Wednesday, January 31, 2024

6 posts from January

A mini month in review... (with a photo at Gizmo by Stacie Joy) 

• Reports: Man slashed after asking man to stop urinating on car along 14th Street at 1st Avenue (Jan. 23

• Why we may have seen the last of longtime East Village bar Lucy's (Jan. 22)

• The Veselka documentary, narrated by David Duchovny, opens at the Village East on Feb. 23 (Jan. 19

• Observations on the growing humanitarian crisis with asylum seekers in the East Village (Jan. 16

• Documenting the demolition of Middle Collegiate Church (Jan. 8

• Longtime East Village sewing shop Gizmo will be relocating in early 2024 (Jan. 3)

Report explores the impact of Mount Sinai Beth Israel's potential closure on the local community

A new report outlines how the pending closure of Mount Sinai Beth Israel on First Avenue at 16th Street will negatively affect vulnerable patients and other medically underserved residents downtown. 

Members of the Community Coalition to Save Beth Israel and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary were joined Monday by Assemblymember Harvey Epstein and State Sen. Kirsten Gonzalez at the Community Board 3 office on Fourth Street to release the results of the health equity impact assessment that explores the consequences of closing Beth Israel. 

Among the results from the report, titled "Lower Manhattan Lifeline: What Beth Israel Medical Center Means to Local Residents" (copy here): 

• Lower Manhattan seriously lacks hospital capacity. Below 14th Street, there is only one full-service hospital with 180 beds for more than 300,000 people. That's less than one hospital bed per 1,000 people — far below the state and national averages of 2.4 beds per 1,000 people.

• Closure of the nearest hospital above 14th Street — Beth Israel — would send people needing emergency care to Bellevue and NYU Langone, which are already "high volume" ERs with average wait times of more than three hours. 

• People with disabilities and frail elderly people, some of whom have depended on Beth Israel for their entire lives, are terrified of losing what they regard as their community hospital and worried about the cost and physical challenges of traveling to uptown Mount Sinai hospitals. 

• The zip codes from which significant percentages of Beth Israel patients are drawn — especially 10002 — include some of the city’s poorest residents, higher-than-citywide rates of public insurance, speaking a language other than English at home, and having only a high school or less education. These are the people who told our surveyors they fear the closure of Beth Israel will leave them without nearby hospital care. 

"There are massive equity implications to Mount Sinai's attempt to close Beth Israel Hospital," Epstein said. "The results of the health equity impact survey show that people with disabilities and low-income folks will suffer the most. The closure of MSBI would disproportionately impact the most vulnerable people in our community. We will not stop fighting to preserve this vital neighborhood hospital." 

Organizers sent a copy of the report to New York State Health Commissioner James McDonald, who must decide whether to approve the Mount Sinai Health System's request to close Beth Israel. 

Beth Israel executives have said that the closure is necessary because the hospital has racked up over $1 billion in losses in recent years.

As previously reported, there's a pending July 12, 2024, closing date on the books. In October, officials reportedly notified state regulators — who must sign off on their plans — of their request to shutter the 799-bed teaching hospital.

Everytable has closed its Avenue B outpost (and every other NYC location)

Everytable, the Los Angeles-based fast-casual concept focused on healthy meals, has closed all NYC locations, including the outpost at 229 Avenue B between 13th Street and 14th Street. 

The gate has been down at Avenue B for several weeks. Google and Yelp both list the location as permanently closed. In fact, all the NYC outposts — we counted seven locations — have closed. 

An Everytable rep told an EVG reader: "Last week, we made the incredibly tough decision to leave New York for now." The rep said they would take a "step back in this moment to build a truly revolutionary company." (We reached out for comment as well.) 

The Everytable website no longer lists any NYC addresses, with 11 locations still serving in Southern California. 

Here's more about the company, per a June 2023 news release on a $25 million round of funding: 
Founded in 2016, Everytable is a mission-driven food company based in Los Angeles that fights for food justice and equality by providing healthy and nutritious food that is both accessible and affordable for everyone. Everytable is a multi-channel, fresh-prepared food business blending stores, subscriptions, delivery, and SmartFridges supplied by a central kitchen, with meals priced according to the neighborhood. 
The Avenue B location opened in May 2023

H/T EVG reader Diane Jones Randall

That penthouse with a cottage atop 1st Street and 1st Avenue is ... back... on... the... market!

Image via DroneHub Media 

The penthouse unit at 72 E. First St. — aka The Minthorne House — at First Avenue with the Cape Cod-style cottage on its rooftop is BACK on the market. 

One of the most unique East Village homes sold in the summer of 2017 for $3.5 million. Now the circa-1841 space with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms spread out over two floors has a $9.75 million ask, this after renovations. (Find the listing here.) 

Per the listing (which Curbed first noted): 
The crown of the penthouse is the Cape Cod-style roof cottage and private landscaped terrace, one of New York City’s most delectable hidden gems. With ceilings up to 12', exposures on three sides, an open view to the south, and a level of finish equal to the rest of the house, the cottage is a transportative oasis. 

As a standalone studio, it can function as a guest suite or a private home office. A banquette with bay windows overlooks the planted terrace, with shrubbery, an apple tree, and multiple seating and lounging areas.

You can find more photos and descriptive descriptions right here.  

Until 2017, Gale Barrett Shrady was reportedly the owner. The cottage addition was the handiwork of her late husband, artist Henry Merwin Shrady III. She called the charming cottage a "magical little spot" that served as her son's bedroom through college.


Bring back Boca Chica!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

East Village Loves NYC seeks a new commercial kitchen to help feed NYC’s food insecure

File photo by Stacie Joy 

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic — is looking for a commercial kitchen to use to continue their mission to help end food insecurity in New York.

Since June 2020, EV Loves NYC, now a 501c3 nonprofit organization, has prepared meals from the kitchen at the Sixth Street Community between Avenue B and Avenue C.

Here's more via an Instagram post:
The need for food and love in our city has only gotten greater and we're still operating out of a setup the size of a suburban home's kitchen. (Don't get us wrong: We are forever grateful to Sixth Street. They opened their doors to us and gave us keys, no questions asked, in June 2020 when we were just a small group of friends, not yet a not-for-profit org.) You are our best resource, as always. Can you think of any leads? Corporate kitchens? Kitchens in event spaces or church halls or arts venues? Anything?
You can find contact info on the EV Loves NYC website here... or DM them on Instagram.

In the spring of 2020, a handful of friends got together to prepare meals for neighbors. Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street, donated his kitchen on Mondays for the group to cook its meals. By June 2020, they had outgrown the space and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Eventually, the group became known as East Village Loves NYC, with volunteers in the four digits. In their first year, the group cooked over 100,000 meals, not to mention donated 325,000 pounds of groceries and 7,000 pounds of pantry bags.

Ongoing building issues force Caffe Corretto to close after only 2 months in service on 12th Street

Photo from June 2023 by Stacie Joy 

After more than five months of frustrating limbo during building repairs, the owners of Caffe Corretto announced yesterday that they will not be reopening at 511 E. 12th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

East Village residents Colin Vickery and Leah Blewett, partners in business and life, were behind this project that they say was inspired by the all-day cafes of Rome. Sadly, though, they only were able to realize their dream of running a restaurant for two months last summer.

The two shared this statement with us yesterday:
We are heartbroken to announce that Caffe Corretto will not return ...

After years of planning, two joyful months of service, and five months and counting of frustrating limbo, the ongoing repairs to our building have forced us to depart permanently. Following a gas leak that was discovered in August, we were required to close our doors, and while we've worked hard since then, the space still cannot be used for our restaurant at this time. 

We remain hopeful that the robust and comprehensive business interruption insurance that we purchased to protect us in the case of an event like this will come through. However, without that crucial support for our young business, we must bid farewell to our home on 12th Street. 

We want to share our warmest thanks with our team, our investors, our friends and family, and especially our guests. Welcoming you was an unmitigated delight, and we will miss you dearly. 
We're so grateful for all of the love and support you've shown us, including through this interminable closure, and we look forward to seeing you around our neighborhood for a caffe, a slice, or a cold vermouth over ice with a twist.

In a follow-up email with EVG's Stacie Joy, Leah said:

We love the idea of reopening at some point, but for now, it's far away and would for certain require our business interruption insurance to pay according to the terms of our policy. Until then, there's not much we can do except vacate the space and wait and see.
Caffe Corretto opened last June, offering an appealing mix of breakfast pastries and lunchtime pizza al taglio ... while the evening menu featured a variety of pasta dishes, seasonal salads, and other entrees via Chef Alessandro Urbisci. 

Previously, Raclette was here for six years, bowing out in 2022.  

360 Bowery sheds it construction elevator

A milestone of sorts at 360 Bowery, where workers have removed most of the construction elevator from outside the 22-story office building at Fourth Street.

We saw the first sign of the new development above the plywood about a year ago

The developers of this project within the Soho/Noho rezoning area are a collaboration between Morris Adjmi Architects, CBSK Ironstate and AECOM-Canyon Partners.

This development — offering full-floor office suites — replaces the single-level B Bar & Grill (1994-2020) on the property, previously a gas station.

And from specific vantage points, you can barely tell that it's there...

Monday, January 29, 2024

Amid an influx of asylum seekers in the East Village, elected officials urge the city to open more reticketing centers

Photos last week by Stacie Joy

City Council leaders say the Adams administration needs to create more reticketing centers in NYC to meet the demand created by the Mayor's 30- and 60-day shelter limit stays. 

The letter, signed by District 2 Councilmember Carlina Rivera, House Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, and Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, calls the situation at the city's lone center, located at the former St. Brigid School on Seventh Street and Avenue B, "untenable and increasingly unmanageable." 

The lines here are only getting longer as more asylum seekers arrive here to reapply for a cot assignment or shelter location. Those in the line have been evicted due to the city's shelter limit, implemented late last year, which is 60 days for families and 30 days for individuals.

As previously reported, the long lines often result in many people being unable to enter before the site closes, forcing some to sleep outside the building or in Tompkins Square Park, where the city removed the public restrooms on Jan. 9.
Here's more from the letter: 
With more than one center and a consideration for locations in each borough, the City can ensure people do not stand on line in the cold without access to even basic facilities like bathrooms. Multiple locations would also ensure that people are closer to culturally competent, community-based programs and services. 

Volunteers with LESReady!, a Lower East Side nonprofit with organizing and service-provision experience, have identified four potential sites in Council District 2 alone that could support overflow pending the City's approval. It is important that we provide the same services available at St. Brigid's at these additional locations and ask that the managing agencies also do more to provide translation services for both those seeking asylum and the local police precincts who help with the crowds present. 
Currently, having one reticketing center has not only led to physical capacity concerns, it has created a burden on the adjacent local community and its public spaces. Resources are needed to keep up with quality of life issues. It appears that efficiency at St. Brigid's has been in decline, with travel hardships and the overall cost-effectiveness of the process in place in question. Public safety concerns have increased without a support network available even locally to those waiting. 
Line-cutting has been an ongoing issue. Other problems have been observed by officials and residents ... which likely prompted this newly posted Reticketing Center Code of Conduct. (The city published the Code in multiple languages.) 

The 18 points covered include "ignoring directions from staff and City partners" and "setting fire to anything."
The letter concludes with the Council leaders urging the city to act "quickly and compassionately in creating a better system for the thousands of people coming to St. Brigid's for assistance."

Since October, the former school has operated as a Reticketing Center overseen by the NYC Emergency Management (formerly the Office of Emergency Management or OEM).

According to published reports, the city has spent more than $3 billion on housing and services for asylum seekers since the spring of 2022. 

More about the new taqueria opening in the former Chicken & the Egg space

A quick follow-up post to the item last Wednesday about Chicken & the Egg closing in the front space at 221 Second Ave. between 13th Street and 14th Street.

Sincerely, Ophelia, the speakeasy in the back, remains in operation.

• As we noted, the new food vendor is Dear Rufino Taqueria. The owners of Zona Rosa out on Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue are behind this new venture, expected to debut in the coming week.

Yuca Bar remains closed for renovations

Photos by Steven

The renovation of Yuca Bar on the NW corner of Seventh Street and Avenue A is taking longer than expected. The signage originally stated a closure until Jan. 25.

However, there is work left to complete...
Yuca's Instagram account now lists a February reopening.

The restaurant offering Latin cuisine and weekend brunches closed for the renovations on Jan. 2.

Dunkin' shutters on Cooper Square

After 10 years of dispensing doughnuts and coffee, the Dunkin' outpost at 67 Cooper Square has closed. 

A for-lease sign now hangs in the front window here between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place. Workers cleared out the space last week.

Apparently, the 10-year lease was up. The brand arrived here in the summer of 2014, the new tenant after Norman's Sound & Vision decamped to Williamsburg

Dunkin' was always a nice alternative to chains like Blank City Coffee.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Today in vibrating severed hands

An EVG reader shared this photo from outside the vacant lot — the site of the former 123 Second Ave. — between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place. 

Per the reader: "The hand is connected to some sort of wire so the hand is vibrating."

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a Tuesday sunrise shot by Jeanne Krier)... 

• Reports: Man slashed after asking man to stop urinating on car along 14th Street at 1st Avenue (Tuesday) ... Police seek information in 'attempted murder' after Sunday's slashing on 14th Street (Saturday

• Why we may have seen the last of longtime East Village bar Lucy's (Monday) ... Fan signage for Lucy's (Tuesday

• Tompkins Square Park remains without restrooms for public use (Monday

• Signage alert: Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao on St. Mark's Place (Tuesday

• Today in urban etiquette notes on 7th Street about dogs shitting in tree planters (Thursday)

• At last, a sidewalk bridge along 280 E. Houston St., site of a new 12-story building (Tuesday

• Apple Bank is branching out — and away — from 2nd Avenue (Monday

• Photos: Tetchy headlines the Knitting Factory at Baker Falls on Avenue A (Thursday

• A look inside Iglesia Pentecostal El Divino Maestro on 3rd Street (Friday)

• Fans of El Primo Red Tacos can soon pig out at Tacos El Porky (Wednesday

• Today in discarded deer taxidermy mounts on 2nd Avenue (Tuesday

• Chicken & the Egg closes; taqueria in the works for the space (Wednesday

• Kestrel-eye view of Tompkins Square Park (Wednesday)

The piebald squirrel of Tompkins Square Park

Photos by Steven 

In recent months, there have been sightings of a squirrel with a dappled mix of white, brown and grey —or maybe you see blue and black. (Jeremiah Moss first shared an image of the squirrel on Instagram in late December). 
We don't recall seeing it before then... what's known as a piebald squirrel... Steven took these photos yesterday...
Per AZ Animals: "White squirrels are a genetic rarity caused by either albinism or leucism. Although there are over two million Eastern grey squirrels in North America, piebald — also known as pied or leucistic — squirrels make up a small fraction of the total squirrel population." 

The site says that if you see one, "then you can consider yourself lucky."

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Saturday's parting shots

Photos by William Klayer 

The latest Sonny Angel drop drew a crowd today at an.mé, Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...
Kids love them, and so do older kids. A look into the craze here
Sonny Angel, a line of miniature dolls created by a Japanese toy manufacturer and inspired by the cartoon character, Kewpie, has experienced a boom in popularity in the last few years alone (the brand first graced the market in the early 2000s).

Police seek information in 'attempted murder' after Sunday's slashing on 14th Street

The NYPD has placed reward posters along 14th Street for information related to the slashing outside the Immaculate Conception Church this past Sunday evening

According to police and media reports, the victim, John Mach, who works as a caretaker at the church just east of First Avenue, was slashed in the neck with a razor blade after trying to stop a man from urinating between cars. 

The suspect was also reportedly going to urinate on the church wall. The two men got into an argument. The unidentified suspect returned just after 5 and slashed Mach along his jawline to behind his left ear as he helped a wheelchair user enter the church, according to the reports. 

Mach needed 16 stitches to close the gash on his neck. (He talked with ABC 7 here.) 

Police are offering up to $3,500 for information about the suspect, who is apparently known in the area. Anyone with information about the incident — which the police are calling "attempted murder" — can contact the NYPD through the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

According to The Tablet, Mach was back at work the day after the slashing.

The first opossum sighting of 2024 in Tompkins Square Park

Thanks to EVG reader Richard for this up-close shot from yesterday in Tompkins Square Park. 

There have been opossum sightings through the years in the Park (hence its own EVG opossum tag).

And now some facts about these members of the marsupial order Didelphimorphia:
Opossums' diet includes all types of bugs and insects, including cockroaches, crickets, and beetles. They also eat mice and rats. Nocturnal opossums are attracted to neighborhoods by the availability of water, pet food left out at night, and overripe, rotting fruit.
Odd that opossums would be attracted to this neighborhood — as we have none of these things!

Saturday's opening shot

An early morning Porky drop for Key Food on Avenue A at Fourth Street...

Friday, January 26, 2024

Just like 'Honey'


The Toronto-based PACKS has released its third release, Melt the Honey, one of the best records so far in 1994 2024! 

The video here features the indie-rock goodness of "Honey." 

Catch PACKS out at Baby's All Right this May 3.

A look inside Iglesia Pentecostal El Divino Maestro on 3rd Street

Photos and text by Stacie Joy 

I recently saw the front gates open at Iglesia Pentecostal El Divino Maestro, one of the many congregations on East Village side streets. 

A caretaker invited me inside the church here at 250 E. Third St, between Avenue B and Avenue C...
Part of the building's roots is still on display heading into the sanctuary...
Here's some history of the building via Village Preservation... 
In 1946, a new building permit was filed to construct a Jewish synagogue on this site. The synagogue was owned by Congregation Beth Hakneseth Anshel Mieletz. 

The building is currently owned by a Christian church, Iglesia Pentecostal. The conversion of the synagogue into a church occurred prior to the time a 1980s tax photo was taken, but there is no record of its exact year. 
We're told that there's a small congregation today...
Services are on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) and worship on Sunday mornings at 10, but doors open at 9:15 a.m. Services are in Spanish only by El Divino Maestro Rev. Julio Calcaño.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Photos: Tetchy headlines the Knitting Factory at Baker Falls on Avenue A

Photos by The Hella Sketchy 

Last Thursday night, Knitting Factory at Baker Falls on Avenue A played host to a Tetchy EP release show.

The Brooklyn-based band — guitarist-vocalist Maggie Denning, guitarist Jesse French, bassist Kaitlin Pelkey, and drummer Max Goldstein — has unleased its latest collection of empowering punk, All In My Head, via Trash Casual.

Here are a few scenes from the band's headlining performance...
You can keep tabs on Tetchy via Instagram. Look for their video for "Psychosomatic" tomorrow... and expect to hear more from the band in 2024, including dates at SXSW... 

Today in urban etiquette notes on 7th Street about dogs shitting in tree planters

An urban etiquette note from Seventh Street. (Thank you, East Village Neighbor, for the photo!

And the message, with an attention-grabbing salutation: 
Dear Neighbor Who Let His Dog Shit in Our Tree Planter, 

You waited until no one was looking, but we saw you and took a photo — busted! The EV has a website for people who rudely don't clean up after their dogs, congrats! You're on it. Have some courtesy for others. 

P.S. Invest in some poop bags.
East Village Neighbor asks, Is there actually a dog poop non-picker-upper website in the EV???

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wednesday's parting shot

A forlorn look at the now-closed New Yorkers Foodmarket at 107 Second Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.

The grocery shut down at the end of 2023. Read more about that here

Thanks to longtime East Village resident Dana Della Valle for the photo.

Kestrel-eye view of Tompkins Square Park

Thanks to EVG reader Jeremy Schipper for this photo by Tompkins Square Park...

(And one more fire-escape shot and we will have a trends piece!)

Fans of El Primo Red Tacos can soon pig out at Tacos El Porky

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy

There's a changing of the taco guard at 151 Avenue A between Ninth Street and 10th Street. 

After four months in business, the Miami-based El Primo Red Tacos will change over to its sister restaurant, Tacos El Porky, in the coming weeks. 

We hadn't seen El Primo open lately. Management confirmed the El Porky switcheroo in an Instagram message.
The new quick-serve establishment specializes in tacos al pastor. You can find their menu here.

El Primo Red Tacos, with its birria tacos, debuted on Sept. 7.

Chicken & the Egg closes; taqueria in the works for the space

Chicken & the Egg has closed at 221 Second Ave. between 13th Street and 14th Street. 

Signage notes the new business coming soon: Dear Rufino Taqueria...
We're not sure who's behind the new establishment... and if the closure also impacts Sincerely, Ophelia, the speakeasy in the back. 

The fried chicken sandwich restaurant-speakeasy combo opened in August 2022.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Today in discarded deer taxidermy mounts on 2nd Avenue

As seen this evening on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. Per EVG reader Samir Randeria, who shared the photo: "Saw two guys pick it up together and take it further east ... with great excitement."

Fan signage for Lucy's

Upon reading about the latest developments at Lucy's (aka Blanche's Lucy's Tavern), 135 Avenue A, EVG regular Lola Sáenz created this handpainted signage.

As first reported yesterday, someone painted over the Lucy's signage at the bar between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street. Worse, though, the building recently sold, and the new landlord wants a rent increase that Lucy can't afford. Read more here.

Updated 5:30 p.m.: Stacie Joy reports someone already removed Lola's sign.

At last a sidewalk bridge along 280 E. Houston St., site of a new 12-story building

Photos by Salim 

The site of an incoming 12-story residential building has reached the next phase at 280 E. Houston St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Workers have finally erected a sidewalk bridge to keep pedestrians safe(r). In the previous iteration, pedestrians and various cyclists (e-bikes, scooters, etc.) had to share the roadway.
However, in creating the new walkway, workers entombed this tree near Avenue B in concrete ... might as well just chop it down now ...
To recap: The new development will contain 224,809 square feet of space — for residential, commercial and community use. The residential portion will total 211,028 square feet for 157 apartments, per DOB records. The retail section will feature 12,000 square feet, while the community facility is 1,300 square feet.