Thursday, September 3, 2015

A tale of 2 printers

On East Sixth Street above... and East Seventh Street below...

"Broken and very heavy" ... you can almost hear the printer sighing...

Photos today by Derek Berg...

A Joey Ramone-CBGB 40th anniversary mural for the Bowery

A new mural featuring Joey Ramone is going up today on Bleecker at the Bowery... across the way from the former CBGB... EVG reader Lola Sáenz says that the mural is by Solus and John CRASH Matos...

The mural is via The L.I.S.A. Project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Ramones debuting at CBGB.

[Top photos by Lola Sáenz]

Here was the view around noon...

A photo posted by Solus (@solusstreetart) on

EV Grieve Etc.: Concerns about landmarks law; taste test at Harry & Ida's

[Cat day afternoon on East 10th Street via Grant Shaffer]

In the early 1970s, photographer Hans Haacke attempted to track the holdings of an East Village/LES landlord, and a writer traces Haacke's path today with interesting results (Curbed)

Preservationists fight bill setting time limit on landmarks decisions in NYC (The New York Times ... Gotham Gazette)

At the rally against NYU Tuesday in Washington Square Park (BuzzFeed ... the Observer)

Cooper Union enters agreement to end lawsuit over tuition (DNAinfo)

Ranking the sandwiches at Harry & Ida's on Avenue A (Eater)

Missing the hawks (Gog in NYC)

About those dead mutant rats strung up along the FDR (BoweryBoogie)

A few things to do in September (The Lo-Down)

Flagship Barnes & Noble bookstore on Fifth Avenue and 18th Street transformed into a Banana Republic (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Screening tonight: "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (starring Michael Landon) and "The Honeymoon Killers" (Anthology Film Archives)

Speaking of The Honeymoon Killers ... here's the band that took their name from the film live at CBGB in 1986 (YouTube)

... and if your workplace, school, church, etc., are making plans...

Ben Shaoul's 98-100 Avenue A emerging from the dewatering hole

By late afternoon yesterday, Ben Shaoul's incoming retail-residential building between East Seventh Street and East Sixth Street made its first appearance above the plywood, as these photos by EVG contributor Steven show…

Last time we checked in on the address here on Avenue A, a report of smoke from the construction pit prompted a visit by the FDNY. Earlier in the summer a sign appeared on the plywood noting that — "We are currently performing dewatering on this construction site. This is condensation (water vapor) coming up through the pipes."

Not sure where workers are with the dewatering. We didn't notice any smoke water vapor when we walked by yesterday.

Anyway, you know the rest… the building will one day look something like this…

Previously on EV Grieve:
A little bit of Hollywood on Avenue A

Inside the abandoned theater at East Village Farms on Avenue A

Workers back demolishing what's left of 98-100 Avenue A

Rest assured, there isn't a fire in the hole at 98-100 Avenue A

Reader mailbag: Can my landlord legally convert a 1-bedroom apartment into a 3-bedroom unit?

An EVG reader asked the following …

The landlord of my small, rent-stabilized building just converted a one bedroom into a three bedroom/two bath unit and put it on the market for $5,900 a month — probably from less than $1,000 a month.

Is this huge jump legal?


We often get reader queries ... asking for help with, say, donating clothes or books ... or finding an East Village-based caterer... If you have a question for the masses, then try the EV Grieve email...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader mailbag: Places to eat that have that old East Village vibe (45 comments)

Reader mailbag: What do I do about my new neighbors who smoke pot all the time? (52 comments)

Reader mailbag: Where is a good place to get a cup of coffee in the East Village before 6 a.m.? (25 comments)

Reader mailbag: What has happened to the Cooper Station Post Office? (41 comments)

Reader mailbag: Can the landlord 'drill' the lock to gain access to my apartment for simple repairs? (15 comments)

Reader mailbag: Should we receive a rent abatement for having sporadic heat and hot water?

Reader mailbag: How often does your mail get delivered?

Reader mailbag: Where can I get my Mac fixed now?

Random photo found on the Internet

RUMORS: These 2 buildings on 2nd Avenue at East 12th Street are for sale

A credible tipster shared a rumor with us… that 192 Second Ave. at East 12th Street … and the building directly behind it at 303 E. 12th St. are on the shopping block…

The buildings are connected by a courtyard… word from the rumor mill is that the ground-floor space at 303 — currently a residence — is being pitched as a possible home to a cafe-restaurant.

Despite the reliability of the tipster, we haven't spotted any listings for the buildings… and there isn't any evidence that they are for sale…

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Tribute in Light test run.

Thanks to Alex Ward for the photo…

Checking the Hare Krishna tree for Dutch Elm Disease in Tompkins Square Park

A bit of a startling sight this morning when a tree crew towing a shredder pulled up to the Hare Krishna tree in the middle of Tompkins Square Park.

Workers were there, though, just to inspect the American Elm, which was the site of the birth of the Hare Krishna movement in the United States in 1966.

EVG contributor Steven, who took these photos, talked with one of the workers, who was checking the tree for Dutch Elm Disease. He said that the tree is sound, though he did have to remove a few suspect branches...

Drilling and soil testing commences at the long-empty lot at 89 1st Ave.

[EVG photo from September 2014]

As you may recall, we heard a rumor last fall that there were preliminary plans in place to build a 7-floor residential building in the long-emtpy lot at 89 First Ave. between East Fifth Street and East Sixth Street.

The rumor gained strength in March when workers cut down 10 trees and cleared the brush from the lot.

There still aren't any permits on file with the DOB noting impending construction ... however, workers recently cleared out the weeds growing in the lot.

And yesterday, EVG reader Sam Teichman spotted a crew inside the lot during the morning hours...

[Photo by Sam Teichman]

And this morning, EVG reader EVA spotted workers drilling and soil testing on the lot ... usually a sign of incoming development.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Will this long-empty lot on 1st Avenue yield to affordable housing?

Out and About in the East Village

In this weekly feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village.

By James Maher
Name: Jennifer Bonilla
Occupation: 100 Ton Inland Master Mate Near Coast
Location: 7th Street between Avenues B and C
Time: 3:15 on Thursday, Aug. 27

I was born in Amarillo, Texas. I’m a 100 ton inland master captain with a sail and tow auxiliary. I drive boats. I used to work for a New York Waterway and I worked for CUNY on the research boat. I went off to work in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and now I do private jobs mostly from the Bahamas to somewhere else.

I came here the first time when I was 25. I was an artist. I made jewelry and I realized I could sell it on the street without paying for a permit. [I sold them] on Broadway all the time. I had all this money but then the police took me to jail and kept the money.

Then I got out. I didn’t have my jewelry and I didn’t have my money. I was homeless. I was staying at the Y but when that ended I was out on the street. I got involved with a bunch of squatters and we squatted in an abandoned building. And now I’m a landowner, baby. It’s a good story. I built my apartment. I live on the 5th floor and I carried every single thing up there. Twenty-seven years I’ve lived in the same place.

There were no floors. When I moved in I had to cross over this beam to get to the little area of the floor that was left. We had no toilets, no heat and no water. We got our water from the street and eventually we put in one bathroom on the ground floor with a hot water heater and everybody who lived there shared that.

Then in 1988, we had a five-alarm fire and it burned the front of the building down. We rebuilt it. It was an incredible feat of architectural and structural work that we did to save it. We had a group of architecture students who volunteered with us for three years. They lived there and they camped out in tents. It was fun. We had the greatest life.

Nobody cared back then. The whole neighborhood, every empty lot had trash to the top of the fence. I used to walk around really dirty from the collar down all the time. I could wash all that you could see but a lot of times there was no place to take a bath. That’s how a lot of people remember me those first years. I was working for a bath. Every time I’d meet someone, I’d be like, ‘Do you think I could come to your house to shower?’ And then people would be like, ‘Really?’ All these guys thought I was hitting on them. Then I’d go in their bathroom and I’d lock the door and I’d come out two hours later, ‘Thanks a lot.’

It was so much quieter, even during the drug haze days. We had the big coke C and D cartel on our block. In 1995, the cops busted our block and every one of those guys who were working the block went to prison. Fifteen years they spent in prison. All of them are out because all of their mothers still live out on the block. They’re all reformed criminals. Let’s hope they’re all reformed.

Anyway, there are no more drugs being sold on our block, but with the way those drugs left, total mayhem came. When the drug dealers were running the neighborhood, there was some control going on here. You had security. You could walk on your block, and if somebody was bothering you, they’d step over to you … every one of those drug dealers would surround them and they’d go, ‘Is he bothering you? Cause you’re a homegirl.’ They’d go, ‘Homegirl, homegirl.’

One guy was harassing me and he was following me around. He said, ‘I’m going to send you back to Texas in a box.’ I was petrified and I crossed Avenue B and all those guys, they saw everything. It was amazing. And that guy never bothered me again after they were done talking to him. They had some kind of clout that doesn’t exist here anymore.

James Maher is a fine art and studio photographer based in the East Village. Find his website here.

Chase branch on 2nd Avenue at St. Mark's Place has the potential to get 4x larger with new owner

A few weeks back we noted that the Chase branch at 130 Second Ave. was closing for good after Nov. 12. The retail space has been on the market, with an asking price of $72,000 a month, per the listing.

Turns out the whole building was for sale. As the Commercial Observer first reported yesterday, J.P. Morgan Chase sold the 2-level space to Stellar Management for $12 million.

And this corner of Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place looks to be growing one of these days. Per the Observer:

The site allows for redevelopment of the 2,380-square-foot site into a mixed-use retail and residential project of 9,520 square feet.

Stellar Management owns and operates residential and commercial real estate in NYC. Per the Stellar website: "The company focuses on real estate acquisitions, development and property management. Stellar’s portfolio contains over 12,000 apartments in 100 buildings in New York City and Miami."

The company doesn't appear to own any buildings in the East Village (well, until now). Updated: A reader reminded us that Stellar teamed up with Icon Realty to buy 128 Second Ave. next door.

The Chase branch at 130 Second Ave. will consolidate with the location two blocks to the north at No. 156.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Chase space on 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place is for rent

2 East Village Chase Bank branches are closing for good on Nov. 12

Synagogue penthouse comes into view on East 6th Street

A milestone of sorts to note about the condo conversion of the Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 E. Sixth St.: the penthouse addition has (mostly) arrived.

At the time when the condo plans were first made available, some neighbors and preservationists were concerned about the size and scope of the new level. In March 2013, architect Joseph Pell Lombardi reportedly told CB3's Landmarks Subcommittee that the addition would not be visible from the street — per guidelines set forth by the Lower East Side/East Village Historic District.

To prove this, he installed a mock-up with orange cones showing where the penthouse would be setback from the rest of the building. We checked it out...and while the cones were not visible from the sidewalk, you could spot them a few steps in on the Village View property across the street, which is not in the Historic District.

The Landmarks Preservation reportedly approved the plans in April 2013, though they did ask the applicant to address the visibility of the rooftop addition by either setting it back further, reducing the scale, using a darker color, or choosing a different cladding material, per the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

We took the top three photos here from Village View yesterday morning ... showing the penthouse ...

We returned later in the day… the penthouse is noticeable from the south side of the street as well…

… though not from out front…

Of course, the penthouse at this stage is particularly noticeable with its yellow DensGlass® Sheathing. Be curious to see what the final product looks like.

As previously cut-n-pasted: The landmarked building between Avenue A and First Avenue was reportedly in disrepair and the congregation's population had dwindled. Synagogue leaders signed a 99-year lease with East River Partners worth some $1.2 million. The synagogue will retain space on the ground floor for their use.

The developers previously told the Daily News that sales for the three units will start this fall.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Plan to add condos to historic East Sixth Street synagogue back on

Play spot the potential penthouse atop the East Village synagogue

A final look inside the Anshei Meseritz synagogue on East Sixth Street

Stained-glass windows removed ahead of condo conversion at Congregation Mezritch Synagogue

Introducing Nonstop Cooper, a community residency on 3rd Avenue

Via the EVG inbox…

Nonstop Cooper is a community residency at 31 Third Avenue. It will serve as a workspace for community engagement and a platform for public outreach.

Opening on September 7th, Nonstop will feature a wide variety of programming, and drop-in hours from noon to midnight. Community members are welcome to host and attend happenings.

Find more details about this residency at Facebook … and the Nonstop Cooper Tumblr.

The space, 31 Third Ave. at Stuyvestant Street, previously housed St. Mark's Bookshop before a rent increase saw the the owners relocate to East Third Street.

The storefront has been empty now for more than a year.

[Photo by Jeremiah Moss]

Updated 8 a.m.
In other Cooper Union news ... from the Associated Press via ABC News:

New York's attorney general has reached an agreement that would end a suit against Cooper Union and create an independent monitor into the financial management of the engineering and architecture school.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is expected to announce the agreement Wednesday.

He says he hopes it could eventually lead to the school restoring its tradition of free tuition.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


An EVG reader sends along this Craigslist ad for an apartment available for rent (the address isn't listed) ... the reader thinks these might be the three most random restaurants mentioned together in a Craigslist ad ...

Conveniently located just a block from the F train and steps from some of the city's best restaurants and nightlife including Black Iron Burger, Katz's Deli, and L'arte del Gelato

L'arte del Gelato is based in the Chelsea Market with carts at Lincoln Center and the High Line during the summer.

Updated: Slick Rick's month-long residency on Avenue A

EVG regular Greg Masters spotted Bronx-based artist Andre Trenier creating this month's mural on the roll-down gate at Mikey Likes It, 199 Avenue A near East 12th Street.

The mural is of Slick Rick to coincide with the ice cream shop's flavor of the month…

Previous artists on the gate have included Madonna, Will Smith and Prince.

Updated 9/3

Here's the final version of the gate... via the Mikey Likes It Tumblr..

... and the September specialty ice cream ...

Looking at the incoming East Village Cheese shop on East 7th Street

Several people have asked us if we know when the new home of East Village Cheese will open on East Seventh Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Unfortunately, we haven't heard any updates. (Have you?) The sign on the window here at 80 E. Seventh St. says "coming soon August 2015." And the Shop doesn't have any social media presence offering updates. The phone is also not in service now.

Anyway, here's a look inside the storefront yesterday…

… and the sign from Third Avenue looks to be going up here as well …

The cheese shop's lease expired at the end of July at its longtime home at 40 Third Ave. between East Ninth Street and East 10th Street. In January, we heard that the Duane Reade on Third Avenue at East 10th Street was going to expand into adjacent storefronts on that block, forcing out several businesses, including East Village Cheese.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rumors: Duane Reade expansion will take over adjacent storefronts, including East Village Cheese (74 comments)

[Updated] Confirmed: East Village Cheese will be moving to Avenue A later this year

East Village Cheese makes move to 7th Street official

[Updated] Work starts on new home of the East Village Cheese Shop

A.K. Shoe Repair has closed

[EVG file photo]

Earlier last month, we heard that A.K. Shoe Repair on East Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue was facing a rent increase, which would leave the proprietor, Albert, either finding a new space or closing the shop that he took over from his father.

Unfortunately, the shop closed for good yesterday.

DNAinfo had more details about the situation here in an article titled "Cobbler Craft Dying Out As Rents Rise, Cheap Shoes Proliferate, Skills Wane."

In the case of A.K. Shoe Repair, Albert P. says his landlord plans to more than double the monthly rent for his space at 350 E. 9th St. from $2,000 to $4,500. Adding that to the cost of electricity and gas, $500 a month, and the price of a month's supplies, $1,500, the price of keeping his business open would amount to roughly $270 a day. With those expenses, it's no easy task to turn a profit charging no more than $20 for rubber heel replacements.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A.K. Shoe Repair needs a new home

1 floor down, 12 to go at 347 Bowery

The last time that we checked in on 347 Bowery in March, a cheap Penistrator knockoff saw fit to degrade the renderings on the plywood here at East Third Street by drawing a large [redacted].

We've come a long way since then. The building is now visible above the plywood…

A quick recap: Workers demolished the Salvation Army's former East Village Residence that was on this corner … to make way for a 13-story, 30,000 square-foot mixed-use residential development.

Per developer Urban Muse, the project will feature five 3-bedroom homes ranging from 2,100 to 4,000 square feet, two 2,000-square-foot commercial units and one 6,800-square-foot retail unit.

Annabelle Selldorf, who designed the nearby 10 Bond Street, is listed as the architect of record.

The lone rendering that we've seen looks to give neighbor 52E4 — the 15 stories of condo on the Bowery and East Fourth Street — some skyline company. The lot adjacent to 347 Bowery at 1-3 E. Third St. is also for sale as a development site.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Salvation Army's former East Village Residence will be demolished on the Bowery

Looks like 347 Bowery will be home to a 13-floor mixed-use residential development

The future of 347 Bowery (sorta!) revealed

New name, but the doors remain the same at 189 E. 3rd St.

The bar-restaurant space at 189 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B has been a carousel of late… there was the short-lived Lumiere that debuted in May 2014, followed by Casablanca, which just opened in February.

We're not sure when Casablanca closed… but a new sign is up for a restaurant-lounge called Tut …

Unfortunately, we don't know anything about Tut… the only other sign here features variations of coming soon written in multiple languages…

Monday, August 31, 2015

This interactive map lets you track the neighborhood's sidewalk cafes

In case you didn't see this news earlier today (DNAInfo, The Lo-Down and Crain's, among other outlets), the Department of Consumer Affairs has launched an interactive map that shows the locations of the city's 1,300-plus sidewalk cafes.

The map also shows pending applications, license status and health grades. Per Crain's: "The goal is to boost transparency and reduce confusion surrounding the licensing process, said Julie Menin, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the licensing of sidewalk cafés."

In our Community Board 3 area (covering the East Village and Lower East Side), there are currently 97 sidewalk cafes, many of them not even on Second Avenue or East Third Street and Avenue B.

Check out the map here.