Showing posts with label Book Club. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Club. Show all posts

Sunday, February 13, 2022

A Bloom Bloom-Book Club mashup for Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day tomorrow, Book Club hosts the East Village-based Bloom Bloom floral design studio in store. 

Starting at 11 a.m. to whenever the flowers are gone, Bloom Bloom is selling grab-and-go wrapped bouquets and custom floral arrangements. 

Book Club is at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

Bloom Bloom is a studio-based florist. Founder Tasha Muresan recently moved to the East Village from Greenpoint.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Could drink and draws be the new neighborhood draw?

Sketches from Club Cumming’s “The Anatomy Lesson.” At right, an attendee sketches a model from the audience at Book Club’s “Drinking & Drawing” series.

By Kaley Roshitsh 

Approaching a year in December since vaccine rollout began in the United States, businesses have been padding event calendars with higher confidence, and drink and draws may be stealing the spotlight.

The artsy-yet-affordable event is slipping back into repeat favor at two nightspots in the neighborhood. Artists or not, all are welcome with proof of vaccination, or masks, per the state guidelines.

Not new to the drink and draw scene, LGBTQ+-friendly cabaret bar Club Cumming’s “The Anatomy Lesson” has been striking a pose for four years now but since adapted for outside amid the pandemic.

The drink and draw, hosted by freelance illustrator and performer Anthony E. Kieren, happens weekly on Sunday nights from 6 to 9 at 505 E. Sixth St. For $10, attendees get their first drink and entry to the outdoor, socially distant sketch festivities, which include prizes and, of course, muscled models baring it all in thongs.
 
But to reduce the event to its titillating curb appeal (although many people stop by to see what’s going on) would be unfair.

Kieren’s series has been a way to platform an array of talent and “curate the people in my life,” be it past models such as singer Karen Marie, drag artist and activist Gloria Swansong or recently fitness model Will Hutcheson. Models are compensated and rewarded vigorously with applause. Even bar owner and actor Alan Cumming has shown up to pose.

Giving breezy instructions on a series of 1-minute, 5-minute and 20-minute poses, Kieren affirmed: “You can draw better when you take the pressure off,” nudging guests to pay the incredible bar staff a visit. (A drink helps).

While it’s easy to slack off as Rihanna’s “S&M” plays with model Hutcheson lounged atop a velvet banquet table or holding still in fluffy ears — the diligent artists (many of whom are professional artists) have a prize on the line.

Model’s choice wins once the time is up.

Last Sunday, as is practice, the winners were each presented with a vibrant bouquet. The floral arrangement was skillfully lassoed together in Boy Scout knots by Matt Robinson, better known as “Cookie,” and seemed to capture the idyllic hues in the rainbow that christened the chilly evening. Given Club Cumming’s safe harbor for the vibrancy of the queer community, it seemed natural to begin and end the session with a prism of color.

Booking a weekly series

Next up, a day later and only three streets over, artists of any skill level can cozy up with wine or coffee at Book Club, 197 E. Third St.

Weekly sessions happen Monday nights at 8, and while free to attend, bar visits and donations to cover material costs are strongly encouraged.

For the two-year-old bar, bookstore and coffee hangout, the drink and draw formed quite organically, with visual artist Shani Nizan approaching Book Club with the idea upon moving to the city five months ago. Nizan’s “Drinking & Drawing” series originated in Berlin but launched formally in New York this past July with Book Club.

Armed with a dry erase marker and arms-length board, Nizan kicks the night off with a short demo for the crowd. One lesson involved gesture lines, while another measured out proportions with a thumb and pencil. Afterward, the pencil-clad crew dwindles momentarily as a volunteer from the audience takes a seat for a series of timed poses, increasing in length from a few minutes to up to 20 minutes.

“I’m not this usual artist who can just sit home all day and just paint because I can’t; I like people, I need people, I need attention… I feel like I need this community,” said Nizan, on the importance of the event.

She also, perhaps counter-intuitively, championed the event in a few words: “No new people.” Of course, Nizan wants new people to show but hopes they keep coming back to learn, grow their practice and instill a sense of community.

To that, Eviatar Slivnik, a jazz musician and Nizan’s partner, quipped: “As an artist, it makes you better.” Slivnik is often seen drifting near the back to help Nizan, or as in two sessions ago, taking a seat for a first pose to get the crowd warmed up.

The sessions were, at first, bi-weekly but moved into a weekly format due to demand. Some sessions have clocked 50 attendees, per Book Club’s count. The seating format also switched to accommodate more artists in a longer row.

Nat Esten, co-owner and manager of Book Club alongside Erin Neary, is pleased with the turnout and eager to fill out the events calendar.

“We’ve been gradually dipping our toe into events, but the response from the community has been enthusiastic and Drinking & Drawing is our first weekly event, so yes, we are very happy with the partnership,” Esten said. 

With the appeal of events and in a bid for being present, the bar instituted a policy of no laptops after 7 p.m.

Book Club also boasts a monthly poetry series hosted by a local poet and playwright, Robert Galinsky, as well as a monthly reading series hosted by author Alex McElroy. 

“We’re slowly adding more to our calendar,” Esten added, referring to Book Club’s participation in the upcoming Bookstore Crawl on Saturday along with McNally Jackson, Bluestockings and other local stops.

Only time will tell if more local businesses follow suit, but for now, artists can log practice in the sprawling drink and draw scene right in the East Village.

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Kaley Roshitsh is the first-ever sustainable fashion journalist at WWD. Her work appears on U.N. Women USA NY, Her Campus Media and the independent magazine she founded called ThriftEd Mag. You can find her on Instagram ranting about her latest thrift finds or the importance of knowing your neighbors at @KaleyRoshitsh.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Book Club turns the page on 1st anniversary

In some more positive local business news... Book Club turns 1 today at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. 

The bookstore-cafe, operated by East Village couple Erin Neary and Nat Esten, enjoyed five-plus months in business before having to close for the COVID-19 PAUSE in March. However, they were able to fullfill orders online, and Nat logged hundreds of miles making deliveries via his bicycle. (They reopened for to-go service on May 1, and in-store shopping in June.)

There was also an additional five-month wait for their beer-wine license. Anyway, starting today, they will have limited indoor cafe seating (in addition to their outdoor space) for coffee and other drinks.

Here's part of an email to customers via email:
We're so grateful for the community of the East Village and beyond for supporting us through every clunky step of shutting down and reopening. We wouldn't still be here if not for you! THANK YOU.
Photo from November 2019 by Stacie Joy

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Also, happy Independent Bookstore Day



Aside from being Record Store Day, today is also the rescheduled Independent Bookstore Day ... at Book Club, 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, they have signed copies of "You Have Arrived at Your Destination" by Amor Towles ... as well as some giveaways...



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Updated 4:30

EVG contributor Stacie Joy notes that Book Club is giving away some free books today...



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In other local bookstore news, Mast Books is now open seven days a week on Avenue A at Fifth Street. Hours: noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with a 6 p.m. close on Sunday and Monday.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Starting today, Book Club will sell books, coffee, beer and wine to go


[Photo from November by Stacie Joy]

Some good news from Book Club over at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Starting today, owners Erin Neary and Nat Esten will be serving from a makeshift takeout window, where you'll be able to get espresso drinks to go... not to mention books that you've ordered for a contactless pickup from their website.

In addition, Book Club finally received their beer and wine license, so they'll be serving that to take home as well.

Per a Book Club email:

All the proper precautions will be put in place, including face masks, gloves, sanitizing surfaces, and our takeout "window" opening onto the street where people can properly distance themselves. In addition, you'll be able to pay with Venmo for minimal contact.

It's hardly the grand opening party we thought we'd be throwing when we finally got our beer and wine license (8 months later than anticipated) but here we are, and we hope you'll come celebrate with us!

Also, as we noted last week, Nat is now making book deliveries via bicycle.

Since then, Nat has logged 175-plus miles over three boroughs.

Back to their email:

It's a whole lot faster (and cheaper) than USPS, and a fun novelty for those receiving books to their door. Going forward, we're limiting our bike deliveries to a 35-minute ride from the store, Monday through Thursday.

For now, the to-go window will be open from 10 a.m. to sunset seven days a week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Need something to read? Book Club now making local deliveries via bike messenger


[Image via @bookclubbar]

Book Club, currently closed to in-store customers due to the COVID-19 crisis, is still active behind the scenes with fulfilling online orders.

Now, the shop on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B is offering free deliveries via bike messenger to all of Manhattan as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens. In stock titles will be delivered same or next day by co-owner Nat Esten, the East Village resident who runs Book Club with his wife Erin Neary.

Check out their website for more details.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Checking in on Book Club Bar



Text and photos by Stacie Joy

Updated 3/16 below

I stopped by Book Club Bar on Third Street yesterday to talk with Nat Esten, who runs the shop along with his wife Erin Neary, about how the small business is managing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Esten and Neary, who live nearby, are encouraging people who want to support the shop to buy books online, purchase gift cards or listen to audiobooks via Libro.fm.

Book Club is also offering coffee (via Mud) to go along with items from Eli Zabar’s bakery.

I asked Nat what books he recommends for people staying indoors. He offered two suggestions: For scary pertinent material, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, and for distraction enjoyment, “The Splendid and the Vile,” by Erik Larson.



Book Club Bar, 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B, remains open for now with daily hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Updated 3/16

They are now only open for to-go coffee and pick-up book orders. You can still shop via their website.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

At the opening day of Book Club on 3rd Street



Book Club opened its doors Saturday morning at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by Saturday for an opening-day look at the bookstore-cafe owned and operated by East Village couple Erin Neary and Nat Esten...




[Esten]


[Neary]

The space features an area for sitting and reading ... and a cafe serving MUD coffee. (They were approved for a beer-wine license, which is expected to be issued next month.) Look for community events and readings in the weeks/months ahead.















Book Club is currently open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Find more updates via their Instagram account.


Previously on EV Grieve:
Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street

A look at Book Club, the new bookstore-cafe (softly) opening tomorrow on 3rd Street

Friday, November 8, 2019

A look at Book Club, the new bookstore-cafe (softly) opening tomorrow on 3rd Street



Tomorrow (Nov. 9) at 9 a.m., Book Club makes its debut at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

As we've been reporting, this bookstore-cafe is the work — two years in the making — of an East Village couple, Erin Neary and Nat Esten.

EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by yesterday for a quick look at the space before its soft opening tomorrow...



The book portion of the storefront will carry a broad selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and a children's section ...







Book Club includes some East Village-specific reads...



The space features an area for sitting and reading ... and a cafe serving MUD coffee. (They were approved for a beer-wine license, though that has yet to be issued.) Expect some community events and readings in the weeks/months ahead. You can follow their Instagram account for updates... or their website.

Meanwhile, they'll be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow...



Previously on EV Grieve:
Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Looking at the Book Club signage on 3rd Street



Several EVG readers have noted the recent arrival of the Book Club signage over at 197 E. Third St. just west of Avenue B.

As first reported on July 15, two East Village residents are behind this project — an independent bookstore featuring a cafe.

Erin Neary, who's operating the space with her fiance, Nat Esten, told me previously that the book portion of the storefront will carry a broad selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and a children's section ... they'll also offer a variety of greeting cards and gifts. As for the cafe section, they'll be serving MUD coffee, among other items.

No word on an opening date. You can follow their Instagram account for updates.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street

Monday, August 26, 2019

Book Club makes it official on 3rd Street



The coming soon signage is now up at Book Club, the independent bookstore featuring a cafe that's in the works for 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

As I first reported on July 15, two East Village residents are behind this project. Erin Neary, who's operating the space with her fiance, Nat Esten, told me previously that the book portion of the storefront will carry a broad selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and a children's section ... they'll also offer a variety of greeting cards and gifts. As for the cafe section, they'll be serving MUD coffee, among other items.

"As East Village residents for the last decade, we're committed to having Book Club be a celebration of the spirit and diversity of the neighborhood," Neary said.

The shop has a website with a sign up for a mailing list ... as well as an Instagram account, where you can find the top photo.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street

Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Club — an independent bookstore with cafe — coming to 3rd Street



Two East Village residents are opening Book Club, an independent bookstore featuring a cafe at 197 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Erin Neary, who's operating the space with her fiance, Nat Esten, said that the book portion of the storefront will carry a broad selection of adult fiction, non-fiction and a children's section ... they'll also offer a variety of greeting cards and gifts. As for the cafe section, they'll be serving MUD coffee, among other items.

"Our vision for the space is a cozy, living-room vibe: a place where you can enjoy a nice glass of wine or coffee while reading a book, but also a place for the community to come together for various events, such as author readings and signings, and literary trivia," Neary said.

They'll appear before CB3's SLA committee tonight for a beer-wine license for the address, which was previously No Malice Palace as well as the Christmas pop-up Donner and Blitzen's Reindeer Lounge.

"As East Village residents for the last decade, we're committed to having Book Club be a celebration of the spirit and diversity of the neighborhood," Neary said.

The shop has a website with a sign up for a mailing list ... as well as an Instagram account...