Lower East Side BID Launches Orchard Street Redesign Process

Field Trip! Checking Out the Orchard Street Television Set

Orchard Street, this morning.

Orchard Street, this morning.

Day 2 of shooting for the Cinemax series, “The Knick,” has not yet begun; we’ll see how afternoon rain showers might impact the production schedule. A short time ago, some kids were getting the grand tour of the elaborate 1900-era set, which attracted all sorts of attention during the first day of shooting yesterday.

Scenes From “The Knick,” Shooting on Orchard Street

"The Knick," a Cinemax series, of shooting on Orchard Street.

“The Knick,” a Cinemax series, of shooting on Orchard Street.

Here are a few photos from this morning’s TV shoot on Orchard Street, near Broome.  Director Stephen Soderbergh and Cinemax are in production for “The Knick,” a new drama focused on the 1900-era Knickerbocker Hospital.

Soderbergh’s Cinemax Series, “The Knick” Shoots on the LES This Week

If you live on Orchard or Broome streets — or anywhere in the immediate vicinity — you can’t have missed the transformation on those blocks during the past week.

Eye on Lower Orchard Street; New Pink Building Owner Plans Residential Development

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) profiles lower Orchard Street today, noting that a series of real estate deals and smaller entrepreneurial projects are transforming a three block stretch below Grand Street.  The article also includes a few new tidbits about the future of the “Pink Building” and two adjacent properties that were sold recently for $27 million.

Katz’s Pastrami Eating King Gulps 25 Sandwiches

Orchard Street, Sunday, June 2.

Orchard Street, Sunday, June 2. Photos by Tim Schreier.

25 half-pastrami sandwiches in 10 minutes.  That’s what competitive eater Joey Chestnut consumed yesterday afternoon to win the World Pastrami Eating Championship.  The incredibly revolting spectacle was part of Katz’s Deli 125th anniversary celebration and DayLife, the Lower East Side BID’s Orchard Street festival.  Photographer Tim Schreier got up-close-and-personal with the contestants (a little too close, we’re afraid).   Chestnut won a cash prize of $3750. Now he can rest up for the upcoming Coney Island hot dog eating contest! See more photos after the jump.

Beauty Services on Wheels: Lisa Fiorentino Does DayLife

What do we have here?  Well, that’s Lisa Fiorentino, Lower East Side stylist and boutique owner, posing in front of her new, prized acquisition: a vintage Shasta trailer!  Lisa will be debuting it this weekend at DayLife, the Lower East Side BID’s Orchard Street block party.

She got the idea for the “glamper,” a mobile beauty-services business several years ago.  But the prospect of eviction from her “brick-and-mortar” shop at 101 Delancey (the building was sold but that’s another story for another day),  was all the motivation Lisa needed to finally act on her vision.  A few weeks ago, Lisa says,  “I went on the road with my boyfriend, God bless him.  We got into a car and went where the Shastas were.”  The journey took them to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Ohio, before Lisa finally found the right Shasta in Cleveland.

Daylife Returns to Orchard Street Next Sunday; Full Lineup Released

DayLife on Orchard Street, in June. Photo: LES BID.

The Lower East Side BID is out with more details about DayLife, its Orchard Street festival coming up a week from Sunday.  As you may recall, the inaugural version of the event, intended to reinvigorate the historic shopping district, drew a big crowd this past June.

There will be food from about 25 vendors, including Mission Chinese Food, Pushcart Coffee, Saxelby Cheesemongers, Family Recipe, Brooklyn Taco and many others.  LES stores such as By Robert James, Felraiger, SHUT Skates and Con Artist are also taking part.  There will also be DJ’s, games like Twister and croquet and other entertainment.

29-Year Old Woman Fatally Slashed on Orchard Street

Orchard Street near Houston. Photo from WNBC.

Police say a woman was found on Orchard Street, just below East Houston, this morning suffering from severe knife wounds to the neck. She was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital, and later declared dead.  The victim was in a first-floor stairwell at 191 Orchard when officers arrived.  The Local East Village Local reported she was 29 years old.

JP’s Food Adventures: Orchard Street’s Restaurant Rows

Orchard Street photos by Cynthia Lamb.

For a while, Clinton Street above Delancey has been the Lower East Side’s Restaurant Row. WD50 showed that adventurous diners would spend money here, and many upscale establishments followed their lead. Tapas, posh pancakes, and high end Chinese can be found there as easily as pizza by the slice, Cuban sandwiches and four-for-a-dollar fried dumplings. A variety of tastes and budgets are accommodated on a few blocks that can legitimately claim to have some of the best restaurants in town.

Over the seven years we’ve lived here, Orchard Street has emerged as another equally vital Restaurant Row. I’ve had as many enjoyable nights out there as on Clinton. And I’ve found just as much, if not more, variety on Orchard. It seems neighborhood curmudgeons can’t maintain any credibility without a knock or two on the nightlife there, so you know it’s good.

New Film Documents Orchard Street Leather Shop Merchants

Down Orchard Street (Official Documentary Trailer) from C.K. Dexter Haven on Vimeo.

There’s a new documentary about life on the Lower East Side’s dwindling leather district. Here’s the trailer for “Down Orchard Street,” a film by Courtney Fathom Sell.  The doc was shot by Louis Ressy, an Orchard Street native, who captured “the daily lives of his friends and co-workers. More from the description on the film’s Vimeo page:

For years, Orchard Street has been known for its Leather apparel stores and the abrasive personalities who run and work at them. With gentrification slowly eating away at the true core of the Lower East Side, ‘Down Orchard Street’ is a unique look at one of the city’s’ most historic yet endangered locations. Utilizing the everyday issues in which the Subjects deal with, and the store workers as the main characters, ‘Down Orchard Street’ spans out almost as a sitcom, and is a revealing, occasionally heartbreaking glimpse into the true essence of the Lower East Side.


Orchard Street Festival DayLife Coming Up Sunday

The Lower East Side BID is putting the finishing touches on DayLife, the Orchard Street festival coming up on Sunday.   There will be lots of food and retail vendors, plus musical performances, DJ’s, ping pong and skateboarding.  The event takes place from noon-5 p.m. on Orchard between East Houston and Delancey. You can see the full list of vendors here.  There’s also a video series profiling many of the neighborhood-centric participants on YouTube.


Renderings: “DayLife” on Orchard Street

Renderings by: Dub Studios.

Last night at Community Board 3’s economic development committee, the Lower East Side BID presented its plan for a series of community festivals on Orchard Street.  As we reported yesterday, the project is meant to reactivate the former “bargain district” as a modern Sunday shopping destination.

Bob Zuckerman, the BID’s executive director, said his organization has been talking with city officials for a few years about the idea. Orchard Street has been closed to automobiles on Sundays since 1973.  But the city has put a moratorium on typical “street fairs,” with the requisite “tube socks and sausages.” They’re allowing the BID to hold a pilot event June 3rd.  The requirements: the festival must be community oriented (featuring primarily local businesses) and it must include non-profit organizations (the Tenement Museum has already signed on).

Lower East Side BID Unveils Orchard Street Festival Design Tonight

Orchard Street design concept. Rendering by Dub Studios, via LES BID.

Back in January, we reported that the Lower East Side Business Improvement District had won approval from the city to hold a community festival on Orchard Street.  For decades, the blocks between East Houston and Delancey have been closed to automobile traffic on Sundays. But the “bargain district” is, of course, not what it once was; the BID hoped a regular open-air event, showcasing boutiques and food purveyors (and including entertainment), would “reacivate” Orchard as a weekend destination.

Tonight, they’re appearing before Community Board 3 to present the plan for the first Sunday festival, which will be held June 3rd.  The BID will be showing off renderings (see above) prepared by their pro-bono architectural firm, Dub Studios, depicting how the street will be transformed for the event.   The presentation will also include a look at a prototype for a “re-invented” pushcart that will be part of the project.

The June festival is a demonstration. If all goes well, the city may sign off on more events later in the year. The BID and Dub Studios were linked up through Design NYC, an organization which “improves the lives of New Yorkers through the power of design.”

Tonight’s community board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Village View Community Room, 175 East 4th Street (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A).


Good Morning!

Orchard Street at dusk (between Stanton & Rivington). Photo by jdx - http://jdx.me/

Partly cloudy today with a high of 55. Isn’t springtime nice?!

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