Monday, July 31, 2023

6 posts from July

A mini month in review... (with one more summer cloud pic)... 

• First look inside the Astor Place Wegmans, set to open on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. (July 27

• When a young red-tailed hawk gets stuck in the airshaft outside your kitchen window (July 21

• RIP Big Lee (July 18)

• Late night at Key Food (July 14

• The last day for East Village mainstay Ink on Avenue A (July 9

• Angelina Jolie is creating a collaborative space for designers and artisans in Basquiat's former studio on Great Jones Street (July 8)


A little after 6 this evening, sanitation employees shut down Sixth Street between First Avenue and Avenue A...
... so that workers could powerwash off some street graffiti...
... oh...
... and as seen on Friday night...

Details about the NYPD's Night Out Against Crime

Photo by Stacie Joy

The NYPD is hosting its annual National Night Out Against Crime tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 1).

In the East Village, the community-building event takes place outside the 9th Precinct from 4-8 p.m. There's free food (BBQ!) and other treats for attendees... as well as some kid-friendly entertainment. It's also an opportunity to meet staff from the 9th Precinct.

The Precinct house is at 321 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

July 31

Photo by Steven

OK, so not a real tree... still, we can dream of a _ _ _ _ _ Christmas here on St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Something to frown about at Smileys

Photos by Steven

Smileys at 199 Avenue A is the latest unlicensed cannabis shop to get busted in a multi-agency sweep last week.

An array of legal notices are affixed to the storefront (and semi-obscured by the rolldown gate) here between 12th Street and 13th Street...
Smileys, which opened at the start of the year and describes itself as a "wellness shop," remained closed over the weekend. 

As we've seen, shops that have been raided-fined have eventually resumed operations, new shops have risen from the ashes of shuttered venues, or new businesses with increasingly cutesy names arrive down the block.

Meanwhile, to avoid detection, several readers have noted at least two shops have removed their signage and only open in the evenings when a coordinated raid is less likely.

With a new law in place late in the spring, New York State — via the Office of Cannabis Management and Department of Taxation and Finance — ramped up efforts to shut down businesses selling cannabis without a license. 

However, as NY1 pointed out on July 14, of "the 22 stores that were issued violations in the city, only six have closed down. Most reopened for business and continue to openly sell cannabis in violation of the law." Gothamist has more on the enforcement success here.

The City recently published a piece titled, Your Guide to Legal Cannabis in New York City.

CineKink is back with its 20th anniversary film festival

CineKink NYC is back with its in-person film festival since 2019, "bringing with it a specially-curated program of films and videos that celebrate and explore a wide diversity of sexuality." 

This year's festival, which marks its 20th anniversary, includes filmmaker Q&As, a "Bring It!"-style adult entertainment showdown and a screening of a 50th-anniversary restored print of "Deep Throat." 
Via the EVG inbox: "Works featured at CineKink NYC will range from documentary to drama, comedy to experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit — and everything in between." 

"We're delighted to return to the East Village for our in-person come-back," co-founder and director Lisa Vandever told EVG contributor Stacie Joy. "It's a place that has always welcomed artistic self-expression, and we really feel at home there."

The screenings and related events happen at The Wild Project, 195 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. The kick-off party for CineKink members, filmmakers and all-access package holders takes place on Wednesday. Screenings are scheduled Thursday through Sunday. 

Find all the programming details and ticket info here

And a scene from the last in-person CineKink from 2019 (photo by Stacie Joy) ...

Openings: Dora's Restaurant on Avenue B; Rynn's on 5th Street

Top photo by Stacie Joy

Dora's Restaurant debuted on Friday at 40 Avenue B between Third Street and Fourth Street.

Siblings Dora and Oskar Morales are behind this establishment. (Their mother is also named Dora.) 

They serve 10 kinds of ceviche, plus wine, beer and sangria. 

No sign of a website or social media just yet.

Hours: Daily from 3-11 p.m.
Rynn recently debuted at 309 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

The restaurant offers a variety of Thai dishes, from starters (the crispy lotus root looks solid) to main courses. Rynn doesn't have a liquor license, so they offer free spirit-free concoctions and Thai iced tea and coffee. 

Like Dora's, they don't have a website or social media. (They are on Yelp.) Hours: Daily from 4-10 p.m.

Let us know if you try either place!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Sunday's parting shot

A walk along Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue this afternoon...

Raising awareness of Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s proposed merger with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

An informational rally is set for tomorrow (Monday) morning outside the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on 14th Street and Second Avenue. 

The assembled group, including several local elected officials, health-care advocates and Local 1199 workers, will discuss the Department of Health's requirements for approval of Mount Sinai Beth-Israel's merger with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYE&EI). 

Here's some background via organizers: 
In late 2022, Mount Sinai Beth-Israel (MSBI), the parent corporation of the 200-year-old New York Eye and Ear Infirmary that serves people with hearing and vision disabilities, applied before the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) to merge operating certificates with the Infirmary — a tactic that would enable MSBI to more easily move services out of the site and around the city, paving the way for a sale of the historic Infirmary.
Last month, the Department of Health released a letter stating its approval of the merger "would be subject to a number of contingencies and conditions, including community engagement and a commitment by MSBI to not close any NYE&EI clinical programs, change access to clinical services, or close inpatient beds." 

Organizers want to raise awareness of the situation and "hold the hospital giant accountable to the necessary stakeholder engagement and community engagement plan contingencies stipulated by the DOH." 

The rally starts at 11:30 a.m. Speakers are said to include Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, State Sen. Kristen Gonzalez and Congressman Jerry Nadler.

The Infirmary owns two buildings here — 14th Street and Second Avenue and 13th Street and Second Avenue (pictured above) — and the vacant lot on 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

Sources told the Post in February that the parcel "could fetch up to $70 million if sold for apartment-building construction."

You can sign a petition at this link.
Meanwhile, Mount Sinai Beth Israel is selling several properties on 17th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue that were used for offices and medical residences. Local elected officials are demanding that affordable housing be part of any deal.

Previously on EV Grieve:

Week in Grieview

Posts from this past week included... (with a random LES street scene)

• First look inside the Astor Place Wegmans, set to open on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. (Thursday

• City issues RFP for the renovation and operation of the snack bar at First Park (Tuesday

• Asbestos abatement ahead of demolition at the NW corner of 1st Avenue and 2nd Street (Tuesday

• The great New Double Dragon signage shines brightly again, now on the Lower East Side (Wednesday

• Happy 40th anniversary to The Sock Man! (Friday)

• A tribute to Sinéad O'Connor on Great Jones (Thursday)

• Kuppi Coffee in soft-opening mode on St. Mark's Place (Wednesday

• Sami & Susu bring you the Pita Shop by day on Orchard Street (Wednesday

• Summer scheduling: Lucy's returns after Aug. 10 (Monday

• The arrival (Tuesday)

• RIP to the 'RIP ST MARKS' tag (Monday

• Proto's Pizza is closed for remodeling, and now under new management (Thursday

• Check out a new track/video from local band Rebounder (Friday

• A return to 'Alphabet City' at Metrograph (Tuesday

• Pizza signage update on 9th Street (Monday

... and thanks to Roman for stopping for a pose on 5th and A! (Photo by Stacie Joy)...
Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

Sunday's opening shot

Special feature last night at the Village East by Angelika on Second Avenue at 12th Street... (we don't know what Alessandra said).

And who has seen "Talk to Me"? 

Thanks to Michelle Roelofs for the photo!

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Saturday's parting shot

Citi Biker of the day... 14th Street near First Avenue ...

EVG Etc.: A street co-naming for Economy Candy; new food options on St. Mark's Place

Second Avenue at 12th Street 

Added several new posts...

Woman struck in the left arm by a stray bullet last evening while sitting in a car on Orchard between Houston and Stanton (ABC 7)

• Police arrest man accused of harassing women along Second Avenue and Fifth Street (The Post

• As NYC limits access to migrants and asylum seekers, many are left homeless (NPR

• The corner of Rivington and Essex will now bear the name "Morris 'Moishe' Cohen Way" in honor of Economy Candy's founder (Time Out

• Why more deliveristas are turning to gas-powered mopeds (Streetsblog

• 3 newish places to eat on this block of St. Mark's Place (Eater ... previously on EVG)

• 2 EV spaces in this listicle of essential NYC coffee shops (Eater)

• About Avenue A's Foxface Natural — "NYC's most original new restaurant" (Grub Street

• The new Bush Tetras record is now out (Wharf Cat Records ... previously on EVG

• A few more chances to see "Make Me Famous" — a documentary on 1980s-era East Village-based painter Edward Brezinski — on a big screen in the next few days (Official site... previously on EVG

• About Essx, a new retail concept on Essex Street (Wallpaper*)

About tomorrow's free show in Tompkins Square Park

There's a free show in Tompkins Square Park tomorrow (Sunday!) afternoon. 

On the bill: 


The show is also serving as a benefit to help Leesa Harrington-Squyres, the drummer for Lez Zeppelin and Sabbath Warlock, cover some medical expenses for an upcoming surgery.

Show Brain is the show's promoter. Show times: 1:30-6 p.m.

Saturday's opening shot

As seen on the door to the former Grassroots Tavern at 20 St. Mark's Place... another RIP St. Mark's (or St. Marx) seeing as the one on 5 St. Mark's Place is going, going...

Friday, July 28, 2023

Friday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

The dog days of summer...

Love and basketball


Local band Rebounder released a new song/video this past week... ahead of their forthcoming record, Sundress Songs.

This is "Library," said to be about "a dissolving relationship" ... and featuring additional vocals by Eliza Callahan of Purr.

Meanwhile, Rebounder is headlining Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night.  

Treasures from Ink on A

Photos by Rainer Turim 

Workers are emptying out the Ink on A storefront this morning... some treasures from deep within the now-closed newsstand at 68 Avenue A between Fourth Street and Fifth Street look to be up for grabs on the sidewalk ... (updated: everything was gone by 12:30)
The business closed after 30-plus years in business earlier this month ... following the arrival of a new landlord for the block-long building.

Where to cool off when the heat is on

An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect for NYC today ... with a triple-digit heat index expected. 

The city has its Cooling Centers open. You can find a list of sites at this link (you can narrow down the choices by zip code; many of the options are for seniors only).

 Local options include:

• Ottendorfer Library, 135 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Hamilton Fish Park Library, 415 E. Houston St. between Pitt and Columbia — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

(The Tompkins Square branch remains closed for renovations.) 

Also listed among the cooling centers: The big new Petco on Union Square East. They are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Outdoor city pools will stay open for any hour later (to 8 p.m.!) today and tomorrow.

You could also go old school and open a hydrant... of course, that is ILLEGAL!
But! There is a legal way to go about this. Per an article of The City yesterday: 
You can put in a request to the Fire Department to open a hydrant. If it’s approved, a member of the fire department will come to fit the hydrant with a spray cap and return that same day to close it up. To request a spray cap fitting, go to your local firehouse and fill out a short form.

You can find your nearest firehouse on the 311 Firehouses page. You must be over 18 years old and bring your ID with you.

Happy 40th anniversary to The Sock Man!

If you've been by The Sock Man at 99 St. Mark's Place in the past week, you've likely seen the new 40th-anniversary mural inside the front door. 

This anniversary is quite a feet feat for another small business. Congrats to owner Marty Rosen (pictured above!). 

The shop has been at this spot between Avenue A and First Avenue since November 2016... a rent increase forced him to close his longtime shop at 27 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. 

The Sock Man opens daily at noon, with an 8 p.m. close during the week and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (and 9 p.m. on Sunday). 

Photo via @thesockmannyc

Thursday, July 27, 2023

First look inside the Astor Place Wegmans, set to open on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m.

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy

The Wegmans at Astor Place — the grocer's first Manhattan outpost and No. 110 overall — will open on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. 

Yesterday, store officials provided EVG with a tour of the under-construction 87,500-square foot space at the landmarked 770 Broadway. 

This retail space was previously Kmart, which closed after 25 years in July 2021. (Wegmans had agreed to buy out the fading retailer's lease to make this 30-year deal possible.)

A note before going inside... the former Kmart entrance on Eighth Street at Lafayette will be for the onsite restaurant, featuring a sushi bar and champagne-oyster bar set to open in the first half of 2024. 
The grocery entrance is on Lafayette between Eighth Street and Ninth Street. Now that we explained that... here we go...
The ground floor will feature the prepared foods ready to eat or heat, and a market — the architect told me they were going for a "village concept feel" — including items familiar to Wegmaniacs, such as the in-store-made soups, salads, sushi (the star of the show), pizza, mezze station, sandwiches, an Asian foods station with woks and chefs, bakery, and a floral station, etc.
The space is enormous; you'd never guess you were in the former Kmart. The grocery is full of warm tones, muted creams, yellows, browns...
Also on the ground level: 31 self-checkout stations and seven staffed checkouts (management expects a high volume of customers here, hence the 600 newly hired employees)...
You can only check out on the main floor, so even if you shop on the lower level, where the grocery store will be, you still have to pay upstairs. 

However, there are new escalators here with easy cart transport...
The lower level has the grocery items.
Upon opening, there won't be any wine or spirits for sale in the store, though they will have a beer section.
Also! You cannot access the store from the 6 train, and vice versa, like in the old Kmart days. The turnstiles are still there, but they are blocked off. 

And Wegmans will just have the main and lower levels. (Kmart gave up the second floor back in 2018, presumably in use by Wannamaker building tenant Meta/Facebook.) 

Finally, if you want to get a headstart on the Wegmans experience, you can download the store app and create an online account. Otherwise, see you in October...