Friday, September 29, 2023

For those about to shred...

Here's a potential rainy-day activity: Box up some paperwork that you need to have shredded.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 1!), the city will have a shredding truck on Avenue B and Eighth Street outside Tompkins Square Park. 

You can shred up to one standard-size file box per person. 

Remember: Just paper! No batteries! No dead laptops or monitors! No art projects that belonged to former lovers!

Thursday, September 28, 2023


Avenue A at 10th Street... please let us know if you spot the rest of the vehicle anywhere.

The 12th annual Harvest Arts Festival starts Saturday in East Village community gardens

Updated: Due to the rainy forecast, the opening-night party is now on Saturday at 6 p.m. — still at LaPlaza...

The 12th annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival gets underway tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 29)  Saturday night at 6. 

This year's festival, which runs through Oct. 8, includes 10 days of free activities at dozens of East Village/LES community gardens, each featuring various performances, concerts, workshops and other related events. Check the LUNGS website here for the day-by-day, garden-by-garden schedule. 

The opening night party at La Plaza Cultural on the SW corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street features jazz standards from Trio Daphne and "Blue Note Americana" from Kid Java.

A farewell to Big Lee and the Hard Swallow

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

The Hard Swallow is going out in Coney Island style this weekend. 

The neighborhood bar at 140 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street closes after service on Saturday night.

This comes two-plus months after the sudden passing of co-owner Leroy "Big Lee" Lloyd, who was 51. 

Maria "Sasha" Lloyd, his wife and business partner, has planned a closing-night party on Saturday — which also happens to be close to Lee's birthday — featuring regulars from the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. (Big Lee grew up in Coney Island.)
"Anyone who feels connected to the bar and Big Lee is invited to come here on Saturday," said Sasha, a lifelong neighborhood resident. "Lee didn't want tears; he wanted a celebration."
She has also hired a videographer to record testimonials about Big Lee as a keepsake for her two sons, Nicholas and Jacob. (People who can't make the event can record a video and post it on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouBigLee, and those will be included in the keepsake for the family, she said.)

I recently stopped by the bar and met (from the left) bar manager Audreana "Storm" Janelle, bartender Socks Markley, Sasha and bartender Caitlyn "Aurora" Milkman
While the Hard Swallow is closing, Sasha's business partner will be keeping the space and eventually opening a new bar after going through the liquor license process.
As for Sasha, she decided to make a fresh start and will be moving to Hawaii next month, a plan put into effect while Big Lee was still alive. 

Sasha said she is having difficulty mourning and grieving while still in the same apartment and bar. She and Big Lee had the Hard Swallow for over eight years; it was their whole life, she said.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Buffing out the Basquiat plaque on Great Jones

As previously reported, someone rollered over the two-level space at 57 Great Jones St. with pink paint, even defacing the memorial plaque for onetime tenant Jean-Michel Basquiat, who lived and worked here from 1983 to the time of his death in 1988. 

The incident motivated EVG regular Lola Sáenz to clean up the plaque. She made some progress, though she realized it would need to be professionally buffed out. 

Today, photographer-artist Adrian Wilson (via @plannedalism) was able to restore the plaque and make it legible once more here between the Bowery and Lafayette... 
Earlier this summerAngelina Jolie announced a new venture, Atelier Jolie — "a creative collective for self-expression" — opening in November inside the space. 

Vogue dropped a feature on Jolie and her new project earlier today.

Openings: Spice Brothers on St. Mark's Place

Photos by Stacie Joy

Spice Brothers recently debuted at 110 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Lior Lev Sercarz, who sells crafted spice blends to chefs via his company La Boîte, teamed up with David Malbequi (below left), owner of David's Cafe next door, for this venture...
And we've already heard good things about the Eastern Mediterranean street food (like the shawarma platter) ... beer and wine are also available here...
The restaurant takes over from Isabella, which Malbequi and Daniel Rivera, his partner from David's, ran.

Spice Brothers is open Tuesday-Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

The fullest of full reveals at 699 E. 6th St.

We meant to note this one sooner... we now have a full reveal at 699 E. Sixth St. at Avenue C. (Workers removed the plywood around the corner property.)

As previously reported, the residential building will include 11 units, a storefront and space for an unspecified community facility on this long-vacant corner. Not sure where the storefront will be — the Sixth Street side?

And still no sign of listings... maybe you've seen some?

A gas station was the last tenant here in the 1980s. And for decades it was an entertaining empty lot.  

Tix for Basquiat x Warhol at the Brant Foundation now on sale

Tickets for the latest show at the Brant Foundation, Basquiat x Warhol, are now on sale. 

Here's what to expect from the space at 421 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue... via the EVG inbox... 
The Brant Foundation is pleased to present Basquiat x Warhol at the Foundation's East Village location, curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart and Peter M. Brant in collaboration with Dr. Anna Karina Hofbauer. On view from Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 7, 2024, this is the first time the collaboration has been the subject of a major New York exhibition since Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery in 1997. The exhibition is traveling from Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and has benefited from the collaboration between the two institutions. 
The Brant Foundation's first show here in the spring of 2019 featured work by Basquiat — some 70 works collectively valued at $1 billion. A career-spanning Warhol collection was here back in the spring. 

Tickets for the new show are $20, and $15 for EV residents. (Kids under 12 are free, etc.) Find ticket info here.

Openings: Bar Miller on 6th Street

Image via the Bar Miller website 

Bar Miller, an 8-seat omakase restaurant, is now open at 620 E. Sixth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C (in the former Mayanoki Sustainable Sushi space next door to Grape and Grain). 

The establishment comes via Jeff Miller and TJ Provenzano, who operate Rosella on Avenue A. 

Per Thrillist: "Bar Miller will offer 15 courses of nigiri, sashimi, and some less traditional dishes that highlight pickled ingredients alongside a bar program with US-made wine, cider, and sake." 

Bar Miller is open Wednesday-Sunday with seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. (Reservations available here.)

Aside from Mayanoki, Miller and Provenzano were also involved with the last iteration of Grape and Grain. Still waiting for word on what is next for that space.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tuesday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

As seen on the Bowery... and a moment when it wasn't raining today...

[Updated] The Wegmans signage has arrived on Astor Place

The Wegmans signage rolled up today (in the back of a truck) here on Astor Place. (Thanks to William Klayer for the photo!)

The doors open here on Oct. 18, a date made public over the summer. 

As previously noted, the 87,500-square-foot space at the landmarked 770 Broadway is the first Manhattan outpost for the grocer. 

EVG's Stacie Joy received a tour of the two-level supermarket back in July. You can revisit that post here.


And by the end of the day, the first sign was up... pic by Stacie Joy...

Police seeking help ID-ing 12 suspects in late-night robbery on Avenue C

'The NYPD is searching for a dozen suspects from a robbery on Sept. 17 at 12th Street and Avenue C.

According to the NYPD and published reports, a 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman had just left a bar on Avenue C at Eighth Street around 3:45 a.m. when they encountered the group — eight males and four females — several blocks away. 

One of the suspects displayed an unspecified weapon, and others in the group were said to have taken the couple's cell phones, wallets and debit cards. 

"This neighborhood is good. You can tell who's who," a local resident told PIX11 News. "I don't know any of these people whatsoever."

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online. All calls are strictly confidential.

Cheers to The Whiskey Ward

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Regulars and employees, past and present, gathered last Wednesday night for a farewell to the Whiskey Ward. 

The low-key neighborhood bar at 121 Essex between Rivington and Delancey has been on the Lower East Side for nearly 24 years. 

I arrived as co-owner Sandee Wright was prepping to open on this special night...
... along with bartenders Chloe Troy...
... and Chelsea Pinchera ...
Wright said the closure had nothing to do with a landlord or rent increase. "We're going out under our own terms."
Why are they closing? "It's time," said Wright, a longtime Lower East Side resident who relocated a few years ago. 

"Things changed a lot after COVID, and people had less disposable income...and whiskies were hard to come by, especially ones like Pappy Van Winkle. It's impossible to get the good stuff — the bottles no one else has."
"I'm going to miss this place terribly," she said. "Every brick of it."
"I love everything about this place and the people," Wright said. "They are my family."


As we understand it, a friend of Wright's plans to apply for a new liquor license and take over the space — operating under a new name — in the months ahead.

Construction watch: 180 2nd Ave.

ICYMI: We nearly have a full reveal at 180 Second Ave., where a 6-unit condoplex has been in the works for the past 6-7 years here between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Most of the construction netting and the sidewalk bridge were recently removed...
The Chicago-based Polish National Alliance was the previous owner of No. 180. The building housed the Józef Pilsudski Institute of America, the largest Polish-American research institution specializing in the recent history of Poland and Central Eastern Europe. (They found a new home in Greenpoint.) According to public records, an LLC bought the building for $6.75 million in June 2014. City Realty listed the new owner as Robert Stern.

Approved work permits show that workers are converting the building to residential use and adding two floors — from five to seven — in the process ... with one residential unit on each floor. 

As previously reported, dating to June 2017, the building was designed to earn LEED Platinum and Passive House certification, complete with a green roof with solar hot water panels for each residential unit.

As for the ground-floor retail space, the Ninth Ward was the previous tenant. That New Orleans-themed bar closed in February 2016. The Ninth Ward was said to return to this space after the gut renovations, but that was in mid-2017.

The updated rendering now shows a December 2023 completion date. 

Monday, September 25, 2023

Monday's parting shot

Photo by Stacie Joy 

A moment today at the Green Oasis Community Garden on Eighth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D...

Signage alert: Kolachi at 130 1st Ave.

Photo by Steven 

Kolachi has made it signage official at 130 First Ave. between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place. 

The incoming quick-serve spot with a handful of seats for to-stay dining features paratha rolls (and fries). 

As Eater reported last month: "Owner Saif Qazi formerly worked in finance; this is his first restaurant and a means to bring food from his home in Pakistan to a greater audience in New York." 

The bakery Sweet Generation was here for nearly six years before a move to a larger location in Brooklyn in late 2020.

Trek cycles off the Bowery

The Trek Bicycle shop at 303 Bowery between Houston and First Street has closed. (Thanks to the tipster for the news.) 

The brand arrived here in September 2019 ... one of several outposts around the city, including on First Avenue in Stuy Town. 

Before Trek arrived, this storefront in the retail base of Avalon Bowery Place sat empty for three-and-a-half years (the last tenant, Tatyana Boutique, left in January 2016). 

The retail space next door remains for rent too... Blue & Cream decamped for Greenwich Village at the end of 2022.

Casa Bond next for 334 Bowery

The restaurant space at 334 Bowery between Great Jones and Bond won't be vacant for too much longer here. 

There's now a hiring notice posted on the storefront for Casa Bond (not to be confused with Zero Bond!)...
Not sure at the moment who's behind the venture. (There's a placeholder Instagram account here.)

As we've noted, this has proven to be a difficult space to make work... Xeo Cantina closed here in June after a year in service ... following Gia Trattoria's four months in business ending in December 2021.  

Signage alert: Conor's Goat on Avenue A

Photo by Stacie Joy

Signage went up late last week at 23 Avenue A for Conor's Goat.

The last applicant for this space just south of Second Street was Mike Droney, whose credits include the now-closed Gleason's Tavern on West 41st Street.

CB3 approved a liquor license here in October 2022 for the then-unnamed establishment. According to the questionnaire (PDF here), the bar-restaurant will feature 18 tables spread out over the main floor and cellar... with a 10-seat bar. 

The sample menu with the application is from Gleason's, so Conor's Goat will presumably serve a like-minded variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. 

Per the CB3 minutes (PDF here), the approved hours were opening by 11 a.m. all days and closing by midnight Sunday to Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday,

Conor's Goat has an Instagram account (set to private now) right here.

The last tenant in this space, Brooklyn Bean Roastery Cafe, closed in July 2021 after 15 months in business. And previously, we had Yerba Buena, which closed at the end of 2017.

A psychic for this block of 5th Street

As you may have sensed, a psychic adviser recently debuted on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

We perceived this arrival via planetary placements in a birth chart. Also, Eden told us that this place opened.

For a period, it seemed like any vacant storefront would become a home for psychics and/or tarot card and/or palm readers... then along came smoke shops. 

Perhaps we may be in for a reset with psychics*, who reportedly fared well during the early days of the pandemic, and bank branches.

This storefront was previously home to Tamam, a home accessories boutique, for five years.  


* After writing the above post... we noticed that the psychic's storefront on Houston between Clinton and Attorney is now for rent...   

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Sunday's parting shot

Happy to see Michael Sean Edwards this afternoon... the photographer, who lived in the East Village for decades before relocating to Brooklyn, was showing new work titled "Riding the Rails" just for today at Mildred on Ridge Street between Stanton and Rivington.

Through the years, we've posted some of his 1970s-1980s photography (like here ... and here). Check out his self-published book titled "Past Future Past — The East Village 1978-1980" right here

You can also see some of his work on the walls at Gnocco on 10th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a moment during a Pan Arcadia set Thursday afternoon in Tompkins via Derek Berg)... 

• About Cure Thrift's community-driven new space coming to 3rd Avenue (Thursday

• Reports: Mount Sinai will phase out Beth Israel on 1st Avenue and 16th Street (Sunday

• ICYMI: The former P.S. 64/Charas is headed to a bankruptcy sale (Thursday

• A last look at vintage video game retailer 8 Bit and Up (Friday

• FTC Skateboarding pops up on Avenue A (Wednesday

• Target sets opening-day bullseye on Oct. 22 (Monday)

• East Village restaurant Cho-Ko comes back into view on 1st Avenue (Saturday

• Ben's Deli is temporarily closed for renovations (Tuesday

• The owners of Unregular Pizza unveil the Unregular Bakery on 4th Avenue (Monday

• Happy No. 129 to Veniero’s! (Saturday

• Reaching the top at 1 St. Mark's Place (Wednesday

• That's a wrap! Counting coins to benefit Social Tees at Mary O's (Tuesday

• Check out the former Salvation Army Family Store on 4th Avenue (Tuesday

• Brix Wine Shop is now open in its new space right next door on Avenue B (Monday

• B-Side will not reopen at 204 Avenue B (Tuesday

• Hello Lollo: Pizzeria signage alert at 27 Avenue B (Monday

• Signage alert: Curry Flavor on 6th Street (Wednesday)

• Buka has closed on 1st Avenue (Thursday

• East Village Mini Market debuts on Avenue A (Thursday

• On Houston, a bank branch replaces a nail salon, and it feels like 2010 (Monday)

• On 2nd Avenue, Moko temporarily relocates during renovation (Wednesday

• Today in grand opening alerts: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on 14th Street (Wednesday)

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

An upgrade and refresh for East Village community fridges

Top photo by Stacie Joy 

This past week, a new refrigerator arrived at the Loisaida CommUnity Fridge and Pantry at Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish on Avenue B and Ninth Street. 

After someone forcibly removed the door, the fridge had been out of commission for several weeks. 

This new fridge was installed by Pedro from La Plaza Cultural. He had to "raise the roof" a few inches on the enclosure to make room for the taller unit donated by Thadeaus Umpster from the New York City Community Fridge Network and IOH NYC (In Our Hearts NYC)

Meanwhile, last weekend, EVG regular Lola Sáenz painted the new East Village Neighbors Community Fridge & Pantry outside S'MAC on First Avenue at 12th Street...
Find a map of all NYC community fridges right here.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Happy No. 129 to Veniero’s!

Veniero's Pasticceria opened on this day in 1894 on 11th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. You can read the EV Grieve opening coverage here. 

You can check out a comprehensive history of the business via Village Preservation.

Yes, the VEN was out tonight on the neon signage.

East Village restaurant Cho-Ko comes back into view on 1st Avenue

After nearly three months, workers have removed most of the plywood from outside 59 First Ave., just south of Fourth Street. (We wrote about it on Aug. 16.)

The plywood completely obscured the two storefronts here... Giggles Convenience, an unlicensed cannabis shop, which was already closed.... and the very-much-open Cho-Ko, a homey Japanese restaurant serving a variety of ramen and gyoza. 

Several people we spoke with figured the place was closed... would-be diners had to navigate a plywood tunnel to enter during the sidewalk repair work.

You can find the Cho-Ko website here. They offer delivery via the usual platforms. Phone: (212) 388-0885.

Their listed hours are noon to 2 a.m. daily, with an 11 p.m. Sunday close. 

Saturday's opening shot

A (rare) quiet moment crossing First Avenue at 14th Street early this morning. 

More than an inch of rain is expected in the greater metropolitan (East Village) area today into this evening ... as, per the weather folks, we're getting the rain and wind from Tropical Rainstorm Ophelia. 

And happy fall.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Subsonic Youth


Subsonic Eye, an indie band from Singapore, recently released its fourth LP, All Around You. 

The video here is for "Yearning." 

And you can check out the band's brand of jangle pop on tour out at Baby's All Right on Oct. 22.

The 9th Street Block Party scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to rain

The heavy rain expected tomorrow has prompted organizers to cancel tomorrow's 9th Street A-1 Block Association Block Party between Avenue A and First Avenue.

And this will not be rescheduled. As we understand, the city will no longer allow rain dates for events like this.

A shame, as — along with the 10th Street Block Festival — this is one of the best block events around... and organizers have been hard at work planning this year's edition.

H/T William Klayer and Steven