The Italian restaurant Sal Anthony's was an Irving Place institution for 40 years, until it closed last February. Its last supper came after owner Anthony Macagnone lost a five-year court battle with his landlords, allowing them to raise his rent some 500 percent. Unable to afford it, Macagnone closed up shop. And yet still a Sal Anthony's awning leads up to the restaurant's second-floor entrance. Why? Because after insisting in court that a fair-market rent would be much more than what Macagnone was paying, his landlords have been unable to get anyone to pay the new, higher rent. "I'm amused," Macagnone said recently, speaking at his Movement Salon on Third Avenue, which offers yoga and Pilates classes. (He also still runs two other restaurants, one in the East Village and one in Little Italy.) "I was paying $12,000 a month and they wanted $60,000. They had all these witnesses coming into court who said it was worth so much. It must have cost them a million dollars to get me out." The problem, Macagnone says, is the stairs in front of the building. It's a flight up to his old restaurant space and two steps down to a basement space he used as a catering hall, among other things. The stairs, he says, "are a bane to a retailer's existence. I wouldn't rent [the space] now if they gave it to me for free." Broker Adina Azarian, who is trying to rent the property, agreed that the stairs "have turned off" some prospective tenants. "But the second floor has great visibility and the staircase is dramatic," she says. "It has a beautiful view and the windows are great. It's up for grabs, and I'm sure the right person will come along." Indeed. But for what rent? —Mary Reinholz
What happens when one guy holds a bar's lease and another its liquor license? You can find out at tonight's Community Board 2 business-committee meeting, when irate regulars from Milanos on Houston Street will protest a possible license transfer from longtime owner Denis Lynch to East Village bar magnate David McWaters, who owns the Library and Nice Guy Eddie's, among other establishments, and now has the lease for Milanos. McWaters says that he signed a new lease for the property about twelve months ago and that Lynch's lease expired on November 15 which Lynch, who thought he had a verbal deal for a renewal, concedes. But Lynch won't give up the bar's liquor license. "One is no good without the other," he says. "The license is no good to me without a lease. The lease is no good to McWaters without the license. I'm not agreeing to no transfer of the licensing."
Brooklyn Heights: A tree may grow here, but apparently grass doesn't. [Twofones via Brooklyn Heights Blog] East Village: Cooper Union students respond to impending demolition of the Hewitt building with apropos typeface. [RazorApple] Kensington: Don't be jealous of South Slope. There are plenty of permit-less contractors for everyone. [Brownstoner] Maspeth: It's not like you forgot about this neighborhood. You had no idea it existed. [Forgotten NY] Prospect Park: It's above 60 degrees today, so it must be time to turn on the Christmas lights at Grand Army Plaza. [Brooklyn Record] West Village: Expect the mother of all beg-a-thons when WNYC moves into new digs. [The Villager]
East Village: If real-estate agents can make up neighborhood names like BoCoCa, how about Manwood? [East Village Idiot] Park Slope: The Atlantic listed the 100 most influential Americans, and not one of them represented the Greater Park Slope Community. Outrageous. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Prospect Heights: Residents get antsy about the type of people who will move into Richard Meier's One Prospect Park Tower now that it's listed with Corcoran. [Daily Heights] Red Hook: People stuck in the past want to preserve Civil War history instead of letting Ikea pave a parking lot over it. [The Real Estate/NYO] Staten Island: Happy 42nd Birthday, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge! You make getting off this island so much easier. [Sunset Parker] Times Square: There are only a few shopping days left to taunt David Blaine. Hurry. [Gothamist]
Carroll Gardens: Take your lactose intolerance to Giardini's. [Eating for Brooklyn] East Village: Unless you borrow shorts, the Russian & Turkish Baths aren't sketchy at all. [My Brooklyn Year] Park Slope: Everywhere else has rats, but the Slope gets raccoons. [Brooklynian via Brooklyn Record] Staten Island: Brooklynites do field-study research, report back to the rest of us. [Brooklyn Ramblings] Times Square: Will the stairway to TKTS heaven be finished in time to ditch our relatives there? [Curbed] Williamsburg: Condos at McCarren Park Mews are affordable if you don't mind the oily film. [Gowanus Lounge]
• East Village: Landlord sues tenants for not letting loud, dust-covered construction workers tromp through his apartment and build an overpriced penthouse. [amNY] • Fort Greene: We must all sacrifice imported dates in this time of war. [Brooklyn Record] • Hunts Point: Why go to Rikers when you can go to your neighborhood jail? [NYDN] • Ozone Park: Plan to make Aqueduct Racetrack even more depressing is deterred by the delay of video slot machines. [amNY] • Prospect Heights: The substitute mail carrier won't even ring once. [Brooklynian via Daily Heights] • Upper East Side: A New York City public high school gets its act together, so it must be time to relocate. [Gotham Gazette] • Upper East Side: Woody Allen doesn't have any problems with performances spaces; he'd just prefer that they not be in his neighborhood. [NYS]
Carroll Gardens: Indie nerds and porn lovers successfully close Blockbuster Video on Court Street. [Brooklyn Record] City Hall: At a Citywide Coalition for Traffic Relief rally this morning, those pushy walkers and bicyclers demanded fewer cars. [Streetsblog] Clinton Hill: Buy a little piece of Brooklyn and help bring the Broken Angel up to code. [Artez'n via Brooklyn Record] East Village: "Hot Dog" returns to Avenue A. This time she's almost sober. [Neither More Nor Less] Long Island City: All those new condo owners will need hospital beds. [NYP]
Boerum Hill: For those keeping score at home, that's 583 car crashes on Atlantic Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and the river since January 2005. [Brooklyn Record] East Village: East Village blogger Jim returns from Scranton to find his neighbors filching his online style. [Neither More Nor Less] Prospect Heights: If a 95-year-old bakery can't get landmark status, none of us can. [Brooklyn Papers] Soho: Following the close of disreputable bar, the Falls, the space is reincarnated as an Indian restaurant. Better luck to Midnight Cafe II. [Villager] UWS: Metropolitan Montessori School saves energy by switching over to wind power. No word on whether this will make annual tuition dip to $20,000. [NAW via Metadish] Williamsburg: Beatles covers for your own little hipster-in-training. Yikes. [Willy Bees]
Boerum Hill: City replaces stop signs with traffic light at one intersection, and neighbors aren't pleased. [Streets Blog] Boerum Hill: Who you gonna call? Well, don't bother with the police, if you live on a block stuck between two precincts. [NYDN] East Village and Lower East Side: Work continues on East River Park, with 6th Street running track reopened and overall project set for final completion in 2008. [Grand Street News] Fort Greene: There's a new church coming, but don't tell the local prostitutes. [Brownstoner] Harlem: There's some weird architecture — an old-school front porch, a very new-school modern thing — on East 128th Street townhouses. [Bagel in Harlem] Lower East Side: Proposed neighborhood-friendly LES rezoning may not be as neighborhood-friendly as it's cracked up to be. [LoHo 10002] Lower East Side: Thanks to construction-detritus pulverized Styrofoam, you can play in the snow even when it's 60-plus degrees out. [What About the Plastic Animals? via Curbed]
Atlantic Yards: IRS set to make thing more expensive for Bruce Ratner. [Brooklyn Papers] Brownstone Brooklyn: In fancy-pants gentrified neighborhoods, people binge-drink more and die more often of heart disease. [Brooklyn Papers] Carroll Gardens: Is a biodiesel plant coming? [Carroll Gardens Courier] Downtown Brooklyn: Developer wants to "Botox" Fulton Street Mall, adding maybe a Cheesecake Factory and an Equinox. Existing shoppers ain't thrilled. [Brooklyn Record] East Village: Crappy scaffolding gets a scolding. [Neither More Nor Less] Flatlands: The Aviator Sports complex, opening soon at Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, will be joined by high-end and highly caloric eateries like Junior's, Grimaldi's, and Jacques Torres. [Brooklyn Record] Fort Greene: Residents fight to save a big rock. [NYDN] Hell's Kitchen: Pier 76, behind the Javits Center, would be a good place for a recycling transfer station. But then what to do with the tow pound? [Villager] West Village: Locals still don't think enough is being done about the queer kids who hang out at the Christopher Street Pier. [Villager] Williamsburg: Northsix to close for renovations, plans are in the works for a new version of the club with a really lame name. [Brooklyn Record]
Bed-Stuy: A new wave of Bed-Stuy condos go where no condos have gone before. (East, of course). [Brownstoner] Boerum Hill: Mmmm, beer: Cask Ale Festival kicks off at the Brazen Head on Atlantic Avenue. [Brooklyn Record] Soho: Bedbugs chase Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson from Greene Street. [NYP] Financial District: A 24-hour diner will invade Gold Street in January. As if bankers don't just order in, anyway. [MetroNY] East Village: "Loanshark Bob" Marion returns to Avenue A after years of absence. Hooray. [Neither More Nor Less]
The patch of downtown Manhattan from East 14th Street to East 18th Street and between Irving Place and Second Avenue shape-shifts to suit the mood of brokers trying to sell their properties there. If they want to exude refinement, they call it Gramercy; others choose to glom on to the hipster vibe of the East Village or capitalize on the poised-for-luxury rep of Union Square. Whatever its nom de guerre, the nabe's worth a visit, both for the chance to troupe in and out of all sorts of buildings — the housing stock is diverse, including high-rises, low-slung tenement-style buildings, prewars, and townhouses — and for the hope of finding the perfect apartment. Fuel up at the Greenmarket at Union Square when your energy flags. Here are some spaces to check out.
USA Today just published an article detailing how vendors are routinely harassed by cops for minor violations like being too far from the curb, too close to a doorway, or on the wrong corner. Making matters worse, in February, the city raised the maximum fine for non-health-related violations from $250 to $1,000. Now there's talk of capping the number of licenses given out. The Street Vendor Project, an advocacy group best known by civilians for the Vendy Awards, might be the only resource the workers have. So support them by dropping in on the Vendys, happening Sunday night at St. Mark's Church in the East Village. After the jump, find the list of nominees — and info on a special contest!
Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?
The Snubs and Surprises of the 2018 Oscar Nominations
The Most Likely Names for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s New Baby
Trump Hasn’t Destroyed Obama’s Legacy. He’s Revealed How Impressive It Was.
Here Are Your 2018 Oscar Nominations
Every Episode of Black Mirror, Ranked From Worst to Best
Alison Brie Addresses Sexual-Misconduct Allegations Against Brother-in-Law James Franco
FBI Chief’s Reported Threat to Resign Over Trump Pressure Is Weirdly Encouraging
Vandperpump Rules Recap: Pasta La Vista, Baby
What Loneliness Does to the Human Body