Thursday, July 2, 2009

Guess where? "Frattier than the frattiest frat party"

Eater has another reader report on the Greatest Shitshow of Them All, Superdive. Of course.

"I checked out the now imfamous Superdive last night, and I was blown away by the place. I paid $7 to mix my own drink (blacklable on ice, filled to the rim), was with a group that bought a keg, and smelled the aroma of weed. I can also say the place is frattier than the frattiest frat party imaginable, and was populated by about 90% business-casual clad iBanker types, and the plain-looking, done-up to the nines girls that follow them around. I have absolutely no idea how that place plans to stay open, there are potential liabilities EVERYWHERE (health violations, SLA, lawsuits, whatever). The place is a massive house of cards."

Previously on EV Grieve.

Damn hippies!

July 2, 1967, the Beach Boys play Wollman Rink in Central Park.


Heard that some paparazzi and various stalkers were hanging out on Avenue B near Manitoba's last night...Why? Who knew! According to Celebrity Gossip, a Web site about, um, celebrity gossip, Rihanna was at East Side Ink "taking a lesson in tattooing and having a marvelous time."

Work on Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre begins at former Two Boots space

The "for rent" signs -- seen below earlier this spring -- have come down at the former Two Boots space on Avenue A...(Two Boots Pizza and the video nook combined into the storefront on Avenue A and Third Street.)

There are now work permits in the window. ("To create new performance theater...")

And, peeking inside, you can see the space is being cleared out.

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to Open East Village Location (Grub Street)

Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Two Boots Video store "in contract" -- largest available retail space on Avenue A

Looking at 45 John Street

Curbed has been reporting on the happenings at 45 John Street in the Financial District.

And, on Monday, The Real Deal reported 45 John had been hit with a $51 million foreclosure suit. (Downtowny has more here.) I also did a piece on 45 John last August.... and was curious to see what was happening for myself. For starters, the 45 John Street signage is gone.

The only evidence of 45 John Street is up 3/4 on the building.

The 45 John Street sales office was on the upscale Dutch Street....

...just down this inviting, scaffolding-covered passageway. When I walked down Dutch yesterday afternoon, I saw two men sleeping in the shadows on either side of the road.

The sales office door was closed, the sales office signage removed...and a reflective barrel was blocking the doorway.

There was some activity. There's still a security guard on duty. And yesterday afternoon, under his watchful eye, several workers hauled away dozens of empty carts.

Meanwhile, on the roof, the ritzy penthouses that were in the works...

...look like some giant Tonka toy.

RIP for Bounce Deuce, known for "eye candy staff" and plastic tubes of beer?

Eater reports that Bounce Deuce, the bar with a name too easy to mock, may be closed. Eater notes that there have been no signs of life here at the corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street, home to the Table Tapper -- a 3-foot plastic tube that holds 116-ounces of beer. (Bounce, its big brother on the UES, remains open.)

I walked by myself last night. All shut down. Fortunately, the BD Web site lives on...(and they're still advertising the Margarito fight from Jan. 24!)

Never been to the Deuce? Take a look via BD's photostream...

Another cartoon beheading in the East Village

Speaking of Eater, they also brought the news this week that Cookout Grill on First Avenue at 13th Street shut it down. I always loved their catchphrase: REAL BURNING WOOD.

On top of it all! (So to speak!) The truly odd Cookout Grill mascot was beheaded by vandals.

Point of discussion: Is there a serial beheader of animated characters in the neighborhood?

Flashback to December!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the Bowery: "What the hell is this?"

As Eater noted on Monday, fancy sushi chain Koi is looking to nab a liquor license for a new joint .... at the site of the now-closed Salvation Army residence at 347 Bowery. Seems about right.

The Koi news prompted me to revisit a short story written by Jack Henry Abbott titled "On the Bowery." His piece was part of an anthology titled "Low Rent: A Decade of Prose and Photographs from the Portable Lower East Side" published in 1994.

After serving 19 years in prison, Abbott arrived in Manhattan at 3 a.m. on June 6, 1981. He stayed at the Salvation Army here at 347 Bowery. Here are a few snippets of his short story:

Sitting on the corner across the street there was a man wearing filthy jeans and a tee-shirt. He needed a shave. He was sitting on the curb with his feet in the gutter. There was a dirty handkerchief tied around his head. His long brown hair fell wildly about his shoulders.

He had a steel garbage can turned upside down between his legs. All its contents were in piles around him and he was beating the bottom of the garbage can with a pathetic vengenace. He was using his fists and the palms of his hands, alternately. I stared at him for awhile, then my gaze passed along and took in the immediate environment. Debris was everywhere in the street and sidewalks. Third Avenue traffic had not yet started. The streets were deserted.

Then I noticed a body laying stretched out on the sidewalk against a rundown building. And then another and another and another. The bodies of sleeping derelicts were scattered liberally around the sidewalks and on the stoops on buildings. It took my by surprise. My mind was blank. I finally thought: "What the hell is this?"

One morning someone came in half carrying a man in his late twenties. The man being helped was over six feet tall. He helped him sit on the cushion of the naugahyde couch I was sitting on in front of the fan. It was exceptionally hot that summer.

The man was filthy, his clothes were torn. His right pants leg was bursting at the seams. He had been lying in the gutter down the street for three days before someone decided to help him into the Salvation Army. From what they could get out of him, he had been wandering in the street one night and a car had struck him. He had crawled between two parked cars. His right leg was broken. It had been bleeding.


You likely know what later happened to Abbott, who previously had received help from Norman Mailer to get "In the Belly of the Beast" published. Abbott's story has been told many times. Here's a piece from -- why not? -- Wikipedia: "On the morning of July 18 (1981), just six weeks after getting out of prison, Jack Abbott went to a small cafe called the Binibon in Manhattan. He clashed with 22-year-old Richard Adan, son-in-law of the restaurant's owner, over Adan's telling him the restroom was for staff only. The short-tempered Abbott stabbed Adan in the chest, killing him."

In an entry on the Bowery and LES, Brian Rose wrote the following:

I lived around the corner on East 4th Sreet at the time, and ate in Binibon the day of the murder. I was unaware that anything had happened. Nowadays one would expect to find the crime scene taped off, people milling about pointing and murmering, and, perhaps, the beginnings of an informal memorial of flowers. In those days, it was just another murder on the Lower East Side, though once the connection to Mailer was made, the story became national news.

For further reading:
Writer murders writer in the East Village (Ephemeral New York)

For more on the Salvation Army residence hall here, please read: No Salvation (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)

Yes, yes and yes

Susan Dominus on the mallification of Times Square in the Times today:

But right now, the pedestrian mall, it must be said, looks a little unworthy of New York.


Or maybe the problem is not the quality of the seats. Maybe the problem is all the people sitting in them. New York is a city of walkers, not sitters; a city of motion, not repose.


Sitting beside Ms. Mia, I was starting to rethink my impression of the pedestrian mall, appreciating some of its merits, messy though they may be. But only for a minute.

“I just really like it here,” she said. “I find it strangely peaceful.”

We’ve come to accept the multitudes of adjectives that rotate in and out of use for Times Square depending on the era: gritty, dangerous, commercial, touristy, kitschy, overpriced, overcrowded, flashy, tacky, corporate. But peaceful?

That’s just wrong.

Zen Palate closes up in Financial District; Hell's Kitchen location last now in NYC

(Originally posted last night.)

The John Street restaurant has closed. Oddly enough, the sign on the door suggests that diners try the Zen Palate at 46th Street and Ninth Avenue. Not exactly a quick trip for lunch. Anyway, just a coincidence that ZePa in FiDi shuts a few weeks after the NYU Water Street dorm moved out?

The Zen Palate on Union Square closed in October 2007.

Mary O's now open on Avenue A

The bar opened last night on Avenue A. Food service starts tonight. I just took a quick look. Seemed to be an older crowd. No one was yelling. Seven taps of draft beer.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Coming soon to Avenue A: Mary O's

Police car jumps curb at Avenue D and Fifth Street; nine people hospitalized

From a summation of various reports from late yesterday afternoon: A police car, responding to a call, was speeding on Avenue D when it made a left turn onto Fifth Street, toward Avenue C, when it collided with a white Cadillac. (The accounts vary on which vehicle struck first.) Witnesses say the officer turned on his siren and, seconds later, lost control, jumped the curb and hit a crowd of people on the sidewalk. The Times reports today that nine people were hospitalized, including an infant, and are in stable condition.

Three TV news outlets were on the scene: NY1, WPIX and Telemundo 47.

Bob Arihood was there shortly after the accident occurred, and has many dramatic photos.

R-Pattz filming on Seventh Street TOMORROW

Yes, this is none other than the Robert Pattinson film "Remember Me." Given his devoted teen following, should be a good day for the FroYo and cupcake shops nearby. [Update: Spotted this sign between First Avenue and Second Avenue, and figure that's where the action will bee...]

Previously on EV Grieve:
273 Mott St. in danger of collapsing; Robert Pattinson fans don't seem to notice

The Ramenators show their letters


Happy birthday, Debbie Harry

Born July 1, 1945.