About Daniel Maurer

Daniel Maurer is the editor of Bedford + Bowery and a Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. You can reach him at editor(at)bedfordandbowery.com.

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Frying Pan’s Sunset Park Bar Ups Its Game With Shuffleboard and More

(Photos courtesy of The Wheelhouse)

The endlessly evolving work-play complex that is Industry City has gotten some serious upgrades this summer. In addition to a new outdoor concert and comedy series from the Bell House, the sprawling Sunset Park buildings now house a gameroom complete with shuffleboard, basketball, and arcade consoles like Ms. Pac-Man and Asteroids.

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Dog Haus Is Giving Away Free Franks at Its New Soho Pop-Up

(Photos courtesy of Dog Haus)

As you may have noticed on Instagram, a so-called Hot Dog Bus has been dishing out free franks in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and will continue to do so every weekend through August. But what about Manhattanites who don’t want to fork over their hard-earned ducats for a dog? Enter Dog Haus, a Cali transplant that’ll be giving away freebies when it launches today, June 12.

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Snag a Free Bike Helmet Just in Time For Cycling Season

(via @NYC_DOT on Twitter)

If you’re planning to survive the L-pocalpyse by taking advantage of those new bike lanes and jumping on a two-wheeled steed for the first time, you’ll want to grab a helmet first. Biking in this town is not a breeze. (Especially when you get stuck behind an exhaust-spewing city bus– then there’s truly no breeze at all.) Lucky for you, the Department of Transportation is giving away free helmets this summer.

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Philip Roth’s Early, Unhappy Days in the East Village

Roth’s childhood home in Newark. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

There were no flowers or tattered paperbacks on the steps of Philip Roth’s childhood home in Newark this morning. The house at 385 Leslie Street, in a former lower-middle-class Jewish enclave that is now pocked with boarded-up storefronts, bore no memorial for the writer who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

Roth will forever be associated with his city of birth in New Jersey, where his celebrated fictional avatars Alexander Portnoy and Nathan Zuckerman also grew up. Those who think of him as a New Yorker likely associate him with uptown Manhattan, where he and Zuckerman would come to live. But when Roth moved to New York in 1958, he lived in the East Village. It was there, in a basement apartment on East 10th Street, where the fledgling writer started his rise to fame, where he had formative experiences that would shape his highly personal novels, and where his work first sparked controversy about his complicated relationship with his Jewish identity.

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Help Bring Cup & Saucer’s Storefront Back to Life in a LES Park

Mock-up courtesy of Karla and James Murray.

Last July, when Cup and Saucer closed due to a rent hike after more than 75 years in business, the throwback luncheonette was mourned by Lower East Siders. The mom-and-pop diner has now been replaced by a chicken and pizza joint, but its storefront, at least, will return to the neighborhood in the form of a tribute that will live in Seward Park for a year. Karla and James Murray, the East Village photographers whose Store Front books document some of the city’s iconic and evocative facades, are creating a structure displaying near-life-size versions of four of their photos. “Mom & Pops of the LES,” as the project is called, is described in a Kickstarter campaign as “an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses.”

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Tribeca Serves Up a Tasty Lineup of Free Outdoor Films

Earlier this month, the French Embassy revealed that its Films on the Green series would have a food theme this year, and now the producers of the Tribeca Film Festival have announced that their summer series will also be grub-minded. Tribeca Drive-In Presents Westfield Dinner & a Movie, as the outdoor flicks at Oculus Plaza are called, will kick off June 14 with a screening of La La Land. Because Ryan Gosling looks delicious, I guess. Actually, Tribeca is being rather liberal with the theme and including food-focused films like Chef, the feel-good comedy where John Favreau plays a food truck dreamer, along with films where mere “key scenes” involve chowing down. So, Lady in the Tramp qualifies for its spaghetti seduction scene and When Harry Met Sally qualifies for the “I’ll have what she’s having” incident at Katz’s. If that seems like a stretch, who cares: There’ll be food from Eataly, Epicerie Boulud, Choza Taqueria, and other Westfield World Trade Center vendors.

Here’s the schedule.

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Cafe Zaiya Has Left the East Village, Taking Its Cheese Domes With It

Three years ago, when Dunkin Donuts opened on Cooper Square, we wondered how long its neighbor, Cafe Zaiya, could last. “Dunkin’ Has Done Its Plunkin’ and Our Spirits Are Sunken” was the oh-so-clever headline. Well, now our spirits are truly squashed, because Cafe Zaiya, that haven of cheap eats, is gone. The Japanese bakery and cafe was closed by the health department at the end of last month after racking up 73 violation points, and an employee at Zaiya’s midtown location tells us the East Village outpost is closed for good.

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While They Keep ‘Talking’ About Spaceballs 2, Watch the Original On the Big Screen

Sadly just a prank, via JediNews.

The schwartz really has been with us lately. Just days after Mel Brooks brought a screening of Spaceballs to Newark and asked the audience if they’d like to see a sequel, Rick Moranis reprised his role of Dark Helmet during an episode of The Goldbergs. So does that mean Spaceballs: The Search For More Money might actually happen?

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Alamo and Nitehawk Announce Their Free Outdoor Films, With a Double Dose of Space Jam

Nitehawk and Alamo Drafthouse have released their lineups of outdoor movie screenings and– awkward!– both of them include Space Jam.

Alamo announced today that it’s booking City Point/Downtown Brooklyn’s “Outer Space Outdoors” series, taking over Albee Square every Thursday in June. In keeping with the space theme, they’ll show Close Encounters of the Third Kind on June 7, Men in Black on June 14, Space Jam on June 21, and Gravity on June 28. DJ sets start at 7pm and the opening credits roll at 8pm.

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Riis Park Beach Bazaar Returns With Burgers and Burritos Reeled in From the Other End of Rockaway

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

After toughing out the winter with a seafood pop-up, the Riis Park Beach Bazaar is no doubt ready for some sun’s out, buns out. (Hot dog buns, that is.) Today it unveiled its summer lineup, and there are a few surprises in the mix. Among the new food vendors are some familiar faces to those who frequent Rippers, the kick-ass burger stand on the other side of the Rockaway peninsula.

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Attention, Williamsburg Shoppers: An Artisan Market, Upstate Flea, and Record Fair

While you’re checking out Artists & Fleas and all the other usual suspects, don’t miss these pop-up markets coming to Williamsburg in the coming weekends.

(Photo via Brooklyn Flea)

Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
Sat, May 19, 11am-6pm at East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave., Williamsburg.
Crate-diggers and foodies unite! Smorgasburg gets an upgrade this weekend as the Brooklyn Flea’s recurring record fair joins the food fest in East River State Park. The lineup of 60-odd vinyl vendors includes local shops (Academy, Halcyon, Captured Tracks, Rough Trade, even shuttered St. Marks Place shop Rocket Science Records), local labels and distributors (Knitting Factory Records, Mexican Summer, Nublu Records, Sacred Bones, Domino Recording Co.), collectors whose stuff you’d normally have to buy off of Discogs, and more. To complete the dream record store experience, tastemakers from some of these fine places (including Nublu, Mexican Summer, Academy, and Greenpoint’s The Lot Radio) will be manning the decks as you shop.

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