Sunday, April 30, 2017

Common Areas

If you came home from work one day and saw this sign hanging in your building, and you stored your bicycle (or carriage) in a common area, it might give you pause:

Pause-giving sign.

Think of how much worse it would be then, if this sign was not hanging up in your building, but taped to a bicycle in front of your building!

Behold, as seen on East 4th Street:

Bicycle on East 4th Street.

You have to wonder who put that sign there, and why, and what they think a common area is!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #bicycles #signs #commonareas


I was going through my Drafts folder this morning, when I found a picture from October of 2015, of a litter of Parliament cigarette packs, on East 4th Street:

Litter of Parliament cigarette-packs.

I think that's the right term for a group of cigarette packs thrown into the street: a litter?

Naturally, this reminded me of a band that was very popular in the East Village, back when your grandparents were kids!

This trip down memory lane was brought to you by Parliament: it's a cigarette and a band!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #litter #parliament

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blurry Pile of Wood Chips

It's not every day you see a big pile of wood chips on the sidewalk, it's even less common to see one so blurry!

Still, here it was this morning, outside Le Petite Versailles Garden, on East 2nd Street:

Blurry pile of wood chips.

It's hard to know what they're for, or how long they'll be there.

One thing is certain: next time I pass by, I'm putting on my glasses!

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #blurry #communitygardens #lepetiteversaillesgarden #woodchips

This Place

I've written about this place on East 2nd Street many times, but I've never known how to refer to it.

Until now!

Introducing: This Place:

This Place.

One of the reasons I write about This Place so much is that it's always changing, even in the picture above.

Do you see what it is? Here's a close-up:


A chain, attaching the handrail to the riot gates!


#eastvillage #2ndstreet #chains #thisplace

Cross Equals Heart

You just never know what you're going to find painted or glued onto the wall of the derelict stretch of buildings on East 2nd Street near First Avenue.

I was walking past there this morning, when I saw this Cross = Heart sign:

Cross = Heart sign.

A few short feet away was another one:

Another one.

You can't really tell from these pictures, but there is a web address at the bottom of the signs: CrossEqualsLovedotCom.

Yet another few short feet away were these damn signs:

Damn signs.

East Villagers love a choice!

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #crossequalslove #derelict #signs

If You See Something, Take A Picture Of It

I was riding my Citibike down Second Avenue last night, when I saw this gold bag beside a LinkNYC station on East 10th Street:

Gold bag.

Upon closer inspection, I saw that there was an iPhone in the bag, plugged into the USB port on the LinkNYC:

Charging iPhone.

I looked all around for the owner, but she was nowhere to be found.

In the bad old days, some drug addict would have stolen not only the phone but the charger cord too!

#eastvillage #citibike #bikelanes #linknyc #iphones #10thstreet

Blue Is The New Black

It used to be that the East Village was colorless — today, all that's changed!

I was walking across East 2nd Street the other day, when I noticed that the fire escapes of this building are the same color as the Citibikes parked across the street from it!


Matching Citibikes and fire escape.

As if that weren't enough, while walking up Avenue D yesterday, I saw this:


A new Citibus!

Or city bus, if you prefer.

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #avenued #blue #citibike #fireescapes #citybus

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bento Box

I was walking across St. Mark's Place the other day, when I noticed some activity taking place at the formerly-beloved Sushi Lounge, namely: construction work!


Coming Soon: Bento Box.

It's the soon-to-be beloved Bento Box!

Here is a peek inside:

A peek inside.

Crazy Jumbo Squid! Crispy Chicken Cutlet! Muscle Milk Tea!

The three basic food groups!

#eastvillage #bentobox #stmarksplace #sushilounge #constructionsites

Avocado Graffiti

There's a new graffiti in the East Village that's not even new!

This graffiti is so subtle that even though you've probably seen it half a dozen times, you forget about it as soon as you look away, just like The Silence!

I call it the avocado graffiti, because it looks like an avocado.

The first time I saw it, on East 3rd Street, I forgot about it right away.

First siting.

The next time I saw it was on East 4th Street; I took a picture so it would last longer!

On East 4th Street.

But when I wrote about the abandoned Citibank branch recently, I saw it in that picture too!

This picture too.

After that, I started seeing it everywhere, like here, outside the soon-to-be beloved Bento Box, on St. Mark's Place:

St. Mark's Place.

… and here, on St. Mark's Place again:

St. Mark's Place again.

…and here, on East 4th Street again:

East 4th Street again.

All right, not everywhere, just East 4th Street and St. Mark's Place.

And Avenue A! So yeah, everywhere!

Now that you've seen it, you'll start to see it everywhere too!

#eastvillage #4thstreet #avenuea #avocadograffiti #citibank #graffiti #stmarksplace #thesilence #bentobox

Taoist Arts Center

I was walking east across East 9th Street on April 9th, when I noticed something peculiar:

Taoist Arts Center.

According to the sign above the cellar doors, this is the location of the beloved Taoist Arts Center.

Here is a close-up:


But where exactly is the entrance?! Is it the wooden door to the right? Is it the cellar?


I looked up Taoism on Wikipedia, and I found this:
The ambiguous term wu-wei constitutes the leading ethical concept in Taoism. Wei refers to any intentional or deliberated action, while wu carries the meaning of "there is no…" or "lacking, without". Common translations are "non-action", "effortless action" or "action without intent".
If you ask me, piling up all the garbage on one side sure is intentional — maybe the Taoists are the ones who littered!

#eastvillage #taoistartscenter #9thstreet #trash #litter

Something New — Coming Soon

It seems like only two years ago that the beloved Cafe Pick Me Up moved out of this space at the corner of Avenue A and East 9th Street.

Since that time, no other business establishment has occupied this space, until now!

Passing by two Sundays ago, I saw this construction plywood on the East 9th Street side:

East 9th Street side.

Oh no! They covered the ATM!

Here is the same location, from the Avenue A side:

Avenue A side.

Oh, look at that — it looks like someone stole pieces off the Invader mosaic!

Here is a close-up:


What people do with the pieces they steal off mosaics? Do they sell them on Ebay?

#eastvillage #9thstreet #avenuea #cafepickmeup #invader #mosaics #constructionfences

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lawn-Flamingo Window Box

Speaking of taking it with you, one of the greatest decorations in the history of lawns is the lawn flamingo — kitsch-wise, it's probably first!

While walking across East 4th Street recently, I saw this miniature lawn flamingo beside a flower box:

Miniature lawn flamingo.

"I just flew in from Florida, and boy are my wings tired!"

Isn't that a cool reflection in the window?

#eastvillage #4thstreet #kitsch #lawnflamingo #reflecty #windowboxes #windows

Just Like Home

It's not often you see garage doors in the East Village, the likes of which East Villagers grew up with.

So I was pretty surprised when I saw this one, on East 9th Street:

Garage door.

I bet they even have an automatic garage door opener, with a remote in the car! And a tool bench in the garage! And a snow blower!

Just like home!

#eastvillage #9thstreet #garages #garagedoors

General Lee

I was walking across East 6th Street recently, when I saw none other than something of a replica of the General Lee, parked outside the beloved Josie's Bar!

Something of a replica.

Looks like those Duke boys have moved to the East Village!

#eastvillage #6thstreet #dodge #charger #dukesofhazard #generallee #josiesbar

Proceed With Caution

I was walking down Second Avenue about nine days ago, when I saw this line of toppled construction barrels in the East 9th Street bike lane:

Toppled construction barrels.

Proceed With Caution, indeed!

#eastvillage #orangebarrels #bikelanes #secondavenue #9thstreet #signs

Bicycle Mess

As cool as the East Village is, it is still a dangerous place to lock up your bicycle.

Here are some examples I say recently:

Back tire missing, on East 2nd Street.

Almost everything missing, on East 2nd Street.

Everything missing and ticketed, on Avenue C.

Thank goodness for Citibikes!

Nothing missing, on East 2nd Street.

The East Village runs on Citibikes!

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #avenuec #bicycles #citibike


I was riding my Citibike up Avenue C recently, when I noticed this convoy of semi trucks parked just above East 10th Street:

Parked convoy.

I suspect they were waiting to be called to the construction site over on Avenue D.

When I got off my bike to take this picture, a livery cab driver said to me: "You're wasting your time".

Wasting my time? He probably thought I was going to complain about them blocking the bike lane, but semi trucks are cool, and East Village Today is not a complaint blog!

#eastvillage #avenuec #bikelanes #constructionsites #semitrucks

Finding Your Way

Everyone knows that if you're ever lost in the woods, moss grows heaviest on the north side of the tree.

In the East Village, however, that traditional wisdom can be tossed right out the window!

Behold this, seen on East 2nd Street:

East side of the tree.

West side of the tree.

South side of the tree.

North side of the tree.

If you get lost in the East Village, you better have a compass!

#eastvillage #trees #moss #2ndstreet

Monday, April 17, 2017

St. Mark's Place Name Change

I was walking across St. Mark's Place this past Saturday, when I noticed something very peculiar.

Namely, what was once the main entrance into the East Village, St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue, is now the main entrance from the East Village into Astor Place!


You are now entering Astor Place.

I, for one, welcome our new Midtown South overlords!

#eastvillage #astorplace #midtownsouth #stmarksplace #signs #thirdavenue

Potato In The Park

You never know what you'll see when you walk around the East Village.

Last Sunday, I was walking up Avenue A, alongside Tompkins Square Park, when I saw… an abandoned potato!

Abandoned potato.

Here is a close-up:


You have to wonder how it is a potato made its way here — it's just not the kind of thing you expect to see in a park!

#eastvillage #avenuea #tompkinssquarepark #potatoes $abandonedfood

Visit The Rat Farm

I was walking across East 8th Street — oh, about eight days ago — when I saw something (not all that) unusual: a slanty building!

Slanty building.

When I positioned myself straight across from it, to get a better picture of its curvature, I noticed a sign hanging above their door:

Visit The Rat Farm.

Visit the rat farm!

Here is close-up:


Apparently, the beloved De Colores Garden is infested with rats! I went in to see them, but alas… there were none.

Maybe the gardeners of De Colores Garden should put up a sign that points back and says: Visit The Slanty Building!

#eastvillage #8thstreet #communitygardens #decoloresgarden #rats #signs #slantybuildings


Sometimes when you go walking around the East Village, you see things that stand apart from other things. One of these things is called #FLOOTART.

The first one I saw was at the intersection of Avenue B and East 3rd Street, and I didn't take a picture. I do remember thinking, when I saw it, "Ooh! Spirograph!"

Very soon after, I saw another one, this time on East 3rd Street between Avenues B and A, and I took a picture:

A picture of #FLOOTART.

I haven't seen any others since then — maybe these were the only two? — but I'm keeping an eye out!

#eastvillage #3rdstreet #avenueb #avenuea #flootart #art

This Makes No Sense

Regular readers of East Village Today will surely remember the post about the beloved Original Barber Shop, and their sidewalk spray-paint mess.

As messy as it was, at least it made sense; you could see where the spatter came from. This mess here, on the sidewalk outside the beloved Kazuza Hookah Lounge, makes no sense at all!

No sense at all.

It's not even the right color!

#eastvillage #kazuzahookahlounge #avenuea #sidewalks

Abandoned Citibank

While everyone knows the plight of Chase Bank in the East Village, not as many are familiar with a similar situation going on with Citibank!

Here is an abandoned Citibank location, on Avenue A between East 3rd and 4th Streets:

Abandoned Citibank.

Unlike with Chase Bank, this was the only Citibank branch in the East Village, so its closing did not have the same impact as the closing of the Chases.

Still, added to the Chase closings, it's another step closer to becoming an under-served neighborhood… again!

#eastvillage avenuea #3rdstreet #4thstreet #citibank #underserved

An Aside

As an aside, do you know what an East Village blogger does more than anything else?

If your answer is "Wait", you're right!

When preparing the post "In Memory Of…", I had to wait for almost a whole minute for this burnt-sienna-haired woman to stop fiddling with her phone and move away from the memorial!


Well, if it was easy, everyone would do it!

Here is a swatch of the color Burnt Sienna:

#eastvillage #2ndstreet #memorials #burntsienna