Saturday, November 19, 2022

Ralph's on ice for the winter season

The Ralph's Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream! is on hiatus now for the next few months on the NW corner of Avenue A and Ninth Street. 

They'll be back in February, at which time we'll be that closer to spring...
Photos by Steven...

Saturday's opening shot

Waking up to a cool (temperature-wise) morning ... with a freeze warning in place tonight. 

Photo from 10th and A...

Friday, November 18, 2022

Cherry-coloured punk

 

Endure, the well-reviewed new record from Special Interest, is out now... the video here is for "Cherry Blue Intention." 

You can check out the glammed-up punk sounds of this New Orleans-based band on Dec. 8 at the Bowery Ballroom.

EV Loves NYC preparing for its 3rd annual Thanksgiving event for New Yorkers in need

East Village Loves NYC — the local volunteer group formed in the spring of 2020 to feed people in need during the pandemic — is getting ready for its third-annual Thanksgiving event, taking place this Sunday.

This year, organizers told us that they're running a cookathon on Sunday. 
We’ll be partnering with 40 organizations, and setting up stations around the city so that those who need it the most can share in our chef-made meals. Our chefs will be cooking both traditional Thanksgiving meals, as well as vegan versions of Thanksgiving meals.
Late this past summer the group started a distribution on Sundays at 1:45 p.m. in Tompkins Square Park for anyone in the neighborhood who needs food, water and health care supplies. This Sunday, they'll be in the Park sharing full Thanksgiving meals (turkey, six side dishes and pie) plus vegan versions. 

In other EV Loves NYC news, the volunteers added early morning shifts (5 to 7:30 a.m. at their HQ, the Sixth Street Community Center), for asylum seekers arriving at Port Authority. 

You may donate to the Thanksgiving meal fund here. You may find volunteer opportunities here.

In the spring of 2020, a handful of East Village friends got together to prepare meals for neighbors. Early on, Ali Sahin, the owner of C&B Cafe on Seventh Street near Avenue B, donated his kitchen on Mondays for the group to cook its meals. By June 2020, they had outgrown the space and started assembling deliveries at the Sixth Street Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

Eventually, the group became known as East Village Loves NYC with 1,400-plus volunteers. In year one alone, the group cooked more than 100,000 meals for New Yorkers  ... not to mention donated 325,000-plus pounds of groceries and 7,000-plus pantry bags.
 

Image via @evlovesnyc

[UPDATED, whoa] It's beginning to look a lot like ...

Lime Tree Market on the SE corner of Ninth Street and First Avenue is now on the clock for some of the neighborhood's first Christmas trees.

Updated 5 p.m. 

The trees have arrived! Awww...
Aww, WTF!? $99.99??
Thanks to Steven for the photos

About 'Bomb Pop 2,' an 'ongoing conversation' at Bullet Space

Photos and text by Daniel Efram 

Bullet Space is currently showing "Bomb Pop 2," a group exhibition featuring Fly Orr, Mac McGill, Andrew Chan, John Farris, Michael A. Gonzales, Andrew Wilhelm and Maggie Wrigley (above), who's serving as the curator. 

The original "Bomb Pop" took place in 2012, and this 2022 edition is dedicated to honoring the late poet and illustrator John Farris

This is a group of NY artists with roots in the Lower East Side squatter community. The gallery itself is a former squatted space. "Bomb Pop 2," revisited on the 10th anniversary of the original show, continues the ongoing conversation between these artists and their work that started a decade ago.
"Michael Gonzales and I curated the first show. We have been collaborating for years — my photos and his words," Wrigley said. "These are fragments of a story that he wrote. It's an afro-futurist dystopian story inspired by Sun Ra, and my photos are fragments of the past East Village, which was pretty dystopian, too, so it's a kind of time-travel connection. Being movie buffs, we call it 'Prevues of Coming Attractions.'"

Regarding Wrigley's photography, Gonzales stated, "She captures the various beauties of the city: the ugly beauty, the concrete beauty, the sad beauty and joyful beauty. As a writer of noir short fiction, I'm attracted to that dark/light sensibility in her images."
Fly Orr, a teacher at the Lower East Side Girls Club, is perhaps better known for her squatter zines and "PEOPs, Portrait & Stories" project. For this show, she installed stencils, using a language of symbols as a different way to communicate her love of the community. (See above.)

Mac McGill is a native New Yorker and former squatter, now a tenant owner of his former squat.
 
"He makes incredibly detailed and moving pen and ink drawings," Wrigley said. "His work has addressed housing and environmental issues of the neighborhood for decades."
Sculpture artist Andrew Wilhelm has been helping to nourish next-generation artists through his work with Pratt and Cooper Union. The flowing, smooth lines of his pieces in the gallery's garden [seen behind Wrigley in the above photo] feel like his sculptures are an extension of nature. His work in the gallery employs a Renaissance-era technique to make plaster simulate stone but with wild colors instead.
Australian artist Andrew Chan makes playfully critical paintings of the United States, his adopted country. Seen above in the portrait titled "The Collector," Chan connects the darkness of consumerism and corporations with the playful idea of assembling them all in a shopping cart headed down the block, conceivably a reference to our own presence in late-stage capitalism.
John Farris lived in Bullet Space for the last 25 years of his life. 

"One of the proudest things we’ve done as a collective was giving this poet a place to live," Wrigley said. 

The back room is dedicated to Farris, who died in 2016. 

 "When John had trouble writing, he started drawing. And he drew and drew and drew. He had piles of work in his apartment. He did a lot of self-portraits and people he met on the street," Wrigley said. "He also made these incredibly soulful head sculptures [above] made out of shopping bags and masking tape." 

East Villagers should make their way to Bullet Space at 292 E. Third St. between Avenue C and Avenue D for this inspired group show that speaks to the past and harkens to the future. The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 p.m. (Viewings are available by appointment by emailing Wrigley at: maggiebullet292@gmail.com.) The space will not be open on Thanksgiving weekend.

The show's closing party is Sunday, Dec. 18, from 6-8 p.m., and includes performances by Lorraine Leckie, Puma Perl, Jennifer Blowdryer and Faith NYC.

Top photo: Wrigley with work by Mac McGill

The Union Square Holiday Market is now open on Union Square this, uh, holiday season

The Union Square Holiday Market is back in action as of yesterday on the southern portion of Union Square at 14th Street. 

This winter season, the market, via Urbanspace, has 160 local and national vendors. Here's a link with the list of merchants. 

The kiosks will be up through Dec. 24. Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving day. Rain or shine, etc.

Photo via @urbanspacenyc

Thursday, November 17, 2022

This morning's community meeting in Tompkins Square Park

Reps from the 9th Precinct and Parks Department met with East Village residents this morning in Tompkins Square Park to discuss ongoing issues with the park, including drug use and sales. 

Given the time (10 a.m.), not many people could attend (including me). The 9th Precinct's commanding officer, deputy Ralph A. Clement, was a featured speaker.

One resident had this to say about the meeting: "It turned into a total shit show. Lots of yelling. Biggest argument was closing the park versus foot patrol." 

Another resident said that it was not at all productive.

   

Per CBS New York: "Residents want NYPD, the Department of Transportation and Parks Department to work together more effectively to enforce curfew, make arrests and keep the park clean and safe."

Here's the coverage from CBS New York...

   

Fox 5 has a report here. We'll update when more media outlets file reports.

Thanks to Steven for the photo and video clip

Why is this area of Tompkins Square Park now closed to the public?

This morning at 10, reps from the 9th Precinct along with other elected officials are expected to be in Tompkins Square Park for a meeting to discuss "community concerns" about the Park. 

One question that may come up: Why is the area of the Park behind the fieldhouse/office locked up? The locks arrived on Nov. 8, and since then, park-goers no longer have access to the space that includes the Slocum Memorial Fountain as well as picnic tables, sprinklers (during the summer) and other less-traveled spaces. 

There isn't any signage to explain why this part of Tompkins is no longer accessible to the public.
One Park worker said this happened after Sue Donoghue, commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, paid a visit and saw used needles in this area. (There was also a reader report about an OD back here in late October.) Another TSP worker had no idea why the gates were locked. The Parks Department did not respond to a request for comment. 

Over the weekend, someone placed a sign (since removed) noting that "staffers are allowed to frolic there" ... and to call the Manhattan Borough Commissioner for Parks ...
Today's meeting is scheduled at 10 a.m. inside Tompkins at Ninth Street and Avenue A. 

Thanks to Steven for the photos.

Gratin, a new gallery, debuts on 5th Street and Avenue B

Gratin debuted on Nov. 9 on the NW corner of Fifth Street and Avenue B. (First reported here.) 

The gallery's inaugural exhibition, titled "The Sniffer," features paintings by Amitesh Shrivastava, an artist originally from Khairagarh in Central India, in his first NYC solo show. 

His work will be up through Jan. 10. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

That's all for the short-lived Luna Cafe Lounge on 2nd Avenue

A for rent sign now hangs on the front window of the Luna Cafe Lounge, marking the official end of the bar-restaurant (cafe-lounge) at 166 Second Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street...
We first spotted the signage for the establishment, related to the Luna Cafe in the Bronx, last March. And we're honestly not sure when they opened (or closed). All nine of their Instagram posts arrived on the same day: Nov. 13, 2021. And we never heard from them again. 

This is such prime EV space, and nothing has worked since Dunkin' closed here in 2010.

In the past 12 years, we've seen these places come and go: Meyhane, Medina's Turkish Kitchen, Entrez Bar & Grill, Farfasha, Dinah, Pomodora and now Luna Cafe Lounge.

Thanks to Steven for the photos! 


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wednesday's parting shot

A moment with nature this afternoon along 10th Street and Tompkins Square Park... photo by Jose Garcia...

Let there be sidewalk here on Avenue C!

We've received several messages from readers noting that workers have been removing the longstanding sidewalk bridge on the west side of Avenue C between Sixth Street and Seventh Street ...
The sidewalk bridge and construction equipment has been up along these NYCHA-owned buildings since at least 2015. The sidewalk was freed in October 2017, but it was short-lived as a heavier-duty bridge arrived a short time later. Hopefully, that doesn't happen again.

A visit with Moxie, a nearly 8-year-old East Village photographer with an eye for nature

Text and photos by Stacie Joy 

I recently walked around the neighborhood with East Village artist and fellow photographer Moxie.

She carefully loads her pink Instax mini instant camera and cheerfully informs me she’s in second grade and is 7-and-a-half years old. She said that she likes to photograph nature. So our walk included a visit to La Plaza Cultural community garden on Ninth Street and Avenue C, where Moxie was inspired by some koi fish, birds and squirrels.

We then walked over to Tompkins Square Park for some candid dog photos and posed (people) portraits.
When we run out of time (and are getting low on film), Moxie shows me the images she’s shot.
We wrapped up by talking about her history with the craft and her photo plans for the future.
“Well, I’ve been doing photography for about 2 years. I really wanted to try photography because I’ve been doing art my whole life. I love painting, making jewelry and crafting, so I thought it would be great to try photography. I like taking pictures of people and animals around the East Village. 

Sometimes I take pictures of flowers too. Taking pictures of people is interesting because people are interesting. I like to capture a moment of me and my friends together. I keep every photo that I take in my albums, even if they’re weird or silly. And I plan to keep taking photos. I want to try changing the colors on the lens, and someday I want to try other kinds of cameras.”

9th Precinct to address community concerns about Tompkins Square Park

The 9th Precinct is hosting a community meeting in Tompkins Square Park tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 17) at 10 a.m. "to discuss community concerns" about... Tompkins Square Park. 

Based on the 9th Precinct's tweet, it sounds as if other local elected officials and Community Board 3 members will be in attendance. 

There has been an uptick in resident complaints about drug use and sales in the Park. 

Meeting spot: Inside the Park near Ninth Street and Avenue A.

Noted, good-God-not-another-one edition

Coming soon, midblock to the north side of 10th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue — Galactic Smokers. 

Thanks to Steven for the photo

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A visit to Azaleas, celebrating 20 years in the East Village

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

As I walk over to meet Azaleas NYC Lingerie & Swimwear shop owner Cindy Kahng, I remember the last time I saw the woman-owned and -operated boutique lingerie shop during a tense period in NYC’s pandemic history. 

It was June 2020 when stores were just reopening during Phase 1 of the PAUSE restrictions. 

I’m eager to see how Cindy is doing, how the shop at 140 Second Ave. is holding up, and to hear about the 20th-anniversary plans.
Congrats on the 20th anniversary! What are your plans to celebrate this milestone? 

Lingerie boutiques may be a destination store, but we try to cultivate the idea of Azaleas being your neighborhood boutique. Reflecting on the past 20 years, I know that I couldn’t have done it without the support of the community and the neighborhood. I’ve seen customers come in with baby strollers; their babies have grown and are shopping with us! 

We wanted to celebrate by celebrating the neighborhood and the community. We will be having an event [on Nov. 17] for this momentous occasion with a party at our neighboring Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. We hope to do more events with other neighborhood businesses or organizations in the upcoming months. 

How has it been keeping the shop going in recent pandemic years?

COVID was a huge test for my small business. Unfortunately, I had to shut down my second location in the West Village after four years. It was a difficult decision to make, and whilst that store was dear to me, I knew that the East Village was our home and where we wanted to remain. 

It was so nice to see our regulars come in post-vaccine and want to support us. In general, our dressing room serves almost like a therapy session, and it did even more so during the last two-and-a-half years. People needed connection and had lots of changes in their lives during those first two years and would occasionally have their hand held. 

There was a shift in customers’ needs during the pandemic; physical changes (covid weight), different work environments (WFH), and a desire for more comfort (loungewear). But this fall, it feels like people are finally returning to their daily lives and need basics for work and school. 

What would you tell people who may be intimidated by visiting a boutique lingerie store? 

Lingerie boutiques don’t have to be intimidating at all! Sure, we carry your special date-night items, but we also have your everyday cotton bra and undies. We try to make it feel like you’re shopping with your friends because shopping for innerwear is an intimate experience. 

Looking good also means feeling good so trust us to help you! If price is ever an issue, just tell your salesperson what your price range is — there’s never any shame in that! The salespeople know the product and can best steer you in the right direction.
Any plans for the next 20 years? 

Not sure yet, but we are planning on sticking around the neighborhood.
You can keep up with the shop on Instagram. Azaleas is at 140 Second Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

Bowery building once owned by Andy Warhol is up for auction

ICYMI: A 4-story building on the Bowery that Andy Warhol once owned is on the auction block. 

According to materials from Paramount Realty USA, the minimum bid for 342 Bowery between Bond and Great Jones is $5.699 million. The auction takes place on Dec. 8.

Per the listing, Warhol bought this 5-unit property along with 57 Great Jones St., which is now available to rent, in 1970. According to the Post, which first reported on the auction, "the Warhol estate subsequently separated the two buildings. The seller of 342 Bowery has owned it since 1992." 

The history of 342 is said to include that "Basquiat created works of art in the backyard and The Cramps performed in the basement." 

The high-end sushi restaurant Yoshino New York is currently in the retail space.


Revisit this EVG post from 2015 to look at an early tenant here.

Monday, November 14, 2022

In case you give a hoot!

As a follow-up to our post the other day about the artificial saw-whet owl sitting on the walk sign outside Saifee Hardware on First Avenue and Seventh Street... a reader points out a variety of faux owls available at the hardware store... 

The tree lighting ceremony in Tompkins Square Park takes place on Dec. 11

In case you are calendaring your upcoming holiday events... the holiday tree lighting is on tap for Tompkins Square Park on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 4-5 p.m. 

The 31st edition features familiar names: the Carolers of Olde New York from Theater for the New City and music from the Mandel & Lydon Trio ... with refreshments via Veselka and C&B. 

You can revisit photos from last year's event right here.