Among the places that opened during Bushwick Open Studios (The Shop, for one, was jam packed), perhaps none hold as much promise for straight-up summer fun as a parking lot turned party spot on a barren stretch of Knickerbocker Avenue.
On Saturday, the itinerate party troupe known as The JunXion debuted a new venue, X Marks the Lot. As shoppers perused crafts and clothing, Dirtyfinger spun out of a former Drake’s Cakes delivery truck that had been rigged as a mobile DJ booth, and then the Sunny Side Social Club got everyone stomping and swinging on the gravel.
Until now it hasn’t been all that easy to get in on the Burning Man-esque antics of JunXion. You’ve probably seen their artfully colored school buses parked around Williamsburg, or caught their appearances at events like Mermaid Parade, Mysteryland, the Dance Parade, or BangOn’s epic warehouse parties. But, as with many of the collectives they work with (TheDanger, Bushwick Boat, etc.), hopping aboard their party train (or, bus) has mostly been for those in the know (signing up for their newsletter helps).
“We have a venue on wheels and the streets of New York are our playground,” is how founder Michael Tummolo put it to us. But now they’ve got an actual playground, having just secured, for a year, a small plot adjacent a furniture factory.
Tummolo’s plans for the “little pop-up summertime space” are a bit dizzying: for starters, a monthly market called Peddler’s Point will feature vendors of handcrafted and vintage goods in a throwback setting meant to evoke the days of pushcarts, hucksters, and snakeoil salesmen. Other events – some of them produced by JunXion, others by outsiders who will rent the space – might include weekend dance parties complete with Silent Disco headsets, a theatrical production of “The Little Mermaid” for kids and adults, film screenings, art and music classes, and lectures.
“We’re not trying to be a nuisance – this is like a community center,” Tummolo emphasized, adding that he’ll be working with neighboring organizations like House of Yes and La Luz. “We’re completely operating with a whole DIY ethos.”
Part of the DIY project will involve upgrading the DJ truck so that it can host podcast recordings that will be posted on an online “pirate radio station,” expected to launch next week. And the art wall, curated by Walker Fee, will also expand.
While X Marks the Lot continues to evolve, it’ll also serve as a parking lot for JunXion’s fleet of art cars. They’ll continue to make the rounds at upcoming events like the Mermaid Parade (June 20), Burning Man (where you’ll once again be able to find JunXion at Sweaty Betty’s salon), and the Jamaica Bay boat bash known as Battle of Mau Mau Island. The fleet’s next “Choose Your Own Adventure” tour of the city takes place June 28 (the rollicking ride to various city landmarks is free, though donations are suggested).
The next party at X Marks the Lot, this Saturday, is a fundraiser to transform the BlueByrd Bus into a “rainbow buffalo.” You can find the lot at 39 Knickerbocker Ave, near Harrison Place. As last weekend’s invite said, “look for the buses.”