The Ramones outside of CBGB, photo via CBGB
On August 16, 1974, four men dressed in leather motorcycle jackets and Converse high-tops hit the stage at CBGB, an iconic East Village dive bar, for the very first time. After this debut performance, the Ramones, who hailed from Forest Hills, Queens, became the first regulars at CBGB, a spot known for the cutting edge punk rock musicians that played there, like Talking Heads, Patti Smith and Blondie. In the year 1974 alone, the Ramones played there over 70 times.
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The neighborhood is known for its tiny, cramped apartments, so living in an East Village townhouse already seems impossibly fortunate. But this four-story, 5,200-square-foot townhouse at 26 East 5th Street has the extra bragging rights to a top-to-toe renovation by starchitect Annabelle Selldorf. Built in 1900, this single-family home uses a 35-foot deep extension to add light and square footage, and the current residents have packed those square feet with a colorful Pop art collection and perfectly imperfect details. Minus the art, it’s asking $7.5 million.
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The listing calls the two-unit, three-story property that tops the condominium building at 72 East 1st Street “the most unique property in the East Village,” and while it may not be the entire city’s most interesting, it’s definitely among them. The lower unit is a full-floor penthouse duplex, above which is perched a perfect replica of a New England cottage. The property is for sale for $3.5 million; while much has been written about the city’s handful of rooftop cabins and cottages, they rarely appear on the market. In this case, the Nantucket-style cottage is an artists’ studio, which makes it even cooler.
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This East Village rental, at the Pear Tree Place condo at 203 East 13th Street, is rich in prewar material. The 11-and-a-half-foot ceilings are lined with wood beams, the walls are covered with exposed brick and the floor with a maple wood. The three-bedroom pad, on the rental market for $13,995/month, also comes with some perks: a planted terrace off the kitchen, an audio/visual system with two drop-down movie screens, and heated floors in the bathrooms.
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The gardens are open to the public but the views are all yours from this well-configured studio at 257 East 7th Street in the easternmost reaches of the East Village. The block is, as the listing suggests, one of the neighborhood’s most picturesque, with a history of community pride by longtime homeowners and a rare eclectic collection of historic townhouses. The verdant Flowerbox building, one of the neighborhood’s first and most beautifully-designed luxury developments, is next door, and the East River Park foot and bike path is steps away. This charming studio is asking $775,000.
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Space and storage are what this East Village loft has to give. The unit is from 300 East 4th Street, a brick cooperative built in the 1940s. While you can pick up a unit here for $1.299 million, this one is actually up for rent at $4,600 a month. With over 850 square feet, there are two mezzanines to hold a bedroom and a flexible bonus space. Custom closets were added, and built-ins line the walls, offering storage galore. Best of all, this lofty space takes in tons of light from five large windows.
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Hippies singing and playing music in Washington Square Park in the late 1960s. Photo: Peter Keegan
It has been 50 years since 1967’s “Summer of Love” when young people from around the world flocked to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and to other urban neighborhoods, including New York’s East Village, to trip out at psychedelic dance parties, sleep in city parks, and live and do whatever they pleased. While the hippie subculture was already flourishing prior to the Summer of Love, by mid 1967, hippies and their music, style, and communal way of life had caught the attention of the mainstream media and as a result, reached a critical mass of young people who were now eager to ditch their suburban homes to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.”
Reactions to the Summer of Love in New York were predictably mixed. An estimated 50,000 young people descended on the city to join the movement, but many New Yorkers, including longstanding residents, police officers, and politicians, had little interest in spending the Summer of Love soaking up the good vibes. In the end, the city’s Summer of Love saw as much conflict and violence as peace and love, and debates about rental prices, real estate values, and the gentrification of the Lower East Side were all part of the conflict.
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Image of the site via Google Street View
In March 2015, an explosion caused by an illegal tap into the gas main destroyed three buildings and killed two people in the East Village. Last month, Maria Hrynenko, the owner of the wrecked properties at 119 and 121 Second Avenue, sold two of the lots to Yaniv Shaky Cohen’s Nexus Building Development Group Inc. for $9.15 million, according to the New York Post. The third site destroyed by the explosion at 123 Second Avenue sold last year to Ezra Wibowo for $6 million, about $4 million less than the asking price.
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Rendering of the rhino sculpture in Astor Place
The Northern White Rhino species faces imminent extinction as only three remain on Earth. To raise awareness, a husband-and-wife sculpting duo are creating the largest rhino sculpture in the world and installing it in Astor Place (h/t Time Out). Gillie and Marc plan on putting $150,000 of their own money behind the project and created a Kickstarter page to raise the additional $50,000 needed to complete it. If all goes according to plan, the sculpture, titled “The Last Three,” will be installed in January 2018.
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Rendering of 432-438 East 14th Street via Benenson Capital Partners, LLC
It’s been 11 years since Trader Joe’s opened its first NYC location on Union Square, and now the discount grocer has three others in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one in Queens. This past year, they announced that new outposts will open in Brooklyn Heights, the Upper West Side (their second in the neighborhood), Soho, and on the Lower East Side at Essex Crossing, and today The Real Deal reports they’ve inked a deal for a 23,000-square-foot space across from Stuyvesant Town, just three avenues east on 14th Street from their original store. The site at 432 East 14th Street is replacing the former Stuyvesant Post Office, a controversial closure that even launched a local “save the post office” campaign.
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