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Will The Willow Return?

El Sol Brillante, Sr. isn’t the only community garden that lost a tree during the storm. As noted earlier, gawkers gathered at La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez on Sunday to mourn a fallen willow tree. City Room explains why the decades-old tree was iconic in the garden’s fight against developers, and reveals that gardeners may leave part of its trunk in hopes that it will take root again.

The Day | The East Village’s New ‘It’ Girl

9th street community gardenAlice Gao 9th Street Community Garden

Good morning, East Village.

On the heels of her Times profile, Budd Mishkin visits the apartment of Vashtie Kola, the “East Village ‘it’ girl” (look out, Chloe Sevigny) who directs music videos, plans parties, blogs about fashion, and is “the first woman to design an Air Jordan sneaker.”

The Lo-Down has posted the September agenda for Community Board 3’s SLA & DCA Licensing Committee. Ichibantei is applying for wine and beer and Heathers is seeking to renew its license despite a complaint history.

Neither More Nor Less spotted workers cleaning up trees in Tompkins Square Park yesterday.

According to EV Grieve, the Ave. A Mini Market stayed open during Irene but is now mysteriously closed and empty. Read more…

Hurricane Irene Was Too Much With Us

Psychic?Tim Schreier

“The world is too much with us,” claimed William Wordsworth, but he didn’t know the half of it. The Weather Channel is too much with us, would be more to the point. Mayor Bloomberg is too much with us. Anderson Cooper is too much with us. Fox News is too much with us. Warnings and dire threats of all kinds are too much with us — e.g. those surrounding “Hurricane Irene,” who/which would have been more accurately described as “Subtropical Depression Irene” by the time she managed to waddle her way up the East Coast in her rain-soaked skirts and finally “hit” New York with the soft, wet slap of a gloved hand. As trees swayed gently and reporters valiantly swallowed their disappointment, we were all far too invested in the story to evacuate the portion of our brain in which she’d taken up residence.

Well, she did rain a great deal. And knocked down some trees and flooded this highway and that subway, but a “hurricane” she was not. Nonetheless she managed to take up most of my weekend – mentally speaking. And by the time she finally cleared town I was flat-out exhausted by her. For two days I had obsessively followed the event-to-come, watching TV, scanning Internet sites, constantly checking The Times’ “Hurricane Tracker” and all the latest updates from FEMA, only to discover that it was all foreplay and no conclusion. Read more…

An Encore for Fringe Festival

If Hurricane Irene threw a wrench in your plans to attend the final performances of Fringe Festival, fear not: The lineup of encore productions has just been announced. The 18 shows, set to run from September 9 to September 26, include “Facebook Me,” which was well received by The Lo-Down last week. Update: Some of the shows canceled over the weekend have been rescheduled for September 1 through September 4 at the Laurie Beechman Theater in Midtown.

After Irene, Villagers Clean Up Downed Awnings and Trees

NailSalon1Suzanne Rozdeba Stella Hu, owner of Stella Nail & Spa on First Avenue, and Dick Lam, 72, building owner who lives in building.

Around 5 a.m. Sunday, Dick Lam heard a tree fall in front of the building at 209 First Avenue that he owns, and where he has lived for 23 years. “I was asleep and my son and my grandson heard the tree bang,” he said. (Mr. Lam’s relatives, who live in Battery Park City, had sought shelter in his apartment.) “There was a thud. They didn’t know whether something had hit the building, or what happened. They came running down, opened the door, and it was this.” Mr. Lam looked down at a tree that had taken down the awning of Stella Nail & Spa, on the ground floor. “Luckily, it just pulled the awning out.” Read more…

Share Your Hurricane Irene Stories and Photos With The Local (Plus: All The Latest)

Good evening, East Village.

Angela Cravens, a community contributor at The Local, has shared her photos of the neighborhood preparing for Hurricane Irene earlier today, and we want to see yours, as well. (By the way, she tells us a sign posted at Villa Della Pace tells Irene, in Italian, to go do something very not nice.) If you have anything to share with your neighbors now that the rain has driven you indoors (Gothamist has the latest on what to expect now that the Category 1 hurricane is 300 miles away), leave your comments below. Have a longer story that you’d like The Local to post? E-mail the editor. Have photos? Join The Local’s Flickr group, and we’ll add them to the gallery above. And feel free to alert us to any developments (no matter how large or small) via our Twitter page, if that’s your preference. We’re listening.

Elsewhere around the Internet, everyone from the Guardian in the U.K. (which noted lines down the block at Trader Joe’s) to the usual neighborhood blogs were eying local supermarkets today: EV Grieve reported that the Associated on Avenue C was primed to set a single-day sales record, and posted photos from Key Food and Fine Fare. A manager at Key Food told the Wall Street Journal of “chaos” there (the store was already running low on certain supplies when we checked in on grocery stores yesterday). Read more…

The Day | Irene Approaches, And Charlie Parker Festival is Swept Away

Astor PlaceScott Lynch

According to DNAinfo and other sites, including’s slow-moving Office of Emergency Management page, parts of the East Village are among the “Zone A” areas most at risk should Hurricane Irene strike Manhattan: “In the East Village, Zone A extends to Avenue D from East 4th Street to East 8th Street. From there, it extends to Avenue B up to 14th Street.” If evacuations are called for, shelters opening at 4 pm on  Friday include Seward Park High School (350 Grand Street) and Baruch College (East 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue). Hurricane or no hurricane, the Tompkins Square Park leg of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, on Sunday, has been canceled, according to a press release picked up by Brooklyn Vegan.

Both the Villager and EV Grieve have the latest on what the Parks Department is doing to fight the Tompkins Square Park rats. NY1 also ran a story, and shortly before 11 p.m. last night, The Local spotted “Inside Edition” filming a segment that a crewperson said would air in about two or three weeks. Neither More Nor Less has photos.

Amidst worries that the Free Willie Nelson has been parking in Park Slope lately, The Daily News profiles the iconic RV and its owner Ron Britt, who says he wanted the vehicle’s interior to feel “a little like a Texas whorehouse.” Read more…