Recently closed wine bar Bar Vespa
A spree of business closings on Second Ave., between 91st and 95th streets, has received a lot of attention over the past year - due mainly to the impact of the Second Ave. subway’s construction, which has spurred a ton of difficulties for the businesses closest to the mayhem.
Getting far less attention - but maybe more alarming - is a recent string of businesses that shut down on an eight-block stretch between 77th and 85th streets on Second Ave., far removed (for now) from the subway's construction.
During the four-month period from June through September, a staggering 10 businesses have closed on this stretch (another shut down in May - so, 11 shuttered in a five-month period).
The businesses were a mix of chains and mom-and-pop stores; they were retailers, restaurants, wine bars and pizza spots. Some were part of a city-wide chain shuttering (Burittoville) or a nation-wide chain trimming locations (Talbots Kids) - but still, 11 is a ton in that amount of time on such a short stretch.
Not surprising, the area’s business managers and owners I spoke with pointed to a perfect storm of a struggling economy, a drop in consumer confidence and rising business costs – especially increased rents - as main causes of the closings.
The Biscuits & Bath pet spa on 82nd Street and 1st Ave is being sued for $200,000 for a dog on dog attack last month when Diesel, a 10-pound pooch, was allegedly mauled by pit bull.
"[Diesel] was getting ready to go out for a walk when an "approximately 65-pound pit bull, without provocation, attacked" Diesel, biting into his hind leg and "almost removing it from the dog's body," the suit says.
The unidentified pit bull "bit and shook Diesel like a rag doll, digging [his] sharp teeth into Diesel's body, putting enormous pressure on Diesel's bones, dislocating his hip and causing massive bleeding," the suit says.
Now Diesel's owner, lawyer Jeffrey Tullman, is suing the spa - which offers fur treatments, hair exfoliation and weight loss programs for dogs, and refers to animals as "children" and their owners as "parents" - for negligence.
The suit also names the pit bull's owner, John Doe, whose real name the spa is refusing to disclose."
Closed: Anna Maria Pizzeria on 83rd and 1st has shuttered. According to Suzanne, "they were closed for health citations late last year, they have finally shut their doors. A 'for lease' sign was spotted in the window and a note on the door saying it was closed by the city."
Opened: Dylan Murphy's bar, at 1453 3rd Ave., opened its doors last week.
The Los Angeles Times checks in on New York's traffic challenges and the "ambitious city plan" that will make it possible for riders to travel around Manhattan via dedicated bike lanes. Naturally, as the number of bicyclists in the city spikes -- its grown by 75% in the past seven years according to the piece -- so will the number of accidents involving bicyclists, and there are plenty of them. Last year, 271 people were killed in New York City traffic -- including 23 bicyclists and 136 pedestrians -- the vast majority by motorists, according to the LA Times, and about once a year a pedestrian is killed in a collision with a bicyclist.
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, from the Upper East Side, weighed in with her concerns:
"Jessica Lappin, a councilwoman from the Upper East Side, hears the horror stories almost daily.
Seniors in her neighborhood feel "terrorized" by delivery people who barrel down the sidewalks on two wheels, causing elderly residents to duck and dive. "While I understand that the cyclists fear for their lives in the streets," she said, "the answer can't be whizzing by on the sidewalk at 20 mph and running into pedestrians."
Lappin added that she supported bicycling in general and -- if it was safer -- would probably bicycle herself."
Kate points out that Tasti D-Lite is unrolling a new location which is situated just off Lex and 86th. That is the company's tenth spot on the Upper East Side, by my count, which is now nearing Starbucks-like numbers (13 locations).
CB8's transportation committee is set to meet tonight at 6:30. On the agenda? Traffic conditions, as requested by residents, at 79th and Madison and 79th and Third Ave., as well as the traffic signals at the NE corner of East 80th Street and York Avenue. Full agenda and location, if you'd like to attend, after the click-through.
Above, a look at what's going on at the site of the upcoming Georgica luxury condo complex. The view is via Second Ave., though another portion of the building is emerging on 85th, (the proper address is 305 East 85th Street), thanks to the building's L-shaped design. Looks like they're starting work on second floor above ground level. The building is ultimately set for 20 stories and 58 residences.
Georgica Website [Georgicalife.com]
An on the spot review of the Lucida (86th and Lex) over the weekend shows work on the building's 16th (or possibly 17th?) story moving forward. Above, more broken glass, as vandals continue to have their way with the windows near the ground level. This shot was taken on the backside of the building, on 85th.