EAST 14TH STREET
The northern boundary of the East Village.
237 (corner): Was 1st
Federal Savings & Loan; later one of the last Love Stores
in New York, a local drug store chain. The offices of City
Margarita Lopez were in this
233: Big Arc Chicken, Middle Eastern barbecue,
popular with cabbies.
231: Vinny Vincenz Pizza
229: Was Old Fashioned Donuts, driven
out of business by the oppressive corporate doughnut
227: Was Blue Velvet, fancy Vietnamese
225: The designer discount shop Gabay's
is considered one of the neighborhood's shopping
secrets; it's been here since the 1970s, and in
business since the 1920s.
223: Build a Green Bakery (formerly Birdbath), green/natural bakery.
Was Prince of Peace Bakery, the bakery formerly
known as Prince Bakery.
221: Senor Pollo ("Mister Chicken"),
Peruvian, was Rancho El Girasol ("Sunflower Ranch"),
Mexican featuring mariachis. Was Prince Fruit & Vegetable.
219 (corner): Was Mee Noodle Shop, Allen
Ginsberg’s favorite Chinese--and I guess mine, too.
Closed in 2005 when the building
started to collapse.
228: Was David's Bagels, where
I used to go for Sunday morning bagels. Closed--
luckily they have another branch up the street.
226: Wine on 1st, helpful shop
224: The Crossings apartments--I think it
includes all the addresses north to the corner.
222: Ikura, Japanese
220: H&W Hardware, since 1924
218 (corner): Was Victor's Marketplace,
long-running meat market. The building has recently
been thoroughly uglified.
217 (corner): Olympic Deli & Grocery was
DiBella Brothers, Italian grocery known for its stuffed artichoke
211-213: Luzzo's was Zito's East,
a charming old place that claimed to
make one of the best 50 pizzas in the world.
207: Slavic Evangelical Christian Church
205: Lugo's Mecca of Hair
203: Tuba's Shish Kabob, Mideastern;
was Cyclo, Vietnamese with a
namesake bicycle rickshaw out front.
201: Wai? Cafe
199 (corner): Fuji Apple Deli is
my favorite corner grocery.
214: Elvie's Turo-Turo, tasty Filipino fast food
210: Gena's Grill was National Cafe,
a notable Cuban hole in the wall; Lazzat, halal.
Christine's, Polish diner from 1982-2008. Allen Ginsberg
mentioned it in his poem "Charnel Ground."
The building is dated 1911.
204: No Relation, formerly Treasure Trends
NYC, vintage and pseudo-vintage clothing
198-200 (corner): Hearth, fancy American;
used to be Tappo, another pricey place.
Asher Levy School
185 (block): P.S. 19 is named for an early
Jewish immigrant, a kosher butcher, who won an
important victory for religious tolerance when he successfully
appealed Peter Stuyvesant's ban on Jews in the New Amsterdam militia.
His name is also spelled "Asser Levy," but you
can see how grade school kids might find that too entertaining.
Art, dance and drama are integral parts of the curriculum here.
196 (corner): 1st Avenue Gourmet Deli
192-194: Neptun, formerly KK, Polish
190: Trees replaced Brunetta's,
an incredibly old little Italian
188: Mandarin Grill, Filipino
186: A-1 Music
184: Atomic Wings, which painted
over its "Make Wings, Not War" slogan when the
war in Afghanistan started. At the same address
is Sahara East, Mideast restaurant noted for its
backyard and its hookahs.
182 (corner): Madina Masjid Islamic
Council of America, one of the few mosques in
177 (corner): Something Sweet, formerly
Black Forest Bakery. Not as much history
as some other nearby pastry shops,
but still plenty yummy.
Five Roses Pizza, neighborhood pizzeria
Handsome Dick Manitoba
of The Dictators lived upstairs here for 18 years.
Momofuko Noodle Bar
171: The flagship
of David Chang's chain of raved-about
Asian restaurants. Named--like the Elvis
Costello album of the same name--for
Momofuko Ando, the inventor of the instant noodle.
Used to be Krystal's Cafe, a Filipino
bakery--before that Ferucci's Gourmet Market.
In a cast-iron building atypical of the neighborhood.
167: Sandobe Sushi was the faux retro
165: Commodities natural food store
Momofuku Ko--"Child of Momofuku"--only takes
reservations online, and the 12 seats are booked within
seconds every day at Chang's hearty Japanese.
Used to be a wrap place. Taralluci e Vino's name means
"cookies and wine," but sells sandwiches and
espresso--go figure. Formerly Sassy's Sliders,
tasty White Castle-like burgers. Upstairs used
to be Princess Pamela's, a secret apartment/restaurant
"where you could eat great homecooking, served by the
hostess often wearing scuffy slippers."
180 (corner): Village Fabrics building dates
DeRobertis Pastry Shoppe
176: Italian pas- tries since 1904; a
more auth- entic Old New York experience than
Handsome Jack Giordano, a Gambino family member,
ran a bookmaking operation out of here in
the late 1980s; the FBI said they had "bugs
in everything but the cannolis and the
espresso machine." Tom
Cruise carries a box from DeRobertis in Eyes Wide Shut.
174: Xunta, Galician tapas, eaten on barrels.
Formerly Pete's Spice. Upstairs is First Flight Music.
172: Fourth World House, progressive daycare
170: This building has a faded ad for
corsets (!) on its southern wall.
168: Lanza's, old-school Italian
since 1907, now part of the Sal Anthony's mini-chain.
Was the favorite restaurant
of Gambino underboss Joe "Piney" Armone,
who died in prison in 1992.
La Zarza, Spanish/Argentine,
was a club known as One66. Formerly
Corner (245 E. 10th): Sapporo East,
good, affordable Japanese
McLaughlin's Bear Pit, where one could bet on fights between dogs and bears, was located at this intersection in the 1860s.
Corner (242 E 10th St): Was NW3, a cool
bar named for London's hip zip code.
Now called Company. Until the early 1980s,
Dee Dee Ramone lived
in apartment 21 upstairs.
155: A progressive, experimental
playhouse founded in 1971, and named for a
remark by Mayor John Lindsay about building
a new city for all. Used to be the First
Avenue Retail Market, which was built by Mayor
LaGuardia as a way to get pushcarts
off the streets.
a neighborhood polling place and used to house
anarchist May Day Books , which made
for an interesting combination. The city, which
controlled the air rights, forced the building
of a luxury condo above the theater, known as the
New Theatre Building; though very
21st Century-looking, it seems to have
made some effort to echo the surrounding
tenements. Vin Diesel started his acting career
with a play here when he was 7 years old.
153: Coyote Ugly, bar that the movie
was based on, sort of.
149: Birdies, which describes itself
as "Grandma's chicken for the people";
was Flor's Kitchen, Venezuelan. A red-tailed hawk
once flew in here.
147 (corner): Angelica's Herbs'
paranoid style detracts
from the wide selection of botanical products.
Corner: The deli here was where
Dee Dee Ramone used to get his morning coffee
after he got his morning heroin. Recently
Mary's Dairy, an ice cream parlor; replaced
Standard, a stylish and mellow bar;
before that Downtown Beirut, a classic punk bar
featured in After Hours. I fell in love
with my wife there.
Diamonds & Oranges, a
gallery in a former bodega.
150 (corner): Public school turned performance
space in 1979 for the likes of Spalding Gray, Penny Arcade,
Quentin Crisp, etc. Booting out Children's Liberation,
a long-running daycare center, didn't endear them
to the neighborhood.
Ira Gershwin is said to have attended
here when it was still a school. The auditorium
was featured in the movie Fame.
145 (corner): East Village Pizza & Kebabs.
Nicholas Stuyvesant, a descendant of Peter,
had a dwelling approximately here called
141: Ramen Setagaya, first U.S. branch
of a Japanese noodle chain. In the back is a separate
restaurant, which has had different identities--the
latest being Izakaya Oni, apparently named for a
Japanese ogre. Before the noodle chain, it
was (briefly) Gourmet Market Place and 1 Ave Fish Market.
139: Caffe Emilia; Orchard Garden Spa. Has
an unusual blue paint job with red and yellow trim--
reminds me of Amsterdam.
137: Tara Thai, friendly, tasty, affordable--with shadow puppets
135: Shiki Kitchen, sushi restaurant
decorated with the chef's paper art--like origami, but
with scissors as well as folding. Also Gea's Garden Jewels.
Corner (83 St. Marks): Stromboli Pizza,
named for a Sicilian volcano.
Corner (400 E. 9th): Lime Tree Market, Japanese deli
140: Cheap Shots, newish dive bar, was
First Avenue Meat Products, one of several
butcher shops along this stretch of First Avenue.
138: East Village Wines, noted for annual palindrome contest.
"Dubya won? No way, bud" a recent winner.
134 (corner): Simone Espresso and Wine Bar.
Either way blood flows.... Building dates to 1872.
129: Lulu's, bar noted for skeeball
127: Was Prana Foods, organic, pro-animal rights,
anti-genetic manipulation grocery
123: Organic Grill
121: Sticky Fingers Bakery
119: Dok Suni ("Strong Woman"),
115 (cor- ner): Real name is WCOU Radio, but best
known as Tile Bar. My first date with my
wife was here.
132 (corner): Tribe was St. Marks Bar.
In the video for "Waiting on a Friend," Mick Jagger and
Keith Richards meet the rest of the Rolling Stones here.
130: Rainbow Records; Homemade Pierogi & Deli Co.
128: Kebab Garden, Mideastern with a "flaming"
sign, was La Focacceria, Italian since 1914.
126: Lunasa, modernist Irish bar,
named for the pagan holiday of
was Galapagos, Ecuadoran restaurant
Kurowycky & Son Meat Products,
sausage-makers opened in 1955 and closed in 2007
120 1/2: International Bar,
the skinniest bar that ever came back again.
120: Wechsler's Currywurst & Bratwurst, German
sausage place, was La Casalinga, compact Italian.
111: B & M Meat Market
109: Ginger, neo-sushi
105: Counter, Cajun vegetarian--both tasty and stylish
103: Solex, French wine bar, was Teresa's, charming, affordable Polish diner
99 (corner): Mancora, Peruvian, was Spice House,
grocery serving "Little India."
116 (corner): Saifee Hardware used to be Pauline's Bar and
Restaurant. It was also Tunnel Bar,
which pioneered the East Village gay scene
in the early 1980s. Before that it was Red Bar,
a hangout for artists like Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
112: Imagine Bar & Grill was Miracle Grill,
Southwestern restaurant where celebrity chef Bobby Flay
achieved fame; building dates to 1885.
Polonia, cozy diner; even cheaper
and more Polish than Teresa's was.
102: Lilly Coogan's bar, formerly the Old Homestead Inn
97: Banjara, spiffy Indian fusion
place. Banjara are Indian relatives of the Romani (aka "Gypsies").
93: Bengali rest- aurants with
so many Christ- mas lights they're psychedelic.
Milon is on the left and Panna II is on the right;
Royal (which used to be light-free) is down below.
Warning: Make up your mind which Christmas-light
restaurant you want to eat in before you go
up the stairs--or the decision will be made for you.
91: Sigiri, Sri Lankan; E & C Trading had Indian movies, music, instruments;
Dual (formerly Dowel Quality Products) has Indian groceries.
87: Was First, restaurant/bar noted for fancy martinis.
Now Blue Door Video.
85: Was Mod World, Little Ricky-style kitsch
83 (corner): Three of Cups, romantic Italian;
Quentin Tarantino got into a brawl here in 1998.
In the Tarot deck, the three of cups signifies
Used to be Dizzy Chicken.
<=== E 5TH ST
71: Pukk, tasty, stylish vege- tarian Thai
69: Downtown Bakery II is an
unassuming hole in the wall that serves good
Village View Apartments
Mitchell- Lama co-op whose seven towers
were built in 1964.
There is a pleasant shortcut through these
highrises to the rest of 5th Street.
59: New Rage, another kitsch gift shop.
49 1/2 (corner): The Bean, formerly
Kudo Beans, a coffee shop of New Jersey origins.
Used to be Bulgin' Waffles; before that was
Little Ricky's, kitsch mecca of the Lower East Side.
41: d.b.a., bar with great beer, scotch selection.
Stands for "Doing Business As," a standard
acronym in small business documents.
Norman Mailer wrote most of The Deer Park upstairs
in this building.
39: Former home of Edwin Fancher, who founded
the Village Voice along with Norman Mailer.
27 (corner): The Ezra Pound apartments.
Ground floor is Gringer's, appliances since 1918.
25: Sanctuary, new age restaurant;
Interfaith League Guest House,
a retreat center run by an offshoot of Hare Krishna.
East Village Radio, an alternative station
that plays on 88.1 FM. You can literally step
in the front door and be on the air.
19: Lil' Frankie's Pizza,
spin- off of the popu- lar Frank, is
"the East Village's best pizza parlor"--
17: Speedy Lock & Door Co., since 1982.
15: La Linea
13 (corner): Boca Chica, festive South American
26 (corner): Rama Cafe was
Animal Crackers pet supplies, Arka Co., Ukrainian gifts
24: Asian food serv- ed by at- trac- tive cross- dress- ing
waitresses. In a previous incarnation, the building was
Club Baths, a plush gay sex club; later a restaurant,
Cave Canem, whose basement featured lesbian orgies.
22: Ortiz Funeral Home. Child abuse victim
Nixmary Brown's wake was held here in 2006.
Sutra Lounge, two-story lounge; previous bars here include The Flat, xvi; Artists Rec. Ctr.
14: Lucien, French bar/restaurant
12 (corner): One and One, Irish-y pub
One of only two places in Manhattan where a numbered street meets an avenue with the same number.
EAST HOUSTON STREET
The southern boundary of the East Village.