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This Guy Robbed an East Village Bank, Cops Say

(Photo: NYPD)

Panicking about how you’re going to afford those last-minute holiday gifts? Well, there’s always this option…

Around 12:45pm on Dec. 14, the man in the photo shown here walked into the East 1st Street location of TD Bank, stepped up to the counter, and passed a slip demanding money, police say. A bank employee forked over approximately $1,900 to the suspect, who is described as being in his mid 20s or 30s, approximately 5’5″, and about 150 pounds. No one was harmed during the incident.

The bank, at 21 East First Street, is on the former site of Mars Bar. The infamous dive closed in 2011, but apparently the corner of First and Second still sees some wild behavior.

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MTA Releases L Train Shutdown Plan, and Electeds React

Yesterday, the MTA released the mitigation plan for the 15-month long closure of the L Train, set to start in April 2019, to mixed reactions.

The shutdown plan, developed after some 40 public meetings, includes additional subway service and capacity; more bike lanes and an increase in Citi Bike inventory; increased bus service along with vehicle restrictions on 14th Street and the Williamsburg Bridge; “major changes” to facilitate bus and bike travel on Grand Street in Brooklyn; and a new ferry route that will connect the Stuyvesant Cove in Manhattan with North 6th Street in Brooklyn.

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In East Williamsburg, Plan to Build On Public Housing Property Gets Frosty Reception

A parking lot at the Cooper Park Houses is set to be replaced by a high-rise building, and residents of the East Williamsburg housing development aren’t happy about it. Several dozen people showed up to express their outrage Tuesday at a meeting where the New York City Housing Authority unveiled its plans. 

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The Mitzvah Tank Is Back, Baby!

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

There’s klezmer-style music blaring over a loudspeaker at the corner of Third Avenue and St. Marks Place. Follow the noise and you’ll stumble upon the Mitzvah Tank, a tricked-out RV with signage wishing you a “Happy Chanukah!” A pair of Hasidic gentleman, Yosef and Zalmen, stand on the street, beside a haphazard display of Chanukah menorahs and pamphlets explaining the eight-day Jewish holiday. Dressed in dapper, all-black outfits, they mill about the mini-Winnebago and ask passerby one simple question.

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Performance Picks: 30-Year Christmas Carol, Queer Vloggers, Gay Hell

THURSDAY

(image courtesy of A Christmas Carol)

A Christmas Carol Year Five: Home For The Holidays
December 14-18 at Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, 8 pm or 7 pm: $30

Marriages are technically a commitment for life. The team behind this deconstructed, imaginative, and wacky riff on A Christmas Carol directed by Andrew Neisler and told through the story of a fictional couple has chosen something no less ambitious, particularly for live performance: they will perform a version of this show every year, for thirty years. Now, they’re on their fifth year. Things are changing, but they show no signs of slowing down. So, come on down to whatever a “fashion and design accelerator” is and pay this kind couple (Ryan Weir and Andrew Farmer, who also wrote the piece) a visit. Though Farmer was the writer behind the recent series of spooky subway-centric tales, I assume this show will be more seasonal than spine-chilling. Also, it includes unlimited beer and wine. Keep Reading »

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Essex Crossing Announces Affordable Housing Lottery, New Market Vendors

115 Delancey Street, late November. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

A couple of pieces of news today about the Essex Crossing development that’s rising above the Lower East Side as we speak. Three new vendors have been announced for the relocated Essex Street Market, and an affordable housing lottery launched today for 98 units in the same building.

The vendors set to join Essex Street Market when it relocates to 115 Delancey Street next year are Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, a local favorite whose wasabi, durian, and pandan flavors draw lines out the door on Bayard Street; Essex Shambles, an offshoot of uptown boutique butcher Harlem Shambles; and Zerza, a fast-casual offshoot of the same-named East Village Moroccan spot that will serve “whole-food, plant-based ingredients and organically sourced meats with Moroccan spices and Mediterranean extra virgin olive oils,” according to a press release form the NYC Economic Development Corporation.

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How Pepe the Frog Tried to Get His Groove Back: The Musical!

When Pepe the Frog was coopted by the alt-right last year, the cartoon amphibian’s creator didn’t exactly think, “Feels good, man.” Instead, he set out on a quest to reclaim Pepe. That effort has now inspired a “meme musical experience” titled Passion of the Frogin which the internet’s favorite hate symbol goes looking for love.

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Exhibitions To See: 8-Bit Reality, Kathleen White, Immigrant Women

(image courtesy of Catinca Tabacaru Gallery)

Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology
Opening Thursday, December 14 at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 21.

Though the title of this exhibition may call to mind a really wrinkly cell phone, it is in fact a reference to the ideology of the creator of the Nintendo Game Boy, Gunpei Yokoi. This sort of reference feels right at home when it comes to this show by Shinji Murakami, which will transform a gallery space into an illuminated augmented reality playland. His materials of choice tend to be more traditional, such as wood, plastic, and glue, but he also uses vast amount of LED lights. Altogether, this creates a homage to 1980s gaming, particularly the simple and nostalgic 8-bit aesthetic. In the midst of this 8-bit world, the artist has turned an LED panel into a real-time display of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed, a clear reminder that while the gallery may look rooted in the technology of the past, we are in the present, and it’s a present that may not be too far away from colonizing other planets. Keep Reading »