SantaCon hits Manhattan on Dec. 8. While some bars– like the Continental, closing Dec. 14– are letting costumers know “WE LOVE SANTACON!”, other New Yorkers are preparing for the worst. NJ Transit, Metro North, and the LIRR have issued bans on train booze, and New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson has issued a call, albeit only on Twitter, to “BAN OUTLAW QUARANTINE” the annual invasion of Douchey Ol’ St. Nicks.
Posts by Daniel Maurer:
Rooftop bars tend to be a complete and total shitshow, so it’s delightful to discover an uncontacted one. On the Lower East Side right now, that virginal Shangri-la is cloudM, the 21st-floor bar of the new citizenM hotel on the Bowery. It’s been quietly open for a little over a month now, but during my two visits there—once on a Thursday and then again on a Friday night, when the Bowery is also invariably a shitshow— it was so blessedly underpopulated that it felt almost like we had rented Airbnb’s poshest penthouse.
“Get your walking jokes in,” filmmaker Jeremy Workman quipped as Matt Green, the man who is walking every block in New York City, strode up the aisle at Quad Cinema.
After closing in 2016, one of Greenpoint’s oldest bar spaces will reopen under new ownership at the end of this month. Nick Padilla, owner of neighborhood bar Alameda, is bringing back Palace Cafe as The Palace. He and his partners, Mary Schultz and Rita Puskas, announced today that they’ll open Nov. 28.
Last month marked the 30th anniversary of Daydream Nation, the album that catapulted Sonic Youth to critical acclaim. (At one point, Pitchfork considered it the #1 album of the ’80s, placing its discordant guitars, noise jams, and exhilarating marriage of indie rock and No Wave above Michael Jackson, Prince, and all the rest.)
Mitsuwa Marketplace used to be an obligatory pilgrimage for NYC foodies, but as of this week you won’t have to trek out to New Jersey for a massive Japanese food complex. Japan Village is bringing a supermarket, 11 food vendors, and an in-house izakaya to Industry City in Sunset Park on Saturday, Nov 24.
Derek Smalls, the massively muttonchopped bassist for Spinal Tap, just released a solo album titled Smalls Change (Meditations On Aging), in which he ponders the fate of bands that stay together too long: “the drummer OD’d; lead singer got fat; bass player’s on IV, he likes it like that.” Other songs are titled “Hell Toupee” and “MRI” (“50 years of rock-n-roll fun, now I’ve got a bad limp and can’t feel my bum”).
It’s been nearly four years since we first caught wind that The Williamsburg Hotel was planning to install a bar inside of a faux water tower atop its roof, and now that crazy little dream is finally a reality. The Water Tower, as it will henceforth be known, launches tonight atop the hotel’s recently opened pool deck, and a look at the photos indicate this is not the kind of water tower that’s going to give you Legionnaires’ disease.
If you imagined something along the lines of those illicit art parties in a Chelsea water tower, sorry, this place is billing itself as more of a straight-up lounge and nightclub, with regular live acts and DJs. You have to reserve one of the 45-or-so seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and walk-ins are “at the discretion of the door.” If the doorperson doesn’t keep you out, the prices just might: cocktails are $22 to $150 and bottle service starts at $500. Yes, you read that right: there’s a $150 negroni. But, hey, a publicist assures us it’s “really cool” and has truffle-infused Aperol and shaved truffle on top.
As for food, prices range from $20, to $525 for caviar service. We haven’t gotten a look at chef Nic Caicedo’s full menu yet, but we’re told items include a seafood plateau, a bowl of crudite, and a white-truffle grilled cheese on Brooklyn Bread Lab brioche.
I’m just going to quote from the press release here: “The lounge is accessible via a VIP elevator, and colorful murals painted by a local artist line the walls, offering an apt mix of grit and glam that pays homage to the neighborhood’s history.”
You can experience all that grit and glam for yourself Wednesday through Sunday, 10pm to 4am.
Interestingly, thousands of New York City’s actual water towers were built right across the street at the Rosenwach Water Tower Factory. That site was sold in 2009 and is now the site of, you guessed it, another one of Williamsburg’s new hotels, the Hoxton.
A visit to a jeans store in the heart of Times Square is normally something I wouldn’t subject myself to even if my Spanish cousins had begged me to take them there during the height of their denim-mania in the early ’90s. But when Levi’s throws an opening party for its new flagship and promises performances by Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Raekwon, and Chic, plus DJ sets from Questlove and Justine D, you’re going to make the trip come hell or high water. (And by high water I mean some nasty slush puddles).
If the Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Finale Made You Want to Learn More About Kembra Pfahler, Here’s Your Chance
The finale of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, which aired on CNN this past week, was a bittersweet love letter to the East Village and Lower East Side of the ’70s and ’80s. Which seemed like an appropriate send-off for a guy who was punk rock till the very end. When Bourdain filmed the episode in June, we knew only that it would feature neighborhood legends like filmmakers Jim Jarmsuch and Amos Poe at Max Fish, photographer and historian Clayton Patterson at his LES home, hip-hop visionary Fab 5 Freddy at El Castillo De Jagua, and hardcore musician Harley Flanagan of the Cro-Mags, who, after visiting Ray’s Candy Store in the episode, recalls living in fear of a local street gang that, um, listened to Kraftwerk.
Have you noticed this outside of Tompkins Square Bagels on Second Avenue? A crafty carb lover has modified a road-work sign to indicate a “bagel zone.” The weird thing is that Tompkins Square Bagels is behind said bagel zone, not ahead of it. Is someone trying to send bikers to Black Seed, a block south over on First Avenue?
Zenchai Matcha Cafe, aka that place where I once saw Eric Andre working on his laptop, has closed after a little over a year on the Lower East Side. Last week, a sign on the window explained that “due to market conditions, we will be closed until further notice.”