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The Day | Strand Workers Reject New Contract

The Strand: Army of One, Let Art Be Your WeaponScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

City Room reports that unionized workers at the Strand have rejected a proposed new contract because it would’ve cut vacation days, frozen pay for a year, increased the cost of health care, and cut benefits for newer employees. The bookstore’s management says the move is to compensate for sales that have fallen roughly 5 percent over all since 2008.

Though citywide rents remained relatively high throughout the winter, an MNS report picked up by Curbed brings good news about the East Village rental market: “The biggest decreases in rents from February to March took place in the East Village, where non-doorman studios are now 6.5 percent less.”

Gothamists sees bitter irony in the fact that upscale boutique Blue and Cream is paying tribute to grungy Mars Bar via a new photo exhibit: “Because if there is one thing we can all agree on about the old girl’s clientele, it was how much they just loved the kind of people who buy and sell $220 black t-shirts!” Read more…

At Pulino’s, More Than Just Pizza

IMG_0111Claire Glass Pulino’s, 282 Bowery.

I am old enough to remember when the immediate association with “Bowery” was”bum.” The Bowery was New York’s Skid Row from the late 19th century, and its reputation was so pervasive, and so dismal, that homeless folk everywhere were known as Bowery bums. And so it’s very strange to reconfigure “Bowery” in one’s mind to denote “trendy.” It’s strange to walk past the terribly glamorous Bowery Hotel, and Daniel Boulud’s DBGB, and Peels, and to cross Houston and to find, immediately adjacent to a Chinese store which sells restaurant furnishings, Keith McNally’s rollicking pizzeria-bar, Pulino’s.

At the moment, Pulino’s is a pioneer on the desolate stretch south of Houston; but if McNally, who practically invented TriBeCa with the Odeon restaurant 30 years ago, thinks his customers will go there — which they do, in droves—you should consider investing in local real estate. I made the mistake of dropping by one weekday evening at 8:30 to have a pizza at the bar. Ha! I couldn’t even see the bar for the crowd surrounding it, and quickly fell back before the tidal swell of noise.
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