On a typical weekend morning in Ridgewood, young families spill out of brunches at Julia’s and Norma’s and friends gather to work or catch up at Topos Bookstore. It’s a scene much like any other neighborhood in Queens: the elevated train rattles overhead and groups wander from coffee shop to bodega, to bookstore and wine bar.
Posts by Cecilia Nowell:
A marching band stumbled into Sage Kitchen on April 2, welcoming the Persian-Israeli restaurant to the neighborhood with some NoHo cheer. The long-time catering company opened its first brick-and-mortar store on the Bowery this month, bringing its apricot-fig jam, mango relish, and pickled fennel to a restaurant and marketplace.
If you thought Persepolis was the only work of Iranian culture to make waves in recent years, Emruz Festival is hoping to change that. Happening over two long weekends, April 19-21 and 26-28, at the Spectrum performance space in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the inaugural festival will consist of musical performances, theater productions, and short films by independent Iranian artists living inside and outside of the United States.
Emruz means “today” in Farsi, and the festival’s organizers are interested in asking “What are we today, right now?” and “What is happening with us as immigrants in this country?” said theater director/choreographer Shadi Ghaheri. She and Iranian composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh wanted to interrogate the role of the artist in addressing these contemporary issues of identity.
Drama gripped Museum Mile this month with heightened debates about the Sackler family’s contributions to the Met, Guggenheim…and the opioid epidemic. This weekend, the American Museum of Natural History made controversial news of its own when it was discovered that the museum had rented space to a nonprofit planning to honor Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed “The Trump of the Tropics,” with its Person of the Year Award.
Definitions around gender have shifted dramatically in recent years. Grammar aficionados have duked it out over the singular they and dictionaries have made space for words like “trans*” and “Mx.”
“Women’s Work: Art & Activism in the 21st Century,” which opens this Wednesday at Pen + Brush, takes the idea of definitions as a starting place, but goes much further.
A good poem is a small slice of life. Loud music, a gentle gaze, raucous laughter, a brisk winter breeze. Poetry moves sensation to the page by transforming texture and temperature into text.
This past weekend’s warm weather welcomed back a new season of Smorgasburg, the much-loved outdoor market held Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park (and, starting this week, Fridays at the Westfield World Trade Center). Rest assured, Smorg isn’t the only opportunity to leave Manhattan for a great food market. Next week, April 20, the Queens Night Market kicks off its 2019 season with a special ticketed “Sneak Preview.”
Children’s books have a way of teaching lessons without coming across as preachy or insistent. They teach you to eat your vegetables and take care of others with playful language and bright illustrations. And, for some reason, they tend to stick with us. Those first stories stay in the back of our heads well into adulthood, reminding us to be kind to animals, try new things, and maybe give lima beans a chance.
If you’re hoping to teach your children even more radical lessons than those (or just looking for some great children’s books for yourself), you might want to head over to Sunset Park’s art and bookmaking collective Booklyn for its latest exhibition: “Lil’ Radicals: Multicultural and Social Justice Publications for Kids in the 21st Century.”
The Society of Illustrators expects to draw crowds to Hudson Yards this weekend for the annual MoCCA Arts Festival. Hundreds of New York- and Brooklyn-based cartoonists, publishers, and other artists will turn out for Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon, and animation festival. This year’s installment pushes beyond the boroughs of New York, though, with a special emphasis on breaking down borders.
Aside from being April Fool’s, today was also the first day of National Poetry Month. If you forgot, that’s all right. There are plenty of poetry events happening around town this month to make up for it. Here’s where we’ll be heading to listen to beloved and undiscovered poems alike.
April 1, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, East Village
The Bowery Poetry Club is kicking off National Poetry Month in collaboration with the poetry agency Ars Poetica. Tonight, the club hosts a NYC/Amazon break-up themed dialogue and poetry reading called “Você.” Come to debate corporate tax incentives, stay for the music, comedy, and verse. Comedy Central’s Yedoye Travis, Brown Girls singer-songwriter Ashni, New School economist Richard McGahey, Make the Road NYC’s Deborah Axt/Angeles Solis, and poet ELÆ (aka Lynne DeSilva-Johnson) will get down for some “real talk,” as the Você slogan goes.
The Ridgewood-Bushwick cafe scene saw some dramatic changes this weekend with the closing of the TransAm Cafe on Wyckoff Avenue. (Never fear, the Trans-Pecos performance space is still alive and well.)
In an Instagram post on Friday, Trans-Pecos announced, “We’re sad to share that after nearly 5 years serving Ridgewood & Bushwick as our cohabitating sister biz, Trans Am cafe has closed.”