Showing posts with label New York Observer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Observer. Show all posts

Friday, March 12, 2010

At Ray's, the "line in the sand" for the East Village

At the Observer, W.M. Akers checks in with a nice story on Ray's titled The East Village's 'Line in the Sand.'

Here's an excerpt:

He is a neighborhood fixture, and since January he has emerged, inadvertently, as a cause. Caught between high rent and slow business, he is suddenly a symbol for local residents who feel they have seen every quirk of their neighborhood ironed out and turned into a Chase Bank. East Village organizer "Reverend" Billy Talen called Mr. Alvarez "a line in the sand." But besides being a symbol, he is a person, one who just wants to keep doing what he has done for so long, even though it's no longer marketable.

Read the whole article here. And the Save Ray's clothing/accessories are here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Like a crash virgin...

Doree Shafrir and Irina Alexksander look at "crash virgins" in this week's Observer, young New Yorkers experiencing their very first economic downturn.

An excerpt!

Lizzy Goodman was one of the fortunate ones of the class of 2002; upon graduating from Penn, she had a job lined up as an assistant teacher at Buckley, the all-boys school on the Upper East Side. Six years later, she’s an editor at large at Blender. Like some of her peers, she seems hopeful that, instead of being a harbinger of utter doom, this crash will instead level the playing field just a little bit.
I don’t think anyone is hoping for American financial collapse just so that the Bowery can be seedy again,” said Ms. Goodman, who lives in the West Village. “But on the other hand, if in the wake of this collective shuttering and fearing comes a return to old school ’80s boho New York, I would certainly be in favor of that.
The disconnect between the New York of legend and the reality of living here has perhaps never been starker. “I know a lot of people who moved to New York for something that isn’t in New York right now,” said Mr. Fischer, the marketing strategist. “There is a sense that things are in transition. I think there’s a big question of how this will change the social and cultural landscape of New York in the next two or three years. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s excitement—but it’s apprehension that something is definitely happening.”
Of course, that’s a story that’s been years in the making; the disappearance of Lehman Brothers and the conversion of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley into bank holding companies—as recently as last year thought to be a sacrilege—isn’t going to make $4,000 a month one-bedrooms on the Lower East Side any cheaper. (Or if it does, they’ll go to $3,500 a month, not $1,500.) The days when a photographer could buy an abandoned bank building on the Bowery for $102,000—as the photographer Jay Maisel did in 1966—are over; they are not coming back. (See also: the Playpen, smoking in bars, liquid lunches, Passerby, subway tokens, the Barnes & Noble on Sixth Avenue and 21st St., et cetera, not to mention the Algonquin Round Table, the Automat, Spy magazine, Warhol’s Factory, and the Palladium. Also: typewriters.) Some Wall Street types may flee; a few Wharton grads might move to Boston or San Francisco. But it seems highly unlikely that the crash will herald in some utopian new era of “creativity” or allow artists to colonize Soho, or even the East Village, again. It’s over! You missed it! Even Rent has closed! Besides, the Russians are here now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Looking at a review of Candace Bushnell's new book

Read Doree Shafrir's review of One Fifth Avenue, the latest from Candace Bushnell, in the Observer.

Bonus excerpt:

[T]he new breed of youngsters intent on highlighting the hypocrisy of their elders is meaner and, well, snarkier than their forebears, Ms. Bushnell implies. Their number is led by a smarmy 20-something named Thayer Core, who lives in a tiny East Village walk-up and yet feels qualified to lob his verbal grenades at the rest of Manhattan (including several residents of One Fifth). Thayer is a despicable character, and it’s not a stretch to imagine that she was personally offended by things written about her on Gawker (where, full disclosure, I used to work). And yet, Ms. Bushnell’s caricature of the Web site and its writers falls victim to the very same snarky, self-satisfied kind of writing she accuses the new generation of perpetuating.

Can't wait for the series!

[Via Gawker]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A model co-op

Catching up on this week's New York Observer today. According to a real estate piece by Max Abelson, 21-year-old model Lily Donaldson bought a co-op on Avenue B along Tompkins Square Park for $2.2 million.

As the article notes:

Very blond, well-boned, expensively jeaned buyers have been pouring into East Village apartments for so long that it’s hard to find new excuses to complain about the area’s über-gentrification. But then again, it’s hard to remember when someone as upsettingly young as Lily Donaldson, the 21-year-old Vogue cover girl, spent anything like $2.2 million on a neighborhood apartment, especially one that happens to be as far east as Avenue B.

Her new two-bedroom place on Tompkins Square Park around East Eighth Street could be the most expensive co-op ever sold on the block, according to listing broker Danny Davis.

She has Brazilian cherry wood floors (“that glow with the setting sun,” according to his listing), two bathrooms with original pedestal sinks and cast iron tubs, a 40-foot-long living room with six windows facing three directions, and, of course, a dressing room off one of the two bedrooms.

On the downside, the building is massively nondescript and un-frilled, plus the apartment needs work. “I’d put money into it,” Mr. Davis said, “I’d bet she will, too.”

If you know the neighborhood, then you know the building. I won't be all creepy/stalky (creepier and stalkier?) about it and name it. Anyway. If she's paying $2.2 million for something that needs work and doesn't have a lot of amenities...uh, what will someone be paying for something new and pristine...? Plus, this just blows the co-op curve off the chart.

Back to the article:

The last sale in the building, according to city records, was a $650,000 deal just one floor down. That was in October 2004.

Meanwhile, sort of not really related:

Have you seen the window display in that newish women's boutique on 9th Street between First and Second Avenue?

Friday, May 9, 2008

EV Grieve Etc.: Looking at The Observer

Lots of good stuff in The Observer this week. (And why does my copy arrive Thursday or sometimes Friday? I know I can read it every day online. Still.)
The headline to a piece by Choire Sicha asks, "Who's Running New York? The Council sinks, rents rise, few notice."
He has a nice account of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board meeting from this past Monday, particularly an impromptu speech by Adriene Holder, a Legal Aid attorney and tenant representative.

“First of all,” she said, “I want to know where everybody is.” There were not so many folks there! When confidence in city government runs low, the people abscond.

“The tenants are here but not in the number that you would expect,” Ms. Holder said, “given how important this situation is, and how dire this is to what’s going to happen to tenants here in New York City. Perhaps they’re not here because they’re still working; perhaps they’re not here because they’re working their second job; maybe they’re not here because they’re discouraged, they’re disappointed; and maybe they’re not here because they’ve become weary of a process that guarantees that there’s going to be an increase.

Increasingly, what we are seeing is two different cities,” Ms. Holder said. “We’re seeing a city that’s becoming increasingly rich, and a city that’s becoming increasingly poor, and a middle or moderate class that is moving away from the city.”

This week's issue also features a terminallly ill singer facing possible eviction from the Chelsea Hotel. Read it here. If you haven't already.