former Associated space on 14th Street (Wednesday)

• FlyeLyfe on the move to 1st Avenue (Monday

• Sen. Hoylman honors local businesses for service during the pandemic, including Mikey Likes It (Wednesday)

• The March Hare debuts a Charity Chest on 9th Street for families in need (Tuesday

• Barnyard Cheese Shop is closed until further notice on Avenue B (Monday

• Davidovich Bakery softly rolls out the bagels on Avenue A (Friday

• Hub Thai relocating to a larger space on Avenue A (Monday

• This week's NY See finds a mask-wearing quandry in the middle of the woods (Thursday)

• Gallery Watch goes to Canada on Lispenard Street (Wedensday

• Meyhane has closed on 2nd Avenue (Wedensday

• Report: Someone stole the entire $300,000 inventory from Taste Wine Co. on 3rd Avenue (Thursday

• NYC movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity on March 5 (Tuesday

• Invasion planned for Planet Taco (Wednesday

• A touch of spring on 10th Street thanks to "Pose" (Tuesday

• Ralph's returns after a winter break (Thursday

• About Keith Forever (Sunday

• Cycle of change on Astor Place with a new tenant for the Flywheel Sports studio (Thursday

• A sweet-and-sour new business for 2nd Avenue (Wednesday

• Four Four South Village bringing Taiwanese beef noodles (and curbside dining) to 7th Street (Monday

... and @stoopingeastvillage is a new neighborhood Instagram account with this goal: "Sharing/re-sharing sidewalk finds you can actually run to!" And my photo contribution ...
Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

Mil Mundos Books will continue on at Essex Market

Photos by Stacie Joy

Back in October, the Bushwick-based Mil Mundos Books opened a stall on Fridays and weekends inside Essex Market... it was to be up through just the end of 2020. 

So we were pleasantly surprised to see the bookshop still up and running back on Friday...
The folks at Mil Mundos confirmed that they will be here "until further notice." 

The bilingual bookstore, which "curates to celebrate Black, Latinx and Indigenous heritage," is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Their stall is on the northwest entrance ... on Delancey at Essex. Follow them on Instagram here.

Citi Bike's EV expansion

New Citi Bike docking stations arrived the week of Feb. 15 on First Street just west of First Avenue (above) ... and on Fifth Street at Cooper Square ...
Signage is also up for a new docking station on Third Street west of First Avenue (wasn't there one here originally?)...
I believe there are other new docking stations in the neighborhood (behind on my expansion updates). 

Oh, and speaking of the new docking station on First Street... a reader asked about what happened here the other day...
It looks as if a vehicle smashed through a few docks and plowed into the fence at First Park... 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday's parting shot

A moment from the "FBI" shoot today along Avenue A at Third Street ... photo by Stacie Joy...

The 'Mouse' that roared

The Acute, the East Village-based duo, released a new video earlier this month... check out "La Souris Politique (The Political Mouse)" above... and you can find the band on Instagram here ... and Bandcamp here.

Today in winter wonderlands

As seen on Broadway and Houston... photo by Robert Miner

Davidovich Bakery softly rolls out the bagels on Avenue A

From the EVG tipline... the Avenue A outpost of Essex Market regulars Davidovich Bakery is now in soft-open mode here between Third Street and Second Street (first reported here) ... per the door signage, this is going as Davidovich Bagels...
And they're offering a free cup of coffee (with any purchase) during this time.

The 23-year-old business opened its first non-Market space at 77 Clinton St. late last fall

Until this past September, this storefront was home to Native BeanThe cafe was here since January 2015, having moved one block from 50 Avenue A

EVG Etc.: Raising awareness against anti-Asian hate crimes; Putting Blondie in a graphic novel

• More about Chef Eric Sze, of 886 on St. Mark's Place, and his efforts to raise awareness against anti-Asian hate crimes (NY1

• Chi Sum Ngai and Kaleena Teoh, who own Coffee Project on Fifth Street (and in other neighborhoods), launch a scholarship program for Black baristas (Daily Coffee News

• How the pandemic has gutted the city's arts and entertainment business (Gothamist

• The Emergency Eviction Act pause ends today — now what? (The City

• What's happening with the NYPD's Collision Investigation Squad moving to the Department of Transportation? (Streetsblog

• An interview with Leo Fitzpatrick about his gallery Public Access on St. Mark's Place (B+B ... previously on EVG

• A look back at Jackie Curtis — "East Village Superstar" (Off the Grid

• Blondie to receive the graphic novel treatment (Rolling Stone

• Diversions: The "Avocado Guy" of NYC (Eater

... and questions to ponder...

Community groups and small businesses rally for commercial rent relief

Photos by Stacie Joy

Local community groups gathered yesterday morning to call on state legislators to support commercial rent relief for small businesses. 

The event took place outside Michelle Dry Cleaners & Laundry, 169 Avenue C between 10th Street and 11th Street...  
Organizers, which included the Cooper Square Committee, East Village Community Coalition, Village Preservation and the East Village Independent Merchants Association, said that they have been hearing from many business owners who continue to struggle to pay rent during the pandemic ... all in the face of drastic declines in their revenues.

In addition, according to the organizers, immigrant and business owners of color say they have been disappointed by the lack of outreach and assistance in securing working capital to stay afloat.

In turn, several of the small businesses were placing "Permanently Closed" signs on their storefronts to visualize their struggle and what is at stake if the state does not take action. They are asking state legislators to support Senate Bill 3349/Assembly Bill 3190, which would help cover the cost of rent for businesses and nonprofits who lost income due to COVID-19. 

Under the bill, the commercial tenant, property owner and state government would share the burden of the rent shortfall. Certified COVID-19-affected commercial tenants would have to pay the lesser of 20 percent of their actual income or one-third of their rent, property owners would have to forgive 20 percent of the rent, and the state would pay the remainder. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

'FBI' alert for filming CBS series on Friday (tomorrow!)

The CBS crime drama "FBI" is the latest television program to film along Avenue A and other parts of the neighborhood. 

The posted notices highlight the crew's footprint tomorrow, with parts of Seventh Street, Second Street and Third Street seeing some "FBI" action. 

The fleet of fake NYPD cruisers is currently parked along Second Street between Avenue A and First Avenue...
"FBI" is the third TV show to film around here this year ... following "New Amsterdam" and "Pose" (and "Hawkeye" this past December).

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 the neighborhood and NYC ...  and in the case of today's panel, Upstate New York...

Report: Someone stole the entire $300,000 inventory from Taste Wine Co. on 3rd Avenue

Back on Jan. 19, we noted that Taste Wine at 50 Third Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street looked closed (photo by Steven from Jan. 16). The windows were papered up and the inside appeared to be empty.

This apparent closure came just two months after the wine shop reopened under new ownership. By early February, the retail listing was online at RIPCO.

Now comes word, via the Post, that someone made off with the shop's entire inventory.

Per the story in the Post, which came from an anonymous police source, the owner was last inside the shop on Jan. 8, and he filed the police report this week.
The owner told police Tuesday night that when he was last at the Taste Wine Co. ...  on Jan. 8 all of the inventory was in place.

Prior to that date, the business had been closed for several months, he told authorities.

Stolen were 1,000 bottles of wine, 1,000 bottles of liquor and 125 wine dispensers, machines designed to serve and preserve wines at the right temperatures, the source said.

The total value was estimated at $300,000.

Last spring, previous owner Gary Landsman was hoping to sell the 5-year-old business as he continued to help raise awareness of Canavanthe fatal genetic disease that his two young sons have. 

He closed the shop in May ... he and his family were expected to travel to Dayton Children's Hospital in Ohio later in 2020. 

It is not immediately known who took over the business. 

Ralph's returns after a winter break

Perhaps as a sign of the approaching spring (wishful thinking!), the EV outpost of Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices and Ice Cream has reopened — as of yesterday — at 145 Avenue A at Ninth Street after a short winter break.

They'll be open daily for now from 2-10 p.m.

This location, the third in Manhattan, opened back in September.

As previously noted, the business dates to 1928 when Ralph Silvestro started selling Italian ice (or water ice) from his truck around Staten Island. The first retail store opened in 1949 on Port Richmond Avenue in Staten Island. 

In recent years the company has franchised out, expanding to other parts of NYC as well as Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester County.

Photo yesterday by Steven

Cycle of change on Astor Place with a new tenant for the Flywheel Sports studio

Flywheel Sports, which featured a stadium-seating studio with more than 70 bikes, will not be reopening at 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star.

The cycling-studio brand is going through bankruptcy right now. However, the space won't be void of sweat for too long: the like-minded CycleBar has signed a lease here. (First reported by New York Business Journal.)

Flywheel opened here in March 2016.

H/T Upper West Sider!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wednesday's parting shot

From a spring-like day... photo on Second Avenue and Seventh Street by Derek Berg...

Like a fine wine, this corner gets better with filming

If you've been on Avenue A today, then you likely noticed that film crews are prepping for scenes for the excellent FX series "Pose."  

And as the top photo shows, it appears that Discount Fine Wine & Champagne’s (someone previously did make an effort to paint over the errant apostrophe) will be making another cameo on the southeast corner of Fourth Street... just like back in December when "Hawkeye" was in town...
"Hawkeye" pic by Stacie Joy!

Gallery Watch: Heart, Heart by Anke Weyer at Canada

 Text and photos by Clare Gemima 

Heart, Heart by Anke Weyer
Canada gallery60 Lispenard St.

Canada gallery presents new paintings by Anke Weyer in a sharp and beautiful exhibition, Heart, Heart. 

The crazed, large-scale paintings line the space of Canada on Lispenard, the best gallery on the street. The painting’s grand marks and dramatic compositions speak to the kinetic rhythm of the human organ in which the show is named. 

By letting shit hit the fan, Weyer’s gestural abstractions dominate the space and entirely devour members of its audience, chewing them with scribbles and squiggles, swallowing them through the artist’s plastering of exotic color.  

The show resonated with me in an almost exclusively corporeal sense. I was aware of how small I was within the grand scheme of the installation. As I moved from one painting to the next, Heart, Heart transformed into an orchestral arrangement playing different rhythms of our most integral organ. 

Several paintings looked and felt as though there was more pain and anguish than replenishment and joy, which offered a fresh insight into Weyer’s varied methodologies and larger studio practice. She eloquently responded to her chosen subject matter via nonsensical and heroically bold painted abstractions. 

Heart, Heart is showing at Canada gallery until Feb. 27.
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ 

Clare Gemima is a visual artist from New Zealand. New-ish to the East Village, she spends her time as an artist assistant and gallery go-er, hungry to explore what's happening in her local art world. You can find her work here: 

A grocery store is coming to the former Associated space on 14th Street

A new grocery store to serve Stuy Town and parts of the East Village is coming to the former Associated space on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Yesterday, Stuy Town management informed residents that Chef's Local Harvest, a 10,000-square-foot grocery store, will open early next year. (Thank you to everyone who shared the message!)

And some familiar names are behind the new store: The family-run market is owned and operated by father-son duo Paul and Aaron Fernandez, who helped create the Union Market chainlet (as seen on Avenue A and Houston) and Ideal Marketplace in Chelsea. 

Here's more from the announcement to residents:
Paul Fernandez has operated best-in-class supermarkets in New York City for the last 40 years and has worked to provide quality service and products throughout his career. He grew up in Little Italy after immigrating to the United States at 14, and is a founding member and principal in the Union Market chain, as well as America’s Food Basket Banners. 
He is also a former president of the National Supermarket Association, a coalition of independent supermarket owners. His son Aaron began his career playing professional baseball with the Detroit Tigers before joining his father in the family business. 

Chef's Local Harvest will feature a combination of fresh produce, fish and meat, in addition to a wide selection of prepared food and grab-and-go options via a café, deli and more. 

The space will also conveniently include an entrance directly connecting to the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village community, providing quick and easy store access for our community. The store will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
Associated closed in December 2019. Joseph Falzon, the store's owner, previously told Crain's that a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half. For starters, construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the supermarket with a 12-foot fence for nearly two years.

A Trader Joe's opened across the street in early January 2020. (The Target on 14th and A opened in July 2018)

During the pandemic, City Harvest used the space for a distribution center called the Stuy Town Pantry. 

Sen. Hoylman honors local businesses for service during the pandemic, including Mikey Likes It

Sen. Brad Hoylman presented three downtown merchants, including Mikey Likes It Ice Cream at 199 Avenue A, with the Empire Award — the New York State Senate's highest award for local businesses.

The 183-year-old C.O Bigelow Chemists on Sixth Avenue near Eighth Street and Madman Espresso on University Place were the other two recipients. 

Hoylman is honoring these three businesses for their distinguished service and community involvement during the pandemic.

"One of the main pillars of my business is giving back to the community and being a positive example to the people who we serve," Michael "Mikey" Cole said in a prepared statement. "I grew up a few blocks from my first shop ... and I always wanted to find a way to reinvest into it and make a positive impact."

During the pandemic, Cole has volunteered to help neighbors in need on the Lower East Side and in Harlem, where his second shop is located.

Hoylman's office is asking for people to nominate other restaurants and small businesses that helped support New Yorkers during the pandemic. If one wants to nominate a business, then they should email with "Empire Award Nomination" in the subject line.  

Meyhane has closed on 2nd Avenue

Meyhane, which served Mediterranean-style tapas, has closed at 166 Second Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street. (Thanks to Steven for the photo!)

As you can see, brown paper covers the front windows. Google now lists them as permanently closed as well. The outpost in Cliffside Park, N.J., remains open. 

Not sure when Medina's Turkish Kitchen, which opened in August 2019 and was quite good, morphed into Meyhane.

As previously noted, the address has been home to several businesses just in the 14-year lifespan of EVG, starting with a Dunkin' Donuts ... then the pizzeria Pomodora ... then three open-and-shut hookah places — Entrez Bar & Grill, Farfasha and Dinah that looked to have the ambiance of a regional airport lounge.

And we hear a new restaurant is already in the works for the address.

Invasion planned for Planet Taco

In case you missed our past from this past Friday... Planet Taco is opening soon at 141 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street ... New signage is up now promising, "The Invasion Is Coming!"
And we're still awaiting official confirmation on who's behind the new venture. As we noted last month, another taco shop was prepping to take over this space last leased by Otto's Tacos. 

Otto's never reopened after the PAUSE in March 2020 ... Otto's has become a virtual brand ... now being sold via Mighty Quinn's Barbeque — only on the Upper East Side at the moment.

Photos yesterday by Steven...

A sweet-and-sour new business for 2nd Avenue

The signage for the next tenant at 73 Second Ave. has arrived — Sweet & Sour Smoke Shop.

SSSS (short for Sweet & Sour Smoke Shop!) takes over the space from the longstanding Clairvoyant Psychic, which shuttered back in the fall as they likely expected. 

The new business at least breaks up the row of empty storefronts on this block between Fourth Street and Fifth Street.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Another day, another discarded teddy bear

Spotted by Steven on 10th Street. They always look so sad.

A touch of spring on 10th Street thanks to 'Pose'

Ahead of a planned shoot tomorrow, workers are on 10th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue... painstakingly adding fresh flowers to this tree to make it appear that it is blooming in the spring...
Posted signs say this production is for "Still Life" Season 3...
However, multiple sources say that the shoot is for the long-awaited third season of the excellent FX drama "Pose." 

These signs are also posted in other parts of the East Village, including along Avenue A and adjacent to Tompkins Square Park on 10th Street. 

Thanks to Steven for the photos and Lola for the initial tip!

East Village Neighbors offering help scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments

There have been published reports across the country on the difficulties some residents — especially seniors without computer skills and non-English speakers — have had in trying to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. 

Now, members of the East Village Neighbors Community Group are lending a hand locally ... volunteering to help eligible residents navigate the appointment websites and sign up for their vaccinations. 
East Village Neighbors are also offering assistance for Chinese speakers.

For help, you may:
• Call — (508) 614-9704
• Visit —
• Email —

(A disclaimer from the group: They are not affiliated with any health-care institution, nor can they answer any health-related questions.)

East Village Neighbors — a group of local volunteers — formed at the onset of the pandemic last March. They helped establish the East Village Neighbors Fridge outside S'MAC on First Avenue and 12th Street.

The March Hare debuts a Charity Chest on 9th Street for families in need

The March Hare, the toy store that opened this past November on Ninth Street, is giving back to families experiencing difficult times.

The owners shared information on how the East Village Charity Chest works:
Buy a toy from our store at a discounted rate, pop it in the Charity Chest and once it's full we will donate it to a charity benefiting children in need.

When purchasing items from our online store for donation, select in-store pickup and apply the discount code CHARITYCHEST upon checkout. We will take care of the rest. 
They note that any orders using the above-mentioned discount code will be donated and are nonrefundable.

The March Hare is at 321 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Store hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; until 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday. And the store phone: (646) 422-7747.

NYC movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity on March 5

New York City movie theaters are the latest businesses that Gov. Cuomo is allowing to reopen with limited capacity.

Cuomo announced yesterday that theaters can reopen — capped at 25 percent — starting on March 5.

Stipulations for reopening include:
  • Venues are restricted to 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen at a time.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.
  • Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.
  • Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.
  • This action brings New York City movie theaters in line with movie theaters throughout the rest of the state.
NYC theaters have been shuttered since last March. Local independent venues such as the Anthology Film Archives on Second Avenue and Metrograph on Ludlow Street have been offering an array of online screenings and virtual events. 

As of this writing, local theaters had not made public their reopening plans.

Cuomo also said yesterday that pool halls can reopen on March 5 at 35-percent capacity. Locally, Amsterdam Billiards on Fourth Avenue at 11th Street was back in service on Jan. 20 thanks to a lawsuit against the state.

Photo of the AMC Village 7 on Third Avenue and 11th Street from the fall. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Reader mailbag: What is this noise on 3rd Street?

Via the EVG inbox...
I was wondering if any EV neighbors know something about this hum/drone my family and I have been hearing since fall. (We live on Third Street between Avenue C and D.) It goes in and out, but can go on for a long time — also at night. It hums on an F. A generator? I would love to find out what it is, and if it can be stopped.