Post tagged with


Cocktail Avenue

EvelynKim DavisEvelyn Drinkery, Avenue C

When I moved to the Avenue C neighborhood more than a decade ago, cocktail choices were pretty much limited to a mojito at Esposito’s, or a cosmopolitan at the world music lounge Lava Gina. Now that the city has bartenders muddling, and measuring, and chipping blocks of designer ice, from Chelsea to the Lower East Side, and from Bushwick to the Bronx, Alphabet City (as nobody calls it any more) hasn’t been left behind.

The East Village’s most vaunted drinks may be made at Death & Co. on East 6th Street, but with The Third Man finally open, in the former Lava Gina (and Vibrations) space, Avenue C now boasts an impressive battery of cocktail bars.

Louis 649 is a step or two off the Avenue, on East 9th Street, just past Brix Wine Store. It’s a veteran of some eight years standing, although when it first opened its concentration was on live jazz, and its drink selection limited. Somewhere along the way it reinvented itself as a serious cocktail bar, offering a long list of vintage potions, like the “Last Word” as well as its own creations, all made by bartenders willing to go off-menu and improvise–a cocktail-lover’s dream.

Louis 649Kim DavisLouis 649

The Summit Bar has been around a few years too. A young crowd hugs the long, curved, black bar; the music pumps; but staff will studiously pour tinctures and infusions to make the “John Lee Hooker” (whisky, lemon and bitters, topped with Lagunitas “Hop Stoopid” ale), or the “Born and Raised” (honey bush tea-infused Scotch, sweet vermouth, agave, and orange bitters).

I recall the last night of Micky’s Blue Room at 171 Avenue C, with Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith band blasting chords in the back room. Micky’s is long gone, and its successor Teneleven closed earlier this year. Haunting the two room space now is Evelyn Drinkery. Smooth jazz has taken over in the back room; rich and potent concoctions up front. I tried a Fort Watson, which–with oloroso sherry as well as Bourbon, Carpano Antica vermouth, and bitters–was a stirring elaboration on a Manhattan. Read more…

Still Without Power, Haven Plaza Residents Lug Toilet Water Up 20 Flights

do not drink the waterJoann Pan Signs warn residents: “Do Not Drink the Water.” Cases of bottled water are available to all residents living in Haven Plaza.

For nearly 11 days, Isa Gonzalez and her two young children have been living in the dark, without heat or running water.

To get to their apartment at One Haven Plaza, they climb 17 flights of unlit stairs. The federally subsidized high-rise at Avenue C and 13th Street was one of the many buildings that lost power after Hurricane Sandy hit last Monday.

Electricity started flowing to the apartments in Two and Three Haven Plaza this week, though  – like many other buildings in Alphabet City – they are still without heat or water. But at One Haven Plaza, where electrical equipment in the basement was badly damaged by flooding, the situation is worse. Signs reading “Do Not Drink the Water” are posted in the hallways, next to elevators at a standstill.

Daisy Lopez, site manager of the three buildings, believes power may not be restored for a week. “We are telling everyone one week, but we are hoping sooner than that,” she said, wearing a scarf and hat in her unheated office yesterday.

Some of the building’s elderly tenants and families with young children had the option to take a limited number of vacant rooms at the Grand Street Guild housing development, affiliated with the plaza’s management company. But half of the residents remain, Ms. Gonzalez estimated. Read more…

Man Shot in Alphabet City Hours After Gunshots Heard on Third Avenue

photo(360)Daniel Maurer Police vehicles at the corner of Avenue C and East 12th.

A man was shot in the leg around 12:20 a.m. this morning near the corner of East 11th Street and Avenue C, the police said. He was taken to Beth Israel Hospital in stable condition and was not thought likely to die.

The police couldn’t confirm the victim’s age or the circumstances of the shooting, and said that no arrests were made.

Though a police spokesperson said the shooting occurred near East 11th Street, investigators were seen early this morning at the corner of East 12th Street and Avenue C, outside of Campos Plaza I. A section of the public housing complex’s courtyard was taped off.

The shooting came a few hours after police received a report of shots fired at 115 East Ninth Street, near Third Avenue. Read more…

Kim’s Video to Open ‘Alternative and Interactive’ Pizzeria on Avenue D

101 avenue dNicole Guzzardi 101 Avenue D

If you read this week’s Voice and thought Yongman Kim’s scheme to relocate the entire Kim’s rental collection to Sicily was pie-in-the-sky, get this: the Kim’s Video mogul tells The Local that he plans to open an “alternative and interactive pizza store” on Avenue D.

Kim’s Video Makes a Pizza, as the venue will be called, will be located at 101 Avenue D, in a new building facing the Jacob Riis Houses that is home to the Arabella 101 rental apartments (it’s also the future home of the Lower Eastside Girls Club).

Mr. Kim said the pizza parlor and wine bar would “intermix the new business and the old using the Kim’s Video mentality and personality.”

If that sounds similar to Two Boots, Mr. Kim thinks otherwise. “My restaurant would be a full-sitting restaurant where young and night owls gather and talk about music, films, art and other cultures,” he told The Local.

The switch to pizza follows what Mr. Kim said was a decline in the video business that started in 2001 and worsened in 2005. “Digital has hurt my business and so has the Internet. It is what caused me to close most of the Kim’s locations,” he said, adding that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to go digital in 1994 (well before Netflix, he pointed out). “I was preparing the Internet venture side of my business. I organized my team and it didn’t work,” he said. “It failed over and over again.” Read more…

Police Say This Man Punched a Woman and Robbed Her Purse

New York Police Department Surveillance video of the suspect.
Robbery Suspect at 116 Avenue CNew York Police Department The suspect.

A man followed a woman into 116 Avenue C on August 11 and punched her in the face several times before snatching her purse, the police said.

The man, thought to be in his late 20s, made his move at 11:45 p.m. in the building near East Eighth Street. As the 28-year-old victim began to go up the stairs the suspect threw her to the ground, punched her and ran out of the building.

Traffic Agent Assaulted on Houston

A driver involved in a car accident at Avenue C and East Houston Street assaulted a traffic agent who arrived on the scene yesterday, police said.

The suspect, Lower East Side resident Magda Napoleon, was driving a Dodge Caravan through the intersection at around 9 a.m. when she was involved in an accident with another vehicle that fled the scene, a police spokeswoman said.

The police said that Ms. Napoleon — apparently infuriated by the accident — threw a liquid in the face of a traffic agent who responded to the accident; the confrontation escalated further, and the 43-year-old suspect ended up in a scuffle with the traffic agent. A 40-year-old man, Jason Ferrer, is said to have joined the melee, and ended up in handcuffs as well.

Ms. Napoleon was charged with assault. Mr. Ferrer faces a charge of obstructing government administration. The traffic agent was taken to New York Downtown Hospital for scratches and bruises on her face.

Ouch! Mosquitoes Force Closure of Community Garden

IMG_0224Stephen Rex Brown The dormant construction site next to the garden that is owned by the Educational Alliance. Green thumbs say it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Alphabet City’s community gardens always feel like verdant refuges from city life, but lately Orchard Alley Community Garden has seemed downright tropical.

IMG_0229Stephen Rex Brown Check out the bites on Steven Matthews’ leg.

Yesterday swarms of mosquitoes forced members of the garden on East Fourth Street near Avenue D to close it indefinitely. The itchy green thumbs point to an adjacent stalled construction site owned by Educational Alliance as the insects’ breeding grounds.

“I was here playing catch with my son; after 10 or 15 minutes we had to go,” said Steven Matthews, whose legs were covered in bites from a recent visit.

Until the pools of water at the site are cleaned up the garden, which is open to the public whenever one of its 15 members is present, will remain closed.

Ayo Harrington, the head of the garden, won’t walk on the same side of the street as the garden, and said she’d been taking double-doses of Benadryl to keep the itching at bay. Read more…

Tension in Alphabet City After Residents Clash With Police

As Alphabet City copes with its second stabbing in a week, many are still talking about a chaotic incident last weekend that is said to have increased tension between residents and the police.

A fight involving a father, his son, and a police officer last Saturday grew into a melee that took over Avenue D and spilled into a police station house, said residents of the neighborhood. Videos obtained by The Local offer a glimpse into the clamorous street scene.

The Local spoke with several people living in the Jacob Riis Houses or nearby who said they had heard that a 14-year-old boy and his father were stuck in the head by a police officer. Ashley Serrano, another 14-year-old who was involved in the tussle, said that the father’s face was bruised and cut. “They made his whole face bleed,” she said.

“It was a hot night out there,” said Lieutenant Steve Nusser, one of the officers of Police Service Area 4 who responded to the incident. “There was a fight between a couple people, a crowd of people came over, and the cops I’m sure did something to halt that action, and it escalated from there,” he said. “When the crowd surged, some people came to the PSA [station house] and we had to control the crowd. Some were out of order.” Read more…

Gruppo Moving a Few Blocks South

Future Pizza Grupo

A tipster notes that renovations are underway at 98 Avenue B, the future home of the Alphabet City mainstay Gruppo, which has served thin crust pies for the last 11 years. Last week Community Board 3 voted in favor of the transfer of Gruppo’s beer and wine license, provided it agree to several pro forma stipulations related to quality-of-life concerns. An employee said that the restaurant would open in its new location sometime this summer.

Early-Morning Shooting in Alphabet City (Updated)

Police at Lillian WaldSuzanne Rozdeba A police car outside of the Wald Houses after gunshots back in January.

A man walked into Bellevue Hospital with a gunshot wound to his right leg around 1 a.m. this morning, the police said. The victim refused to provide a description of the person who shot him in the vicinity of Avenue D and East Sixth Street, due to what a police spokesperson said was his uncooperative nature.

In January, gunshots were heard in the same area near the Lillian Wald Houses, a month after a 19-year-old was shot in the leg further up Avenue D, in the courtyard of Campos Plaza II.

Know anything else? E-mail us.

Update | May 13, 7:45 p.m. Captain John Cappelmann said the shooting was “the result of an unknown dispute. We don’t have a solid motive at this point.”
Asked whether it was gang-related, he said, “That’s one angle that we’re looking at.”

Marches, Melees, and Arrests During May Day Activities Across Town

Photos of the march across the Williamsburg Bridge, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and the Wildcat March by Jared Malsin.

As documented on The Local’s liveblog, demonstrations and arrests took place across the city today as anarchists, union members, Occupy Wall Street supporters, employees of The Strand, residents of public housing in Alphabet City, and even banjo players used May Day as an occasion to protest the status quo.

The proceedings were for the most part orderly, but scuffles broke out when approximately 200 demonstrators, many dressed in black and some covering their faces, assembled in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, at Second Avenue and Houston Street, at 1 p.m. for a pre-planned, unpermitted “Wildcat March.” Read more…

Rendering-o-Rama: New Condos Coming to Ninth Street

Panos VikatosClick the middle arrows to see four possible versions.

A new six-story building with condominiums on each floor is coming to Alphabet City.

227 East Seventh StStephen Rex Brown 227 East Seventh Street.

The building, expected to be completed in the summer of next year, will replace a vacant one-story building at 227 East Seventh Street, near Avenue C. Plans to demolish the existing building, which was built around 1980, were approved by the Department of Buildings late last month.

The new structure also spells the end of a big Jim Joe tag. An email to the ubiquitous artist seeking comment bounced back. Read more…

Satirist Nikolas Kozloff on East Village Anarchists, Pet Owners, and Pie Men

Post-Academic Stress Disorder

Around the time he moved from SoHo to East 12th Street in 2004, Nikolas Kozloff – author of three non-fiction books about Latin America and numerous pieces about Occupy Wall Street for Al Jazeera and Huffington Post – was writing a novel loosely based on his brief tenure as an adjunct professor at CUNY. “Post-Academic Stress Disorder,” which Mr. Kozloff, 43, finally self-published last month, is the story of a young, socially vexed young man attempting to carve out a niche for himself in academia, latching onto subcultures in his new East Village neighborhood, and desperately seeking love and companionship – all while dodging a nefarious plot hatched by a fellow faculty member. The Local asked Mr. Kozloff, who now resides in Brooklyn, just how much of his novel’s wry observations about the anarchists, spiritualists, health nuts, pet lovers, and pie-throwers of the East Village were based on his six months there.


To what degree does your novel portray an exaggerated version of the East Village? The scene where the narrator, Andy, visits A&H Dairy (an exaggerated version of B&H) and is told that his grandfather had an affair with the neighborhood’s great anarchist, Emma Goldman, is pretty over the top.  Read more…

Bikinis Faces Wave of Opposition; Superdive Space, Too

Stephen Rex Brown Future home of Bikinis.

Two items proved contentious at a meeting of Community Board 3’s liquor licensing committee last night: Neighbors got their bottoms in a bunch over Bikinis, a sandwich shop that had been vying for a controversial backyard space. And the new project in the former Superdive space got the committee’s thumbs-down once again.

First, the good news: At 116 Avenue C, the owners of popular newcomer Edi and the Wolf are opening a new Austrian tavern. Transfer of the existing full liquor license quickly and easily got the committee’s support. Also: Angelica Kitchen, which had been illegally allowing customers to bring their own bottles, got a vote of support for its first wine and beer license, which the owners said would help it resume BYOB service.

Meanwhile a “simple ground-floor sandwich shop,” as a representative described it, due to open at 56 Avenue C didn’t have such an easy time of it. The owners of Bikinis, which will serve the like-named Spanish sandwiches, made clear that the backyard they had previously expressed interest in using was off the table for the moment. But eleven community members lined up to protest anyway, some insisting the noise from the supermarket recycling machines on the corner and the oft-overpowering music and revelry from Nublu was already unbearable. Read more…

John Leguizamo’s East Village


From 1980 until 1996, John Leguizamo, the actor, comedian, writer and producer behind such hits as “Mambo Mouth” and “Ghetto Klown,” lived on East Seventh Street. He now resides in the central Village, but he still has roots in Alphabet City: his production offices are headquartered in his old brownstone there; and last month his wife Justine, who sits on the board of the Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation, spoke at a hearing that resulted in the landmarking of a block on East 10th Street.

Mr. Leguizamo told The Local that the East Village “will always hold a special place in my heart.” Of course, things have changed since the days when “you’d see Eric Bogosian at the bodega, Steve Buscemi buying a coffee, Iggy Pop at the health food store, Quentin Crisp tottering down the street,” as he wrote in his memoir. Over e-mail, he said, “The neighborhood used to be alive with all different kind of artists. Musicians, poets, painters, actors, singers, dancers. But the rich came in and all the squatters left and went to Brooklyn.”

So what’s there still to love about the “East Vill”? Mr. Leguizamo reflected on some of his past and present favorites. Read more…

Protesters of Police Brutality Flood East Village (Updated)

protestDaniel Maurer At Astor Place shortly before 4 p.m.

Hundreds of people protesting police brutality have marched from Union Square, down Broadway, down East 8th Street and St. Marks Place, and through Tompkins Square Park heading toward Avenue D. Follow The Local and its editor on Twitter as we tweet minute-by-minute updates from the scene. Tweet us your own updates and add photos to our Flickr pool as you take them. We’ll have more from the scene as this unfolds.

Update | 7:15 p.m. The event was the October 22nd Coalition’s 16th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Similar marches were planned in 27 other cities today. The march ended with a gathering at Avenue D and East Sixth Street, outside of the Jacob Riis Houses, where a group of about 350 including members of the Communist organization Ignite, Occupy The Hood, and others listened to short call-and-response speeches.

Among those who took the bullhorn were Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (which spearheaded a “Stop and Frisk” protest that ended in the arrest of Cornel West and others in Harlem yesterday) as well as the parents of Elijah Foster-Bey, a teenager who was involved in a shootout with police in Brooklyn a year ago. “Shoot first, ask questions later is not right,” said Mr. Foster-Bey’s mother, Ellen Cross.

About 65 police officers lined Avenue D, many of them riding motor scooters and some of them surveying the scene from rooftops as demonstrators chanted, “Come down and face the truth, no hiding on the roof. Their number had dwindled to about 20 community affairs officers by 6 p.m., when the crowd began thinning. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network will organize their next demonstration against “stop and frisk” policies during a meeting at St. Mary’s Church in Harlem, tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Update | Oct. 23, 12:45 a.m. We’ve now posted video from the demonstration. Watch it here.

Bill Hicks Moved to Alphabet City in 1988 – To Get Sober

hicksDaniel Maurer

It’s a little known fact – but no surprise – that Bill Hicks, the insightful and iconoclastic comedian, once lived in the East Village. His first apartment after moving to New York City in 1988 was at 29 Avenue B near the corner of East 3rd Street. In a postcard to his brother Steve, the acerbic stand-up described apartment 3F as “a studio, but rather large, with a full bath and full kitchen. It’s a new building with an elevator and laundromat. What a find.”

Mr. Hicks had a history of substance abuse problems, but arrived in New York from his native Houston eager to focus on his career. His brother told The Local about that time, via e-mail. 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…

Local Hispanic Population Declines

Census 1Ian Duncan Luis Rivera and Maritza Lopez outside their Puerto Rican restaurant on Loisaida Avenue. For the first time in 30 years, the area east of Avenue B is less than half Hispanic.

The 2010 Census offers a portrait of an East Village that is more populous and less diverse. For the first time since the 1980’s, the area east of Avenue B is less than half Hispanic and the number of white residents in the area has surged.

The total population of the East Village now stands at 73,676, according to the figures, up 5.7 percent over the decade. White people now make up more than half of the population of the neighborhood, while Hispanics make up less than one quarter. The number of blacks in the neighborhood dipped by 5 percent.

East of Avenue B — the census splits records down that street — the trend is even more dramatic. The Hispanic population there fell by a little more than 10 percent, while the white population in that part of the neighborhood jumped almost 38 percent.

Claudio Remeseira, founder and director of the Hispanic New York Project at Columbia University, said the trend illustrates a number of changes taking place to the neighborhood, including gentrification, the upward mobility of some Puerto Ricans, and the decision of others to leave the city entirely.

“We are used to talking about poverty,” Mr. Remeseira added, “we tend to forget there is also upward mobility of Puerto Ricans and Domicans.”
Read more…