Friday, October 24, 2008

To fight a liquor license...

...requires more than getting a denial from the Community Board.

The State Liquor Authority awards licenses, not the Community Board. The Community Board's decision is merely advisory to the SLA.

Effectively opposing a license requires taking a Tuesday off, going up to the SLA on 125th Street -- preferably with letters from local elected officials -- and testifying in opposition to the license. (You can find the exact date of a hearing on the SLA website here.)

It takes a couple of hours. That's one more reason to organize block associations: not everyone can spare a Tuesday to testify.

We're putting together a database for block associations. If you have a block association contact, please send it to me or to
along with the location of the block association (include the cross streets, e.g., "6th Street Block Association, from A to 1st Ave").

Let's have a voice.

Thanks to those who have already sent BA contact information.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Troubling developments

59 East 2nd Street
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection and Chapel of St. Innocent of Irkutsk, an impressive stone structure just across the street from the Marble Cemetery and down the street from Anthology Film Archives, is planning to add 8 residential stories to its current 60 foot height, 141 feet altogether. How will they add eight stories on top of an 1867 church without compromising the structure? It's a historic church on a historic block. DoB has approved their plan.

75 1st Avenue
Developer plans to build a 171-foot tall tower on a tiny 24-foot wide lot. It's illegal to build higher than 100 feet on such a narrow lot, but they are digging their foundation anyway.

226-228 Bowery
8-story hotel in the midst of the Bowery section of the Special Little Italy District, not far from the New Museum. Is this the future of the city's oldest road?

Hope for the LES?

Last night at CB3's SLA committee, 20 bars and restaurants applied for licenses. Residents showed up to protest four. All four of those license applicants were rejected by the committee. Two more were sent back to consult with the residents on their block. All the rest of the unopposed applicants were approved.


100% of successfully opposing a liquor license at the CB is --

-- just showing up.

At least half of those residents who showed up were brought by block associations. They can be effective, those block associations. Maybe it's time to organize EV/LES block associations. A neighborhood friend is creating a website where block associations can share information with residents on their block and with other block associations, view community news alerts and, with virtually no effort, even create and manage their own webpage. All he needs are block association contacts.

Anyone want to contribute a block association contact?

(Could be the start of something big: community voice and network throughout the EV/LES.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yet more bars?

To take your mind off the credit crisis, below is this month's roster of new bars applying for liquor licenses in our neighborhood. Anyone wanna bet on how many withdraw or how long before the recession closes their doors?

Am I exhibiting too much glee over the financial meltdown? I can't hide it. Like many of the wishful-thinking, I'm eagerly scrutinizing the neighborhood for evidence of recession. Of course, it's a little early to see significant change, but rents are down 30% in my building and for the first time in fifteen years there were vacancies through September.

SLA & DCA Licensing Committee
Monday, October 20, 6:30pm, 200 East 5th Street at Bowery
1. FY'2010 Capital & Expense Priorities
Renewal with Complaint History
2. The Box, 189 Chrystie St (op)
3. Sidewalk Bar & Restaurant, 94 Ave A (sidewalk café)
4. Dallas BBQ, 132 2nd Ave (sidewalk café)
5. Supper, 156 E 2nd St (sidewalk café)
Sidewalk Café Renewal/ULURP
6. Sugar Café, 200 Allen St (sidewalk café)
7. Zerza, 304 E 6th St (sidewalk café)
Applications within Resolution Areas
8. Tuck Shop, 68 E 1st St (rw)
9. Caffe Pepe Rosso, 127 Ave C (up/op)
10. 146 Orchard Rest, 146 Orchard St (add/op)
11. 6AB Restaurant, 507 E 6th St (bw)
12. Café Partners, 72 E 1st St (tw)
13. Jing Star (currently Sunrise 27), 27-29 Division St (trans/rw)
14. Vicky's Gourmet (currently Yummy House), 76 3rd Ave (trans/op)
15. Xunta, 174 1st Ave (up/op)
16. Bourgeois Pig, 122 E 7th St (alt)
17. Sushi Park, 77 E 7th St (up/op)
18. Mornir Stojnovic (currently Kush Lounge), 191 Chrystie St (trans/op)
19. Corp to be Formed (currently Mo Pitkins), 34 Ave A (trans/op)
20. SJD Entertainment (currently Summers Bar), 49 Clinton St (trans/op)
21. A&S Organic (currently Russo's), 40 Ave B (trans/rw)
New Liquor License Applications
22. Betty Café, 256 E 3rd St (tw)
23. Fifty Fathoms, 86 Allen St (op)
24. 384 Grand St (op)
25. Tanaghrisson, 90 E 10th St (op)
26. 1 Essex LLC, 1 Essex St (op)
27. Compas Group, 86 Orchard St (op)
28. Fritz, 417 E 9th St (rw)
29. Stanton Restaurant, 82 Stanton St (op)
30. Spice Thai Hot & Cool, 77 E 10th St (op)
31. 144 Division LLC, 144 Division St (op)
32. Persimmon LLC, 277 E 10th St (rw)
33. Rivington Sushi, 151 Rivington St (rw)
34. Porchetta, 110 E 7th St (rw)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Financial crisis impact on renters

What happens to you if your landlord defaults on his mortgage?

GOLES is hosting a meeting on the impact of the financial crisis on NYC housing, this Thursday, Oct. 16, 7pm, 535 E 5th St. (between A&B), ground floor community room.
More info, call GOLES: 212-533-2541