Monday, June 9, 2008

1st at 7 and 8

It seems that when things change in the new New York, they change en masse. Soon, much of the eastern block of 1st Ave between 7th and 8th Streets is going to be transformed.

La Casalinga, which closed in February, has already been rented and is on its way to becoming a German sausage takeout joint called Eichstatt. I heard that the owner, who is from Germany, will be feeding us with Schaller & Weber products.

As I covered recently, next to the sausage place is the revived International Bar, where we'll be welcome to enjoy our takeout bratwurst with a can of Schaefer, and two doors up from the International, replacing Cosmos Parcels, will be La Rokara, a jazz cafe that promises to be neighborhood-friendly.

Dearly departed butcher shop, Kurowycky Meats, is still rumored to be transformed into a high-end restaurant, probably by celeb chef Jonathan Waxman. Just in time, the place is up for full liquor license approval this month, not under the name "Meat," as rumored, but "Penmanship" at 124 1st Ave.

What would you like to see in Kurowycky's place?


Anonymous said...

Fishmonger. We haven't had one since the place on East 13th closed.
Real bread bakery. Haven't had one since the Italian bakery on the other side of first closed. NYC Icy.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the new stores have to meet ONLY your criteria and approval for them to be welcomed into the neighborhood. This is no different mentality from the keeping up with the Joneses; in your case, it's keeping up with the non-Joneses. Just face it, stores close, new ones takes their place; people grow-up, they move-on, new ones take their place; Just live with it and stop lamenting, complaining, and whining about the changes that are going on in the East Village.

Anonymous said...

The problem, 5&dimed, is that often the new businesses do not serve any community purpose. We need a butcher, a fishmonger, a dry cleaner. We do not need anoher so-called trendy restaurant Now that my neighborhood as become a true destination neighborhood--sigh--everything that made it livable is going fast.
And please take it easy on those incorrect hyphenates.

L'Emmerdeur said...

5&dimed, while I agree that things change, the changes we have seen in the last few years are as economically unsustainable as the anarchy of the 1980s was socially and psychologically unsustainable.

This city depends on massive tax revenues to keep the SATC vibe going. The coming economic storm is going to put a serious dent in those revenues, and will lead to very swift mass closures of all these new, pricey businesses - especially since many of the folks whose tastes dictated what types of businesses would open will leave New York (in fact, are beginning to leave New York).

I believe that if those mom&pops that have a viable business could remain open side-by-side with these new stores, they both would have a better chance of surviving the coming storm.

As it is, I predict we will see closed storefronts on a scale similar to the mid-1970s.

Anonymous said...

The anarchy of the LES in the 1980s was the best time of my life...

Anonymous said...

I really miss the days when "artisanal" meant something other than "high-priced folderol for the giggling rich." Once upon a time "artisanal" was the word used to describe businesses like Kurowycky, or Faicco's, or Tom Cat, or D&G Bakery. It meant that butchers and bakers and fishmongers were dedicated to providing simple, beautiful food, and spent years apprenticing with masters to learn how to do it. It meant that the businesses in question couldn't compete with factory-food producers from an economy-of-scale perspective, so they competed by providing superior products and customer service, by getting to know their neighbors and listening to their needs, wants and concerns. True, the food was more expensive than the factory stuff, but it wasn't expensive for the sake of being expensive, or for providing a label for the Emerging Fabulous to snap up and market to within an inch of its life. It meant, simply, that the food was a little more expensive.

Now, though, "artisan" means something entirely different, and it's nearly impossible to use it without embarrassment. I could go on and on, but in deference to both Jeremiah and the fans of VNY, I won't -- at least not in VNY's comment field.

Anonymous said...

I really wish that Martha Stewart had supported her countrymen and had intervened and sponsored that Polish meat market. She had featured it in one of her magazines. - BN

Jill said...

I went to the CB3 meeting and the community turnout seemed rather lacking, especially if you live in the 2nd Ave bet 4th & 8th Street area, which had so many sidewalk cafes and liquor licenses on the docket. It was terribly arduous and hard to hear, but in the first 6 or so hearings that I sat through, several were denied, including Franks (I think; again it was really hard to hear especially at the end when they made their motions, there might have been caveats.)