Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Tuesday's parting shot

Halloween night at Village East by Angelika, 12th Street and Second Avenue.

6 posts from October

A mini month in review (with a photo in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg)... 

• A round-up of the old-school Chinese restaurants in the East Village (Oct. 25

• The milling of the multipurpose courts in Tompkins Square Park is underway (Oct. 17

• A last look inside Wegmans before its grand opening on Astor Place (Oct. 16

• This nearly block-long parcel on 2nd Avenue is now for sale (Oct. 16

• Posse officially in Effect now with the Beastie Boys on 14th Street and Avenue A (Oct. 5)

• Why the benches were removed from across the street from the 9th Precinct (Oct. 2)

Downtown Burritos Cocina Mexicana — the former Downtown Bakery — returns to service this Friday

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

After being closed for nearly eight months, Downtown Burritos Cocina Mexicana (FKA Downtown Bakery) will open this Friday morning at 69 First Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Street. 

Co-owners and brothers Ivan (left) and Mario Marín passed the Health Department inspection yesterday... and they previously got the OK from Con Ed for the gas service ...
As we first reported, Ivan and Mario, the longtime managers (20 years) of Downtown Bakery, bought the longtime business (established 1990) earlier this spring when the owner retired. 

This came on the heels of a DOH-mandated closure in February for Downtown Bakery operating with an expired health permit. The new owners then decided to take the opportunity to update the interior.

In renaming the business, the brothers mentioned the confusion regarding the inclusion of "Bakery" — people would call and ask about baked goods.
Daily hours moving forward: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Signage alert: Instant Noodle Factory on 7th Street

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Signage is up now for Instant Noodle Factory, opening next month at 130 E. Seventh St. just west of Avenue A...
This fast-casual DIY concept offers up instant noodles — more than 150 types. 

The first outpost opened this past summer in Long Island City... Eater's Robert Sietsema gave it a whirl (and liked it!): 
When you enter, you are advised to study the ramen matrix ... mainly from Japan, China, and Korea, though a few originate in Thailand, Singapore, and other locations. 

Yet, this is a factory and you are the worker responsible for preparing your own meal. I was entirely bewildered when I first walked in, wondering how to approach the place. But this bewilderment was delightful — because perplexed is not a bad way to feel at the start of a meal. My advice is to select one of the preset noodle combinations, eight in number, which include type of ramen; added objects like sausages, herbs, fish balls, and boiled eggs; and condiments. If you don't pick a preset combo, you could spend hours considering your million or so options.
No. 130's former tenant, Avant Garden, moved around the corner to Avenue A and Sixth Street in July.

Openings: The Avenue Cafe on St. Mark's Place

The Avenue Cafe debuted last week at 102 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The independent/minority-owned shop offers a variety of coffee drinks and housemade pastries. (There's an avocado croissant waffle available only on Saturdays and Sundays.) The shop is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This marks the first storefront for the owners after two-plus years inside the Jamaica Market food hall in Queens.

If you're on Instagram, you can follow The Avenue Cafe here

All the Kings Horses Café announces year-end closing date

After three years in service at 521 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, All the Kings Horses will shut down at the end of the year. 

Owner Robbie Lecchino made the announcement about his Australian café in an Instagram post on Sunday: 
We will be closing our doors December 31st this year. We have spent 3 of the best years nestled here in the East Village and have made so many friends and relationships continue building each day that we will cherish for many years to come. 

Thank you for the continued support during one of the toughest times in our lives during and beyond Covid-19. 

Please continue to support us as we will be operating right through until December 31st. Thank you welcoming us with open arms we will miss y'all... 
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with an 8 a.m. open on Sundays. 

ATKH opened in October 2020.

Image via Instagram

Monday, October 30, 2023


As seen on the Citizen app from last night... Later in the report, "Police advise the man is wearing a white mask, brown wig, and blue jumpsuit."

Pinc Louds and InCircles headline a Halloween afternoon show in Tompkins Square Park

A Halloween matinee is set for Tompkins Square Park tomorrow... featuring four bands: Tilt... Laurel Canyon ... InCircles ... and Pinc Louds

The free show is on from 2 to 6 p.m.

It's time for new clocks on the Most Holy Redeemer bell tower on 3rd Street

Photos by Stacie Joy

Restoration work has commenced on the bell and clock tower at Most Holy Redeemer/Nativity Parish on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

The four clocks on the tower that reaches 232 feet have been in a state of disrepair for the past two-plus decades.

Below is a letter to the community about the project from Father Seán Connolly:
I am happy to announce to you the beginning of the restoration project of our church's bell and clock tower! 

This historic and beautiful tower reaches into the sky far beyond most structures of the East Village at 232 feet, but as you are aware, has been in a state of disrepair for over two decades. The clock dial no longer works and the wood of its four faces is deteriorating making it an eyesore for our local community. Of the five bells only a single striker on one provides a lone toll at the noon hour. 

In consultation with our parish finance council, we have accepted a bid from Elderhorst Bells, Inc. to restore our bell and clock tower. The dial will work again and there will be four restored faces that will be lit at night, even in different colors depending upon liturgical feasts or civic holidays. There will also be five working bells that will beautifully chime and an electronic carillon system that will play a seasonal hymn at certain hours. 
The church is also accepting donations "to help alleviate the burden this restoration will have on our parish budget." You can find a link here.

Construction of the current church was completed in October 1851 (EV Grieve was the first media outlet to report on this in 1851!)

And more history:
A major overhaul of the church began in 1912. Many of the renovations are still evident. With a tower that today reaches into the sky far beyond most of the structures of the East Village at 232 feet, it is hard to believe that it once was even taller. The 250-foot tower was reinforced and lowered to its current height and capped with a new copper dome and gold cross. 
And a view of the church dated 1875...
Father Seán provided a tour of the tower to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. We'll post those photos another day... here's a teaser...

Reports: Mount Sinai proposed July 2024 closing date for Beth Israel's 16th Street campus

Photo by Stacie Joy

According to published reports (including Crain's and Becker's Hospital Review), Mount Sinai Beth Israel's 16th Street campus now has a proposed July 12, 2024, closing date.

The date was revealed after the health system presented a plan last Wednesday to state authorities on the closure of the 799-bed teaching hospital on First Avenue.

Last month, Mount Sinai officials stated they would phase out operations here, though didn't provide a timeline.

Per Becker's on Friday:
 "We do not take this decision lightly, but due to the changing healthcare landscape and the unfortunate economic reality at MSBI, urgent action is required to preserve the health and vitality of the overall system," Mount Sinai said in a statement. 

The hospital is running at only 20% to 25% capacity and has incurred more than $1 billion in losses, with 2023 losses expected to be approximately $150 million, the hospital said. 
Mount Sinai officials have said that they remain committed to other facilities it operates downtown.

There's also speculation that Mount Sinai Beth Israel, the parent corporation of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, might try to sell the property it owns on 14th Street and Second Avenue, 13th Street and Second Avenue, and 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue — which "could fetch up to $70 million if sold for apartment-building construction," per the Post back in February.  

'Death' becomes her?: Rachel Bloom is up next at the Orpheum Theatre on 2nd Avenue

The post-"Stomp" life continues on at the Orpheum Theatre on Second Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Signage is up now for the next production — Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Rachel Bloom's "Death, Let Me Do My Show" ...
The musical had a successful run earlier this fall off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The show is in the EV from Dec. 7 through Jan. 6. You can find tickets here.

Bloom might be best know as the star (and co-creator) of the CW musical dramedy, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (2015-2019). 

"Stomp" ended its 29-year run at the Orpheum in early January. The first post-"Stomp" production, the burlesque "Star Wars" parody "The Empire Strips Back," closed on July 20 — one month earlier than planned.

"Death" seems like a throwback to the theater's days in the 1980s, when the Orpheum was well-known for Off-Broadway productions such as Sandra Bernhard's "Without You I'm Nothing," Eric Bogosian's "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" and John Leguizamo's "Mambo Mouth" (not to mention "Little Shop of Horrors").   

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Sunday's parting shot

Midtown and pigeon views during today's rainy afternoon...

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a waiting room photo at East Village Smiles on Avenue B by Edmund John Dunn)... 

• City using the former St. Brigid School to help asylum seekers with transportation (Tuesday

• Honest Chops Butchery has left 9th Street (Friday

• A round-up of the old-school Chinese restaurants in the East Village (Wedensday

• Checking in on Superiority Burger 6+ months in; weekend breakfast & lunch and Chrissy's Pizza coming soon (Thursday

• A "boutique micro hotel" is in the works for this former Bowery flophouse (Monday)

• Openings: Ayat on Avenue C (Tuesday

• Report: LLC pays $44 million for the loan to the former P.S. 64 (Wednesday

• You will be able to hone your comedy skills at a former 7-Eleven with the Upright Citizens Brigade (Monday

• 1 week in on the reconstruction of the Tompkins Square Park multipurpose courts (Monday

• At the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade (Sunday

• 14th Street wishes you an early happy holiday season (Saturday

• A bust at LA Convenience on Avenue A (Thursday

• Montauk's Memory Motel is popping up on 3rd Avenue and 13th Street (Thursday

• This East Village building is now Untitled (Monday

• A quick look at Manhattan Pawffice, opening next week at 20 St. Mark's Place (Wednesday

• Momofuku Ko is closing in Extra Place (Wednesday

... and St. Mark's Place lives thanks to the ongoing events at Village Works at 12 St. Mark's Place... Eden shared this clip from Friday night...
Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

EVG Etc.: Tensions at Cooper Union; 'Basquiat x Warhol' at the Brant Foundation

A view inside La Plaza Cultural the other afternoon 

• The body of 13-year-old Kavion Brown Godfrey, a student at Lower East Side Prep, was pulled from the East River. He was last seen entering the river near Sixth Street on Oct. 20. (CBS News ... People

• Tensions at Cooper Union over Israel-Hamas war protest (CBS New York ... The New York Times ... NBC New York

• Early voting is underway — here's a primer on this year's elections in NYC (The City)

• Eleven years after Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to protect the city from coastal storms still on the drawing board (City Limit)

• Report: Chains are using theft to mask other issues (CNN Business)

• Life at 58-72 Avenue A under the new landlords (Hell Gate ... previously on EVG

• A look at the new "Basquiat x Warhol" exhibit, opening Wednesday at the Brant Foundation on Sixth Street (Time Out... previously on EVG)

• Details on "Connected Cozmos,' a new art exhibit curated by two NYU students at the recently opened Cozmos on 10th Street near Avenue A (Washington Square News)

• The well-reviewed "Past Lives," filmed partly in the East Village, is enjoying another run at Village East by Angelika on Second Avenue — several screenings are in the large Jaffe Art Theatre auditorium (Official site

• The H.P. Lovecraft-inspired series continues through Nov. 5 (Anthology Film Archives)

• Thurston Moore discusses his new autobiography (The Guardian

• Q&A with "Gen Z thrifting icon" Emma Rogue, who has a popular shop on Stanton Street (Mashable)

Sunday's opening shot

Photo by Robin McMillan 

As seen in Tompkins Square Park this Halloween weekend...

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday's parting shot

Hallowwen time at the Knickerbocker on Ninth Street and University Place...

Deer Gallery presents 'Steven Hirsch: BIG and small'

Starting today, the Deer Gallery is presenting "Steven Hirsch: BIG and small," showcasing more than 30 large and small-scale paintings created this year by the longtime East Village resident.

Here's more via the EVG inbox...
Steven Hirsch's artistic journey has undergone a transformation since he moved into his new studio at the former Boys Club of New York, now reimagined as an arts center. His latest works transcend the confines of mere inches, expanding to encompass near meters, offering a captivating exploration of larger canvases that will be unveiled for the first time. 
The opening reception is from 2-5 p.m. today.

The exhibit is up through Dec. 23 at the gallery on the NW corner of Avenue A and 10th Street. After today's opening, hours are Saturday 12-5 p.m. and by appointment. 

Find the gallery's website at this link. 

14th Street wishes you an early happy holiday season

Workers were out this morning putting up the festive holiday lighting on this Oct. 28 along the always-festive stretch of 14th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

We spotted the illumination(s) crew one block to the west...
Happy Halloween Weekend...

Saturday's opening shot

Full-on fall in effect on Second Street at First Avenue... enjoy the day with a high of 81 (!!!!)... with cool, rainy conditions back for the 39th weekend tomorrow.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Friday's parting shot

Another in the Halloween-time EV storefront series (here and here)... the Sock Man at 99 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue...

Beast of 'Unburden'


Another Halloween-ish music video...  this is Mode Moderne with "Unburden Yourself."

While there's a gloomy 1980s new wave sound, the song by the Vancouver-based band is from 2014. 

Time for the Lower East Side Halloween Book Crawl

The Lower East Side Halloween Book Crawl returns... taking place tomorrow (Saturday!) from noon to 7 p.m. 

The participating shops: 
Bluestockings Cooperative, 116 Suffolk St.
Book Club Bar, 197 E. Third St. 
P&T Knitwear, 180 Orchard St. 
Printed Matter/St. Mark's, 38 St. Mark's Place 
Sweet Pickle Books, 47 Orchard St. 
Village Works, 12 St. Mark's Place 
Yu and Me Books, 115 Delancey (temp location) 

Per organizers: "Each bookstore will offer discounts and perks (such as free merchandise and free snacks) throughout the day."

About a 'Lovely Horror Show' Satellite urday night, 3 classic films in 1 community garden

Tomorrow (Saturday!) night, LUNGS is hosting a slate of horror films at the Green Oasis Community Garden, 370 E. Eighth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D. 

Starting at 6:30 p.m.:
• "Frankenstein" (the James Whale version from 1931) 
• "Night of the Living Dead"
 • "The Innocents

And all together now... It's alive!...


This weekend: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Campos Community Garden

The annual celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at the Campos Community Garden, 640 E. 12th St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Here's more info via the EVG inbox... 
We invite you back to our community event for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Campos Community Garden. 

• Altar set up Saturday, 12-4 p.m. 
• Community Event Sunday, 2-5 p.m. 
• Cetiliztl Nauhcampa Dancers Ceremony Sunday, 3 p.m. 

We will have our sheltered altar set up in the gazebo. Feel free to bring your items in remembrance of your friends, relatives, pets, or any of your loved ones. There will also be an area for kids to make items to add to the altar. 

This is our 13th?! year organizing the event for the community. It's a tradition connected to Aztec/Indigenous roots and Spanish traditions. It is several days — of not mourning or sadness — but Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. 

Come enjoy with us in the garden. Bring an item for the altar in remembrance of a loved one or someone you admired, especially those we lost during the pandemic and other recent tragedies. 

Tomorrow: Psycho Parkula and the Tompkins Square Book and Arts Fair

There's a psychobilly Halloween show (dubbed Psycho Parkula!) set for tomorrow afternoon in Tompkins Square Park. Catch the bill of bands from 2-6.

At the same time, the Tompkins Square Book and Arts Fair will be taking place.

Per the invite: "Come and get works of art, hand-made crafts, zines, books, clothing, records, videos, and more, including FREE stuff, all offered by members of your community on the Lower East Side."

Honest Chops Butchery has left 9th Street

Photos by Stacie Joy

Honest Chops, billed as "the first organic and humane halal butcher shop in New York City," has moved out of its basement location at 319 E. Ninth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

According to a tipster, the 10-year lease was up (the shop opened in March 2014) ... and they are looking for a new storefront. (H/T MP!) They will be reopening, though they don't have space just yet. People can email them to keep updated. 

Workers yesterday were moving out some of the shop's fixtures ...
Burgers By Honest Chops closed on MacDougal Street in May 2022. Ownership said in a Facebook post "that prices were going up substantially" via their suppliers, and they didn't want to pass on the increase to patrons.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Thursday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

Something to soothe your jangled nerves on Second Avenue near Fourth Street...

About the Haunted Halloween Party this Saturday at La Plaza Cultural

Little Missionary's Day Nursery on St. Mark's Place is hosting A Haunted Halloween Party at La Plaza Cultural this Saturday (Oct. 28!). 

The annual event serves as a fundraiser for the school. The party is free to enter and open to all... there's a small charge for some of the games and activities... as well as for the food and beverages donated by the following local businesses: Mary O's (scones!), Bobwhite Counter, S'MAC, Veniero's, Gelso & Grand, the Grafton, Iggy's Pizzeria, La Palapa and Brooklyn Dumpling Shop. 

You can join the Halloween action from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the community garden on the SW corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street. 

The tattoos are fake... 

A bust at LA Convenience on Avenue A

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy

Last night around 9, a multi-agency raid took place at LA Convenience at 105 Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. 

Officers confiscated a large quantity of products (labels included vapes/cartridges and edibles/candies) ... and left the smoke shop with more than 12 bags of items...
The shop, formerly LES Convenience, has been busted several times this year... and eventually reopens.
As previously reported, as of August, a new city law is now in effect that holds commercial landlords responsible for renting storefronts to unlicensed cannabis shops. 

Introduction 1001-B, known as Local Law 107 of 2023, prohibits owners of commercial spaces from knowingly leasing to unlicensed sellers of marijuana or tobacco products, imposing fines of up to $10,000 on landlords for violations. 

Checking in on Superiority Burger 6+ months in; weekend breakfast & lunch and Chrissy's Pizza coming soon

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

After several weekends of staff training for friends and family extravaganzas, Superiority Burger officially debuted (for a few hours!) on April 1 in its new home at 119 Avenue A. 

Since then, the vegetable-centric diner-restaurant has enjoyed some positive notices in the press. For instance, in late June, Pete Wells bestowed three (out of four) stars on Superiority Burger for The New York Times ... this followed a solid review in The New Yorker. More recently, The Michelin Guide added them to its "recommended" list. 

And you've seen people waiting from time to time for the opening bell at 5 p.m.

Taking stock in this six-plus-month milestone, owner and East Village resident Brooks Headley is pleased. 

"Things are going pretty great," he said. 

Early last month, Superiority Burger recently expanded its evening service to seven days.


Coming soon: Saturday and Sunday all-day service. "Breakfast and lunch will include a significant amount of breakfast items," Headley told me. (Note: this is breakfast and lunch, NOT BRUNCH. He wanted everyone to be clear about that!) 

In addition, Headley will soon be serving the popular Chrissy's Pizza on the late-night menu. Chrissy's has been making pies around the corner in the former Superiority Burger space on Ninth Street. (Headley still has the lease for the storefront, and is friends with Chrissy's founder Chris Hansell.)

 "We want people to be able to have Chrissy's Pizza and a place to sit and have a beverage," Headley said.

I then headed to the back bar — aka Fowzy's Saloon ... where bar manager Fowzy (left) and Paddy were setting up for the evening...
There is a special late-night and bar menu (lower left corner!) ...
You can get it to go too...
And if a burger isn't your thing, you can get snack mix for a quarter...
Anyway, it has been a good scene back here...
And some Superiority Burger history... the quick-serve spot opened — as primarily a to-go operation — in the East Village on Ninth Street in June 2015. News of their move to a larger space — the former Odessa — on Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place arrived in the summer of 2021.