Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Behind the Trash Sculpture Fence

I was going to put this picture into the post on trash sculptures:

Empty lot behind trash sculpture fence on First Avenue.

…but then I didn't.

Another empty lot… in the East Village!

Paint, Glorious Paint

(Sung to the Tune of "Food, Glorious Food")

Eleven days ago or so, I posted something about paint being used to spiffy up the front of a store on East 9th Street.

The next day, I took a picture of the scaffold supports, to show how they embellished their façade, in addition to painting:

Embellished vs. non-embellished scaffold supports.

I also saw that they were painting the building above the store:

From the scaffolding to the building.

It's contagious — once you start painting, you just can't stop! I took this today:

Major paint job underway.

I can't wait to see what it'll look like — the East Village just keeps getting better… looking!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #paint #scaffolding

Single, Gold Ornament

A single, gold ornament on a tree inside Tompkins Square Park, at the Avenue A, St. Mark's Place entrance:

Single, gold ornament.

Christmas is winding down, decorations are being put away, Winter now unofficially begins… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #avenuea #christmas #decorations #stmarksplace #tompkinssquarepark #winter

Before and After

People say to me, they say: "East Village Today, what do you do when you're out and see some wrong that needs to be righted?

Well, the answer is: I fix it!

Today, when I was out, I saw this traffic cone and sign face down on Avenue C at East 8th Street:

Traffic cone and sign, face down.

So I picked it up:

Traffic cone and sign, face up.

It's hard to know, in situations like these, if the fix is accurate. For instance, the sign is pointing in a direction against the flow of bicycle traffic. Was it meant to be this way?

Further up the street were other such traffic cones and signs:

Traffic cone and sign, facing the right way.

There's only so much you can do… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #avenuec #8thstreet #bikelanes

The Cast of Rudolph at beQu Juice

Have you ever wondered where the casts of the annual Christmas specials spend their down time? I never did, but the other day, I happened upon this:

The cast of Rudolph, at beQu.

The Spotted Elephant, Hermey, Charlie-in-the-Box, Sam the Snowman, and Santa himself were all hanging out at beQu Juice!

Here is a close-up:


The East Village is very much like the Island of Misfit Toys: cool characters all trying to fit into a world that doesn't seem to care.

#eastvillage #bequ #rudolph #christmas

The Shunning of East Village Today

You wouldn't think a blog like East Village Today would have enemies — everyone loves East Village Today! Everyone except:


EV Grieve is the name of a blog. According to a recent post, it's been around for seven years. It was named the best neighborhood blog by one of the free, weekly newspapers.

Why does EV Grieve shun East Village Today? Who knows? I can only tell you what happened.

I started this blog back in August of this year. I have two rules about posts here and comments elsewhere: I never complain; and I never argue with commenters.

As soon as I started posting comments on the EV Grieve blog, I came under immediate attack by other commenters. I refused to respond. Soon, one of them suggested that I was a "bot". A bot! Right away, the EV Grieve blogger implemented the captcha device, which requires commenters to enter words or numbers before the comment can be submitted. This device prevents automated comments from bots.

Of course, since I am not a bot, I continued commenting. Once he saw that, he banned all of my comments. He also banned me from viewing his tweets on Twitter. That was in November.

That's one. The other is:


I've written a couple of times that Ray's should clean their awning. This is the picture of their awning from their Twitter page (dated 2012):

Ray's Candy Store awning, quite clean.

This is what it looked like on December 29:

Ray's Candy Store awning, covered in filth.

Lately, I've been writing about the competition that's risen between Ray's and Avenue A Classic Food, a store that recently opened next door. Then, the other night, I wanted to check Ray's Twitter page, and I found that I was banned from it! The last tweet of mine that shows up beneath one of theirs is dated December 4, so it happened some time after that.

That's it. There might be others, but they're not people/blogs I follow, so I'm not aware of them. Even these two are hardly worth mentioning, but since it's the end of the year, the time when people tie up loose ends, I decided I'd dispense with it.

But this is East Village Today — East Village Today doesn't look back!

So stay cool, East Village, and get ready for an awesome 2015!

#eastvillage #evgrieve #rayscandystore #signs #twitter

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Frank's and Timmy's Passenger Seats

I was walking across East 10th Street yesterday, when I passed by this:

Old-fashioned bicycle wrapped in plastic and tape.

On closer inspection, I saw:

Frank's passenger seat.

They probably taped the sign across the basket to discourage people from putting their trash into it!

As I continued on my way, a few steps later I happened onto this:

Another old-fashioned bicycle wrapped in plastic and tape.

…with, once again, a basket sign:

Timmy has a Santa!

I wonder how comfortable these bicycle baskets are for small dogs — it seems the wires would press between the pads in their paws! Plus, how safe can those things be!

I also wonder if one person has two bikes, one for each dog.

I also wonder how often these bikes are used, wrapped up in plastic and tape, as they are.

Wondering, wondering, wondering… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #10thstreet #bicycles #signs

Local Starbucks Fixes Sidewalk Café Railing

I was walking up Second Avenue yesterday, when I passes the local Starbucks Coffee. Their outdoor railing was on the ground:

Local Starbucks with railings on the ground.

I thought to myself, as I passed: That railing extends beyond the distance allowed for sidewalk cafés!

All sidewalk cafés must maintain a minimum clear path of eight (8) feet between the outer limit of the café and any object near the curb, including the curbstone. When a sidewalk is wider than 16 feet, the amount of clear path must be 50% of the distance from the building to the curb line.

Today, I passed by again, and saw that they had fixed the situation:

Local Starbucks railing now within the legal limit.

Keeping the sidewalks clear… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #secondavenue #starbucks #sidewalkcafes

Future East Village Reminiscences Being Created Today

I was walking up Second Avenue yesterday, when I saw this:

Artist painting The 13th Step.

An artist was painting a picture of The 13th Step, a popular bar in the East Village.

It's never too early to begin creating the memories of tomorrow. In some ways, that's exactly what I'm doing!

#eastvillage #the13thstep #secondavenue #artists

Open to the Public

I was walking across East 6th Street this afternoon, when I saw something I've never seen before. The front doors of this building, that have never been open:

This building.

…were open!

The front doors are open.

Keep in mind that East Villagers love to keep their doors open!

Of course, I had to see what was inside:

Inside, to the left.

Inside, to the right.

There you have it — you will probably never see inside this building again! Unless you buy it.

#eastvillage #sixthstreet

A Couple of Follow-Ups

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll be familiar with ongoing coverage of events like the Number 2 on the sidewalk outside the very groovy Earth School, or the Cool Old Pickup Truck.

Rather than update these two stories separately, I decided to update them together!


I told a commenter that I would investigate the area around the very groovy Earth School to see if there was also a Number 1 painted on the sidewalk somewhere. There isn't. What there is, however, is a Number 2 painted on the side of the school building:

Number 2… Number 2…



I don't know if this qualifies as an update, but today, when I walked across East 9th Street, I saw this:

Orange cone in bed of truck.

The cool old pickup truck has an orange cone in the back! What next?!

You never know what to expect… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #cool #cars earthschool #pickup #trucks

Typical East Villager

People have asked me, they've said: "East Village Today, can you post a picture of a typical East Villager"?

I saw this typical East Villager walking up First Avenue today:

Typical East Villager.

This is why people move to the East Village!

#eastvillage #firstavenue


There's an old saying, "Don't defecate where you eat".

This is on Avenue A, below East 7th Street, outside the construction site:

In the East Village, where space is at a premium, the distance between the two can be very small!

#eastvillage #7thstreet #avenuea #construction

I'm Back!

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas — I sure did!

You may have noticed that I didn't post anything these past few days. Like everyone else who didn't sever ties with humanity when they moved here, I was out of town.

But now I'm back, and I've got some surprising (shocking, some might say) end-of-the-year stories to tell about… the East Village!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas in the East Village

East Village Santa, dressed in black, smoking a cigarette, checking Instagram, outside Porto Rico, on St. Mark's Place:

It doesn't get more East Villagey than this!

#eastvillage #portorico #stmarksplace #christmas #santaclaus

Secret Mural Messages

I was walking past the new-ish mural on the RCN building on Avenue C and East 6th Street, when something caught my eye:

In case you don't see it, here is a close-up:


The muralists are including commemorations to past and present graffiti artists! You'll also see "Steiner" on the R in the first picture.

I wonder how many more there are — every letter is probably a commemoration to someone!

#eastvillage #murals #graffiti #artists #laroc #chico #steiner

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Caution Update

A few days ago, I wrote about the excess of caution being taken around some paint on the East 6th Street sidewalk in front of the very groovy Earth School.

The very next day, I passed by again, so find this:

Green hexagram now sports white No. 2.

The orange cone is gone, the caution tape is broken but still attached to the fence, the masking tape is gone from the sidewalk, and a white no. 2 is in place!

Stay tuned for further updates!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #earthschool

Dirty Laundry

I was walking across East 6th Street the other day, when I saw this:

Dirty laundry.

Here is a close-up:

Close-up of dirty laundry.

It's hard to tell what this is. It's also hard to tell if it was intentional or not that one of the wires hanging outside the front of the building is holding everything in place.

I wouldn't want to be the person whose window this is in front of!

#eastvillage #6thstreet

Festive Scaffolding Again

I was walking across East 7th Street the other night, when I saw this:

Alternative uses for scaffolding.

This scaffolding was also decorated for Halloween!

I said it once and I'll say it again: East Villagers love Christmas!

#eastvillage #7thstreet #christmas #scaffolding

New Twist in Avenue A Cigarette Price War

A new twist has emerged in the Avenue A cigarette price wars!

For a quick update: read this.

I was walking up Avenue A the other day, when I saw this:

Cigarettes 12.50.

The Sahara Deli, a little further up Avenue A from Rays and Classic Food, now sells cigarettes for $12.50!

I'm sure they're not trying to position themselves between Ray's and Classic Food, as the moderate alternative. They probably see their customers as coming down from St. Mark's Place rather than up from East 7th Street, and willing to spend the extra 50¢ to save the time and effort of walking through the derelict section of Avenue A, to the end of the block:

Derelict section of Avenue A, below Sahara Deli.

It's funny, the thinking that goes into something like pricing cigarettes… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #avenuea #avenueaclassicfood #cigarettes #rayscandystore #saharadeli

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cool Old Pickup Truck Renovations

I was walking across East 9th Street the other day, when I noticed a remarkable change to the cool old pickup truck that resides there:

Spare tire mounted in bed.

The spare tire is now mounted in the bed of the truck!

Here's a close-up:

Close-up of spare tire.

Back in November, the spare tire was in the cab:

Spare tire in cab.

I told an East Village Today commenter that I would post pictures of the front and back of the cool, old 9th Street pickup truck when I could get decent shots. I had a couple of pictures, but they weren't straight-on enough, so I didn't post them. This is one of them:

Back view of cool, old pickup truck.

You'll notice that the lettering is red. In the new pictures, it's white:

Lettering is now white.

You can see it's smudged too, as if someone rubbed their hand on it. You can also see a handprint on the side of the bed. Here is a close-up:

Close-up of handprint.

Since I posted the back view, I might as well post the front view also:

Front view of cool, old pickup truck.

It's not the straight-on shot I wanted, but it's hard to get those with other cars parking in front and in back of this truck.

Renovations to the West Virginia building and pickup truck, all at the same time — things are looking up… in the East-9th-Street-West-Virginia East Village!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #westvirginia #renovations #cool #cars #pickuptruck

Gem Spa Replaces Awning

It really must be Christmas! Every day, new repairs are made, from painting to fixing steps, to replacing an old, drab, falling-apart awning:

Gem Spa awning, on left.

with something new:

New Gem Spa awning.

The new awning extends further, to align with the to the right of it, on St. Mark's Place. It also matches their letters!

Unfortunately, there's one flaw in this new awning:

Flaw in new awning.

There is a space before and after each asterisk, except for the last one — there's no space between the asterisk and the word "coffee". I'll never be able to look at this awning without seeing that!

It looks like they're playing down the egg cream bit, moving it up onto the angled panel of the awning, where it's not as easy to read. I guess having New York's best egg cream is not as important as souvenirs, or an ATM inside.

Still, it's a darn fine awning, and East Villagers are delighted to have it!

#eastvillage #secondavenue #stmarksplace #gemspa #renovations

Sunday, December 21, 2014

East 9th Street West Virginia Begins Repairs

It seems like just yesterday I was pointing out the positive effects this blog has had in the East Village, when shockingly, this happens:

Bottom step repaired, rickety old gate removed.

The East 9th Street West Virginia building has begun repairs on the stoop! They removed the rickety old gate, and fixed the bottom step.

This is truly remarkable — there is no question that East Village Today had something to do with this!

Here are previous stories about this building:

East 9th Street West Virginia
East Villagers love to be prodded into action!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #disrepair #westvirginia #renovations

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What a Little Bit of Paint Can Do

I can't help but think that this blog has been instrumental in prompting people in the East Village to fix things up a bit!

I've pointed out a couple of examples. Here on East 9th Street is another:

A little paint works wonders.

Recently, this white area was the same color construction-site green as what borders it on either side. It might only be for the Christmas season, but the point is made nonetheless — paint works wonders… in the East Village!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #paint #theupperrust


I was walking across East 9th Street yesterday, when I noticed this place, underground:


It's not uncommon for stores to be underground in the East Village. I looked closer, to see what this was:

Uliana ~ Hair • Makeup.

I wasn't sure if I was reading this correctly: "U…l…i…a…n…a", so I Google'd it.

It turns out Uliana is quite famous, and by the looks of her web site, quite an accomplished color specialist and makeup artist! Which naturally leads me to the question: What's up with that sign?!

I get the whole understated thing. I'm not saying she should move above ground, or into a fancier place, I'm just saying: replace that sign! And do something with those electrical wires — it's not safe to have those plugs exposed like that.

#eastvillage #uliana #9thstreet #signs #disrepair