Category Archives: 80th

Bar Vespa Unveils Its Shiny Redness, Enoteca Di Leonardo Opens

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How are those budding UES wine bars coming along, you ask? Well:  

1)  Last time we checked in on Bar Vepsa there wasn’t much to show — and now look at it!  It sits at 1609 2nd Ave., in all its unabated red glory.  Yes, it’s very, very red…and that’s quite a font they’ve got going on…and now I’ll always know what time it is when I’m on 2nd.  And it would appear they’re ahead of the “probably next year” opening we were told back in early August.

 2) Enoteca Di Leonardoa new wine bar on 2nd Ave., between 81st and 82nd, kept good on its promise to “open soon” when it was unveiled last Friday.  A peek inside after the jump.

More:
UES Wine Bar Trend Continues [78thand2nd]
The (Almost) UES Wine Bar Trend [78thand2nd]

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Upper East Side Best Bars Poll

We’re getting to close to revealing our all-inclusive, neighborhood-wide, ‘Best Bars Poll’ – but you still have time to weigh-in with your thoughts.  Shoot us an email or hit the comments section here, and lets hear your picks for the UES’s best bars and worst bars, the biggest dives, hottest bartenders, worst bouncers, biggest loser hangouts, best for (fill in your favorite team) fans, best places for buy backs – and whatever else comes to mind.

We’ve been collecting opinions for a few weeks now, so here’s a little glimpse at some early favs: Blondie’s is making a strong case in the “Best Place To Watch A Game” category and, sorry American Trash, but you’re nearly an unanimous vote for “Worst Bar Ever.”

More:
Best Bars on the Upper East Side? [78thand2nd]

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The (Almost) UES Wine Bar Trend

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A few new wine bars are coming to the neighborhood, which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve ever caught a glimpse inside Vero, on 2nd between 77th and 78th, which is constantly jammed with people.

First up – Fratelli, to be located on 1st between 70th and 71st.  The inside is currently getting an overhaul — permits on the windows are good through 11/1/2007 — so a debut can be expected later this year. (a pic from inside after the jump)

Also coming is Bar Vespa , which will take the place of Oldies, Goldies and Moldies, at 1609 2nd. From the looks of the space it will be probably be close to the same size as Vero (think small), but the inside of this spot is much further away from being ready. A source onsite says Bar Vespa won’t be ready for a months, probably early next year.

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Thanks Curbed

My stint hanging out as a guest blogger with New York City real estate blog Curbed ended on Friday — thanks to the Curbed guys for having me and making it a great experience. 

The comments my posts received were among the week’s highlights for me — some were intelligent and interesting, some were from some seemingly disturbed folks — below are a few worth checking out:

Where’s Chou: Demo For 78th and 1st?
Bike-Path War: 91st vs. 89th
Second Avenue Subway Scene: Phase I of Phase I Complete

There are some others as well – the full list of posts I took part in is here.

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Guest Blogging On Curbed

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Being a big fan of the NY real estate blog Curbed I jumped at the invitation to sit in and guest blog with them for a week — and that week is here.  Updates to 78thand2nd for the next 5 days will most likely consist of many links to the Curbed stories i take part in, as well as some additional, stand alone posts here.

So, as always, please hit me at 78thand2nd@gmail.com if you have any UES neighborhood tips (and for this week any REAL ESTATE or general NY tips).

And check out Curbed.

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Best Bars on the Upper East Side?

Quick word association: When you hear “Upper East Side” what comes to mind? “Old New York,” “snooty,” “Park Ave.,” “old money” and “Central Park” might be wedged in there somewhere, but aren’t those just the warm-ups for “bars,” “bars,” “bars,” and, well, more bars?

With that in mind, 78thand2nd is working up a master list of the best and worst bars on the Upper East Side (59th to 96th, Central Park to East River), and we’d love to hear what you think. What are the best bars, worst bars, biggest dives, ones with the hottest bartenders, the worst bouncers, shittiest bathrooms, biggest dickhead hangouts, best ones for a date, for a quick drink after work, places for (fill in your favorite team) fans, best places for buy backs – and whatever else comes to mind.

Let us know what you think! Email us at 78thand2nd@gmail.com.

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Con Ed Prepares Us For Another Blackout?

I’m not trying to beat up on Con Ed, because it’s got to be tough to do your job when someone drives their truck into your workspace and causes two explosions, but I noticed the company posted a statement on their website, titled “Con Edison Prepares For The Heat,” which essentially seems to be preparing New Yorkers for an outage.

From Con Ed:

Con Edison will have extra crews available to respond to any service problems that may arise. Customers are urged to call 1-800-75-CONED or contact the company on its Web site at http://www.conEd.com promptly if they encounter any service difficulties. The company’s home page also provides a link to a new list of 100 energy- and money-saving tips.

So, with temperatures expected to climb into the 90s early this week, what are the chances we have another blackout?

Blackout poll is here.

Con Ed tips are here.

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Freegans Eat Garbage

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 Dinner Time.

Freeganism has been around for a while — the New York Press had an article over a year ago about the trend — but it seems to be gaining some interest lately, after the New York Times ran a piece in late June (not linked due to it being a pay article).

Freegans might be best described via this website, Freeganism.info:

Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.

What does that mean on a day-to-day level?  It means they eat garbage.

According to the N.Y. Press:

(A group of people have organized “dumpster diving” in) various trash heaps and dumpsters of Manhattan to gather discarded food. The activity is part of a larger social movement known as freeganism, which views capitalism as the primary force in destroying the environment and avoids the capitalist structure through such practices as eating discarded food, squatting in abandoned buildings instead of paying rent and refusing to hold a job. Just as vegans are vegetarians who avoid animal products, freegans subsist only on free food found in the garbage as consumer waste. In Manhattan, there is plenty to go around.

Raiding dumpsters isn’t actually new, it’s called being “homeless,” so I guess Freegans are just homeless people with some publicity spin.  Whatever, I’m all for it, if they’re into it.  And by “all for it” I mean that I wouldn’t jump into a dumpster to eat a meal because I think it’s disgusting

According to Freegan.info, “the goods get fancier and fresher as you go south” and that comment referred to the Upper East Side. Some of their favorite targets, according to the site, are Key Food on 2nd Avenue and 92nd Street (“On our first foray, we found only some shrink-wrapped produce”), Patak’s Gourmet Deli on Madison Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets, Gristedes on Lex and 89th (“dairy and eggs galore”), Eli’s on 3rd between 80th and 81st (“most of their trash goes through a compressor, but on our first dive we found about five bags of uncompressed food including yogurt, almonds and butter”).

Sounds delicious.  The full list of favorite Freegan dumpster dives in the city can be found here.

More:
Rubbish is happiness for freegan scavengers [Scotland on Sunday]
Lesson Five: Become a Freegan [Cornell Sun]

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Bloomberg Plan Includes Fees For Drivers Leaving City

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This one flew under the radar.
Back in late April, on Earth Day, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled 127 initiatives aimed at reducing the city’s negative impact on the environment – a key objective of the plan is to cut greenhouse emissions by 30 percent by 2030. A much publicized proposed initiative in the Bloomberg plan is to charge drivers coming into the city south of 86th street a congestion fee of $8.What hasn’t been much publicized is the plan to charge those driving OUT of the zone – including a majority of the Upper East Side – a $8 fee as well, according to the New York Times.

From the Times:

It might seem that anyone taking a car out of the congestion zone ought to be rewarded instead of penalized, but officials disagreed.

“We’re not trying to get people to leave the zone in their cars,” said Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff, who played a leading role in fashioning the plan. “Overall what we’re trying to do is get people to use their cars less.”

And later:

In seeking public support for the plan, city officials have not been emphasizing the fee that will be imposed on those driving out of the congestion pricing zone, perhaps in part because the fee would be levied on far fewer drivers than those who drive in every day.

But city officials also appear aware of the political sensitivity of the plan, and are counting on support from people residing inside the zone, who could be expected to benefit from the drop in traffic. Most opposition so far has come from the other boroughs, and the suburbs, where some residents see it as a financial burden and an elitist initiative that favors Manhattan.

The plan seems likely to go through. Approval on the state level would give New York a shot at mega-bucks — over a half billion — from the Dept of Transportation to help implement the overall plan. The Governor supports it and now the State Legislature is expected to make a decision in July.

A spokesman for the federal Department of Transportation, said it was unlikely that New York would get the money if the Legislature did not quickly approve the plan, according to the Times.

While I’m a fan of many of the parts of Bloomberg’s proposal, there’s this to consider — cars are like cigarettes with people, they can’t give them up.  So, you know what’s going to happen?  This will get approved. People will keep driving in and out of the city, and they’ll pay the congestion fee, and the road rage is going to sky-rocket.   

So, instead of almost getting hit by a driver who’s experiencing a meltdown about once a week, I’m betting that’s going to be a daily occurence.  I guess I should start wearing this when I leave the apartment:

bodyarmor.jpg

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Breaking News: Blackout On Upper East Side

Apparently the mid-90s heat was too much for the electric grid to take — Curbed.com is reporting there’s a blackout on the Upper East Side right now.

From Curbed.com:

From a tipster: “My wife on 84th and Lex says power is out in the whole neighborhood. ABC7 just broke news that from the South Bronx to East 13th on the East Side is experiencing sporadic outages. My doorman says that a grid blew on the UES.”

Update 4:45:
Power Outage Cuts Trains, Traffic Lights in New York City [ABC News]
Officials: 375,000 Residents Without Power In NYC [NBC News]
Curbed is running rolling updates. [Curbed.com]

Update 5:45:
Power back on after outages; Subway service affected [ABC News]

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