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Jerome’s Will Go Out With a Bang, Throws One Last Party Tonight

The crowd at Jerome's at last call during their final Saturday night featuring co-owner Omire Shellaf (top, center) and DJ's Prince Terrance and Nate Turbow (top, first and second from left) (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

The crowd at Jerome’s at last call during their final Saturday night featuring co-owner Omire Shellaf (top, center) and DJ’s Prince Terrance and Nate Turbow (top, first and second from left) (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

Another day, another watering hole that’s closing. This time it’s Jerome’s, the Lower East Side late-night staple just steps from the Williamsburg Bridge, which will be closing its doors for good tonight. Formerly known as St. Jerome’s, it was reincarnated into Rivington F&B in 2014, and was a favorite LES hangout for Lady Gaga.

After St. Jerome’s was revamped into Rivington F&B in March 2014 by Jonas Pelli, a former bartender and manager at St. Jerome’s, and his new partners in crime Omri S. Quire and Paul Seres of The DL, the bar expanded with a new backroom, a fresh cocktail list, and a food menu.

After the makeover, patrons who remembered and loved St. Jerome’s back from its down-and-dirty days were afraid the bar would become a bro-festered lounge, but for the most part Rivington F&B (still known as Jerome’s) managed to pay homage to its wilder roots. The laid-back vibes, a small dance floor in the back, and their rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic simply made the spot feel like a slightly posher version of the beaten-up dive bar it once was. The chalkboard doors in the front would sport homages to recently deceased music legends, including Bowie and Prince.

Artist Russel Murphy (center) playing pool with friends during the final Saturday night at Jerome's (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

Artist Russel Murphy (center) playing pool with friends during the final Saturday night at Jerome’s (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

While the owners wouldn’t explain exactly why they had to close – Quire simply said “it’s out of our control” – Bowery Boogie reported back in June that the space had apparently been bought by new owners who plan to turn it into something called the LES Junction, although there’s little information about the spot as of yet. The new owners Gavin Downie and Lynn McNeill submitted a liquor license request to the Community Board 3 for 155 Rivington back in May.

Pelli and Quire had a big blowout on Saturday night with DJs Prince Terrence and Nate Turbow to celebrate their last weekend at Jerome’s, as well as an “insane” Monday night party, which became a collaboration of their popular “Magic Monday” and “Dollhouse” parties. “We’ve let our DJs and employees each do their own send-off this week,” Quire explained.

The after-hours VIP crowd at Jerome's featuring co-owner Omri Shellaf (far left) (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

The after-hours VIP crowd at Jerome’s featuring co-owner Omri Shellaf (far left) (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

Quire wistfully said that in a way, it was fitting that they would have one last hurrah on a Wednesday. “We actually opened on a Wednesday with a party called Clubhouse Déjà Vu, which is a throwback to the old St. Jerome’s,” he said, explaining that the original Jerome’s used to be nicknamed “the clubhouse.”

Naturally, tonight’s party will carry that moniker, and feature DJs Marty E. and Ian Eldorado spinning tunes until 4am.

Nonetheless, it was clear that Quire and Pelli were sad to have to close down. “It’s hard to let go of anything to which you devote so much time and effort. We’ve got a lot of great memories, learned a lot and made many new friends and we hope that everyone else who’s been coming to the bar has gained as much as us,” Quire explained.

The crowd outside Jerome's after leaving the final Saturday night (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

The crowd outside Jerome’s after leaving the final Saturday night (Photo: Courtesy of Nick McManus)

But Quire and Pelli are Lower East Siders till the bitter end, and have been hatching some new ideas for ventures around the neighborhood. “We need to find the real estate first,” Pelli said.

One thing’s for sure though: they’re not moving to Brooklyn. “Brooklyn is not us,” Pelli said decisively.

Jerome’s at Rivington F&B, 115 Rivington Street between Suffolk and Clinton Street. Tonight, 5pm – 4am.

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The Monster That is Essex Crossing is One Step Closer to Completion

(Photo: Courtesy of Delancey Street Associates)

(Photo: Courtesy of Delancey Street Associates)

Brace yourselves, the behemoth is coming: the Lower East Side monster development known as Essex Crossing is (sort of close) to completing the first of nine units that will comprise the 1.9 million-square foot project. The developers, Delancey Street Associates, announced the “topping out” of 175 Delancey Street today, which is a fancy developer term for finishing the last part of a building’s basic structure.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s done yet. In fact, the ominously entitled “Site 6,” which is set to be a 14-story building with 100 units of affordable senior housing, won’t be completed until December 2017, a statement from Delancey Street Associates revealed.

Site 6, where Think Coffee and 100% senior housing will be located, Dattner Architects

Site 6, where Think Coffee and 100% senior housing will be located, Dattner Architects

In addition to the senior housing units, which are supposedly reserved for households earning between $24,200 and $54,400 per individual, Site 6 – seriously, the name sounds like something out of Hunger Games – will also include “five floors of commercial space including a 55,000-square-foot medical facility leased by NYU Langone, a job training center and senior community center run by Grand Street Settlement (GSS), an educational facility, and ground floor retail,” the developer’s statement said.

Project manager Isaac Henderson said that “175 Delancey is designed specifically to meet urgent neighborhood needs – low-income seniors in particular – and that’s why we moved forward with it first.” He calls the development an “essential community component of Essex Crossing” and points to Grand Street Settlement’s involvement in the project, which in addition to the job training and senior community center will be running a ground floor café (probably a Think Coffee partnership).

“Through its new senior center, GSS will expand its local programming, events and services for both senior residents as well as the broader LES senior community,” the developer’s statement said.

The site, which is designed by Dattner Architects and is located on the southeast corner of Clinton and Delancey street, marks the beginning of the Phase 1 construction process.

The 15-story Site 5 (145 Clinton Street), which will include 211 rental apartments, 104 of which are deemed affordable, is also currently under construction, as is the 14-story Site 1 (242 Broome Street), which will include 55 condominiums, 11 of which will be affordable; and the 26-story Site 2 (115 Delancey Street), which will include 195 rental apartments, 98 of which will be affordable. These three sites are scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2018.

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Performance Picks: Western Wildness, 2-Year Anniversaries, Bits N’ Buddy Holly

WEDNESDAY

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Wednesday With Westerns!
Wednesday August 24, 7 pm at City Reliquary; $7.
The City Reliquary, a tiny, quirky wonderland of a museum, will be the location for this western art party this evening. Gallop amongst NYC memorabilia, but don’t get too distracted, as there will be plenty to do on the frontier. Selections include the chance to get your own Wanted poster painted by artist Omer Gal, experimental Japanese movement genre butoh done with a Texas twist, line dancing, a hog-tying contest, theatrical happenings, ghostly songs, wandering Western characters, and surely much else. If you have the gall to come in a Western-themed costume (god forbid nobody mistake you for a lost Republican on the way there), you’ll be greeted with a free shot of tequila or whiskey. As the cow/boy creature on the poster proclaims so proudly, “Be a REAL cowboy like me!” Darn tootin’.

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Cancel the TV Party, New Museum Is Having a Raymond Pettibon Retrospective

"Raymond Pettibon, No Title (This feeling is), 2011. Pen and ink on paper, 37 ¼ x 49 ½ in (94.6 x 125.7 cm). Private collection. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles."

“Raymond Pettibon, No Title (This feeling is), 2011. Pen and ink on paper, 37 ¼ x 49 ½ in (94.6 x 125.7 cm). Private collection. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.”

It’s been two years since Raymond Pettibon’s surfer art went on display on the Upper East Side. Wait, wha? The artist who did the anarchic drawings that graced the cover of Black Flag albums and concert posters? On the Upper East Side? If that seemed weird, this makes more sense: downtown’s own New Museum has announced that, in February, it will put on the city’s first major museum survey of Pettibon’s work, featuring more than 700 drawings across three floors.

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Tim Murphy, Author of Christadora, On the East Village Then and Now

Tim Murphy (Photo: Courtesy of Edwin Pabon)

Tim Murphy (Photo: Courtesy of Edwin Pabon)

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the East Village in the 90s? Junkies passed out on Avenue A while runaway kids hung out in squats on St. Marks? CBGB and other classic punk bars still going hard, only to be priced out of their leases less than a decade later? Punk heads and artists sharing studios in derelict tenements? For Tim Murphy, the New York-based journalist and author of the new novel Christodora, it was all of these things, but above all it was the home for a community of diverse people from different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and experiences who were searching for a place that would accept them just as they are.

As a young man who arrived to the city in 1991, the East Village represented a haven for an alternative gay scene that was way less polished and more grungy than the one in Chelsea and the West Village. “Courtney Love was the patron saint of the gay East Village in the ’90s,” Murphy told us with a laugh.

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Official Art Gallery of Satan Comes Back With Its Tail Between Its Legs

Vector Gallery returns to NYC, its new home on East 3rd Street (Photo courtesy of JJ Brine)

Vector Gallery returns to NYC, its new home on East 3rd Street (Photo courtesy of JJ Brine)

As is JJ Brine’s way, he’s hesitant to speak about the past. Even the very recent past, when Brine– Satanic gallerist, practitioner of “Post-human” art, founder of the Vectorian and its “Crown Prince of Hell”– took off for Los Angeles to start fresh. “I don’t even know if it’s relevant to recall what happened in Los Angeles,” he said. “This is now, that was then. I’m doing what I’m doing now.”

Now that Brine has captured the attention of the art world, conservative conspiracy theorists, gossip columnists, even Dow Jones reporters, it’s much easier to track the artist’s more recent trajectory, even if he’s reluctant to go into too many details about the non-present.

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Offices Replaces Brewery; Party to Save The Muse

A female cyclist claims she was physically assaulted by an Uber driver at a busy intersection on August 4, but the police officers who witnessed the encounter failed to act. [Gothamist]

Residents of Greenpoint want the Department of Health to follow up their spring study of Newtown Creek with more in-depth water safety analysis. [DNA Info]

In Williamsburg, an investment firm purchased 315 Seigel Street—a 51-unit apartment building previously owned by the late landlord Menachem Stark—for $39.5 million. [The Real Deal]

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Ketamine: The Musical Proves Much More Stimulating Than Expected

(photo: Kat Mareck)

(photo: Kat Mareck)

Admittedly, when I heard House of Yes was doing a show called Ketamine: The Musical, I wanted to roll my eyes. I imagined a glitzy spectacle full of drug jokes and little self-awareness, happily consumed by an audience of partiers. Or, like, an entire show where people sit there motionless? I don’t know. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way.

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Backyard Wrestling Has Come to Brooklyn

(Photos: Endrit Slaughter via The Sloodge's Facebook)

(Photos: Endrit Slaughter via The Sloodge’s Facebook)

If you were recently enjoying a peaceful night in your quiet apartment in Park Slope when, all of a sudden, a crowd of nearby 20-and-30-somethings start chanting “U.S.A” and beating each other up and ruining your evening, well, Matt Proctor might be the person to blame.Proctor, an artist and member of the performance collective/show house the Sloodge, recently staged a DIY wrestling show—the first of the new Brooklyn Backyard Wrestling promotion—in his backyard in Brooklyn where, of course, things got weird.

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New Millennial-Friendly Hotel Threatens Historic East Village Tenements

Protestors organized against the new Moxy Hotel and demolition of historic buildings (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Protestors organized against the new Moxy Hotel and demolition of historic buildings (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Yesterday afternoon a group of vocal protesters gathered along East 11th Street, facing a row of historic brick buildings they’re intent on saving from demolition at the hands of one of the city’s most prolific developers. The structures in question are a streak of five residential buildings, all of them five-story, Old Law tenements that, according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, have changed little since they were built between 1887 and 1892.

GVSHP and the other preservation groups that organized yesterday’s protest– including the Historic Districts Council, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative and the East Village Community Coalition– are appealing to the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission to come through with an eleventh-hour historic district designation that would thwart plans for a 300-room hotel.

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Four Readings: Margo Jefferson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Americans in Revolt

TUESDAY

Photo © Michael Lionstar

Photo © Michael Lionstar

Margo Jefferson and Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
August 23, 7pm at Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street.
Margo Jefferson’s acclaimed memoir Negroland, which The New York Times called “powerful and complicated,” explores her upper middle class childhood growing up in the 1940s, 50s, and early 60s while deftly avoiding racial and socioeconomic landmines. She deftly describes the racial identity politics inherent in her community’s attempt to be considered the exception to how other blacks were viewed by the white elite of her Chicago milieu. In order to celebrate the release of the memoir’s paperback edition, Jefferson will be joined by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, a New York Times Magazine contributor and essayist whose writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, Bookforum, and more.

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Richard Kern Warps Back to ’80s East Village For an Exhibit That Promises to Be Polarizing

EvolLast year, when Richard Kern was revisiting his series New York Girls for a gallery show, he told us of the photography: “It was so long ago, almost seems like somebody else did it. It was definitely a different time period.” Much has changed since he snapped his dark, drug-drenched nudes of downtown hipsters– so much so that he told us he feels “a little pervy” doing the same these days. But that isn’t stopping him from rifling through the vault again for a new show of old work.

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