East Village

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Cracking the Case of the Mystery Safes in the Speakeasy Basement

This week, we continue with our series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

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(Photo: Nigar Hacizade)

If you walked into a building expecting to see a regular museum, but found an apartment-sized living room with minimal, seemingly random paraphernalia, unremarkable oil paintings and posters on the walls, and a $20 admission charge, what kind of review would you post on TripAdvisor? Would your visit even be long enough to merit one? And yet 56 of 70 reviews for the The Museum of the American Gangster, on the second floor of 78-80 Saint Marks Place, described it as “excellent” or “very good.” Half the reviewers on Yelp gave the place five stars. The glowing assessments have something in common: they all caution the visitor to get over any initial disappointment and enjoy the guided tour.

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From Anarchist Hangout to Bathhouse to Arcade: The Steamy History of 6 St. Marks

This week, we continue with our series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

6 St. Marks Place today (Photo by Prianka Srinivasan)

6 St. Marks Place today (Photo by Prianka Srinivasan)

It’s a little after seven on a Friday night, and the narrow basement of 6 St. Marks Place is heaving with booze and bodies. A young man juts his phone over his head and, like a digital periscope, slowly pans the room, recording the clusters of people huddled around the 56 arcades lining the walls. For countless other ‘90s kids, his enthusiasm is unsurprising. “Dude, they have Mortal Kombat!” he gushes, “I used to love that game!”

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Arrest Made in EV Stabbing; New Eatery to Bring a Taste of Long Island to E. 6th St

(Photo: Leah Jackson)

(Photo: Leah Jackson)

Jayson Avila was arrested on two counts each of assault and attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a couple in Alphabet City apartment building one week ago. [DNA Info]

Council Member Margaret Chin and others rallied Thursday to save Mulberry Street’s 25-year-old Met Food grocery store, which was scheduled to close the following day. [Gothamist]

Two Beauty & Essex alums will help oversee Out East, a 100-seat New American restaurant set to open this month on E. 6th Street. [Eater NY] Keep Reading »

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The Hard-Fightin’, Hard-Tumblin’ German Gymnasts of 4th Street

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

German immigrant board Hamburg steamer

“From the old to the new world—German emigrants for New York embarking on a Hamburg steamer.” Harper’s Weekly, 1974. (Library of Congress.)

Yesterday New York was AS GERMAN AS BERLIN and any one on the Bowery might have fancied himself unter den Linden. Germany bubbled up everywhere and the substantial joy of substantial Teutonia foamed LIKE A HUGE FLAGON OF LAGER. – New York Herald, April 11, 1871

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Basquiat’s Place: How a Site of Mob Beef Became a Boutique Butcher Shop

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

Japan Premium Beef at 57 Great Jones Street. (Photo: Hanna Wallis)

Japan Premium Beef at 57 Great Jones Street. (Photo: Hanna Wallis)

Below the sparkling glint of a crystal chandelier, slabs of meat rest behind glass as if displayed in a museum. Each label is handwritten in gold ink on a black card, leaving a sense of mortal weight; something lost, commemorated, aggrandized.

The little butcher shop at 57 Great Jones Street lacks any trace of blood or a stained smock. It gives no hint of the secrets lurking in the building’s history, like an art icon’s untimely death or the 1905 murder that catalyzed the decline of the Italian mob in the Bowery. The shop’s unexpected elegance hides the death intrinsic to each of its products. Steaks appear as objects of art, an impression their price tags reinforce.

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Katz’s Deli Pays Tribute to Carnegie Deli; Williamsburg’s Newest Hotel

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Gowanus Canal may be synonymous with grime, but could it one day be full of gondolas? New York Councilman Stephen Levin waxed about Gowanus’s similarities to Venice. [Crain’s NY]

Jake Dell, the owner of Katz’s Delicatessen on Houston Street, wrote a letter to the editor toasting his former business rival, The Carnegie Deli, which will shutter today. [NY Times]

Last week, Top Chef alum Sam Talbot opened Pretty Southern, a Bedford Avenue eatery serving gluten-free fried chicken and mac and cheese. [NY Times] Keep Reading »

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Week in Film: Love Poems You Never Knew Were Communist and Pour One Out for Your Katz’s Homies


Neruda
Now through Thursday January 5 at IFC Center: $14

For all you literary nerds out there, here’s your once-in-a-great-while chance to see a film about a poet– which, strangely, is something the movie bizz must be really feeling right now because whatddya know, Jarmusch’s new one, Paterson, also puts a poet front and center. What makes Neruda an even rarer opportunity is that Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet in question, is hardly some rugged, hard-boiled Anglo-centric beardo. Rather, Neruda is best know for his simple, yet heart-crushing love poems (especially the ones contained in Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.)

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For Over a Century, a Home For Women Who’ve ‘Sunk So Low’

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

Exterior of 10 Second Avenue, when it was home to the Isaac Hopper Home, 1930 (Courtesy of Women's Prison Association)

Exterior of 110 Second Avenue, when it was home to the Isaac Hopper Home, 1930 (Courtesy of Women’s Prison Association)

On May 31, 1848, Maria Seaboth, a 14-year-old orphan, showed up at the door of  the second location of the Isaac T. Hopper Home, a halfway house for women just released from prison at Tenth Avenue and 21st Street. Life couldn’t have been worse. She was destitute, homeless, and friendless and had been wandering from place to place, taking shelter in “various filthy and disgusting abodes,” the matron’s diary recorded as she observed the couple of dozen women in her charge.

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Once a Home for Destitute Girls, Now Handsome Co-Ops Worth Millions

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

307 East 12th Street from across the street. (Photo: Katie Schlechter)

307 East 12th Street from across the street. (Photo: Katie Schlechter)

The commotion began as Gertrude Williams strolled home from her cashier job at an uptown restaurant. At Broadway and 39th, a strange man tried to strike up a conversation. Annoyed yet accustomed to such unwanted attentions, she ignored him. But he persisted. The New York Tribune described what happened next: “Raising her pugnacious right, she caught him square on the jaw.”

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Three New EV Businesses; Royal Tenenbaums Bingo at Videology

Williamsburg landlord Moishe Indig was reportedly questioned by the FBI yesterday regarding a fundraiser he co-hosted for future mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013. [NY Post]

Plans for a new Jewish heritage mural are underway after its 43-year-old predecessor was painted over last month outside of 232 E. Broadway. [DNA Info]

On E. 11th Street, Little Tong Noodle Shop will replace Schnitz, a sandwich spot that closed in August. [EV Grieve] Keep Reading »

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Before the Puerto Rican Poets, There Was the Polish Violinist

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

(Photo: Shanna Ravindra for NY Mag)

(Photo: Shanna Ravindra for NY Mag)

The entrance to the Nuyorican Poets Café dissolves into a mural of faceless men standing in line, all dressed in white-hat-and-suit ensembles, hands stuffed into their pockets. The painting is based on a black and white photograph from the 1980s of spectators waiting outside the Café. To the right of the entrance is a detailed portrait of the Rev. Pedro Pietri, one of the Nuyorican’s founding poets. The murals replicate the artistry of what goes on inside the walls.

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Brooklyn Bridge Trespasser Arrested; Elvis Guesthouse and The Stone to Depart EV

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

A 23-year-old Virginia man was arrested Monday afternoon after taking a walk along the beams above the Brooklyn Bridge to secure selfies. [NY Post]

Ten days ago, police say a burglar assaulted a man in a Williamsburg apartment building before stealing his iPhone, an incident captured on security footage. No arrested have been made. [DNA Info]

Elvis Guesthouse, Avenue A’s bar/music venue that shares owners with Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, will also shutter at the end of the week after a 22-month run. [Mix Mag]
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