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Making It | Evelyn McCue of Doggie Dearest

doggie dearestMelvin Felix Evelyn McCue.

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly making it. Here’s one of them: Doggie Dearest.

Back in college Evelyn McCue’s career plan was to be a veterinarian. When she became pregnant with her son, her career took a different turn. “Instead of becoming a veterinarian, I made one myself,” Ms. McCue joked about about her son’s career as a neurological veterinarian. But after years teaching English as a second language and bartending, she revisited her love of animals and opened Doggie Dearest at 543 East Fifth Street. Ms. McCue said her boutique dog grooming business was the first of its kind in the neighborhood, and for nearly 19 years she’s groomed roughly eight dogs a day, three days a week. The Local spoke with Ms. McCue about the popularity of the pet industry, the weirdest creature she’s ever brushed, and why poodle owners can be so strange.


How did you end up in the dog grooming business?


I was on the phone, sitting on hold and flipping through the Yellow Pages when I saw an ad for a grooming school. I called them and somehow it turned out perfectly. At first it would just going to be a cool hobby. But lo and behold, it turned out I am really good at it! 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…

Expansion Explainer: Why Dogs Are Always at N.Y.U. 2031 Protests


As Village residents await Borough President Scott Stringer’s recommendation early next month regarding N.Y.U.’s expansion plans, The Local is taking a look at the impacts of the project. Today, we’re examining the concerns surrounding the replacement of a dog run under the proposed development. Yesterday, we looked at the impact the proposal would have on three playgrounds in Greenwich Village. Check back for our coverage of concerns surrounding loss of light and the LaGuardia Community Garden.


So what does the future hold for the dog run at the corner of Houston and Mercer Streets should N.Y.U.’s expansion be approved?

11-Dog Run-PN.Y.U. The proposed dog run.

The dogs and their roughly 300 owners at the Mercer-Houston Dog Run will have to be relocated to make way for the Zipper building, which will be 26 stories at its highest point. The building would extend almost the entire length of the south block along Mercer Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets. In addition to housing, academic, retail space and a hotel, the new structure would also hold the replacement for the Morton Williams Supermarket at the northwest corner of the south block. The university says the replacement grocery store would be fully operational before Morton Williams is demolished in 2018. Read more…

City’s First Dog Run May Lose Last Adjacent Pet Store

IMG_3757Lauren Carol Smith For Sale signs in the window of Zee’s Pet Store on Avenue B, between 9th and 10th.

The space housing Zee’s Pet Store, the pet supply shop closest to Tompkins Square Park, is up for grabs. The owner, Zee, who declined to give a last name, said his rent had been raised, and a sign in the window solicited a hair or nail salon for the storefront on Avenue B between Ninth and Tenth Street.

At the Tompkins Square Dog Run, reactions varied. Read more…

Beyond the Dog Run | Beau

Marcia Krause Bilyk Beau — at rest.

“No, Beau is not sick. Beau is not dying. Beau is resting in Madison Square Park while his walker (off camera left) waits for him to get up and poop. Beau had 17 minutes left on the clock. Beau is five years old and lives a privileged life with his work-at-home owner, who will take him out again later if he hasn’t done his duty. Because Beau has food allergies, his owner buys a variety of meats for him to eat, most recently kangaroo. I trust he receives the best of care, but still…what’s up with the sleeping, Beau?!”— Marcia Krause Bilyk

Join The Local East Village Flickr group and share the images and stories of a favorite pet.

Some Tips To Prevent Dog Attacks

Drayton MichaelCarol Vinzant Drayton Michael, a dog trainer, discourages pet owners from carrying weapons to fend off dog attacks. He spoke to pet owners Sunday at the Tompkins Square Dog Run.

Leave the knife, take a bottle of water.

That’s the advice Drayton Michael, a dog trainer known as the “pit bull guru,” is offering to the citizens of the East Village who are concerned about a series of attacks at the Tompkins Square Dog Run.

After a series of serious dog fights, to which some dog owners reportedly responded by carrying knives to the park to protect their dogs, the community was worried — though not all were sure these fights were anything new in a neighborhood that only a decade or so ago had more pit bulls than the toy breeds that now frolic in the specially segregated small dog run.

“Don’t worry,” said the dog run manager and dog trainer, Garrett Rosso, introducing Mr. Michael to the crowd of about 80 who gathered at an information session at the park on Sunday. “He knows that we’re not the type of dog run where people sit around on the edges and are afraid of certain breeds.”
Read more…

In The Park, Still Searching For Sammy

SammyCourtesy of the Beck Family Sammy, a Pomeranian last seen in the East Village, has been missing since June.

“Have you seen Sammy?” If you live in the East Village or Lower East Side, the answer is almost definitely yes – he’s plastered to poles, phone booths, and walls on what seems like every block.

Unfortunately, no one has really seen him since June 29. Sammy the shaved Pomeranian got loose from his leash outside of owner Henry Beck’s restaurant, Grill 21 in Gramercy, and ran out of sight, inspiring a massive puphunt that’s carried on for nearly seven entire months now.

Indeed, to say this shaved Pomeranian achieved local iconography in the latter days of summer might be something of an understatement. The Becks plastered flyers – in English, Spanish, and Chinese – on almost every block, and launched a “Help Find Sammy” Web site in no time.

“It’s very hard – he’s a member of the family,” said Mr. Beck. “You start the day with hope and go to sleep with the reality.”

The Becks have continued to comb the East Village, where Sammy was reportedly first spotted after he disappeared in June.  Last week, the unlikely quest to bring Sammy home gained a fleeting bit of momentum when a dog matching his description was apparently spotted in the neighborhood.

“As of recently we have been getting calls about a loose Pomeranian around Tompkins Square Park,” Alana Beck, Mr. Beck’s daughter and leader of the search effort, wrote in an e-mail message this week. “If it really is him, then he really is an amazing representation of his owners. We are just as adamant about getting him home.”
Read more…

Beyond the Dog Run | Waiting

Today, The Local East Village inaugurates a recurring feature of photo essays on neighborhood pets called “Beyond the Dog Run.”

no dogs allowed - 15

One day, Michael Sean Edwards, an East Village photographer, decided to pay close attention to the dogs that were waiting for their owners outside a neighborhood coffee house. This is what he saw.
Read more…