Holiday Season 2012: Keeping it Local on the LES

Orchard Street.

The holiday season is always incredibly important to local retailers and restaurant owners. But this year, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, home-grown businesses need our support more than ever. So every day in December we’ll be bringing you suggestions for shopping and dining on the Lower East Side.  We’ll also be bringing you news of holiday events in the neighborhood.  Merchants and restaurant types: please let us know about your special deals and gift ideas.  We’d also love to have some suggestions from readers; what are your favorite destinations for gifts and holiday meals?  Intel should be emailed to

  • Wednesday evening from 6-9 p.m. the Lower East Side BID is hosting a holiday shopping event. More than 60 shops, galleries and restaurants are participating.  Some choice deals: 50% off sale at Delicate Raymond Jewelry; 25% off at Any Old Iron; 20% off at David Owens Vintage. Click here for more details.
  • Now available at Malt & Mold: Abita Christmas Ale. Growlers are $19.
  • Russ & Daughters recommends: a holiday gift card from the world’s greatest appetizing store.
  • On Sunday, the Museum at Eldridge Street hosts the “Great Dreidel Scavenger Hunt,” a family Hanukkah celebration.  At 11 a.m. participants will search for dreidels hidden throughout the historic synagogue building before taking part in a menorah lighting ceremony. From noon to 2 p.m. kids of all ages will get to meet Fran Manushkin, the author of many well-known books, including “Latkes and Applesauce” and “Hooray for Hanukkah.”  The Museum at Eldridge Street is located at 15 Eldridge.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in the gift shop on Sunday.

Cool Yule Benefit Party Returns to White Rabbit With Meatballs and More

Our friends at Northern Spy and White Rabbit are co-hosting their 8th Annual Cool Yule fundraising party tomorrow night at 7:00pm. The festivities are returning to White Rabbit (145 E. Houston bet. 1st & 2nd Ave.) and will include an open bar, food provided by Northern Spy Food Co. and The Meatball Shop, raffle prizes, and music by DJ’s Free Magic & Faso (Discovery) & Joe Ro (Ohio Party).  All for an entry fee of only $40. The event is held to raise money for Trinity’s Services and Food for the Homeless (SAFH). 100% of event proceeds benefit SAFH.  Sounds like a lot of fun for a good cause.

Movement Research’s Fall Festival at Danspace Project

Photo: Levi Gonzalez and luciana achugar in “Hit Again,” based on “Hit” performed at The Kitchen, 2002 © Levi Gonzalez and luciana achugar. The pair will perform “HIT Again” on Friday, December 7 at 8pm at Danspace Project, as part of Movement Research Festival, Fall 2012: BACK TO BASIC, curated by Juliette Mapp and Jen Rosenblit.

Experimentation is alive and well this weekend at Danspace Project thanks to Movement Research, one of the world’s leading “laboratories” for dance. Its annual Movement Research Festival opens on Thursday with a group of acclaimed experimentalists showcasing their varied explorations into dance and performance.

Juliette Mapp and Jen Rosenblit, accomplished dancers, teachers and choreographers in their own rights, curate this year’s festival. The theme, “back to basic,” focuses on the notion of the “body as a vehicle that connects us emotionally, physically and historically to each other.”

Festival highlights include: “Getting Along,” in which artists are invited to discuss relevant issues in their creative lives and/or create together during the week’s events and “Historical Pairings,” which places artists who have been intimately and creatively connected together on stage, in performance or in an improvisational conversation.

Sold: 55-57 Canal St. at $4.9M; 194 Orchard St. at $3M

55-57 Canal St., also known as 11-13 Orchard St. Photo via Loopnet.

Local developers’ conversion of the landmarked Jarmulowsky Bank building into a boutique hotel isn’t the only big change coming to the intersection of Orchard and Canal streets.

The apartment building on the northwest corner, known as both 55-57 Canal St. and 11-13 Orchard St., changed hands last week, after about nine months on the market. A listing on Loopnet dated March 2012 set the price at $4.8 million; city land records indicate it sold for just a little more than asking price, at $4.9 million.

Crowds Come Out For Chinatown Street Fair; Fundraiser Announced For Dec. 19

Saturday’s Chinatown Revival street fair. Photo by K. Webster.

A sizable crowd turned out on Saturday for the “Chinatown Revival Fair,” an event meant to support local businesses suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Restaurants offered $1 “tasting plates,” on the streets outside their establishments.  The street fair was sponsored by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, with support from many other groups, including the Chinatown BID.

In an editorial we published last week, Nom Wah Tea Parlor owner Wilson Tang said he believed the “$1 tasting plate” concept was bad for Chinatown businesses, since no restaurant could hope to make money, or in his view, build customer loyalty with this type of promotion.

Morning Reads: 11-Year Old Handcuffed, EMS Supervisor “Treated Like Cleopatra,” Cuomo Considers Liquor License Crackdown

  • An 11-year old was handcuffed for carrying a BB gun to M.S. 345 on Henry Street; his grandmother says it was a prop for a play (Post).
  • Report: This week Governor Cuomo will make public a series of recommendations that, if acted upon, would curtail liquor license applications (Post).
  • During Hurricane Sandy, an EMS commander was carried “like a Roman Emperor” from Pier 36 on South Street to dry land (Post).
  • Following an appeal from Sheldon Silver, NYCHA agrees to hold off on eviction proceedings for tenants impacted by Hurricane Sandy (Daily News).
  • Margarita Rosa, the longtime head of Grand Street Settlement, is on the short list for an opening on the New York Court of Appeals (New York Law Journal).
  • A chat with Anthony Huberman of the Artist’s Institute on Eldridge Street (Art Slant).
  • A look at the Tenement Museum’s new Shop Life exhibition (Epoch Times).


Hotel Ludlow Team Asks CB3 to Support Liquor License for Italian Restaurant

180 Ludlow Street.

As EV Grieve noted the other day, 180 Ludlow Street is beginning to look more like the hotel it’s destined to become with each passing week. The “Ludlow Hotel” site was stalled for many years before the team behind the Bowery Hotel, the Jane Hotel and many other Manhattan properties bought it two years ago for $25 million.  A week from tonight, they’ll ask Community Board 3’s SLA Committee to support their liquor license application for the 20-story hotel’s ground-floor restaurant.

The names listed on the application are Richard Born, Ira Druckier, Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson.  Some or all of the applicants are involved in some of the city’s most well-known hotels and restaurants, including the Maritime, the Mercer and aforementioned Bowery and Jane Hotels. Restaurants in their portfolio include The Park in West Chelsea, the Waverly Inn and B Bar in the East Village.

Good Morning!

Sunday morning fog, East River. Photo by Andrea DiFiore.

We could see areas of patchy fog this morning before the sun pokes through. Look for a high of 58.  Expect a high in the low 60’s tomorrow.

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