With the CBGB movie premiering tonight and the CBGB Festival kicking off this week, nostalgia for the East Village and Lower East Side of yore is ripe as ever. You’ll forgive us for indulging along with everyone else: This Friday, join two consummate chroniclers of downtown music and nightlife at the B+B Newsroom as they read from their recent memoirs and tell it like it really was (no Savannah stage sets here).
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There was a lot of fuss about Philip Glass’s and John Zorn’s recent birthdays, and we’re not going to let the birthday of another legendary downtown composer, Glenn Branca, go without a similar amount of hoopla. This is, after all, the iconoclast who, with his band Theoretical Girls, helped spearhead the No Wave movement in the late ’70s and who mentored Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo back when they were members of his guitar orchestra, belting out what John Rockwell of The Times described as “music of massive sonic grandeur.” That’s why we’re inviting you down to the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom on Monday, October 7 — the day after Branca turns 65 — to ask him anything.
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Last time you saw Romon Kimin Yang, better known as Rostarr, he was 20 feet off the ground, swaddling Music Hall of Williamsburg in his signature “Graphysics” for Absolut’s Open Canvas Initiative. Or maybe you’ve seen his smaller ink and acrylic paintings hanging alongside Basquiat, Haring, Scharf, and Pollock in the “Calligrafitti: 1984-2001” exhibit at the Leila Heller Gallery (on display through October 5). Either way, if you’re familiar with the Brooklyn artist you know exactly why we wanted him to paint our Newsroom in Williamsburg. In the video above, he talks about the concept of intersection, which lies at the heart of his work and at the heart of ours.
Come by and see the wall for yourself. We’ll be working out of the Newsroom — at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Avenue — weekdays through October. Our first event, on Tuesday at 7 p.m., is a screening of Captured hosted by the film’s subject, Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson.
We’re pleased to announce the first of several screenings at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom. And it’s the first for a reason: Captured, a documentary chronicling Clayton Patterson’s long, strange trip, is one of the most riveting, in-your-face portraits of the East Village and Lower East Side of the ’80s and ’90s you’re likely to encounter. Patterson is known as a street photographer, but he ain’t no Bill Cunningham: this is, after all, the guy who landed in jail and on Oprah after filming the Tompkins Square Park riots 25 years ago. He remains an icon to the neighborhood longtimers he has photographed over the years and to a new crop of downtown dreamers (check out the mystical portal that Nicolina just put up on the door of his Essex Street gallery). We’re pleased he’ll be on hand to discuss a film that will throw you back hard. Refreshments will be served and the screening is free; seating is limited so please let us know you’re coming.
The scene in Bushwick. (Tamerra Griffin)
Lo and behold, even on iPhone Tuesday, some folks remembered to vote in the primaries — though from what we saw, not all that many. Around 9 a.m. today, we spotted City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez on the corner of East 12th Street and First Avenue, entering the home stretch of her race against her Harley-riding challenger Rick Del Rio. We know this much: she got the vote of State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, who tweeted about some “confusion in Stuy Town” that “sent voters to a nonexistent poll site.”
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Time it was, and what a time it was — it was a time of free beer, awesome DJs, and what else? You tell us! We had a great time at the Bedford + Bowery bazaar, and hope you did too. We learned how to make a patacon (and learned that Patacon Pisao’s LES store at 139 Essex Street opens October 1, and will stay open late late). We got a preview of Tørst‘s bar menu: a confit chicken sandwich with burnt hay, as it turned out. We learned when to hit Bunker to avoid a wait: early on a Wednesday. Divya Anantharaman brought her goods by cab (hence her joke about arriving in a “taxidermy taxi”). Gay marriage advocate Brian Ellner took advantage of the Falcon Bowse T-Shirt Transformation Program and turned his friend’s Obama Pride shirt into a hat. And our favorite part (besides the sticker of Frank we got from Brandon Sines of Bushwick’s Living Gallery): meeting a couple that actually lives on the smelliest block in NYC. They said the scent we got Nova to make was dead on, though it could use just a smidge more fish stink.
If you missed it all, check out Scott Lynch’s photos to see what went down. We’re going to spend Labor Day sleeping off that jalapeno beer and will see you back here Tuesday.
P&H Soda doing their thing. (Photo: Clay Williams)
Woohoo! We can now tell you what Tørst has on tap for our merry day-to-night Bazaar on Saturday, starting with two Evil Twin releases you’ve never tasted before. One, Femme Fatale, is fermented with yuzu, and the other sounds just plain amazing: Spicy Nachos is a pale ale infused with jalapeño.
Not only that, but chef Daniel Burns, formerly of Noma and the Fat Duck, will be at the Hester Street Fairgrounds in the flesh, eschewing the high-minded manners of Michelin-starred etiquette. Using a yakitori grill, he’ll be roasting chicken oysters (think of them as the chicken’s love handles) with eggplant puree on a circle of braised cabbage. Don’t call this Luksus tasting-menu item a taco, but you are encouraged to roll it up and eat with your hands.
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This used to be a t-shirt. (Photo: Anthony Pappalardo)
As if you needed another reason to hit the Bedford + Bowery Bazaar on Saturday, here’s a real good one: Brian Downey of The Amazing Falcon Bowse T-Shirt Transformation Program will be there to turn your favorite old t-shirt into a nifty five-panel hat — for free. The custom lids go for $30 at his Greenpoint pop-up but from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, they’re gratis (first come, first served — based on availability, of course). So bring him that Wo Hop shirt that got felled by soy sauce and revive it in the form of a Falcon Bowse original.
FB joins the Bazaar’s already robust lineup: Torst is pouring beer all afternoon, Brooklyn Brewery is doing a free happy hour at 6:30 p.m. and serving into the night, Bossa Nova Civic Club is programing the DJs, and folks like Bunker Vietnamese, Harvest Cyclery and a slew of others (see the Facebook invite) are crossing the bridge for our outdoor extravaganza at the Hester Street Fair grounds, at Hester and Essex.
Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter as we announce more vendors, and see you Saturday!
Who says nothing happens in August? It’s the month Woodstock went down, and now we’re bringing you something even bigger. Okay, maybe not, but we’re still really excited to announce our first Bedford + Bowery Bazaar. Next Saturday, Aug. 31, we’re bringing some of our favorite North Brooklyn restaurants, shops, artists and artisans to the Lower East Side, where they’ll team up with some of Hester Street Fair’s most popular vendors. From noon to 6:30 p.m., Tørst will descend from “the top of the city’s craft-beer scene” to serve some beers never before tasted in Manhattan (we hear they’re also bringing a grill) — and then good ol’ Brooklyn Brewery will work the night shift, starting with a happy hour of free beer at 6:30 p.m.
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(Photo: Daniel Maurer)
Oh hey, look: it’s the Nesquik bunny on Bedford Avenue! Not as amazing as Mr. Peanut vs. Kool-Aid Man, but still… not the kind of thing you want to miss. So follow Bedford + Bowery on Instagram, where we first posted this, and take a moment to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too. Better yet, subscribe to our newsletter to get top stories delivered straight to your inbox daily.
Don’t take our word that you should be keeping up with B+B: The L Magazine just named us Best New Local Blog in their Best of Brooklyn Issue. Aww thanks, guys! And thank you all for following, friending, favoriting, and fondling!
We’ve now discovered that Citi Bikes can be used as SoulCycles and they can shred, but that apparently didn’t impress whoever made this sticker, spotted on Wythe Avenue by our own Sasha von Oldershausen.
Agree with the sentiment? Go ahead and like this photo on Instagram, and if you want to share a shot of your own, add it to our Flickr pool.