Hale Gurland was among the aspiring artists, bohemians, and hippies who crowded Soho in the 1970s. From the small room he rented on Wooster Street, the Jewish sculptor and painter ventured out one day in 1973 to buy a pair of cheap shoes. On his way, he noticed a derelict synagogue with a “For Sale” sign at 58-60 Rivington, at the corner of Elridge, a scene he described in a magazine interview a couple of years ago: “People were going inside the building because the doors were out, junkies were shooting up. I walked in, and the place looked like Dresden after the bombs.”
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It’s like I’m on the set of a police series. Is it CSI or SVU? I’ve never been good with acronyms. Two cops escort me while an attendant pushes my squeaking wheelchair through the gloomy hallways of Wyckoff Medical Center’s ER. A drunkard soliloquizes in Polish, a crumpled woman has a coughing fit, and a patient in pajamas stares into space and smiles.
Three years after the police shut down their Bushwick gallery and party pad, brothers Sei and Ki Smith keep finding gonzo ways to show art. Last Saturday, the founders of Apostrophe NYC launched a guerrilla attack on MoMA PS1 in Queens. Sneaking in paintings with hinged dowels that they had hidden in their bags, they infiltrated the museum’s courtyard and quickly pushed the works into 12 one-inch holes in the wall, adding informational cards that mimicked the museum’s Proxy font.
Last December, Charles Pastore, a real estate investor who owns property in East New York, purchased a century-old Bushwick brownstone, on the corner of Cooper Street and Wilson Avenue, just a block off the Wilson L stop. He and his partners, Hillary Megroz and Lauren Douglass, spent a few months renovating the house and now they’re ready to launch the Unruly Collective, a 2,500-square-foot space dedicated to artistic creation, offering co-working studio spaces as well as short-term rentals for travelers and resident artists.
This Saturday, get drunk on essays, novels and comics during the first-ever Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl. The event, taking place on Independent Bookstore Day, will feature no less than 26 stores, scattered between Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Fort Greene, Park Slope and a few other nabes.
Last Friday around dusk, a group of Russian speakers met near McGolrick Park in Greenpoint. The women were tarted up and the men dressed to the nines in cufflinks, suspenders and derbies. A bald magician, bundled up in a three-piece suit and a black bowtie, made a solemn announcement: “Tonight is not like any other night. Tonight, we will be answering one question: What does it mean to be free?” With that, the small procession followed him to a secret location, where “an immersive live performance” was set to take place.
As a YUGE crowd gathered for a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square Park this afternoon, we asked his supporters (some of which had been there since 1:30 a.m.) what they’d ask Hillary Clinton at Thursday’s Brooklyn debate. Click through to read their responses.
East Villagers have a new place to score rainbow-sprinkle cream cheese for when they just can’t with the lines at Tompkins Square Bagels. Newcomer Bagel Belly opened Saturday and serves what are touted as “freshly baked, hand rolled, kettle boiled organic bagels and handcrafted cream cheese” alongside a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, panini, and wraps. The menu (below) claims the bakers get up at 4 a.m. every morning to do their thing.
Will Taylor Swift get the last laugh? After she became New York’s global ambassador in 2014, Lower East Side boutique La Petite Mort threw up a Chico mural saying RIP to the pop icon. But the vintage shop might be the one resting in peace if its landlord succeeds in evicting it from its home of two and a half years.
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A few hundred longtime residents marched through Bushwick this morning to protest fast-paced gentrification and demand stronger rent stabilization laws and an end to legal loopholes. Students, clergy leaders, business owners and families displayed signs in English and Spanish, loudly drummed on buckets, and chanted slogans such as “Fight, fight, fight, ‘cause housing is a right!” Halfway through the march, the crowd stopped on Knickerbocker Avenue for a common prayer for “more justice to save our community.”
Over a year after Menkui Te closed at 63 Cooper Square, the popular ramen joint is about to make a comeback. The owners are the same, but the new place is called ISE, after a Japanese city known for its richly sauced version of udon noodles. Among other things, the restaurant, which has a sister location on West 56th Street, will serve homemade soba (buckwheat-based) noodles and a variety of sushi, said ISE’s chief manager Kei Murata. He was hoping to open the place tonight, but renovations were still underway when we stopped by this morning. The owners are now banking on an opening early next week.
It’s a popular lament: the Beats, hippies and punks that used to roam St. Marks Place have been replaced by “students, tourists and bubble tea shops.” Stroll down the block between Second and Third Avenues and you’ll count no less than five places that sling balls: TK Kitchen, Spot Dessert Bar, Kung Fu Tea, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice and Caffé Bene. Sound like a lot? Not for Nanako Mizutani, who on April 9 will tap into the tapioca market with her own takeout tea room at 9 St Marks.