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Harlem

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Wild Salmon Starts Its Upstream Journey Strongly; Craftsteak Upgraded

Alan Richman has a few qualms about Wild Salmon – its reason for being, for example – but likes both the food (except for the sauces) and the service (when it’s not too friendly). Given how ready Richman is to knock restaurants, owner Jeffrey Chodorow has to feel pretty good about this one. [Bloomberg] Related: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street] The newly revamped Craftsteak and Craftbar get rereviewed by Bruni, who awards the less than the white-hot former a much-needed second star, and the latter, “more or less back on track” after earlier troubles, a (borderline) single star. [NYT] Time Out’s Randall Lane lays four stars (out of six) on Gilt, finding Chris Lee’s cooking admirable all around, if less risky than that of his predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, who still keeps popping up whenever the restaurant is discussed. [TONY] Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]

City Gears Up to Better Police Labor Violations; Beef Threatens Fish at Le Bernardin

City Council to introduce a bill giving authorities more power to crack down on restaurant labor violations like the alleged ones at Saigon Grill. [MetroNY] Related: 100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill [Grub Street] Kobe beef, having once appeared on Le Bernardin’s menu, is taking over and chasing the fish away – a fact chef Eric Ripert is less than thrilled about. [NYP] Bizarre details of Mr. Chow’s abuse emerge from the lawsuit, including information about one employee who was forced to lie on the floor and be menaced and even kicked by the diminutive restaurateur. [Gawker]

Will Stuy Town Be Reborn As Luxury Condos?

Carroll Gardens: Retired parents get bored with the suburbs and move here. There goes the neighborhood. [The Brooklyn Paper] Downtown Brooklyn: Tillary Street might have a bike lane, but you can barely see it under all the cars. [McBrooklyn via Brooklyn Heights Blog] Greenpoint: Horrifying new trend: tossing your smoke detector out back when it starts to beep, instead of just changing the batteries. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: An agent for a newish co-op was canned after his employers found out he was also using the place as HQ for a stripper and escort service. [Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: Get ready for another tower on the corner of Carroll Street and Fourth Avenue. [Gowanus Lounge] Stuyvesant Town: There's a rumor going around that Tishman Speyer wants to tear down this middle-class enclave within five years and replace it with 150 luxury condos. [Curbed]

The Coolification of Gramercy

Astoria: So are these springtime infestations silverfish or house centipedes? [Astorians] Chelsea: A lost-dog notice brings out the area's tough love. [Blog Chelsea] Gramercy: Perhaps only the launching of a new Philippe Starck condo can bring hipster D.J.'s the Misshapes to a godforsakenly unhip stretch of East 23rd Street. [Curbed] Greenpoint: People waiting for a condo at 110 Green Street are forced to sleep among the pile drivers. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A new ecofriendly housing development will be not for rich yuppies but for ex-prisoners readjusting to life on the outside. How refreshing, frankly. [Multi-Housing News via Uptown Flavor] Red Hook: That dangerous corner en route to the Fairway has finally got a much-demanded traffic light. [Brooklyn Record]

Obama Set to Score First New York Endorsement

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New York is Hillary Clinton's home turf, but tomorrow Barack Obama will receive his first formal endorsement from a New York elected official, State Senator Bill Perkins, according to a knowledgeable source. Obama has been able to poach several big-money backers from his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination — he's got several more fund-raisers scheduled in the city this weekend — but Perkins, a longtime Harlem politician, will be the first elected to formally support the Illinois senator. The endorsement is likely to ruffle the feathers of Harlem boss Charlie Rangel, a Hillary supporter, who recently declared, "I don't know Obama supporters in New York." It's not the first time Perkins has gone against the Harlem establishment: He supported Howard Dean in the 2004 primary, when Rangel was supporting General Wesley Clark. "It's all posturing, all game playing," said one Harlem political strategist. "He's trying to make the eye in the sky look at him." Perkins hasn't returned a call for comment. —Geoffrey Gray

Natives Frighten Yuppies in Carroll Gardens

Bedford Stuyvesant: CW11 hired graffiti artists to paint billboards for Everybody Hates Chris. They didn't hire the other graffiti artists to bomb the ads. [Razor Apple] Carroll Gardens: Old Brooklyn and new Brooklyn walk into a bar. New Brooklyn gets scared and leaves. Back to the Zombie Hut. [Brooklyn Record] Clinton Hill: So it looks like a greenhouse, but it's made of metal tubing. What is this place on Emerson for? [ClintonHillBlog] Flatbush: Depressed that that blast of spring is fading away? Take heart … the cherry trees are starting to blossom in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. [Gothamist] Harlem: Yet another New York Sports Club may come to the area, this time at 115th and Fifth. [Uptown Flavor] Kingsbridge: In a few weeks, the city will have racked up $1.5 mil in fines for putting off the building of that dang filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park. Ouch. [NYP via West Bronx Blog] Prospect Heights: Old parapets are falling on the demo sites that will be the Atlantic Yards complex. [Curbed]

Rebuild Your Own Apartment in Hamilton Heights

552 W. 141st St.
Budget buyers willing to take on what is, in real-estate parlance, a classic "handyman's special" (it's a wreck) should take a look at 552 West 141st Street, a two-bedroom on a picturesque block of Hamilton Heights. Harlem has always offered deals, especially for those unafraid of major renovations, but this seems a better value than most at $200,000 for 1,000 square feet, a price not seen since, well, before Harlem saw a different renaissance. The catch? "The apartment needs some lovin'," says Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Bill Pfaff. "There's no kitchen. The bathroom's the only part that works." Plus, it's a Housing Development Fund Corp. building, which means there are restrictions placed on the income of purchasers. In this case, a single buyer can't make more than seven times the combined yearly total of the maintenance ($481 per month) and utilities (approximately $250 per month). (Couples multiply by eight; a family of three by nine.) So if you make more than $61,500, you're probably out. And that's not all: The co-op, which owns the unit, wants an all-cash transaction — check with your attorney for the reasons they may demand this — but Pfaff says they're "very willing" to negotiate.
—S. Jhoanna Robledo

Harlem on Only $600 a Night

Chelsea: The nasty Jag ad is gone from the side of the old McBurney Y, but a giant glass of Stella Artois has taken its place. [Blog Chelsea] Flatiron: Coming soon to Madison Square Park: steel trees! [Polis] Harlem: Marking yet another gentrification benchmark, a former Associated supermarket on 124th will become a $600-a-night W Hotel. [Columbia Spectator] Parkville: Is Ocean Parkway the "Madison Avenue of Brooklyn"? That's what the condo developers say. [Kensington (Brooklyn)] Prospect Lefferts Gardens: Neighbors suspect a developer of wanting to tear down a single-family home on Ocean Avenue to make way for condos. [Across the Park] West Village: Richard Meier’s glass towers on Perry Street will soon compete with a spire from edgy husband-wife design duo Asymptote. [Curbed]

Council: 2; Mayor: 0

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• The City Council overrode Bloomberg's veto and instituted a ban on metal baseball bats in high schools. And council members did the same with his veto of pedicab restrictions. A two-hitter, if you will. [Bloomberg] • President Bush is in town today for a speech and a photo op at the Harlem Village Academy Charter School, because it's been doing well under the No Child Left Behind act. We're sure the city had nothing to do with the improvement! At any rate, enjoy the gridlock. [amNY] • Historian David Halberstam, Pulitzer-winning legend of New York journalism died in a Bay Area car crash. Halberstam covered the Vietnam war for the Times and went on to write dozens of widely read books on that and other subjects. [WNBC] • The condo-weary Upper West Side is making like the Lower East and mulling a height limit on buildings. Under a proposed plan, all new construction west of the park between 97th and 110th Street would top off at about fourteen stories. [NYDN] • And the Waverly Inn — still not officially opened! — got slapped with 38 points for nine violations by the Health Department, including "mouse activity." We're sure our Grub Street brethren will have more to say, so let us just quickly smile at Mr. Carter's plan for a "Waverly cat" to deal with the mice. [NYT]

Robert Moses's BQE Dream House

Brooklyn Heights: It was bound to come to this: Bar bocce is now cutthroat and competitive. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Central Park: The Claremont Riding Academy is closing because of a lack of business. The stable has been on the west side of the park since 1892. [NYP] Cobble Hill: Part of Mayor Bloomberg's long-term plan for the city calls for covering nine blocks of the BQE to create additional space for housing. [NYP] Dumbo: Artist Jane Walentas, wife of theatrically lampooned area megadeveloper David, wants to put her restored carousel in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. [NY1 via DumboNYC] Fresh Meadows: Queens councilmember Tony Avella was among 75 who massed Saturday to protest a new building that violates just about every code in the book. [Queens Crap] Greenpoint: The line of demarcation between Greenpoint and Williamsburg is formed from waste. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: South Harlem will get its first veterinary clinic this summer on 112th and Frederick Douglass. [Harlem Fur] Prospect Heights: Demolition began at the Atlantic Yards site today, and so did the protests. [The Brooklyn Paper]

Eradicating Signs of Life in Flatiron

Coney Island: What's it look like when the Go-Kartz and Batting Cages get demolished? Thorasick Park, of course. [Kinetic Carnival] Dumbo: Turns out the 2 Trees condo tower is just outside the proposed historic district. Of course it is. [DumboNYC] Flatiron: Paging George Washington: Someone is chopping down cherry trees on Fifth Avenue. [Curbed] Greenpoint: The opening party for the Ikon had valet parking and sexy hostesses, but will that sell out 58 units? [Brownstoner] Harlem: The way to memorialize neighborhood heroes is with orange safety netting and construction that never ends. [Harlem Fur] Nolita: There's some graffiti dissing at the new OMNI mural on Houston and Bowery. [RazorApple] Soho: Enthusiastic public comment means a community-board recommendation for bike lanes along Prince and Bleecker. [Streetsblog]

Café Largo Comes Back to Harlem, With Two Sisters In Tow

When Harlem’s Café Largo disappeared in 2003, a good restaurant closed in a neighborhood with too few of them. Three years later, it’s back — with two new places next door: Vinegar Hill, a gourmet store and brick-oven bakery, and Tres Pasos, a Mexican takeout place. All three storefronts are joined in the back by a common kitchen, and a fourth adjacent store, Bella Jo Jane’s Sandwich Box, is slated to open in two to three months. Why the long delay? “We closed for an expansion and renovation that took two years longer than we expected,” says co-owner Stacy Schoenfeld-Calcano. Let's hope Largo’s new menu, among other things, will make the wait worthwhile.

Hipsters on a Rampage

Chinatown: In a fit of ironic violence or violent irony, a hipster mob (including, reportedly, Neckface) trashed an empty building slated for demolition. [Gawker via Curbed] East Village: A pane of glass crashed down from the Toll Brothers’ accident-prone condo project at 110 Third; an improvement over the last time, when it was an eight-ton crane. [Gothamist] Harlem: Locals with pups weighing between five and fifteen pounds are sought for a focus group by a resident aiming to build a better doggie carrier. [Harlem Fur] Prospect Heights: When Forest City Ratner starts tearing down buildings tomorrow for its Atlantic Yards project, it’ll be met by protesters. [DDDB] Red Hook: Time Out says this waterfront enclave "until recently wasn’t a neighborhood," faces the wrath of area longtimers. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Look out, Critical Mass, here comes National Velvet! Yes, horses have invaded the West 90th Street bike lane. [Streetsblog]

Jay McInerney's Bright New Penthouse

Bay Ridge: Residents are bracing for a two-year traffic nightmare as renovation work begins on 86th Street and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. [Brooklyn Paper] Gowanus: During yesterday's storm, raw sewage flowed into the canal, which then overflowed, all but literally sending crap into the streets. Quaint! [Gowanus Lounge] Greenpoint: Living next door to Magic Johnson's new Green Street condo building is like living next to something that pokes two-foot-by-two-foot holes in your apartment. [Newyorkshitty] Greenwich Village: Bright lights, big price tag. Jay McInerney and his heiress wife, Anne Hearst, just picked up an East 9th Street penthouse for $3.2 mil. [Curbed] Harlem: Sunday's torrential rain created four waterfalls in the 116th Street C-train station, making it more disgusting than usual. [Harlem Fur] Park Slope: The hood's perfectionist moms suffer the painful realization that they no longer dress well. [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] Upper East Side: Not everybody's happy about the Star Wars–esque entrances planned for the Second Avenue subway. [2nd Avenue Sagas]

Good-bye, Irving Plaza. Hello, Fillmore New York

Gowanus: Ecofriendly Whole Foods continues to ignore pleas from area residents that its store coming to Third and 3rd be, uh, ecofriendly. [Gowanus Lounge] Gramercy: The (sadly franchisey-looking) new Fillmore sign has gone up on the marquee of the old Irving Plaza. [Idolator] Greenpoint: Locals party with pot, booze, coke, and Time magazine. Good times. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A 123rd Street minister has sparked a boycott of new businesses that he says are pushing out the hood's "indigenous people." [VV] Kensington: Can't save enough to make a 20 percent down payment? A sponsor can help. [Kensington (Brooklyn)] Upper East Side: Good fences make good doggies? After lots of nasty barking between the owners of big mutts versus small ones, a new waterfront dog run at East 63rd Street will have a temporary fence to keep the Dobermans from the dachshunds. [NYS] Williamsburg: Look for a new psychedelic mural by Dave "SKWERM" Ellis over at 58 North 6th. [Brooklyn Record]

Parched Residents Demand Clinton Hill Beer Garden

Clinton Hill: Thanks to the advocacy of Clinton Hill Blog–master Robin Lester, you might not have to go to Astoria's beer garden anymore. [Gothamist via Clinton Hill Blog] Fort Greene: Will the guy who eats local fauna get a visit from the authorities soon? [Brooklyn Record] Greenpoint: Do we detect just a touch of resentment from blogger Miss Heather now that someone else is stealing some of her anti-poop thunder? [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: When the BBC shot in Sylvia's last week, tempers flared over crime and gentrification. [Uptown Flavor] Midwood: Poaching of Brooklyn parrots is on the decline, but it will take several years to repopulate the bird colonies. [Gowanus Lounge] Rosedale-Laurelton: Denizens of this quaint stretch of Queens are fed up with zoning that allows for McMansions on small plots — and they yelled at a councilman to prove it. [NYDN] Washington Heights: Someday, the gentrification chroniclers will look back and say it all started with the loss of the cheap roast-chicken place. [NYPress]

Bowery Whole Foods: An Effing Steamroller?

Will a splashy new Whole Foods on the Bowery leave a trail of wilted organic markets in its wake? The vegetarian, all-organic, and entirely volunteer-run 4th Street Food Co-op and a handful of other nearby stores now have to compete with the city’s biggest location: The Bowery outpost, which opened last week, clocks in at 71,000 square feet. The Union Square emporium? 51,000. With stores set to open in Brooklyn, Tribeca, and Harlem in the next two years, the Whole Foods backlash is in full swing.

Long Island City Still Arriving

Bay Ridge: Ferry service between here and Staten Island restored? Or only for April fools? [Bay Ridge Blog] Coney Island: In full party drag, the Mermaid Parade gang stormed City Hall last week to denounce developer Thor Equities' imminent Coney redo. [Curbed] East Village: Area playwright Israel Horowitz isn't the only one lamenting the likely death of the 13th Street Repertory theater, a fixture since 1972. [NYC Blocks] Harlem: Will a W Hotel open at Frederick Douglas Boulevard and 124th Street? [Harlem Fur] Long Island City: The area can rest easy knowing that one of the free subway dailies has decided it has finally "arrived." [amNY] Park Slope: Outrage unleashed! Neighbor dis R&A Bike Shop for poor customer service. [Daily Slope] Upper East Side: Three of the biggest real-estate sales in Manhattan since 2005 were on East 78th between Fifth and Madison, including a $45 mil purchase by Mayor Mike. [The Real Deal]

Holy Kensington, Batman!

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Who'd have thunk: Cute boîtes like Le Toukouleur are popping up in old do-or-die Bed-Stuy. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Corona: The Willets Point corridor, a.k.a. that patch of car-related shops called the Iron Triangle, won't be redeveloped without a fight from area biz owners. [Queens Courier via Queens Crap] Greenwich Village: So just how much did NYU pay off the residents of 250 Mercer to rip up their street in order to expand a co-generation plant? [The Villager] Harlem: While area pet owners await Animal General's arrival in the neighborhood, they can bring their furry friends to Petland Sunday for a quick and cheap vet check. [Harlem Fur] Kensington: The hood isn't merely getting popular; it's also really holy in a multisectarian way. [The Brooklyn Paper] Lower East Side: Yet another scrappy art gallery loses its home to make way for — surprise! — a condo conversion and is instead moving to — surprise — Bushwick. [Downtown Express] Williamsburg: Sure, the Karl Fischer condos are taking their own sweet time to rise. But look at all those balconies! [Curbed]

Park Slopers Indignant Over Hypothetical Crimes

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Does a yoga studio on "murderous Myrtle" portend for still-gritty Bed-Stuy an increase in serenity, gentrification, or both? [Bed-Stuy Blog] Coney Island: Those with a primal need to purge societal misfits can rest easy. Coney's much-loved "Shoot the Freak" attraction will survive another year, despite surrounding demolition by dervish developer Thor. [Gowanus Lounge] Elmhurst: Built in 1906 with funds from Andrew Carnegie, the charming local library is slated for demolition to make room for a bigger facility. [Queens Chronicle via Queens Crap] Harlem: Is the Corn Exchange, that 1884 Romanesque Revival pile by the 125th Street Metro-North station, destined to house an "affordable" culinary school? [Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: Life in La Slope is so halcyon-bordering-on-dull that residents spend their time speculating about where they'd be mugged if muggings routinely happened there. [Brooklynian] Times Square: In order to build a 50-story condo-hotel on West 45th, megadeveloper Extell has bought up air-space rights over three old Broadway theaters, very likely ensuring their future. [Curbed]