Friday, September 30, 2022

6 posts from September

The team at Solo Pizza as the pizzeria closes on Avenue B. Photo by Stacie Joy. 

A mini month in review... 

• Big changes are coming to the iconic skate spot in Tompkins Square Park (Sept. 13

• Astor Wines & Spirits has new owners — its employees (Sept. 13

• Here's a look at the proposed designs for the new East River Park amphitheater (Sept. 8)

• J. Crew confirmed for the Bowery (Sept. 6

• Unsafe levels of arsenic found in the drinking water at Riis Houses; when did city officials know? (Sept. 3

• Tenant concern as longtime family-owned residential buildings sell for $58 million (Sept. 1)

This is a fantastic ramshackle day


A new video dropped this week for a previously unreleased Joe Strummer track titled "Fantastic" ... included on the record "Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years." 

The video, including scenes around the East Village, features archival footage shot by Strummer, Dick Rude, Julien Temple, Don Letts and more. 

Filmmaker Lance Bangs, who has directed videos for Nirvana, Sonic Youth, R.E.M., Green Day, and more, pieced together unseen footage from the artist's archives to lend a visual accompaniment to "Fantastic," and Strummer's lyrical oratory around dreaming, making change and better days... 
And the track: 
Recorded in December 2002 at the Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire, Wales, "Fantastic" was one of Strummer’s final recordings, with vocals laid down just weeks after Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros played their last-ever live show at Liverpool University on Nov. 22, 2002, and exactly one month before Strummer’s untimely death on Dec. 22, 2002, at the age of 50.
H/T, Dr. Bop! 

2 chances to bless your pets this weekend

There are two opportunities to have your pets blessed this weekend... in the annual celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. 

Tomorrow (Saturday!) at Immaculate Conception on 14th Street at First Avenue ... the Blessing of Animals takes place at 1 p.m. in front of the church. 

And on Sunday, the Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish on Avenue B at Ninth Street will hold their annual event.  

Per the EVG inbox... 
There are two opportunities to have your pets blessed: 
• At 11 a.m., well-behaved pets are invited to join us for worship, which will begin with the Blessing of Animals and continue with Holy Communion, where everyone is welcome. 

• At 1 p.m., a brief blessing will be given outdoors in Trinity's garden (weather permitting), perfect for pets on the move and those who might be too rambunctious to join us indoors.


As seen this morning at the Seventh Street and Avenue A entrance to Tompkins Square Park — "Welcome to New York. Now go home." 

Also, remember to wipe your feet before entering the Park...  

The Juicy Lucy kiosk returns to service on 1st Street

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy

After a hiatus, the Juicy Lucy kiosk is back open on First Street at First Avenue. 

Owner Rene Henricks (below) celebrated the reopening this past Saturday...
... with a small sidewalk party during the afternoon...
The kiosk is a scaled-down version of Juicy Lucy's main location — 85 Avenue A between Fifth Street and Sixth Street — offering their most popular bottled cold-pressed combos, Acai smoothies and café con leche.

Until Henricks can hire enough staff, the kiosk will be open on weekends (though doubtful during inclement weather). The Avenue A outpost is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
The Juicy Lucy at First and First opened in 1996 (the Avenue A location in 2000).  

Davey's Ice Cream officially debuts today in new 9th Street shop

Photo by Steven

After two days in soft-open mode, Davey's Ice Cream officially marks its grand opening today (Friday!) on Ninth Street. 

As previously reported, Davey's decamped from its First Avenue storefront of 8-plus years in March ... and selected 309 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue for the new shop. 

And tonight (Friday!), from 6-9, there's a Grand Opening Free Scoop

Davey's is open Sunday-Thursday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. ... with a midnight close on Friday and Saturday.  

Empanada Mama makes it signage-on-the-plywood official on 14th and 1st

As we've been reporting back to May, an Empanada Mama outpost is opening on the NW corner of 14th Street and First Avenue. 

As the above photo via Pinch shows, Empanada Mama has put out its first signage on the space ... some wheatpaste branding on the plywood.

No word yet on an opening date on what will be the fourth EM in the city, including one at 95 Allen St. on the Lower East Side.

Papaya Dog shuttered here last fall, ending a 16-year-run.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday's parting shot

Thanks to Michael Kramer for this sunset photo...

Little Amal made a big impression on the Lower East Side

Photos by Stacie Joy 

As part of a 17-day NYC tour to raise awareness about refugee children, Little Amal visited the Lower East Side and the East Village on Wednesday.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy was on Suffolk Street outside the Clemente Soto Vélez Center with the crowds who came to see the 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee named Little Amal.

Here's more via ABC News:
Created in 2021, the puppet represents a 10-year-old Syrian refugee from Aleppo searching for her mother. In Arabic, Amal means "hope," and the hope behind the larger-than-life puppet is to make sure nobody forgets about the children fleeing war, violence and oppression around the world.

It's estimated that Little Amal has reached more than 1 million people in-person with her artistic and commanding presence, traveling over 5,500 miles and visiting over 12 countries. She began her journey on the Syrian-Turkish border, then crossed Turkey, Greece, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and even visited refugee children in Lviv, Ukraine.
Her message: "Don't forget about us."
As previously noted, it takes four puppeteers to bring Little Amal to life: one on each arm, one supporting her back and one inside walking on stilts. Little Amal Walks NYC is a co-production between The Walk Productions and St. Ann’s Warehouse in association with Handspring Puppet Company. 

Little Amal's NYC trip ends on Sunday.

A short walk with a tall man

Text and photos Stacie Joy 

Chances are that you've seen Bobby ambling around the neighborhood. And how could you not?
We recently had the chance to take a short stroll with him. It took longer than expected, as many passersby stopped us to ask if they could take a picture or a selfie with him.
Bobby was super friendly with everyone he met ... a gentle giant with the starpower of a Marvel character.
Getting to know more about Bobby was not easy. However easy-going, he was evasive about answering questions, admitting to being from "upstate" and "walking to downtown NYC" but said he didn't know his age, last name or any other pertinent information. 

He said he likes ladders, Twizzlers, carrots, trees, skyscrapers and bananas and doesn't care for rain. He also said he gets pain in his hips and knees from being so leggy at 6-2. He insists he's "just very tall."

He later attempted to prove his height by using his own homemade measuring tape. 
So we went with it and enjoyed his good-natured company, stopping in a few shops along Avenue A and Avenue B... including Ben's Deli, where he obligingly turned on the hard-to-reach ceiling fans, watered the plants and enjoyed a cold drink...
We popped by Mast Books, where Bobby seemed crestfallen when told the store didn't have any books about skyscrapers...
A highlight from the excursion was the trip to Key Food, where Bobby helped manager Richie with signage installation ahead of the "Re-Grand Opening" celebration (Keyapalooza) earlier this month...
You can follow Bobby on Instagram here.

City looking for feedback about the Open Street of Avenue B

Since the spring of 2020, the Avenue B Open Street has hosted a variety of free events, including art shows, musical performances, theater, fashion events and exercise classes. 

The citywide Open Streets program was designed to ease the isolation of the pandemic by expanding outdoor public spaces. 

The Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on the Avenue B corridor, where activities take place between Sixth Street and 14th Street. 
NYC DOT has been conducting community outreach to better understand how the Avenue B Open Street is used, and how the community wants to see these corridors used in the future. 
NYC DOT is currently collecting feedback from the community for a design proposal for the Avenue B Open Street. Members of the community are invited to review the design proposal materials ... 
Here's a look at a preliminary concept...
The biggest proposed changes would occur between Seventh Street and 10th Street, which will better prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, expand public space and add amenities. Specifically, Avenue B between Eighth Street and Ninth Street would be a pedestrian plaza, with "dedicated space for programming, markets and more." 

You can find the feedback form at this link. And go here for the design proposal. Tomorrow (Sept. 30) is the deadline to submit your feedback. 

The Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition is the DOT's community partner and volunteer group overseeing the Open Street of Avenue B. 

Photo via @loisaida_oscc

Art gallery Amanita debuts today on the Bowery

Photo from Saturday when paper still covered the front windows

Amanita opens its first dedicated NYC space this evening (Sept. 29) at 313 Bowery with "Place Holder," featuring works by emerging Italian painter Leonardo Meoni.

Here's more about the first show:
The works in the exhibition are all on velvet. The marked surfaces result not from any kind of additive or subtractive process, but from something in between. This liminal state, in which pigment is not added nor are the fibers of the velvet removed, represents a mode of mark-making that is as immediate as it is indirect. 

Through this technique, Meoni has devised a refreshing approach to image-making that is the result of active, performative gestures of rubbing, brushing, pressing, and imprinting forms into the responsive velvet surface. Leo uses his fingers, unloaded paint brushes, gardening equipment, cooking utensils and construction tools to create impressions in the medium.
Tonight's opening is from 6-8. "Placeholder" will be on view here in the 3,500-square-foot space between First Street and Second Street through Oct. 30.

Caio Twombly, the son of sculptor Alessandro Twombly and grandson of the painter Cy Twombly, founded the gallery last year in Florence. 

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

Previously on EV Grieve:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wednesday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg

Little Amal, the 12-foot puppet of a young refugee from Syria, was on the Lower East Side today as part of a 17-day NYC tour.

We'll have photos tomorrow via EVG contributor Stacie Joy from Little Amal's appearance. More background here.

Grab a chair: 'Free + clean' and for the taking on 2nd Avenue

As seen late this afternoon on the west side of Second Avenue near Sixth Street ... photos by Steven...

City removes tree with Dutch elm disease from Tompkins Square Park

Photos by Steven 

Parks workers were in Tompkins Square Park today to remove this American Elm between the main lawn and the dog run... unfortunately, workers said the tree had Dutch elm disease and needed to come down...
Dutch elm disease isn't a stranger to Tompkins Square Park, as we've seen through the years

Spread by bark beetles, the disease has decimated elm populations throughout much of Europe and North America.

The leaves on one or more branches of a stricken tree suddenly wilt, turn dull green to yellow or brown, curl, and may drop early. Young, rapidly growing elms may die in one to two months; older or less vigorous trees sometimes take two years or more to succumb. A brown to black discoloration occurs in the white sapwood of wilting branches just under the bark.

A look inside the former Gracefully storefront on Avenue A, vacant now for nearly 8 years

Photos by Stacie Joy

The sign for Gracefully remains in place outside 28 Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street... even though the two-level market closed here in November 2014.

And the large space along a high-profile corridor has remained vacant these past eight years.

The other day, EVG contributor Stacie Joy toured the space with the permission of Derrick the super...
A potential tenant was to look at this space following Stacie's visit.

We don't know why this has sat empty for so long. Size? Price? Both! According to the LoopNet listing, there are 5,000 square feet on the main floor and another 3,500 in the basement ... at $80 per square foot. 

Gracefully arrived here in 1997. It was the tenant when the building — the one-time Burger-Klein furniture shop — underwent a gut renovation to look like Iron Man's helmet. 

And a little bit of Gracefully remains behind...    

Solo Pizza has closed on Avenue B


Solo Pizza has closed as of Monday at 27 Avenue B between Second Street and Third Street. 

There's a pop-up message on the pizzeria's website...
Ownership didn't cite any reasons for the closure.

The pizzeria opened in 2007 and served up some solid slices... not to mention an eggplant parm hero. They will be missed. 

H/T Stacie Joy!