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Bikinis Brings Tapas, Sandwiches and Churros to Avenue C

Photos: Alexa Mae Asperin

After riding out a wave of opposition in March, Bikinis Eatery will open its doors this Saturday.

The tapas bar on Avenue C isn’t selling two-piece swimsuits; it specializes in the Spanish sandwiches of the same name. According to co-owner Karina Correa, good ones are hard to find in the city, so she’s aiming to “marry both Spanish and American flavors” via menu items like the classic jamon y queso (ham and cheese), a “Gordito” (pastrami, turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mayo) and vegetarian options like a smoky portobello blend and a tomato baguette with sea salt and Spanish olive oil.

Ms. Correa, a former manager at Cafe Gitane in Nolita who spent four years in Spain, said she and her business partner, Petrit Pula, who has lived in Madrid, favored the simple tapas found at Spanish corner cafes over Manhattan restaurants that were “too sophisticated both in concept and price.” They envisioned a relaxed, casual place where one can eat three times a day, as is common in Spain. Read more…

Video: Martin Scorsese On the Downtown Origins of ‘Mean Streets’

While Martin Scorsese’s upcoming project, “Wolf on Wall Street,” makes headlines, one of the director’s early classics, “Mean Streets,” is also back in the public eye, as it was finally released on Blu-ray last month.

The 1973 film was set mostly in the Little Italy (the gang’s seedy clubhouse was at 23 Cleveland Place), but it has its East Village moments, too: in one scene, a squeegee man annoys Charlie (Harvey Keitel) and Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) while they’re stopped at Bowery and Bleecker Street. When the light turns, they glide past 310 Bowery, which was then Bowery Lumber Co. and is now Crime Scene Bar and Lounge.

As it turns out, another scene is tied to the neighborhood, as well. During a 25th anniversary screening at Film Forum in 1998, Scorsese revealed that the pool-hall brawl was based on an actual incident on Sixth Street and Second Avenue.

In this video of that talk – newly edited for The Local to include footage from the film – the director reveals that he and his star, Robert De Niro, first met when they were 16 years old, when Scorsese was growing up a stone’s throw from the East Village. Read more…

Anna Sheffield, East Villager by Design

Jewelry designer Anna Sheffield

There’s an air of serenity about Anna Sheffield as she works at a small desk in her studio on Lafayette Street. On a recent Thursday evening, the jewelry designer spoke to The Local over a cup of tea, away from the buzz of her workroom and kitchen, in a well-lit corner room filled with her designs, art books and warmly worn wooden furniture. Her hair was pulled back and tattoos of hearts, flowers and birds covered both her arms.

Ms. Sheffield started her Bing Bang line (available at Cloak & Dagger, Warm, and Reformation) in 2002 in San Francisco and launched her fine jewelry line, Anna Sheffield, (available at Love, Adorned and coming to ABC Carpet & Home in a couple of weeks) in 2007. Before that, she grew up Catholic in northern New Mexico. Her influences are evident in the Madonna, crucifixes and feathers that adorn some of her works. Read more…

Moby’s Moving Out


The Wall Street Journal reports that Moby is putting his 3,000-square-foot, loft-style penthouse at 7 Bond Street on the market for $6.5 million – $2.75 million more than what he paid for it in 2009. Why’s he unloading it? The real-estate-savvy musician, who has also owned a small condo on Mott Street, tells The Journal, “I moved to L.A and recognized the absurdity of having two apartments in New York City two blocks away from one another.”

L’asso EV Opens for Dinner


Have you abandoned South Brooklyn Pizza ever since it stopped carrying Manhattan Special coffee soda on draft? (We’re assured it’ll return when the takeout parlor expands into a proper restaurant, possibly next month.) Well, there’s a new option just a block away: L’asso has opened its East Village outpost for dinner. Last month, The Local told you what to expect from the NoLIta transplant. Check back here shortly for interior shots as well as the menu, which features a Polish pie with kielbasa, pickles, and mustard oil.