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East Fourth Street to Lose Massive Canvases

ArtUp Murals on East Fourth at BowerySanna Chu ArtUp Murals on East Fourth at Bowery

The neighborhood’s cultural district is about to lose some of its color.

With water-main repairs on Cooper Square just about done, the construction containers that were being used as canvases on East Fourth Street are not long for this world.

“The containers are still needed while the final touches are completed on the project; they should be removed by the end of January,” said a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

Fourth Arts Block and No Longer Empty first jazzed up the containers with a Skullphone painting in September of last year, and works by H. Veng Smith and other artists followed.

Their disappearance isn’t the only unfortunate byproduct of the construction project’s final phase: a reader commenting on our post about an accident at East Seventh Street noted that crossing Cooper Square has become a harrowing experience.
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Star the Miracle Mutt Leaves State as Ex-Owner Leaves Country

Star, the pit-bull that was shot in the head by a police officer, is still recovering in a secret location. Meanwhile the miracle mutt’s owner, who was passed out when the shooting occurred in August, has returned to Poland, according to a friend.

The Lexus Project — which advocated for Star after video of the incident gained widespread attention — said the persevering pit-bull had left New York and declined to give further information about her whereabouts.

The dog’s custodians, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, said that Star isn’t yet ready to be adopted. When she is, the bar will be very high, according to Charlie Cifarelli, the man who created a Facebook fan page for Star and visited her last week. “It will have to be someone without any animals, someone who understands her condition and most likely someone who lives in the East Coast so if there’s an issue, doctors who are familiar with her can help.”

Meanwhile, Star’s former owner, Lech Stankiewicz, has left the country.
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Post-Sandy, Shops Stay Up Late Hoping Customers Will Come Down Chimney

candyJoann Pan Ame Ame

Shops on East Ninth Street are pulling an all-nighter and hoping to make back some of the thousands of dollars in business they lost in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

On Wednesday, at least 11 boutiques that usually close their doors around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. will encourage the after-work crowd to “Shop Until Midnight.”

Hurricane Sandy’s negative effect on business has been very well documentedDevorado NYC — a vintage store selling Emilio Pucci, Yves Saint Laurent and classic Dior — saw an extreme dip in sales after the storm.

Carmen Ruiz-Davila, who opened the store just five months ago, panicked when she noticed the slump. “I didn’t sell anything for three weeks, not a single thing,” she said. “After we regained power, people were not in the mood to shop; they were helping people in need.”

On Wednesday Devorado and other participating shops will offer special 30-to-40 percent sales on select items.
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Pop-Up Shop Surfs Onto Sixth Street This Week

Surf Panda CUAlexa Mae Asperin
TMNK_PD_FLAT[1] Proceeds from the sale of this
shirt will go to Sandy relief.

East Village surfers, here’s something to tide you over while you wait for Patagonia Surf to open on the Bowery: Liberated China will open a pop-up store, Panda Diplomacy, at 206 East Sixth Street this Friday.

The pop-up, between Second Avenue and Cooper Square, will feature the label’s surf-, skate- and street-inspired apparel and accessories including limited-edition longboard decks, hand-knitted surf beanies and cotton tees emblazoned with the brand’s mascot, Genghis.

The store, open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Christmas Eve, will also offer the one-eyed panda’s favorite snack (bamboo) in the form of Timber sunglasses, Sprout watches and ibamboo iPhone speakers.

On St. Marks, Saints Tavern Comes Marching In

Care for a Malibu Barbie with that plate of frickles? You can now order just that on St. Marks Place.

Its red-and-gold exterior may be loud, but Saints Tavern opened rather quietly last week, boasting 20 beers on tap, cocktails with names like The Grapeful Dead, and a touch of Americana (a pinup photo of Marilyn Monroe faces a replica of Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees uniform).

Alfonso Londono, who owns the tavern along with partners Richard Romano and Aida Levinshon, comes from a restaurant family. He opened his first place Hoops, a college sports bar, at the age of 21, and went on to operate a Mexican restaurant and an Asian fusion concept as well as The Copper Barrel in the Financial District.

Mr. Londono thought the American vibe would help distinguish Saints Tavern from its Asian neighbors. He and his partners scoured flea markets and local shops such as Obscura Antiques to find decor such as a bear head with boxing gloves and a big fish with a soda can. On the ground floor customers can draw all over tables made of chalkboard.
See the menu

Made in the E.V. | Our Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1


This holiday season, support local artisans with gifts that are made right here in the East Village.

1. Feature Articles Stamp & Colorin’ Zine by Keat, $35
Casey Rubber Stamps
322 East 11th Street, between First and Second Avenues
Keat Teoh, an artist who works at Casey Rubber Stamps, designed and produced this set of facial-features stamps and coloring book with blank faces.

2. Spike Chain Bracelet by Nishi, $315
337 East Ninth Street, between First and Second Avenues
Duo is a boutique owned by sisters Wendy and LaRae Kangas. They stock young, emerging designers such as East Village based Joanna Bengo of Nishi.

3. Large Briefbag 2 Lock, $500
Village Tannery
7 Great Jones Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Street
Leather goods are handmade onsite at this tannery, where clients can custom design their own bags to their specifications.
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From Downtown, Another Wave of Support For Rockaway

House damaged by Sandy in the RockawaysDamaged house in the Rockaways. Matt Kliegman

East Villagers continue to band together to help bring relief to the storm-battered Rockaways, where thousands are still without power or heat.

On the Sunday after Hurricane Sandy struck, Emmett Shine founder of Gin Lane Media, a Bowery-based branding and design company and James Cruickshank, his partner in Lola and an owner of Whitmans restaurant on East Fifth Street, poured into a 15-seat passenger van with 14 other people and headed out to the ravaged peninsula. They ended up at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club at Beach 87th Street, where Lava Girl Surf was leading a community relief effort.

“We were so impressed that this whole grassroots organization had flourished at this beach club,” said Rebecca Zhou, 22, a strategist at Gin Lane.

The group broke into teams of five and began distributing donated items. “That day people in our group cleaned out flooded basements and helped people clear out moldy, wet furniture,” said Ms. Zhou, who went door-to-door, checking on the elderly residents of a high-rise apartment complex. Read more…

And Now an Oil Spill On Third Avenue?

Sanitation truck leak at 11 St. and 3 Ave.Sanna Chu

After the storm, sandy streets have become a fact of life for many New Yorkers. But sand on Third Avenue?

Around 11 a.m., a sanitation truck was picking up garbage when there was a “loud pop,” according to one of the drivers. The truck spilled hydraulic fluid down Third Avenue, from 12th to 11th Street.

Earlier this morning, the fire department had covered the oil slick with sand and the truck was waiting for a mechanic to check on the damage.

Mr. Throwback Brings Nintendo, Acid-Wash Jeans to Ninth Street

IMG_1371Suzanne Rozdeba Michael Spitz

Yes, that’s Michael Jordan posting up on East Ninth Street.

He’s part of the display window at Mr. Throwback, a “funky little crazy store in the East Village” that may soft-open tomorrow, according to its owner.

Michael Spitz, a 30-year-old Murray Hill resident with a background in sports management, said his shop at 428 East Ninth Street is inspired by his childhood in Bellmore, Long Island.

In January, he began peddling some of his old clothing, which he had been selling online, at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, and then at the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn.

At the storefront, between First Avenue and Avenue A, he’ll sell vintage Starter jackets, acid-wash Levis jeans, concert tees, army jackets, and vintage toys and video games. Read more…

Photos: Sandy Hits the East Village

We posted a few cell phone shots of Sandy’s aftermath yesterday. Here now are some proper photographs of the storm and its wake, by photographer and C-Squat resident Konstantin Sergeyev. Stay tuned for this morning’s update.

Avenue C is a riverKonstantin Sergeyev Avenue C becomes a river.

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East Village Weathers the Superstorm

UntitledDaniel Maurer FDR Drive near East 10th.

East Villagers woke up to waterlogged cars, downed trees, limited cell phone reception, and an acrid smell in the air – a lingering reminder of a circuit-breaker explosion at the Con Edison plant on 14th Street that preceded a blackout affecting nearly all of Manhattan south of 39th Street.

Next to the facility, on 13th Street east of Avenue C, a half dozen people attempted to dry out and jump-start cars that had been underwater hours before, as other vehicles sat in garages where water still stood above tire level. On Avenue C, a Stuy Town resident tended to a Volvo with a smashed window. The man, who did not want to be named, said he had tried to drive the car out of an underground garage after he looked out of his apartment window and saw river water beginning to gush up Avenue C.

UntitledDaniel Maurer

Within five to ten minutes, he said, the water was up to mid-thigh level. “I tried to get out of the garage and as soon as I hit the gate it was a wall of water,” he said. When he realized the water had reached his car window, he bailed out and waded through a chest-level “river,” dodging floating vehicles as he tried to get to shallower waters on 14th Street. “Cars were afloat. All I needed was one car to blow me into the wall. It was chaotic,” he said, adding that the scene became “9/11-like” when a circuit-breaker exploded at the Con Ed plant, just a block away, and plunged the neighborhood into darkness around 8:30 p.m. Read more…

Take a Stroll With Topless Activist Moira Johnston at Indie Film Festival

Video contains brief nudity.

A film festival at Theatre 80 next week aims to highlight imaginative films by undiscovered and emerging filmmakers, and one of the featured shorts stars local topless activist Moira Johnston.

From Nov. 2 to 4, Take Two will feature 56 independent films – a diverse range of shorts, full-length features, and documentaries – from 14 countries. “Killing the Dog” is about a streetwise werewolf from Brooklyn; “Bi the Way” follows five people ushering in a sexual revolution; “Better This World” explores the current nature of political activism.

The festival’s organizer, Salon Ciel, an exhibitor of photographers and visual artists, staged its first film festival last year at Gallery Bar. Only five films were shown but the number of submissions and enthusiasm from the audience convinced Salon Ciel’s producer, Asher Bar Lev, of the need for a bigger event. Read more…

The Costumed Canines of the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tim Schreier and Dana Varinsky

The champions of the 22nd annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade were no strangers to the winner’s circle. The pup that ranked Best in Show has won a similar contest on the Upper East Side the last three years, dressed as a hurricane and as Beyonce. Gracie, winner of the second round, took Best in Show two years ago as Scarlett O’Hara. That year, Benny the boxer also got a prize as Internet sensation Antoine Dodson.

IMG_0093Dana Varinsky Benny the Boxer as Butthead

This year it was Benny’s behind that got all the attention: glasses and a wig were perched atop his tiny tail to make it look like a wiggling nose.

The Butthead costume was spontaneous. “I wasn’t sure I was going to dress him up,” said Benny’s owner, Michael Godere. But the dog’s godfather, Grover Guinta, came over that morning with a bag of wigs and glasses. “We just improvised,” Mr. Godere said, laughing when another dog sniffed Benny’s rear-end. “It’s great when the other dogs try to kiss his butt.” Read more…

So Many Halloween Events You’ll Lose Your Head

A teaser video for the “Mad Supper” installation at Ideal Glass.

“Ghosts of New York Tour: Peter Stuyvesant And His Ghostly Neighbors Of The East Village”
During this tour of some of the neighborhood’s spooky sites, the tour guide will perform as a downtown denizen from the past, such as Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain and Washington Irving. 7 p.m., tour begins at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street at Second Avenue, (718) 591-4741,; $25.

“Halloween Haunting: Phantom Pub Crawl of the East Village Starring Harry Houdini”
Join the search for Harry Houdini, Edgar Allan Poe, Jonathan Swift and other ghosts known for their fondness for the drink, at some of their favorite drinking spots. The tour meets in front of the lion sculpture in front of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, northwest corner of Tenth Street and Second Avenue. 6:30 p.m. $25 by credit card online; $30 in person if space is available.
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Mano a Mano, La Sirena Preparing For Day of the Dead

Day Of The Dead StatuesNicole Guzzardi Day of the Dead figurines at La Sirena.
Day Of The Dead StatuesNicole Guzzardi

La Sirena, the Mexican memorabilia shop that got news of a whopping rent hike in July, will live to see another Day of the Dead.

Despite earlier indications that she planned to close her store at 27 East Third Street, Dina Leor now says she won’t give up (or pack up) until she receives written documentation from Tower Brokerage that her rent will increase by 42 percent.

Asked about her future plans, she told The Local, “I don’t know yet because it’s not clear yet what we’re negotiating. They told me 42 percent but I said I want it in writing.” She said she made the request about a month ago.

While she continues to pay rent on a month-by-month basis, Ms. Leor is having merchandise shipped in from Mexican artisans, in hopes that Day of the Dead will mean killer business. “I really need stuff to get sold because I don’t want to move all this when I move, but also I need the money,” she said. Read more…

Han Joo Brings Tabletop Korean Barbecue to St. Marks Next Week

Photos: Nicole Guzzardi

Han Joo, the Korean barbecue joint that’s been going into the Sox in the City space on St. Marks Place, will open Tuesday.

According to manager Kitae Um, the Manhattan offshoot will serve the same menu as the Queens original, with one addition: soju cocktails.

Oh, and there’s one other big difference. “This space is a lot more trendy,” said Mr. Um, “and even has a bar.” A sleek marble bar, at that, with hot red stools.

Each of the 22 tabletops is equipped with a grill where chefs will prepare food as visitors dine. Check out the no-joke ventilators via The Local’s slideshow.

Han Joo, 12 St. Marks Place, near Third Avenue

Richard Moses Celebrates 5 Years and, Hopefully, 300+ Historic Buildings

richard moses Richard Moses (right) at LESPI’s birthday bash.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission may well create a new East Village/Lower East Side Historic District encompassing over 300 buildings. But the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative isn’t waiting till then to celebrate: the group marked its fifth anniversary last night with bubbly and birthday cake at Smart Clothes Gallery on Stanton Street. Since preservation architects Richard Moses and Britton Baine – inspired by a screening of “Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery” – started the organization in 2007, they’ve gone on to become instrumental in the creation of a 10th Street Historic District and have led countless tours and discussions about neighborhood history and architecture. The Local chatted with Mr. Moses as he prepared for last night’s birthday bash.


You’ve garnered opposition from religious groups in the community in regards to landmarking. Have others opposed your projects and how do you handle the situation?


There were a few property owners who were opposed. They came out and expressed their opposition, but there wasn’t a huge number of them by any means; I would say a few.

It’s a tricky situation because emotions tend to run high on both sides. Certainly we’re sympathetic to concerns of religious institutions on the idea that they want their congregation to be thriving and we certainly want them to be thriving – we don’t want them to burdened. We feel sometimes that there’s a misunderstanding of some of the requirements of the Landmarks Commission and that there’s a different focus on short-term versus long-term goals. Read more…

Spanky & Darla’s Closed For Operating Without a Permit


A tipster spotted this sign affixed to Spanky & Darla’s. The health department notice, dated Oct. 3, indicates the bar was closed for operating without a permit.

It’s not the first time the dive at 140 First Avenue has been forcibly shut down. In 2010, the bar’s predecessor, Cheap Shots, was closed after underage drinking busts and fighting caused it to be declared a “public nuisance,” a police department attorney told NYC the Blog.

During its time as Cheap Shots, the bar had to pay a total of $11,000 for offenses that included sales to minors, unlicensed security guards, and unlimited drinks specials, according to State Liquor Authority records.

The Liquor Authority’s Website indicates that a liquor license for the establishment was recently renewed, and activated on Oct. 1, 2012. The premises name and trade name are listed as Cheapshots rather than Spanky & Darla’s.

In May, Big Apple Reviews called the bar “a great place to go for a low-key night to just get some drinks, or get plastered before painting the town red.”

Bloomberg Helps Unveil Public Theater’s $40 Million Face-Lift

publicDana Varinsky The ceremony today.

Mayor Bloomberg showed off his Shakespeare this morning as the Public Theater celebrated the completion of a four-year, $40 million renovation.

Addressing a crowd of city officials, theater big-ups, and community members in the redesigned lobby, Mayor Bloomberg requested a round of applause for the taxpayers who helped make the renovations possible. “This public-private partnership is really putting the public in The Public,” he said, referring to the city funding that footed over two thirds of the project. “It takes a village, if you pardon the pun, and this one certainly did.” he said, adding that the community is still being repaid in free renditions of the classics.

The Public has presented Shakespeare in the Park since 1962. Joe Papp opened the theater in 1967, paying $1 a year to take over the building that once housed New York’s first public library.

“This building has always served a public purpose,” Oskar Eustis, the theater’s artistic director, told this morning’s crowd, adding, “The greatest art belongs to everybody and it is made greater when it belongs to everybody.” Read more…

‘Saved By the Bell’ Send-Up Is So ’90s, and So Much Fun

bayside1Courtesy “Bayside! The Unmusical!” The students of Bayside, with Mr. B.

It’s not every musical that has even the house band cracking up, but last night at a packed Kraine Theater, “Bayside! The Unmusical!” did just that with its raunchy, irreverent send-up of “Saved by the Bell.”

The zippy one-hour production – back after an earlier run in May – starts by reintroducing the archetypes of the early-90s sit-com: Zack Morris (JD Scalzo) is the naïve “cool guy” in acid-wash jeans who thinks his ditzy cheerleader girlfriend, Kelly (Caitlin Claessens), is a virgin even though a giant, er, “zit” on her stomach keeps her from going to homecoming. Slater (Israel Viñas) is the “greasy, sexy stud-muffin” who just wants to be respected: “I want to go to collage someday,” he mispronounces. Lisa (Shamira Clark) is the bubbly token black girl who does nothing but shop and gossip while fending off Screech, the nerd who, appropriately enough, is played by lanky comedienne Rachel Witz. And Jessie, well, she’s another story entirely.

The stereotypes quickly come undone like a defective Trapper Keeper: for all its Disney Channel-esque cheeriness and its “uncomfortably Christian creator” (per “Bayside’s” program), “Saved by the Bell” is the show whose cast members went on to get naked in “Showgirls” (Elizabeth Berkley) as well as in an honest-to-goodness porno (Dustin Diamond). “Bayside” revels in that, via an almost Benny Hill-like parade of slapstick hormones and homoeroticism: the kids need to raise an “unreasonable” amount of money (a whole $500!) to save their favorite diner, The Max, and their ideas range from gay prostitution to stripping to pornography. Read more…