Wednesday, August 31, 2022

6 posts from August

A mini month in review (with a photo of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on Aug. 28 by Dan Scheffey)... 

• The next iteration of the Knitting Factory coming to the East Village (Aug. 24

• Another day, another car drives into Tompkins Square Park (Aug. 16

• Watch the Nissan Sentra drive through Tompkins Square Park (Aug. 16)

• Here's the midnight email that employees of the Trader Joe's Wine Shop received about the closing on Union Square (Aug. 12

• A visit to Aliens of Brooklyn on 9th Street (Aug. 11

• A visit with East Village singer-songwriter Jim Andralis (Aug. 4)

EVG Etc.: 10th Congressional District post-mortem; homespun Serbian cuisine on Avenue C

Photo from 5th Street 

 • Remembering East Village-based art writer Charlie Finch (Artnet) ... Police say Finch jumped from his East 12th Street apartment (The Post

• The leaders of Yoga to the People, once housed on St. Mark's Place, arrested for tax fraud (The Cut ... "Downward dogged by feds," per TMZ...  previously on EV Grieve

• Carlina Rivera and the untold history of how East River Park was destroyed (The Indypendent

• Breaking down the numbers from the 10th Congressional District primary (Gothamist) ... Yuh-Line Niou eyes 'Hail Mary third-party run' (City & State

• Pete Wells likes the traditional Serbian dishes and unusual wines at Kafana on Avenue C (The New York Times

• Big Ash on Delancey is "vintage fashion's best-kept secret" (The Face ... previously on EVG

• How Blondie shattered the conventions of punk and pop (NPR)

Madame Vo team opening Monsieur Vo on 2nd Avenue

Jimmy Ly and Yen Vo, the owners of 10th Street hit Madame Vo, are opening Monsieur Vo at 104 Second Ave. at Sixth Street on Sept. 14. 

In an Instagram post, they describe Monsieur Vo as "a new Vietnamese restaurant that spotlights modern, creative takes on meat and seafood, street food and comfort food." 

Monsieur Vo is a love letter to our fathers, brothers, uncles and the elemental Vietnamese tradition of ăn nhậu — communal dining, typically outdoors, always with plentiful drinks.

The Second Avenue space, which was hosting a preview event last night, was previously their spinoff Madame Vo BBQ, which debuted in 2018 ... though it didn't reopen after the PAUSE of March 2020.

Madame Vo opened in early 2017 at 212 E. 10th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

A name change for Yoli Restaurant on 3rd Street

Photos by Stacie Joy 

A new-name era is underway at Yoli Restaurant ... which is now going by Leon's Cafe over at 274 E. Third St. between Avenue C and Avenue D.

However, not much else is different at the inexpensive quick-serve restaurant specializing in homestyle Dominican cuisine. EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the other day to learn that pretty much everything is the same: kitchen staff, phone number, hours of operation (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and menu items ...  
A worker explained that longtime manager Yolanda Garcia is spending more time at home these days. (We're not sure where Leon came from.)

Also the same: no website, third-party delivery apps or Instagram account. 

You can call (212) 420-1075 for delivery...

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Tuesday's parting shots

Crews were out today on Seventh Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue... setting up some establishing shots and one doorway-entering scene for season five of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (MMM5 on film notices) ... photos by Derek Berg...

Claim: City cuts down tree on 5th Street after block association receives permission for pruning

A stump is all that's left of a 50-plus-year-old flowering Callery pear tree outside 339 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

According to a member of the East Fifth St. Block Association Tree Committee, the group hired (at a cost of $500) an arborist who pruned the tree — with the approval of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation... "cutting off worrisome branches to maintain safety." 

Several weeks later this past Thursday, "a crew from the Parks Department arrived early in the morning and chopped the tree down before anyone was up to notice," a tree committee rep told us. 

"As it is, the Parks Department has turned the previously lush old trees on Fifth Street — watered, fertilized and tended to by our tree committee — between Cooper Square and First Avenue into grotesque Edward Gorey-like silhouettes by their over pruning. We are devastated," the committee member said. "Our arborist told us that weakens the trees and will shorten their life span." 

The city hasn't shown much passion or sympathy for local trees in recent months.

Photo courtesy of the East Fifth St. Block Association Tree Committee

New at Ray's Candy Store: The corn dog

Photo by Peter Brownscombe 

There's a new menu item at Ray's Candy Store — the corn dog, priced at $3, as the paper-plate signage shows! 

113 Avenue A at Seventh Street

In the mood for autumn: Fall Into the City debuts at 3rd & B'zaar

While the heat and humidity remain in summer mode... a fall-friendly market opens tomorrow (Aug. 31) at 3rd & B'Zaar, 191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Some new and familiar designers, vintage vendors and artists will be featured in the market and event space through Nov. 20.

3rd & B’Zaar debuted in late 2020 and has hosted several months-long markets, most recently A Repeat Performance. 

Hours here are 1-7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Check out the 3rd and B'Zaar Instagram account for updates and features on the participating vendors. 

Sanshi Noodle House looks closed

Another high-profile East Village corner looks to have a vacant storefront. 

Workers emptied out Sanshi Noodle House last week on the NE corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street (thanks to Steven for the photos)...
There aren't any posted signs about a closure ... or a "closed for renovations." The website is still active, though the phone goes unanswered. Google lists this as "temporarily closed." Unfortunately, it looks more like a "permanently closed." 

The restaurant opened in May 2021 after a lengthy build-out.

This corner space had been vacant since Bar Virage closed in December 2018 after 20-plus years in business. The Bar Virage awning remains on Seventh Street...

Foxface closing Friday ahead of a move to new Avenue A space

Photo from 2019 by Stacie Joy 

Foxface, the specialty sandwich shop inside the William Barnacle Tavern at Theatre 80 on St. Mark's Place, is closing this Friday ahead of a move to Avenue A.

As previously reported, Foxface has been working on a new outpost at 189 Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street. This location will be open in a few weeks, per an email sent yesterday to Foxface customers. 

The owners, East Village residents Ori Kushnir and Sivan Lahat, said the new spot "will be a bit of everything (but perhaps not a sandwich shop). We hope to see you there very soon." 

The original Foxface opened in late 2018drawing a positive review from Pete Wells at The New York Times.

The move also comes as Theatre 80, the historic East Village property that houses a performance space, the William Barnacle Tavern and Museum of the American Gangster, will be forced to close in the weeks ahead for a bankruptcy auction. This article in the Post from last month has more about what has transpired at the iconic space. (More background here.)

Owner Lorcan Otway's father bought the adjoining properties, 78 and 80 St. Mark's Place, in 1964.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Monday's parting shot

As seen on Seventh Street today by Derek Berg... wonder what they are talking about...

There's always a catch

This air filter is up from grabs on Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

However, there's a large BUT...
"Missing filter. Cleaned out of roaches but take at your own risk."

The Boys' Club has moved out of its longtime home on 10th Street and Avenue A

For the first time in 121 years, the Boys' Club of New York will no longer be part of 287 E. 10th St. at Avenue A.

A spokesperson confirmed that the nonprofit was leaving the Harriman Clubhouse this summer and that they'd continue to support the LES community with after-school and weekend programming, though they didn't offer specifics. 

The spokesperson and other BCNY officials did not respond to follow-up queries about the timing of the departure and its future in the neighborhood. 

This past week, workers were spotted removing shelves, tables and other office equipment from the facility, where the gate was down on the front entrance...
One former volunteer said the last day here was on June 30. 

As we first reported in June 2018, the Boys' Club put the 7-story building on the sales market. At the time, Stephen Tosh, BCNY's executive director and CEO, said the sale of the East Village building would allow the organization the opportunity to start new programs in other neighborhoods in need of its services. (To be clear, the Boys' Club decided to sell their building — they were not forced out. The building was pitched for educational purposes as well as residential conversion.)

In August 2019, Crain's first reported that Aaron Sosnick, an East Village resident and founder of the investment fund A.R.T. Advisors LLC, was the new owner of the Harriman Clubhouse. He bought it for $31.725 million and reportedly planned to sell the property, "potentially at a substantial loss," to a nonprofit that would maintain its civic use.

It's not known at the moment what might be next now that the Boys' Club has officially left the facility.

The Boys' Club originally planned to vacate the building after the 2019-2020 school year, though the pandemic likely changed that timing. In a press release at the time, Tosh stated: "This will allow time for BCNY to secure a smaller permanent space in the neighborhood to provide programming."

E.H. Harriman founded the Boy's Club in 1876. The Harriman Clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A opened in 1901...
... and how it looked in 1908...
Previously on EV Grieve:

[Updated] The Green Bench is stolen from the TF in Tompkins Square Park; 'this shit is an act of WAR'

Photo from October 2021 by Stacie Joy 


Since our original post, several other media outlets jumped on the story. (A solid piece from Vice here.) There's now an AVE Bench Instagram account (and several copycats). As for the bench, after the excursion to Philadelphia, it was last spotted in Richmond, Va. Then, on Sept. 25, pro skater Mark Appleyard posted a clip with it from an unknown location... with a RUMOR that it crossed the border to Canada.


Tensions are mounting in a cross-border conflict following the brazen theft of the green bench (aka AVE bench) from the TF in Tompkins Square Park last week. 

The bench was last seen Wednesday night... as the @tf_report account reported...
They later learned the following: 

"Some reports have said the green bench was stolen from Tompkins around 2am on early Thursday morning, to which it was carried into a van by several unidentified men and transported across state lines to Philadelphia, PA." 

Follow-up clips in the @tf_report Stories noted brazen activity in and around Philadelphia...
No word yet on the next move.

The bench first arrived in Tompkins last October... coinciding with the grand opening of FA — better-known as Fucking Awesome World Entertainment — at 420 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. The skateboard company and streetwear brand is co-owned by pro skaters Jason Dill and AVE (aka Anthony Van Engelen).

Here's more about it via Curbed:
If you're a skateboarder — or a former skateboarder, or at least somewhat skateboarding-adjacent — and live in New York City, that sentence cannot be read without an exclamation point. The green bench! That's because this particular 300-pound piece of steel street furniture has become one of the most storied objects to skate around and on, and its arrival on the East Coast adds a coda to a two-decade saga of discovery, theft, loss, reconstruction, and a particularly hard-won switch backside noseblunt slide across its 13-foot arc.
And here's AVE's thoughts on its arrival here last fall:
"I hope it stays at Tompkins forever," he told Curbed. You might think (as the guys I talked to at FA did) that with the bench's history, there would be a serious security apparatus surrounding it at night. But according to AVE, the bench's future at Tompkins is being left to fate: It's just sitting out there for everyone to skate.
And steal.

City removes Poco's outdoor dining structures

Top 3 photos by Salim; additional reporting and photos by Stacie Joy 

On Friday morning, more than a dozen Department of Sanitation and NYPD members closed the block of Third Street between Avenue B and Avenue C to dismantle Poco’s outdoor dining structures on the SE corner of Third and B...
... the view to the west from Avenue C...
Sources on the block said that Poco, known for their crowded boozy brunches, had accrued too many violations and did not have permits for their outdoor structures — one on Third Street and three huts attached to the restaurant's north-facing wall. 

According to a local building superintendent, "they are very noisy; they make too much speaker noise." A local resident on the block witnessed the dismantling: "DoS came with sawzalls and tore it down. They have been piling up violations since Covid. We called it the 'Covid Corner.'" 

A Poco employee, who declined to give her name, said the owners decided to take down the structures. So why were the police and the Department of Sanitation there? "I don't know." The employee also said she didn't know if any citations were issued on the structures. 

Here's how Poco looked after city workers left as staff members set up for Friday's brunch service...
The lack of outdoor dining structures didn't seem to dent Poco's brunch business on Saturday afternoon...
Poco's website advertises its "legendary brunch," where $47 gets unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, red or white sangria, and an entrée. Thursday through Sunday nights, Poco offers a "Bottomless Dinner" — $65 per person plus tax and tip for two hours of unlimited well drinks, wine and/or beer. 

The city recently began cracking down on repeat offenders and abandoned curbside-dining structures through the Open Restaurants program. 

Per the city
Having removed the initial 24 abandoned sheds, the task force has begun identifying and removing additional sheds, investigating another 37 sheds identified as egregious violators of Open Restaurants program guidelines, and reviewing complaints and summons data to identify and remove other abandoned sheds throughout the five boroughs. Sheds reported to be abandoned will be verified as abandoned two separate times before receiving a termination letter, followed by removal and disposal of the shed. 

The task force will also review sheds that, while potentially active, are particularly egregious violators of Open Restaurants program guidelines. In these cases, sheds will be inspected three separate times before action is taken. 
After each of the first two failed inspections, DOT will issue notices instructing the restaurant owner to correct the outstanding issues; after the third visit, DOT will issue a termination letter and allow 48 hours before issuing a removal notice. DOT will then remove the structure and store it for 90 days — if the owner does not reclaim it in that period, DOT will dispose of the structure.

What's going in at the renovated 316 Bowery?

Photos by Stacie Joy

Workers continue with a fast-moving renovation inside 316 Bowery at Bleecker... space that was most recently the restaurant Saxon + Parole. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy received a tour of the interior on Saturday. Oddly enough, the contractors and security officers here did not know who the new retail tenant was... only that they'd be open in a week or so... 
A source told Bowery Boogie last week that a J Crew was setting up shop here. This space is a retail conversion, ending the run of bar-restaurants here in recent years.

Inside are fitting rooms, merch shelves and sporting decor (Merrimack canoes hanging from the ceiling).     
There's nothing inside the storefront with the J Crew branding (and is this JC's store color palette?) ... though J Crew does have a Merrimack canoe line of items.

There also weren't any posted work permits. (The approved work permits also don't mention the new tenant, just the scope of the work.) So far, a coming-soon notice hasn't been posted to the J Crew website... or even its Madewell brand.

Anyway, it would make sense for a J Crew to open here — they introduced the Bowery pants and the Ludlow suit to the world in 2010.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo by Derek Berg) ... 

• The next iteration of the Knitting Factory coming to the East Village (Wednesday

• A liquidation sale at La Sirena on 3rd Street (Thursday

• A 'retail opportunity' at the former Whitehouse Hotel on the Bowery (Monday

• Delicore: The line to see Diplo at Katz's After Dark Sunday night (Monday

• Here's the first look at the new residential building coming to 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street (Monday)

• Keyapalooza! Key Food is hosting a 6-day 'RE-GRAND Opening' next month (Friday

• Asbestos abatement to begin at the former East River Park amphitheater — 9 months after it was demolished (Monday

• The Li'l Park Drag Show takes the stage at La Plaza Cultural (Tuesday

• A retail wine and spirits store is in the works for the former Black & White space on 10th Street (Wednesday

• City removes several abandoned curbside dining structures in the East Village (Tuesday

• Reports: Dan Goldman is the Democratic nominee for the 10th Congressional District (Wednesday)

• Lucky No. 77: Victory Tattoo NYC opens in the former Hells Angels HQ on 3rd Street (Thursday

• Here's more about Rabbit and the Fragile Flour, opening next month on 7th Street (Wednesday)

• Wegmans is hiring on Astor Place (Monday

• The ever-changing East Village skyline's newest addition is a 32-foot-tall Link5G tower (Friday

• Dunkin' to make triumphant return to 250 E. Houston St. (Monday

• Signage alert: Pizza Loves Sauce coming to East Houston (Thursday)

• At the Nuyorican Poets Café's annual block party (Sunday)

• Signs of dinner life at Prune (Tuesday

• First sign of the new gallery opening in September at 313 Bowery (Monday)

• People keep stealing catalytic converters (Friday

• Thoughts on a new tenant for a former laundromat (Tuesday

• Report: Trader Joe's closed the Union Square wine shop after learning of plans to unionize (Monday

• Senses working overtime: The former Taj Mahal is now home to a psychic on 6th Street (Thursday)


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

[Updated] Police investigation in Tompkins Square Park as workers prep for the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

Updated below.

Workers continue to set up for the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival today (3-7 p.m.) in Tompkins Square Park. 

Nearby this morning, police had taped off part of the benches in the center of the Park. A man's body, partially covered by a white sheet, was slumped on a bench. Witnesses said this was likely an overdose. No other information was available at the moment.

Follow-up reports at amNY and PIX 11 state that the man was found unresponsive just after 8 a.m.

Per amNY: "There were no apparent signs of foul play, and police sources indicated it's believed the individual may have suffered from a drug overdose."

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Saturday's parting shot

Took a road trip today before the summer ends... photo from Stuyvesant Cove...

Questions about the Mo' Eats truck

A Mo' Eats truck has been parked on the NE corner of Avenue A and Sixth Street since the beginning of August... offering up various shawarma and kebab plates on weekend nights to the nightlife crowd. 

First question via the EVG inbox. 

1. Have you tried Mo' Eats? 

 No! (Have you?) 

2. Is it legal to just pull up a food operation for a month with expired New Jersey tags?
Probably worth a ticket ... or boot!

Saturday's opening shots

Hop on this limited-edition pedal-assist Citi Bike on First Street! Be the envy of your fellow Citi Bikers...

Friday, August 26, 2022

Keyapalooza! Key Food is hosting a 6-day 'RE-GRAND Opening' next month

Photo by Stacie Joy

After nearly a year of renovations and some changes, some subtle (the non-dairy milk brands moved across aisle 2) and not-so-subtle (we still can't find the bacon), Key Food is hosting a "RE-GRAND Opening" during the first two weekends of September. 

That's six days to celebrate Keychella and the upgrades (we haven't even posted about the new lights, which are pleasantly soft and don't cause seizures, as far as we know). 

At this moment, we don't know what to expect over these six days other than to celebrate our appreciation of the grocery on Avenue A and Fourth Street. 

We will see you there for all six days of this Keyapalooza. 


Yes, we have never heard of a "RE-GRAND Opening" and don't know if this is some kind of transpose glitch. (If so, collector's item!)


Key was never actually closed during any of the renovations, other than shaving a few hours off the open and close times. We love you Key.

The replacements


A new single/video dropped today via local musician-artist Ruby Trademark (aka Ruby Aldridge) ... enjoy the noirish noise-pop of "My Replacement."

The ever-changing East Village skyline's newest addition is a 32-foot-tall Link5G tower

The first 32-foot-tall Link5G tower has gone up (earlier this week) on Second Avenue near First Street. (Thanks to the reader for the pic! 🙌) 

So what the *(*&#^%%$$@@ are these? 

Per amNY
The new structures are operated as a public-private partnership by consortium CityBridge, and are a revamp of the old 10-foot kiosks the firm set up under former Mayor Bill de Blasio starting in 2015 with free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, a tablet, a 911 button, and calling capabilities. 
We remember!
The old ones were supposed to be funded by digital ad displays on the side and the city originally hoped to build 10,000 of them, but the screens did not bring in the promised revenue, which brought the program to a halt with some 1,800 units built largely in Manhattan. 
Read more about the supersize LinkNYC and the plans to revive the broken promise to bridge the digital divide in NYC at The City. 

Currently accepting nicknames for the Link5G towers in the comments.

People keep stealing catalytic converters

Top photo from 6th Street

Catalytic converters remain a hot property. (Background)

This appeared on the Citizen app this morning ... two men stole one (allegedly!) from a vehicle on the south end of Avenue B, prompting a police search of the area ...

Meanhile, the 9th Precinct tweeted this back on Saturday morning...

Reminders! The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is back in Tompkins Square Park on Sunday

The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is taking place this weekend...  with a return to Tompkins Square Park from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday.

Here's what to expect here via the SummerStage 2022 program
Archie Shepp and Jason Moran are two avant-garde jazz musicians from different generations that nonetheless share a penchant for pushing the envelope. Shepp is a veteran saxophonist who has been called both a musical firebrand and a cultural radical, standing out even amongst myriad talents in the free jazz generation. Moran is pianist 37 years Shepp’s junior, with an equal respect for tradition and trailblazing. Their 2021 collaboration Let My People Go is a warm and intimate collection of duets recorded live in 2017-2018, a pristine portrait of two masters at work. 

The bill also includes the Grammy-nominated Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, who plays with a ferocious energy and deft musicality; Bria Skonberg, a Canadian jazz trumpeter and bandleader once described by The Wall Street Journal as one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation; and Pasquale Grasso, a master be-bop guitarist known for elevating the instrument through his pianistic approach, showing the influence of Bud Powell and Art Tatum in a revolutionary hard-swinging way. 

An abbreviated version of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival took place last year in Harlem; the 2020 slate was canceled with the pandemic. 

The festival started in Tompkins Square Park in 1993 ... taking place near or on Parker's birthday on Aug. 29. Additional dates were added in Harlem in 2000. 

Parker, who died in 1955 at age 34, lived at 151 Avenue B from 1950-1954. That residential building between Ninth Street and 10th Street is landmarked.