Monday, June 16, 2008

*Everyday Chatter

DON'T FORGET: Tonight at 6:30 go to the CB3 meeting and let them know how you feel about another high-end restaurant getting a full liquor license in the EV on 1st Ave between 7th and 8th. See: Waxman Cometh.

All the turmoil in Africa is so trendy--and it has nothing to do with "sparkly things" like diamonds. Anyone who went to see Leo in Blood Diamond would know better. Or not. [EVG]

If you thought the EV/LES was just invented yesterday, Captured is the film to see. [BkRail]

Bowery Wine lovers say: Let them eat cake. Sort of. [Eater]

From wine wars to water wars, when it comes to sucking from a bottle, emotions run high. [Times]

June 21: Harlem march and rally "Against Displacement & Gentrification," begins 10:00 a.m. at Marcus Garvey Park, 124th & 5th.

LES "Bad Pussies" mural passes off a subtle message of yuppicide:

The newest Noho monster announces itself on plywood walls. [CR]

Those new condos in Brooklyn ain't selling--but people are lining up to rent the feeling of luxury. [NYT]

And already, people are lining up to get into the Red Hook Ikea. As if there isn't another one with exactly the same stuff right across the Hudson. [Racked]

Check out 10 Places That Matter and nominate your favorite vanishing places here.

The Upper West Side's fabulous P&G bar may become a Baby Gap. [LC]


L'Emmerdeur said...

Captured was excellent. Methinks you would not have appreciated most of the crowd that attended: yunnies who spent half the time texting their friends, probably about the cool, gritty evening they were having.

When one of my friends pulled out his Blackberry (forgive him, he's from Queens), I warned him that a second offense would find that Blackberry swimming in the warm chocolate sea that was his ass.

Patterson was there... taking pictures, of course.

L'Emmerdeur said...

Oh, and did someone say mass suicides?

Anonymous said...

^ This picture makes me want to vomit.

Anonymous said...

@L'Emmerdeur: I'm sure you were just being tongue-in-cheek with that "forgive him, he's from Queens" throwaway, so I will not get all stick-up-the-ass'ed when I mention that a) I live in Queens, b) I moved to Queens 14 years ago when my husband and I were priced out of the LES, and c) some of us in Queens have progressed beyond the state where we think that digital watches are a neat idea. ;)

That said, if I had been with your Blackberry-wielding friend, my response wouldn't have been nearly as restrained as yours was.

Anonymous said...

Re: The luxury rentals link: They really hate neighborhoods, don't they?

That crazy woman who went to Vegas to look at diamonds: I'm afraid of her. And I don't scare easily.

Anonymous said...

I went to the CB3 meeting tonight. There didn't seem to be any loud contingent of community members, just a few right up front. Though not much to be loud about, as the first several people were denied their license requests, including Franks. At least I think that's what happened, it was very very hard to hear, and after the motions there were some other things going on that indicated that there were other ways the restaurateurs could appeal the decision.

Also, the meeting goes on FOREVER so one must have quite some stamina to stay there for more than an hour or two, despite being very curious to find out if the guy from Cucina de Pesce actually came back with the missing petitions. Oh, it's only 9:30 now, he still has another 2 hours to do it. It feels like it was days ago, but still the meeting goes on, and on, and on. Yikes.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks for the CB3 update--keep us posted!

L'Emmerdeur said...

bakerina, I was born in Astoria, and have had my cheeks surgically enhanced to contain my tongue for extended periods without causing warts or bruises. ;)

This city does need more inter-borough warfare, though.

Anonymous said...

So noted, L'Emmerdeur. You are hereby invited to kick my ass the next time I take such a frosty tone. ;)

Okay, we can have a little interborough warfare to keep things interesting. I say we declare it on Brooklyn, though. Buncha pikers. ;)

Anonymous said...

Come now, what do we need inter-borough warfare for? Don't we have enough problems dealing with the yunnie? As I've alays seen it, Vongerichtification ought to be a wakeup call for all of us to aknowledge the uniqueness and worth of each part of the city, as well as the inescapable fact that we're all in the same boat. We should all be angry together.

Oh, also, in regards to the Harlem protest in Marcus Garvey Park. Wouldn't Marus Garvey be pissed by everyting happening up there!

Anonymous said...

I've been living in Astoria now for the past two years (after being priced out from the EV), and Astoria along with LIC are also slowly being vongerichtified -- just try to take the N train and you'll see all these massive condos being built. Also, there are stores establishments that are disappearing (but not as fast as the ones in NYC) such as our version of a Papaya hotdogs, which is now a Bank of America; a movie theater (an old cinema marquee, much like the ones in the old Times Square) with seven theaters, which are now a Duane Reade and a New York Sports Club. And a couple of mom & pop shops -- a hardware store and a pharmacy (not chain) -- have closed to be replaced by a cafe and restaurants. Aside form the "Papaya" hot dog and the movie theater, I have no complain, so far, since the cafes/restaurants sprouting are affordable and family-owned and do not cater to the yuppies nor the yunnies. More and more former East Villagers are now coming to these neighborhoods. But eventually, soon (if the East Village keeps to be gentrified, Astoria and LIC will be the yunnies' and yuppies' next target to be consumed by them.

Anonymous said...

@Joshua: Fear not. I was just being waggish about interborough warfare. When my husband and I moved to Astoria in 1994, I was razzed by our "OMG how can you leave Manhattan?" friends, and the razzing got old quickly. I still remember one of my Art Problem friends sniffing "well, maybe the food's good and the rent's cheap, but it's not like Woody Allen is going to shoot any movies in your neighborhood, is he?" I was a little smug, but only a little, when the cast and crew of Anything Else showed up and parked their craft services truck right in front of my apartment. (While it's not exactly Woody's best movie, it does feature a neat slice of vanished New York in the form of the late, much-missed Simon's Hardware Store on 23rd Avenue. It's the store where the guys who steal Woody's parking space walk out to discover him destroying their windshield with a baseball bat. I used to buy all my canning supplies from Simon's. It was a real meeting place in the neighborhood, and I still miss them.)

But I digress. I won't beat up on the other boroughs. I just wanted to jag L'Emmerdeur's chain a little bit. :)

@Anonymous 6/18 9:22: I know exactly what you mean about those condos. I live near the Ditmars Blvd. stop, so I spend a lot of time on the N. I'm stunned, frankly, by how many new luxury buildings are going up, how quickly they're being erected and how close together they are. That little cluster by Queensboro Plaza is mindboggling. I pity the poor saps who pay through the nose for river views, only to move in to a pristine view of some other sap's overpriced apartment.

Regarding the new businesses on Steinway Street: While I'm glad that Steinway hasn't become Wine Bar Central yet, I'm still not encouraged by the fact that so many of these new businesses are restaurants and cafes. I have no problem with such businesses -- hell, I like a decent wine bar from time to time -- but I do have a problem with homogeneity, and with the loss of services and amenities in an area. A neighborhood can't survive on restaurants alone; you need hardware stores and laundries/dry cleaners and produce markets and meat/fish markets and bakeries and affordable places to buy clothes and shoes. In the time I've lived in Astoria -- which is a fraction of the time in which most of my immediate neighbors have lived here -- we've lost businesses like these, and they're increasingly being replaced by restaurants.

Watching this happen makes me think back to 2002, when my husband did some temp work at a nonprofit whose goal was to bring business investment to lower Manhattan. One day he heard the director of the organization on the phone with a journalist. She had just landed a deal to bring some big national retailer to the area, and she told the journalist that this was the kind of business for which she was gunning, ending with, and I quote, "I don't have time to talk to locksmiths." Now, I have no quarrel with bringing money to neighborhoods in crisis, but if I remember correctly, the city was trying to encourage residential buyers and renters to move to lower Manhattan as well. If you live in the neighborhood and you're unlucky enough to lose your keys, wouldn't you hope that someone would have made the time to talk to locksmiths?

Once again I'm rabbitting on without any sense of order, but I do agree with your point. It's coming to Astoria, if it's not actually here already. 23rd Avenue is showing signs of restaurant oversaturation. For this reason (as well as a few others), we're leaving the neighborhood, and the city, at the end of the summer. We're leaving while we have the option to leave. The thought of New York City, its elected officials and its newly-minted residents, telling us not to let the door hit us in the ass on the way out breaks my heart, so we're going before it can happen to us. If we don't, it *will* happen to us.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everyhting you said--especially those condos by queens plaza --it's like they're building huge dominoes, like they're competing who can build the condo closest to the city without having anyone else to be able to block the view.

30th avenue (this is our version of 7th avenue in Park Slope) is not yet homogenized, but more and more cafe/bars/restaurants are sprouting displacing the small businesses and overcrowding the sidewalks. But they cater to the locals, which are European immigrants and the former East Villagers. And, we still have the vegetable, fish, and meat markets. The cool wine bars/lounges can be found on the side streets or less populated streets (there's a few by 28th avenue and broadway and off-broadway). Although, it does not have that vibe that EV used to have--it's trying though, but at the same time it seems like Astoria wants to go towards the direction of being vongerichtified -- I'd prefer to be here than being in the new EV, or anywhere in the city for that matter, and I'll enjoy my time here before I get priced out again(i'll probably end up in Long Island, the way I'm heading), since sooner or later, more real estate developers will "discover" this unchartered location.