The Day | A Trip to the Bowery Swingers Club

Fumero, Adam Dare, The Army GrowsScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

51 Astor will feature a “black-and-white granite lobby anchored by a 14-foot-tall red rabbit sculpture by Jeff Koons. Three storefronts will wrap around the ground floor, one of which will house a bank, Mr. Minskoff said. A school will occupy a second-floor space. And there will be a public plaza at Astor Place and Third Avenue.” [NY Times]

The operators of the Soho House “have decided to take some more time for community outreach before moving forward with their Lower East Side expansion plan, so the liquor application has been withdrawn, for now.” [The Lo-Down]

Grant Stoddard visits Bowery Bliss, the new swingers club on the Bowery: “A half dozen more people inhabited the lounge now; the new arrivals were on the older side. We’d barely taken our seats by the fireplace when two more guys in their forties swooped in. One, Marcel, was French but lived in Boston, from whence he’d driven down to ‘party.'” [Timeout]
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The Day | 1993 Wants You To Call It Back


Good morning, East Village.

The ’90s are calling and if you pick up a pay phone you’ll hear from the era of crushed velvet and “Kids.” The New Museum has recorded an oral history of NYC in 1993 and all you have to do to hear it is dial 1-855-FOR-1993 from any pay phone. Who knows, maybe it’ll be James St. James on the line telling you about club kids in the East Village, or Angelo Fabara recounting his days at the Limelight. [GalleristNY]

L.E.S. Dwellers are throwing down against the SoHo House’s expansion to the Lower East Side. The group sends an e-mail declaring that “L.E.S. dwellers scream NO MEANS NO to the 1,800 love letters sent to selected residents on the L.E.S. extolling the virtues of the Soho House franchise and its ‘inclusive’ nature, bringing the creative locals together. Only a certain “public” is welcomed, the rest will be left outside on the street with the riffraff who overtake our neighborhood Wednesday night through Sunday morning.” [L.E.S. Dwellers]

Pangea writes in to say it’s launching an East Village Film Series dedicated to showing “award-winning works from local and international filmmakers, and to celebrate the silver screen. Aiming to take cinema off the computer, and back on the big screen, the EVSF is dedicated to sharing important, entertaining, and challenging works of art with New York City.” [Pangea]
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The Day | Major Facelift For Parking Garage

EAST VILLAGE buildings (middle white)Gloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

“A proposal to renovate a historic East Village synagogue and construct a penthouse suite on top of it took a step forward last week, with plans passing through a Community Board 3 committee and subcommittee and now awaiting approval from the full community board and the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.” [East Villager]

“A somewhat grim Department of Transportation parking lot on the Lower East Side is getting a major facelift (or facade-lift, as the case may be), courtesy of Michielli and Wyetzner Architects and the city’s ‘design excellence’ initiative.” [Curbed]

“Police were able to get their hands on a knife-wielding robber after he struck at a Union Square Taco Bell restaurant, but his accomplice fled with the cash.” [East Villager]
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The Day | Renwick Townhouse Going For $6.7 Million

St. Patrick's Day NYC 2013: East Village, Paul's BurgerScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

As you can see above, St. Patrick’s Day rolled through the East Village. For more photos of celebrations in the neighborhood, check out Gothamist as well as The Local’s Flickr pool.

The new Soho House on Ludlow Street will have “a ground floor restaurant and bar, a sitting area on the second floor and a third four “old school” gym meant for activities such as boxing and yoga.” [The Lo-Down]

“An 1861 East Village townhouse, built by architect James Renwick, Jr. (who also designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Washington DC’s Smithsonian Castle) has appeared on the market for $6.7 million.” [Curbed]

“’The Love Song of Jonny Valentine,’ by East Village author Teddy Wayne, has quickly morphed into the hipster must-read of the moment.” [Daily News]
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The Day | Houston Street Construction Spreads

Crash bombs the Bowery Houston wall: Work in progressScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

More renderings of the East River Blueway have been revealed. [Curbed]

Charles Bagli explains why he wrote a book about Tishman Speyer’s $5.4 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town: “The more I learned about Stuyesant Town, the more intriguing it was,” he said. “It had this rich history that most of us don’t know anything about. It’s such a cauldron for the lives of the middle class.” [Town & Village]

“WeWork, the rapidly expanding collaborative workspace provider, has nailed down a 16-year lease for 120,537 square feet at 222 Broadway.” [NY Observer]
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Ring the Alarm: Phone Thieves Hitting the Dance Floor

Webster HallRoey Ahram Webster Hall

On a recent Sunday morning, a reporter for The Local was slouched over the sales counter of a Verizon store, buying a replacement for the Android that had been lifted from her purse the night before, at Hotel Chantelle. As it happened, two women walked in complaining loudly that their phones had been stolen from a restaurant two blocks away from the Lower East Side nightspot, on the same night.

The Grey Lady is a Nantucket-themed restaurant that escalates into a raucous party on Fridays and Saturdays. As at Hotel Chantelle, the music screams, the liquor flows and the crowd presses elbow to elbow. It’s the perfect setting for pickpockets, and they’re after one thing in particular: at downtown’s nightlife destinations, phone theft has become a fixture just like bespoke cocktails and blasé hipsters.

In the seventh precinct, which covers the Lower East Side, grand larceny is up 11 percent this year compared to last year, while overall crime is down 18 percent. In the ninth precinct, which covers the East Village, grand larceny is up 17 percent while overall crime is down 8.7 percent. The increase in larceny was due in large part to cellphone theft, a police source in the ninth precinct said.

On Feb. 9, Jessie Gonthier, 27, was at the Grey Lady for a friend’s birthday celebration. Early in the night, she unzipped her purse, which hung across her body, and realized that her iPhone was missing. Thinking that she must have dropped it, she tracked down the manager. “The manager said that no phones were turned in, but there was already another girl talking to him about her phone being missing,” Ms. Gonthier said.

By the end of the night, Ms. Gonthier had seen about five people claim their phones were stolen, she said.
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The Day | 240 Years For Bar Veloce Terrorizer

EAST VILLAGE march snowfall4Gloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

Steve Johnson, 45, who held more than a dozen patrons hostage at Bar Veloce in 2002 has been sentenced to 240 years in prison. [DNA Info]

“The debate over [John] Sexton’s [N.Y.U.] presidency will come to a head this week. The faculty of the university’s largest school, Arts and Science, has scheduled a five-day vote of no confidence. Given Dr. Sexton’s international stature, the vote may serve as the most important referendum yet on the direction of American higher education.” [NY Times]

A woman suspected of stealing another woman’s wallet and more than $2,000 from her bank account earlier this year is suspected of stealing another wallet at Key Food on Avenue A, say police. Police describe her as a white female between 25-30, 5’3″, 110-125 lbs. and dark hair. She is said to also wear “hipster” glasses. [Gothamist]
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The Day | Architect Defends Synagogue Penthouse

EastVillageOriginalDavid Sierra


Good Morning, East Village.

Congregation Adas Le Israel Anshei Meseritz is concerned that plans to convert much of the synagogue to apartments will ruin the building’s facade. The architect assures congregants the proposed penthouse will not be visible from the street. [DNA Info]

The Angel Orensanz Foundation is showing an exhibition by its namesake artist as part of Armory Show and the Art Show. “Transparent Matter” runs today through Saturday. [The Lo-Down]

Success Academy presented a proposal for two new charter schools in the Lower East Side last night. [The Lo-Down]
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The Day | Knickerbocker Village Still Struggling

mike davis18Mel Bailey

Good Morning, East Village.

Residents of affordable housing complex Knickerbocker Village are “still struggling to bounce back” from the effects of Hurricane Sandy and FEMA has “rejected claims from several residents” for reimbursement of hotel expenses. [The Lo-Down]

Village East Cinema on 12th Street and Second Avenue is named “Best Gem Hidden in a Multiplex” and one of the 12 best movie theaters in New York City. Landmark Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side is also pretty cool. [Gothamist]

The East Village has two of the least brunch-y-est brunch spots in New York City. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria at 53 Great Jones Street and Le Philosophe at 55 Bond Street were just included on a list of 16 of “the least douche-y spots in the city” for brunch. [Grub Street]
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The Day | East Village Is Noisiest Neighborhood

Bast on ElizabethScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

The East Village, Lower East Side and Williamsburg “are the noisiest in New York City, with 2,108 noise complaints coming from the East Village over the last year, according to an amNewYork analysis of 311 data.” [AM NY]

“Community Board 3′s Landmarks Subcommittee will hear proposals for changes to two East Village landmarks: St Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery (an individual landmark and part of the St. Mark’s Historic District) and Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 415 East 6th Street in the newly designated East Village/Lower East Side Historic District.” [Off the Grid]

The JJT Gallery on the Lower East Side has a conundrum at the heart of its latest exhibit: how did the single-piece installation called “Cave” by Brooklyn artist Charles Harlan, which is a corrugated cylinder with a 10-foot fit through the 7-foot 6-inch doors of the gallery? [DNA Info]
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The Day | Dining With Lydia Lunch

LNY on Ideal Glass

Good morning, East Village.

Above: the latest mural at Ideal Glass, by LNY.

“No Wave underground legend, feminist icon, artist, author, actress, musician and all-around troublemaker Lydia Lunch is now the author of a cookbook, The Need to Feed: Recipes for Developing a Healthy Obsession for Deeply Satisfying Foods, a “hedonist’s guide.” [Dangerous Minds]

Bowery Poetry Club relaunches Friday with Duane Park Burlesque. [Blackbook]

The Department of Transportation has installed a “bike corral” on Avenue B. “Mosey on up and tie up your steed.” [GammaBlog]
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The Day | Bowery Condo Owners Sue Club Owners

Joe's Pizza, 14th StreetScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

Joe’s Pizza didn’t open last week as expected but is due to open today, per Eater. Above, Scott Lynch got a glimpse inside.

“The owners of high-priced units at 199 Bowery want a judge to overturn the liquor license granted to The EMM Group — which operates Finale, the ground floor disco, and Bow, a jazz club in the basement.” [NY Daily News]

Gunshots were heard on Essex Street near Stanton. [The Lo-Down]
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Bank Manager Accused of Taking $200K From Customer’s Account

sovereignRoni Jacobson

A manager of the Sovereign Bank in Alphabet City is alleged to have pilfered money from a customer’s account late Tuesday afternoon, according to a police source.

The manager fled the bank at 57 Avenue A after staffers accused him of taking almost $200,000 from a woman’s account, the source said.

The victim may have had some sort of relationship with the employee, who is being sought as a person of interest. According to the police source, “the guy took advantage of her.”

Sovereign Bank declined to comment about the incident.

The Day | Post-Sandy Verizon Woes Continue

School's OutJoann Jovinelly

Good morning, East Village.

“Four months after Hurricane Sandy flooded the streets of lower Manhattan, 94 businesses in the area are still lacking phone and Internet service, according to a new report by the Alliance for Downtown New York.” Businesses in Alphabet City are among those affected. [Huffington Post NY]

“Two Stuyvesant Town residents have asked a judge to toss the $68.7 million planned settlement that tenants reached last fall with the owners of the massive apartment complex over inflated rents.” [NY Post]

A roundup of vinyl spots still in the Village. [Off the Grid]

Speaking of vinyl, Brindle Room is throwing a Monday night vinyl party: “9-midnight $15 bottomless PBR and passed apps. Bring your old vinyl and come dance!” [Twitter]

“The East Village’s bounty of bento boxes, sushi and ramen will soon be the focus of Japanese Restaurant Week, which returns to the city on Monday.” [DNA Info]

“Officers from the 7th Precinct visited 151 Bar on Rivington Street last night to deliver a restraining order to owner Francine Marchese. The city has filed a civil suit accusing the divey nightlife spot of selling liquor to underage auxiliary police officers.” [The Lo-Down]

“El Sombrero (The Hat) is on the verge of extinction,” says Clayton Patterson, “simply because the ever-increasing cost of living on the Lower East Side has purged the community of local long-term residents, and the tourists, students and trendy visitors do not seem to have a taste for an authentic L.E.S. Hispanic restaurant.” [The Villager]

Comedian Sara Schaefer on brunching: “My boyfriend and our friends scoped out a place using Yelp. Time for my farm-to-table brunch! We pull up, however, and it’s overrun with people. Being in a strange town with few options, we make a split decision. A decision that is necessary given the circumstances. A decision I will have to live with for the rest of my life. No, we didn’t decide to eat each other. We went to IHOP. [Grub Street]

The Day | East Village Blocks Added to Flood Map

El Sol 25: MoreScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

A number of blocks in the East Village have been added to FEMA’s flood maps. “The maps are preliminary, but FEMA officials said they will be useful in rebuilding and fortifying flooded areas. Official versions of the maps will be rolled out this spring and finalized over the next year or two. Those maps will be used to set premium rates for flood insurance and play a role in building codes and other regulations.” [Crain’s]

Community Board 3 has released its calendar of meetings for March. By the looks of it, the new restaurant going into the Mama’s Food Shop space may be called Hearth N Soul and the controversial General is aiming for a sidewalk cafe. [The Lo-Down]

Speaking of The General, Ryan Sutton thinks the restaurant offers “diluted flavors that never reach beyond pan-Asian party fare begging to be paired with $16 Scotch cocktails.” [Bloomberg]
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The Day | Pier 42 Will Open in Spring

EAST VILLAGE metal gateGloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

The city has put out a Request For Proposals for the Seward Park Urban Renewal area and “interest among developers has been frenzied, city officials said. Since the announcement, bidding information has been downloaded from the city’s Web site 750 times by parties… More than 200 people turned up at a city information session this month, including representatives from the Related Companies, Forest City Ratner, Edward J. Minskoff Equities and AvalonBay Communities, a developer based in Arlington, Va.” [NY Times]

“The long-neglected Pier 42 on the southern end of East River Park will open to the public for the first time this spring, officials announced Tuesday.” [DNA Info]

“Four years into his 154-year prison sentence, a violent sex fiend — dubbed the ‘Crackhead Casanova’ by Manhattan prosecutors — is trying to overturn his conviction for a pair of 2006 attacks in an East Village apartment building.” [NY Post]
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The Day | John Legend Sells Bowery Condo

Bound PlanterSteven Matthews

Good morning, East Village.

John Legend sold his Bowery condo — purchased for $1.9 million in 2009 — for a $775,000 profit. [TMZ]

At the Rite Aid on First Avenue, “an East Village store clerk jumped into action after spotting an alleged shoplifter making a run for it yesterday, chasing and tackling the suspect as the man crashed over displays of merchandise.” [NY Post]

Four of Julian Schnabel’s large early paintings are on display at a storefront on East 10th Street. “Speaking of the one-at-a-time presentation of large paintings in a tiny space, Schnabel said, ‘There’s something absurd about it, like there is about all art. At the same time there’s something very pure about it.'” [Art in America]
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The Day | Living Theatre Is Dead, Bowery Is History

On the GridMichael Pearce

Good morning, East Village.

“Word just came from the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors that the legendary street is now included in the National Register of Historic Places.” [The Lo-Down]

Luc Sante, Martin Scorsese and Angela Westwater are among the honorary hosts of a benefit to celebrate the designation on March 20. [LES History Project]

“A lower East Side theater that championed anarchism, Utopian experimentalism for 66 years will close for good this week — and its fiery founder will spend her remaining days in an unhappy retirement. Judith Malina will move Thursday to the Lillian Booth home for retired artists in New Jersey after losing her lease on Clinton Street’s Living Theatre, where she produced cutting-edge theater for six decades.” [NY Daily News]
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The Day | Selling the Blueway

Fire Hydrant and ChairSteven Matthews

Good morning, East Village.

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh pen an op-ed about the Blueway: “We would build a footbridge spanning the FDR Drive at East 14th Street that would not only improve pedestrian access, but also protect the Con Ed power station from future floodwaters and guard against a repeat of last fall’s devastating blackout.” [Town & Village]

“In honor of Black History Month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has released a list of 25 designated landmarks related to African-American culture and history. One of the 25 is the Charlie Parker Residence at 151 Avenue B in the East Village.” [Off the Grid]

The Brisket King of NYC has been crowned: “BristketTown’s Daniel Delaney took home the top prize at last night’s Brisket King competition at Santos Party House.” [Eater]
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The Day | Kushner Keeps Buying

New York City Marble Hill Cemetery (Film)Roey Ahram

Good morning, East Village.

Jared Kushner ain’t done yet: “Kushner Cos. is in contract for two deals with Icon Realty Management’s Terrence Lowenberg and Todd Cohen. The deals include 325 East 10th Street right on Tompkins Square Park, and the nearby 329, 331, 333 and 335 East Ninth Street for a total of 55 apartments and five stores for $28.75 million.” [NY Post]

“Two bedbugs have been found at a Lower Manhattan elementary school since early January, and at least one parent says her child came home with bug bites. PS 188 on the Lower East Side confirmed there was a bedbug sighting in early January, and then again last week.” [NBC NY]

A witness to the Alec Baldwin kerfuffle says he didn’t hear the actor use the word “crackhead” or make any other derogatory comments to a New York Post photographer who has accused him of using a racial slur. [Gothamist]
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