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The Day | New Italian Spot on East Sixth

LitroSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

According to a tipster, signage for an “Italian restaurant bar,” Litro, has gone up in the old Zerza space at 308 East Sixth Street. Stay tuned for more.

Paper reports that Max Fish is opening an outpost on the Asbury Park boardwalk. “Max Fish at the Beach Bar, located on the boardwalk, will be open weekends starting this Saturday through Memorial Day, and then open every day after that.”

In The Times, Winnie Varghese, the priest in charge of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, argues that churches should be tax-exempt. “Moderate and progressive religion is overwhelmingly formed in the U.S., and it is an essential voice in national and international discourse,” she says. “We are an important moral and ethical voice for society as a whole, a voice that has to be religious to respond to other kinds of religious movements.” Read more…

Bird House: Inside the Brownstone Where Charlie Parker Lived, and Lives On

In honor of Black History Month, The Local tours the former home of a jazz legend whose spirit is still alive on Avenue B.

The Charlie Parker Residence at 151 Avenue B has played a vital part in East Village music history. Parker, the legendary alto saxophonist, lived there during the final years of his life in the 1950s (he died in 1955, in Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter’s suite at the Stanhope Hotel). After Judy Rhodes bought the building in 1979, it became the focal point for more East Village jazz lore. Ms. Rhodes, who booked many of jazz’s leading ensembles in the early 1980s, allowed her clients to rehearse in the parlor room.

Jazz greats like pianists Cecil Taylor, Mal Waldron and Don Pullen, saxophonists Dewey Redman and George Adams, tumpeters Bill Dixon and Don Cherry and bassist Charlie Haden practiced in what was once Bird’s home. The walls are covered with photos that Ms. Rhodes took of the musicians both in rehearsal and on the stages of key venues like the Village Vanguard and Sweet Basil in the West Village and the Third Street Music School Settlement and the St. Mark’s Church in the East Village.

Ms. Rhodes worked hard to get the home on the National Register of Historic Places, and have the corner of 10th Street and Avenue B named in Parker’s honor. Now every August since 1992, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is held within earshot of her front door.

Watch The Local’s video for a rare glimpse inside of the home.

Nublu Gets New Life, Reopens in Time for New Year’s

Shuttered NubluStephen Rex Brown

After abruptly shuttering during the summer and moving its parties to the basement of Lucky Cheng’s, Nublu will reopen at its original Avenue C location, serving beer and wine rather than hard liquor.

E-mailing from Sweden, Nublu’s owner, Ilhan Ersahin, said that the club would reopen tonight at 62 Avenue C and will once again operate from 8 p.m. till 4 a.m. nightly, but will now host earlier shows at lower volumes. He described the new operation as “less clubby style,” with “more wine/lounge/art/talky kinda vibes,” and said that finger food would be served. He added that there would be “more acoustic-friendly nights, neighborhood-style, with an international touch” in keeping with his record label. Read more…

The Day | A Blaze on Avenue D

Fire EngineSusan Keyloun

Good morning, East Village.

Have you seen the bus stop sign on St. Marks Place that seems to have been hacked down like an old oak tree? If not, Neighborhoodr has some fun photos. “No Standing” indeed.

In other news, the fire department had an early wake up call this morning. DNAinfo reports that a minor fire broke out at 5:43 a.m. at 40 Avenue D. It took firefighters 30 minutes to control the blaze on the eighth floor. No one was hurt and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Finally, after the closing of Banjo Jim’s was delayed, the staff of the bluegrass, jazz, and Americana bar has now announced (per EV Grieve) that Monday is the final day of business. As you know, new owner Rob Ceraso is converting the space into an artisanal cocktail bar.

A Star of the Polish Jazz Scene Returns

Aga ZaryanMateusz Stankiewicz/AF Photo Aga Zaryan, a multi-platinum jazz singer from Poland, will make a pair of rare New York concert appearances this weekend, including one in the East Village Sunday.

Aga Zaryan is performing at Joe’s Pub for her second concert in the East Village, a neighborhood she calls “the heart of Manhattan.”

“I love that area, just taking walks around there,” said Ms. Zaryan, 35. “It’s a fascinating place.”

The multi-platinum singer, one of Poland’s top, contemporary jazz musicians, last performed there in 2007 in front of an audience filled with Americans and Poles, many of whom live in the East Village. She’s back for another concert on Sunday.

“I like so many clubs in New York, but this one is so interesting because it’s not just about music; you have all different kinds of people coming in,” she said. “You have musicians that play different styles of music. It’s a very open place for creative musicians. I enjoyed performing there.” Tonight, she’s also performing at The Kosciuszko Foundation, a Polish cultural organization on the Upper East Side.

Ms. Zaryan, who was born and lives in Warsaw, feels at home when the audience is filled with Poles, many of whom live in the neighborhood. “I’ve been visiting New York a few times, and I’ve made a group of Polish friends that I try to meet with every time I’m there,” she said. “They always come and support me when I play, which is really great.”
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An East Village Jazz Gem At Rue B

IMG_9343Joe Puglisi Rue B, 188 Avenue B.

Rue B has been serving up cocktails and live jazz for almost 10 years, but it feels much older. It’s a bar that emulates the décor and demeanor of a speakeasy, although anyone is welcome to walk in.

Avenue B has been home to many bars over the years, of course, and the stretch between 11th and 14th Streets is still home to some modern age holes-in-the-wall, not to mention a certain notorious karaoke bar.

Those seeking a little more finesse can settle down at Rue B for one of their retro cocktails, or just a simple glass of wine and some exceptional live jazz nearly every night of the week.
Read more…