The New York Film Academy has left Tammany Hall and another tenant, the Union Square Theater, will soon follow suit as the landmarked building that was once home to a corrupt Democratic party machine expands for retail development.
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This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.
In 2012, when attendees of an anarchist book fair scuffled with police and attempted to smash the windows of the Starbucks on Astor Place, the mayhem—far uptown from Occupy Wall Street’s demonstrations at Zuccotti Park— seemed to come out of nowhere. But it was hardly the first instance of unrest staged at the onetime site of the Astor Place Opera House. Opened in 1847, the opera house catered to the wealthy residents of the neighborhood, singing an aria of exclusivity that offended the general public. It later became the stage for the Astor Place Riot, a bloody clash born out of tension between the rich and the poor in the theater world that forced the Opera House to shutter its doors.
A group by the name of Stand for Tenant Safety, consisting of tenant groups and eleven City Council Members (including Rosie Mendez from the Lower East Side, Stephen Levin from Williamsburg, and Antonio Reynoso of Bushwick) rallied on the steps of City Hall this morning. Never mind the rain. The coalition is named for a new report, released today by the Urban Justice Center, that coincides with the introduction of a legislation package that would protect tenants from landlords and developers who carry out neglectful and malicious construction projects. “My tenants have rain coming down in their apartments, so this is nothing,” said CM Rosie Mendez of the Lower East Side.
Sources tell The Real Deal that Apple is “looking closely” at the building on the corner of Bedford Avenue and N 4th Street (across the street from the future Whole Foods) as the location of Brooklyn’s first Apple store. The building is already getting a Parm and an Umami Burger. [TRD]
Mayor Bill de Blasio will host a town hall this Wednesday at 273 Bowery. To RSVP, call 212-748-0281. [Bowery Boogie]
Though it’s one of Smorgasburg’s home bases, Williamsburg hadn’t yet gotten one of the glitzy food halls that have been popping up all over Manhattan. That changed when North 3rd Street Market opened at 103 N 3rd this month, bringing with it ramen from Chuko (to make up for its closing in Bushwick), lobster rolls from Greenpoint/Rockaway fixture Lobster Joint, sandwiches and burritos from Lower East Side transplants Regina’s Grocery and Jajaja, croissants from Ben Cuit, cappuccinos from Champion Coffee, rolls from GoFish Sushi Box, and more. DJs from Halycon, the record shop inside of Williamsburg club Output, pair the eats with beats. Maybe most exciting, pizza institution Di Fara has set up its first satellite oven here, which means you’ll no longer have to trek out to Midwood to scarf what many consider to be the best pie in the city. Watch our video to check out the scene and hear from vendors and customers.
Video by Erica Carnevalli.
Over 300 residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown gathered in a Bowery gym for Mayor de Blasio’s 27th town hall Wednesday, and we probably don’t have to tell you what the theme of the evening was. You guessed it: gentrification, particularly with regard to the 60-plus-story towers rising over Two Bridges.
We haven’t heard much about TWA Flight Center since we took our last look inside of it during Open House NY last year, but progress is finally being made on the hotel that will restore Eero Saarinen’s majestic structure to its Jet Age glory and open it to the public after more than 15 years of disuse. Today Governor Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials gathered to break ground on the TWA Hotel, set to open at the end of 2018.