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With gratitude to S'tan, who began this epic discussion here, and all those who have contributed to past editions, part 4 of Farewell Charming Olde New York begins.

If you are new to the discussion, catch up with Part 3

There is the expected but still tragic news of the Chelsea Hotel becoming another $800 a night boutique hotel. I'll be back with some links shortly, still shedding tears over this one, as all who ever lived at the Chelsea must be.
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The hotel sector of the city's economy is a kind of mafia. They generate their own statistics and so it never shows the sector doing badly, only that demand for rooms keeps going up. This is the only convenient thing the hotels need to cite as they steadily raise their 'rack rate' rooms, which during peak tourist season now easily average considerably more than $300 a night. The only adversary the hotels really face anymore are their labor unions. I worked a large event last February at the midtown Hilton, the largest hotel in the city. An impending strike by the hotel workers' union was narrowly avoided. The hotel had actually spent $100,000 dollars on pine trees it was going to place around the ground floor of the hotel so guests could not look out to the street when the anticipated strike protests started. What the hotel did with those trees I don't know, since the strike was averted maybe the Hilton family donated them to the LA County Jail.
My friends were so happy with the rates and quality of the Chinatown HolidayInn... now it's getting converted to a luxury hotel just like all the rest. Sheesh!

Hotel rates here are so wacky. The "Howard Johnson Express" on Houston is one of the best deals around.. and it's a stinky deal. It's very bare bones dreary place. When my mom stayed there a while back it was nearly $200 on weekdays and over $200 on weekends. I hear it has gone up since then. If that dump is so expensive then anyplace with atmosphere is really sky high.

I guess the best thing to tell friends is to stick with discount sites. Most of those large hotels are probably full of guests who were discounted either through a tour package, a corporate group rate, or an Internet discount booking. It's all tiered, just like nightclubs.
My mother likes the Washington Square Hotel when she comes to town. It's a scenic walk from our apartment and she adores the small, Art Deco historic feel of the place, though she's the laid-back, undemanding type who would be fine at any decent Motel 6. One of their nicer rooms runs about $350-$450 per night. Not exactly cheap but arguably a bargain in the city's current hotel market. But because it's a small place, rooms are scare so booking well in advance is recommended. I hear it's popular with the parents of NYU students who come to visit their kids.

On one of Mom's future visits I want to investigate the red brick building on Bowery & 4th Street that supposedly is an Eric Goode-designed hotel. It's one of the few new buildings that I actually admire and am curious about. But I'm sure I'll end up balking at the price.
The Gershwin still has some quite reasonable rates. I checked in there for two nights last summer during the 100+ degree heatwave (I had no air conditioning at home). I got an adorable little room with wood flooring, a little wood writing desk, the bed was perfectly comfy, and the bathroom had the old white tiling with an occasional black one dotting the walls. It was $65 per night during the week. I always think of Gershwin as Chelsea's wallflowery little sister.
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You cannot beat the Larchmont for location! I lived there for a month when it was first converted from an SRO to a hotel (1996). Then it was $40. a night.
They upgrade every year, and finally have a good elevator. (I think there's one or two old guys still living there!) They also have full kitchens to share.

The bathrooms are shared, but I have never seen them dirty. Maids are in there all the time.
But don't take a room on the first floor in the winter. The heating was terrible and the windows drafty.

Another great place to stay is the Carlton Arms on East 25th. Every room is painted differently by an artist. There's a famous "Submarine Room" by Brian Damage. On the premier etage the shared bathroom has an incredible mosaic tile, floor to ceiling... It looks like a Kenny Sharf. (by Phillipe Dawkins) They did not have working phones in the rooms, just a buzzer to let you know you have a call in the lobby, but that doesn't matter anymore with cell phones.

They had some old guys living there from the days it was a SRO too. Find them sitting in the lobby with the German tourists.

The rate was $320. a week in 1998.
They made you move out after 25 days so you couldn't become one of the bums.

... it's still there and it's $75 a night now without private bath and $500+ for a week.

Go to 'Rooms' and scroll over the amazing looks...

One of the shared bathrooms on the top floor used to be painted all over with hieroglyphs, like the weird bathroom in "The Tenant," where the inhabitants went to pray...
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Thanks for the tip off S'tan.

Reminds me of the Ho-Jo's in Times Square where a burger with a soda cost $25.

This strip of the Bowery south of Astor Place to Houston is going to be the new Times Square South, with a boutique hotel recently opening, and still with a big selection of low end restaurants and shops to be bought out by developers. The crush of people on the sidewalk during the weekends is oppressive.
I went on a date on Sat - the geezer took me to Katsa - a morroccan tapas lounge - beautiful place. But filled up with B&T folks by 11pm (it ws a Sat!) But what shocked me more was the location bowery/Prince and how packed it was of a Sat night and how many lil spots there were there. Awful monster 'luxury condo's' but still allot of Bowery bums on the sidewalk - one was classic, in a beach chair with a small color tv playing a video game! - how he hooked that up and where I have no idea but there he was on the sidewalk chillin an playing with his bwoys! Am sure these scenes will soon fade.
My date was apt sitting this HUGE (prob unofficial) loft across the street. That was obviously an old commercial space with this gigantic outdoor play space. I am sure it won't be long till they are evicted to turn it into 'luxury' condo's.
Yeah, south of Houston and north of Delancey is the real battleground. The New Museum is putting its new home there. You get places like Crash Mansion (a self conscious tip to the Bowery?) located not far from one of the last SRO missions for homeless single men. Blocks lined with restaurant equipment wholesalers interspersed with shops catering to DJ's and a smattering of new luxury high rises financed out of Chinatown. This development will eventually march all the way down to Canal and the bridge, as if traffic on the Bowery down there wasn't impossible enough now.
A Crusties' warehouse.
No more disaffected youth panhandling on Ave A. instead of using mom's credit card. They will be offered free lodging at the warehouse which will be replete with complimentary cans of bud in brown sacks, a clothing boutique(everything in olive drab, pre-ripped and soiled), 'cafeteria' outfitted with dumpsters from Odessa and Veselka replenished daily with all the half eaten fare, a tattoo and piercing school where guests can volunteer their flesh for no-cost student assignments, and it is all sponsored by Parkbench the spray on stench of choice for the grungesters. But this is all only if NYU's hotel for students' dogs doesn't get approved by the zoning board.
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I walked by NYU Palladium Dorm on 14th Street the other weekend when it seemed that most of the students were moving.. it was this awful scene of excessive over indulgent parents of these girls who had this obscene abundance of branded goods...all trying to move whilst wearing short mini dresses and hiddeous high heels. I've never seen so much consumerism all in plastic NYU bins being wheeled to mom and dads cars. It was really sad, really pathetic and made me angry. How will any of these kids ever learn anything about themselves with this lack over self discovery this overly cosetted existence and no self reliance or resiliance. sad.
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Anna: Answer(sort of).
In NYU's W.4th St. institutional barracks for the sheltered today a young woman, actually the daughter of two NYU professors, had her face homicide-aly bashed off in her own apartment by her 'boyfriend' who later tried to commit suicide.

The souls of the afluent have so many susceptibilities.

Stepford fates.
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Even Barnes & Noble can't afford the East Village anymore! The Astor Place location, where I confess to have bought a book and magazine or two over the years, is closing as of December, because the rent is too damn high -- even for grotesquely huge, bloated billion-dollar mega-corporation. I knew the Union Square branch was hugely successful, but I assumed Barnes and Noble was like McDonald's or Starbucks: one on every block, regardless of the balance sheet of each individual branch. You know, "branding" and all that shit. My bad.

High Rents Chase Another Book Store Away, This Time a Chain
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I read that article too Lex. I think it said their rent was $1.5 million a year. Why would any self-respectng bloated corporate book company pay that, anyhow?

Someone has got to pass legislation to cap the rental situation in New York. What is someone going to pay for an East Village boite ten years from now? If they even have rentals.
S`tan we need you for mayor.
Otherwise it will be a million a month rent for a studio walk up. Your proposal has been overdue for so long, and it will probably never happen until the two landlords left that split the place between themselves decide not to compete against each other and just rake it in.

Barnes is facing the iron clad ROI factor as the publishing industry has only recovered from a 4 year shrinkage to a position that is profit and expansion flat. So booksellers, on the front line of the industry, can`expect any expansion in even their gross line on the budget. But something like Barnes moving out is the first canary in the mine signal the situation for even commercial real estate has hit an extreme limit. Take a long whif, that`s a hint of decay you smell in the air.
Not to mention, a brand that has previously hired bigoted store personnel who attempted beat T/G customers with bats...

"NYPost-May 17, 2001 -- Three transsexuals have sued Toys "R" Us, claiming they were threatened by bat-wielding workers while shopping for life-size Barbie Dolls last Christmas at the Bensonhurst store.

The three men-turned-women say they went to the Bay Parkway store Dec. 20 when a mob of workers called them "fags," "faggots," "homos," and "disgusting transvestites," and threatened to attack them with bats..."

I believe TrU lost the case, and was held liable by the court.
I am not a supporter of corperate anything and having said that, do any of us not buy from large corperate companies? Or patronize them? I think it is hard to do business in Amerika without rubbing up against some large corperations greedy ass.

And as for homophobes and their bad behavior it is everywhere even in this gay town that I live in.
Bobby I agree and I agree.

Thing is I loathe that my life is caught up in all of this ugly consumerism and globalism. It's really tough to drop out an not be part of it. Really. I totally work (a muggle day job) for 'the man' and so often support these large corporations with my dollar. But that said, when I can I will do my best to pick up a coffee from Rapture than Starbucks. Buy a gift of a gift certificate than more 'stuff' that you don't need. etc.
It's tough. It's also sad.
One thing I noticed in a large department/food store in europe recently was a whole section of the store marked, "Lokal." This section was stocked only with product produced in the local area by local food growers/producers. I thought that was a great feature. If you took that to the extreme there wouldn't be any more transglobal congolomerates dominating any market scene with mass produced schlock.
On they have something called "SchnabelWatch"... the artist Julian Schnabel has built a freaky pink fake Italian palazzo on West 11th and the river... claimed it would be an artists' community, "the rebirth of the salon." Then sold it off to standard boring money-men...

Who then just try to flip it for more millions.

It's not like the rich need to get any bloodie richer.
If he really wants to make it an "artist's salon," he might still move a dozen artists into the place and charge them zero rent. And not even see his bank account go blip.

Here's a nice pic of it... I kind of like how demented it looks.

Come on Julian, give back to the starving artists.
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Here's my short list of deserving artists who need free rent in New York,
in order to stay put and maintain the Zeitgeist -- Julian, prepare for the moving vans.

Foxy and Romy - 2 living spaces and a state-of-the-art Goodie office.
They will dedicate the next Goodie to Julian.

Verbal Abuse Magazine office (share with Goodie.)
We will not dedicate the next VA to Julian.

Chambers for Seven and assorted paramours.
Seven will serve as sardonic Court Jester to curb selfish interests, and will thereby surreptiously channel fundage for all projects
relating to LES culture.

Space for Helin Rhiannon and her enormous dressing-table.
Big enough to house itinerant trannies on the rise in New York.

Rehearsal Chambers and living space for Beaut, Marti and Twinkle.

Artist space for Bernd Naber who is losing his Brooklyn loft.
Need enormous space for gigantic acrylic sculptures.

Space for my server,
Extant since 1995 and always moving.

Flloyd's Penthouse and Dungeon.
Free sessions for life to you-know-who.

Chambers, with adjoining locked cell,
for Rene Ricard -- even if he did smash up JS's Bentley

Ground Floor space for Rapture Cafe, with enhanced performance area

Visiting Artist's quarters (for me, Bobby Miller, Jackie Bigelow, etc.)

Okay that should take care of the empty spaces, and fill the swimming pool too.

This is one of the best ideas I've heard of yet!

I've been viewing that 'palazzo' for the last few weeks when I take a breather from biking on the west side bike path. It does look quite incongruous and kind of stuck in between a group of sheer glass towers right next door. Actually, you can't really get much of a view of the whole thing because the streets there are rather narrow. Part of the city's charm is its dysfunctions and this is just another one albeit one that is far less consequential than most. If Egomeister hand picks his tennants and they are all Bonos that means the neighbors will soon have to cope with gaggles of paparazzi on a daily basis.

The totally fawning puff piece in New York Magazine had a cotton candy taste to it.

I think I would make a great court jester/tauntmaster for the whole block, thanks S'tan.
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Originally posted by S'tan:

David Boulud is opening a restaurant on the CBGB site and calling it
DBGB ... for David Boulud's Good Burger.
Which will cost $29

Best comment:

"I am going to puke up Daniel Bouloud's $29.00 burger in front of the place
so at least some of CBGB's spirit will still be alive."

I'll join you. Absolutely fucked...
Originally posted by Anna Nicole:
I just also noticed yesterday that Dicks bar on 12/2nd is also closed.

It was closed when I was back in July. I guess Johnny must have finally "bought the farm?" I used to love that place. I think Dean Johnson might have dee-j'd there at one time. It also used to be Slugger Ann's, a rough-and-tumble place run by Jackie Curtis's grandma. Jackie used to live upstairs as a child.
Originally posted by Jacob R Clark:
Originally posted by Anna Nicole:
I just also noticed yesterday that Dicks bar on 12/2nd is also closed.

It was closed when I was back in July. I guess Johnny must have finally "bought the farm?" I used to love that place. I think Dean Johnson might have dee-j'd there at one time. It also used to be Slugger Ann's, a rough-and-tumble place run by Jackie Curtis's grandma. Jackie used to live upstairs as a child.

I also noted with horror that The Bar has gone straight. I had just seen "Cruising" and did you know one of the most notorious scenes of the film was done there? Couldn't help but note as well that there were a preponderance of tweaked-out twinks at The Phoenix, the closest thing left to the Bar or the Tunnel (where I was a too-regular back in the day).
"Living in a fishbowl" ... when I was recently in Manhattan I had a number of conversations about the prevalence of the new glass houses, transparent skyscrapers, people live without curtains and put their entire selves on display... It doesn't matter if you stare into my living room, it's all designer showcase anyhow ... Maybe TV reality shows have inured people to being on display... as no-one remembers the next day what they were looking at, they are on to the next ant-farm.

Michael Bloomberg complaining that NYC was "behind London" in that there were "ONLY" 11,000 video cameras taking surveillance photos on the streets versus London's 400,000... poor things how can you ever leave the house without make-up, not that most of us would anyhow.

and now this

Everyone getting into the paparazzi act, and actors or other famous types who once could count on New York cool to maintain anonymity in Manhattan now have to deal with the amateur hour.

"...the paparazzi crowd is the reason celebrities like Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett have cited for moving, and Ms. Berk and some publicists say the exodus continues. Some actors have chosen the Santa Barbara area, others have gone as far Utah and Montana. For most, though, the only other choice, for work-related reasons, is New York, where traffic and crowds make the chase more daunting for photographers. Yet it may not offer much of a respite.

" 'New York unfortunately is becoming more difficult,' said Natalie Portman, who lives in Manhattan, at the premiere of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. 'I know people hate hearing us complain about it, but New York isn't what it used to be for anonymity, unfortunately.' "

I guess the town can eventually hope to attract the voyeurist/exhibitionist element in society... and the shy ones can repair to Montana or Tesuque.
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"One In Six New Yorkers Cannot Afford Enough Food"

In the news recently, and in time for Thanksgiving, was this bit:

New York hunger levels 'rising'

In a city of plenty, historically too many people have always starved here. But now with the economy allegedly so "strong" it is getting worse.

And even those who can afford enough to eat are paying through the nose here in Manhattan. Every time I go to the supermarket, prices have risen again.

I am reminded now of spending time in Hawaii where every thing not raised on-island was extremely expensive-- and that was just about everything except pineapple, sugar cane and taro. New York City is now just such an island.

I recently was in Westchester County, about 10 or 15 miles from where I live in Lower Manhattan, and prices were fifty cents to a dollar less than they are in my local supermarket. For just about everything.

First they blamed it on bad harvests, then Katrina. And then it was rising real estate prices. However the prices never ebb and flow as you might think they would when those factors do. I have realized that there is only one real cause-- greed. Capitalism run amok.

Take this example: There was a glut of pumpkins this fall in the US. Because the growing conditions this summer were exactly how pumpkins like them. All throughout New England pumpkins were being sold everywhere for record low prices. Here in NYC? $10-20 each! Rather than sell these pumpkins, the stores would rather they rot in the bins than get less than an inflated price.

Yes. Buy or starve.

Each day in the USA there are approximately 15 million children who do not know if they will get anything to eat. about some slightly expired pumpkin?

Even within the city there is a crazy disparity. I know people who used to live on W.74th Street on the park who then moved to E.9th Street at 1st Ave. who say the cost of living downtown is on average 40%(!) cheaper just based on things like groceries. Of course, you can now go to Whole Foods on the Bowery and pay uptown prices for food.

And passivity.
Howdy folks! Been away for a while and glad to be back. Hope you're having a good solstice eve.

As someone who has already reduced my air travel considerably, the following comes as exceedingly bad news. We all know flying these days is already a major headache, but now the TSA comes with this hideous announcement. The unfriendly skies just got a lot meaner. Good luck trying to book those already-hard-to-get seats!

Gov't to Limit NYC Flights

Dec 19 02:20 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer

HERNDON, Va. (AP) - Fewer flights will go in and out of New York City airports at the busiest times to try to ease chronic nationwide air travel delays, the government said Wednesday.

To help holiday travelers, military airspace will be opened to commercial traffic on the East and West Coasts, the government said.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters made the announcement after months of closed-door wrangling with the airlines over how to curb air traffic around New York City's three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

Delays often begin in the congested New York area then spread across the nation.

"I had hoped to be able to avoid caps but the truth is for the short term, for the next few years this is the solution that will provide some relief for travelers," Peters said.

Under new rules that take effect in March, JFK will only be allowed 82 or 83 flights per hour at peak times, down significantly from the 90 to 100 that had been scheduled this past summer. Similar caps will go into effect at Newark, but the exact number has yet to be determined. LaGuardia already has limits on flights.

"The American public, the passengers, the customers and consumers want and deserve a much more dependable, much more reliable system, and this is what this plan will do," she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also create a "czar" for New York City air travel, hoping to solve some of the confusion and headaches with a new position.

Peters also confirmed the government would be opening military airspace to commercial flights in order to accommodate the holiday season crush. A similar temporary measure was done during Thanksgiving week on the East Coast. A section of West Coast airspace will be added this time to try to smooth travel in and out of southern California, Peters said.

The government described the New York airport caps as a short-term approach lasting two years, at which point officials said they hope new technology and modernized systems will allow for greater capacity in the region.

After that two-year period, Peters said the government would like to auction additional flight slots at JFK to the highest bidder.

In two years, however, the decision will be made by someone else, since the Bush administration will have ended.

Associated Press writer David B. Caruso in New York contributed to this report.
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Today I was doing the dishes and nursing a head cold when I heard a rumbling crash, and then the endless sirens. Odd that I didn't even think it was a 9/11-type incident. I instinctively knew exactly what it was. At the much-disputed and VERY unwanted Trump Soho "Hotel" under construction, there was a crane accident, killing at least one and shearing off a corner of the top floor.

A few months ago 18-19 C. human bones were found as they dug the foundations-- shades of "Poltergeist." This has been the third or fourth accident at the site and the company responsible, Bovis Lend Lease, was also in charge of the Deutsche Bank cleanup.
Bovis was reported at the time of the previous calamity where at least two firemen died, to be mob-connected. I know of a major west coast developer who when recently visiting NYC and after casually viewing a number of the construction sites on 6th Avnue in the 20's said he really couldn't believe how incredibly lax the work codes were, cranes taking up traffic lanes, walkways directly beneath scaffold, the 'safety' nets on upper stories, giant wood beams laid on the avenue to reconfigure traffic lanes -all were proceedures wildly illegal according to work rules on the west coast in places like San Francisco.
Went by Florent on Friday night; haven't been in ages because...well, who wants to be in the Meat Market anymore? Anyhow, the closing will be June 30. Just before Bastille Day, no less. The absolute kick in the gut (according to staff) is the new tenant moving in: Starbucks. Collect your matchbooks, kids.

Florent is one of the first places I gravitated toward the first time I came to was 1991, and my boyfriend at the time (journalist Rob. Walton) escorted me to this oasis of a diner in an otherwise bleak, seemy 'hood. Next to us were two boys, about 16 or 17, on their first date...both were beaming with hope, possibility, unlimited boundaries of love and lust. Florent, in his own way, offered comfort and light in an otherwise daunting probability. I will truly miss this historic landing pad.
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You know that shoe repair across from St Marks in the bowery - the one that has been there a million years . . . the one with the old "Cat's Paws" decals. Saw a sign in the window that they lost their lease and looks like it is being cleared out by the end of the month.


I wonder if it is going to be a Chase or a Starbucks?

After all, one wouldn't want to have to walk the half a block away to get to a Chase or Starbucks. What is going to replace Chase & Starbucks when they can't afford the rents?
That shoe repair store is catty-corner from my place; you can see it if you lean onto the fire escape. I wasn't sad AT ALL when Second Avenue Deli shut down (grossly overpriced, mediocre, the owners were hateful & greedy), but the closure of that gazillion-year-old shoe repair store made me a little sad.

Maybe it will be a micro-mini Duane Reade.
Whats doing with all the closed stores on 3rd/14th SEcorner are they knockin that corner down for more Yuppie condos perhaps?
My chum recently moved to Jackson Heights (37th Av/Indian side) and I must say am loving that area - reminds me allot of West Kensington (London) very Brit/Indian vibe. Fantastic Supermarkets too (DIRT CHEAP one called TradeFair) I carried a back pack with me last Sat. Filled it AND FOUR carrier bags FULL and the total bill $54! Greate Indian too, fun Bollywood stores. Its tough finding NY hoods that have none globalized branded stores these days.
Lex, you just que'd in all of your stalkers.

I know its been shut for a few months now but anybody know what happened to Mo Pitkins on A? It was gone without a trace suddenly. I didn't really favor the place but it gave a lot of stage time to people I liked.

A is getting odd now with Alt Coffee rebranded as a recreation place for children and my favorite custom T shirt store being transformed into an 'eco freindly' merchant. But it seems the street is still a barometer for the economy cause if you hang out during a weekday the local foot traffic reflects a newly scruffy profile reminiscent of the early 90's.
Goodbye to Florent...

"When his lease on 69 Gansevoort St. expires on March 31, rent will
increase from $6,000 a month to approximately $50,000. It's unlikely a
deal will be struck. Florent is currently battling his landlord in court
over tax increases and is withholding rent as a result. The litigation also
means he does not plan to simply pack up shop on the 31st.

"I talked to my lawyer and [the restaurant] will stay open for two or three
months. I'd like to end on a high note and I think Gay Pride Day would be

That's June 29, in case you want to put it in your book.

He also says he'd like to hold a writing contest - "people could write their
best story, the most insane story, of the restaurant" - with the winner
receiving a dinner on the final night. "
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There was always a high turnover of shoe stores and other apparel stores on those blocks of 8th, especiall between 5th and 6th Aves. Probably not a little bit of the exodus now is due to the impact of on-line shopping for shoes where it is just too easy to get great prices compared to what always were over-priced items on those 8th Street blocks. Lower Broadway is a better choice for shoe shopping if one is looking for cool stuff that is overpriced. But the question remains, what kind of retail will move in to the current crop of empty storefronts on 8th?
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Yes Seven, those stores did have high prices but it was kinda fun shopping there and aklso 8th st was the main corridor for me when going between east village and west village, i was always bumping into someone or something.

Seven, where on lower Broadway are you talking about? Do you mean near Houston or further down? it's been so long that i've been there, maybe some stores opened up since I've been there.
Babette, I have to admit enjoying the stroll down 8th St. too and I've made enough purchases there over the years, from a great hat at the store near the corner of 6th Ave. to assorted tops at the various boutiques. I also did tons of browsing, and then of course there was Patricia Field's place which was a total must.

Broadway below Houston and above Canal is where a lot of shoe stores similar to the ones on 8th are. The shoe stores above Houston are mostly for nikes etc. and the skateboard fanatics. But even now there are less shoe stores there than just a year ago. The last item I purchased in that zone was quite some time ago but it was a pair of jack boots made by Chippewa, to my mind the best traditional motorcycle boots made, that are not that easy to find, I got an ok price.

I still windowshop on 8th Street and probably will as long as a couple of the boutiques hold out and then there still is Joyce Leslie where a girlfriend is always recommending items to me and where the price is always right.
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NYC & Company, the city's tourism marketing agency, estimated that foreign visitors spent about $560 million more in the first three months of 2008 than in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 7 percent.

One of the main reasons is that the dollar is so weak against the euro and other currencies that everything in New York appears to be on sale.

The Modern, the restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art, added the euro equivalent to prices on the wine list to impress upon tourists what bargains the bottles were. It worked: the restaurant says it now sells more (and more expensive) bottles of wine.

(there is a longer article about this in the paper NY TImes today, the influx is so enormous the economy is NY is skewed differently from any other US city. Doesn't have much to say about effects on culture but I'm sure many could cue in on the trickle down effect of 1,000,000 more European tourists in NY in the first quarter of 2008 than in the first quarter of 2007.

Like I've said before Americans' money did it to Europe from the 1900s - on. Now it's New York's turn.)
4 A.M. Last Calls Could Be Headed The Way of Smoky Bars
By CHRISTOPHER FAHERTY, Staff Reporter of the Sun | April 17, 2008

City nightlife industry insiders fear that the days of 4 a.m. last calls are numbered.

In most parts of Manhattan, bar and club owners say, it has become nearly impossible to open new nightlife establishments that are permitted to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. "” the Prohibition-era curfew that is seen as a bedrock of New York City's party town identity.

Community boards that now hold substantial clout with the New York State Liquor Authority are increasingly requesting that liquor licenses be tied to earlier closing times, often at or before 2 a.m., a number of advocates for the nightlife industry said.

"It is a trend that has certainly increased in the last six months, and if it keeps increasing there are going to be serious problems for the nightlife industry and the city's economy," a lawyer for the New York Nightlife Association, Robert Bookman, said. An independent study conducted at the request of his association found that city nightlife establishments garner 58% of their revenues between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., he said. Under state law, which says the closing time for bars in the city is 4 a.m., the liquor authority lacks the power to place stipulations on the operating hours of bars and clubs. However, if a bar owner agrees to limit its hours of operation with the local community board, the liquor authority will write it into the license.

Community boards for years have provided the liquor authority with recommendations for liquor licenses, but only recently has their influence become a determining factor in designating them. "The new leadership that took over during the last few years of the Pataki administration has been dramatically more responsive to the community than any I've ever seen with many years of experience with the SLA, and I think that's a good thing," a state assemblyman who represents the Chelsea area of Manhattan, Richard Gottfried, said.

A spokesman for the liquor authority, William Crowley, said the agency determines liquor licenses on a case-by-case basis and follows the letter of the law.

Some say community boards are wielding their newfound power with the liquor authority to force bars to close earlier than ever before.

"More and more of the community boards are insisting that bars close at 2 a.m. or earlier," Ben Leventhal, the editor in chief of, a Web log that chronicles many of the liquor license issues arising in the city, said. "It's become the community boards' de facto bargaining chip."

Matthew Piacentini, an entrepreneur poised to open a European-style parlor, said he decided to back out of plans to open the lounge in a commercial building on Hudson Street in TriBeCa after the community board stipulated he would have to close at midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends. Mr. Piacentini pitched his establishment as an upscale anecdote to nightclubs for a clientele interested in having conversation. "If I could only be open for six hours there was no chance I could bring in the necessary revenue," he said.

Brad Hoylman, the chairman of Community Board 2, which covers Greenwich Village and SoHo, said the board approves 90% of all liquor license applications, and 80% of those are tied to certain stipulations such as time constraints.

"In our neighborhoods, most people don't want to live next to a nightlife establishment, he said. "What we try to do is be reasonable and have a fair negotiation with the applicant."

Community Board 3, which covers the bar-saturated neighborhoods of the East Village and the Lower East Side, is widely described as the stingiest board in the city when it comes to obtaining a new liquor license. The board's district manager, Susan Stetzer, said her board doesn't stipulate closing times, but that the applicants themselves come to the board with their own closing times.

According to minutes from the board's monthly meetings in November, December, and January, the most recent records available, not a single liquor license recommendation was granted to a bar that would close after 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays.
This was from 2005.
Interesting to read it in 2008.

NY Post
By Maureen Callahan
Published January 27, 2005

JASON Gordon, a 27year-old book publicist whose blog, Productshop NYC, covers the downtown music scene, says he knew the Lower East Side was over when "one of my mom's friends had her 50th birthday party at Tenement."

"That place" - a tiny restaurant that once catered to hipster spillover from neighboring Ludlow Street institutions like the Pink Pony and Max Fish "has become like a bar mitzvah reception hall within the past year," he adds.

While the gentrification of the Lower East Side-long inhabited by struggling artists and musicians, and home to dive bars, vintage shops and small rock clubs - has been progressing for quite some time, locals and small business owners are stunned by the sudden influx of luxe.

Small bars are shutting down and other establishments are going upscale to cater to the new weekenders who are colonizing the once rough hewn area.

"The problem with the Lower East Side," says Lockhart Steele, who covers Manhattan real estate on "Is that it's facing change that's out of proportion with the scale of the neighborhood.".

Robert Sacher is closing his 10-year old Luna Lounge on Feb. 28; a developer bought his Ludlow Street building to make way for an apartment complex.

"They're turning the Lower east side into SoHo," Sacher says. "The businesses that are being forced out are being replaced by businesses that cater to people who can pay $16 for a plate of chicken."

When Sacher was informed his lease wasn't going to be renewed, he looked into moving Luna down the street, to a space formerly occupied by a club called Torch (which burned down).

He was priced out; the space sold for $2 million and is now home to a week-old, three-level nightclub called Libation; the opening-night party was handled by Lizzie Grubman.
"We had a lot of models, a lot of record company people, celebrity types," says owner Denis Keane. "That guy from 'Oz' was here."' Libation, located just a few doors down from scenester rock hangouts like Max Fish and the Dark Room, is very spacious, very pristine and very beige. The wall behind the bar is fitted with two plasma TVs. The second and third levels are private party spaces; there's also a VIP area with a minimum bottle charge of $250.

"We want to raise the level of what's going on around here," says Keane, who has run low-key Irish pubs in Midtown and Queens.

"We hired a manager who used to work at Jean-Georges. We have a big cocktail consultant. We hired our own security, a lot of ex-law enforcement.".

Keane says his space isn't catering to "the poor artist type."

"I'm seeing the trendy first-responders: people in funky clothes, with a few dollars in their pocket, or a Black AMEX," he says. I had one Wall Street guy come in with 100 people. He just threw his card down and said, 'Charge it!".

The Lower East Side real estate revolution started with the Hotel on Rivington. Yet to be completed, the 20-story, glass-and-steel structure _ with rooms starting at $275 a night - may seem like a striking anomaly among the area's five-story structures, but it's led to a slew of other luxury projects.

Hotelier Jason Pomeranc, who owns the swank 60 Thompson, begins construction this month on a 22-story hotel on Allen Street, where a new luxury loft building (with condos that went for up to $1.5 million) opens in March.

A lot on the corner of Houston and Eldridge reportedly has been sold to a developer for $4.5 million. Avalon Chrystie Place, which will have 361 luxury rental apartments (the developers say they haven't set prices), is under construction on Houston.

And the rent asked on a vacant restaurant on the corner of East Broadway and Essex is currently $30,000 a month, according to LoHo Realty's Jacob Goldman - who finds that Park Avenue price staggering.

"1 mean, it's not Tavern on the Green," he says. "What are they thinking?"

Long term, "you are going to see a diminishment of live music downtown, because of the rents," says Fez owner Josh Pickard, who is closing his legendary Village club (where Ryan Adams played his first New York solo show) in March.

"There's the rise of real estate values, plus issues with neighbors and noise control, which has become more stringent under Bloomberg," he says.

Other venerable clubs and restaurants are capitulating to the area's changing clientele. El Sombrero - the tiny, rundown Mexican restaurant on the corner of Ludlow and Stanton affectionately known to residents as "The Hat" - is trying to appeal to the area's new nighttrippers: The once-kitschy interior now resembles a miniature hotel lobby, and the beloved summer tradition of selling margaritas to go is (very quietly) no more.

"Fridays and Saturdays are just amateur nights . The floodgates open everywhere, from Jersey to Long Island to the Upper East Side," says 33-year-old Jason Consoli, who hosts a weekly party at Lit. (His flyer reads, in part, "Weeknights keep the a - - holes away!")

Though located a bit north of the Lower East Side, Lit suffers an influx of weekend warriors.

"Lit's a dive bar; it's a rock bar," Consoli says. "People who live on the Upper East Side - their idea of getting crazy is to go hang out with the punk rock kids. But they don't really like to hang out with these people; they don't really like this music.

"If you walk up to the door and they recognize you, or you look like you belong there," says Consoli, "you get a hand stamp and you can go downstairs. If you don't look like you belong there, you don't get a hand stamp, and you have to stay upstairs."

Jason Baron, owner of the 6-month-old bar the Dark Room, says the bridge-and-tunnel factor is so high on Friday and Saturday nights that he steers clear of his own establishment. "I go over to my friends' houses to drink," he says.

Curbed's Lockhart Steele, who has been chronicling every change on the Lower East Side with a jaundiced eye, is trying to remain cautiously optimistic:

"I'm not opposed to all this change," he says. "I think there are just large forces beyond our control. It's the slow drift downward from SoHo and the East Village."

Yet he admits the neighborhood's rapid shifts - culturally and commercially - seem inexorable.

"The indication that a neighborhood's already over," he says, "is when the first wave of cool places is already out of business."
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Bureaucratic Terrorism usually does attack the most vulnerable, the most not equipped to defend. What will replace the toy tower? A Gucci billboard?

May 19, 2008, 4:58 pm
An Eccentric East Village Structure Is Torn Down
By Colin Moynihan

A toy horse hangs from the Toy Tower, a 65-foot wooden structure that is being demolished this week. (Photo: Oscar Hidalgo/ New York Times) A city work crew wearing hardhats showed up early this morning on Avenue B and began dismantling a 65-foot wooden structure known as the Toy Tower that has stood for more than 20 years in a community garden and has become a beloved, if unofficial, landmark.

The tower in 1998. (Photo: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times) Enlarge this image. The tower, built of boards and beams salvaged from the streets, was assembled bit by bit over decades by a local man named Eddie Boros, who died last year at the age of 74. His creation has been described in guide books and was the subject of a documentary that was broadcast on PBS. But about two weeks ago, the city's Parks and Recreation Department, which has some oversight over the garden at East Sixth Street and Avenue B, determined that the intricate tower was unsound and had to be removed.
By 11 a.m., about two dozen people were watching the workers operate a large orange truck with a crane. Although some passers-by expressed relief that the tower was coming down, most of those who stopped to watch said that they regretted its removal.
"It's a shame," said a local man who goes only by the name Graywolf and has been a garden member for 18 years. "That tower is an icon. It's world known."
At the same time, he acknowledged, "We've seen that it's shifted and twisted in the high winds."
Garden members said that some of the many found objects that festoon the structure, like a French horn, which Mr. Boros used to blow sometimes late at night, would be saved and included in a memorial to the tower and its creator.
As a worker suspended in a bucket near the top of the tower wielded a chainsaw and began slicing off bits of wood, talk turned to the irascible but generous Mr. Boros, who was born and lived nearly his whole life on East Fifth Street, within shouting distance of the garden.
"That's his portrait, his autobiography," said Eileen Shields, 38. "He worked on it every day."

Remnants of the tower, which some locals call an "icon." (Photo: Oscar Hidalgo/The New York Times)Some remembered an icy night in 1996 when Mr. Boros used ropes to lash together a part of the tower that had become destabilized by a storm. True to his custom, Mr. Boros, who often roamed the streets in his bare feet, worked that cold night without the benefit of shoes. He did, however, have the help of several comrades from Sophie's Bar on East Fifth Street, a dimly lighted and congenial tavern, where Mr. Boros was as much of a fixture as he was in the garden.
He would often stop in for a tall noontime glass of straight Seagrams, said Kirk Marcoe, 40, an owner and local resident. Mr. Boros would happily take on those who wished to challenge him in arm wrestling, he added.
"He had hands the size of ham hocks," Mr. Marcoe said. "He never lost."
At one point, the city workers tied a rope to a section of the tower and pulled it to the ground. An 8-by-8-foot tangle of graying wood came crashing down on top of a plot where flowers, plants and herbs had been growing.
The demolition halted for the day around 1 p.m. with the tower still about three-quarters intact. Workers began moving debris from the garden plots into a large metal container. Pat Russell, a garden member, grabbed the tattered remnants of an American flag that had once flown from the tower and folded it neatly, while others took bits of weathered wood as souvenirs.
And this, which seems to go perfectly with the above...Sigh.



L.E.S. Named An Endangered Historic Place

The Lower East Side was named one of America's 11 most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Tuesday.

The annual list points to examples of architectural, cultural, and natural heritage at risk for destruction or irreparable damage.

The Trust is urging the city and state to take steps to ensure the neighborhood retains its character and is not buried under a flood of new construction.

"So many people around the country can relate to this place as where their forbearers got their start," said Wendy Nicholas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "And yet, if preservation protections are not put in place soon, the heart and soul of this neighborhood will be lost and we'll no longer be able to have that connection to history."

The neighborhood was named to the National and State Register of Historic places in 2000, but preservationists argue that has not curbed widespread demolition and construction amid the area's real-estate boom.
In another win for neighborhood homogenization, the East Village lost one of its legendary fringe characters this week when the landlord of my apartment building succeeded in evicting Lucia ("Lucy"), a 60-year-old post-op tranny who has resided on this block all her life.

In her heyday, Lucy haunted St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue in maxi-length furs, beehive wigs and kabuki makeup. She inherited the $175-a-month one-bedroom railroad apartment she was born and raised in from her deceased parents and decorated the place in all white furniture, swaths of white lace, dozens of collectible antique dolls and many, many cats. (It is said that Lucy's early transgenderism is what caused the breakup of her parents marriage and drove the father away from the family). Lucy acquired her pussy at the dawn of sex change surgery, long before counseling, pre-op hormone "trial" periods and adjunct psychiatric services became systemic to the process, so Lucy never benefited from therapy. Consequently she was more than a little insane.

In recent years her apartment had deteriorated into total Miss Havisham realness, with cobwebs everywhere, colonies of roaches in her kitchen, mice living inside her couch (felines notwithstanding) and cat shit everywhere. Lucy blamed her inability to clean on her arthritis, but refused to act on the advice of countless social workers, elderly neighbors and other trannys acquaintances who shared ways to get free or low-cost city health services. Her steadfast refusal to wear eye glasses (she declared them "un-ladylike") left her with badly-applied makeup, crocked wigs and facial hair, not to mention cat feces in every corner of her apartment that she couldn't see. She long ago abandoned wardrobe concerns and shuffled about the neighborhood in house dresses, track suits and flip-flops, even in the winter.

Neighbors in apartments near hers - mostly new tenants but some old ones - complained about the stench from her apartment and, to be fair, the place did in fact reek to high heaven. Our building super, Alice, who has been extremely attentive to repairs in our apartment, detested going into Lucy's place for any reason and nobody could blame her. (I myself only went inside once, citing a writer's need to know). Lucy, for her part, distrusted the super and the management, always fearful that they'd find a way to drive her out.

And of course, they finally did, using Lucy's mental instability as their trump card. Long story short, the landlord never actually instituted eviction proceedings. He just started by saying that he had to clean and repair the apartment and intended to charge her $4,000 to do it because she'd failed to do anything to keep up the place. Of course she couldn't pay. From there he basically pressured her into giving up the place, saying he'd pay for movers himself to relocate her to some place her relative owns in the Poconos. He was all very crafty about it, issuing veiled threats that Lucy was violating city laws by having too many cats and other disincentives to resistance.

Many of the old time neighbors, both in our building and elsewhere on the block, including my boyfriend Doug, pleaded with Lucy to avail herself of the multitudes of free or low-cost legal and senior citizen services that could've saved her from being driven from her home. Despite its disrepair, the place was still worth thousands to the landlord and Lucy could've easily walked away with 50 grand, perhaps even more.

But she's too unstable to handle a trial. The landlord recognized that and exploited it. By refusing to help herself there was little anyone could do. She was also downright stupid about some things ... the landlord told Lucy that Doug had complained to the office about her cats, an outright lie, and on the basis of this innuendo Lucy stopped speaking to Doug, after knowing him for 15 years. Fortunately Lucy has a place to go. For years she'd relocate in the summer and early fall to the Poconos house; now she can live there full-time.

In the end movers arrived on Thursday and moved her out. It took them nearly eight hours to get all her shit out and they wore masks over their faces the entire time in 95-degree heat. Now Lucy's gone, and renovation will soon commence on her place so that some newcomer can pay $3,000 a month for it.
What will be choice, Lex, about any newcomer's situation is that they will be totally oblivious to the history of the apartment and be living in some depthless never-never land of cosmic trans power. They will be under the influence of circumstances that will continue to pervade the place and will never know what has seeped under their lives.
August 5, 2008
East Village, Before the Gentry
Over the last 15 years Q. Sakamaki, a Japanese photographer living in New York, has forged a reputation as a documentarian of conflict and suffering. From the civil war in Liberia to the misery of sex workers in Bangladesh, he creates pictorial narratives of the devastation that unfolds when military or economic forces collide with ordinary human lives.

But his new book, "Tompkins Square Park" (powerHouse Books), returns to his early days in New York, when he was still adjusting to a new home and a new avocation "” photography "” after giving up a job at an advertising agency in Osaka.

Upon arriving in the city in 1986 he settled in the East Village, where he was alternately charmed and horrified by what he found. Dilapidated and abandoned buildings lined the streets. Entire blocks were filled with little more than rubble and bricks. Heroin was sold in candy stores, and gunshots sounded in the night. In the morning he sometimes spotted the bodies of people who had been killed or had died of overdoses.

Even more surprising was the abundance of people living on the sidewalks. "The homeless were spread out all over the neighborhood," Mr. Sakamaki recalled on a recent afternoon while sitting on a bench in Tompkins Square Park. "It was like a third world city."

Before long he gravitated toward Tompkins Square, the neighborhood's central gathering spot, where he found a lively mix of people. There were law students, punks, poets and older, lifelong residents who could remember the days of the New Deal.

Twenty years ago this week the neighborhood was also much like a war zone as protesters clashed with police officers seeking to enforce a curfew in the park. Mr. Sakamaki's book is timed to that anniversary and documents the street skirmishes, yet it is also a kind of manifesto.

"This book focuses on Tompkins Square Park as the symbol and stronghold of the anti-gentrification movement, the scene of one of the most important political and avant-garde movements in New York history," Mr. Sakamaki writes in an introduction.

Strolling through the neighborhood, he elaborated, saying that he favors safe streets and finds no romance in poverty. But, he said, change that is primarily driven by monetary profit "destroys the lives of poor or weak people."

As his black-and-white photographs make clear, Mr. Sakamaki found much that was life-affirming amid the conflict and penury. The energy and camaraderie of people who banded together in adversity appealed to him; so did the desire of East Villagers to create their own social order even as they received little help from mainstream society.

Most of the pictures in "Tompkins Square Park" were created before Mr. Sakamaki began traveling abroad to war zones. But it is fair to make the connection between his later work, for which he has received several awards, and a consciousness formed while documenting the depredations of the East Village in the 1980s, including addiction, AIDS and police violence.

The struggles he documented took place against a backdrop of rapid and sometimes rapacious gentrification that took hold in the 1980s and is the unifying theme for the 60 images in the volume. There are also essays on the park and its history by Bill Weinberg, a neighborhood journalist, and by Mr. Sakamaki, who described what the park and the neighborhood meant to him.

Political protests and musical events were also integral to the anti-gentrification movement. Photographs show performances in the Tompkins Square band shell by groups like the band False Prophets and Allen Ginsberg's reading of a poem demanding affordable housing.

Photographs of demonstrations and police responses range from arrests inside the park in 1989 to a clash in May 1991 when bottles flew through the air and police officers in visored helmets formed a line across Avenue B. He documents a major demonstration a week later in which a crowd marched on Avenue A at night to condemn the city's decision to shut the park and bulldoze part of it.

But the bulk of the book focuses on the lives of the homeless people who lived in the park or on the nearby streets.

In 1987 Mr. Sakamaki photographed homeless men and women eating a Christmas Day meal at a soup kitchen in a garden on East Ninth Street. In a 1989 image from Tompkins Square Park two men warm themselves next to a fire inside a trash can. A photograph from the same year shows homeless people and their supporters camping in the park with American flags. In a picture from October 1991, after the park's closing, a man sleeps in a bed on Avenue A in the pouring rain.

The streets and park paths depicted in the book still exist, of course, but many of the people who populated that landscape have died or left town. Mr. Sakamaki's photography has always been about people, from the street children of Rio de Janeiro to denizens of an empty lot on Avenue C.

So the absence of that population in today's East Village lends the book a haunted, ghostly air.

In the end Mr. Sakamaki's book is a valediction of sorts to lost people and a lost place that has been supplanted by a neighborhood that he finds rather sterile and uninspiring.

"We lost our culture," he said, "and we lost control of our dreams."

Leaving the park, Mr. Sakamaki, who still lives in the neighborhood, headed out to the surrounding streets, spots he had photographed decades before. Much has changed. Along East Eighth Street, where he once visited men and women in shacks, a six-story building houses a home for the aged. The onetime site of similar shanties on Avenue C is now occupied by a police building and parking lot.

But on Avenue C at East Ninth Street, La Plaza Cultural, a garden where Mr. Sakamaki had photographed the homeless on that Christmas Day 21 years ago, has survived.

"I'm happy that this garden is still here," he said, gazing through the fence at the pastoral spot, where city dwellers sat beneath a willow tree. "But I'm also sad, because the people I knew are not inside anymore."
...And hello, Charming Olde New York?

Todays NY Times:


Failed Deals Replace Boom In New York Real Estate

After seven years of nonstop construction, skyrocketing rents and sales prices, and a seemingly endless appetite for luxury housing that transformed gritty and glamorous neighborhoods alike, the credit crisis and the turmoil on Wall Street are bringing New York's real estate boom to an end...

After imposing double-digit rent increases in recent years, landlords say rents are falling somewhat, which could hurt highly leveraged projects, but also slow gentrification in what real estate brokers like to call "emerging neighborhoods" like Harlem, the Lower East Side and Fort Greene
And it passed!


This afternoon, the City Council approved a measure that will place height limits on new buildings in the East Village and the Lower East Side. The plan will rezone over 111 blocks from Delancey Street to East 13th Street, and east of the Bowery to Avenue D. Developers, who were previously only limited by how high they could build the front wall of new buildings (taking advantages of setbacks that let them build higher in the backs of lots), will now see a cap of 120 feet, no matter how far their lots go back (There's also a restriction of 80-foot heights on smaller streets.)

The plan may significantly curb the rampant development in the trendy downtown neighborhoods. Had it been in effect just a few years ago, it would have made a significant dent into the plans of new buildings, like the Blue Condos on Norfolk Street, which tower over the area at 181 feet. Buildings under construction with completed foundations can skirt the new regulations, while those that have permits and have just put down a substantial foundation merely have the right to apply for extension from Board of Standards and Appeals.

The mayor's office says that the plan will pave the way for more housing on wider blocks like Houston and Delancey with as many as "1,670 additional housing units over the next ten years, including 560 units permanently affordable to low- and middle-income families." The City Planning Commission will now turn its attention to Chinatown, where some had protested the proposal for fear that it would simply shift the burden of development onto them.
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For those who have wondered why certain East Village club spaces have remained empty for so long (even BEFORE the recession/crash/whatever we're calling it these days)

This article sheds quite a bit of light..



Brokerage giant Massey Knakal has announced, in an e-mailed press release and on its blog, that the firm has been retained to arrange the sale of 17 walk-up apartment buildings in the East Village. But not just any 17! The mix of buildings—sprinkled throughout the 'hood in many shapes and sizes and with widely varying numbers of rent-stabilized apartments per building—make up the "East Village Portfolio," purchased by megadeveloper Extell for $72 million in 2006 before the company spun if off to former cohort Westbrook Partners for $97.5 million in the summer of '07. Since that time, many of the retail/commercial tenants in those buildings—including raucous gay bars The Cock and Boysroom—have been cleared out, and the properties' managers have been accused of bullying tenants and warehousing vacant units. Now, in a crappy market, Westbrook Partners is trying to cash out. Nobody likes bad press!

The buildings are actually listed individually, but when combined they total just shy of $120 million. But don't expect the portfolio to be snapped up in one fell swoop. According to god-among-men Robert Knakal, the properties are listed individually because that's how they expect them to be sold, one-by-one or in small chunks. Knak Daddy says it's because A) financing a $10 million deal is much easier than financing a $100 million deal right now, B) they feel they can get more by breaking the portfolio up, and C) The mix of buildings is so disparate that it in most cases it doesn't make sense for one buyer to own all of them. Still, he wouldn't count out the chance that someone could take on the entire thing.
Coney Island needs your support now more than ever - if you have time to write a letter or sign a petition, volunteer or help get the word out visit here

From Angie Pontani


Hey Everyone,
Excuse the mass email, but Coney Island is in dire straights. I know we all love it and I know many of us consider it a performance home. Now we need to put out down time where our mouth is and volunteer to help save it from a potential devastating future.
The City Planning Commission passed their crappy plan today. It still has to go through a few more levels, but they voted 12 - 0! for a crappy 9 acres of open air amusement and high rises on surf ave. We need to turn up the heat!
You don't know what you've got till it's gone!
information on volunteering here

total 411 here!

we can be a major part of this movement! Don't stand by idly as the city and developers destroy a national treasure!
Locals, please give some of your time, if not on saturday you can volunteer any time! Out of towners, please sign the petition!

Little Egypt shook her sh*T on the corner of W. 12th and Stillwell, build a statue, not a strip mall!

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This is a great NYC item.
It seems the Cooper Square Hotel, a fairly new high end boutique which is actually on the Bowery, has a back patio for its bar. And of course behind the hotel are the rear sides of tenament apartment buildings. So of course in the nice weather the tenants in the apartments have started to complain about the noise from the bar patrons on the hotel patio at night. What have the tenants started to do? Hang extremely soiled underwear on their laundry lines over the patio. And this week what appeared on one line was a douchebag! Somehow, I find fighting gentrification with a douchebag kind of glorious. Here's a link to photos of the conflict:
Enjoy the view you drunken slobs!
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This exhibit sounds fantastic, and Ill definately be attending.

October 17th 18th, and 21st-

The Body Archive New York City is Proud to Present:

WEST STREET: Photos of the night life on West Street, In the old Meat Packing District.
Photos by Efrain John Gonzalez

#9 Ninth Ave, between 13th street and little west 12th, on the west side of Ninth Ave, second floor

On October 17th, 18th, and the 21st, I will be giving an exhibit of my photos, rare and raw images, showing the night life under the old West Side Highway, from 1975, up to the 1990’s. B&W photos that record the transgender life along the West Village/meat packing district of New York City, at a time when the night life was wild and the clubs were “anything goes”. This was Hand held night photography with TRI_X film of the real people of the street and their culture; working and surviving on the dark streets of an industrial wasteland, using their transgender beauty to earn the cash to survive in New York City. An incredible photographic documentary of the people and street life in a time long gone.

The BODY ARCHIVE is located in the old Meatpacking district, surviving the gentrification that has changed a dark, run down industrial block, into a hip urbanized club-land, filled with restaurants, luxury Hotels and fashionable boutiques. The photos you will see are a time capsule to the past life that once thrived in the deserted night time streets

Please come and see my work, exhibited on the very street where it was created.

Sat:4-10pm Sun:2-7pm Wed:5-9


Thank you,
Efrain John Gonzalez


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