Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The all-new 21-23 Avenue B comes into view with 2 extra floors

Yesterday, workers removed the scaffolding and construction netting from 21-23 Avenue B. Workers have been adding two new floors and combining the existing two four-story structures between Second Street and Third Street. (First reported here.) 

 And here's another view via an EVG reader...
The retail spaces are on the market via landlord Icon Realty. One slot is $10k a month, and it appears that both combined are $20k. 

The residential listings for the 6-floor building are not online just yet. So here's what New York Yimby had on these units back in the spring:
All combined, available apartments will include six five-bedroom homes and eight two-bedroom units, with select units offering private outdoor space. All residents will have access to a large open-air roof terrace and cellar-level bike storage. In addition to a residential lobby, two 800-square-foot commercial suites will occupy the ground floor of each building...
And a flashback to when work got underway in October 2020...

Taking a look at the NW corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue

For starters, ICYMI: Papaya Dog has closed here on the NW corner of First Avenue and 14th Street after 16 years of peddling hot dogs and sandwich combos ... as we first reported back on Thursday. (Thanks to KT and Pinch!)
This corner has been on a watch-list for years ... with the mostly single-level strip of commercial buildings seemingly waiting to be gobbled up for new development. Plus, the four-story 239 First Ave., where the shuttered Salt & Pepper sold Indian and Chinese cuisine from the storefront next to Papaya Dog, remains vacant. 

Anyway, there's nothing in public records to suggest anything is afoot here for the time being.

A lot of people also had feelings about Papaya Dog's departure, especially on Twitter. And there was a lot of conversation about the ongoing issues — fights, drug use, etc. — along this corridor.   

Monday, October 25, 2021

Skeleton crew spotted on 1st Street


As seen on First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Southern section of East River Park to mostly close on Nov. 21 as resiliency work begins

Work on the $1.45-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project will close the southern section of East River Park — below the Houston Street entrance — starting on Nov. 21 ...  with construction completion not set for by the end of 2026 "given project pause during COVID and procurement delays."

The city released the first set of dates for ESCR construction and a revised phasing plan for this Project Area 1 last Wednesday during Community Board 3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee.

As we first reported here, the Compost Yard has been relocated, and that area will be turned into "a passive lawn" during the interim.

On Nov. 1, all but four tennis courts will close, with the remainder to shutter on Nov. 21 along with most of the southern end of East River Park.
According to the latest timeline from the city, leagues will be able to use the ballfields through Nov. 30. Permits for the BBQ areas and amphitheater will no longer be available after Nov. 30. Click on the image below for more detail on all this...
Also, on Nov. 21, the entire "shared-use path" — the Greenway that runs between East River Park and the FDR — will close until the end of 2026. Looking at the city's presentation, it's not immediately apparent what route cyclists and pedestrians need to take in the interim. (The presentation only shows a bike detour for the area starting at Stuyvesant Cove on 20th Street.) 

Meanwhile, the rest of East River Park — the area north of Reach F on the city's snapshots — will be open for at least another year. There appears to be a small closure at the north end above 10th Street sometime before next summer. (The city has said that they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of the park throughout construction.)
There aren't any other specific dates at this time attached to gutting the 57.5-acre East River Park — burying the existing park under fill and elevating it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level. You can find the updated 22-page presentation from last week at this link.

Opponents of this version of the reconstruction project continue to speak out, stressing there's a better path forward to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise — one that doesn't cause 1,000 mature trees to be chopped down.
As Archpaper noted in an article on the project this past summer:
Though the city has committed to planting approximately 2,000 new trees, consisting of 50 different tree species that will be more resilient to salt spray and extreme weather, it will take decades for the new saplings on the reconstructed park to achieve a full canopy.
East River Park Action and other advocates say there are alternatives to preserve the park and provide flood protection, such as the one mapped out in the years after Sandy. In late 2018, the city surprised community stakeholders by announcing a complete overhaul of a plan discussed over four years of local meetings.

Efforts to spur Council Speaker Corey Johnson to hold an oversight hearing on this phase of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project have yet to materialize. However, he's aware of what's happening here now.

Meanwhile, work continues in Project Area 2 between East 15 Street and 25th Street, including Asser Levy Playground, Stuyvesant Cove Park and Murphy Brothers Playground.

Blank Street debuts on the Bowery

Blank Street coffee opened late last week in the Bowery Market.

The kiosk here in the open-air market at Great Jones also offers products from local brands, including King Street Baking Co. and King David Tacos.

This is the latest outpost for the fast-growing NYC brand that launched with a mobile cart in Williamsburg in the summer of 2020. 

Just last week, we reported that a Blank Street location is coming soon to 36 Third Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street. That post has more background about the company founded by Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha, who have aggressive plans for 100 locations operational by the end of 2022. 

The company recently secured $25 million in Series A funding to help realize this goal. 

The latest future development clue from along 250 E. Houston St.

We're continuing to monitor the now-vacant old retail strip at 250 E. Houston St. ... adjacent to the renovated 13-story residential complex and storefronts. (Background here.) 

The latest update comes via an EVG reader, who spied some info inside the former Mattress Mart (the first space after the renovated zone).
While walking by the old Mattress Mart, I could see they are building a new retaining wall. The plans were right there on a table by the window. I included close-ups of two interesting items: one describes separating the stores from Red Square (250) into a new "280 E Houston." 

The other was partially covered but clearly says "demolition." I'm pretty sure whatever's coming is going to suck — especially for those residents on Second Street with southern-facing windows.
According to some of the former business owners at No. 250, a new development will rise from the one-level strip of storefronts between Avenue A and Avenue B. Demolition permits have already been filed. What's not known yet is the size/scope of the new building.

The residential building, the former Red Square, changed ownership in the fall of 2016 ... and underwent extensive renovations

Joey Bats Café offering a sneak preview outside new Avenue B home

Photo last week by Stacie Joy

Joey Bats Café is opening soon at 50 Avenue B... and starting last week, they've been peddling their pastéis de nata from a sidewalk table here between Third Street and Fourth Street. 

Joey Batista (aka Bats) started selling the Portuguese custard tarts several years back before opening his first outpost at 129 Allen St. near Rivington.

Here's more via a Hungry City feature at the Times from April 2019:
Mr. Batista, 39, the son of Portuguese immigrants, started selling pastéis de nata at street fairs around New York in 2016. The recipe was developed by his mother, Isabel Fernandes, a formidable home cook who made desserts for her brother's restaurant in their hometown, Ludlow, Mass., before heading the kitchen at her son's cafe.
The Avenue B location — a sizeable two-level space — will feature elements of the cafe as well as a lounge featuring comedy and live music. Joey Bats received approval for a liquor license here during last month's CB3 meeting.

No. 50 has sat empty for several years. The pizzeria Johnny Favorite's shuttered on the Fourth Street side in August 2017 after debuting in April 2015. Lovecraft, inspired by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, closed in early 2018 after three-and-a-half years in business. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sunday's parting shot

A reader shares this scene from Avenue A and Seventh Street this evening...

Week in Grieview

 Posts this past week included (with a Michael Myers sighting by Derek Berg) ...

• Barnyard Cheese Shop has closed (Thursday)

• Rue-B closes on Avenue B (Thursday)

• Office building for 3 St. Mark's Place appears stalled for now (Tuesday)

• Cheap-eats fave Papaya Dog is done on 14th Street (Thursday

• Report: Police shoot at man threatening people with a knife on Houston and the Bowery (Friday

• Via Della Pace owners opening an Italian deli on 4th Street (Monday

• Signs of new development along the retail strip of 250 E. Houston St. (Monday

• FA debuts on 9th Street; the green bench arrives in Tompkins Square Park (Wednesday

• Stromboli Pizza reopens (Friday

• Blank Street coffee looks to be opening an outpost on 3rd Avenue (Wednesday

• A campaign to landmark the building that housed A Gathering of Tribes on 3rd Street (Monday

• Openings: Chichen Itzá on 10th Street (Tuesday

• Sun meets the sidewalk again along this stretch of 2nd Avenue (Wednesday

• Omakase sushi bar coming to former upholstery shop on 7th Street (Tuesday

• A wrap at the Bowery Mural Wall (Tuesday

• When life gives you a bulky sidewalk bridge, play tetherball (Tuesday

• Reader report: new laundromat washed up before it opens? (Wednesday

• A speakeasy and restaurant concept slated for 221 2nd Ave. (Monday

... and East Village native Reuben Gordon is an artist now living in Los Angeles ... if you happen to be out that way, a solo exhibition recently opened at Baert Gallery ... and you can see how NYC and the neighborhood inform his work...


Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

A farewell to Barnyard Cheese Shop

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Barnyard Cheese Shop closed after service Friday evening at 168 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. 

As we first reported, owner Beatriz Gutierrez (pictured above) was, despite repeated efforts, unable to find someone to replace Victor, who helmed the kitchen here for years. Victor, who lost his brother to COVID-19, is returning to be with family in Mexico. 

Yesterday, family members, longtime regulars and staff (including Michael in the photo below) gathered to say goodbye to Barnyard...
Several bands, part of a HONK NYC! performance, were also playing right outside along the Open Street of Avenue B...

This week in milling & paving with your host...

Crews working for the DOT milled Avenue B — from Houston to 14th Street — early this past week. 

Enjoy this fresh-milled look and feel while you can. 

According to the DOT website, workers are expected to start paving the roadway on Friday night...

Saturday, October 23, 2021

EVG Etc.: Early voting begins; SoHo/NoHo rezoning pushes ahead

Fall views on 1st Street/Houston

• Early voting begins TODAY (NYC Votes

• Police say this suspect assaulted an 11-year-old girl in Stuyvesant Square (1010 WINS) UPDATED: A 29-year-old East Village resident is out on bail following his arraignment Saturday on charges of strangulation, harassment, assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child. (amNY ... ABC 7 ... CBS 2) More details at The Daily Mail.

• Arrest made in murder of food-delivery worker on the LES last Saturday (Daily News) Loved ones are collecting money to help victim Miah Sala's family pay for expenses (GoFundMe

• ICYMI: On 8th and Broadway, cops shove man out of the subway station after he asked them to wear masks (The New York Times) Cops disciplined (ABC 7

• The latest on the SoHo/NoHo rezoning (Gothamist

• Remembering the EV boutique/salon Knobkerry and proprietor Sara Penn ... the subject of a new exhibition (The New York Times

• A review of La Cabra, now open on Second Avenue (Gothamist ... previously on EVG

• NYU receives a collection of 200 works by downtown artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring (Hyperallergic

• A fall update on Amelia and Christo, the red-tailed hawks of Tompkins Square Park (Laura Goggin Photography

• About Dumpling Lab on Ninth Street (Time Out ... previously on EVG

• Gold Medalist Shaun White's condo in the A Building on 13th Street sells (The Post

• A rerelease for the debut EP from Heart Attack, Jesse Malin's first band (Brooklyn Vegan

 ... and our best to Karen McDermott, who owns the toy store the March Hare on Ninth Street with her husband Jason McGroarty. McDermott, 31, found out earlier this month that she has colon cancer. More details here.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Carve your enthusiasm

Some photos from a recent pumpkin-carving extravaganza at the Parkside Lounge on Houston at Attorney ... pics by Stacie Joy...

Like a 'Dream'


New Order is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, Movement

On this occasion today, the band released this video of "Dreams Never End" — Movement's lead track — from their concert (Nov. 18, 1981) at the Ukrainian National Home on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

(We've posted the full show before, like here.)

HONK NYC! returns to the streets and community gardens

HONK NY!, the activist and community-based street bands, is back in action this week... Today (Friday!), HONK is hosting a Horns to the Sky! program in Tompkins Square Park from 4-6:30 p.m.

And tomorrow afternoon (Saturday!), HONK bands will be in the East Village ... along the Open Street of Avenue B and in various community gardens. This link provides the details. 

Report: Police shoot at man threatening people with a knife on Houston and the Bowery

According to published reports, police shot at a man threatening people with knives during the morning rush (8:45) along the Bowery at Houston. 

Media accounts described the suspect as an "emotionally disturbed man." 

Per PIX11: "According to police, the officer fired one round but missed the man." 

Starting around 8:40 a.m., the unhinged man cut a bizarre path from outside the Butcher's Daughter, a cafe on Kenmare St., to the Bowery and then to the corner of Elizabeth and Grand Sts., cops said. He allegedly threatened to stab people along the way. 
Cops found the man at the corner of Houston St. and Bowery. Officers first shot the man with a Taser, but it didn't work, police said. A cop from the 9th Precinct fired off one shot as officers tried to subdue the man, but no one was hit.
The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. 

EVG reader Robert Miner, who shared these photos, reports that the Bowery is closed from Houston to Bleecker ... other parts of Houston are also said to be currently closed to traffic... 
Updated 10:46 a.m.:

And a report via CBS 2...


Stromboli is back open

Stromboli Pizza, sidelined since early August with a building-related gas issue, reopened yesterday on First Avenue at St. Mark's Place. (Thanks to everyone who shared this news via email!) 

As previously noted, we were told that there was a gas-line issue with the building at 83 St. Mark's Place/135 First Ave. The gas issue impacts the building's residents as well, sources said. 

Steven shared these photos, including of Joseph, Stromboli's owner...
Dan & John's next door has also been closed these past two-plus months. The wing shop has not yet reopened.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday's parting shots

A moment on First Avenue and Ninth Street... thanks to Grant Shaffer for the pics...

Barnyard Cheese Shop is closing for good tomorrow

Photos yesterday by Stacie Joy

Tomorrow is the last day in business for Barnyard Cheese Shop at 168 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. 

Owner Beatriz Gutierrez confirmed the news (H/T Elsie) to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. 

Gutierrez said Victor, her longtime cook, suffered a loss during the pandemic — his brother died. Victor wants and needs to return home to be with his family in Mexico.
Gutierrez said that she has repeatedly tried to find kitchen staff but can't, so she is forced to close Barnyard. She stressed that this is not a lack-of-business issue — it's wholly staffing-related. 

She has a lease on the space until the end of November and may do some catering here. Gutierrez also said she may hold on to the storefront for another venture in the future, though she isn't sure right at this moment.
Barnyard, which offers cheeses, cured meats, salads and delicious specialty sandwiches, first opened in 2008 on Ninth Street and Avenue C ... moving to its current location in late 2016.
Her companion shop next door, Brix Wines, will remain open. 

Previously on EV Grieve

Dark jazz: Rue-B closes, leaving Avenue B

Photo yesterday by Stacie Joy

Rue-B, the bar and live music venue specializing in jazz at 188 Avenue B, has closed after nearly 23 years in business here between 11th Street and 12th Street. (H/T Lilly!)

Mike Camacho, who has owned the spot for the past five years, made the announcement in a video clip posted on Instagram

He said that they will be reopening at a location TBD at a later date. 

While he didn't name a specific reason for the closure, Rue-B's Instagram page states: "We apologize after almost 23 yrs we were forced to close down. Thank U East Village NYC 4 for allowing us to serve you spirits & live Jazz. With Love Rue-B." 

You can watch Camacho's farewell and thank you to patrons below...