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City Doesn’t Have Greenbacks For Rehab of Sara D. Roosevelt Park

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.

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Disco Is Ah, Ah, Ah Stayin’ Alive at Museum of Sex’s New Exhibit Cum Nightclub

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

When we popped into the Museum of Sex last night for a preview of their new exhibit on erotic outsider art, we didn’t expect to find a discotheque on the premises. But there it was: An exhibit titled “Night Fever” has brought a massive Richard Long Audio System (the type used at Studio 54 and Paradise Garage) to MoSex’s bar space, and it’s absolutely killer. Back when we visited MoSex for Kayvon Zand’s sadly short-lived weekly, the bar had a fusty library look, with couches set between bookcases. But Jason Volenec, designer of atmospheric restaurants like Miss Lily’s and Tertulia, has given it a ‘70s vibe via silver-foiled walls (a la Warhol’s factory), disco balls, and swiveling glass coffee tables.

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Gowanus BBQ Joint Pig Beach Opens a Grown-Up Spot, Pig Bleecker

(Photo: Katie B. Foster)

(Photo: Katie B. Foster)

Just a couple of months after Gowanus barbecue joint Pig Beach converted itself into a seasonal burger joint, the restaurant remains on Eater’s “heat map” of the hottest restaurants in Brooklyn. Now, good news for Manhattanites: You’ll no longer have to persevere the F train to get a taste of it. Pig Beach just opened a Greenwich Village outpost.

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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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How a Mosque Ended Up Next to a Pig-Roasting, Shot-Pounding Metal Bar

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

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30 Cliff Street today. The metal bar “Iron Horse” located in background.

At dusk, bearded men dressed in suits take hurried strides towards 30 Cliff Street, a nondescript building on a relatively quiet strip between busy Fulton and John Streets. Through metal and glass doors reminiscent of a hospital, men file into the prayer room and prostrate in unison on a floor covered in cheap knock-offs of Persian rugs, the mosque’s only pretension to traditional Islamic grandeur. Very little about Masjid Manhattan says mosque the way the word is understood in Istanbul, Tehran or Lahore: no grand domes and minarets, no call to prayer over a loudspeaker; it’s almost as if the place doesn’t want to call too much attention to itself, and it isn’t hard to understand why.

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Newly Signed Law Will Help Keep OId Folks Homes From Becoming Rich Folks Homes

(Photo: Kavitha Surana)

(Photo: Kavitha Surana)

It’s too late to save Rivington House, the former HIV treatment facility that a non-profit nursing home operator unexpectedly flipped to a luxury developer after the city quietly lifted a deed restriction. But a bill signed into law today should do something to prevent buildings designated for community use from becoming luxury condos.

The new law requires the city to maintain a searchable online database of properties with deed restrictions, and forces developers who want to have them lifted to inform their local City Council member, community board, and borough president. The law requires the mayor, a specially formed committee, and the Department of City Planning to review any such requests, and approve them with the mayor’s personal sign-off only if they’re deemed to be in the city’s best interest. While there had been talk of requiring the city’s stringent Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in such scenarios, the new law stops short of that.

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Taberna 97 Brings Portuguese Comfort Food to the Yaffa Cafe Space

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

After nearly two years of renovations, the space formerly occupied by Yaffa Cafe has opened its doors as Taberna 97. The team behind the new restaurant, which serves Portuguese fare in a casual tavern setting, also owns  St. Dymphna’s on the same block of St Marks Place.

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Squish Marshmallows Brings S’more Sweets to St. Marks Place

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Squish Marshmallow isn’t the first Hester Street Fair sweets vendor to open on St. Marks Place, between 1st and A (that would be Macaron Parlour, across the street). But it’s definitely the only one serving a marshmallow donut. Katherine Sprung, a voiceover artist turned marshmallow maven, recently soft-opened a brick-and-mortar shop that specializes in s’mores and marshmallows on a stick.

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Fake News? Anti-Trump Cafe ‘Coming Soon’ to the East Village

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Is an anti-Trump cafe headed for the East Village? It’s COMING SOON, if we’re to believe the signage that has mysteriously appeared at 64 Second Avenue, between East 3rd and 4th Streets. Or maybe it’s just a fakeout along the lines of “NYC’s First Bar for Pregnant Women.”

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Noho Gets Ready to Rumble, With Another Boxing-Inspired Gym

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

A dizzying number of boutique gyms have invaded the Noho/Astor Place area of late: Barry’s Boot CampMile High Run Club, ModelFit, OrangetheoryFlyWheel, the list goes on. The latest to get in the ring is Rumble, a boxing-inspired gym coming to 700 Broadway, near East 4th Street, this winter.

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YURT ALERT: The Standard’s Winter Garden Is Really In-Tents

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

The bad news: One of the East Village’s secret gems, the bocce court at The Standard, has gone into hibernation. The good news: The hotel’s garden has transformed into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees and mini yurts.

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