Mexicue Food Truck Lands on the LES

Food truck Mexicue signed a lease for 2,000 square feet on Forsyth Street.

From this month’s edition of The Real Deal comes news about several Lower East Side retail properties:

  • 106 Forsyth St.: The operators of food truck Mexicue signed a 10-year lease for a 2,000-square-foot restaurant between Broome and Grand streets, offering cuisine that’s “the sweet, sweet love child of red-hot Mexican cuisine and down-home, barbeque goodness.”
  • 218-220 Bowery: Italian race car star Alessandro Zampedri signed a lease with an option to buy this space on the Bowery between Spring and Prince, where he plans to open The Bowery House hotel, “an affordable hospitality concept with a coffee bar on the ground floor.” More details on Massey Knakal’s website.

Moldy Fig, Rob Shamlian, Co-Op Food & Drink, Patate Fellow

  • After several delays, jazz joint and cafe Moldy Fig at 178 Stanton St. had a soft opening over the weekend. Beer, wine, live jazz and shuffleboard are operational; official opening is July 4, and the full kitchen comes online sometime next month as well. The Alex Hoffman Quartet performs tonight at 8 p.m.
  • Goodbye LES, hello Brooklyn: Rob Shamlian says enough already with the Lower East Side. Next project? His new beer garden in Greenpoint, where things are “happier.”
  • Early reviews of Co-Op Food & Drink: The prices are high, the service is slow and there might be cocaine on the bathroom floor.
  • Patate Fellow is gone from 71 Clinton Street, but proprietor Toshi Cappuccino has opened a Japanese joint called Hachember.
  • How much is a good review worth? Grub Street puts the money where the critics’ mouths are.
  • Eater declares the death of 10 NYC food trends; among them, Painkiller’s tiki trendiness and most banh mi sandwiches, excepting, of course, BaoHaus.
  • Good Samaritans at Schiller’s rat out a bike vandal.


Rooftop Films to Show Special SXSW Films

Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander in a film still from The Dish and the Spoon

Rooftop Films is bringing two South By Southwest 2011 film premiers to Grand Street this weekend. On Friday, they will screen the New York premier of The Dish and the Spoon, with star Greta Gerwig in person, and on Saturday they will present the coming of age film No Matter What.

Gerwig, an indie startlett (Baghead, Greenberg) who has just started to “cross over” in to some big blockbusters (she was just in Arthur) is featured in The Dish and the Spoon as the romantically wounded Rose, a woman intent on seeking revenge against her unfaithful husband, who encounters equally an equally downtrodden British teen (newcomer Olly Alexander), who has traveled to American to meet a woman only to find that she has abandoned him.

Pest Proofing with the Lower East Side’s Bed Bug Busters

Summer in the city means lots of things: outdoor concerts, street fairs, green market goodness! It also means, unfortunately, that bed bugs are back with a vengeance.  As high season drew near, we tagged along recently with the technicians at M & M Environmental, a Lower East Side company on the front lines of New York’s epic bed bug battle.  As you can see in the photo above, these guys are not messing around!

Potluck and Ping Pong in Gulick Park Tomorrow Night

The Hester Street Collaborative, the Friends of Gulick Park, and the Design Trust for Public Space are inviting local residents to partake in food, drinks and ping pong in Luther Gulick Park tomorrow night.

Lower East Side Lens: May 22, 2011

On Rivington Street, May 22, 2011: Continuing our series of photographs shot by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis on the streets of the Lower East Side.

Feds Shut Down Sky Express Buses After Crash

The Sky Express bus hit an embankment and rolled on I-95. Photo: Reuters

In the wake of yesterday’s fatal bus crash in Virginia, in which driver fatigue is blamed, federal regulators announced late Tuesday that Sky Express Bus company would be forced to cease operations. The accident early yesterday morning on Interstate 95 just north of Richmond killed four people and injured at least 50 other passengers en route from Greensboro, N.C., to New York City.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will not tolerate passenger bus companies that endanger public safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Working side-by-side with our North Carolina state law enforcement partners, we took strong action to shut down this unsafe bus company.”

Freerange Nonfiction at Pianos Tonight

Freerange Nonfiction, a reading series and storytelling collective that is celebrating its “rebirth” in the LES this spring, presents the second installment of its First Wednesday readings at Pianos on Ludlow Street tonight. (The series moved from Cornelia Street Cafe in the Village last month.) Tonight’s episode features work from writers Darcey Steinke, a novelist and journalist, Piper Kerman, a memoirist, novelist Jackson Taylor and poet David McLoghlin, as well as two emerging artists, Brandi Neal and J.E. Reich.

Grownups Honor Small But Mighty Chess Masters in Chinatown

A nice event yesterday morning. Chinatown elected officials and DOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott paid a visit to P.S. 124 on Division Street to honor the school’s formidable chess team, the Panda Pawns. Last month, the elementary school students were victorious in a national chess tournament in Nashville, deafeating a team of high school kids.

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and State Senator Daniel Squadron praised the students and the chess program, which has won nationwide acclaim. The kids were supposed to be competing against students their own age, but ended up taking on players twice their age due to a scheduling conflict with a mandatory state exam.

A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal featured the Panda Pawns in a story about the dominance of New York based student chess teams.

See a couple more photos after the jump.

Weekend Kid’s Pick

Free, kid-focused exhibits at the National Museum of the American Indian

This weekend get out of the heat for a few hours and take the kids to The National Museum of the American Indian (1 Bowling Green, between State and Whitehall streets). “Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian” includes a  range of art by natives of North, Central and South America and is part of a permanent exhibition including approximately 700 pieces spanning thousands of years. Children will see headdresses, 2,000-year-old duck decoys created by peoples in the Great Basin, elaborate masks from the Northwest Coast, and Olmec and Mayan carvings.

The exhibition is free and the museum is open 10-5 daily.

Columbus Park Arrest, Bee Swarm, Yiddish Lives On

  • Last month’s violent arrest and beating of an elderly Chinese man in Columbus Park finally draws attention from the Gray Lady (NYT)
  • A swarm of bees on Grand Street causes tourist freak-out in Little Italy (Daily Mail)
  • After keeping Yiddish alive for 89 years, chorus raises its voice this weekend (Jewish Week)
  • Trading heirlooms for fine art in Chinatown (WSJ)
  • Photos from Lady Gaga’s party at Angel Orensanz Foundation (FabulousReport)

Good Morning!

Intergenerational ping pong

Photo credit: The Friends of Gulick Park.

A sunny morning will give way to storm clouds this afternoon. Look for thunderstorms, high winds and maybe even some hail, beginning as early as 1 p.m. Today’s high: 86 degrees.