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The Day | Stuy Town Is in the East Village? Really?

Late Night EatsRachel Citron

Good morning, East Village.

The weekend is almost here, so why not start partying a little early? Cure Thrift Shop is celebrating its 3rd birthday today with a party at 111 East 12 Street. Proceeds from the $5 admission fee go toward diabetes research and get you access to snacks, drinks, and a raffle, as well as live music from Roosevelt Dime.

In entertainment news, DNAinfo reports that the production staff of the USA Network show “White Collar” disguised Cooper Union’s Foundation Hall as a hotel for a recent scene shoot.

Speaking of cable television, the Post gets inside the East Village walk-up that Constance Zimmer of “Entourage” shares with her husband, commercial director Russ Lamoureux. Fun fact: She went to school with Benicio del Toro. Read more…

The Day | Gavin DeGraw is on the Mend

cartLauren Carol Smith

Good morning, East Village.

The Associated Press tells us that Gavin DeGraw, who was attacked by at least two men in the East Village on Monday night, has been released after a night’s stay at Bellevue Hospital. A police source tells the Post that the singer was too drunk to remember the attack clearly, but his brother Joseph insists he was drinking nothing but cranberry juice.

If that incident isn’t keeping you away from the nightlife, the folks at DNA Info remind us that the first-ever AlphaBet City Dolly Film Festival starts tomorrow. Thirty independent films will be screened at bars and restaurants between Avenues A and C, from First Street to 14th Street.

Two new Bowery restaurants are coming along: Yesterday EV Grieve noticed that Veselka Bowery was readying its tables, and now Bowery Boogie notes that the Bowery Diner, from the owners of Peels, has put up some signage. Read more…

The Day | Gavin DeGraw Hospitalized After Beating

down to the 6Michelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

The Post reports that singer Gavin DeGraw was attacked by a group of men on First Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets around 4 a.m. Monday. He was scheduled for a concert in Saratoga Springs today, but instead Mr. DeGraw, who owns The National Underground with his brother Joey, is under observation at Bellevue Hospital.

The “outlook is dim” for the last of the lighting businesses along the Bowery. “Store owners point to gentrification, the downturn in the local housing market and the rise of online shopping as having taken a toll on their businesses,” writes The Wall Street Journal.

More change on the Bowery: The folks at Bowery Boogie and The Lo-Down recap last night’s CB3/SLA meeting. According to The Lo-Down, a “slightly more affordable” version of midtown steakhouse Quality Meats has been green-lighted for liquor at 199 Bowery. Bowery Boogie reports that the owners of Peels at 325 Bowery were given the nod for some alterations.

Correction: August 12, 2011

An earlier version of this blog post misstated the name of a neighborhood blog. It is The Lo-Down, not The Lo-Side.

The Day | Walking Against Gentrification

SlowScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

East Village cyclists have been put on notice. City workers plan to discard several abandoned bikes near East First Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, according to a Department of Transportation sign spotted by EV Grieve. Better pick yours up by the end of the day.

The New York Daily News profiled former CBGB bartender Jane Danger, owner of Jane’s Sweet Buns. The shop, at 102 St. Marks Place, features baked goods with hints of alcohol, like a Rum Runner bun with nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar, Galliano liqueur and aged rum.

Finally, Neither More Nor Less, Marty After Dark, EV Grieve, and Gothamist have photos from Saturday’s protest against East Village gentrification. Activist John Penley and his crew started at East Third Street, found its way to the BMW Guggenheim Lab and ended at what used to be Mars Bar. A poem was read. A cigarette was lit. Signs were waved, and then the protestors went home.


The Day | Jimmy ‘The Rent is Too Damn High’ McMillan Faces Eviction

Their Downward Dog Needs WorkSusan Keyloun

Good morning, East Village.

Here’s something to consider if you’re considering snatching up one of those rogue cans of Four Loko: Gothamist picked up a study from the Annals of Emergency Medicine that revealed 11 patients under the influence of the banned beverage (10 of them underage) were treated in the Bellevue emergency room in the four month period in late 2010. One patient had fallen onto subway tracks and five others were found unconscious in public places.

The Post’s police blotter (via EV Grieve) has news of a high speed getaway from Tompkins Square Park by a suspected drug dealer. After nearly careening into a sergeant in the stolen minivan he was driving, Robert Ball briefly escaped before hitting traffic and was apprehended.

Also from the Post, word that Jimmy McMillan, who ran for governor on a platform of “the rent is too damn high,” is facing eviction from his $872.96 rent-controlled St. Marks Place apartment. Mr. McMillan’s landlord claims he is in violation of his lease because he actually lives in Brooklyn. Mr. McMillan has vowed to fight the case. Read more…

The Day | Is Harlem Really The New East Village?

Lower East Side, New York City - 0009Vivienne Gucwa

Good morning, East Village.

A 1993 Lower East Side rape and robbery case came to an end yesterday when a convict pleaded guilty to the crime, DNA Info reports. Alberto Barriera, now 47, was first linked to the crime when his DNA was added to a Virgina database. Mr. Barriera is serving a prison sentence in that state on a separate felony drug conviction, and will be transferred to a New York prison when it is completed.

EV Grieve notes that 34 Avenue A is on the rental market again. Community Board 3 recently rejected a plan by Todd Patrick, a concert promoter, for a bar and music venue in the space.

Grieve also brings a short interview with artist Legacy Russell. She will be at Tompkins Square Park with her typewriter today, asking residents for their memories of the neighborhood. Ms.  Russell has been posting snippets of the memories to Twitter and they present an intimate picture of the East Village.

Finally, Girlie Girl Army opines that Harlem is the new East Village. However, a quick search reveals a number of contenders for that crown, ranging from Williamsburg to Philadelphia. One food blogger trumpeted Spanish Harlem as the new East Village as early as 2008, so who’s to know for sure.

The Day | Rent is Back, So are The Smurfs

Eviction Key Exhibit, Festival of Ideas For The New City, New York City 2011 1Vivienne Gucwa

Good morning, East Village.

We start with a preview of Rent’s new off-Broadway incarnation from the Observer. The musical that portrayed the drug-infested Alphabet City of the early 1990s had a twelve-year run that eventually came to an end in 2008. The new production has kept original director Michael Greif on board and will open at the New World Stages on August 11th.

Meanwhile on the big screen, the LA Times brings us a detailed look at the set designs for “The Smurfs,” which premiered last weekend. Exterior scenes were filmed on location in the East Village and the interiors were made to look like a shabby artist’s tenement from the 1960s that has survived largely untouched to the present day (a weirder concept than little blue guys running around town?) In one scene, star Neil Patrick Harris rocks out on “Guitar Hero” in a CBGB shirt – one reviewer called it “the moment rock and roll died.”

Banjo Jim’s closed last night, and EV Grieve notes that the“artisanal” cocktail bar that will replace it is now known as The Wayland. Elsewhere on Avenue C, TenEleven is also closed while it awaits its liquor license renewal, and EV Eats frets that a low-key favorite, Duke’s, is “slowly falling apart.”

Speaking of disrepair, EV Grieve has been keeping close tabs on a sink hole on Second Avenue. Previously, some good egg had marked it with a municipal trash can, but that has since been removed. One Grieve commenter has high hopes for the little crack’s role in neighborhood reclamation: “Hope it’s a large hole as all the yuppies and there [sic] poodles might not fit.”

The Day | Guggenheim’s First Day on East First

Instruction #41: "The different shades of grey are astonishing." - Boris SavelevRachel Citron

Good morning, East Village.

Neighborhood restaurants are falling behind in the cleanliness stakes. In a report marking a year since letter grades were introduced, The Department of Health announced that 69 percent of restaurants received a grade A. In the East Village, 167 received top marks – that’s around 58 percent. City Room reports that Mayor Bloomberg thinks the system has been good for restaurant owners and diners alike.

EV Grieve picks over the agenda for next Monday’s meeting of Community Board 3’s SLA & DCA Licensing Committee, noting that the renewal for Heather’s will be a likely source of tension (its neighbors have complained about smoke and noise for years). Elsewhere on the restaurant front, DNA Info reports that next month an Israeli native, Zohar Zohar, will open Zucker Bakery, featuring Stumptown coffee and “cookies influenced by her European and Middle Eastern roots.”

The BMW Guggenheim Lab, which opens to the public on East First Street tomorrow, has its media preview today from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and you can follow along on its Twitter stream. Its organizers have been soliciting contributions on how to make the city more comfortable. It has achieved this in its own right, to some degree, by driving the rats from the lot it inhabits. Perhaps BMW could be induced to build a few more pop-up galleries around Tompkins Square Park and solve the problem there, too.

The Day | And, Action!

Hot dog eating contest replayClint McMahon

Good morning, East Village.

There was a little Hollywood action in our neighborhood on Wednesday. DNAinfo reports that HBO filmed part its television series “Boardwalk Empire” yesterday in the East Village. The HBO crew used John’s Italian Restaurant, which is on 12th Street between First and Second Avenues, as the backdrop for a few scenes. “Boardwalk Empire” is a television drama that takes place in Atlantic City and stars Steve Buscemi, who plays a corrupt politician named Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. It is produced by Martin Scorsese.

Speaking of show business, EV Grieve reminds everyone that the EPIX Movie Free-for-All series continues tonight with a showing of “Coming to America.” In case you didn’t catch the announcement, EPIX is sponsoring a movie night once a week outside at Tompkins Square Park from now until Sept. 1. Next week, they’re showing “The Warriors.” The gate opens at 6 and the movie starts at sundown.

Finally, DNAinfo reports that one of the former NYPD police officers who was acquitted of rape is also charged with drug possession. Kenneth Moreno, 43, was indicted in 2009 on charges that he housed heroin in his locker at the Ninth Precinct. Prosecutors searched Mr. Moreno’s locker after he was arrested on rape charges stemming from an incident in December 2008. In May, Mr. Moreno and his former partner, Franklin Mata, were acquitted of raping a woman in her East Village apartment. However, Mr. Moreno’s drug charges remain open and active on the docket, prosecutors told DNAinfo.

The Day | On the Open Road

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Good morning, East Village.

Local skaters can rejoice because Open Road Park officially reopens today. The park closed recently amid reports of drug dealing. The closing forced East Village skaters to go elsewhere to ride, hang out and practice kick-flips. East Side Community High School Principal Mark Federman, who held a public meeting earlier this week about the park’s closing, said he hopes to increase the park’s hours of operation next month.

In other neighborhood news, NY1 reports that the demolition of 51 Astor Place will begin in a few days. Later this year, construction is scheduled to begin on a 13-story, mixed-use office tower; that work is expected to take about 17 months.

The folks at EV Grieve have photos this morning showing that the Yippie Museum Cafe is closed temporarily for renovations. Along with the Chickpea location on 14th Street, many East Village business owners are closing for a few weeks in order to spruce up the interior of their shop. EV Grieve also has photos of boxing promoter Don King smoking a cigar in Tompkins Square Park during the premiere of the free, summer-long film series there. The Local’s Joshua Davis will have a full report on the series later today.

The Day | Wet Weather and Street Fairs

Hello HelloTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

And welcome to the weekend. It might shape up to be a rainy and cloudy one, but it’s here. Brave the weather and wander a bit south for the second weekend of the Hester Street Fair. Bowery Boogie has a list of the vendors and a take on the saga of one pickle-seller’s return.

If you didn’t catch it last night the neighborhood seemed rather supportive of the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s plans to create historic districts in the East Village. There were a few reservations, but lots of thumbs-ups from preservationist groups and longtime Village residents.

And for an artsy (and studied) take on the cultural obsession with preservation, you can wander over to the New Museum for a new exhibit on how we build and maintain and remember. If you make it over, Gothamist has some helpful tips for how to behave. Don’t point!

Happy Friday.

The Day | Hotel For Sale

Johnny Pérez

Good morning, East Villagers.

If you’re looking for some retail therapy and happen to have a few extra millions on hand, our very own Cooper Square Hotel is on the market, the Post reports today. EV Grieve points out its potential “rebranding” — any suggestions for a new theme?

Meanwhile, next door, 35 Cooper Square is still on the chopping block and we’re watching. Preservationists may be mourning its loss, but they’re also on to the next project: a hearing to create historic districts in the East Village will go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission tomorrow. Stay tuned to the Local today as we’ll bring you an in-depth look at the proposal and what it means for the neighborhood.

And make sure to check out this video about Story Corps, which Neighborhoodr brought to our attention; the East Village roots of the listening and recording project go back to its founder’s run-in with recovering heroin addicts on Seventh Street. He was inspired to tell their stories, and now his non-profit interviews and tells stories of hundreds more.

In weather news, there (mercifully) is none. The sun is still out and shining, so enjoy a warm Wednesday.

The Day: Enough to Make You Sneeze

Liz Christy Garden, ManhattanFrancisco Daum

Good morning, East Village.

Here at the Local and elsewhere, we in the neighborhood are keeping an eye out for the next step in the saga of 35 Cooper Square, as demolition looks like it could start soon. Pleasetweet us a pic if you see any changes.

Other changes in the area include the closing and opening of a spate of new shops: some chocolate is saying goodbye, some new cocktails are saying hello, more gelato might be on its way and a well-loved coffee joint is being welcomed back.

Speaking of welcomes, Nicholas Forker’s astronaut mural got tagged soon after its arrival on Houston, Bowery Boogie reports. Any artistic additions today may want to add an inhaler or antihistamines for the poor fellow — it’s just as warm and sunny as yesterday, but pollen’s up.

The Day | Looking Ahead

14th Street Adrian Fussell

Good morning, East Village.

Sunday’s news of Osama Bin Laden’s death left many in our community reflecting on the significance of the event; from East Village firehouses to local Muslim shops–even Twitterers shared their thoughts.

While some took to the streets to celebrate, one local community contributor worried that the jubilation could lead to more divisiveness:

“I am not Muslim but my first reaction to viewing the celebrations in Times Square, WTC and the White House was concern. I was kind of appalled at the reaction of the people. It looked to me like a sporting event celebration. I worried that the loss of life in NY, DC and PA as well as the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would be overshadowed. I was and remain equally concerned for the Muslim communities throughout our world. I can only hope and pray that this does not lead to more unjust treatment of Muslims and Islamic people who are very important to the very fabric of what New York is. Peace.”-Tim Schreier

As the celebrations subside, how do we move forward without forgetting what has past? We welcome your thoughts.

As for the weather, expect a mix of clouds and sun with highs in the mid 70s.

The Day | Grapple in the Apple

Madison Square ParkRachel Citron

Good morning, East Village.

Police are still on the lookout for the thief who robbed Chase Bank on Second Avenue and East 9th Street last Friday.  The New York Post reports that a man entered the bank at around 9:15 a.m. and approached a female teller with a piece of paper.  The note stated that he was armed and demanded money.  The robber was said to be a hispanic male in his 20s and was reported to have made off with $776. 

Also, Eater reports that Momofuku Milk Bar should reopen today at their new location on 251 East 13th Street.  Their customers won’t have far to travel.  The spot is right across from the old one.  Now that Momo has its liquor license, expect other changes as well.  Intoxicating desserts?

Last November, the Bowery Boogie published a list of words in the English lexicon that owe their etymologies to the Bowery thugs of yesteryear. Yesterday, they published a similar list for popular words indigenous to New York.

Never experienced the joy of a spiral fracture?  This Saturday marks the 34th Annual Big Apple Grapple and NY Daily News has all the advice you need on technique and grip from world champion arm wrestler Bobby Buttafuoco.  He’s 57 and far from retirement. In fact, having emerged as the Apple Grapple’s champion 14 years in a row, he’s head of the herd.  This Saturday, Mr. Buttafuoco will be squaring off with Frank (Iron Hands) Malis at the Village Pourhouse.

The Day | Art Attack

Tag Forest TagTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

First up: Bowery Boogie spotted a call for help from the family of bike repairman Natividad Zirate on this old City Room post. The commenter said she is Mr. Zirate’s niece and that he has had no contact with his family back in Mexico. Head over to Bower Boogie for details of how to reach Mr. Zirate’s family if you have any information.

ArtNet has a report on graffiti artist LAII – real name Angel Oritz – who was supposed to be at a gallery opening in L.A. this week, but was instead languishing in Riker’s Island after being arrested for daubing on the Kenny Scharf mural. The space at Houston and Bowery is a regular target for Mr. Oritz, who appended his own images to an earlier Keith Haring work at the site.  According to ArtNet, Mr. Oritz was also caught painting his own mural across Urban Outfitters on Second Avenue, despite being – ironically enough – an official Urban Outfitters artist.

City Room has news that assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is proposing a law that would ban realtors from making up neighborhood names. While developers of the newest luxury apartment tower might be peeved, with the East Village besieged by SoHo, Nolita and NoHo, a moratorium on acronyms could be a welcome relief.

The second Taste of Seventh Street festival starts today and runs until Friday. The social media savvy restaurant owners on the block have partnered with deal site Scoop St to offer discounts on food at Luke’s Lobster, Butter Lane, Dumpling Man, Wechsler’s Currywurst and Cowgirl’s Baking. Based on yesterday’s EV Grieve report on empty storefronts on the street, it seems as though it could use a boost.

The Tribeca Film Festival also opens today, and with films showing at Loews on Third Avenue and East 11th Street, the East Village can stake a claim to a bit of the action.

Before we go: the weather. Highs of 69 degrees but thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon, so take care. That’s a wrap.

The Day | On the Beat

Coming AliveC. Ceres Merry

Good morning, East Village.

The meeting to discuss the fate of 35 Cooper Square was held yesterday at the National Preservation Center, and DNAinfo reports preservation activists are optimistic about keeping the landmark building intact.

Despite the onset of spring, police are already taking precautions for potential complications caused by weather next winter. Gothamist reports the NYPD is training a dozen officers to use tow trucks in case drivers are snowed in during future snow storms, after Bloomberg admitted the city’s response to this year’s blizzard was unacceptable. As part of the plan, police will be able to get into locked cars, prepare vehicles for towing, and operate trucks, according to the Associated Press.

While a dozen police are being trained for potential snow storms, however, budget cuts are driving Bloomberg to delay the hiring of hundreds of New York City Police Department recruits for several months. NY1 reports the class of 540 recruits scheduled to begin training in April will now begin training in July. Concern has been expressed that with the lowering of police recruits, crime rates will rise.

In more safety news, the Village Voice reports police are searching for missing teen Alexander Vorlicky, 14. Mr. Vorlicky was last seen in his East 10th Street apartment last Sunday wearing black jeans, white sneakers, and a black jacket, and is roughly 115 pounds, and 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Tipsters may contact Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) with information.

As for the weather, 55 degrees with a chance of showers. Stay dry, EV.

The Day | Students to Donuts

P4030043.JPGBruce Monroe

Good morning, East Village.

Today DNAinfo reports that the East Village Community School is seeking to expand as a solution to overcrowding that administrators expect to worsen as the school, located on East 12th Street, between Avenues B and C, prepares to undergo renovations. The plans for renovation should be finalized by June while the school works with the Community Education Council of District 1 to explore the possibility of leasing community space for EVCS.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation links a dramatic population increase in the East Village, shown by changes in census records for 2010, to the construction of three “enormous dorms” — Palladium Hall and University Hall on East 14th Street and Founder’s Hall on East 12th.

In the Manhattan Supreme Court a trial continues for the alleged rape of an East Village woman by two N.Y.P.D. officers outside her apartment in 2008. Friends of the woman testified Tuesday, saying she was highly intoxicated and had to be taken home in a cab. The cab driver also testified, saying he had to call the police to escort the alleged victim to her apartment, as Taxi and Limousine Commission rules prohibit drivers from assisting passengers on their own.

And finally, on a lighter, foodie note, the East Village is destined for a new donut shop featuring pastries made from mashed potatoes, as well as a new breakfast-all-day joint, B.A.D. Burgers, which will open a second location on Avenue A looking to match the success of their Williamsburg joint.

The Day | Gentrification, Deterioration

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Last week the New Museum announced some of the details for its Festival of Ideas, but it seems that not everyone is keen on the street festival scheduled to take place on the Bowery. The Lo-Down reports that Billy Leroy, “mayor” of the Bowery and proprieter of Billy’s antiques is opposed to what he has labeled another attempt “to gentrify the Bowery.”

City Limits reports on the conditions in First Houses, the city’s oldest public housing on Third Avenue between First Avenue and Avenue A, describing the deterioration of the landmark site.

Meanwhile, EV Grieve broods over the extraterrestrial which appeared in a vacant lot on 13th Street over the weekend. Can the mystery of its origins be solved by looking at a once innocuous photo?

Finally, in transportation news it appears that more MTA stops might be adopting the setup of the Astor Place subway station, where retail and riding the rail go hand in hand. Second Avenue Sagas reports that the commercial opportunities available underground just might be the golden ticket to generating more money. The Chicago Transit Authority is already engaged in a real estate overhaul. Is New York next?

The Day | Bordellos and Bakeries

EV tompkins sq park spring3Gloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

Welcome to a weather-deceptive Wednesday; it’s clear for now, but two days of rain might start tonight.

If you’re out late and head indoors to buy an umbrella, you might run into some recently-displaced East Village ATMs. We reported several weeks ago on a new law forcing ATMs off the sidewalk, and Bowery Boogie now points out some neighborhood stores are saying a final farewell to their beloved but illegal cash dispensers.

Meanwhile, neighbors of the Upright Citizens Brigade are seeing red over the theater’s new crimson curtains. Previously upset about a now-removed “Hot Chicks Room” sign, community members near the comedy troupe headquarters say its new drapes make the venue look like a “bordello.”

Speaking of houses of sin, former Second Avenue nightclub Sin Sin may have a second life as a bakery. Residents are hopeful this will lead to less rowdiness and fewer noise complaints, but you never know with cupcakes these days.

Finally, is your daily commute just too short? Do you find yourself missing the MTA once you’re back home? Well now you can once again buy a Subway memento of your very own for the mantle — Billy’s Antiques and Props is getting its stash of signs back from the city. Nothing brightens up a living room like the F train logo (change-of-service notices, however, you’ll have to print up yourself).