Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday's parting shot

A sunset view on First Avenue by William Klayer...

6 posts from October

A mini month in review... (with an October-y photo on Fifth Street) ...

• Southern section of East River Park to mostly close on Nov. 21 as resiliency work begins (Oct. 25)

• Reader report: Cheap-eats fave Papaya Dog looks done on 14th Street (Oct. 21

• Barnyard Cheese Shop is closing for good (Oct. 21

• A visit to Lovewild Design (Oct. 12

• Remembering William John Lopez (Oct. 12)

• The latest on the great aisle changeover at Key Food on Avenue A (Oct. 8)

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo on St. Mark's Place by Derek Berg) ...

• Southern section of East River Park to mostly close on Nov. 21 as resiliency work begins (Monday

• A ghost bike for Borkot Ullah on Avenue B (Wednesday

• A campaign to co-name St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue 'Club 57 Way' (Wednesday

• At the 31st Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade (Tuesday

• Could drink and draws be the new neighborhood draw? (Thursday

• The latest future development clue from along 250 E. Houston St. (Monday)

• Gallery Watch: 'The Marble Mouth Oracle' at Below Grand (Wednesday)

• Caravan of Dreams turns 30 (Thursday

• A look at the menu for the incoming Sweet Village Marketplace, opening soon on 1st Avenue (Thursday

 • Vegan Grill coming soon to 58 St. Mark's Place (Thursday

• The all-new 21-23 Avenue B comes into view with 2 extra floors (Tuesday

• Signs of life (again) at the former Benny's Burritos on Avenue A (Tuesday

• Blank Street debuts on the Bowery (Monday

• 14th Street outpost of Bagel Boss likely closed through the end of the year (Wednesday)

• Taking a look at the NW corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue (Tuesday

• Joey Bats Café offering a sneak preview outside new Avenue B home (Monday

• Openings: Beard Papa's on St. Mark's Place (Thursday

• La Colombe taking over the Allegro Coffee Roasters space at Whole Foods Market® Bowery (Thursday

• Report: Mermaid Inn to return to 2nd Avenue in 2022 (Wednesday

... and there was a report of a car fire on Fourth Street west of Avenue D early this morning (4-5) ... EVG reader Jonathan Calvenna shared this photo... no word on how it started... the FDNY was on the scene for close to an hour, we're told...

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

Meanwhile, it's Halloween morning at the 2nd Avenue F stop

Via the Citizen app...

A march to save East River Park today

Opponents of the city's current plan to demolish East River Park are gathering today at noon in Tompkins Square Park ... where they will march to the East River Amphitheater. 

Via an email from the organizers @1000people1000trees:
Starting the week of Nov. 1, phased work operations are scheduled to begin at East River Park. The City plans to clear-cut 1,000 mature trees, destroy this 50 acre biodiverse park, and remove Lower Manhattan's only large public green space right in plain sight. 
We protest big media’s refusal to state the actual facts. ESCR, (East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan) is dangerous. It's not a flood plan. It's a land grab. By tearing down our only park and its 80-year-old trees that mitigate the effects of climate change Lower Manhattan will be LESS SAFE and have LESS RESILIENCY in the future than we do now.
As previously reported, starting tomorrow below Houston Street, all but four tennis courts will close, with the remainder to shutter on Nov. 21 along with most of the southern end of East River Park. 

According to the latest timeline from the city, leagues will be able to use the ballfields through Nov. 30. Permits for the BBQ areas and amphitheater will no longer be available after Nov. 30.

Our previous post (link here) has more details and background.

Also today, The Guardian takes a deep dive into the city's plan for East River Park in a story titled "The battle over a vast New York park: is this climate resilience or capitalism?"

Halloween in community gardens

There's a lot of Halloween happening today at La Plaza Cultural, the community garden on the SW corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street.

Events scheduled yesterday were postponed until today to make for one action-packed Sunday.

Via the EVG inbox...
  • All day: Haunted Adventure Garden and Rat Race Maze, featuring mystic fortune telling, face painting, the world-famous Rat Race of Capitalism Maze, and thrilling coffin rides — bring the kids
  • 1:30 p.m.: Spooky sounds with the brass-tastical Dead Ghoultastical Eek-chestra
  • 4 p.m.: Spine-tingling tunes from Pinc Louds
  • 6 p.m.: Macabre dance performance with Masse dancers
  • 7:30 p.m.: "Ill Angels Only" horror film fest
 An EVG reader also shared this... happening today in the Garden of the Humanitarians at 270 E. Fourth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C...

Sunday's opening shot

Happy Halloween!* 

Photo on Eighth Street near Avenue B by Dave on 7th. 

*We were unable to verify if this was Halloween related.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Saturday's parting shot

Aka today in photos of ruthless cyborgs serving the Galactic Empire. 

Photo on Seventh Street by Derek Berg.

EVG Etc.: Van Leeuwen's cashless ban fine; Halloween Adventure's last Halloween?

Photo on 3rd Street by Stacie Joy 

• Police looking for a suspect who robbed an 80-year-old man with a box cutter in an elevator on 12th and C (ABC-7

• Van Leeuwen fined for violating NYC's cashless ban (Eater

• About the five potential amendments to the State Constitution that are on the ballot this election (The New York Times

• NY Laundry service workers looking for the industry to clean up its act (The Indypendent

• A new report from the Department of Transportation reveals that a new bike lane — whether protected or simply painted — decreases the risk of cyclist injury by 32 to 34 percent (Streetsblog

• Bike parking shortage has remained a persistent problem in NYC; city adding 10,000 bike racks to the streets (The City

• A last holiday look (possibly!) at Halloween Adventure on Fourth Avenue (Gothamist ... previously on EVG

• Halloween at the Merchant’s House Museum on Fourth Street (PIX11

• More about Café de L’Enfer on Avenue A (Time Out ... first on EVG here

• A look inside Susan Alexandra's new bead emporium on Orchard Street (Vogue

• Verizon moving workers to space in Essex Crossing (The Real Deal

... and the coming-soon signage is up for the Le Colombe outpost at Whole Foods Market® Bowery ...

Saturday's opening shot

Seasonal photo op — aka interactive "Street Artmare" — on the Bowery at Stanton... Day of The Dead Artist piece at 246 Bowery arrived last week via @planndalism. Spot curated by @lisaprojectnyc ...

Friday, October 29, 2021

Friday's parting shot

Hello from Avenue A... pic by Derek Berg...

2 shows set for Tompkins Square Park this Halloween weekend

There are free two shows scheduled this weekend in Tompkins Square Park. 

The Saturday afternoon lineup features: 
• Witchslap 
• Perdixion 
• Necrotic Society 
• Vindicta 
• Demencia 
• Alcoholika 
• Invading Species 

And for now on Sunday (with more bands to be announced):
• The Accute (be sure to catch this East Village duo some time) 

And about tomorrow's weather... per organizer Chris Flash: "As the chance of rain diminishes by the hour, these shows are a 'rain or shine' event." 

You can visit the Meta Facebook Events page for updates.

Up the down 'Staircase'


Let Siouxsie and the Banshees conjure up some Halloween spirits with this video from 1979 for "The Staircase (Mystery)."

Details on the LES Book Crawl happening tomorrow

Five local merchants are taking parting tomorrow (Saturday!) in an LES Book Crawl from noon to 7 p.m. 

The participants:
Bluestockings, 116 Suffolk St.
Book Club, 197 E. Third St. 
Housing Works, 126 Crosby St. 
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St. 
Sweet Pickle Books, 47 Orchard St.

A map is below... along with details on specials/giveaways...
Images via @bluestockings

This Halloween, a celebration of Jack Terricloth's DIY art at C-Squat

On Halloween this Sunday, C-Squat hosts a daylong event titled "Cut, Paste, Tape & Terricloth."

The show will present "a modest selection" of the late Jack Terricloth's original cut-and-paste artwork. Terricloth, a former East Village resident and lead singer of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, died in May at age 50

Here's more background via the EVG inbox... 
Without fail for 23 years, Brooklyn circus cabaret punx The World/Inferno Friendship Society have faithfully raised The Great Pumpkin at their annual HALLOWMAS celebration. Sadly, due to the recent tragic passing of their lead singer, their version of Hallowmas will not take place this year, or ever again.

We cannot try to begin to replace that event, but we can do our part to help make sure that Jack is remembered on this sacred holiday. So, in honor of Terricloth, we are setting up a small pop-up exhibit as a tribute to our fallen Halloween-obsessed friend. 

Starting in the late 1990s, Jack used to make postcards for his band's cultish following. The cards would advertise the Inferno's latest shows, capers and misadventures. At a time when the internet was replacing how punk rockers mainly heard about gigs, Cloth refused to give up the art of the physical mailing list. He wanted some things to remain tangible. 
We will display the original cut-and-paste postcard collages in all of their wonderful disintegrating DIY scrap art glory. We will also have some original handmade punk show flyers and pages to a lyric zine that he made back in the late 1980s. 
A visual cut-and-paste elegy hoping to pay respect and send a message back to him about the work that he did. Because it mattered.
You can check out the show Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at C-Squat. You can enter through the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, 155 Avenue C between Ninth Street and 10th Street. Find more info here.

Also, on Sunday ... back to the EVG inbox...
After the art show, a number of World Inferno fans will gather in Tompkins Square Park to play cover songs of their music. The band was booked to play a show in the park this Halloween. Obviously, the band will not be appearing but dedicated Infernites are still gathering around 5 p.m. to make sure the songs do not go unplayed this Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday's parting shot

As seen on Fourth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue... photo by Stacie Joy!

Oh, Henry! A live performance of 'The Lion in Winter' at Green Oasis Community Garden

On Saturday night, Le Petit Versailles/Allied Productions, Inc. is presenting "a live outdoor theatrical performance" of James Goldman's original 1966 play, "A Lion in WInter." 

The show happens at Green Oasis Community Garden, 370 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D at 8 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday at 2.) Here's info via the EVG inbox:
An Even Queerer Rendition Than The Movie 
If you know the 1968 film directed by Anthony Harvey you know the over the top performances delivered by Katharine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins and budding stud Timothy Dalton. Director and artist par excellence tops the dark comedy in performance, and by delivery of the original script as written, historically based while hilariously anachronous. 
Admission is by suggested donation of $20 with no one turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds will benefit the play's presenter Le Petit Versailles and the hosting Green Oasis Community Garden. 
The performance represents the first collaboration in cultural programming between the two community gardens and the last major presentation of LPV's 2020 season. The fundraising compliments Allied Productions' celebration of its 40th year in serving the public through its support of the development of experimental art and progressive culture.
Find more info, including cast and credits, at this link. Directed by Bizzy Barefoot.

Could drink and draws be the new neighborhood draw?

Sketches from Club Cumming’s “The Anatomy Lesson.” At right, an attendee sketches a model from the audience at Book Club’s “Drinking & Drawing” series.

By Kaley Roshitsh 

Approaching a year in December since vaccine rollout began in the United States, businesses have been padding event calendars with higher confidence, and drink and draws may be stealing the spotlight.

The artsy-yet-affordable event is slipping back into repeat favor at two nightspots in the neighborhood. Artists or not, all are welcome with proof of vaccination, or masks, per the state guidelines.

Not new to the drink and draw scene, LGBTQ+-friendly cabaret bar Club Cumming’s “The Anatomy Lesson” has been striking a pose for four years now but since adapted for outside amid the pandemic.

The drink and draw, hosted by freelance illustrator and performer Anthony E. Kieren, happens weekly on Sunday nights from 6 to 9 at 505 E. Sixth St. For $10, attendees get their first drink and entry to the outdoor, socially distant sketch festivities, which include prizes and, of course, muscled models baring it all in thongs.
But to reduce the event to its titillating curb appeal (although many people stop by to see what’s going on) would be unfair.

Kieren’s series has been a way to platform an array of talent and “curate the people in my life,” be it past models such as singer Karen Marie, drag artist and activist Gloria Swansong or recently fitness model Will Hutcheson. Models are compensated and rewarded vigorously with applause. Even bar owner and actor Alan Cumming has shown up to pose.

Giving breezy instructions on a series of 1-minute, 5-minute and 20-minute poses, Kieren affirmed: “You can draw better when you take the pressure off,” nudging guests to pay the incredible bar staff a visit. (A drink helps).

While it’s easy to slack off as Rihanna’s “S&M” plays with model Hutcheson lounged atop a velvet banquet table or holding still in fluffy ears — the diligent artists (many of whom are professional artists) have a prize on the line.

Model’s choice wins once the time is up.

Last Sunday, as is practice, the winners were each presented with a vibrant bouquet. The floral arrangement was skillfully lassoed together in Boy Scout knots by Matt Robinson, better known as “Cookie,” and seemed to capture the idyllic hues in the rainbow that christened the chilly evening. Given Club Cumming’s safe harbor for the vibrancy of the queer community, it seemed natural to begin and end the session with a prism of color.

Booking a weekly series

Next up, a day later and only three streets over, artists of any skill level can cozy up with wine or coffee at Book Club, 197 E. Third St.

Weekly sessions happen Monday nights at 8, and while free to attend, bar visits and donations to cover material costs are strongly encouraged.

For the two-year-old bar, bookstore and coffee hangout, the drink and draw formed quite organically, with visual artist Shani Nizan approaching Book Club with the idea upon moving to the city five months ago. Nizan’s “Drinking & Drawing” series originated in Berlin but launched formally in New York this past July with Book Club.

Armed with a dry erase marker and arms-length board, Nizan kicks the night off with a short demo for the crowd. One lesson involved gesture lines, while another measured out proportions with a thumb and pencil. Afterward, the pencil-clad crew dwindles momentarily as a volunteer from the audience takes a seat for a series of timed poses, increasing in length from a few minutes to up to 20 minutes.

“I’m not this usual artist who can just sit home all day and just paint because I can’t; I like people, I need people, I need attention… I feel like I need this community,” said Nizan, on the importance of the event.

She also, perhaps counter-intuitively, championed the event in a few words: “No new people.” Of course, Nizan wants new people to show but hopes they keep coming back to learn, grow their practice and instill a sense of community.

To that, Eviatar Slivnik, a jazz musician and Nizan’s partner, quipped: “As an artist, it makes you better.” Slivnik is often seen drifting near the back to help Nizan, or as in two sessions ago, taking a seat for a first pose to get the crowd warmed up.

The sessions were, at first, bi-weekly but moved into a weekly format due to demand. Some sessions have clocked 50 attendees, per Book Club’s count. The seating format also switched to accommodate more artists in a longer row.

Nat Esten, co-owner and manager of Book Club alongside Erin Neary, is pleased with the turnout and eager to fill out the events calendar.

“We’ve been gradually dipping our toe into events, but the response from the community has been enthusiastic and Drinking & Drawing is our first weekly event, so yes, we are very happy with the partnership,” Esten said. 

With the appeal of events and in a bid for being present, the bar instituted a policy of no laptops after 7 p.m.

Book Club also boasts a monthly poetry series hosted by a local poet and playwright, Robert Galinsky, as well as a monthly reading series hosted by author Alex McElroy. 

“We’re slowly adding more to our calendar,” Esten added, referring to Book Club’s participation in the upcoming Bookstore Crawl on Saturday along with McNally Jackson, Bluestockings and other local stops.

Only time will tell if more local businesses follow suit, but for now, artists can log practice in the sprawling drink and draw scene right in the East Village.

Kaley Roshitsh is the first-ever sustainable fashion journalist at WWD. Her work appears on U.N. Women USA NY, Her Campus Media and the independent magazine she founded called ThriftEd Mag. You can find her on Instagram ranting about her latest thrift finds or the importance of knowing your neighbors at @KaleyRoshitsh.

Caravan of Dreams turns 30

A quick shoutout to Caravan of Dreams, the organic/vegan restaurant at 405 E. Sixth St., which is now celebrating its 30th anniversary here between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Congrats to owner Angel Moreno, who opened here in October 1991, for keeping the space going through the years.

Caravan of Dreams is open Thursday-Monday from 1-10 p.m., with a 4 p.m. start Tuesday-Wednesday. (And per Instagram: "Early birds mentioning Caravan30 get 10% off from 4-6pm" this week.")

A look at the menu for the incoming Sweet Village Marketplace, opening soon on 1st Avenue

As we've been reporting (like here), a deli called Sweet Village Marketplace is opening at 147 First Ave. at Ninth Street. 

EVG correspondent Steven got a look at Sweet Village's (extensive) menu yesterday. 

As you can see, there are a lot of standard options for sandwiches and wraps... for breakfast (griddle originals!), lunch or dinner...
On paper, it looks solid enough, a place to get, say, an egg on a roll ($2.99) or turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato on a roll ($7.99). 

We're told that they will be opening within the next few days.

This space has been empty since the Bean left here in November 2019

Vegan Grill coming soon to 58 St. Mark's Place

A quick-serve, plant-based restaurant is in the works for 58 St. Mark's Place between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

Coming-soon signage is now up on the vacant storefront for Vegan Grill. The business got its start in late 2019 on Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx... this will be its second outpost. 

You can find a menu here, and some food pics on Instagram.

The Dip, which served a variety of sandwiches, opened here in late 2019...  and barely had four months in business before it shuttered during the pandemic.

Openings: Beard Papa's on St. Mark's Place

Beard Papa's is now open — as of Monday — on the second floor of 11 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. (EV Arrow is up there to help!)

The 2000s-era chain that sells cream puffs started in Japan in 1999 and now has 400 locations in 15 countries.

Per the sidewalk signage, Beard Papa's is having a buy-five-get-one-free deal.

La Colombe taking over the Allegro Coffee Roasters space at Whole Foods Market® Bowery

La Colombe is opening an outpost in the Whole Foods Market® Bowery. 

As Eater reports, this will be the brand's first New York City roastery.
According to a representative for the company, the new roastery will also offer pastries by Clinton Hill’s the Good Batch. Likewise, there will be a new blend made exclusively for this location dubbed the “Bowery Blend” with notes of chocolate, almond butter, and kiwi. The space is slated to open in the fall.

This also marks the ninth NYC location for La Colombe.

And this also means that Allegro Coffee Roasters is officially RIP'd. Allegro "temporarily closed" back in the summer. It debuted in July 2017, taking over the space in the SW corner of Houston at Chrystie, where Whole Foods Beer Store (beer store!) was.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Wednesday's parting shot

As seen on Sixth Street and Second Avenue today (a shoot, we're told, for Madewell)... photo of a photoshoot by Derek Berg...

Gallery Watch: 'The Marble Mouth Oracle' at Below Grand

Text by Clare Gemima (photos courtesy of Below Grand)

The Marble Mouth Oracle
Below Grand (Formerly Super Dutchess), 53 Orchard St. 

Since visiting the former Super Dutchess, a new back space now accompanies the gallery's impressive front window, which faces out on Orchard Street between Grand and Hester.

Piles of boxes, kitchen equipment and random tools line the thoroughfare into the back room, making for quite an experience on opening night. Quintessential hole in the wall/New York vibe, yet, in relief, a hidden gem of a show, one drenched in research and exemplary curatorial refinement. Thanks to curator Andrew Woolbright.  

"The Marble Mouth Oracle" presents a collection of eight artists' work, installed throughout both spaces of Below Grand. The artists featured here are Joe Bochynki, Caleb Jamel Brown, You Ni Chae, Gabriel Cohen, Jesse Genepi, Sarah Miska, Erik Probst and Randy Wray. 

Woolbright has worked with Wray in previous shows and Accelerator (2011) oozes and torments the viewer. 

Wray's pieces are so desirable yet, abject, especially when made out of his signature papier-mâché, acrylic and oil paints. Strewn together with found objects from the East River's debris: Denim, test tubes, crystals, wire, coins and buttons are all fused together with an aqua-based epoxy resin, forming an extraordinarily anamorphic and animistic sculpture. 

There are multiple themes to this show, but one central thread that I personally read into was the depiction of religion — more specifically, the restrictive luxuries of paganism, the torment of worship, the life-long push and pull that devotion invites and the richness and collapse of martyrdom. 

From Erik Probst's pointillistic and gruelingly detailed illustration to Gabriel Cohen's flawlessly man-made triptych, the work in The Marble Mouth Oracle grapples with values that we place on oracular objects/subjects in this case, religious superiority, its invasiveness and its seamless skill at re-narrating the truth. 

This show regurgitates elements of historical ornateness, such as mosaic tiling or alter-y shaped pieces, yet each work embraces the unspoken truth that organized religion is so skilled at disguising ... pain. 

There is also a sense of being chained to one's craft that potently comes through all 8 artists' work. Sarah Miska's painting in the back room zooms in on one of the body's most intimate and soulful (or sinful) parts. The pupil, the eyeball, the stare. The owner of these attributes, in this case, is a dressage horse. The intentional cropping of this painting sensationalizes the horse's restrictive realities. 

In Miska's two smaller works, one renders a perfectly plaited horsetail, while the work above it depicts the rider's perfectly taught hair bun. The installation is presumably deliberate, emulating the complete backside of a horse rider sitting on their horse. To participate in an equestrian-related sport is, in fact, a religious practice in and of itself. 

Another piece that brought me face to face with multiple gods (let's get specific here) was the most vital work in the show, Temperaments (2020), by Joe Bochynki. Bobbleheads of NSYNC's boy-band members lined the top of a large-scale bricolage that I spent at least two hours looking at online in an attempt to find the right words to describe it.

Definitely, definitely a mosaic piece in its execution and process, but also such a shrine, maybe even an ode to an alter piece? A tiled pastiche of the Old Testament? Regardless of my never-ending word search, this piece was so difficult to stop looking at, purely because you'd continue to find new moments every inch that your eyes traveled. 

Tile, figurines, acorns, bobbleheads, censors, ball clubs, crosiers, trophies and toys are all used on panels to create this painstakingly labored piece of art. The act of making this work proves to me that Bochynki is not far from being a martyr himself, especially once you see the organically shaped pieces of tile. 

If this was all done by hand (which I have to assume because some of the tiles were beveled), it would've had to have hurt him at multiple stages throughout the process….but the finished work has no indication of the blood, sweat and tears that would've gone into its production, rather so, anonymous figures are seen carrying reliquaries and sporting books. 

Prized possessions are highlighted as holy. Unique and found objects in Temperaments become pure, polished and clean. The artist's agency is lost within the biblical grandeur of the work. I thought this piece was so conceptually sound and supporting to the shows' fellow artists. 

I have focussed merely on the work that I felt solidified the thematics of the show. Still, there are so many more works that are intentionally powerful, controversial, even sacrilegiously sacred. 

"The Marble Mouth Oracle" is running through Nov. 7. This is a must-see show and a must-watch gallery. To learn more about the space and past/current exhibitions, please visit this link. Below Grand is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Sundays.
~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ 

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 ghost bike for Borkot Ullah on Avenue B

A ghost bike was installed in recent days outside 8-10 Avenue B. 

While his name isn't on the sign via, sources confirm this is a tribute to Borkot Ullah, a delivery worker killed by a hit-and-run driver this past July...
According to published reports, Ulah, 24, was on an e-bike crossing East Houston — from Clinton to Avenue B — around 11 p.m on July 8.  A black Subaru Outback — driving at a high rate of speed and apparently being pursued by an unmarked police car — was traveling eastbound. The vehicle struck Ulah and did not stop. The driver was later seen heading northbound on the FDR, ABC 7 reported.

Ullah was a member of Desis Rising Up and Moving, an undocumented workers' rights group. 

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $30,000 to help his family both here and in Bangladesh with expenses. His body was returned to Bangladesh, where he was buried on July 15.
To date, no one has been charged with Ulah's death. State Attorney General Letitia James's office was reviewing the case because of the police involvement in the collision, Streetsblog reported on July 12.

According to Transportation Alternatives, "there have now been at least 206 traffic deaths in 2021, including at least 16 cyclists killed. This year is on track to be the deadliest year since Mayor de Blasio took office."

H/T Salim

A campaign to co-name St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue 'Club 57 Way'

There's a campaign underway to co-name St. Mark's Place at Second Avenue "Club 57 Way" — after the seminal nightlife venue (1978-1983) at 57 St. Mark's Place.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy recently met Stanley Strychacki, Club 57's founder, and the petition organizers, East Village residents Dany Johnson (in Club 57 shirt below) and Ande Whyland... 
The organizers, via Club 57 Artists Fund, a nonprofit organization, are looking to collect signatures (the petition is here) of support from residents who live in this immediate area to present to Community Board 3 for consideration.

"Usually, they consider the naming for people who have died. But we figure that many artists and performers who came out of Club 57 have died, most from AIDS," said Johnson, the resident DJ at Club 57.  "Instead of trying to get a co-naming for one person, this would be a great way to bring attention to that part of the history of the East Village."
Club 57 was housed in the basement at the time of the Holy Cross Polish National Church. Workers refurbished the building last year, adding a plaque commemorating Club 57.

The subcultural heyday of the venue received significant attention in the fall of 2017 with the MoMa exhibit titled "Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983" — "the first major exhibition to fully examine the scene-changing, interdisciplinary life of this seminal downtown New York alternative space."

You can find the co-naming petition at this link.

The process of co-naming a street within the confines of Community Board 3 is explained in this PDF.

14th Street outpost of Bagel Boss likely closed through the end of the year

Photo Monday by Jefferson Siegel 

The Bagel Boss at 238 E. 14th St. has not been open in recent days... and passersby note that the display cases are empty — a surprising discovery given that this outpost between Second Avenue and Third Avenue just opened in late July

According to a message to EVG from Bagel Boss: "The location is temporarily closed due to gas and electric problems. We hope to open back up before the end of December!"

Bagel Boss, founded in 1975, has 15-plus locations in NYC and on Long Island. A location at 55 E. Houston St. (at Mott) also recently debuted.

Report: Mermaid Inn to return to 2nd Avenue in 2022

Photos from last month

The Mermaid Inn's East Village outpost is expected to reopen in the spring.

This nugget of news of interest to EV residents was part of a larger story at Eater about Mermaid Inn opening an outpost on West 43rd Street.

Mermaid Inn closed here on Second Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street during the pandemicCo-owner Daniel Abrams and partner Cindy Smith decided to close the restaurant in the wake of failed attempts to reach a workable rent deal, Eater reported at the time. 

In April, Abrams said that the Mermaid Inn would return to the East Village, though the SLA would reportedly not grant a temporary liquor license to the seafood restaurant that had been here for 17 years.

There has been a little activity here and there at the Second Avenue space...
Mermaid Inn outposts are open in Chelsea, Greenwich and the Upper West Side.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Signs of life (again) at the former Benny's Burritos on Avenue A

For the second time (that we're aware of!) in 2021, there's activity inside the former Benny's Burritos space on the southwest corner of Avenue A and Sixth Street.

Photos from Salim (top pic!) and John Tymkiw (pic below) show some tools and signs of pending construction inside the long-vacant storefront...
Benny's closed here on Nov. 29, 2014, after 27 years in business.

The prime corner space has sat empty since then. At least one prospective tenant kicked the tires on the space in 2017. (The Benny's to-go spot next door, which closed in February 2015, is now the 99¢ pizza place called 99¢ Pizza.)

Will we finally see a new tenant here? Or will the Benny's Museum shutter again for another six months?

A look at a rain-soaked Tompkins Square park

The city's first nor'easter of the season (per NY1) has been moving through (over?) the area. 

Depending on your location, up to three (or more!) inches of rain has fallen, per the National Weather Service.

EVG correspondent Steven checked out Tompkins Square Park, where there is standing water in locations... up to an ankle-deep on the flood-prone east side of the main lawn ...
There's also standing water on the north side of the park office ... these photos are both looking toward 10th Street...
Thankfully, there isn't any sign of fallen branches/trees in the park.

At the 31st Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

The 31st edition of the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade took place again at the East River Park Amphitheater this past Saturday afternoon.

As the top pic shows, there was a big turnout for the event after last year's primarily virtual offering (there was a small in-person/dog event at Lucky on Avenue B).

And as always, there were pop (pup?)-cultural references galore represented in the costumes, from standbys such as "Star Wars," "It" and "Joker" to recent phenomenons like "Squid Game."

In the end, the panel of judges, which included local resident Lindsey Jordan, the singer-songwriter behind Snail Mail, selected a more topical Best in Show... 
... an essential workers tribute created by Bronx resident Ruben Santana and featuring his dog Amun ...
EVG contributor Stacie Joy was there ... and she shared this look at some of the costumes seen on this dog day afternoon...
The Dog Parade, which outgrew Tompkins Square Park, took place in East River Park in 2018 and 2019.

With the gutting of East River Park expected to start in several weeks, this will likely be the last time the Dog Parade is held at this venue in the foreseeable future. 

Opponents of the city's current resiliency plan for the Lower East Side stormed the stage at one point to protest the impending "destruction" of East River Park. The move drew some criticism from attendees, to which East River Park Action responded in an Instagram post with: "Is the city's destruction of our park more onerous than disrupting the doggies in costume?"