Category Archives: Lower East Side


Seen a block west of me on Rivington Street this morning, the denouement of the collapsed synagogue saga, creating a new suite of tenement views a la Thor’s back dining room. (The top of the now-vanished synagogue appears in the graphical banner atop this site, under the words EAST SIDE.)

Apocalypse Now


The morning I awake in Budapest, the first day of three weeks in this city, comes news from the Old Neighborhood that shocks to its core: Starbucks has, as long feared and long forecast, arrived in the one-triple-zero-two. A movie set… or the real thing?

We’ve been fooled before. Many times before. But something about this just feels… true. If you need us, we’ll be off drowning ourselves in the Danube.
· Breaking: Dawn of a New Era on LES [Curbed, photo via Spinachdip NYC]
· Starbucks Update, Rumblings and Grumblings []
· Coffee Talk [Below 14th]

Wither the LES Blog Scene?

Tragic news for the Lower East Side blog scene as of late. First, Ian and Cintra report that is flying south to a new home. Then Tale of Two Cities‘ Joey packs his bags for the Upper East Village.

Wither the Lower East Side blog scene? It’s almost enough to make one take blog in hand and opine about Schiller’s again. On that note, thank God for Youngma and its incisive McNally-related coverage.
· Now It Can Be Told []
· Farewell My Love [Tale of Two Cities]
· Something I Learned Today [Young Manhattanite]

Italian, From The Region Near Insanity

Today, apropos of nothing, NYT food critic Frank Bruni reviewed Petrosino, the casual Italian restaurant on the corner of Norfolk and Houston that’s been open since fall 2002. Despite its promising debut, it has long prided itself on offering higher prices and less good food than casual Italian neighbors like those, say, in the Prisinzano Empire. This summer, apropos of nothing, the owner opened a new casual spinoff next door called Canapa. I dined there a few months back. I would not recommend it to my enemies.

For weeks, I’ve walked by Petrosino and its vast sea of empty seats (Tuesday at 7pm, Friday at 9pm, doesn’t matter), setting mental over/unders as to its closing. I would have wagered on “tomorrow” if I could. Now, thanks to Bruni’s two-star review, a neat sociological experiment begins: how long can a decaying, overpriced restaurant ride out its bizarro moment of two-star fame? To be sporting, over/under: February 9, 2005.
· Italian, From the Region Near Whimsy [NYTimes]

Wacky Weekend Street Events

Crazy weekend on tap for streets of the Lower East Side. Last night, this year’s psy.geo.CONFLUX kicked off with a gathering at Participant (95 Rivington Street), which is serving as homebase for events including WiFiKu (“A drift through New York City neighborhoods to discover the names people give to their WiFi nodes and to construct haiku using these found SSID names”) and New Copen York Hagen (“a walk through Copenhagen as seen superimposed on a map of New York, with Danish souvenirs installed at various New York tourist attractions”).

Most intriguing, however, is tomorrow’s One Block Radius, a hyperinteractive walking tour of the one-block area on the Bowery where the new NewMuseum breaks ground this fall. Though the tour is a one day only affair (it kicks off at 2pm), the One Block Radius website is an ongoing project with 422 items of note already registered. It’s a mind-boggling, must-visit site.
· psy.geo.CONFLUX []
· Psy.Geo.Conflux Schedule []
· One Block Radius []
· Young Manhattanite interview with psy.geo organizers [Gothamist]

Soy Blog

Is there a hotter trend in NYC right now than the restaurant weblog? Uh, probably, but don’t sweat the small stuff, okay? Following on the heels of Schnäck Blog, from a Brooklyn eatery, neighbor Margit tips us off that Etsuko, the proprietor of Suffolk Street Asian eatery Soy, has her own blog. Much as we enjoy the food at Soy, the site might be even better.
· Soy Diary []
· Soy [Citysearch]

Whole Foods: Here Comes Houston!

2004_05_avalonfood.jpgForget Starbucks. The LES retail news of the week, courtesy of today’s unlinkable “Between the Bricks” column in the Post: überorganics retailer Whole Foods has leased a whopping 87,000 square feet in Houston Street/LES megoid development Avalon Chrystie Place. (By comparison, Whole Food’s store in Time Warner Center is 58,000 sq. ft.) What dark plans might the company have for this ludicrous amount of space at its new LES outpost? Who knows—we’ve been too busy playing with the downloadable Excel spreadsheets that Whole Foods makes available on its site.
· New Stores [Whole Foods] no confirmation yet…