Friday, July 29, 2016

Turn Me

One of the hazards of having an Instagram account as well as a blog is that if I post a picture on Instagram, sometimes I forget to post it on the blog!

Such is the case with a picture I took — in April! — of a sign in the window of the beloved Verameat, on East 9th Street:

Taken in April.

On Instagram, this was called "After the robbery". (Verameat was robbed! Terrible.)

I passed by there again, oh, about twenty days ago, and was intrigued by this sign:

Intriguing sign.

Now you know how to get inside Verameat!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #doorknob #instagram #robbery #signs #verameat

Citibikes Outside the East Village

I don't usually take pictures outside the East Village — what is there to see?!

Recently, however, I had to venture outside the village limits, and saw something… interesting: The Citibike station outside the beloved K*Mart was gone!

Citibike station gone.

My business inside KMart was brief, thankfully.

On my way back, I discovered that the station didn't disappear — it moved, to the newly widened sidewalk outside The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art:

Citibike station moved.

It's further from KMart, but it's closer to the East Village!

#eastvillage #citibike #kmart #daytrips

Graffiti Stickers

A recent comment on the Soul Stealer sticker prompted me to write about the graffiti-sticker mecca, on East 4th Street:

Graffiti-sticker mecca.

Here is something of a close-up:

Something of a closeup.

I first wrote about this place back in November 2014, when it looked like this:


It's the beloved welding studio of a guy named Matthew something. It's Italian. Vanzetti, or something like that. I told myself to write it down, when he told me, but I didn't listen, and now I don't remember!

He's a good guy — he did the ornamental welding for the restaurants on the block, and he teaches young people construction skills. They repay him by putting graffiti stickers on his door — it's a fair trade!

So stop and talk to him if you see him — he'll talk your ear off… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #graffiti #matthew #mecca #stickers #welding

Thursday, July 28, 2016


This is the year of the 17-year cicadas!

Unfortunately, the East Village is not part of the area where they will be, as you can see from this map:

This map.

There is only one spot on eastern Long Island where they are. Otherwise, they're all in Ohio and West Virginia, except…

You had to know that East Village cicadas didn't read the memo!

I was walking across East 10th Street this past Tuesday, at the top of Tompkins Square Park, when I heard the din of cicadas:

Din of cicadas.

You can't see them, but they're there!

Cicadas: in Ohio, West Virginia, one spot on Long Island, and… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #10thstreet #cicadas #longisland #ohio #tompkinssquarepark #westvirginia

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Three Cans… Revisited

One month and four days ago, I took a picture of shiny, new recycling and trash cans on the corner of Second Avenue and East 11th Street.

When I posted the story on Neighborhood Square, the following discussion ensued:


True to my word, here is an updated picture:

Updated picture.

I don't know… looks like East Villagers are pretty clean — even if they do leave their bricks lying around!

If you still can't tell, here is a close-up:


Cool and clean… that's the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #11thstreet #neighborhoodsquare #recycling #secondavenue #skeletonhead #trashcans #humenbote

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lost Cat?

I was walking… oh, jeez Louise, where was I? 6th Street? when I saw this Lost Cat sign:

Lost cat sign.

If you take a close look at this sign, you'll notice a couple of things: 1) the man in the picture is black-and-white, while the cat is in color; 2) his hands are reaching around the cat's throat.


It seems like a lot of cats are running away these days!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #signs #lostcat

Soul Stealing

Ask any superstitious East Villager and they'll tell you: Taking someone's picture steals their soul!

This is why these warnings have begun to appear in the neighborhood:

Eric LaCour Steals Souls.

As you can see here, he's had some success!

#eastvillage #ericlacour #stickers #lampposts #souls #photographers

The Pink Bell

Sometimes, when you're walking around the East Village, you see things that you like, but there's not that much to say about them.

This pink bicycle bell is one of those:

Pink bicycle bell.

It looks like… a strawberry!

#eastvillage #bicycle #bells

The Bratwurst Test

How do you know East Villagers are (almost entirely) from the Midwest?

Because on July 4, at the beloved Key Food on Avenue A and East 4th Street, the Johnsonville Original Bratwursts were gone, leaving only Stadium Brats — pre-cooked!

Stadium brats.

No true (Midwestern) East Villager would buy pre-cooked bratwursts!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #avenuea #fourthofjuly #johnsonville #bratwursts #keyfood

Roots Rock Hummus

I was walking down St. Mark's Place, oh, about sixteen days ago, when I saw this car in front of the beloved St. Dymphna's:

Roots: The microbrew of hummus.

I thought to myself: You could reverse that — Roots: The hummus of microbrew — and it would mean basically the same thing! Except about microbrew.

Then, five days ago, I passed by again, on the other side of the street, and there was the same car, so I took another picture and had the same idea, about microbrew and hummus.

Roots: The hummus of microbrew.

What's that supposed to mean — it's made in someone's basement?

#eastvillage #cars #hummus #microbrew #roots #stdymphnas #stmarksplace

Monday, July 18, 2016

Record Spotting

I was riding my Citibike across East 6th Street last week, on my way home from work, when I passed these people rummaging through boxes and boxes of records on the sidewalk:

Rummaging through boxes.

Coincidentally enough, other people were doing the very same thing, directly across the street, at the beloved A-1 Record Shop:

The very same thing.

If you ask me, stamp collecting would be a more interesting hobby!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #a1recordshop #records #vinyl

New Neighbors

I was walking down Avenue C last week, when I noticed that construction was finished on the building I last checked in on back in November, 2015!

Construction is finished.

Naturally, I took a peek inside:

A peek inside.

That's a pretty skinny hallway!

Just as I moved away from the door, someone came up from behind and let herself in — people are already living here!

There's a store for lease too, vented for a restaurant:

Store for lease.

What does it look like inside, you ask?


East Villagers are keeping their fingers crossed for a barbecued chicken and ribs joint — with biscuits!

#eastvillage #avenuec

Meme Mods

East Villagers love it when their favorite graffitiers exhibit their memes in unconventional fashion — it keeps them from getting stale!

One such example occurred over the recent Independence Day weekend, when the Missing Foundation meme was displayed in duct tape fashion on Avenue A:

Duct tape fashion.

What is that, a quarter?



Another variation is the red-on-black sticker:

Red-on-black sticker.

Stickers are cheap, and easy to put up. Also, they don't destroy someone else's efforts to find work!

#eastvillage #7thstreet #avenuea #avenueb #brandawareness #thepartysover

Hop Devil Cool

As everyone knows, East Village Today's mission is to promote awareness of East Village coolness, and almost as if by design, there is a graffitier whose work is consistent with that mission.

His name is… Cool.

Well, that's probably not his name, but that's what he paints all over the East Village!

Here is one I saw about eight days ago, at the site of the formerly-beloved Hop Devil Grill, on St. Mark's Place:

Hop Devil Cool.

Is that a silhouette, above the second O?

Silhouette above the second O.

It is!

Of course, no story about a formerly-beloved shopping establishment would be complete without a picture of the inside:

Picture of the inside.

Keeping it cool… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #cool #graffiti #hopdevilgrill #inside #silhouette #stmarksplace

Mosaic Restoration

East Villagers love mosaics — they're easy to create, there's no wrong assemblage, and the materials can often be found in any refuse bin!

But what do you do when a mosaic begins to deteriorate, as is this mosaic on East 6th Street?

One option is to do nothing:

The "do nothing" option.

Another option is to replace them with tiles of a different color:

Tiles of a different color.

This way, you can compare them, to see which one you like better:


Which option do you prefer?

#eastvillage #mosaics #6thstreet #deterioration #renovations

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Toy Shopping

I was walking down East 9th Street earlier this month, when I passed by the window of the beloved an.mé.

As I was watching the toys do their thing, I heard a woman who was about to go inside say to one of her friends: "I don't have children though."

No doubt she meant: I don't have children yet!, but so what? East Village toys are for everyone!

#eastvillage #anmé, #9thstreet, #toys

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pokémon Go

East Villagers are very insular, but every now and then, something from the outside world breaks in and shakes them up like there's no tomorrow!

This time, it's the global phenomenon known as Pokémon Go, and East Villagers are GO-ing wild!

Naturally, East Village Today is on board!

East Village Today, Level 2.

If you're not familiar with how this game works, it's called augmented reality. It is the… coolest… thing… EVER!

Rather than try to explain it, let me show you. Here I am outside the beloved The Black Rose on Avenue A yesterday, trying to catch a Zubat (I was not successful):

Zubat on Avenue A.

Afterwards, I walked into Tompkins Square Park:

Tompkins Square Park.

Look how many Rattatas there were in that small area — Rattatas and Pidgeottos are the most common Pokémons here!

Here I am being confronted by a Rattata:

Confronted by a Rattata.

Unfortunately, I used up all my Poké Balls trying to catch that Zubat!

On a more serious note:
Pokémon Go improves the mental and physical health of players suffering from depression and social anxiety. The social nature of the game provides easy avenues for those with social anxiety to interact with people of all backgrounds.
Sounds like just the ticket for those old-time grievers!

So download the app and join the fun… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #insular #pokemongo #zubat #rattata #avenuea #tompkinssquarepark #blackrose #pidgeotto

Friday, July 15, 2016

Looking Good in Summer Pink

Recently, I reported on the disappearance of the inspirational Jodo Bee (it was the second one I saw, but the one that inspired me to write about the first one I saw)!

This led to a comment on Instagram by none other than JodoNYC herself:
I know!! All the bees are dying!!! Firecracker Sad-Face
Bee Firecracker Bee Sad-Face Firecracker Sad-Face
Well, I am happy to report that reports of their death are greatly exaggerated!

I was walking down East 3rd Street recently, when I passed by the beloved Corlears. The color of the message scribbled on their table caught my eye:

Pink message.

Not an unusual color for the East Village, but when I turned to keep walking…

A Jodo Bee… in the same color.

It was a Jodo Bee, in the same color as the scribbled message!

Coincidence? Who can say?
Looking good in summer pink!!! Upside-Down-Smiley-Face Hearts Firecracker Hearts Firecracker Bee Stars Heart-with-Stars Bee
#eastvillage #3rdstreet #corlears #graffiti #jodobee #jodonyc #pink

Taking Pictures of Localized Flooding

The phenomenon of localized flooding is one East Villagers are all too familiar with — uneven pavement, poor drainage, and the fact that the East Village was built on a swamp all contribute to this problem!

I was walking down Third Avenue recently, when I happened upon another instance of this flooding. I was going to wait for this fellow to move out of the picture, but then I saw that he was taking a picture of it as well!

Taking a picture.

The only thing better than a picture of localized flooding is a picture of someone taking a picture of localized flooding… in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #localizedflooding #thirdavenue #photographers #swamp

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Crusty Village

I was walking through Tompkins Square Park this past Saturday, when I noticed something unusual: the crusties that had been camped out under the large tree in the southwest corner of the grassy area:

Southwest corner of grassy area (June 12).

… had moved to the middle of the grassy area:

Middle of the grassy area (July 9).

They haven't abandoned their corner completely, though. The very next day, I saw they had hung up some laundry to dry on the fence:

Laundry hung to dry.

Where do they wash their clothes, I wonder?

#eastvillage #tompkinssquarepark #crusties #laundry #dogrun

Bird Watching

One of the eccentricities East Villagers are known for is bird watching. Walk through Tompkins Square Park any time of the day, and you're likely to see scenes like these:

Watching birds.

Watching birds again.

Before I was limited to using my iPhone to take pictures, I might have had a close-up — but I don't!

Here is a picture of a hawk:

A hawk.

You'll have to take my word for it.

#eastvillage #birdwatching #birds #hawks #photographers #tompkinssquarepark

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Am I Dreaming?

Sometimes in the East Village, so many good things happen that you think you're dreaming. Today was one of those days!

I was walking across St. Mark's Place tonight, having just parked my Citibike, when I saw…

Well, let me show you instead:


Is this not amazing?! Just eight days ago, this building was probably the second ugliest building in the East Village — now it's clean as a whistle!

It's as if the person responsible said "You know, East Village Today is right, we should make this place look nicer", and then they did it!

Already on St. Mark's Place, I would usually walk through Tompkins Square Park, to see what sort of activities were taking place, but without even being aware of it, I was drawn, pulled, summoned… to East 4th Street:

No words.

No words could describe the feeling I had when I saw that the ugliest building in the East Village was no longer ugly — a small tear formed in my eye.

At this point, a unicorn flew out of the sky and spoke to me: "Wake up, East Village Today, this is all a dreammmmm…"

Just kidding!

I'd like to think, in my own small way, I had everything to do with this!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #paint #renovations #stmarksplace #ugliestbuilding

National French Fry Day

When it's National French Fry Day in America, it's National French Fry Day in the East Village!

Thanks to a tweet from DNAInfo:

…East Villagers now know where in the East Village to go for free french fries (1pm–2pm and 8pm–9pm): it's none other than the beloved Desi Galli, on Avenue B between East 10th and 11th Streets!

Of course, if you want to pay for them, you can go practically anywhere — there's no french fry shortage in the East Village!

Bon appétit as they say in French!

#eastvillage #10thstreet 11thstreet #avenueb #desigalli #dnainfo #nationalfrenchfryday #tweets

Mosaicy Building

While the Mosaic Trail is where East Village mosaics can be found in trail-fashion, mosaics appear all through the East Village!

Mosaics are easy to create, with any variety of found items!

Here is one example I discovered recently, on East 10th Street:

Mosaicy wall.

Mosaicy stairs.

Here is a close-up:


Even the sidewalk is mosaicy!

Mosaicy sidewalk.

From there to here
from here to there
are everywhere

…in the East Village Today!

#eastvillage #10thstreet #mosaictrail #mosaics #sidewalks #stairs