Saturday, July 6, 2024

Saturday's parting shot

Photo by Stacie Joy 

Wedding day today at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church on Seventh Street near Cooper Square...

Reader report: 2 more entombed trees

EVG readers shared intel on two other entombed neighborhood trees after this post from Monday.

The top photo is from outside 85 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue (thanks, Ron!). 

The tree is surrounded by a halo that reveals about an inch of soil.
The shot below is from outside 202 E. 13th St., just east of Third Avenue. It shows a tree pit complete with plastic greenery to give the concrete base a 99-cent store look.
From the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation website... in the tree pit section: 
A city tree must battle many urban hazards daily — from air pollution and bicycles to dogs and people. In addition to above-ground threats, tree roots also must contend with tough below-ground conditions. A tree pit or lawn strip provides limited space for these forest giants, and this soil is a tree's only source of nutrients. Because of this, it is essential to create as nurturing a tree pit as possible.

This weekend, hats at Mary O's future scone shop on 7th Street

Photos by Stacie Joy

As we mentioned the other day, Mary O'Halloran, proprietor of Mary O's on Avenue A, is opening a scone shop at 93 E. Seventh St., just east of First Avenue, later this month. 

This weekend, she's letting East Village resident Stan Gaz use the space as a pop-up to sell his custom-made hats and jewelry ...
He'll be in the storefront today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Updates on Instagram here.

Friday, July 5, 2024

'Strange' magic


I don't remember when I first heard The Shacks, but I recall buying the NYC trio's debut LP at Academy Records on 12th Street in 2018. Someone said, "If you like Mazzy Star and Broadcast, then..."

Somewhere along the line, the NYC-based trio (all in their late teens/early 20s at the start) called it quits... but only after recording a lot of music. The band's label, Big Crown, recently issued their previously unreleased songs (plus others that weren't on vinyl)

Lead singer Shanny Wise (an LES native) now fronts Fcukers... 

The above video from the Shacks for "This Strange Effect" is from 2017. RIP The Shacks!

Bands we like: Skorts

Photos by Stacie Joy 

We're not sure what plans the members of the local band Skorts originally had for this past Sunday. But the foursome found themselves setting up to play in the early afternoon as part of a concert lineup on a sultry summer day. 

One of the original groups on the lineup was unable to make it at the last minute, so Show Brain promoter Ozzie Silva called the band to fill the open slot. 

"We've played Tompkins before, and it's always such an incredible time," said lead singer and guitarist Alli Walls, an East Village resident. "It's great to be hanging around all day with the other amazing bands and always awesome to catch the passersby of all kinds that come through the park. Energy is always unmatched at the Tompkins shows — Ozzie puts the best bills together." 

And Skorts has been on many bills of late. (Oh My Rockness NYC had them at No. 4 in its 2023 "hardest-working bands" list.)

Last Friday, they released their latest single, "Steal the Night," which showcases the band's alluring, fuzzed-out pop-psych sensibilities. (As one writer put it, Skorts "wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sub Pop or Matador Records mix tape from the mid-90s.")
Alli Walls...
Char Smith (lead guitar and an EV resident)...
Emma Welch (bass and backing vocals)...
Max Yassky (filling in on drums)...
You can find Skorts on Bandcamp here

Their next show is Wednesday night at The Sultan Room in Bushwick.
Leaving you with two of the band's videos... "Eat Your Heart Out" and "Cyclops Girlfriend"... 

  The next Show Brains show in Tompkins Square Park is July 14.

Upclose with Gustaf at Berlin

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Gustaf was set to headline Sunday's free show via Show Brain in Tompkins Square Park. 

After a galloping set by Shred Flintstone, the rain arrived... and we all left thinking we wouldn't get to see the last two bands — Miranda and the Beat and Gustaf. 

However, we received a message saying the two groups would each be playing sets for free at Berlin, the space under 2A at Avenue A and Second Street. 

We arrived in time to see the art-punk swagger of the Brooklyn-based Gustaf, a two-album quintet gaining momentum thanks to some unbridled live sets, both as headliners and supporting UK acts such as IDLES, Sleaford Mods, and Yard Act.

The last time we encountered Gustaf, they energized the vast outdoor stage with their performance at the Kilby Block Party in May, transforming a potentially dull early afternoon slot into a festival highlight.

Fast-forward to Sunday evening, and they seized every inch of Berlin's intimate venue with unrestrained energy, led by charismatic lead singer Lydia Gammill... (watch a live clip here)...

50 Avenue B now on Housewatch

Photo by Stacie Joy 

Signage is now up for Housewatch, the new name of the bar at 50 Avenue B between Third Street and Fourth Street. 

It also marks the rebranding of the basement venue, Gama Lounge. That team, composed of several firefighters, is now running the ground-level space. (Housewatch is also in the firefighter's lexicon — the person who receives and acknowledges all alarms and maintains the firehouse directory.)

Housewatch takes over for Joey Bats Café, which we noted last week closed this outpost. Joey Bats will continue selling its signature pastéis de nata from the Essex Market, Grand Central Terminal and Chelsea Market. Joey Batista (aka Bats) was previously a partner in Gama Lounge.

Ramones revelry: Punk Magazine's John Holmstrom hosts art and cartoons bash at Metropolis

Since May 19, Joey Ramone's birthday, East Village resident John Holmstrom, the co-founder, editor, and illustrator of Punk Magazine, has hosted a celebration of all things Ramones in the basement at Metropolis Vintage

Tomorrow (Saturday!) marks the last day, with events happening from 2 to 7 p.m. The afternoon includes a screening of some Ramomes animated cartoons and, from 4 to 7, the Live Punk Art Event. 

Per Holmstrom: "We have been staging these events for several weeks, and it’s been creating some really interesting images. Some of the drawings are now available to buy online at an auction website. (50% or more of sales will go to the Lymphoma Foundation in the name of the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash, which has raised over $100,000 since 2001!)." 

Joey Ramone died on April 15, 2001, of lymphoma. 

Metropolis is at 803 Broadway and 11th Street. 

Previously on EV Grieve

An e-bike repair shop for 7th Street

MNE Ebike Repair is now open at 117 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. (Thanks to Rainer Turim for the photo.)

This marks the third e-bike shop to open in the East Village in 2024. (And with each arrival, we hear from some nervous neighbors who have concerns about possible fires and crowds of delivery workers.)

The storefront was previously Los Tacos NYC and a barista-training space for 787 Coffee.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thursday's parting shot

This morning on Avenue A and Fourth Street ... happy 4th.

EVG Etc.: NYPL funding restored; gunshots or fireworks?

Photo Monday from Avenue A and St. Mark's Place 

• Advocates and lawmakers frustrated by late City Hall report on homeless encampment sweeps (City Limits... previously on EVG

• A woman was killed in a hit-and-run on the FDR Drive near East Houston (CBS 2) ... Family blames construction signage from the East Side Resiliency Project for the fatal hit-and-run (Daily News

• NYCHA steps up evictions on tenants (The City

• Where top New York politicians stand on Gov. Hochul's congestion pricing pause (New York Focus)  ... 7 Years, $700M wasted: The 'stunning collapse' of congestion pricing (The Wall Street Journal, sub required) 

• Nearly united City Council votes 46 to 3 to approve fiscal year 2025 budget (City and State) ... NYPL funding restored amid threats from the Mayor's budget cuts (NY1 ... CNN

• A housing lottery launched this week for 196 affordable apartments in a new rental building on the Lower East Side — 165 Broome St. (6sqft

• And the EV/LES lags in affordable housing options (City Limits

• The city accuses the owner of Gelatoville on First Avenue and 10th Street of allegedly running illegal short-term rentals (Crain's ... W42st. ... City of New York

• Lucy Sante remembers James Chance (The Baffler... previously on EVG)

• Lyft has jacked up the price for bike-share members to ride pedal-assist electric bikes for a second time this year (Streetsblog

• A review of Spice Brothers on St. Mark's Place. Pete Wells says it's "a showcase for the power of cinnamon, turmeric and other flavors of the Middle East." (The New York Times

• Tompkins Square Bagels opening an Upper East Side outpost (Patch

• An expanded Pier 42 reopens along the East River (PIX 11 ... official press release)

• In case you want to watch the Macy's 4th of July fireworks on the WEST side (West Side Rag ... NBC 4

• Helpful: Were those fireworks or gunshots?????? (Gothamist

• How to keep your dog calm during fireworks shows (Axios

• A Denys Arcand crime trilogy (Anthology Film Archives)

• On July 5, catch an interactive screening of kitschy classic "Piranha" in the company of Hedda Lettuce (Village East by Angelika)

Thursday's opening shot

Today's sunrise from Third Avenue/51 Astor Place...

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Wednesday's parting shot

A view to the west from 14th Street and 2nd Avenue...

A tree branch falls in the small dog run in Tompkins Square Park

We have many reader reports about a downed tree limb in the small dog run in Tompkins Square Park.

Derek Berg took the top photo around 7:30 a.m. 

Fortunately, despite the danger, there were no reports of injuries. (We don't know the exact time the limb came down.) 

Here's another angle via Goggla...

RIP Anton van Dalen

Photo by Anthony Lindsey from the documentary, "Anton: Circling Home"

Longtime East Village-based artist Anton van Dalen passed away in his home on June 25. He was 86.

P·P·O·W, the gallery that had represented him over the years, announced that he died of natural causes in his sleep. 

Some background on his life and work:
Van Dalen was born in Amstelveen, Holland, in 1938 to a conservative Calvinist family during World War II. He began rearing pigeons at 12, seeking solace in the companionship of a community outside the instability around him. 

Enraptured by the magic of their flight, van Dalen saw his own migration journey, from Holland to Canada and ultimately to the United States, reflected in the migratory nature of the birds.

After arriving in New York's Lower East Side in 1966, before ultimately settling in the East Village, van Dalen served as witness, storyteller, and documentarian of the dramatic cultural shifts in the neighborhood.

While active in the alternative art scene in the East Village during the 1980s, van Dalen began his career as a graphic designer. Working as a studio assistant to Saul Steinberg for over 30 years, van Dalen learned the stylization and design aesthetics that would ultimately ground the visual language he used to discuss the culture around him.

Van Dalen became known for his Night Street Drawings (1975–77), a monochrome series of graphite drawings documenting the surrounding Lower East Side with tenderness and empathy, including vignettes of car wrecks, sex workers, crumbling buildings, and more.

As poet and critic John Yau wrote, all of van Dalen's work arose "out of a meticulous draftsmanship in service of an idiosyncratic imagination merged with civic-mindedness."
Van Dalen lived at 166 Avenue A — the PEACE house — between 10th Street and 11th Street since 1971. He documented the changes there in this post for EVG. 

His flock of snow-white pigeons from his rooftop loft were a common site in the nearby skies. (Photo from 2015 by Grant Shaffer.)
We had the great pleasure of meeting van Dalen several times, first over a dinner at Odessa. We appreciated his kind, thoughtful manner and deep affinity for the East Village. He shared several dispatches with us over the years (see the end of this post for a selection). 

Van Dalen was especially upset about the 2013 demolition of the Mary Help of Christians church, school, and rectory on Avenue A between 11th Street and 12th Street, which made way for the block-long Steiner East Village condoplex. 

He shared this photo and sketch for a post in August 2013.
The  neighborhood's transformation was a common theme in his work, as seen in his one-man performance piece "Avenue A Cutout Theatre," which featured "a portable model of his house, which he uses as a staging ground for telling the story of the evolution of the East Village."
He first performed the Avenue A Cut-Out Theatre in 1995 at the University Settlement House on the Lower East Side. The performance has been shown at numerous institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art and The New York Historical Society. 

As he wrote in a post for EVG in October 2020: 
I consider myself a documentarian of the East Village, yet I am a participant and spectator to its evolution. Began documenting my street surroundings in 1975, urged on by wanting to note and remember these lives. Came to realize I had to embrace wholeheartedly, with pencil in hand, my streets with its raw emotions.
Van Dalen is survived by his older brother, Leen van Dalen; his two children, Marinda and Jason; their spouses, René van Haaften and Ali Villagra; and three grandchildren, Cleo, Aster, and Diego.

P·P·O·W said that memorial service announcements will be forthcoming.

Previously on EV Grieve

The SOS Chefs storefront will be closed until early September

Photos by Stacie Joy 

The SOS Chefs retail space will be closed starting tomorrow through Sept. 3 at 104 Avenue B between Sixth Street and Seventh Street...
However, per the signage, web orders and wholesale delivery "will continue as usual." 

Ownership promises they will be back with "new and exciting finds." 

Atef Boulaabi launched the business in 1996... and her shop she runs with her husband Adam Berkowitz is now "a cornucopia of seasonings, spices and condiments" for adventurous cooks and chefs.

Dua Kafe is on a vacation

And in case a visit to Dua Kafe was in your plans this summer... the restaurant serving Albanian cuisine at 520 E. 14th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B is on holiday ... starting last week and returning on Aug. 9.
Owner Bobian Demce, who moved here from central Albania in 2001, told Washington Square News back in the spring why he opened Dua in 2018
"Albanians in New York own a lot of the best restaurants in the city: steakhouses, Italian, Greek, French, you name it. But they never had the courage to open a place for their own culture, our own food — and it's very good. So that was the inspiration."

Other plaques that are currently missing in the East Village

A tipster tells us that someone swiped the bronze Christodora House plaque outside the building at 143 Avenue B at Ninth Street... it has been missing, we're told, since at least June 25...
We're not sure how old the plaque is/was outside the 16-floor building, which was built in 1928 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. 

This is the latest plaque to go missing in the East Village in recent weeks (see here ... and here... and here). 

H/T Cecil Scheib for the older plaque photo

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Juvenile red-tailed hawk getting the washing and drying down in Tompkins Square Park

An EVG reader spotted one of the young red-tailed hawks bathing in the water spray in the Avenue B playground in Tompkins Square Park...
... and later, this 2024 offspring of resident red-tailed hawks Amelia and Christo went into drying mode... standing and flapping its wings...
The hawks continue to be quite active this summer. As Goggla noted yesterday, one even made it to the cross of St. Brigid's.

Mary O is bringing her scones to 7th Street

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Mary O'Halloran, proprietor of Mary O's on Avenue A, is opening a scone shop at 93 E. Seventh St., just east of First Avenue, later this month. 

Mary O's Irish Soda Bread Shop: Scones To Go will feature O'Halloran's specialty that she started making and selling by the box during the pandemic.

The scones became a big hit, helped by Roger Clark's visibility at NY1 and a hugely successful fundraising effort via Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York

The new shop's main attraction is soda bread scones, which she makes from her mother's recipe in Ireland and serves with jam. She's also offering coffee via Superlost in Brooklyn. 

"A lot of effort went into selecting the right coffee to go with the scones," she explained the other day. "This coffee doesn't need sugar to taste good. And it's roasted in NYC. The coffee complements the scone."
The shop will initially be weekends-only, opening by 7 a.m. and going until they're gone.

"Every scone is made by me. My hands. And because I make each one, there is a limited amount available," O'Halloran said. "So when they sell out, they sell out." 

Her scone shop team includes Alan Chiang, "assistant scone master," Cara O'Halloran, one of Mary's daughters, and Meredith Franks, "assistant scone mistress."
O'Halloran has six kids, all familiar faces at her Avenue A restaurant. 

"It wouldn't be a Mary O's spot without a kid in it," she said with a laugh. 

Mary and her team were conducting a training session when I stopped by.
This space was most recently 75 Degrees Bakery...
Meanwhile, Mary O's will continue as it has for the past 14 years at 32 Avenue A between Second Street and Third Street, where scones will still be available.

Previously on EV Grieve: