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WHOLE FOODS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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WHOLE FOODS

After 25 Years, Met Foods Changes Name, Brings Back a Piece of Ratner’s


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metfoods2Daniel Maurer Original tilework from Ratner’s

The Met Foods on Second Avenue will soon be reborn as Metropolitan Citymarket, complete with photo murals paying tribute to Ratner’s and the Fillmore East. The new signage has already been installed, but it’s covered by a gigantic plastic tarp and won’t be unveiled until fall. That’s because N.Y.U., the building’s owner, is about to cast the store in the shadow of its scaffolding. But there’s something you can feast your eyes on in the meantime: original tilework from Ratner’s restaurant.

Michael Schumacher, who owns and manages the store with his brother Steven (their father, Sam, took it over in 1986), said the supermarket’s overhaul was long overdue. In 2004, he explained, he was told by N.Y.U. that the store’s lease wouldn’t be renewed, and its appearance went into decline. “They told us four years prior that we weren’t getting a lease in 2008, so it was the nail in the coffin,” he said.

But as stories in The Villager recounted, N.Y.U. eventually renewed the lease for 15 years after much public outcry and intervention from public officials (Mr. Schumacher said his rent was raised by 20 percent). That left the grocers free to revamp. In gutting the store, they found remnants of Ratner’s, the 24-hour dairy restaurant that once occupied the space. Its original tilework now gleams on either side of the front entrance. Read more…


Hey! Ho! Let’s Go to Marky Ramone’s Meatball Truck


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cruisinkitchenCourtesy of Cruisin’ Kitchen

CBGB will be all over the place this summer, and so will a new truck bearing the name of one of the club’s legends. Marky Ramone’s Cruisin’ Kitchen hit the streets about two weeks ago, and the owner, a former East Villager, plans to feed the neighborhood’s late-night hordes.

Keith Album, a French Culinary Institute grad who has worked in catering, as a personal chef, and most recently at Whole Foods, describes his concept as “worldwide balls,” with Marky Ramone’s signature marinara sauce slathered over the Italian variety.

Not only that: the former Ramones drummer’s name and likeness are plastered on the side of the truck.  Read more…


The Day | Lakeside Remembered, and 20 Other Morning Reads


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UntitledPhillip Kalantzis-Cope

Good morning, East Village.

The Times looks back on what made Lakeside Lounge so special (“once, while Joey and Dee Dee Ramone played, audience members watched the police raid a nearby crack house and line suspects up against the picture window beside the stage”) and gives a clue as to why it’s closing at the end of the month: “[Owner Eric] Ambel said rent and expenses had more than quadrupled since the mid-1990s, forcing him and Mr. Marshall to face the prospect of deviating from the formula that had served Lakeside, its musicians and its patrons so well.” According to WNYC, the rent was $9,000 a month.

Flaming Pablum uses the closing of Lakeside as an excuse to look back on five other bygone dive bars, including Alcatraz on St. Marks Place, an “endearingly seedy joint that catered to acolytes of all things loud, boozy and rude.”

With the average rent in Manhattan at $3,418 a month and the vacancy rent at just 1 percent despite the lagging economy, The Times lays down some real talk: “For those who find buying a home in New York City is not an option — whether because of bad credit, tougher lending standards or lack of a down payment — the choices are limited and often unappealing.” If you are buying, the Daily News points out that there are still deals to be found in the Lower East Side. Read more…