Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sculpture Corner

As everyone knows, the East Village is full of artists. They're everywhere, and so is their handiwork!

The Avenue B and East 10th Street corner of Tompkins Square Park frequently, if not always, has some type of cool metal sculpture at it.

I passed by yesterday and saw this:

Sitting cross-legged.

Chained up for safety… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #sculptures #avenueb #10thstreet #chains

East Village Rangers Fans

East Villagers were psyched last night, as the New York Rangers hockey team was about to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (do they have ice in Florida?).

These two fans were showing their team spirit on Avenue A and St. Mark's Place:

Showing team spirit.

Sadly, the team from where ice exists only in the refrigerator won.

Wait till next year… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #nyrangers avenuea #stmarksplace

Nationalist Pirates

Somewhere between 17 and 19 days ago, I posted a picture of a large U.S.A. flag hanging in the window of 125 Second Avenue, the building beside those that were destroyed in the fire.

Not to be outdone, the pirate has now started flying his own U.S.A. flag:

U.S.A. flag between Jolly Roger and Ace of Spades.

Oh yes, the ace of spades is new too… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #jollyroger #flags #secondavenue #aceofspaced

Time For Some Glasses

As it was explained to me by my eye doctor, with time and wear, the small muscles of the eyeball that bring about focus begin to weaken. Unless you get a pair of glasses, or contact lenses, or some kind of corrective surgery, your only option is to squint and move closer what you're trying to see.

With that introduction, I saw this in front of the Ottendorfer branch of the New York Public Library yesterday afternoon, on Second Avenue:

"Hmmm, what's good on the internet today?"

Don't squint, it'll give you wrinkles… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #ottendorfer #secondavenue #nypl

Disaster Tourism

People are, no doubt, familiar with the fire on Second Avenue that burned down four buildings back in late March. It was a terrible fire, and pointed out the danger so many people face in the East Village, as the tenement buildings age.

Things have returned to normal for those who were not displaced, and that means tour busses are starting to include the site on their routes. These pictures are from yesterday evening:

Tour bus at fire site.

People lined up outside the beloved B&H Restaurant for some dairy food:

Cheese blintzes, anyone?

Meanwhile, others lined up outside the beloved Enz's for the chance to buy some rockabilly clothing:

Move it on over, Stray Cats!

Others took in the plywood poster fence, now behind a chainlink poster fence:

Plywood poster fence behind chainlink poster fence.

Cashing in… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #bhdairy #enz #fire #secondavenue

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pointless But Brief

I took this picture on East 6th Street, back in late March:


It's one of those pictures about which I had, and still have, nothing to say.

If it has to be pointless, make it brief… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #exoticindianrestaurant #graffiti

Shoring Up The Sidewalk

I was walking across East 2nd Street the other evening when I saw this:

Shoring up the sidewalk outside Duane Reade.

That's a darn fine sidewalk! Too bad I don't have a "before" picture — it never occurred to me that I'd need one!

The next time it rains, I'll try to remember to take a picture of the lack of standing water here… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #duanereade #avenueb

Competitive War is Brewing

East Villagers love small-business competition — just take a look at the Avenue A cigarette price war!

Now it looks like another struggle is developing, this time between rival coffee shops!

The beloved Cafe Pick Me Up, renown for its proximity to the Tompkins Square Park children's playground, is moving in with the beloved Gnocco, an Italian restaurant on East 10th Street between Avenues A and B:

The beloved Gnocco.

However, the beloved 9th Street Espresso is only a few short steps away:

The beloved 9th Street Espresso.

A few short steps away.

It's time to choose sides… in the East Village Coffee War Today!

#eastvillage #10thstreet #9thstreetespresso #avenuea #cafepickmeup #gnocco

Former East 9th Street West Virginia Building Update

For new readers, there is a building on East 9th Street that was formerly called the East 9th Street West Virginia building. Back in March, the repairs became so extensive that it made no sense to call it that any more!

I passed by there this past Tuesday, to see what was going on:

Windows open, indicating construction work taking place inside.

East Villagers do love an open door!

Inside the once and famous East 9th Street West Virginia building.

Next time, inside!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #westvirginia #renovations


The Easy Village is like an enchanted forest — more on the enchanted side and less on the forest side, and more with regard to the trees themselves than with the people and small, furry, woodland creatures who reside here.

That said, today I launch a somewhat-new series called "The Trees of the East Village", or for brevity's sake: "Trees".

I was walking across East 6th Street yesterday, when I saw this oddity:

Tree oddity.

Here's a close-up:


It looks like one tree was cut down, and a sapling was planted in the center of the stump, and took root!

There can only be one explanation: 1) the East Village is magic; or 2) it's a genetically-modified tree (i.e., magic).


#eastvillage #6thstreet #trees

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Unintended Consequences

Back at the beginning of this month, I mentioned a guy who sells books that "no one would buy even if they were the last books on the planet".

I went over to Avenue A the next day to get a picture of his table, but then I didn't post it! (You know how that goes!) As it turns out, I didn't even save it!

Recently, some East Villagers complained that the sidewalk on the stretch of Avenue A between East 2nd and 3rd Streets was being blocked. They probably intended to impinge upon the New York Sports Club, which is improving the sidewalk in front of their new facility. However, unintended consequences being what they are, this beloved street peddler felt the brunt of their wrath, when his stack of (mostly) junk was hauled away by the Department of Sanitation:

Feeling the brunt of a complainer's wrath.

Be careful what you wish for… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #avenuea #newyorksportsclub #streetvendors #books #sanitationdepartmentworkers

Gaping, Wide-Open Door

I was walking across East 6th Street this past Tuesday, when I saw this gaping, wide-open door:

Gaping, wide-open door.

It dwarfs the smaller, open door beside it — you might not even notice it!

Pretty soon I think I'm going to have a picture of every open door there is… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #opendoors

Before and After

This is a picture of upper Avenue A, between East 7th Street and St. Mark's Place, taken back in November:


Here is the same area taken this morning:


The boarded-up windows are now part of the decor!

From real slum to faux slum… that's the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #avenuea #avenueaclassicfood #odessacafe #theblackrose

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Some Kind of Fashion

You never know what will become the next big trend!

Walking across East 4th Street this morning, I saw this:

Pant leg tucked into sock.

Pushing the fashion envelope… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #fashion


Overpriced? Closed?

#eastvillage #davinci #kimsvideo

Inside Black Seed Bagels

I was walking up First Avenue yesterday morning, when I saw the door open to the soon-to-be Black Seed Bagels. East Villagers may remember this as the once and famous DeRobertis Pasticceria.

I didn't take a picture because, even though it was an open door, I couldn't think of anything to say about it. By the time I got to work, I had thought of something, so I decided to take a picture the next time I passed. That day was today:

Inside the soon-to-be Black Seed Bagels.

Someone who was probably the construction manager asked me if I was from Eater, or some local blog. Not from Eater, I told him, but yes, I have a (very popular) blog. He said the owners didn't want pictures of their space on blogs.

I can understand why; the pictures I've seen have been pretty bad!

He was very polite, but I already had my picture and, more importantly, something to say about it, so… what could I do?

So here's what I have to say: When the news came that Black Seed Bagels was moving in, some people thought they would leave the inside as it was, that is, dilapidated. I knew then that the inside would require extensive renovation, and that little if anything would be salvaged. And besides, who wants a new bagel shop that looks like an old man's 19th-century social club?! Go to a museum!

That's why I took this picture, so I could say that… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #blackseedbagels #derobertis #dilapidation #firstavenue

Ninja Turtles

It seems everyone wants to film in the East Village these days!

I was walking up Avenue B this morning, when I saw this at East 7th Street:

Vazac's lit up to look like daytime.

Here's a close-up:


Tourists were caught up in the excitement:

"I wonder if that's that East Village Today I've heard tell about?"

So what was filming, you ask? Here's a hint:

No Parking sign with project name.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Half Shell!

And here they are:

Famous actors.

Why would turtles film in a bar? Or teenagers, for that matter? Mutants, I can understand!

And no overview of a film set would be complete without a picture of the food table:

Fruit? That's it? No bagels or muffins or anything?

What do you expect turtles to eat… in the East Village Today?!

#eastvillage #7thstreet #avenueb #filmmakers #halfshell signs #teenagemutantninjaturtles #vazacs

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Former Yaffa Cafe

 This is a picture of the former Yaffa Cafe, on St. Mark's Place:

Former Yaffa Cafe.

The Yaffa Cafe opened the same year I moved to New York. I went there a couple of times with friends of mine. It was new, we were new… it was the thing to do!

Eventually, we stopped. I mean, it was just a cafe. There was nothing special about it.

Now it's gone, and so are the people we were then. Fortunately, our shells don't remain behind, like cicadas, and like Yaffa Cafe!

#eastvillage #stmarksplace #yaffacafe

Monday, May 25, 2015

Famous Last Words

The Vella Market, on East 4th Street, is one of those places that looks cool because it's so dilapidated. No one knows what they sell there, if anything. I don't think I've ever seen it open — but it looks cool!

Vella Market, looking cool.

But what's that? A Post-It note affixed to the door?

Here is a close-up:


Yeah, Jan. Thanks for trying.

"It will show up by winter." Famous last words… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #vellamarket #4thstreet #signs

A Day of Music

Yesterday was certainly a day of music in the East Village!

In the morning, I heard a marching band make its way down Avenue D. I was in bed and didn't feel like getting up to take a picture, so I don't have a picture!

Later, when I set out with my camera, I discovered the drumming circle outside Casa Adela, part of the unofficial Avenue C Street Fair.

Then there was the Memorial Day Punk Rock Extravaganza, in Tompkins Square Park.

Finally, I saw this, in El Jardin del Paraiso, on East 4th Street:

Peace and Love Band.

I think they call themselves the Peace and Love Band. It was mostly African music, but incorporated a didgeridoo:


This guy was the John Coltrane of the didgeridoo — he was getting sounds out of this I didn't know were possible! Then again, I'm not a didgeridoo expert.

Yes, it was a day of music… in the East Village Today… yesterday!

#eastvillage #eljardindelparaiso #musicians #4thstreet

Dogs And Punk Rock

Punk rock might be the music of choice for aging East Villagers, but not for dogs!

This is a picture of the Tompkins Square Park dog run during yesterday's Memorial Day Punk Rock Extravaganza:

Tompkins Square Park dog run void of dogs during the Memorial Day Punk Rock Extravaganza. 

Scientists have shown that dogs are partial to what you might call "dog music".

So the next time you think to play "I Wanna Be Your Dog" for little Poochie, remember this cautionary tale… from the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #tompkinssquarepark #dogrun

Memorial Day Punk Rock Extravaganza

I was passing through Tompkins Square Park yesterday, when I happened upon this gathering:

A gathering in the park.

It turns out they had gathered for the "Memorial Day Punk Rock Extravaganza"!

This band was on stage when I arrived:

Punk rock band.

I don't know their name, but they were pretty good!

Of course, East Villagers don't dance:

East Villagers not dancing.

They finished shortly after I got there, and "Rev. Jen" went on to read a chapter from her new book:

Introducing: Rev. Jen.

It was good too!

When she finished, another band went on:

Another punk rock band.

The crowd was rocked off their feet:


The extravaganza was organized by East Village celebrities Chris Flash and Zoe Hansen:

Chris Flash (holding microphone), and Zoe Hansen.

I had the idea, while I watched the show, that punk rock extravaganzas are very much like Historic Richmond Town, on Staten Island: the performers are good at what they do, and they serve a useful purpose, in reminding people of a time long past.

I say: Two, three, many Punk Rock Extravaganzas… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #celebrities #chrisflash #memorialday #punkrockshow #tompkinssquarepark #zoehansen

The Real Party

Yesterday was the Avenue C street fair, on Avenue C. In many ways, it's like many other street fairs, with sausage and onion rolls, and Verizon sign-up tables, and bouncy castles:

Bouncy castles!

As fun as bouncy castles are — and they are fun! — East Villagers in-the-know know that the real party is between East 4th and 5th Streets, in front of Casa Adela:

Drumming circle.

Serving frozen fruit drinks.

Remembering Oscar López Rivera.

Singing an old-time canción.

Keeping it real… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #avenuec #casaadela #oscarlopezrivera #streetfairs

Sharpen the Contradictions

What do you suppose this window arrangement (on East 9th Street, if I'm not mistaken):


has to do with this one:

Dead plant.

The answer is: they reside together!

Dueling planters.

Sharpening the contradictions… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #plants #windowboxes