Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Wednesday's parting shot

Thanks to EVG reader Danny for this photo from Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue ...

3rd Street piano update

An EVG reader provided an update about that piano on Third Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue that appeared during Monday's blizzard... prompting a stranger to pay a visit and play a few songs... 

Anyway, as you can see, someone shoved the piano over. Or else it slipped. 

You could even say it glows

EVG reader Karen shared this from Tompkins Square Park last night... an igloo with mood lighting...


 The lighting was said to be done for staging purposes to help rent the space...

Former Snowdays space will yield a sushi counter on 10th Street

A restaurant called Omakase Sushi is in the works for 241 E. 10th St. just west of First Avenue... a public notice is on the front door as the proprietors will seek a beer-wine license before Community Board 3 this month...
The application posted on the CB3 website (PDF here, which includes a sample menu) shows that the sushi counter will (eventually) be open daily from noon to midnight. 

David Chen is listed as the proprietor. While he has not been licensed before within the confines of CB3, he does have experience running this type of business. (The questionnaire does not provide the names of previous restaurants.)

The virtual CB3-SLA meeting is Monday night at 6:30.

Snowdays, the dessert shop specializing in Asian-inspired shaved frozen cream (aka snow cream), closed late last summer, unable to continue in business during the pandemic. The shop, originally called Snowdays Shavery, opened here in August 2014. The space was previously a Kung Fu Tea location

Before this it was Vinyl Market, the electronic/DJ specialty shop. Anyway, don't recall that this space was ever licensed for alcohol before.

Pre-snow photos by Steven

Thanks to Mighty Quinn's, Otto's Tacos is making a (virtual) return

All four outposts of Otto's Tacos permanently closed late last year, including the one on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street. 

However, the quick-serve tacqueria has made a comeback thanks to Mighty Quinn's Barbeque.

In an article this week on ghost kitchens and delivery-only restaurants, CNBC reports that Otto's has become a virtual brand, an increasingly popular concept thanks to COVID-19.

After their closure, Otto's founder Otto Cedeno reportedly contacted Mighty Quinn's.

The two companies opened their flagship locations in the East Village neighborhood two blocks away from each other less than a decade ago, and their founders were friendly, swapping industry updates and tips, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic hammered New York City. 
But rather buying Otto's Tacos outright, Mighty Quinn's struck a deal instead to license the brand and bring it back to life as a virtual brand. The barbeque chain also sells chicken wings under the virtual brand Sugar Wing. 
"We decided, rather than bringing on additional kitchen capacity, to utilize what we already had at Mighty Quinn's to execute their menus," said Mighty Quinn's co-founder Micha Magid.
For now, the digital, delivery only location for Otto's is on the Upper East Side (as of last month). Otto's will be expanding to other neighborhoods in 2021. Service will likely one day include the East Village, given that both Otto's and Mighty Quinn's started in the neighborhood ... and because Otto's has a built-in audience here.

The former Otto's storefront on Second Avenue is said to become another taco shop.

Deli in the works for the SE corner of Avenue C and 10th Street

After years of use as a bar-restaurant, the storefront on the southeast corner of 10th Street and Avenue C will soon be home to a deli.

According to the @TradedNY site, the new tenant is Green Land Gourmet Deli. No word at the moment when they plan to open or what they might have to offer (aside from the usual deli-type fare!).

From July 2018 to the end of 2019, the space was a reincarnated East Village Tavern (in name only) and, briefly, Daytripper (same owners). 

Prior to this, a different set of owners ran East Village Tavern, which closed in November 2016 after eight years following a reported rent dispute with landlord Steve Croman. 

Photo via the EVG archives

Another pizzeria slinging 99-cent slices coming to 14th Street

A 99-cent sliceria is coming soon to the former Rainbow Nails & Spa space at 424 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

EVG regular Gojira, who shared the above photo, notes that the interior "is still littered with the salon furnishings, so no idea when this is all going to happen."

This is the latest no-frills pizza shop to open around here ... a 99-cent joint opened last fall at 246 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue ... joining the September debut of 99-Cent Fresh Pizza & Hot Dog at 131 Avenue A between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

Meanwhile, a New York Sal's Pizza is opening soon at 536 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Tuesday's parting shot

The snow teddy outside the March Hare on Ninth Street... photo by Derek Berg...

Mystery pianist playing some snow tunes on 3rd Street

During the snowstorm last night, a mystery man arrived ... and started playing a piano that was out on the sidewalk on Third Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

EVG reader Max shared the photo and video clip below... and noted that the man returned this evening around 5. "He's taking some requests from neighbors out the window, and had some admirers stop to watch."

A post-blizzard look at curbside dining structures

We spotted a few restaurant employees shoveling out their curbside dining structures today following the nearly 18 inches of snowfall in the past 36 hours...

This was the second major snow test for restaurants, forced to come up with alternate ways to serve patrons after the state shuttered indoor dining in March 2020. 

The city banned curbside dining last night during the winter storm. (Plus, many restaurants aren't open on Mondays.) Most of the streeteateries looked to have weathered the blizzard.

Several of the less-sturdy-looking structures were damaged, such as outside Sushi Dojo on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street (h/t to our friends at the DeColores Community Yard!) ... this space was not in use right now, as the restaurant is just offering delivery and takeout...
Thai Hub's tent space, still in use at times, on Avenue A between Sixth Street and Seventh Street was also KO'd ...
And Ramen Setagaya on St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue didn't have much of a space anymore... this is a photo of it from Saturday...
And now...
Indoor dining at 25 percent is set to return on Feb. 14. Back in September, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city’s outdoor dining program would be made permanent.

Updated 6 p.m.

The folks at the DeColores Community Yard also spotted damage to the curbside space at Ama Raw Bar on Avenue B near 12th Street...
And Eden points out the remains of the space at Jiang Diner on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...
Updated 2/3 

Not an outdoor structure... but EVG reader Joe points out that the awning of the currently closed Nowhere came down on 14th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Snowstorm photo recap

We've been buried under an avalanche of snow photos here... so we're sharing a few more shots from the big storm yesterday, which left an estimated 17.2 inches in Central Park as of this morning. 

Goggla took the top shot in Tompkins Square Park... and here are others along Avenue A...
And here's a selection from Alan Good in Tompkins Square Park...
... and as you may know, Alan is the owner of HENGE Outdoor Ping Pong Tables, and responsible for donating the two in Tompkins Square Park...
They cleared the table yesterday, and plan to return today to move out the more recent snowfall. (They also leave free balls and paddles under the table.) 

Derek Berg provided two more scenes...

RIP Ricky Powell

Ricky Powell, the celebrated downtown photographer best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and other iconic figures in the early days of rap, has died. He was 59. Media outlets have reported that he died of heart failure. 

From Pitchfork:
In his heyday in the in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Powell was a mainstay in the downtown Manhattan art and music scene. His portraits and candids of musicians like Eric B and Rakim, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, and Madonna, as well as downtown NYC denizens like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sofia Coppola, and Laurence Fishburne, have been shown in art galleries and published in several photo books.
In 1986, he quit his day job (selling lemon ices) to go on tour with the Beasties Boys as they opened for Run-DMC.

He would become a regular with the band, from cameos in videos and lyrics, such as in "Car Thief" on Paul's Boutique. 

Powell later hosted the cable access show "Rappin’ With The Rickster," which chronicled the oddities of daily NYC life as well as up-and-coming actors, musicians and scenesters.

You can read more about his life and the outpouring of tributes to him at these sites: 

And here's a January 2020 interview with him on OG Talk at the Organic Grill on First Avenue...

Image via Wikipedia

Monday, February 1, 2021

Monday's parting shots

Scenes from Tompkins Square Park this afternoon courtesy of Steven... good packing snow... and a lot of it (15.3 inches reported at Central Park...)


Two random scenes from today... Above on Eighth Street at Avenue B, Dave on 7th reminds us to remember to roll up the windows to our vehicles ahead of a nor'easter... ... and below, a reader shares this from 12th Street... a challenging day to be moving...

Happy No. 22 to Lavagna

Taking a break from posts about snow to wish Lavagnathe low-key Italian restaurant at 545 E. Fifth St., a happy 22nd anniversary.

In a time when far too many restaurants are closing, I'm happy to see that Lavagna has been able to continue to make it work during the pandemic. 

Will quote this review from over at The Infatuation from a few years back:
The place has been in business since 1999, and it’s still busy every night. Chalk it up to an excellent and consistent menu of pastas and entrees that keep the regulars coming back, exceptional daily specials, and a really good wine list. It’s everything that you want a cozy Italian restaurant to be, and it’s not even all that expensive. 
Lavagna, which is just west off of Avenue B, is open for some sidewalk and curbside seating and takeout and delivery from 5-10 p.m. daily. (Ordering from their website is simple.)

Congratulations to Yorgos and the entire Lavagna family.

Photo via the Lavagna Instagram account

Afternoon view

EVG reader Carol Kendzierski shares this view of the New York City Marble Cemetery on Second Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Mid-morning snow break (Still Snowing Edition)

EVG regular Greg Masters shared these photos from Tompkins Square Park this morning ...

Nor'easter news

The nor'easter that people have been taking/tweeting about is apparently upon us. Here's the latest from the National Weather Service (with a photo above from Seventh and A this morning around 7)...

* WHAT...Heavy snow. Snow may change to a light wintry mix
tonight. Additional snow accumulations of 14 to 18 inches and
ice accumulations of a light glaze. Winds gusting as high as 45

* WHERE...Portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New

* WHEN...Until 6 AM EST Tuesday.

* IMPACTS...Travel will be very difficult to impossible. The
hazardous conditions will impact the morning and evening
commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Blizzard like conditions possible this
morning into this evening.
ABC7 meteorologist Jeff Smith called this "a rare snowstorm — the likes of which we see every five to 10 years."

The city is restricting non-essential travel...
... and the CitiBike network is offline... ... and there's no line at Key Food this morning...

Get your Sex, Love & Vintage this month at 3rd and B'zaar on 3rd Street

Photos by Stacie Joy

February kicks off with a new seasonal pop-up shop at the 3rd and B'zaar space at 191 E. Third St. between Avenue A and Avenue B.

Sex, Love & Vintage, featuring the work of 30 local vendors and artists, is on tap for this Valentine's Day season.

"At Sex, Love & Vintage, shoppers can expect everything from fancy jock straps to beautiful floral bouquets to art," said 3rd and B'zaar co-founder Maegan Hayward, who also owns East Village Vintage Collective on 12th Street. "There will be gifts for your Valentine, Galentine or for yourself because February should be all about celebrating you."
This mixed vendor market and event space debuted this past November with a holiday market with more than 30 artists and merchants. 

For now, Hayward and company have the space through April, though they would like to extend the lease to host a spring market in May. They also hope to host more art shows, such as the one the weekend of Jan. 22.

"The plan for the 3rd & B’zaar, in general, is to have more art shows and events in between markets," she said. "And the hope is that we can keep the space and keep with that method of markets every few months that are specialized and small events in-between. But even if we don't stay in that space we hope to be able to travel and do the same thing in other spaces as a pop up."

Sex, Love & Vintage will be open all this week from 1-6 p.m. For the rest of the month, their hours are Wednesday-Sunday 1-6 p.m. You can follow the 3rd and B'zaar Instagram account or Facebook page for details on vendors and updated hours. 

With Gino Sorbillo bowing out, there's another pizzeria slated for 334 Bowery

A "temporarily closed for renovation" sign arrived at the Gino Sorbillo outpost at 334 Bowery between Great Jones and Bond in early January.

It didn't seem likely that the first U.S. pizzeria from "the Neapolitan celebrity super-chef" Gino Sorbillo was going to reopen amid the pandemic. At the time, there wasn't any message about a closure on the pizzeria's social media...  and their website was offline ... and the phone went to a random voice mailbox. 

Turns out applicants, named as William Fung and Steve Fung, appeared before Community Board 2 last fall for a new liquor license for the space and sidewalk cafe. 

There's now an SLA notice on the front window...
The application, found here, notes that this will be a 
"artisanal neighborhood pizzeria" with hours of noon to midnight.

This hyped Gino Sorbillo outpost arrived here in November 2017

The address was previously a carousel of pizza-tapas concepts between November 2014 and June 2015 ... this is when the address was divided into two spaces, where we had Forcella, Espoleta, Gia Trattoria, Slice of Naples, SRO and Bowery Pizza over the six-month period.