“Greenpoint is basically the Checker capital of New York City,” says Mark Briggs, a resident of the neighborhood who rents out the iconic yellow cabs.
He makes a point. If you’ve spent any time in Greenpoint, you’ve probably seen the vintage yellow cabs (made internationally famous by shows and movies like Taxi and Taxi Driver) outside of the Henry Norman and Box House hotels. They sometimes spring into action at the request of guests who prefer the throwback rides to the hotels’ sleeker BMW shuttles. A couple of years ago, Box Street played host to the Checker Car Club of America’s annual convention, attended by about 120 Checker enthusiasts. At the time, experts estimated that just 600 to 1,000 of the vehicles were still running.
On Wednesday, the widow of Williamsburg landlord Menachem Stark, Vashi, testified against her husband’s alleged killer, Kendel Felix. [NY Post]
Developer Samy Mahfar, who is replacing a former preschool with condominiums at 255 E. Houston Street, has withdrawn his application to rezone the surrounding blocks for commercial use. [The Lo-Down NY]
Here’s a good reason to visit Rockaway one last time before the beach closes for the season on Sunday: Toss back a few beers and you’ll be helping some fine folks bounce back from a devastating fire that burned down several houseboats at a local marina.
Around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, an all-hands fire tore through Marina 59, off of Beach 59th Street. According to Rob Bryn, a bartender at Rippers and member of the band Wild Yaks, the fire started on the Queen Zenobia, a 30-foot yacht that was once part of the Boatel complex of rentable houseboats.
As of this afternoon, for the first time ever, you can make your way up to the tip top of the brand new William Vale hotel, clink glasses with your crew and look out over the expanse of Brooklyn from the Westlight, the new Williamsburg luxury hotel’s 22nd-floor bar with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Suddenly, Brooklyn will look almost insignificant and underdeveloped, teeming with pathetic, spartan life. Shift your godlike eyes down toward the Wythe Hotel and its unfortunate patrons will look like drunken, desperate ants. “Literally, that’s the Wythe– look how little it looks,” a PR rep laughed along with us.
If you’re heading out to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park tonight to see the US Open men’s semifinals, make sure to grab Fuku’s McEnroe and also take a moment to admire the New York State Pavilion’s $3 million paint job. The long overdue touchup was completed last year as part of a $6 million effort to begin restoring those big, weird concrete structures you always see on your way to the airport. One of the 50 amazing things about the ’64-’65 World’s Fair, the Tent of Tomorrow served as a performance and exhibition space while the Astro-View observation towers were the tallest thing in the fair.
Even hazy patrons bumbling their way out of opium dens– if the dope cave hadn’t been replaced by frou frou cocktail bars– would have had a hard time missing a gallery boom like the one currently going down in Chinatown. Increasingly fancy art palaces are moving in, bringing with them pristine minimalism and white-walled remove, which presents a pretty dramatic departure from the existing chaotic density of saggy red-yellow-and-smog-colored awnings, old ladies in bucket hats hustling meat sticks, careening unmarked buses hiding in alleyways that you didn’t know New York City had, murky fish tank smells, frenetically blinking neon signs, and countless aging storefronts overflowing with sun-bleached gecko supplements, acupuncture diagrams, and yellowing, curly-edged Chinese calendars.
Police are searching for a pair of thieves who nabbed Rogaine, Crest Whitestrips and over-the-counter medications from eight Duane Reades between May and August, including the 194 Second Avenue location. [DNA Info]
Protestors recently called for the removal of Dr. William Jusino, principal of the Williamsburg high school Grand Street Campus, following Jusino’s decision to suspend head football coach Bruce Eugene for unknown reasons. [Brooklyn Paper.]
Vinyl might have been cancelled, but VNYL is about to open in the East Village.
James Morrissey, owner of The Late Late, says that although his new bar nods to the ’70s, he actually came up with its name before he heard about the HBO show. It stands for Vintage New York Lifestyle, but the place’s decor was primarily inspired by the “elegant, chic, sophisticated” decor of Los Angeles homes during the ’70s.
We thought it couldn’t get any better than A Place to Bury Strangers doing a show at Brooklyn Bazaar’s trippy new location, but this just upped our anticipation for Halloween weekend: The folks behind the massive BangOn! art raves just announced that this year’s Warehouse of Horrors is on for Oct. 29, and will take place at a new warehouse location featuring 30-foot-ceilings, two music stages, a Silent Disco, local food vendors, a bouncy house, and a “flesh-suspension zipline show.”
Spa Night Thursday September 8, 7:45 pm at Metrograph: $15
This one’s been held over at the Metrograph again and it looks like this is finally, actually, literally the last time you can catch Spa Night within the stylish confines of the Lower East Side’s newest art house theater and perhaps the only ciné in the whole wide city with a concession stand that looks like it was designed by a serial killer. You’ll find that Spa Night is replete with that very same understated but stylish weirdness.It’s a quiet, crawling film fraught by teeth-gritting tension so overwhelming you get the feeling everything’s about to come crashing down if you breathe too loudly.
Last summer, when the Brooklyn Bazaar had to vacate its Greenpoint warehouse to make way for a Mini marketing ploy, they promised to return to a new location, as so many defunct Brooklyn venues had promised before them. But glory be, Yelp is going to have to eat its “permanently closed” words, because the bazaar is actually returning this week. Last night, we got an early look at all four levels of its new home inside of what used to be a Polish banquet hall, the over-the-top ’70s vibe of which is fantastically intact.