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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Duff Alert: Guns N’ Roses Returns to CBGB (Kinda) With Varvatos Pop-Up

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Get in the ring, motherf*cker.

Or at least get over to the John Varvatos store if you’re a Guns N’ Roses die-hard. The newly reunited band is making a return to CBGB– sort of. A GNR pop-up is opening today at what used to be the storied venue. The shop opens at noon (and that’s 12 p.m. SHARP, since there’s no need to yellow-jacket Axl), when the first 50 fans through the door get free concert tees. Will GNR make a surprise appearance ahead of their two shows at the Meadowlands this weekend, like they did at the Varvatos store in 2010? A publicist tells us, “No in-store performance. But I heard Duff is stopping by.”

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Alamo Brooklyn Reveals Menu Details While We Continue to Chomp at the Bit

Last time we got news about Alamo Drafthouse’s much anticipated Downtown Brooklyn theater, the Texas-born chain’s owner, Tim League, was telling a crowd at SXSW that it was “really actually happening”– this summer, to be precise. Since then, they’ve kept us waiting with a few satellite screenings to tide us over. Now the theater is further teasing us with some details about its menu.

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Pacha’s Papa Takes Over Troubled Verboten Space in Williamsburg

Eddie Dean, the nightlife impresario behind defunct megaclub Pacha NYC, is taking over the home of Verboten and opening a new club there in the fall. He snagged the troubled Williamsburg space by putting in a $1.2 million bid in bankruptcy court.

Verboten, an underground party that morphed into a brick-and-mortar venue on Wythe Avenue’s budding club row in March of 2014, was seized for non-payment of over $360,000 in taxes this past March, after co-owner Jen Schiffer was sued by employees who alleged sexual harrassment and racism. The club was able to reopen in April after filing for Chapter 11, but soon after, Schiffer was arrested in Greenpoint for allegedly writing $31,000 in bad checks.

So how will Dean’s new venue clear the air?According to a press release, it will be “dedicated to the creative ethos of Brooklyn and serve as an outpost for the global dance music scene.” He and director Andrew Inomata, a holdover from Pacha, are hoping to “tap into the maker-culture of DIY Brooklyn with arts, music, food, and community life,” in the words of the announcement.

Dean opened Pacha, the first US outpost of the legendary Ibiza club, in 2005 in the storied Sound Factory space in Hell’s Kitchen. During its 10-year run, it served as a reliable throwback to the pre-Giuliani era of big-box dance clubs (you know, when glo sticks, raver pants, Mitsubishis, and “bridge and tunnel” were a thing). Thanks in part to outsized music director Rob Fernandez, who died of heart problems a year ago, the club regularly featured NYC house legends like Erick Morillo and Danny Tenaglia, and drew A-list international DJs aplenty.

To a lesser extent, Output now carries the big-club flame, so it’ll be interesting to see how its new neighbor clicks with it (Good Room, another haven for electronic/DJ music, is also a walk away). The venue’s name is TBA, which has nothing to do with the (also troubled) Wythe Avenue club known as TBA– it’s to be announced.

Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the location of Pacha.

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Leo DiCaprio Was the Wolf of Hester Street This Weekend

(Photo: Carolina Iwanow)

(Photo: Carolina Iwanow)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream– even Leo DiCaprio, apparently. Everyone’s favorite bear-attack survivor stopped by the Hester Street Fair’s Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon. Wild guess: he was cruising the weekly market for a new pageboy cap in order to keep the paparazzi from peeping his next Malibu makeout sesh. If so, he wasn’t exactly successful– Williamsburg-based jewelry designer Carolina Iwanow managed to snap this photo as he strolled past her booth.

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Cyclists Gather For Bicycle Fetish Day, Bronx Rumble, and Bikestock Creator’s Memorial

Bike culture kicked into high gear over the weekend, as three spokes-centric events took over the city streets. On Saturday in Williamsburg, the City Reliquary’s annual Bicycle Fetish Day brought “bike nerds” together in a competition for best vintage, “mutant,” commuter, handmade, and small-wheeled bikes– with a prize also going to worst bike for good measure. Naturally, the Black Label Bike Club and the Puerto Rican Schwinn Club were out in full force, with this double-tallbike swing stealing the show.

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Get Your Licks In at This Weekend’s Super-Chill Ice Cream Festivals

In this age of liquid-nitrogen ice cream, rolled ice cream, and churro cones, you may think that where everyone’s favorite frozen treat is concerned, there’s nothing new under the sun. But don’t cry into your Kanye cone just yet. We’ve got the inside scoop (har) on two ice cream cone-ucopias that promise to be sweet as hell.

National Ice Cream Day Bonanza at Brooklyn Flea
Saturday, July 16, 10am-5pm at 176 Lafayette Ave. in Fort Greene; Sunday, July 17, 10am-5pm, at Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza in Dumbo.
Seven vendors will be whipping up special flavors for the Flea’s annual two-day ice cream blowout. If you’ve been too lazy to get out to Rockaway to try the P&B donut ice-cream sandwich at Citysticks, then head over to either Fort Greene (Saturday) or Dumbo (Sunday) to try the donut ice-cream sundae that Underwest Donuts has created using a custom flavor from Lower East Side favorite Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Good Batch will be serving up a birthday-cake ice-cream sandwich for lovers of rainbow cuisine, Blue Marble is apparently going cookie-crazy, and a new vendor, Malai, will be offering up Indian ice-cream floats and sundaes. The Flea’s usual array of vendors will be out in full force, so don’t drip anything on that mid-century lounger.

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Take a Break From Pokemon and Catch These Docs About Really Rabid Gamers

Still from The Dwarvenaut.

Still from The Dwarvenaut.

Between Pokemon Go bar crawls and the reboot (in miniature form) of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, we may have reached peak gaming nostalgia. If that dude who fell into Prospect Park Pond convinced you it’s safer to watch than to play, check out these two soon-to-be-released docs, about rabid gamers in the B+B zone.

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Williamsburg Whole Foods Gets OddFellows, No. 7, and Deli Nodding to Nabe’s ‘Storied Roots’

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

We already knew that Luke’s Lobster was bringing an outpost of its lobster-tail cart to the forthcoming Williamsburg location of Whole Foods, and Roberta’s has been teasing the sticky buns (and other breads) it’ll bring to the table. Now comes news that some other local institutions will be repped at the megastore’s food hall, including OddFellows Ice Cream, No. 7, and East Coast Poke (which, sorry, is not a Pokemon gym, but a Smorgasburg vendor that specializes in Hawaiian salmon-and-rice bowls). Because if there’s one thing the Urban Outfitters concept store taught us about chain retailers, it’s that one simply does not walk into Williamsburg without giving some space to indie producers.

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Dinosaur Jr. Shot a Video and Played a Surprise Free Show at House of Vans

(Photo: Daniel Maurer; all other photos courtesy of House of Vans)

Last time we caught Dinosaur Jr., during one of their 30th anniversary shows at Bowery Ballroom last year, a veritable Edison cluster of indie-rock luminaries (Kurt Vile, Evan Dando, Henry Rollins, and Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth, just to name a few) joined them on stage, and we wondered how Dinosaur would ever outdo it.

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The Rooftop Screening of Goodnight Brooklyn Was a Death By Audio Reunion, With Choice Words for Vice

It’s kind of fitting that a torrential downpour occurred with just 15 minutes left in Saturday’s Rooftop Films screening of Goodnight Brooklyn, the documentary about Death by Audio. You’ll recall that just days before its final show in 2014, the Williamsburg DIY venue was flooded during the construction of Vice’s new offices. If the beloved showspace could soldier on (albeit briefly) after that deluge, then the crowd at the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus could damn well wait for well over an hour to finish the documentary. Especially since it was going to be followed by a set from a superband consisting of members of A Place to Bury Strangers and Grooms, two of the many indie acts that considered DBA a home away from home (or in their cases, an actual home) during the scrappy venue’s seven-year run.

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