Sunday, April 18, 2021

Week in Grieview

Posts from the past week included (with a photo outside Restoration Antiques on 12th Street by Derek Berg) ... 

• RIP Arthur Farrier (Wednesday

• A visit to Leopold Masterson’s 'Diamonds, Razors & Champagne' (Thursday

• The artist who captured the sounds of East Village community gardens during the pandemic (Tuesday)

• Ukrainian East Village restaurant is back (Friday)

• Ditto for Little Poland! (Friday

• Gallery Watch visits the new group show at the Hole (Wednesday

• That first awk apartment get-tother post vaccines in this week's NY See (Thursday

• Remembering Joey Ramone (Thursday) ... and Jimmy Webb (Wednesday

• La Cabra opening a Scandinavian coffee roastery and sourdough bakery on 2nd Avenue (Monday

• Reader report: It's 'rats galore' at this long-empty 1st Avenue lot (Monday

• On the CB3-SLA docket: Tiger Lily, Lamia's Fish Market, Little Rebel (Wednesday

• Openings: Burrata Pizza on Avenue A, Sal's Pizza II on 14th Street (Monday

• Cooper Union's Urban Umbrella (Tuesday)

• A new home for this Citi Bike docking station (Friday)

• A campaign to help 'Clean Up' CB3 (Friday

• Pizzeria primed for 128 2nd Ave. space (Wednesday

• Gong Cha debuts on St. Mark's Place (Monday) ... while Two Hands debuts on Avenue A (Tuesday

 ... speaking of Two Hands — the Seoul-style corn dogs are proving to be popular so far... a reader shared this photo of the line from Friday at noon here on Avenue A at Ninth Street ...
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The return of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot; happy No. 457 William!

In case you're making plans for next weekend... via the EVG inbox...
Will Shakespeare turns 457 on Friday, April 23. 
So on April 23 and 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. members of The Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Company will mount "Happy Birthday Shakespeare-457" in the parking lot of The Clemente Soto VĂ©lez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk St. at Rivington. 

Hamilton Clancy, artistic director of The Drilling Company, home of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, writes, "It's essential to get our theater professionals back to work and to bring live theater safely back to the City. Who better to lead the way than William Shakespeare?"
The tickets are free but limited to 50 participants for each show. For them at this link

Per the organizers: Masks and temperature checks required; social distancing observed.

Sunday's opening shot

The cherry blossoms are blooming on Third Avenue at Ninth Street...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday's parting shot

A moment from the Street Riders NYC's Justice Ride XXII on First Avenue ... the ride started at the Barclays Center. Photo by Derek Berg

Open days for the New York Marble Cemetery on 2nd Avenue

The circa-1830 New York Marble Cemetery, 41 1/2 Second Ave. between Second Street and Third Street, will be open to the public tomorrow (Sunday) from noon to 4 p.m. ...
Thanks to Pinch for the tip and pics from the first open day a few weeks back.

Here's the schedule through September...
Sunday, April 18: noon – 4 pm

Saturday, May 1: noon – 4 pm
Sunday, May 2 – Annual Reception & Owners Meeting: noon – 4 pm
Sunday, May 30: noon – 4 pm
Sunday, June 27: noon – 4 pm
Sunday, July 25: noon – 4 pm

Sunday, Aug. 29: noon – 4 pm

Sunday, Sept. 26: noon – 4 pm

The New York City Marble Cemetery on Second Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue does not have any open days scheduled yet.

A way to support local bands at All the King's Horses Cafe on 12th Street

Some local bands will get a chance to sell their wares tomorrow (Sunday) during a pop-up event at All the King's Horses, the newish cafe that opened last fall at 521 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Per the flyer, reps for the bands will be selling merch — clothing! records! zines! — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Recommended: Hennessey.)

ICYMI: Pete Davidson to play Joey Ramone in Netflix biopic

The first reaction I heard was that Pete Davidson was too short for the role. He's 6-3. Joey Ramone was 6-6. 🙄 

More details at Deadline.

Saturday's opening shot

Tagged again on Bleecker at the Bowery. The Blondie mural had been restored back in December. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

It might get 'Lout'

 
The Horrors recently released a new EP — the band's first new music in four years. 

And as you'll hear in this audio clip for "Lout," they've taken a turn into the industrial metal aisle. 

A YouTube commenter tracked the band's progression: Garage Punk --> Art Rock/Shoegaze --> Dream Pop/Synth Pop ---> Cyberpunk/Industrial.

Ukrainian East Village restaurant is back

Dang. Busy late afternoon for reopenings. The National Ukrainian Home restaurant (aka Ukrainian East Village restaurant) reopens at 5 p.m. today at 140 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street, per Steven...
First time back for the 51-year-old mainstay since March 2020.

Breaking diner news: Little Poland reopens TOMORROW (Saturday)

After a 13-month closure, Little Poland will reopen tomorrow here at 200 Second Ave. between 12th Street and 13th Street... Steven caught the opening news...
The diner, which opened in 1985, said they'd return once indoor capacity reached 50 percent

Not sure what time they will start serving. They open at 7 a.m.! 

And the phone, for some reason: (212) 777-9728

Sly Fox is back open on 2nd Avenue

Updated: For whatever reasons, the bar wasn't open this evening... more TK

An EVG reader shares the news (and the photo!) that Sly Fox is reopening today (6 p.m.?) at 140 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street ... first time serving since March 2020. 

Per the reader: "Andrej from Sly Fox on 2nd Ave texted us to let us know the Fox is back!! Please let everyone know!" 

This confirms Twitter rumors of the bar's return...

A new home for this Citi Bike docking station

An EVG reader told us that the Citi Bike docking station on the east side of First Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street has been moved (as of yesterday) ... from the sidewalk to the roadway. 

The station with 51 docks arrived here in December 2019. At the time, some residents complained that the docking station took up too much sidewalk space. 

Now, as the reader noted, the docking station takes the place of several parking spaces ... including a spot for the fruit vendor's van, which was spotted around the corner...

Reminders: March to save East River Park on Sunday

There's a "Save East River Park March" on Sunday... those who wish to join in with organizers East River Park Action can meet at noon in Tompkins Square Park. (Per the invite, at the "semicircle with the big elm tree near the southeast entrance.")

From Tompkins, the group will march to the East River Park Amphitheater for a rally at 1:30. (Details here.)
The march takes place as the city officially kicked off the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project yesterday via an announcement by Mayor de Blasio.

"Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” he said in a press release. "This project will keep generations of New Yorkers safe from extreme weather, coastal storm, and rising sea levels — all while preserving and improving some of our city’s most iconic open spaces."

Work started in Stuyvesant Cove back in December on what is being called Project Area 2.

As for East River Park, in the city's current plan, which has been met with outrage by community members, workers will raze the 57.5-acre plot of land. bulldozing 1,000 mature trees and rebuilding the park atop eight feet of landfill meant to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise. 

In October 2019, the city announced that they would phase in the construction so only portions of the park are closed to the public at any given time. According to various reportsthe city has committed to leaving a minimum of 42 percent of East River Park open to the public. It is projected to be completed in 2025. 

A campaign to help 'Clean Up' CB3

On Tuesday night, flyers arrived around the neighborhood announcing that it was time to "Clean Up" the local Community Board, CB3, and remove Susan Stetzer, the longtime district manager...
The arrival of the flyers coincides with a newly launched website, which among other claims, states: "The concentration of power at CB3 has effectively silenced citizens, stifled public participation, prevented a diversity of views, and stopped real progress and representation from happening." 

The group is going by the Clean Up CB3 Community Commission. Their solution?
The local community boards must be reformed and remade into activist governing boards who actively work to influence policy development not push blatantly partisan political agendas, pursue personal agendas, or give special interest "community" cover. 
When asked to comment on the group's flyers and website, Stetzer said in an email: "One can't engage productively when people are anonymous." 

This isn't the first time that Stetzer has been the subject of a flyer campaign. In September 2012, flyers appeared around the East Village and Lower East Side accusing Stetzer of being an "assassin of New York's creativity" who is "wanted for assault on our civil liberties." In the past, she has been accused of being anti-nightlife. 

As for CB3 drama ... most recently, in January, 16 community groups and block associations within CB# signed an open letter to local and state officials requesting an inquiry into the recent removal of Alexandra Militano and Carolyn Ratcliffe as chairs of the SLA Committee and Arts & Culture Sub-Committee.

Photos by Stacie Joy

Head on down (or up!) to 1st and 1st for the next Nexus Flea tomorrow

The next East Village Flea (aka Nexus Flea) is tomorrow (Saturday) on First Street and First Avenue (Peretz Square) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

 Look for live music throughout the afternoon... and relive the first one of 2021 right here.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tree down on 11th at B

We had a tree down late this afternoon on 11th Street just east of Avenue B... EVG contributor Stacie Joy happened to be by...
... it caused some damage to the vehicle...
... and the FDNY was quickly on the scene...
... and the roots appear to be rotted...
Updated 10 a.m. 

Vinny & O shared these photos from the clean up this morning...

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 ...  

Joey Ramone died on this day in 2001

Hard to believe, but Joey Ramone, lead singer of the Ramones, died 20 years ago on this day... April 15, 2001, of lymphoma at age 49. 

On this occasion, the Post talks with Joey's brother Mickey Leigh ... and discusses some of the mementos from Joey's former apartment on Ninth Street at Third Avenue. 

You can read my interview with Leigh from 2012 following the release of Joey's posthumous album, "Ya Know," and the new video for this song "New York City."

   
The 20th annual Birthday Bash for Joey is expected to happen in some form on May 19.

A visit to Leopold Masterson’s 'Diamonds, Razors & Champagne'

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

It’s the night before Leopold Masterson’s gallery exhibit Diamonds, Razors & Champagne (now open at 3rd & B’zaar, 191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B) is set to open and the artist/curator pauses to take a sip of beer as he looks around the space with a critical eye. 

He makes some last-minute micro-adjustments before stopping to chat with me about the show, his penchant for trolling, and how he sees social media and consumer culture’s influence within the artworld.
What is the inspiration behind your Diamonds, Razors & Champagne show, and how did it come to be located in the 3rd & B’zaar space?

The original idea began forming years ago when I was doing more internet trolling. At the time, I was aiming to change the focus of the public and visual culture using media techniques and fictitious narratives. It was a new way of creating and engaging with art after having developed as an object-maker. 

I began hypothesizing an exhibition that went beyond objects to encompass live performance, experiences and direct art sales, which would give people the chance to touch artwork from across time. I came to be associated with the great crew of 3rd & B’zaar through my close friends Maegan [Hayward] and Alex [Carpenter] at the East Village Vintage Collective (EVVC).

Before the pandemic, I had my art studio at EVVC for more than three years. As life had drastically changed for all of us, I decided to make a move to expand not just my studio space but also my vision for my entire art practice, so I rammed everything together and applied for a PPP loan as a sole proprietor. 

After doing all my due diligence I utilized the money to rent the space and push out the exhibition. Right now, the long-term status of everything seems so volatile that I think sharing spaces for periods of time in a collective model has the most potential for expanding the horizons for communities. So here I am until April 23.
There are more than 15 artists represented in the show and lots of different media, what was the curatorial process like?

To me, a huge part of curating is talking to as many artists and visiting as many studios as possible. Obviously, 2020 kneecapped the studio visits. Of course, I still found some of the artists on the internet and randomly reached out, even though that is usually a crapshoot. 

But another important part for me was that if I was going to represent an artist or entity in the exhibition, I felt compelled to have a historic example that could take the pieces from the present to the past and back again. I love having $20 tee shirts alongside multi-thousand-dollar jewels. Sam Gassman’s rag take on Karl Hagenauer’s bronze Art Deco drunk sailor is a perfect encapsulation of this rags or riches conversation.

I also have reproductions of 2D works ranging from the 1780s to the early 21st century with artists such as Jim Tozzi, Carpo, and myself reworking those pieces to bring them into conversation with the past, and adding our sense of humor to them. 

I also have to say that I don’t work with artists that have bad attitudes or feel endlessly entitled. Everyone involved is sincere and engaged and that is critical as a curator so I don’t begin wondering whether that electrical cord could support my weight hanging from the ceiling.
The exhibition statement reads, in part, “This exhibition manifests our growing tendency to overindulge our senses and seek out newer and stronger addictions.” What role does desire play in this show? Consumer culture? Social media?

That idea stemmed from watching the churn of epidemics, addictions, and luxury hedonism metastasize and cascade completely out of control. I remember growing up in the 1990s and “millionaires” were special. Now stocks and art markets are practically indistinguishable and the invisible hand is groping around for the next great commodification. 

The fact that there is a new company creating blockchains for speculating on people’s reputations (i.e., BitClout) is in no way surprising. It’s just a way to monetize the need for fans, which drives a large section of our culture. 

To succeed in that market, you have to have the perfect body, have all the right kinks, and constantly be doing more to feed the desires of your fans. There is a collaborative video with Ben Peterson of the two of us puking in buckets and throwing pottery as we pushed to be the best. We strove to WIN to the point of toxicity, which is basically the story of social media. 

Unfortunately, social media has devolved into little more than the basic capitalist model of selling products via prescribed standards of beauty. So come take a selfie with our products presented and sold via our lower standard of beauty!

What has the reaction been so far to the show?  

The reaction has been hysterical and very positive. I have a rather crackpot sense of humor and love to swear so my celebrity missing posters and silly-ass wine bottles taped to lamp posts have driven a lot of attention to the gallery. 

The concept of the exhibition is a slow burn and it is ramping up this weekend and as it continues until the closing party on Thursday, April 22. I also think people are just excited to be in a physical space again, even though they still have to follow the standard safety protocols. You can even come inside after taking a selfie with the Britney missing poster! It’s been fun and exciting to give some people a little release, even with the prophylactics in the way.

What’s next for you as an artist?

Probably some light prostitution, basic entry-level stuff if I’m lucky. But really, I do enjoy being my own curator, gallerist, publicist, archivist, photographer, designer, artist and entrepreneur, though I have to admit I am reaching a point with my career where I probably need to have a discussion with some established galleries and arts professionals.

I am so accustomed to carving my own pathway and selling artwork on my own that I have a lot of trepidation over losing control of my practice and the multifaceted approach I have employed to continue to grow artistically. After I “come down” from the exhibition I intend to rent another space in the neighborhood and see what happens next.

The show is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily until Friday, April 23. You can keep up with the artist on Instagram here

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday's parting shot

Earlier today we reported that longtime East Village resident Arthur Farrier recently passed away. 

EVG contributor Derek Berg recalled this photo of Farrier, the founder of Bookleaves used and rare books in the West Village, reading a copy of "Baseball All-Stars" on Second Avenue from 2016...

Remembering Jimmy Webb


Jimmy Webb, a familiar figure in the East Village during his long tenure as the manager and buyer at Trash & Vaudeville, died on April 14, 2020, of cancer. He was 62. 

He started working at his dream destination, Trash & Vaudeville, in 1999, and remained there until the shop relocated from St. Mark's Place to Seventh Street in 2016.  He opened I Need More in October 2017.

On the one-year anniversary of his death, Vogue published an online appreciation of Webb. 

Said stylist Bill Mullen: "To his fans and customers and anyone lucky enough to witness him boogie-ing onstage at an Iggy Pop concert, Jimmy was pure magic and a total superstar. Let’s be honest here, nobody held the 'Punk is not dead' torch higher and not even Karl Lagerfeld rocked Agatha Blois custom leather with as much je ne sais quoi. Yet Jimmy will be remembered first and foremost as a sweet and gentle man who loved music and fashion and all combinations of the two for all the most right and true reasons."

The article, which includes an EVG quote, is here.

Meanwhile, the campaign to co-name part of St. Mark's Place after Webb is apparently still in the works. Details here

Photo from 2013 by James Maher

Gallery Watch: 'Nature Morte' at the Hole

Text and photos by Clare Gemima  
Nature Morte
The Hole312 Bowery 

The line to get into Nature Morte on the night of the opening honestly stretched so far beyond the Bowery that it had no visible end at all!

The Hole’s yearly group show packed in 60 visual artists working across painting, sculpture, neon, photography, works on paper and ceramics. 

The entire gallery is now a transformed concrete wilderness, sporting grey shades and foliage from ground to ceiling, framing each work in its own unique environment. 

Depicting disease, darkness and death, Nature Morte showcases the artist’s response to the chaos of the climate change crises using taxidermy, abjectness and deceptive seduction. 

The 21st century’s take on the death of the natural world circulates around a constantly growing collection of symbols such as cigarette butts, grease stains, balloons, animal repurposing/consumption and plastic. Compare this to a broad 17th-century critique and the gradual devastation, or our inhabitants' negligence, is a little bit too hard to bear (luckily matcha gin cocktails were being served).

You can find a list of all the artists in the show at the Hole's website.

Nature Morte will be running until May 9 at the Hole, 312 Bowery near First Street. Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12-7 p.m., and by appointment.

 

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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: claregemima.com