Monday, May 22, 2023

The Wild Son will not be reopening

Photo by Steven

The Wild Son has been closed for the past few months at 130 First Ave. just south of St. Mark's Place ... and more recently, the sign outside the lunch counter had been removed. 

We were unsure if this might be a revamp or a rebrand. However, ownership has confirmed that this is a permanent closure.

Robert Ceraso, owner and creative director of the Endless Hospitality Group, said they made the decision to focus on the company's four EV establishments — Bar Lulu, Good Night Sonny, the Wayland, and the latest, Madeline's Martini (not to mention the newish High Hope Tavern in Westerly, R.I.).

"It was occurring to us that that little location was just taking way too much of our bandwidth," he said.

The Wild Son relocated to the East Village from Little West 12th Street in May 2020. They moved to a smaller space next door in November 2021, offering a daytime service and turning the corner space into Bar Lulu.

"The unfortunate truth is it's just really hard to run a small food-focused business in New York City right now. Especially if your product is supposed to be approachable and cost-conscious," Ceraso said. "Cost of goods are still through the roof. It's not impossible, but it's definitely not easy. 

"It was a tough decision because we really loved that little lunch counter and thought we made that space really nice."

On 10th Street, infused bake shop Sweetooth closed for now after raid

Photos yesterday by Steven

All three outposts of Sweetooth, which takes claim as the city's first "infused" bake shops, are currently closed after a multi-agency raid last week.

Several readers noted that the brand's first location, on 10th Street just west of First Avenue, was busted this past Thursday.

While the physical storefronts are temporarily shuttered, special orders and deliveries are still available...


The action comes roughly 12 days after the Post reported that the shop was "unlicensed and illegal," according to the state Office of Cannabis Management. The paper also quoted a Sweetooth co-owner saying, "“Right now, we’re taking advantage of the loose laws in the liberal New York Democratic city." 

In a follow-up article on Saturday, the Post reported that Thursday's raid yielded 1,052 edibles, 303 THC vapes, and 97 pre-rolls (good for a $13,500 fine) from the West Fourth Street Sweetooth. 

There wasn't any mention of what may have been seized from the EV storefront, which opened last fall. There's a closed notice on the space via the Department of Health...
In FebruaryMayor Adams and Manhattan DA Bragg announced that they have joined forces to combat the proliferation of illegal, unlicensed cannabis dispensaries in the city.

Following that, the NYPD filed complaints against four unlicensed establishments selling cannabis in the jurisdiction of the 9th Precinct, which covers the East Village. 

Power aid: Transformer work wraps up at the Con Ed substation

After 5-plus months of activity, work is wrapping up at the Con Ed substation along Avenue A and on Fifth Street and Sixth Street. 

On Friday, workers packed up the sidewalk office units and (most of the) porta-potties... the 24/7 security personnel hired to watch the adjacent parking spaces were also gone. 

The security booth remains on Fifth Street, awkwardly near where Sophie's patrons take cigarette breaks...
Con Ed has been replacing a transformer here, blocking Avenue A for several weekends for some intricate crane theatrics. 

Meanwhile, there's word this process will happen again with another transformer delivery this fall. (How many transformers does one substation house?)
Previously on EV Grieve

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

A walk in Tompkins today with Bobby (on the right!)....

Another look at yesterday's Dance Parade

Sharing a few more photos from yesterday's rain-soaked Dance Parade along St. Mark's Place... thanks to EVG reader Robin McMillan for these shots ...

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a construction shot of 1 St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue)... 

• With Community Board approval, Sammy's Roumanian Steak House takes another step to returning to the Lower East Side (Tuesday

• This East Village resident is bringing a classic 82-year-old radio back to broadcasting life (Thursday

• Mayor Adams visits Tompkins Square Park (Monday

• RIP Andy Rourke (Friday

 • Report: 8 months after fire, residents want their landlord to repair their Avenue D building (Monday)

• Workers demolish the south ramp to East River Park at Houston Street (Wednesday)

• Parkgoer escapes injury after a branch falls in the Tompkins Square Park dog run (Wednesday)

• The Cube will return to Astor Place this summer — but not before a spin to the Hamptons (Thursday

• A winning bid for Theatre 80; a vow to keep fighting for the building (Friday

• Openings: Saint Pizza on Avenue B (Wednesday

• Checking in at Jazba, a new Indian restaurant opening this summer on 2nd Avenue (Thursday

• A necessary 'eVil' (Tuesday

• Packing up the Urban Umbrella scaffolding around Cooper Union (Tuesday

• 8 new trees on a truck in Tompkins Square Park (Tuesday)

• Out and about with Rhett the Rhino (Friday)

• The all-new Bleecker Street Bar debuts (Monday

• City issues curbside dining structure removal to the shuttered Compilation Coffee (Thursday)

• Scenes from a rain-soaked Dance Parade (Sunday

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

The Village View Tag Sale is today (Sunday!)

There's a tag sale at Village View today (Sunday!) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ... it's on the Fifth Street basketball court between Avenue A and First Avenue. 

All proceeds go to the VV Garden Committee!

Making a splash at the 2023 Dance Parade

Photos by Derek Berg 

The steady rain yesterday afternoon didn't seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the participants in the 17th annual Dance Parade

This year's edition, with the theme "Beyond the Zone," was to feature 10,000 dancers from 160-plus dance organizations. 

Derek Berg shared a selection of photos from along the parade route on St. Mark's Place... and from inside Tompkins Square Park, where the post-parade DanceFest kicked off...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

The incredibly true adventures of papier-mâché man continue

Photo by Derek Berg 

As seen on First Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street today... and flashback to yesterday.

A celebration of Tim Lomas' life today at the 6th and B Garden

Just received word that there is a celebration of Tim Lomas' life today from 3-6 p.m. 

The afternoon starts with a procession outside where he lived at 60 Avenue B at 3, with a memorial taking place a short distance away at the 6th and B Garden at roughly 3:30. 

Lomas, an artist, musician, teacher, photographer and longtime East Village resident, died on Feb. 17. 

Read more about him here.

The Ukrainian Festival continues this weekend on 7th Street

The St. George Ukrainian Festival continues today and tomorrow on Seventh Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square. 

Our previous post has more info... or check out the festival's Facebook page.

Reminders: The Dance Parade and DanceParty are today — even in the rain!

The 17th annual Dance Parade is taking place today (you may have seen — or knocked over? — the barricades). 

And this is a go even in the rain, so bring those dance slickers. 

This year's grand marshals, Ronald K. BrownNatasha Diggs and Elizbeth Streb, will kick off the event at 11:45 a.m. from a new starting location — 17th Street and Sixth Avenue (it was on Broadway and 20th last year). 

And more details via the EVG inbox:
At this year's parade and festival, Dance Parade will celebrate its 17th year under the theme "Beyond the Zone" with 10,000 dancers from 160+ dance organizations who will present over 100 unique styles of dance down Avenue of Americas, parade across West 8th Street, perform before the Grand Stand at St. Mark's Place before reaching Tompkins Square Park [for DanceFest]. 
The DanceFest is from 3-7 p.m. in Tompkins.

Friday, May 19, 2023

RIP Andy Rourke

Andy Rourke, the bass player for the Smiths in the 1980s who later relocated to the East Village, died today of pancreatic cancer. He was 59. 

His Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr (the two met at age 11) had this to say about his longtime friend via Instagram
"Throughout our teens, we played in various bands around south Manchester before making our reputations with The Smiths from 1982 to 1987, and it was on those Smiths records that Andy reinvented what it is to be a bass guitar player." 
There were many other tributes on social media...
Rourke relocated from Manchester to the East Village in 2009, settling in an apartment on 13th Street. He later hosted a popular show on East Village Radio. 

Smiths singer Morrissey paid tribute to Rourke: "He will never die as long as his music is heard. He didn't ever know his own power and nothing that he played had been played by someone else." 

To the glory days...

The 'Gilded' age


There's new music out via Cults... watch the video here for "Gilded Lily." 

And check out our Q&A with one half of the duo, longtime EV resident Madeline Follin, from 2020 right here.


Update here! Papier-mâché man lives!

On the topic of random papier-mâché sculptures around the neighborhood... we first came across the above last evening outside East Village Organic on First Avenue between Seventh and St. Mark's Place (photo by Derek Berg)... 

And how it was going this morning... (EVG reader pic)...
... and now around the corner on Seventh Street (photo by Daniel Efram)...

Out and about with Rhett the Rhino

While we don't always know why papier-mâché sculptures are randomly placed around the neighborhood... we have answers about those one — aka Rhett the Rhino. 

Rhett was making the rounds in support of East Village resident Jenny Toth's show — "Birds of a Feather" — which runs through tomorrow at Blue Mountain Gallery, 547 W. 27th St. (suite 200). Read more about the exhibit here.

And say hey to Rhett...

A winning bid for Theatre 80; a vow to keep fighting for the building

The owners of Foxface, current residents and former commercial tenants of the building housing Theatre 80, were reportedly the high bidders for 78-80 St. Mark's Place during its bankruptcy auction on May 9.

As The Village Sun first reported, business and life partners Ori Kushnir and Sivan Lahat put in the winning bid at $8.8 million under a single-purpose entity. 

Kushnir and Lahat have lived in an apartment in the building just west of First Avenue since 2005. They later operated the popular Foxface specialty sandwich shop from the front window in late 2018, drawing crowds and a positive review from Pete Wells at The New York Times. 

The quick-serve shop closed last September and planned to relocate ahead of the bankruptcy proceedings here to a larger space at 189 Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street. They are now running Foxface Natural, which debuts this coming Wednesday.

There is some recent legal history between the two parties. LIK Hospitality (dba Foxface) filed a lawsuit against owner Lorcan Otway and the William Barnacle Tavern at the address in March 2021. 

Meanwhile, Village Preservation is continuing its efforts to have the building landmarked. Per a recent newsletter: 
We are deeply saddened to report that [on May 9], lacking intervention from the city, 78-80 St. Mark's Place, the longtime home of Theatre 80, was sold at auction ... This is a tragic loss for our city and neighborhood, and particularly tragic for the Otways, the long-time proprietors of the building and theater.

However, this need not be the end of this story. The Otways are still urging the city to intervene to take possession of the building and allow it to be operated by a nonprofit which would continue the work of Theatre 80, and we are still fighting to have the historic building landmarked, so no matter who the owner is, we can ensure this piece of our city’s history is not destroyed. We will continue to work to try to ensure that the cultural vitality embodied by Theatre 80 and the history embodied by this building survive. 
There's also a petition in circulation, now currently titled, "Mayor Adams, SAVE THEATRE 80 with Eminent Domain!" As of last evening, more than 8,000 people have signed it. 

New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs has also supported the theater's survival efforts. In April, the office expedited granting a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status to Historic 80 Saint Marks Inc., which opened the venue up to receiving various grants. 

Kushnir told the Sun that the building needs a lot of work. As for future commercial tenants: "Our first preference is to work with the preservation/theater groups to see if we can find a viable solution for keeping a community space alive in the building."

Meanwhile, the longtime owners, Lorcan Otway and his wife Genie Gilmore Otway, were ordered off the property by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee on April 5. They have been staying in a room on Ninth Street provided by Father Pat, a longtime friend.

As previously reported, the Otways had been battling in recent years to save the space, which housed Theatre 80, the William Barnacle Tavern and the Museum of the American Gangster. (Lorcan had lived here since age 9 when his father bought the buildings to create an Off-Broadway theater in 1964.)

The two-building property was sold off to satisfy a $12 million loan in default via Maverick Real Estate Partners. (Our previous posts here and here have more background.)

EVG contributor Stacie Joy ran into the Otways in Tompkins Square Park last week. Lorcan said, "The fight is not over."

Friday's opening shots

Ahead of the Dance Parade and DanceFest taking place tomorrow (rain or shine!), someone decided to show his/her enthusiasm by knocking over all the barricades that the NYPD put up along the route on Avenue A ... thanks to EVG reader Joe for these photos. 

And read more about the parade here ... and here.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Thursday's parting shot

Photo by Derek Berg 

For some reason, someone removed these wheatpaste signs within a few hours today on Seventh Street ...

This East Village resident is bringing a classic 82-year-old radio back to broadcasting life

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

I first stumbled across the radio — Zenith Radio Corp. 1941 Model 10-H-573 — in the old Babel Hookah and Lounge spot on Avenue C near Eighth Street, where superintendent Joey Oskowitz had stored it after rescuing it from the street several years prior. 

Joey was looking for someone who loved old radios (and this early 1940s era model indeed counted!) to take it off his hands. After EVG published this story last month about the radio needing a new home, several suitors, including Pete Margolis of the nearby Pete's Amp Shop, stepped forward. 

Pete and Joey met, and they agreed on a price... Pete then took the radio to his shop for restoration.
To repair the Zenith, he needed to source a new dial belt, a replacement cord, 50 new capacitors, and a new power supply. Pete fixed the circuits, cleaned the unit, and rearranged the tubes (a few were in the wrong spot).
Pete, originally from Connecticut, moved to the East Village 42 years ago. Pete, a musician himself, has been on Eighth Street between Avenue C and Avenue D for more than 20 years. He's got an amp repair workshop inside the unit that he shares with his girlfriend, Francine. 

During the repair process, he heard from LUNGS founder and president Charles Krezell, who told him that he was the previous owner of the piece, and later confirmed to me that he'd had the working radio in his apartment on Eighth Street from 1991 to 2015. 

When he moved, there wasn't any room for the radio cabinet, so he put it on the street, where, presumably, Joey found it.
So far, Pete has gotten the AM stations to work ...  and since there's no real FM in the dial, it's pretty much in working order. You can even pick up some local (New Jersey!) police scanner stations. 

Next, he's considering doing some restoration work on the cabinet, and it may be available for sale once it's completed to his satisfaction. 

Here, Pete provides a radio tour... don't touch that dial!