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Bushwickers Are Making a Community Plan Before Developers Make It For Them

Antonio Reynoso speaks at the Bushwick Community Plan open house (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Antonio Reynoso speaks at the Bushwick Community Plan open house (Photo: Nicole Disser)

A slew of city agencies and elected officials are asking Bushwick residents for direct input on how best to handle the rapid change that’s consuming the neighborhood.

“We’re here to make sure we give the people the opportunity to make a decision on what their neighborhood’s going to look like in the future,” City Council member Antonio Reynoso told the crowd at a Monday meeting at Ridgewood Bushwick Youth Center. Among the areas of concern: population growth, demographic shifts, the loss of affordable housing, an influx of luxury housing, private interests, and businesses that cater toward the moneyed. In other words, gentrification.

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Did a Yelper See the Bushwick ‘Candy’ Store Bust Coming a Year Ago?

(Photo: Bruno J. Navarro)

(Photo: Bruno J. Navarro)

You may have been shocked to hear, yesterday, that the NYPD raided an unassuming Bushwick bodega and uncovered what appeared to be a massive heroin operation.

But one Brooklyn resident told us he was “totally not surprised.” More than a year ago, Bruno Navarro posted the above photo of the Gates Candy & Grocery to Yelp with the caption “Get your fresh…candy?!”

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Bushwick Residents Rally at City Hall to Decry Deadlock on Immigration Reform

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

“Today we suffer, in November we vote,” dozens of protesters chanted in front of City Hall this afternoon. Some 40 people gathered to express dismay over yesterday’s Supreme Court deadlock over President Obama’s immigration plan, which would have given undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and the possibility to work in the United States. The rally was organized by the Bushwick chapter of Make the Road New York, a non-profit dedicated to representing the city’s Latino and immigrant communities.

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Stonewall Inn Declared National Monument for Gay Rights Struggle

(Photo: Talya Galasko)

(Photo: Talya Galasko)

President Obama officially declared the Stonewall Inn, long recognized as the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement, a national monument this morning, making it the first monument to the struggle for LGBTQ equality. 

The Stonewall became the center of a new movement for gay rights in June of 1969, when patrons at the well-known gay bar fought back against one of the NYPD’s periodic raids. The ensuing riots and their aftermath inspired many to act and organize in support of LGBTQ rights, creating the first movement of its kind in America. The Stonewall Inn became a national landmark in 2000 and a city landmark almost exactly a year ago

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What Will Happen to Clinton Street, the ‘Toss-Up’ of the Lower East Side?

Clinton Ink next to Koneko Cat Cafe (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Clinton Ink next to Koneko Cat Cafe (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Lillian Melendez still remembers when Clinton Street was a destination for anyone planning a sweet sixteen, baby shower or wedding. “If you were having a party, you had to come to Clinton,” she said. “Clinton was famous, everybody knew Clinton.” As a child she spent afternoons playing in her mother’s shop, Genesis Party Supplies at 97 Clinton, packed with custom wedding and bridesmaids dresses, speciality balloons and centerpieces and themed baby shower chairs and pins. Back then, Genesis held court with three other Latino party shops on that stretch of the block alone– if a customer didn’t find what they wanted at Genesis, her mom would send them next door or across the street.

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Sip on Herpes Slurpees With Cast of ‘Drunky’ at Alphaville on Saturday

(Flyer via "Adventures of Drunky"/ Augenblick Studios)

(Flyer via “Adventures of Drunky”/ Augenblick Studios)

Let’s be real, it’s been a sticky week. And since the frozen negroni machine has been broken at the Narrows for going on forever, you’re probably thinking, what’s the point of even leaving my fire-escape kiddie pool this weekend? There never is one, truth be told. But there’s something going down this weekend at Alphaville that could turn out to be the next best thing to soakin’ in a plastic tub filled with the champagne of public water and dribbles of your own pee.

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Relive the Indie Film Forum That Brought Us Heavy Metal Parking Lot and Penis Puppets

Detail from the first "I Am Eye" flyer (Via Microscope Gallery/ "I Am Eye")

Detail from the first “I Am Eye” flyer (Via Microscope Gallery/ “I Am Eye”)

Probably the best known film to come out of the I Am Eye scene opens with a view from the cameraman’s car as John Heyn and Jeff Krulik pull into a a sweaty asphalt parking lot full of Wayne’s World clones. “I’m ready to rock!” the spandex-clad kids with big hair exclaim un-ironically, throwing up devil horns and alternating between sloshing around beer bottles and back-bent air guitar. The next 15 minutes or so of Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986) is nothing short of sheer brilliance and even though the film– which has won praise as “the original viral video” and “the Citizen Kane of wasted teenage metalness”– is approaching its 30th anniversary, it feels supremely right-now. In a lot of ways, this “sleeper” bootleg hit anticipated the kind of cheeky, ironic tone that today we see everywhere in art-making.

Likewise, I Am Eye, the DC-based “independent film forum” that ran from 1982 to 1991 out of a DIY venue called dc space, was a hotbed for underground filmmakers whose influence is still felt today, even if what they screened back then is seriously hard to find now. But for the first time in 25 years, the founders are gathering up their old reels and holding a screening/reunion at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick that opens this weekend.

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Fresh Body Found in Bushwick Boneyard; Candy Store Busted for Booger Sugar

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Yesterday morning, the body of a man (believed to be in his 30s) was found above ground at Bushwick’s Most Holy Trinity Cemetery. [NY Daily News]

Police uncovered $100K worth of heroin and cocaine at Gates Candy in Bushwick yesterday. [Bushwick Daily]

Community Board 2 declined to support a liquor license for The Stand, the Gramercy Park comedy club hoping to open a second outpost on Spring Street. [Bowery Boogie]

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City’s Latest ‘Asphalt Activation’ Wants to Turn Your Frown Upside-Down

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

Amidst all the pigeon poop, garbage juice, and sundry other mystery substances littering the streets of New York, there are actually some hard-working people out there trying to make this city just a teensiest bit nicer. Sure, you could go the ad-hoc route like this artist who leaves gold spray-painted trash bags lying around. Or, go the way of the city’s Department of Transportation and commission artists to unleash the pretty. Williamsburg is the new recipient of one such beautification project, with a massive painting adorning the ground of Ascenzi Square, in the triangle formed by Roebling Street, Metropolitan Avenue, and N 4th Street.

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The Knitting Factor: New Documentary Weaves a Tale of Yarn Artists

Olek's Yarn People (Photo: courtesy of Matt Hirsch)

Olek’s Yarn People (Photo: courtesy of BOND/360)

At what point does something stop being beautiful once it becomes functional? Can something you use every day be made into art? Does art need to hang in a gallery to be recognized? And, perhaps the biggest question of all, how much can sheep really contribute to the fine arts?

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Todd Solondz Thinks Wiener-Dog Could Teach Trump a Thing or Two About Self-Loathing

On Solondz’s left, that’s Burstyn burstin’ into laughter. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

It’s kind of appropriate that Todd Solondz’s new “comedy of despair,” Wiener-Dog, made its New York premier at BAMcinemaFest last week and comes to theaters nation-wide this Friday, just days before Americans throw some wieners onto the grill. Not to be confused with Weiner, another deeply cringe-worthy film currently in theaters, Wiener-Dog follows a droopey-eyed dachshund across the country as he goes from emotionally inept owner to owner, gradually changing names from Croissant to Cancer.

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Sidewalk Seating Alert: Lions Beer Store Adds Outdoor Tables

Time to add some more outdoor seating to our mega map of sidewalk cafes. Lions Beer Store, the East Village gastropub and carry-out shop that replaced Spice’s Second Avenue location back in November, has added about 22 sidewalk seats. And, nice touch: Those classy lamps you see in the photo actually turn on at night, to help you locate your favorite summery gose on the menu. Prediction: At least one of those lampshades will end up on the head of some sloshed Murray Hiller carving a path of destruction down Second Avenue.