Showing posts with label Lower East Side. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lower East Side. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Meryl Meisler's Lower East Side of the 1970s and 1980s

[On the Bowery in 1977]

NYC-based photographer Meryl Meisler's work will be on display starting tomorrow in an exhibit coinciding with Lower East Side History Month.

"LES YES!" showcases some of Meisler's photography taken on the Lower East Side during the 1970s and 1980s.

The opening reception is tomorrow night from 6-9 at the Storefront Project, 70 Orchard St. between Broome and Grand. The exhibit is up through June 3. Find more details here.

Meisler was born in the South Bronx and raised in North Massapequa, Long Island. After college in Wisconsin, she returned to NYC in 1975. Here's part of a recent feature on Meisler in the Times:

"I felt like I belonged," she said. "I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, even though I had a teaching degree. Maybe because the city itself was out of joint. I had just come out as a lesbian, but I felt like I belonged here. I felt safe.”

She eventually spent 31 years as a NYC public school art teacher.

Here's a sampling of the LES photos that will be on display...

[On East Houston]

[At the Henry Street Settlement]

[At Famous Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse]

In a recent interview with Bedford + Bowery, she said that she still sees some of the old LES here despite all the changes. "It’s busy and alive and yet, there are still people on the street that are true New Yorkers. New York is always changing, but I still see the essence of it there."

All photos by Meryl Meisler ... and courtesy of The Storefront Project & Stephen Kasher Gallery. Reprinted with permission.

Monday, March 6, 2017

[Updated] Police ID suspect in attempted LES rape

Police are looking for a suspect who is accused of shoving a woman into a door at her apartment on Norfolk Street near Rivington and attempted to rape her early Friday morning.

The NYPD ID'd the suspect as Robert Adams, 41.

Updated 3/26

Police have arrested Adams.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Still living the dream on the Lower East Side

The Times checks in with a piece for the paper's real estate section titled The Lower East Side, Where Gritty Meets Trendy.

Aside from details on the schools and the commute, the Times provides some average pricing for rentals and condos.

Despite the higher prices for everything, people still come here to live the dream. (Oh, that's what dreams are made of.)

“This used to be a place for a new beginning, people living the dream in a tenement apartment,” said Ariel Tirosh, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman who is the sales agent for several luxury condos, including 100 Norfolk and 179 Ludlow. “Now they live the dream in a new condo.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Report: Fontana's packing it in on the LES

The owners of Fontana's will be closing their bar and performance venue at 105 Eldridge St. this spring, The Lo-Down reports today.

Proprietors Holly Ferrari, Mary Finn and Deannie Wheeler told The Lo-Down that "it has become increasingly hard to be an independent business in New York city without compromising your vision." With a new lease, their monthly rent in the space between Broome and Grand would have exceeded $30,000.

They haven't set a closing date just yet.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When East Houston Street was 'a sleepy backwater'

There has been a lot of talk this week about what's next for Ludlow Street ... with the impending closure of Motor City Bar ... the loss of the Pink Pony Cafe... and a cloudy future for The Hat ...

Which brings us to this photo that EVG reader Paul Dougherty recently came across. He shared it with us. It's a view looking south toward Ludlow Street and beyond from his East Houston Street apartment in 1986...

"I had lived in that building for six years and had just moved to a bigger apartment in the front with this great view ... Can't really put in words the sense of neighborhood context one gets from this. Maybe 'sleepy backwater'? Pretty sure this would have been before the first youth bar/restaurant the Ludlow Street Cafe — nice place. From this acorn a mighty oak — blah, blah, blah."

We don't have a compatible today photo ... one that would show the ongoing building boom, featuring The Ludlow, Thompson LES, et al. And not much else... Except for Katz's.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Revisit the Lower East Side/East Village of 1978: Screening of 'Viva Loisaida' this Sunday afternoon

You have a chance Sunday afternoon to catch a screening of "Viva Loisaida," Marlis Momber's 1978 documentary about life on the Lower East Side.

Per the Facebook invite:

VIVA LOISAIDA, chronicles what life was like for the director and her fellow immigrants in the mid 1970s. The film opens with a scene in the old Tompkins Square band shell and goes on to highlight the huge murals, the many grassroots art and political organizations which contributed to the EV/LES's a cultural diversity.

The screening starts at 3 p.m., at the Tu Casa Rehearsal Estudio, 95 Avenue B (East Sixth Street). There's a suggested donation of $10.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A journey through the East Village and Lower East Side in 1978 [Video]

Thanks to Alex at Flaming Pablum for this link to "Viva Loisaida 1978." (The link has been making the rounds on Facebook.)

The description via YouTube:

Produced by "Gruppe Dokumentation" & "Tylis" and filmed in Loisada, by Marlis Momber, this 10 min. commercial gives a brief preview before gentrification occurred in Lower East Side in the Fall of October, 1978 with Chino Garcia & Bimbo Rivas.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brunch for preservation tomorrow

From the EV Grieve inbox...from the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative...

[Click image to enlarge]

Organizers say the benefit event is mostly for the meal and conversation ... though they will touch on some strategizing on preservation and landmarking in the East Village and Lower East Side moving forward... More details here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

About Max Fish in Asbury Park

The Post has a feature today on the Asbury Park branch of Max Fish... which includes this "tale of the tape" ...

The article quotes Deb O'Nair, one-time keyboardist for the Fuzztones who now spends time in Asbury Park.

"The days I was hanging out in [Manhattan’s] Max Fish, it was all artists and musicians. Now that neighborhood feels like a big NYU dormitory."

Meanwhile, Max Fish owner Uli Rimkus doesn't have much to say on the future of the original bar on Ludlow Street.

"Right now, I'm surviving day by day," she says. But at least she isn't worried that her new neighbors will call in complaints to 311 this summer. Pointing toward the ocean, she says, "They're fish."

Previously on EV Grieve:
The art evolution of Ulli Rimkus and Max Fish

From Tin Pan Alley to Max Fish

Sunday, May 27, 2012

[Updated] In case you were going to go look at those baby tigers today...

[Photo by BB]

It's closed, via Matt LES_Miserable ... As Gothamist pointed out on Friday, two five-month-old female Bengals (Sonia and Tanya) were part of Norwegian artist Bjarn Melgaard's "Ideal Pole" exhibit at the Ramiken Crucible gallery on Grand Street.

[Katie Sokoler/Gothamist]

No word on why the exhibit is closed. Or if the tigers will be back. They were scheduled to be there until June 3. Gothamist wrote, "We've reached out to the Humane Society of the U.S. to find out what the rules are about this sort of thing, because that cage looks too small to us."

Updated 3:31 p.m.:

Gothamist received a statement from the Human Society of the United States. Part of the statement:

The baby tigers on display at the Ramiken Crucible gallery were prematurely removed from their mothers, transported to New York from a game farm in Ohio that has been cited for failing to meet minimum standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and are confined to a tiny barren cage inside an art gallery.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

John Milisenda's Lower East Side

[Photos © John Milisenda]

John Milisenda's roots on the Lower East Side run deep. His father lived all 72 years of his life on the Lower East Side, never more than one mile from where he was born on Chrystie Street in 1919. His mother moved to the Lower East Side in 1939 from Brooklyn. She has lived in the same Pitt Street apartment since 1964.

Milisenda was born (1947) and raised in the neighborhood. He started taking photos of his friends as a teen. And he never really stopped taking pictures. His work is in the collections of the Museum Of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Brooklyn Museum. Milisenda has taught photography at Drexel University, The New School and Parson's School of Design.

His photographs from the Lower East Side during the 1960s are now on display through April 20 at the Grand Central Library (135 E. 46th St. between Lexington and Third Avenue).

On Saturday morning at the Grand Central Library, Milisenda will discuss the photographs and recollections of the Lower East Side. (The talk is from 10:30 to noon.)

Milisenda, who now lives in Brooklyn, answered a few questions for us via email.

Your talk on Saturday is titled "Recollections on the Lower East Side during the 1960s." What are some of your earliest recollections of living on the Lower East Side?

In the 1950s a kid was standing in front of The Settlement house with a transistor radio. The music from the small radio bellowed out, "Rock Around The Clock," by Bill Haley and his Comets. There were memories of the kids transforming their roller skates into scooters, (soapbox racers) playing with fireworks, playing ring-o-levio (a game of tag) and stickball.

Why did you decide to start taking photos of your friends? Did you ever envision that one day there would be such keen interest in this time period?

My father introduced me to photography. He was a creative and curious person. He photographed our family every chance he got. I learned from him how important it was to capture everyday life experience. He learned how to process film and make contact prints in a make shift darkroom. He would drape a blanket over the window and place a folding table over the bathtub. My mother would complain no one could use the bathroom when he was in there working. It never dawned on that me these images would be of any interest or value. These pictures were old early work and I thought had no value.

Talk about the contrasts of the Lower East Side then. On one hand, there's this romanticized version of kids playing stickball in the streets, hanging laundry between tenements ...and, as you have said, it could be a violent place as well.

The Lower East Side in the 1960s was a neighborhood of stark contrasts. Its citizens were Italians, Jews, Ukrainian, Poles and Puerto Ricans. Primarily made up of the working class, all living together in an uneasy alliance. It was also peppered with southerners and educated people.

Growing up I witnessed violence there. My mother and I were walking along when a man suddenly hit the sidewalk. Later on we found out he was thrown from the roof by the local mob. When I was a child, I remember a commotion taking place across the hall from our apartment. It sounded like two people arguing in a drunken brawl. Next evening, the police were knocking on our door asking my parents questions. It turns out the women had stabbed the man and killed him. She dragged his body to the basement. Someone had seen the body and reported it to the police. She was nabbed.

Did the Lower East Side ever stop feeling like home to you?

The Lower East Side never did stop feeling like home. I can step into Katz's Delicatessen and instantly be transported back to 1965. Back then the counter men were tattooed with numbers on their arms. They were Holocaust survivors. A hot dog was 15 cents and a glass of Coke was 10 cents.

What do you think of the Lower East Side today? Do you still feel a connection to it?

The Lower East Side today is gentrified, and with that, thank goodness, most of the violence that was common during the 1960s is gone. It also lost something — the atmosphere of being a neighborhood with families and children everywhere. Each block of the Lower East Side was a neighborhood unto itself. The mom-and-pop stores are all gone. Hoch's candy store with its wood-lined glass cases full of penny candy. My dad's barbershop was on 80 E. First St. for over 20 years. My dad would look at the kids playing on the street and say, "See that kid over there, I gave him his first haircut."

[Photos © John Milisenda ... on Houston near Avenue A looking east]

For more information on Milisenda, including information about his photography books, please visit his website here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

At Coat of Arms Friday Night

LES Clothing Co. had its grand opening celebration at Coat of Arms on 43 Clinton St. on Friday night. Shawn Chittle stopped by and took these photos...

First, though, as BoweryBoogie reported last October, Robert Lopez, founder and CEO of LES Clothing Co., had filed a lawsuit of trademark infringement against Coat of Arms, among other retailers.

However, as Lopez told Shawn: "We worked it out ... good situation turned of it."

Indeed, as you can see...

DJ Ralphy CBS...

LES-based rapper Six Lowa...

Robert Lopez...

For further reading:
Interview: Robert Lopez of LES Clothing Company (BoweryBoogie, November 2011)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oliva is for sale on Houston and Allen

A reader who has been searching for a bar/restaurant to buy in the area sent us the following listing from NYCRS: Oliva, the Spanish tapas bar with a prime corner at Houston and Allen, is on the market.

The asking rent: $13,500 with $150,000 key money.

Also, take a look at the marketing materials. Look at what's next to JoeDoe on East First Street...

So maybe an American Eagle will be taking over the BMW/Guggenheim lot then....?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

[EVG Flashback] Why people move away

Originally posted on Feb. 4, 2009...

I've noticed a few more people than usual moving from the neighborhood. (Perhaps there's a reason for so many more men with vans signs.) Given the drop in some rentals, maybe these people are just moving a few blocks away to a building with better deals. Or maybe they lost everything and have to go bunk with a relative. Or maybe they came here during the heady days of, say, 2005 and figured to become the next Carrie Bradshaw. (Or at least have the chance to sit on her stoop!) I wish I could go up to these people and conduct exit interviews. Why are you moving? What will you miss about the neighborhood? What are you glad to be leaving behind? I'm always curious about this.

Luckily, I came across a blog written by a young professional living on the LES. After one year here, she is moving to another undisclosed neighborhood. Almost in answer to my questions, she provided a list of things she will miss and not miss about her apartment and the LES. Among the items:

Things I will miss:
--The gym. I hope I can still force myself to go to the gym when it isn’t in my building!
--My stainless steel stove
--Dry cleaning in the building
--The statue of Vladimir Lenin on top of the Red Square building. I can see him from my bed so I wake up to him with his right arm in the air every single morning.

Things I will not miss:
--The girls who scream, “Where’s my boyfriend!?” at 4 a.m. while leaving the Lower East Side bars on any given day
--The symphony of honking on Houston Street that forces me to sleep with earplugs
--The fresh vomit that I sometimes step over while leaving for [work] on any given day
--The smell of pickles from Katz Deli that I am forced to inhale when walking home every day
--The fact that there is not a close enough Starbucks
--The mural of Kiss on the brick wall on the bar across from my apartment

I guess that says it all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stalled 180 Ludlow now apparently much brighter at night

A reader asks, "Any idea what's happening at The Ludlow construction site? Lots of new lights put up in the last day or so."

Well, the amazingly stalled 180 Ludlow project is a little outside our usual coverage zone. But! We walked by last night... and there do seem to be more lights... Yes? No? Maybe?

Perhaps for a Haunted Work Site this Halloween season? (We wish! Sounds so unsafe!)

Anyway, for more about the ongoing saga here (hotel! rentals! hotel again!) you can catch up at BoweryBoogie and The Lo-Down.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

[EVG Flashback] The Lower East Side: There goes the neighborhood

On occasion we'll revisit an old EVG blog post ... like this one from June 6, 2008 ...

That's the headline for the May 28, 1984, New York magazine cover story that I recently came across. The piece begins in the early 1980s with the rotting hulk of the Christodora and the young man eager to own it, Harry Skydell.

Skydell's enthusiasm was indeed mysterious. The sixteen-story building he wanted to buy, on Avenue B facing Tompkins Square Park, was surrounded by burned-out buildings that crawled with pushers and junkies. It was boarded up, ripped out, and flooded...Early in the seventies, the city had put up the Christodora up for auction and nobody bid.

The building was eventually sold in 1975 for $62,500. (Last I saw, two-bedroom units there -- roughly 1,100 square feet -- average $1.6 million or so. Of course, they're rarely available.)

The article talks about the influx of chain stores, art galleries and chic cafes. "And real-estate values are exploding" as a result. Said one longtime resident on the changes: "I've lived in my rent-controlled apartment for years and pay $115 a month. I live on the Lower East Side. The young kids who just moved in upstairs and pay $700 a month for the same space -- they live in the East Village."

There are so many interesting passages in the article by Craig Unger that I'd end up excerpting the whole thing. So it's below. You can click on each image to read it. Meanwhile, what do you think would be the headline for this story today?