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The Day | L.E.S. Business Owner Killed On F.D.R.

LES glamour3rdTiger A scene from the Lower East Side.

Mehdi Kabbaj, the owner of 20 Peacocks, a men’s clothing boutique on Clinton Street, died yesterday after being struck by oncoming traffic on the F.D.R. drive on Wednesday night, The Daily News reports. The paper writes that Mr. Kabbaj, 45, was drunk, got out of the cab in frustration at gridlock and was struck by a minivan.

The cabbie accused of raping a 26-year-old East Village woman at knife point on May 6 has “no idea” how his DNA was recovered from the woman, writes The New York Post. According to statements read at Gurmeet Singh’s Brooklyn arraignment on Wednesday, he initially told cops he “never” had sex in the back of his taxi, but then said, “Sometimes I pick up women, call girls, off the street and have sex with them.”

The Villager reports that local advocates are pushing to have the trials of soldiers accused of abusing Private Danny Chen held in the U.S. A coalition including Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Mr. Chen’s parents are in discussions with the Army to suggest reforms to its diversity training and recruitment policies.
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The Day | Alec Baldwin: Village is ‘One Big Bus Depot of Drunken Young People’

EAST VILLAGE tompkins sq park drizzle4Gloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

Grub Street notices a listing that would seem to indicate that drag-queen institution Lucky Cheng’s is on the market for $25,000 a month. The link to the listing was live yesterday but is no longer available.

How’s Alec Baldwin enjoying his new digs at Devonshire House on East 10th Street between Broadway and University Place? As Curbed pointed out, he recently told Conan, “The Village is like one big bus depot of drunken young people.” Watch the clip and hear him continue: “It’s all night long. It’s like, ‘Stanley, you bastard!’ – women screaming at their boyfriends and punching their boyfriends, people screaming at each other… it’s like two o’clock in the morning. It’s loud. It’s young people drinking.”

A judge has ruled that the N.Y.P.D. was “not incompetently or in knowing violation of the law” when it arrested a 52-year-old man on charges of prostitution. According to Gay City News, Robert Pinte claimed he was arrested on false charges after being approached by an undercover officer who offered him $50 and oral sex in an East Village porn shop.  Read more…

The Day | Messages in the Sky

photoSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

Did you see this mysterious sky writing on Sunday? City Room explains that it was part of an art project sponsored by Friends of the Highline.

WNYC shows some love for Filipino spot Maharlika and offers up their barbecue sauce recipe.

The Times casts an eye on the state of the Bowery, noting that preservationists are requesting that two blocks be labeled a historic district.

City Room profiles Jason Shelowitz, the man behind all those urban etiquette signs.
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The Day | Remembering Bob Arihood

Phillip Kalantzis-Cope

Good Morning, East Village.

Villagers continued to mourn the passing of photographer Bob Arihood on Friday. EV Grieve shares a collection of Mr. Arihood’s photographs, and Runnin’ Scared offered its own tribute over the weekend. A vigil is planned for Tuesday night in front of Ray’s Candy Store, one of Mr. Arihood’s favorite haunts.

From one artist to another, Antonio “Chico” Garcia completed a mural for The Children’s Workshop School on East Twelfth Street over the weekend. NY1 reports that the veteran graffiti artist now plans to “cap his spray cans for good.”

Garcia began his painting career 34 years ago — not long before the band Blondie started playing CBGB. The San Francisco Chronicle writes that the band has stayed true to its East Village roots with its latest release.
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The Day | Ron Paul, President of the East Village?

IMG_0310Stephen Rex Brown Yesterday on Astor Place.

Good morning East Village, and happy Rosh Hashanah.

The National Review’s Katrina Trinko checks out Ron Paul’s speech at Webster Hall on Monday and finds a crowd that “skews more hipster than hip replacement.” In her piece, she dubs the contrarian Libertarian the “The President of the East Village.”

Further south, City Room has the latest twist in the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests: Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna may have used pepper spray in a second incident.

Back in our neck of the woods, EV Grieve spotted a noise complaint outside of UCBeast, the Upright Citizen Brigade’s recently opened East Village outpost. Anyone else think noise in front of the club is no laughing matter?
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The Day | Bowery Building Becomes Cause Célèbre

Bio BusScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

As seen on EV Grieve, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and others are circulating a petition to make sure the circa 1818 Federal-style house at 135 Bowery becomes a landmark.

An East Villager tells The Post that he thinks Gavin DeGraw is getting preferential treatment from the NYPD— the police have posted fliers in an attempt to find the singer’s attackers.

The owner of the building that formerly housed Sin Sin tells DNAinfo that plans to turn the ground space into a bakery are off the table. Read more…

The Day | Light

let us mingleUrmila Ramakrishnan

Good morning, East Village.

Last night, the sun aligned with the east-west streets at dusk, giving views of what is dubbed Manhattanhenge. The twice-a-year event only lasts about half an hour, but provides a look at the sun and the city that the Village Voice calls “magical.”  But don’t worry if you missed last night because the best viewing is this evening.

About 40 Con Ed customers who live near Great Jones Street were without lights Tuesday night during a power outage, according to the Con Ed site, which reports that power was restored this morning.

The renovations of Extra Place are nearing completion, with a recent installation of streetlights, EV Grieve noted.

Check back later today for James Traub’s exploration of Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar and a video report by Khristopher J. Brooks on the upcoming changes to rent laws.

The Day | Pausing to Remember

Goods BratTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

We begin the week on a somber note. The neighborhood paused in remembrance Saturday night, as friends gathered for a vigil in honor of Monica Shay, an East Village resident and Pratt Institute professor who was killed last week. The event turned into a protest of sorts as participants celebrated Ms. Shay’s longtime community activism. Ms. Shay’s nephew and a toddler were also killed in the shooting. Ms. Shay’s husband and another victim in the shooting remain in critical condition.

Two other members of our community will be celebrated and remembered tonight. Friends and family will gather in Queens for a visitation for Dominique Philbert, who died last week. Mr. Philbert worked with his father, George, at Bikes by George on Fourth Street.

In traditional New Orleans fashion, friends of Ray Deter, the d.b.a. bar owner who died from injuries sustained in a biking accident, will take part in a second line funeral march beginning at 7 tonight — a fitting tribute for Mr. Deter who also owned two bars in the Big Easy.

The Day | Something’s Missing

3rd Eye BlindTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

Watch where you step for the next couple of days. EV Grieve reports that someone in the neighborhood has lost a pet turtle. According to a flier posted on a pole at Ninth Street and Avenue C, the turtle is a red-eared Slider named Claudius. So, if you spot a random turtle crawling down the street, call 917-319-3975; it might be Claudius.

Also on Grieve: the management team at Sidewalk Bar & Restaurant says the bar aims to re-open Aug. 5 after being closed for repairs since March. The bar is known for its open mic nights; the owners proclaim Sidewalk holds the longest-running open mic night in the city. EV Grieve has snippets of an e-mail interview with the open-mic night leader Ben Krieger who said, “It looks like things are finally getting close to completion.” Mr. Krieger also wrote, “From what I know, the menu should be the same, but stripped down to about a third of the size, mainly the items that were selling. Prices should be about the same.”

And finally, East Villagers mourn the death of a long-time resident and Pratt Institute professor. The Local’s Chelsia Rose Marcius reports that Monica Shay, 58, a resident of East 10th Street, died Thursday after being shot in the head last weekend at her country home in eastern Pennsylvania. Mrs. Shay is the third person to die in the shooting; her nephew Joseph Shay and a 2-year-old boy died shortly after the shooting occurred. Two other people, including Mrs. Shay’s husband, Paul, remain in critical condition.

The Day | Paying Taxes, Dodging Taxis

Old Man in LoafersRachel Citron

Good morning, East Village.

It’s tax day. If you haven’t filed yet, better get down to the post office quick sharp. If that’s not encouragement enough, an EV Grieve reader spotted this friendly warning.

In better news, Passover begins at sundown. Last week, The Times reported on the growing trend of eating out for the traditional Seder meal. East Village spots JoeDoe and Octavia’s Porch will be offering their take, and JoeDoe co-owner Jill Schuster put together a playlist to remind guests of a old-fashioned family Passover.

Hot on the heels of incredibly popular Tompkins Square Park ping pong table, which has seen action from all ages, DNAinfo reports that the planned facelift for Dry Dock Park will include domino tables. The $1.2 million restoration will also repair dilapidated basketball courts and install better lighting.

EV Grieve notes that traffic lights on Cooper Square are new, after originally wondering if they had been covered as part of a prank. That will probably come as welcome news to anyone used to madly dashing across the Square in the face of buses and cabs coming from all directions.

And finally, The Times reported on Friday that the Hot Chicks Room sign that had so irked some residents will find a new home in a Governors Island chicken coup.

After a blustery weekend, things are looking up: highs of 60 degrees are in the cards today with a few spots of cloud. Have a good week.

The Day | On Expansion and Sin Sin

EV taxi cabsGloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

On Monday, The Local’s Kim Davis wrote about NYU’s expansion plan. This morning, the Washington Square News describes the debate a bit west of our neighborhood where many residents questioned the plan at a Community Board 2 meeting Monday night.

Another one of our Monday posts offered a patron’s perspective on the closing of the Sin Sin lounge. EV Grieve reports on another sign that the end is near for Sin Sin: the club’s website is down. (Grieve also has a humorous item demonstrating that concerns about noisy students are hardly a new development.) And Bowery Boogie has a post about the neighborhood’s star turn in a new Samsung commercial.

The Day | A Look at Bikes and Bedbugs

FishingBen Chislett

Good morning, East Village.

We’ve written quite a bit about the effects of recently installed bike lanes in the East Village. Neighborhoodr has a link to an interview with Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, who talks about biking in the city.

We’re still collecting your stories about bedbugs and wanted to make sure that you saw this piece from Fox New York, which is a solid roundup of bedbug do’s and don’ts.

The Day | Around the Blogosphere

EV bikesGloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

Here’s a quick look at a handful of pieces that we’re reading today from around the blogosphere.

Eater and EV Grieve have more on the closing of the “world’s largest paint party” at Webster Hall Saturday night. For history buffs, Ephemeral New York has a worthwhile post looking at a rediscovered chronicle of East Village history from the 1960s. And over at Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, there’s a snapshot of the lunch crowd at McSorley’s.

The Day | A Few Morning Reads

EV tompkins sq parkGloria Chung

Good morning, East Village.

A few interesting reads from the neighborhood over the weekend.

EVGrieve offers some memories of homesteader Michael Shenker and also has photos of an event billed as “the largest paint party in the world” at Webster Hall Saturday.

Neighborhoodr presents a video assessment of how people use — or don’t use — bike lanes. This column on bike culture is worth checking out over at The Villager.

After spending part of the past week in the East Village, the cast and crew of “Gossip Girl” have moved a little bit farther south, according to Bowery Boogie.

And slightly west of our neighborhood, the Washington Square News reports on a vigil for young suicide victims who were bullied because of their sexual orientation.

The Day | A New Voice

RoccoAndPhil2Rachel Wise

Good morning, East Village.

Our community is filled with writers whose bylines are recognized well beyond the boundaries of our neighborhood. Today, we’re proud to note that James Traub, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine who is equally adept at writing about foreign policy or regional governors in Afghanistan or baseball royalty in the Bronx, is bringing his talents to The Local.

Mr. Traub, who has an office on Second Avenue, sought us out for the opportunity to explore the neighborhood he loves in print. He will be writing about the East Village’s extraordinarily diverse food culture in a series of idiosyncratic reported posts that we’ll be featuring over the coming weeks and months. We hope that he will be the first of many of our neighborhood’s authors who choose to share their voices with The Local’s readers.

In other neighborhood news, we wanted to let you know that there is a town hall meeting Saturday afternoon to discuss the new rules on community gardens. The NYC Community Garden Coalition is hosting the meeting at the New School in Wollman Hall, 66 West 12th Street, fifth floor from noon to 4.

NYU Journalism’s Stephanie Butnick will attend the meeting and offer her report Monday. In the meantime, you can read more about the recently enacted rules here.

EVGrieve has a nice interview with sketch artist Terry Galmitz, whose new show “My East Village” opens this weekend. And if you think bedbugs are a big deal here in the East Village take a look at what they have to deal with up the road a piece.

The Day | A Vote on Loud Concerts

Grafitti on Houston St. hi-riseDan Nguyen

Good morning, East Village.

On Tuesday night, Community Board 3 voted overwhelmingly to pass a measure that would restrict the number of concerts using amplified sound at Tompkins Square to one day per weekend.

Although the proposal passed without debate, Susan Stetzer, the district manager of Community Board 3, told NYU Journalism’s Timothy J. Stenovec that she was surprised by the level of vitriol about the measure in the blogosphere.

Ms. Stetzer took particular exception to the characterization by one commenter on EVGrieve who described her as “a self-appointed sound-nazi.”

“You don’t call people Nazis,” Ms. Stetzer told Mr. Stenovec after the meeting.

Ms. Stetzer also denied that there was any political motivation behind the measure.

“No one’s against concerts, no one’s against any type of concerts, no one’s against political activity,” Ms. Stetzer told Mr. Stenovec. “All that’s asked is that certain concerts that are very loud, and we’re not saying which ones, just take it down a notch.”

In other neighborhood news, there are a lot of reads about the 67-year-old East Village man who was injured when an air conditioner fell from the sixth floor of a walk-up on Second Avenue. Check out The Post’s account here, EVGrieve’s here and the Daily News here.

There’s another fine read about an effort to feed the homeless in The Times. We’ll have a story later today by NYU Journalism’s Meredith Hoffman about another plan to help the homeless.

And here’s an interesting link from Guestofguest about one bar’s unusual attempt to connect with its neighbors.

The Day | Speaking Out on Noise, Bars

LastoftheACsRachel Wise

Good morning, East Village.

The State Liquor Authority Committee and Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Committee for Community Board 3 met for three hours Monday night and the discussion centered on two of the neighborhood’s hot-button issues: the granting of liquor licenses and noise complaints.

NYU Journalism’s Molly O’Toole reports that many of the roughly 30 people who attended the meeting asked committee members about whether more restrictions should be placed on provisions for transferring liquor licenses from one business to another.

Currently, the holders of liquor licenses may sell them like any other asset. And Ms. O’Toole reports that Susan Stetzer, the district manager of Community Board 3, said that landlords — and previous owners — are using the lure of those licenses to demand high selling prices and higher rent for incoming tenants who want to open businesses that sell alcohol. Under the current rules, new tenants in that situation can immediately acquire a temporary license and begin operating.

“Transfers is the single issue that has this committee and our community in its vice grips,” one resident said, noting the public opposition last week to the granting of a license to Table 12, a diner on Avenue A.

Ms. O’Toole also reports that some residents believe that the high volume of noise complaints in the neighborhood — 2,324 complaints have been called in to the 311 hotline for city services as of June, the most from any community board district in the city – may be partly attributed to the city’s smoking ban in restaurants. Smokers, who go outside to light up, are sometimes the source of noise complaints.

“The community is paying for what Bloomberg should have thought out,” said David Mulkins, a frequent critic of licensing rules who lives on East Fifth Street near Second Avenue. Mr. Mulkins directed his ire at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who recently proposed broadening the smoking ban.

Peter Bradley, another resident of East Fifth, expressed frustration that not enough was being done to address the concerns of community members.

“We’re like a dog with no teeth,” said Mr. Bradley. “We bark a lot, but not much seems to change.”

We’d also like to remind you that residents will have another chance to be heard when Community Board 3 holds a full board meeting tonight at 6:30 at P.S. 20, 166 Essex Street (between East Houston and Stanton Streets). Besides issues related to alcohol, EV Grieve notes that the board may also consider a measure to limit the number of concerts in Tompkins Square Park.

The Day | A Look Back

TowerRachel Wise

Hello, East Village.

We begin this morning with a look back.

On Friday, we wrote about the neighborhood’s history as a former enclave for German immigrants. One reader, Steve, reminds us that we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge one of the saddest chapters in neighborhood history – the fire aboard the General Slocum ferry, which killed more than 1,000 people on June 15, 1904.

The disaster, which was the deadliest in New York City until 9/11, is a well-known and heart-breaking part of neighborhood lore: members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church boarded the steamship for a run up the East River to a church outing. A fire broke out. Many of the victims, particularly women and children, did not know how to swim. And many of the life jackets and lifeboats were ineffective.

Days after the blaze, The New York Tribune reported on the first bulletins it received about the fire. “The steamer General Slocum, carrying a Sunday school excursion from the East Side, is on fire in the East River opposite One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth-st. Women and children are jumping into the water, some with their clothing on fire.”

General Slocum MemorialSophie Hoeller The memorial to the victims of the General Slocum disaster in Tompkins Square Park.

Although determining the precise number of the dead proved elusive, it is generally agreed that 1,021 of the 1,342 of those aboard perished. A memorial to those who were lost stands in Tompkins Square Park.

In 2004, the last survivor of the disaster, 100-year-old Adella Wotherspoon, died at a New Jersey convalescent home. Mrs. Wotherspoon offered her own explanation for why the General Slocum might not be as widely remembered as other maritime disasters such as the sinking of the The Titanic, in which about 1,500 died. “The Titanic had a great many famous people on it,” she said. ”This was just a family picnic.”

In the East Village, though, the General Slocum will always sadly be remembered as so much more.
Read more…

The Day | Nice Meeting You

OutsideWideRachel Wise

Good morning, East Village.

We want to start by thanking everyone who turned out at NYU Journalism Thursday night for a celebration of East Village history led by Pete Hamill.

It was a tremendous night and it was great to meet many of our neighbors in person — and we also appreciate the virtual presence of those of you who could not attend yet still tuned in for the livestream online. We’ll talk a little more about Mr. Hamill’s remarks later today but, again, we greatly appreciate all of the support and good energy that we felt last night.

There are some very nice East Village-related reads around the blogosphere this morning. On Thursday, we wrote about how a new law might make it easier for disgruntled residents to close bars known for violence and excessive noise.

Grub Street over at New York magazine touches on the law in its piece about how some East Village residents are worked up over a different kind of eatery. And while you’re at New York, be sure to check out this slideshow of Billy Hurricane’s on Avenue B.

An editorial in The Villager expresses support for new bike lanes. We wrote Thursday about how businesses have been affected by the lanes and stay tuned for another post later today by Community Contributor Bill Millard about some unexpected ways that the lanes have affected cyclists.

More good stuff over at DNAinfo and Neighborhoodr, which gives us all a heads-up on a block party Saturday at St. Mark’s Church. And while based a little bit west of our neighborhood, this piece on a rather atypical rapper is also worth checking out.

The Day | Two Invitations

Through the roofMolly O’Toole

Hello, East Village.

We start this morning with two invitations from us here at The Local.

First of all, the development team that has been hard at work on the Virtual Assignment Desk has made the list of story assignments visible to the public on the beta version of the site.

You may recall that the Assignment Desk is an application that allows members of the community to suggest story ideas and volunteer to report, take photographs or otherwise contribute to the blog. It represents another way that we’re promoting journalistic innovation and bringing value to the blogosphere.

So we’d like to invite you to visit the assignment desk and try it out.

We’d also like to remind you that you’re all invited to a celebration of the history of the East Village at NYU Journalism tonight where Pete Hamill will discuss ways that storytellers can mine the neighborhood’s hidden past.

The event begins at 6 with Mr. Hamill’s lecture and the festivities continue with music from a playlist firmly rooted in the East Village and D.J.ed by NYU Journalism’s own Jenn Pelly, a familiar face in the local music scene whose work has appeared here on The Local and elsewhere.

There will also be food and drink and a raffle for a Kindle. We hope that you’ll join us and if you’re unable to attend we’re planning to stream Mr. Hamill’s remarks live on The Local, so check the site at 6.

In other neighborhood news, we wanted to draw your attention to a couple of links worth checking out including this one at DNAinfo about a resolution in the MTA’s case against Billy’s Antiques on East Houston Street, this one from our sibling blog City Room about Irish actors getting a taste of Yiddish theater on East Seventh Street and this story about a possible breakthrough in the murder of Second Avenue Deli owner Abe Lebewohl.

One more thing: You may recall that we at The Local are asking for your reports about bedbugs in the East Village so that we can map them. The Neighborhoodr blog has posted a link to a version of a citywide map – yuck! We’re still looking for your bedbug stories so please keep sending.