Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunday's parting shots

Photos by Derek Berg 

A high-energy show today in Tompkins Square Park with Pinc Louds, Mary Shelley (below), InCircles and Mike Yannich ...

6 posts from July

...a mini month in review... 

• StreetEasy data: Median East Village residential rents surged 43% in the past 12 months (July 28

• Seth Tobocman on the story behind a long-covered mural on 9th Street (July 21)

• Some 13th Street residents want the fried-chicken smell to stop (July 19)

• Opening-night crowd prompts the NYPD to shut down the art show at O'Flaherty's on Avenue C (July 15

• A visit to Kembra Pfahler's new studio space on 6th Street (July 14

• A very public eviction for Anwar Grocery on Avenue B (July 13

Week in Grieview

Posts from this past week included (with a random photo Tuesday from the Manhattan Bridge) ... 

• StreetEasy data: Median East Village residential rents surged 43% in the past 12 months (Thursday

• Spazio Amanita coming to the Bowery (Thursday

• The fullest full reveal to date at Zero Irving on 14th Street (Monday

• Report: Alleged subway shooter who was arrested in the East Village set to stand trial in February (Monday

• At long last, this section of 1st Street is free of a sidewalk bridge (Tuesday ... Wednesday

• Another look at the long-stalled 75 1st Ave. (Wednesday

• Openings: El Churro on Houston and Allen (Monday

• Where to get your free East Village vintage clothing map (Saturday

• Construction watch: 699 E. 6th St. (Tuesday

• Here Nor There has left 9th Street (Monday

• 112 4th Ave. hits the sales market (Tuesday

• Key Food is closing an hour earlier now 'due to renovations' (Wednesday

• Shopping the PP strip on Second Avenue (Friday

• Signage alerts: C as in Charlie on Bleecker; Íxta on the Bowery (Wednesday

• No, Panda Express hasn't opened yet (Thursday

• Superiority Burger's summer salad interlude ends; full speed ahead on Avenue A (Wednesday)

• Something other than a smoke shop opens in a vacant storefront (Monday

• Meanwhile, signage for Runtz Tobacco arrives on 1st Avenue (Monday)

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

A mid-summer look at the wisteria of Stuyvesant Street

Photo yesterday by Steven

The wisteria ("the purple paradise of flowering beauty") outside 35 Stuyvesant St. at 10th Street is looking quite lush here as we enter August and the opening weekend for Brad Pitt's "Bullet Train" ... this after a slow start back in the spring, prompting concerns of root disease or something else not good. All appears well for now.

Today in street fairs

The annual Third Avenue Festival hosted by the Cooper Square Committee takes place today on... Third Avenue! Between Sixth Street and 14th Street. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Meanwhile, the toilet tippers were out early...

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Saturday's parting shot

Photo by Lola Sáenz 

Today at Sunny's Florist (the best flowers around) on Second Avenue and Sixth Street... Sunny's husband Paul Cho was there to help her open...

Where to get your free East Village vintage clothing map

Maegan and Alex, the proprietors of East Village Vintage Collective, maintain an updated map of vintage clothing stores in the neighborhood

You can pick up a free copy of the latest version at the shop, 545 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B ... which is open Wednesday-Sunday from 1-6 p.m. 

Additions include the recently opened Thrift NYC at 226 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.


[Men Sobbing]... as seen at the former Gem Spa space (RIP May 2020) on Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place... (and first spotted by @jeremoss! 😍)

Saturday's opening shot

Sunrise from Tompkins Square Park...

Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday's parting shot

As seen on 12th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... thanks to @thingswendysees for the photo!

From here to 'Eternity'


Metric — "the Canadian new wave torchbearers" — recently released album No. 8, Formentera. The video here is for "What Feels Like Eternity." 

The band will be out at Brooklyn Steel this October.

A Book Exxxposition at Le Petit Versailles

A lot is going on for the rest of the summer at Le Petit Versailles, one of our favorite community gardens. Here's a look at tomorrow's event...

Saturday, July 30 

SOILED: A Book Exxxposition featuring erotic and pornographic materials by contemporary artists 

Le Petit Versailles garden presents SOILED: A Book Exxxposition and showcase of artists who publish erotic zines, books and other artist multiples. 

First organized by Matthew Leifheit in 2017, this year's iteration includes live performances and erotically charged films, in addition to artist multiples from Drake Carr + John Patrikas, Jeremy O. Harris, Rachel Stern, Michael Bailey-Gates and Shala Miller. 

The order of events: Noon, book fair; 6 p.m., performances; 8:30 p.m., film program. You can reserve a space here


Le Petit Versailles is at 247 E. Second St./346 E. Houston St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. The events are free, though donations are welcome. 

Find more events coming soon to Le Petit here.

Shopping the PP strip on 2nd Avenue

EVG reader CH shared these photos and text...
This past Friday, my friend and I were looking for a quick bite between two screenings at Anthology when we discovered that the ground floor of 50 Second Ave. is entirely occupied by establishments whose names consist of two words starting with the letter P: Pak Punjab, Proto’s Pizza and Puff & Pass. 

It happened to be the grand opening of Puff & Pass, who informed us that they had chosen their name based on those of their two neighbors. We proceeded to have four slices of pizza from Proto’s; after the second screening, we also purchased a box of Pocky sticks from Puff & Pass, as well as “Peanut Pista” biscuits and “Pass Pass Pulse” candies (this review is very accurate) from Pak Punjab. 

We’re not thrilled about whatever’s happening next door… praying that the Poetry Project or some other PP takes over. 

EVG Etc.: Andy Warhol's durational cinema; Economy Candy's 85th birthday

Some headlines from other sources this past week (with a random photo from Avenue A)...

• City announces a new "public-private partnership" to help unhoused residents (NBC 4 ... city news release)

• Columbia University graduate student is in the ICU with brain trauma; police believe he was attacked on the L after drinks in the East Village (NBC 4 ... ABC 7

• Police searching for two men for questioning in the murders of Nikki Huang and Jesse Parrilla (Daily News ... previously on EVG

• The number of legal evictions in New York City grew each month in the first half of 2022 (City Limits

• A look at the backers of Yuh-line Niou and Carlina Rivera for the open-seat Democratic primary race in the new NY-10 district (The Indypendent

• More about "7 Gardens" in East Village community gardens (Artnet ... previously on EVG

• Fine-dining destination Kajitsu, which first opened in the East Village before moving to Midtown East, is closing on Sept. 18 (Instagram

• Upcoming screenings for Andy Warhol's most often-discussed but rarely-screened films representing experiments in durational cinema — "The Chelsea Girls," "Sleep" and "Empire" (Anthology Film Archives

• Coming soon: "Easy Rider" in 35MM (Village East

• Some history of the "Physical Graffiti" building on St. Mark's Place (Atlas Obscura

• Economy Candy turns 85 (Untapped New York

• Russ & Daughters Café on Orchard Street reopens after extended pandemic-related closure (Gothamist)

• About the "Sweet Green" installation at Chinatown Soup (Hyperallergic

• Netflix-approved immersive "Squid Game" experience coming to 81 Essex St. on the LES (The Hollywood Reporter)

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday's parting shot

Fifth Street between A and B... everything is fine — fine!

StreetEasy data: Median East Village residential rents surged 43% in past 12 months

Yesterday I shared in the EVG Instagram Stories the above post from the @nytimes account about the sky-rocketing rents for NYC apartments.

In the photo, the East Village resident and roommate reportedly paid $3,300 in rent in 2020... $4,700 last year... and a staggering $6,300 in 2022. They will likely need to move. 

I heard from about a dozen (now-former) East Village residents via Instagram who said they found themselves in similar situations: landlords dropping exorbitant increases on their market-rate apartments in the past year. In most cases, the residents had to move away ... some went out of state to live with relatives ... another is couch-surfing in Brooklyn ... while one said he found a place in the farthest reaches of Queens. 

The piece in the Times was prompted by a report Tuesday via StreetEasy titled, "As Pandemic-Era Leases Expire, NYC Renters Face Toughest Market in Decade." 

An excerpt: 
Despite gradually improving inventory, asking rents are rising steeply as landlords seek to reverse pandemic-era discounts. Rental demand has remained strong as more people gradually return to the city after a jump in outbound migration during the pandemic. Disappearing rental concessions also suggest landlords remain confident about demand. Meanwhile, priced out of Manhattan, many renters are shifting their search to more affordable areas in Brooklyn and Queens. 
Quarter-over-quarter, NYC rental inventory rose 14% to 65,697 available units in Q2. The strong increase may seem like a positive development for renters, but many of these rentals are expired pandemic-era deals that re-entered the market with significantly higher asking rents. Throughout 2020 and 2021, many landlords offered steep discounts and free months of rent — deals that have mostly lapsed by now.

Landlords have been raising rents more aggressively on units they leased during the pandemic in effort to recoup the earnings they lost. On average, rentals that were listed in 2020 or 2021 and relisted in Q2 2022 showed a 20.4% increase in asking rents per year. In comparison, rentals that were listed in 2018 or 2019 and relisted in Q2 2022 showed a rent increase of 4.5% per year. The 20.4% jump in rent is nearly four times as steep as the yearly increase a tenant would have seen otherwise – which can mean the difference between losing and keeping their current home. 
Per the report, Manhattan's median asking rent rose to $4,100 by the end of the second quarter — the highest on StreetEasy record and equivalent to 55% of the borough's monthly median household income. 

In the East Village, the StreetEasy data shows the median asking rents on active listings in the second quarter jumped 43.1% to $4,150 from the same period in 2021 

Map here via Bloomberg's article on the topic...
And there have been articles about hour-long lines to view some pretty humdrum East Village units. And there have been lines to check out larger units, such as a three-bedroom space asking $5k-plus on 10th Street at Second Avenue (photo from July 16 by Steven)...
Some parting thoughts from StreetEasy's report: 
Unfortunately, the recent improvement in rental inventory has been largely driven by households being priced out of increasingly unaffordable rentals. In addition, as interest rates rise, more would-be homebuyers may be forced to resign themselves to renting, pushing up the demand for rentals even further. During this transition in the NYC market, we foresee rent increases continuing at least through the end of this summer.

Spazio Amanita coming to the Bowery

Renovations continue inside the papered-up storefront at 313 Bowery, where we've learned that Spazio Amanita is opening a gallery this fall here between First Street and Second Street. 

Here's more about the gallery, founded by Caio Twombly, the son of sculptor Alessandro Twombly and grandson of the painter Cy Twombly:
Amanita was founded in 2021 with the primary goal of supporting artists, from all backgrounds and nationalities, at various levels of their careers. Amanita provides our artists with resources and exhibition opportunities to help foster and grow their practices. Amanita has gallery locations in New York City and Florence, as well as a residency program in the Etruscan town of Bassano in Teverina. In addition to our permanent gallery locations, Amanita has organized exhibitions in Miami, LA, Milan, and St Moritz.
You can follow the gallery's Instagram account for updates. 

Patagonia was in this storefront for nine years, departing back in the fall.

Previously, the address was a pop-up shop for a rock-inspired clothing line called Andrew Charles created by Andy Hilfiger and Steven Tyler ... and the Morrison Hotel Gallery. And before all this: The space adjacent to CBGB housed the CBGB Record Canteen and, later, the 313 Gallery. The former CBGB next door at 315 Bowery remains the John Varvatos outpost. 

No, Panda Express hasn't opened yet

We heard from a reader who said that the Panda Express Chinese Kitchen had debuted on the SW corner of First Avenue and 14th Street. (Revisit the EVG Panda Express Archives here!)

On closer inspection (H/T Steven!), this outpost of the quick-serve chain based in California wasn't open just yet ... with a worker stating they would be ready for guests next week.

A look inside the establishment, the former AT&T store and the Vitamin Shoppe, shows just a few tables for indoor Panda Expressing. However, there are three tables (no chairs!) (randomly?) set up on the 14th Street side of the storefront.

So perhaps this outpost will have outdoor dining... stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wednesday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

We had another serving of "Yogurt" today... the code name for "Up Here," a new musical series set in the 1990s for Hulu. 

The cast includes Mae Whitman, Carlos Valdes, John Hodgman and (above, I think!) two-time Tony Award recipient Katie Finneran

As you likely noticed, this is a big production with film trucks on Avenues A and B, Seventh Street... and more.

Key Food is closing an hour earlier now 'due to renovations'

Photo by Stacie Joy 

The renovating continues at Key Food here on Avenue A and Fourth Street... this means, per the unproofed signage on the door, that the grocery will be closing now at 11 p.m. to accommodate the renovations. 

As previously reported, nothing is off the table during this reorg. As we've seen, the frozen foods section relocated from aisle 1 to 6 ... while the produce was revamped and expanded, just for starters. And we still can't find the Saltines.

There was talk of widening the aisles (do they already look a little wider?) ... but we don't for sure what they'll be doing with that extra hour of closing time. 

To be continued...

Updated 7/28

Key will be back to the midnight close tomorrow night (Friday!)

[Updated] This afternoon in breaking breaking-down plywood news

Workers this afternoon are breaking down the remains of the plywood outside 118 E. First St. here at Houston... days after they removed the sidewalk bridge ... 

Look at all that sidewalk space that was behind the plywood!
The extended plywood has been here for three-plus years during the construction of the luxury 9-story condoplex at No. 118.

As noted, demolition of the former building at No. 118 started in May 2015. So that's seven years of work for this one project...

Updated 6:30 p.m.


Superiority Burger's summer salad interlude ends; full speed ahead on Avenue A

Superiority Burger's greenmarket-friendly twice-weekly pop-up (with ice cream!) has ended at 430 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

Monday was the last day for Salads Days, which launched in late May

Per the SB Instagram account on Monday night: 
Fun little summer interlude. Got to buy killer shit from all of our favorite farmers and sell it to you, the coolest customers. Mission accomplished. Our next step is speeding along at top speed so keep yer eyes peeled. See you on Avenue A very soon. Thank you. Thank you.
To quickly recap: Superiority Burger closed the Ninth Street HQ (but held onto it for things like Salads Days) last November ahead of a move to a larger space at 119 Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place — the former Odessa.

Work is coming along inside the former diner, as you can see in this pic from Monday by Stacie Joy...        
As previously reported by Grub Street, owner Brooks Headley, who called the Odessa his "dream space," will start with a dinner service and then open for lunch and breakfast ... once the place is open, yes.

SB was recently hiring "a couple more folks to round out the kitchen, bar, dining room, gelateria, and bakery."

The popular all-vegetarian quick-serve spot opened in the East Village in June 

Top photo by Steven from June

Another look at the long-stalled 75 1st Ave.

Yesterday's post about removing the sidewalk bridge outside the longtime-coming new building at 118 E. First St. prompted a few queries about another taking-its-time project — 75 First Ave.

Last year about this time, workers removed the scaffolding and sidewalk bridge from outside the cantilevering 8-story condoplex next to Rite Aid at Fifth Street.

A sidewalk bridge returned earlier this spring... and workers have been focusing on some exterior portions on the top right section of the building. 

As previously noted, the groundbreaking here took place in September 2016. (The build included nearly 14 months of inactivity.) Sales commenced in August 2017, with City Realty reporting that 50% of the units sold in the first six weeks.

The venture was slowed down following a series of lawsuits between the construction manager, Pizzarotti, and the developer, the Colonnade Group.

The Real Deal reported this in July 2019:
The developer and Pizzarotti are also currently locked in a dispute over the project's costs. Pizzarotti has filed a lien, claiming it’s owed a little more than $1 million. In a counter complaint, Colonnade alleges that Pizzarotti hasn’t properly itemized its expenses and "claimed a lien for significantly more money than it has spent on the project." In its complaint, Colonnade calls Pizzarotti's billing practices "false and possibly fraudulent."
Public records showed in 2020 that the building had a new architect of record and construction manager. 

As far as we can tell, No. 75,  with its floor-to-ceiling windows, remains tenant free. The building's website is "currently private."  

Signage alerts: C as in Charlie on Bleecker; Íxta on the Bowery

Signage is up now for C as in Charlie at 5 Bleecker St. just west of the Bowery.

Childhood friends and hospitality vets David Yun, Steve Choi and Eric Choi are reportedly behind the Korean tapas restaurant that will have a Southern twist, such as Korean fried chicken with collard greens.

For now, there's an Instragram account and a placeholder website for C as in Charlie, which has an August opening date.

The homey Japanese restaurant Bessou closed here last month after six years in business. According to the Bessou Instagram account, the owners couldn't come to terms on a new lease with the landlord. 

Meanwhile, nearby, even more brandage arrived for Íxta, the upscale Mexican cantina at 299 Bowery between First Street and Houston... there's a sign above the door as well as an awning noting a mezcal bar ...
No word on an opening date.

Daniel Boulud closed DBGB here in August 2017 after an eight-year run. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday's parting shot

City crews tonight are painting the new southbound M14 bus lane on Avenue A... starting at Fifth Street and going down to Houston. 

Read more about this here.

Frequent flyers: The young red-tailed hawks in Tompkins Square Park

Amelia and Christo's 2022 offspring have been VERY active in Tompkins Square Park of late... learning to fly, hunt and drink water from a playground fountain, among other activities, like checking out adjacent buildings

Derek Berg spotted the two red-tailed hawk siblings this morning (above!) flying at a lower altitude route.
The photos below were from Sunday when Steven came across one of the juveniles wrangling a water stream on a Tompkins playground ...
Sadly, as you may have heard, the third fledgling died earlier this month, as Goggla reported. As she wrote, the cause appears to be frounce, "a naturally occurring illness that afflicts raptors."

And thank you to everyone who has shared photos of the young hawks!

At long last, this section of 1st Street is free of a sidewalk bridge

Workers yesterday finished removing the sidewalk bridge surrounding 118 E. First St., the new 9-story condoplex between Houston/Avenue A and First Avenue. 

This has been an active construction zone since the extended plywood, whose wobbly remains are still in place, arrived in April 2018. Demolition of the former building at No. 118 started in May 2015. So that's seven years of work for this one project...
And this doesn't even include the mess this corridor was during the never-ending East Houston Reconstruction Project, which finally wrapped up at the end of 2018 — six years behind schedule

A 2015 First Street flashback for you...
Anyway, good news for the Punjabi Grocery & Deli, which has struggled to stay in business during all this... not to mention the adjacent establishment, Hollywood Nail & Spa, and the residents of these buildings... and anyone who walks along this corridor...

112 4th Ave. hits the sales market

The cast-iron loft building at 112 Fourth Ave. between 11th Street and 12th Street is now on the market. 

The for-sale banners recently arrived on the property, and the listing arrived online yesterday via Besen. Per that listing
(The "Property") is comprised of a 5-story + basement 13,969± SF above-grade (D2 Class) "Elevator Apartments – Artists in Residence" loft building, built in the early 1900s and renovated in 1980. ... The building dimensions are 25' x 110' on a 27' x 116.25' lot, Tax Class 2B, and the property is zoned C6-1, which is R7-2 equivalent. 

The building will be delivered vacant and lends itself well to either fully convert into luxury residential or remain as office-use upstairs (C of O from 1961 has office use on upper floors). The spacious and usable 2,750± SF basement offers 12' ceiling heights, with direct elevator access. 
The offering memorandum (PDF here) shows that the building is currently vacant. (And there are some unused air rights). Asking price: $14.975 million.
The Salvation Army store was a longtime retail tenant until the fall of 2019. A Salvation Army official told us at the time that the landlord, an LLC, terminated their lease.

Village Preservation wrote about No. 112's long and fascinating history as part of an ongoing series titled "Why Isn't This Landmarked?"

The building, designed by architect Griffith Thomas for the Estate of Samuel J. Hunt, dates to the 1870s ... and "is linked to a number of prominent publishers, artists, and political figures, as well as civil rights, social justice, leftist, labor, and Jewish histories." Read more here.

In November 2020, the city dropped its controversial rezoning plan for a hotel special permit requirement south of Union Square. Still, there are concerns about out-of-character development (like at 799 Broadway or 809 Broadway) in this corridor after the upzoning necessary for the 21-floor Zero Irving on 14th Street.  

Construction watch: 699 E. 6th St.

The in-progress residential building recently made its first appearance above the plywood on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Avenue C.

As previously reported, there are approved permits for a 6-floor building with 11 residential units, a storefront and space for an unspecified community facility on this long-vacant corner. (A gas station was the last tenant here in the 1980s.)

When complete, the building will look something like this...
Previously on EV Grieve:

Monday, July 25, 2022

Report: Alleged subway shooter who was arrested in the East Village set to stand trial in February

Photo by an EVG reader from April 13 

A federal judge today set a trial date for Feb. 27, 2023, for Frank James, who allegedly opened fire on a Manhattan-bound N train in Brooklyn in April. 

Per ABC 7
Numerous ideas, photos, records and reports have already been collected by the government and turned over to the defense. James has pleaded not guilty to federal terrorism charges. 

It wasn't immediately clear what his defense will look like. 

James is facing life in prison if convicted of the two charges he faces.
As previously reported, James reportedly shot 10 people on a subway train in Sunset Park on April 12. In total, 29 people were wounded in the aftermath on the train and platform. 

Police arrested James on April 13 on the NE corner of First Avenue and St. Mark's Place... aided by the actions of several tipsters. 

Previously on EV Grieve: