Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Tuesday's parting shot

Photo by Steven 

Ham and friend in Tompkins today...

A new 'Prime' time for East Village burlesque host Tabby Twitch

Photo by Stacie Joy 

Earlier this month, we featured Tabby Twitch's live burlesque show "Prime," which has found a home in the back room at the Gray Mare, the pub at 61 Second Ave. between Third Street and Fourth Street. 

Twitch dubs herself the "friskiest feline in burlesque." Twitch, also known as actor Jane Cortney and a longtime local resident of Ninth Street, produces and performs in "Prime."

"Prime focuses on performers at the height of their powers because I came to burlesque later in life. I want to show what it means to be 'in your prime,' with all the richness and experience that entails," Cortney told EVG's Stacie Joy. "Though I highlight burlesque performers, there is a salon feel to the evening. A vocalist performs, and I weave poetry throughout the night. My goal is for the audience to leave my show feeling relaxed and reinvigorated, in their prime regardless of their actual age."

The April 4 show was postponed... the next one is now set for this Thursday (May 2) at 8 p.m. Details here.

6 posts from April

A mini month in review (with a photo from Tompkins Square Park)... 

• The untold story of Snack Dragon's attempted East Village comeback (April 23

• D.A. Bragg announces indictment of suspect in 2 March shootings In Tompkins Square Park (April 16

• East Village native Anna Colombia on pursuing photography and growing up in the neighborhood (April 11

• Essex Card Shop robbed on Avenue A (April 6

• The solar eclipse with the Second Avenue Star Watchers (April 8

• Turn it up: East Village Radio returns this spring (April 1)

On the CB3-SLA docket: New operators for East Village classic Lucy's on Avenue A

With reporting by Stacie Joy 

Updated: 5/6 — the applicant has withdrawn the application for the May CB3-SLA committee meeting.

The owners of Golden Age Hospitality, whose portfolio includes buzzy establishments like Le Dive, The Nines and Deux Chats, seek to take over Lucy's, the decades-old East Village favorite that has been closed since late November. 

According to public records, Golden Age reps are on Community Board 3's SLA committee meeting docket for May. To date, only the application is online. The questionnaire, which includes more details about the method of operation, has yet to be posted. 

Multiple tipsters have told us that Golden Age Hospitality's Jon Neidich was a big fan of Lucy's and was interested in buying the bar. (We're told Neidich once lived in the apartments above the bar at 135 Avenue A between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.)

During several conversations in February, Ludwika "Lucy" Mickevicius told EVG contributor Stacie Joy that she had many potential suitors for the bar and may have a role in the new incarnation. 

Neidich did not respond to previous emails about taking over Lucy's. We also contacted Golden Hospitality partner Craig Atlas, whose name appears on the CB3 application. We also have not reached Lucy, who has owned her namesake bar since 1987, this spring. (Her home phone does not have an answering machine, and we have not seen her at the bar in more than six weeks.) 

Meanwhile, there has been some activity inside the bar... in recent weeks someone has been stacking boxes and cleaning...
As we first reported, attorneys for the building's new landlord served her with a 30-day Notice of Termination in early February with a demand to vacate the space by the end of the month. 

Her lease expired in May 2015, and she was on a month-to-month arrangement with the previous landlord. Lucy told us that her last rent was $8,000 per month, and the new landlord, as of late December (West Lake 135-139 Avenue A LLC), is asking for $25,000, though there might be some willingness to negotiate. 

The bar (aka Blanche's Lucy's Tavern) has been closed since November when some paperwork issues forced what was to be a temporary closure.
From February: Lucy with Avenue A bookseller Jen Fisher. (Photo by Stacie Joy

Previously on EV Grieve

A ceremony to honor acclaimed photographer Saul Leiter on 10th Street

Tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at 6, Village Preservation will unveil a plaque honoring acclaimed American photographer and painter Saul Leiter at 111 E. 10th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue, where he lived and worked from 1952 to his death in 2013.

Per Village Preservation:
We will hear about Leiter’s approach to street photography, much of which took place in the East Village, and about the painterly quality of his color work and the features that made him one of the key figures in the New York school of photography. 
This marks Village Preservation's 24th plaque unveiling ... including markers on the homes of notable figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Mingus.

Learn more about the Leiter ceremony and program here. The event is free, though Village Preservation asks folks to register in advance.

A Luscious new market option on 2nd Avenue

Top photo by Stacie Joy

Luscious Market Deli has debuted at 68 Second Ave. on the SE corner of Fourth Street.

Signage for the market promises freshly prepared items for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

EVG reader Danimal, who shared the following two photos, offered a quick assessment: "It looks like a nice selection of hot food and pantry staples and NOT A SMOKE SHOP!" (Ed note: Woo.)
As we noted on Feb. 28, this arrival marks the end of the storefront's usage as a bar, often without success.

In 2021, the English-style pub Queen Vic became just Queen ... before evolving into Watering Hole. The for-rent sign showed up in September 2022. 

Queen Vic had a decent run, opening in September 2010. This ended the revolving door of bars here with awnings, including 2x4, Ambiance and Evolution

We don't know the etymology behind Luscious, a name not often associated with Boar's Head sandwiches. Maybe it's an homage to Luscious Jackson, whose members lived in the East Village back in the day.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Monday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

A moment on Avenue A between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place today... tentatively titled You Should Be Dancing.

Today in makeshift fire pits by the Hare Krishna tree in Tompkins Square Park

Top two photos by Joe; FDNY pic by Steven 

We were told some "kids" (teens) decided to start a campfire of sorts by the Hare Krishna tree in the center of Tompkins Square Park (and just as the rain started around 5:15 p.m.) 

The FDNY was there in minutes to extinguish the small blaze...
EVG reader Joe did get yelled at for taking the top photo instead of putting out the fire (even as the FDNY was already in the Park)...

Watch a large raccoon climb down a tree last night on 10th Street

EVG reader Brody Brown shared the video below of a large raccoon making his-her way down a tree on 10th Street just east of Avenue B (and at the M8 stop). 

After carefully exiting the tree, the raccoon scampered into the former P.S. 64/Charas/El Bohio Community Center (where we had a sighting back in November). 

The video gets NSFW at the 48-second mark when an onlooker randomly says what the raccoon can do...


The raccoon drew a crowd, including someone who remarked, "Oh shit — look how big it is!" 

On the topic of the former P.S. 64/Charas/El Bohio Community Center, there has been radio silence here since news of a sale hit in January.

Iconic East Village gay bar Boiler Room has closed ahead of move to a new location on 2nd Avenue

After nearly 30 years, the Boiler Room has closed (as of last week) at 86 E. Fourth St. near Second Avenue.

As previously reported, the no-frills LGBTQ+ bar is relocating around the corner to 45 Second Ave. between Third Street and Second Street...
The bar's Facebook page states that the new Boiler Room will open at the end of May in the space that was previously Timbuktu

According to management, the building's landlord at 86 E. Fourth St. had them in a two-plus-year court battle over pandemic-related back rent payments. A judge ruled in favor of the landlord, who requires a lump-sum payment without negotiations for current and future rent. 

Part of the new outpost will look familiar: Management said they were taking the well-worn bar from Fourth Street with them.

Previously on EV Grieve:

A Link5G tower for Avenue C

Updated 5/30: There's a petition to remove the tower here. 


The East Village now has another unsightly Link5G tower, this one on Avenue C between Eighth Street and Ninth Street. 

The EVG reader who shared this photo noted: "I'll never understand what force makes these exist."


The first 32-foot EV tower arrived in August 2022 on Second Avenue at First Street ... then another on Avenue A at 12th Street. One was in the works for outside 184 E. Seventh St. at Avenue B, though there has been opposition to this one.  

A quickie recap via amNY in 2022: 
The new structures are operated as a public-private partnership by consortium CityBridge, and are a revamp of the old 10-foot kiosks the firm set up under former Mayor Bill de Blasio starting in 2015 with free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, a tablet, a 911 button, and calling capabilities. 
EVG readers nicknamed these things "Phal-link," "deBlasiooo," and "32feetOfGray," among others

There has been political opposition to the 5G towers... read more about the advocacy that Village Preservation is doing here.

Coming attractions: The Oasis Cafe on Avenue A

Signage is up now for an outpost of The Oasis Cafe at 198 Avenue A between 12th Street and 13th Street.

The bakery-dessert shop, which started in Flushing, also has locations in Astoria and Midtown (and they ship their sweets like eclairs, cheesecake and cookies nationwide). 

No word on an opening date. 

The address was most recently Auriga Cafe... and before that, the world-famous Empire Biscuit.

Openings: Hidden Grounds Chai & Coffee House on 3rd Avenue

An outpost of the Hidden Grounds Chai & Coffee House is now open at 36 Third Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street. 

The brand, which now includes eight locations (six in New Jersey and one in Brooklyn), started on the Rutgers campus in 2013. 

This location offers several pastries and a variety of coffee and chai options to go. Find the menu here.

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday -Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sunday's parting shot

Photo by Jacob Ford 

A scene from a conversation today at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery on Second Avenue and 10th Street with East Village native Ada Calhoun.

The author-journalist discussed her work, including the must-read books "St. Marks Is Dead" and "Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me."

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included... (with the word from 10th and A)... 

• At NYU, 'Gaza Solidarity Encampment' leads to arrests of over 150 people (Tuesday)

• Police searching for suspect in unprovoked daytime stabbing on 7th Street on April 9 (Monday

• The untold story of Snack Dragon's attempted East Village comeback (Tuesday

• An early-morning fire at 131 Avenue A (Wednesday) ... assessing the fire damage (Wednesday

• Violet times: An Earth Day look at the wisteria on Stuyvesant Street (Monday

• From the Poetry Window at East Village Books (Saturday

• Dan & John's has closed its original East Village location after 9 years (Tuesday

• The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival returns to Tompkins Square Park this Aug. 25 (Wednesday

• Celebrating the birth of the Pyramid Club at Howl! Arts (Thursday

• A benefit concert for East Village musician Jesse Malin (Wednesday)

• About Stylus, a private members-only club coming to the Lower East Side (Friday

• Workers removed a dead elm from Tompkins (Thursday) ... and the city has been planting new trees in the neighborhood (Friday

• Closing notices: J-Spec Wagyu Dining and Esora Omakase on 5th Street (Wednesday

• Openings: Pizza Pazzo on 1st Street (Monday)

• A retail reset at 20 St. Mark's Place (Monday)

• So long to the longtime sidewalk bridge on 12th Street, and hello to SMØR Bakery (Monday

• Sushi Fan has not been open lately on St. Mark's Place (Friday)

• Where to see Films on the Green this summer (but not in Tompkins Square Park) (Friday)

• A smoke and vape shop for the former Gaia Italian Café on 3rd Street (Wednesday

• A changing of the bar at 16 1st Ave. (Monday

... and beware of those dubious rental listings promising various "doorman amenities" (photo on 9th Street by Steven)...
Follow EVG on Instagram or X for more frequent updates and pics.

Local students help create a tribute to Basquiat at the 12C Outdoor Gallery

Photos by @galinskynow 

The 12C Outdoor Gallery has been coming back to life with the help of some local students.

Earlier this month, several artists, parents, and grammar school students went to work on a new mural on the corner of 12th Street and Avenue C. 

The piece is titled: "With Love from the LES to the Caribbean: In Memory of Jean-Michel Basquiat."
... and the final product...
The mural is a collaboration led by artists Savannah Zambrano and Andrea Amanda with students at P.S. 188 The Island School ... with the support of Loisaida Inc., Galinsky Coaching, Thrive Collective, Curated Concepts LLC, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

In early March, Brooklyn-based artist Danielle Mastrion finished the first mural outside the renovated building, paying tribute to Puerto Rican freedom fighter and spiritual luminary Pedro Albizu Campos. (Campos Plaza is directly across 12th Street.)
The 12C Outdoor Art Gallery previously featured a rotating batch of murals curated by Robert Galinsky. One constant throughout the years was the Gil Scott-Heron tribute that Chico created after the jazz poet, musician, and author died in 2011

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

Creative use of the ping-pong table in Tompkins Square Park today... 

'In the Scheme of Things'

In honor of both National Poetry Month and Independent Bookstore Day...from the Poetry Window at East Village Books... featuring the work of Johnny H., an East Village poet...

"In the Scheme of Things"

What is a cocklebur waiting
For a bear that never comes
What does it do the day
But wave in the wind
At the end of a stem
What nature is this
To have gifted a purpose
Crafted a means
Assigned proper tasks
To chloroplasts and sun
Was it better that one day I,
Yes a mammal with no hair
To speak of
But new jeans and argyle
On a clumsy path
Through loblolly pines
Become a raison d’etre

East Village Books,  99 St. Mark's Place between Avenue A and First Avenue
Saturday hours: 1 p.m. until late

A last spring pop up for 3rd & B’zaar

Photo by Stacie Joy 
From left: Delphine, Autumn and Maegan

Today (Saturday!) from noon to 6 p.m. is the last pop-up at the current incarnation of 3rd & B’zaar, 191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

There will be some deals inside and out via local vintage sellers, designers and other indie merchants.

The folks at the retail and event space will also be selling furniture and fixtures to make room for the next edition of 3rd & B’zaar coming later in May when vendors Lui & Lui take over for the next year.

Saturday's opening shot

Peak (?) wisteria on Stuyvesant Street...

Friday, April 26, 2024

A fifth of 'baethoven'


D.C.'s Ekko Astral recently released its debut record, pink balloons. 

The above video is for an earlier single this year titled "baethoven." 

Read more about the pioneers of "mascara moshpit" music here.

A tree-mendous scene

Workers from NYC Parks were spotted planting new trees today on Second Avenue at Sixth Street ... thanks to Carol from East 5th Street for the pic. 

And FYI: This link has info on requesting a new tree for a block.

About Stylus, a private members-only club coming to the Lower East Side

A private members-only club is in the works for the under-renovation 48 Clinton St. between Stanton and Rivington. 

An EVG reader shared the photo below... in which reps for the new concept, Stylus, placed notices in adjacent buildings.

The unnamed applicants will appear before CB3's SLA committee on May 13 for a liquor license for the space.
According to the document, "Stylus is a unique, purpose-built listening and gathering club for the curious and creative in the Lower East Side neighborhood." 

The document goes on to share some background about the applicants, who are "medical entrepreneurs and art veterans in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors."

The family, whose love for music and art encompasses generations and continents, created Stylus with the intention of sharing artistic and culinary experiences with a vetted community of art enthusiasts, colleagues, and friends in an elevated environment.
Stylus will take up residence in the basement and ground floor, featuring seating for 60 and a listening space. The "curated food and beverage program" will include "thoughtfully crafted small plates, each uniquely designed to seamlessly complement the focused listening experience while highlighting the fleeting beauty of seasonal ingredients." 

The proposed hours are 9 a.m. to midnight daily, with a 1 a.m. close on Fridays and Saturdays.

The May CB3 meetings calendar has not been posted just yet.

No. 48 was once home to LoHo Studios, where artists such as Joey Ramone, Willie Nelson, Phish, Patti Smith, and Joan Jett recorded. The building was also one of two local properties previously owned by entities of the Blue Man Group. 

In 2018, Dr. Arani Bose, co-founder of the medical device company Penumbra, reportedly paid $5.4 million for the property.

Where to see Films on the Green this summer (but not in Tompkins Square Park)

The Films on the Green series — the free outdoor French film festival produced since 2008 — is underway again this summer. 

Organizers announced the 11-film slate — "celebrating the triumphs, challenges, and sheer excitement of sports" (go Knicks!) earlier in the week.

However, for the first time that we can recall, Tompkins Square Park won't host any screenings. (Could it be because the three porta-potties in Tompkins are locked after 5 p.m. — if they are unlocked at all because there is apparently just one person with a key.) 

You can go to Washington Square Park on June 7 or June 14... or Seward Park on July 5 and July 12. Find the full schedule here.

Sushi Fan has not been open lately on St. Mark's Place

Sushi Fan has not been open during its regular hours lately at 102 St. Mark's Place, between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

The omakase spot's Instagram account does not mention a closure, temporary or otherwise, though its reservations are now offline. No one responded to an email or Instagram message seeking comment. 

Next door, Avenue NYC also recently closed. Cakes by Klein, a custom cakes and cookies business, will open in June.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

A Feast (and some chalk) on St. Mark's Place

We were unaware that today is the Feast of St. Mark's Place between Third Avenue and Second Avenue... sponsored by the Village Alliance ... and running until 8 p.m. 

EVG reader Jacob Ford shared a few photos from the block...
There is artfully arranged chalk too...
... and people are putting it to use...

An Evening with the Ivalas Quartet at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer

On Saturday (April 27), the Most Holy Redeemer/Nativity Parish on Third Street hosts another evening of free music ... featuring works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn. 

Per the EVG inbox: "Come and hear the highly acclaimed Ivalas Quartet, official string quartet in residence at Juilliard ... You won't want to miss this evening of beautiful classical masterworks in a gorgeous and historic space!" 

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the church, 173 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. Find more details here.

Celebrating the birth of the Pyramid Club at Howl! Arts

The book "We Started a Nightclub: The Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Told by Those Who Lived It" is due out at the end of the month. (Dazed has a feature here.) 

The Pyramid, which helped define the East Village drag and art scenes in the 1980s, held forth for several decades at 101 Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. 

In an oral history of the space, Tricia Romano noted: "[The Pyramid] served as a safe haven for freaks, geeks, weirdos, queers, and dreamers to come together and create. Sometimes it was bad; sometimes it was beautiful. But it was never boring." 

In honor of the publication, Howl! Arts/Howl! Archive is currently showing "Pyramid Pioneers," an exhibition showcasing early Pyramid Polaroids and posters by Trey Speegle; video, graphics and memorabilia from Mark Oates; photographs by Lynn M. Grabowski (Pyramid name: Baronessa); Julie Hair and Jody Kurilla's musical memorabilia from their Pyramid series, Tuesday Night Fever; clips from the documentary "Pyramid Club — The Movie" directed by Elizabeth Bouiss; and flyers and photos featured in the book from Howl! Archives' Brian Butterick Collection. 

The exhibit debuted last Thursday (and included a sold-out party at Baker Falls, which opened last July in the former Pyramid space). 

"Pyramid Pioneers" is up through May 19. 

Howl! Arts/Howl! Archive is at 250 Bowery, 2nd Floor, near Stanton Street. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Find more book info here.

P.S. update

Thanks to Bill in the comments... I hadn't seen Alex's post yet at Flaming Pablum, which includes some Boss Hog and Cop Shot Cop clips from the Pyramid.

Workers are removing an elm tree from Tompkins Square Park

Photos by Steven 

Workers this morning are cutting down one of the grand elm trees in Tompkins Square Park.

This one, located behind the under-renovation field house, was said to be dead for the past 18-plus months...
We're coming up on the 1-year-anniversary of the renovations. 

The Parks Department website lists a September 2024 competition date for the $5.6-million project. The work is 61% complete, per the Parks website.

Thursday's opening shot

Workers are removing the last of the sidewalk bridge from around 316 Bowery (aka 4-6 Bleecker St.) ... providing a better view now of the Bad Brains mural

The corner retail space is apparently for rent after the J. Crew men's concept store shuttered late last year.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wednesday's parting shot

Early evening in Tompkins Square Park...

A late-day look at the fire-damaged 131 Avenue A

Photos by Steven

A fire broke out early this morning at 131 Avenue A on the NW corner of St. Mark's Place. 

According to ABC 7, five residents sustained minor injuries while vacating the six-floor building. 

Starbucks was open today for business in the retail spaces, while TabeTomo next door told us that they suffered “substantial damage.”

Next door, Bad Habit hope to be back open tomorrow...
As for the rest of the building, there is a Partial Vacate Order limited to two residences. 

Firefighters recovered a lithium-ion battery from a unit, per ABC 7, though fire officials haven't stated that was officially the cause. Another resident mentioned talk of an "electric scooter explosion."