Leah Wells Brings Bluegrass Banjo and Flamenco Guitar to Dixon Place

Ethan Joseph, Leah Wells and Sara Banleigh. Photo by Judy Rosenblatt.

The noisy crowd at Dixon Place’s bar instantly falls silent as Leah Wells and her band take the stage. Though Wells is usually kind and unassuming, under the spotlight, in a glittering red headpiece, she morphs into a soulful songstress. Wells has been a Lower East Side dweller since 1980, when she dropped out of Bennington, a clothing optional liberal arts college in Vermont, to hitch-hike her way back to downtown New York. Now a mother, Wells balances raising her two adolescent sons with honing her musical craft.

For this performance, Wells is joined by David McKeon on Guitar and Mandolin, Ethan Joseph on Fiddle, Mary Noecker on Bass and Sara Banleigh, who shimmers in black lace and gold bracelets. Wells met Banleigh singing Irish folk songs at the New York Public Library and the two have been a musical match ever since. Banleigh performs songs Wells wrote when she was a young twenty-something, capturing their lonely, gritty, crooning energy and making them new again.

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Does Forest City Ratner Have an Advantage in Seward Park Bidding?

Development companies have a little over two months left to submit proposals for the Seward Park site, the 1.65 million square foot residential and commercial project at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.  An information session hosted by city planning agencies last week drew more than 300 people, including representatives from some of Manhattan’s biggest development firms.

Today the Atlantic Yards Report focuses on one of the high profile companies in attendance and its close ties to both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, one of New York’s biggest non-profit organizations.   A story posted earlier today asks whether Forest City Ratner, the developer behind the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, could have an advantage in winning the Seward Park contract due to its Lower East Side political connections.

Bob Mould Comes to the Bowery Ballroom

Bob Mould with bassist Jason Narducy (Split Single, Verbow) and drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Mountain Goats). They’ll be at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday, Feb. 26th and Weds., Feb. 27th.

Old-school punk and alternative rock pioneer Bob Mould is celebrating his influential career with his latest album, Silver Age. In a return to what’s been coined “aggressive pop,” the album came together after a series of electric solo dates in 2011 supporting the Foo Fighters. From the hardcore punk sounds of Hüsker Dü (1979-87) that later turned into what helped define the sound of “alt-rock” through the band Sugar (1992-95), to his many successful solo endeavors, it’s hard to ignore Mould as someone who has heavily influenced generations of rock stars.

10-Story Building With Hotel, Apartments, Restaurant Planned at 119 Orchard Street

119 Orchard Street, February 2013.

It looks like a 10-story hotel is finally going up at 119 Orchard Street, the former home of Fine & Klein Handbags.  Curbed noticed Buildings Department records spelling out plans for a “mix use building with residential, hotel, eating and drinking establishment and (a) community facility.”

The restaurant/bar would be in the “cellar/sub-cellar,” a healthcare facility is envisioned on the first floor and there would be 16 hotel rooms and four apartments.  Back in 2008, the Real Deal reported that Shimon Avadi of SAS Property Management had purchased the site for $4.22 million and planned to develop a boutique hotel.  But like so many projects begun as the economy cratered at around that time, the parcel languished as construction plans were put on hold. Building ownership has not changed.

The Lower East Side rezoning in 2008 put in place a 120 foot height limit on Orchard Street (the parcel is zoned C6-2A).   The building will be about 11,500 square feet.

 

Morning Reads: Eliminating NYCHA Board Jobs, Cutting Vendor Fines is “Stupider,” Bike Delivery Crackdown

Mayor Bloomberg moves to eliminate six-figure, paid NYCHA board member positions (Daily News).

Bloomie: Chris Quinn’s proposal lowering fines on street vendors is “one of the stupider” ideas he’s heard (Daily News).

New rules for bike delivery workers are about to go into effect (WNBC).

Community members react to a conversion plan at P.S. 64/CHARAS (The Local EV).

UnReal Estate, the history of squatting on the Lower East Side (EV Grieve).

Inside Ratner’s – but which one? (Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY).

Flower Girl settles in at 245 Eldridge St. (Racked)

 

Good Morning!

Fruit Stand on Clinton Street (Film)

Clinton Street at Grand. Photo by Roey Ahram.

Partly cloudy this morning, becoming overcast in the afternoon with a high of 40. A mix of rain and snow expected tomorrow and a high of 42. Showers on Sunday with a high of 44.

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