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Astor Place

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Spice Opens Astor Place Cove

Speaking of New York newcomers, a good many of them have honed their dining chops here.

By Daniel Maurer

Astor Place to Get Slightly Less Life-Threatening

Scruffles are playing in the streets in Jackson Heights. Gays are scared for their Vespas in Chelsea. Some other group of people is turning in its Uzis in Clinton Hill. And everybody is reading our daily boroughs report.

The Hidden History of Starbucks; Café Carlyle Still Bumpin'

Astor Place: The building that houses Starbucks has such interesting history (saw a bloody theater riot in 1849 at what was once the Astor Place Opera House; held a barber shop where mobster Albert Anastasia got slaughtered while sitting in his chair) that Lost City has decided to target "kudzu-like chains" around town and attempt to uncover their past incarnations. [Lost City] Chinatown: Dumpling House has reopened and the renovations include tables and chairs! [Eater] East Village: Bar Veloce is returning to the space it once occupied before transforming into now deceased Room 4 Dessert. [Eater] Tribeca: Harrison Tavern has already closed after a July opening. Clearly, offering ranch-chicken pizza did not bring in herds. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Café Carlyle has added a D.J.-hosted soirée Thursday through Saturday from midnight to 3 a.m. to its cabaret-night repertoire, and a new cocktail menu comes from the mixologist at Bemelmans Bar. [Zagat] West Village: Pichet Ong is renaming his dessert bar P*ong & Batch at the end of the month when he’ll be expanding the space to include a retail bakery. [Zagat] Williamsburg: Breakfast mecca egg (it's too cool to have a capital letter) deigns to open for dinner. [TONY]

Don't Worry, There Will Still Be Four Starbucks at Astor Place

Astor Place: If ever a Starbucks were to be missed, it might be this big one, where the world meets up. But it's not closing … they're just fixing the sign. And yet, the longtime newsstand here will be replaced with a shiny glass box. [Vanishing New York] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Cops are — wisely — advising parents not to let their kids play with a toy 9 mm that looks uncannily realistic. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Ditmas Park: A bit less than $800,000 will get you this picture-postcard of domestic bliss: cute white house, front yard, white picket fence … and roaring street-level subway just ten feet away! [Ditmas Park Blog] Harlem: Paging Tracy James, paging Tracy James. (That's Diana Ross's designer turned supermodel character in Mahogany, FYI.) Please report to the Apollo this Sunday for the 50th annual Ebony fashion fair… [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: The city thinks this burgeoning condo-tower haven is "poor" and "underdeveloped" enough to make it worth wooing colleges to move here. [NYS via Queens Crap] Sheepshead Bay: Um, not to sound peevish, but would someone please dredge the entrance to the bay before it gets any narrower? Pretty soon a clam roll won't be able to sail through here. [Gerritsen Beach] Williamsburg: Advertising for the Edge condo takes a page from the Basic Instinct flash-that-muff playbook. And how bold to pair sex and Asian men. [Copyranter via Curbed]

Thinking Big

It Happened this Week
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s request to lay a wreath at ground zero was the unlikeliest wish in a week of ambitious schemes. Hillary Clinton took a second swing at universal health care, laying out a $110 billion program. Rudy Giuliani crossed the pond to London to rub shoulders with Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown, then suggested that Israel join nato. Dan Rather sued CBS for $70 million.


Astor Place
As you may have heard, AOL is coming to Manhattan, and bringing G-d knows how many Virginians with them. To Astor Place, no less, where, like everyone else who comes to this city from down there, they will attempt to reinvent themselves — as a hip company with a new focus on online advertising. We’ve been ignoring this news because it is frankly kind of embarrassing for everyone involved: AOL’s trying to be hip sort of reminds us of that episode of Entourage where Johnny Drama tried to impress his young co-stars on Five Towns by buying the hat with the pot leaf on it. We just want to look away. The move is also embarrassing for downtown New York City. But enough about them! Let’s talk about you. How will having a trying-to-be-hip AOL in your midst affect your life?