Friday, November 26, 2021

True romance


Valentine, the second record from Snail Mail, aka current East Village resident Lindsey Jordan, will likely end up on some best-of year-end lists. (Here's a nice recap on her two-album career via NPR.) 

The video for the title track is from "The Late Show" earlier this month.

Build-out at the former Benny's Burritos continues on 6th and A

Work continues over at 93 Avenue A at Sixth Street (aka the former home of Benny's Burritos).

East Village-based photographer Josh Charow shared these pics from today... 
As we reported on Nov. 1, a deli is coming to this storefront. What kind of deli? We don't know! Maybe ones that keep popping up selling beers and bongs... or maybe one that has a decent sandwich that isn't bedecked with, say, artisanal Beaufort d'été.

Benny's closed here on Nov. 29, 2014, after 27 years in business. And what will happen to those Benny's awnings? 

Best wishes to the owners of the March Hare on the shop's 1-year anniversary

The March Hare turned 1 on Ninth Street on Tuesday.

It's an anniversary to celebrate — especially with the difficulties of opening during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the owners of the whimsical toy store here between First Avenue and Second Avenue are facing another major challenge: Karen McDermott, who runs the shop with her husband Jason McGroarty, was diagnosed with colon cancer last month.

McDermott, 31, who previously worked at Dinosaur Hill on the block, had surgery in late October. According to an Instagram post from the March Hare on Oct. 25:
Surgery went well and Karen is getting a little better every day. Once she is fully healed we will start chemotherapy and hopefully kick cancer out of sight!

You can help support the March Hare by keeping the store in mind with any holiday needs. The shop's hours are posted as 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 321 E. Ninth St. You might want to call ahead: (646) 422-7747.

There's also a crowdfunding campaign to help the couple pay for medical and living expenses. You can find that link here

As McDermott wrote in a GoFundMe update:

The outpouring of love I have received through this has been beyond overwhelming, I am so thankful and happy to have known such kindness in my life.
Previously on EV Grieve:

Image via Instagram

Ringing in the holiday season at 3rd & B'Zaar

A seasonal holiday market returns today to 3rd & B'Zaar.

The mixed-vendor market and event space at 191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B will once again host a variety of local designers, artists, merchants and vintage sellers through Dec. 24.

The 3rd & B'Zaar social platforms — Instagram and Facebook — have been featuring the vendors each day. The space is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday with some later-evening events in the works.

3rd & B'Zaar debuted late last year with a month-long Holiday Market followed by Sex, Love & Vintage in February ... Spring Into Pride in May and June ... and Summer in the City in the, uh, summer...  with several art shows in between. 

Pictured above from left are 3rd curators Frank New, Delphine Le Goff, Delia Anne Parker, Maegan Hayward and Sara Ann Rutherford. Photo by Stacie Joy.

Jo Laurie Loves debuts on 9th Street

Longtime East Village resident Jo Laurie has turned her design studio into a retail store at 620 E. Ninth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Jo Laurie Loves sells vintage and new items that she has personally curated over the years. Part of the shop is devoted to "old loves," such as her vintage collection...
... while the "new loves" features gifts and accessories...
Laurie has had the space for over 20 years and used it to run her architectural design studio. Laurie decided to add a storefront component "to increase retail opportunities in the neighborhood," she said in an email. 

Her company is registered as a B-Corp, which allows her to distribute 8% of pre-tax profit to provide health and welfare benefits to women manufacturing her products.

Next up: She's working on creating her own line featuring more products from women around the world. 

Jo Laurie Loves is open daily from noon to 8 p.m. Find her website here ... and on Instagram at this link.

'Gimme Five Minutes' with East Village photographer Daniel Root

East Village-based photographer Daniel Root (we've featured his work here and here) is the subject of a new exhibit that opens today at LaMama Gallery on Great Jones.

Here's more via the EVG inbox:

"Gimme Five Minutes: Daniel Root's Production Stills (1984-2005)" includes more than 300 prints of Root's photographs, featuring an impressive cast of pop culture icons illuminating the downtown ethos. The images impress that production stills and quick portraits are in their own right a separate and unique art form. In addition, the exhibition will be supported by archival material from the artist's collection, including professional artifacts, ephemera, CRT video installation, and live performances.

Some of the downtown personalities in the photos include Lydia Lunch, Ann Magnuson, Joey Arias, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz. Other photos on display include Frank Zappa, Cher, Mary J. Blige, Jimmy Cliff and Robert Smith.

The opening is tonight at 6 and features live performances by Helixx C. Armageddon, Silver Relics and Augusto Machado

The exhibit is up through Dec. 12 at La MaMa Galleria, 47 Great Jones St. between the Bowery and Lafayette. Gallery hours: Thursday-Sunday 1-6 p.m. Find more details here

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thursday's parting shot

St. Mark's Place and Second Place on this Thanksgiving night...

Serving up 'Licorice Pizza' this Thanksgiving

"Licorice Pizza," Paul Thomas Anderson's well-received coming-of-age film, opens this evening in 70mm at the Village East by Angelika on Second Avenue at 12th Street. (Given the 70mm format, it will be playing in the large auditorium — the Jaffe Art Theatre.) 

The thumbnail plot of the comedy-drama: "Alana Kane and Gary Valentine grow up, run around and fall in love in California's San Fernando Valley in the 1970s."
You can find ticket info here

And the trailer because it has Bowie's "Life on Mars" ...


Thanksgiving day's opening shot

EVG reader Andy took this photo last night on Essex and Delancey outside the former Roma Pizza ... a Thanksgiving-themed installation in the gutted carcass of an ATM ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wednesday's parting shot

A new era for the grilled cheese sandwiches at Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A. 

Photo of Ray today with the new grill instructions by Lola Sáenz...

Of mice and hawks

Steven spotted Christo, one of the resident red-tailed hawks in Tompkins Square Park, on the hunt...
... successfully zeroing in on a smallish target — a mouse...
For Christo with some larger prey, check out this crazy Instagram pic via Goggla.

There are 8 million stories in the naked city... and this is one of them on 2nd Avenue

Text and photos courtesy of Felton Davis (top photo via Goggla)

I was standing on Second Avenue and Second Street watching workers demolish the corner building, part of LaSalle Academy since the 1960s. A couple stopped near me who used to live in the neighborhood.
Boldly interrupting their reminiscence, I explained that before the building was part of LaSalle, it was a famous Jewish restaurant called Moskowitz & Lupowitz for many decades. It was also featured in one of my favorite episodes of the classic TV series, "Naked City."
In the episode, titled "Memory of a Red Trolley Car," a chemistry professor, played by Barry Morse, accidentally breathes in a fatal amount of poison gas. With only a few days to live, he goes to talk with his mother (Gladys Cooper),  his ex-wife (Beatrice Straight), and his girlfriend on the side (Peg Murray).  

The latter he meets in Moskowitz & Lupowitz, and he does not do well in communicating his plight to her. When he starts coughing, she covers her face and tells him to go away.
Leaving the restaurant, he turns north on Second Avenue and passes by the Church of the Nativity rectory, and the church itself, still with its Greek architecture. [Ed note: the original church was demolished and rebuilt after a fire in 1970.]
Before I could get any further into this endless recitation, the woman stopped me and asked, "What did you say that TV show was?"

When I answered, "Naked City," she was very surprised and said, "My Uncle Paul played the detective!"

So, a great history is all around us, as neighborhood tour guides know. Below is some information about Moskowitz & Lupowitz, including a video of the Pincus Sisters singing their song about the restaurant...

For further reading:
• Moskowitz & Lupowitz (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

• Plans call for 11-story condoplex at the former site of Church of the Nativity and LaSalle on 2nd Avenue (EVG)

Tree Riders returning for 11th season outside St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery

Photo from 2020 by Stacie Joy 

On Friday, the Tree Riders will return for their 11th season selling Christmas trees outside St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery here on Second Avenue between 10th Street and 11th Street. 

EVG reader Doug noted that the stands are in place as if yesterday ...
Once again, they are offering delivery, setup and removal — via bicycle.

Here's more info via the EVG inbox...
All of the Tree Riders NYC employees are artists and performers, which inspires their goal to aid in the restoration of NYC's post-pandemic theatrical community. This season, Tree Riders NYC will partner with several nonprofit performing arts organizations, encouraging the arts as a way to heal, build community and create meaningful change in the world. Customers can donate directly to the nonprofits or in person at the tree stand.

Fraser, Balsam and Canaan firs range from 2 to 22 feet in height and are harvested from small farms in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. Hand-crafted wreaths, garland, mistletoe, Christmas tree stands and lights are also available ...
This year, their nonprofit partners are Hear Your Song ... What Will the Neighbors Say? ... and New York Theatre Barn.  

For more information, visit or call 646-470-6326. You can also follow them on Instagram

Other neighborhood tree stands can usually be found along Houston at Essex/Norfolk (aka Greg's) and First Avenue at 14th Street ... as well as various corner markets and Key Food. Given the reported shortage of trees last year (expected again for 2021), most tree vendors were sold out by Dec. 20. One more reason to keep the tree until May or so

Cinnamon Girl debuts on 2nd Avenue

Photos by Lola Sáenz

Cinnamon Girl has opened at 73 Second Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Street (first reported here) ... as you can see, their menu includes empanadas, quiche and a variety of baked goods (with a gluten-free option or two) and other provisions...   
This is the first Manhattan outpost for the Brooklyn-based business with three shops in that borough.

Cinnamon Girl is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tuesday's parting shot

Today, the Christmas tree vendors began setting up on the NW corner of 14th Street and First Avenue (outside the now-closed Papaya Dog). And where there be an inflatable here this year?

We'll have more about tree vending this season in a post tomorrow. 

Thanks to KT for this pic!

The peaceful setting of Sharon Jane Smith’s 1st Avenue garden

Text and photos by Daniel Efram

For Sharon Jane Smith, her 39 years helping to run the vintage treasure-laden A Repeat Performance until July 2019 (on First Avenue between Ninth and 10th streets) brought her much joy and inspiration. She adored her business partner Beverly Bronson (who died in 2018) and loved the quirky characters who happened across her view at the shop.
Smith lives next door to the former shop and has a beautiful garden teeming with zen fare that friends of the shop would appreciate. 

It was wonderful to run into Smith recently and get invited in to tour her apartment, complete with a garden with many tributes to Bronson. 

Upon walking through the studio, she points at the window door, which leads to the peaceful setting of stones and bric-a-brac.
“Just as I was preparing to empty the shop ... I was invited to empty an apartment in Village View,” she said. “An astounding collection of stones from the Sahara Desert were in that apartment. How could I turn down that opportunity of a lifetime? I did sell many of those stones because, of course, I have a small apartment, but some worked their way into my garden, where they seemed quite at home. They are the remnants of a culture approximately 6,000 years old with no written language, but the people spoke clearly in their reverence for stone.” 

The enthralling setting gave way to her trademark wry wit.

“The spirit of the garden developed over a period of nine years while attending to an elderly gentleman who had scouted me at A Repeat Performance. He watched me work and I watched him get old.” 

Smith hopes to complete the bulk of “The Confessions of The Shopkeepers,” her nonfiction manuscript, by Valentine’s Day 2022.

Memories of the former location of Via Della Pace

Someone put up this note along the plywood on Seventh Street at Second Avenue... where a fire destroyed the residential building at 48 E. Seventh St. in December 2020. Via Della Pace was in one of the retail spaces... (thanks to Derek Berg for this photo) 
This used to be Via Della Pace.
In college one of my best friends waited tables here so I drank free a lot. I threw up after a shot of grappa on my 21st birthday.

I brought my grandparents here after graduation. I dreamed of having my wedding in the basement. I miss that gnocchi.
Perhaps this fan can make some new memories when Via Della Pace opens in its new home on Fourth Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Dan & John's returns on Dec. 1

After a three-plus-month closure for gas issues, Dan & John's will reopen on Dec. 1, per the door signage (thanks to Steven for the photos) ...
As previously noted, we were told that there was a gas-line issue with the building at 83 St. Mark's Place/135 First Ave. The gas issue impacts the building's residents as well, sources said.

The subsequent repairs kept the wing shop closed since the second week of August. Stromboli next door was also shuttered during this time, though the pizzeria was able to reopen on Oct. 21.

Tatsu Ramen has not been open lately

The Tatsu Ramen location at 167 First Ave. has been closed for the past month-plus ... signs on the storefront between 10th Street and 11th Street note a closure for renovations.

An EVG reader who lives nearby hasn't seen any activity inside for weeks... with the mail piling up ... 
There isn't any mention of a closure — temporary or otherwise — on the restaurant's social media properties. The East Village outpost is also no longer listed on the Tatsu website. (The three L.A.-area locations remain open.) 

We reached out to find out if/when this space will return.

The Southern California transplant opened here in a competitive ramen market back in July 2018.

H/T Steven

Dig back in service on 4th Avenue

The Dig outpost reopened last week on the SE corner of Fourth Avenue and 13th Street.

While other locations of the health-conscious fast-casual chain reopened around the city, this one looked all but abandoned ... remaining closed since the NY State on PAUSE of March 2020. A "reopening soon" sign arrived outside in September, however. 

This location is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Expect some outdoor seating here too — they received CB3's administrative approval for it this month.

Dig — still going as Dig Inn at the time — debuted in this storefront in November 2019.

This has been a challenging corner for businesses since the longtime deli was rent-hiked out of here in November 2012. In recent years, the space has been home to Fresh & Co. ... Pie Face and, right before Dig, Sandwicherie. 

Monday, November 22, 2021


As seen on Seventh Street near Cooper Square. 

And first spotted last evening by @StandingsNYC...

Temporary Restraining Order remains in effect at East River Park; first look at new green space

A few updates on what has (and has not) been happening at East River Park with the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR)...

• A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), dating to Nov. 4, remains in effect at Project Area 1 in East River Park ... the TRO brought the construction/demolition to a halt. Work started on Nov. 1 below Houston Street at the Brian Watkins Tennis Center. (Read more about East River Action's TRO here.) 

• A nonprofit sued the city for allegedly not including enough minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction contract for the ESCR. Media coverage includes NY1 ... the Post ... and The Village Sun

 • A third lawsuit (dating to the spring) was brought against the city by The Tully Group, a large contractor that issued one of the two bids for the ESCR. 

IPC Resiliency Partners, a newly formed joint venture, was the winning bidder.

Per NY1:
In a hearing [Nov. 12] before a panel of appellate judges, Jeffrey Cohen, a lawyer for Tully, argued that IPC effectively fudged its bid in order to meet a city requirement that the contractor have grossed at least $1 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. 
"What we are concerned about almost as importantly as the flooding, almost as important as the ravages of climate change, is the integrity of the bids," Cohen told the judges.
More background here. 

• The DA on Friday declined to prosecute East Village residents Alice O'Malley and Allie Ryan, who were arrested on Nov. 1 for blocking the construction entrance to the tennis courts when preliminary construction got underway.

Per East River Park Action in an email: "They were in and out of court in 10 minutes when their desk appearance tickets were dropped."

• And here's a look at the former Compost Yard ... the city started removing this in mid-October when we took this photo (first reported here) ... 
Despite the TRO, work was allowed to continue here ... as the staging ground of the Lower East Side Ecology Center's composting operation was converted into green space to make up for some of the lost park access during construction/demolition over the next four years... here's a look at the area on Saturday...
And for some background... East River Park Action and other advocates say there are alternatives to preserve the park and provide flood protection, such as the one mapped out in the years after Sandy. In late 2018, the city surprised community stakeholders by announcing a complete overhaul of a plan discussed over four years of local meetings.

Opponents of this version of the reconstruction project stress that there's a better path forward to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise — one that doesn't cause 1,000 mature trees to be chopped down.

So much for Spiegel's return: CR7 Gourmet Deli slated for 1st Avenue and 2nd Street

Signage is up now for CR7 Gourmet Deli on the SE corner of First Avenue and Second Street. 

Don't know anything about the incoming business... other than that there's plenty of competition for CR7 (named for Cristiano Ronaldo?) within steps of the corner, including Food You Desire 3 and the Deli & Smoke Shop (not to mention the new Manhattan Smoke Shop). 

This arrival also means that Spiegel will not be returning to this space. There were rumors of the cafe's return this past summer, and ownership was even on the CB3-SLA docket for a liquor license (application withdrawn in July). The corner cafe opened in 2014 and closed during the pandemic. 

Leekan Designs winding down its operations on the Lower East Side

Leekan Designs is wrapping up nearly 41 years of business here at 4 Rivington St., just east of the Bowery. (Thanks to @asafeplate for the tip via Instagram!

The shop, specializing in antique and contemporary beads and jewelry and other accessories from China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Morocco, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of Asia, will be open through the end of 2021.

The business started in a SoHo loft before relocating to the LES in 1999. And this isn't the first time the shop was set to close. It was slated to shutter in March 2019, though owner Annie Lee apparently had a change in heart.

Leekan is just open three days a week now, though you can schedule an appointment for other times...