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WEST VILLAGE - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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Meatball Assembly Line Grinds to a Halt: Seafood Spot Coming Next Month


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meatball shopMelvin Felix

Somebody call Michael Moore: there’s been a Factory closing on 14th Street.

The mysteriously-closed Meatball Factory is a goner and will become a seafood restaurant next month, its new owner said today. Miha Khondoker, who previously owned the West Village’s now-closed Mixx Lounge, said he’s busy deciding on a name and finalizing the new restaurant’s menu and decor.

“It’s going to be very different,” he said. Read more…


Salvation Army ‘Girls’ Home’ Turns 82, But Some Aren’t Celebrating


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P1070818Martine Mallary An actress plays Evangeline Cory Booth at the Markle’s 80th anniversary in 2010.

The Salvation Army’s Markle Evangeline Residence for Women, which celebrated its 82nd anniversary yesterday, is one of the last of the city’s “girls’ homes,” and an odd bird: incoming tenants pay $1,650 to $1,735 a month for a single room that comes with perks like weekly maid service, two meals a day, and access to a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. At the same time, they’re forbidden from having alcohol in their rooms, or bringing men back to them, and the building is run by staff members with titles like major and lieutenant colonel.

General Evangeline Cory Booth, daughter of the Salvation Army’s British-born founder, envisioned the residence as a safe haven for young single women of modest means. When the cornerstone of the 17-story art deco building at 123 West 13th Street was laid in 1930, one of its first residents beamed, “already it has the atmosphere of a real home. There are 325 girls overjoyed to be living here.”

But as the Markle observed its anniversary yesterday in a basement space that once held a swimming pool and is now used as a dining room, not everyone was so overjoyed. Last month, Marion Jeeves jumped from the window of her small apartment and died at the age of 57. Friends said she was a poet who had been depressed over long periods of unemployment and financial difficulties.

Others have left the building under less tragic but still bitter circumstances, complaining that the residence no longer caters to those of modest means. Read more…


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


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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.


Moving His 9/11 Art West, Mosaic Man is Now ‘Spread Over Both Villages’


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IMG_2821Stephen Rex Brown Jim Power’s planter honoring the 9/11 first responders at its new home on Seventh Avenue.

A 9/11 memorial in the West Village got a surprise addition to its collection on Saturday. In a frenzied mix of patriotism and general disgust with the state of Astor Place, “Mosaic Man” Jim Power decided to move his planter dedicated to first responders from its original spot.

Mr. Power said the decision came to him after learning that the Walk of Remembrance honoring Rev. Mychal Judge, a firefighter who died while giving last rites to a comrade at the World Trade Center, would pass by the Tiles For America memorial at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street.
Read more…