LES Bites: Mission Chinese Food, Beauty & Essex, Bowery Diner

Chris Santos says "Beauty and Essex" is so busy he can't even think straight!

Your Friday afternoon Lower East Side food news:

  • More on Mission Chinese Food’s expansion from San Francisco to the Lower East Side.  Owner Danny Bowien tells the San Francisco Chronicle the new Orchard Street location “will have the same DIY feel and shoestring budget as the original.” There will be a full bar, 39 seats, as well as lunch service and takeout.
  • Grub Street gets Chris Santos of Beauty and Essex to reveal some of his favorite Lower East Side spots.
  • Video: Not everyone gets the whole pawn shop experience at Beauty & Essex.
  • The Post says Bowery Diner is “more overdone than fun.”


A Night of “Black Dance” With Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Leave it to choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to jump-start one big spontaneous improv dance party during her “Black Jam” evening last night at Danspace Project (as part of the Platforms 2012: Parallels series). My iPhone camera could only capture a trace of the energy that was in the air, but when you gather a group of dancers together in a room — well, they dance.  Even the “old folks,” as Zollar affectionately called her fellow choreographers, joined in the act: Cynthia Oliver, Blondell Cummings, Bebe Miller–shedding her foot cast which became a welcome prop — not to mention Ishmael Houston-Jones, the mastermind curator behind this Platforms series.

Travel Alert: Overnight Train Shutdown Feb. 27-March 2

It doesn’t happen for another week, but this is going to be a big inconvenience for a lot of people, so here’s an early head’s up about a total overnight shutdown of subway service to/from the Lower East Side.  As part of the MTA’s new “Fastrack” program, the B, D, F and M trains will be offline 10 p.m.-5 a.m. from February 27 to March 2.  The idea behind Fastrack is to to “inspect, maintain, and upgrade stations, tracks and signals in less time, at less cost.”   During the outage there will be shuttle bus service between Bleecker Street to/from the Grand Street B/D station.


Weekend Music Picks


My top picks for live music on the Lower East Side this weekend:

YELLOWBIRDS – Friday Feb. 17 | 11:30pm at Mercury Lounge

Yellowbirds is the non-solo, solo project of Brooklyn’s Sam Cohen. A sharp composer, Cohen’s fluid, dexterous music-making has an eerie, retro, water-dance quality. Cohen serves as songwriter, lead guitarist, and singer for the 4-piece, which certainly rings of “frontman” designation, but the other three pieces (Balthrop Alabama’s Josh Kauffman on keys, the Bandana Splits’ Annie Nero on bass, and Brian Kantor of Higgins on drums) play an equally integral part in building the texture and depth that make the Yellowbirds sound so distinct.  $10//217 E. Houston St.

State Liquor Authority Launches New Interactive Web Site

The State Liquor Authority has finally launched a new web site intended to make it a lot easier for communities to track the status of liquor permits.  The old system was notoriously archaic.  Information was difficult to find and, in many cases, not available at all online.

The new site features a searchable interactive map, allowing users to look up both pending and approved licenses.  Once you identify a particular bar or restaurant, you can also see other licensed establishments in the vicinity, as well as churches and schools. 

Morning Reads: NYPD Traffic Troubles, Silver’s Approval Ratings, Assessing “The Ungovernables”

  • Statistics “tell the tale of (NYPD’s) squandered street safety resources.” (Streetsblog)
  • State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s approval rating is up four points to 29% (Times Union).
  • In a  fundraising pitch, a potential challenger to U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez says “she’s ripe for the picking.” (Observer)
  • The Times weighs in on NuMu’s 2012 Triennial, “The Ungovernables,” concluding: “If even just a few of these artists manage to discover, as they grow and change, what ungovernable really is, and be it, future generations will owe the New Museum a debt of thanks.” (NYT)
  • St. Brigid’s: “the good, the bad and the ugly.” (Villager)


Good Morning!

"Man @ Work." On Eldridge Street, below Delancey. Photo by elbrozzie.

More rain this morning but the storm clouds should break in the afternoon. It will be breezy with a high of 52℉. Happy Friday!