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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The William Vale Opens Its Pool, Launching Williamsburg Wading Season

(Photo: The William Vale)

Ever since its opening last summer, The William Vale has added more and more amenities to its little corner of Williamsburg– the most recent being Wylie Dufresne’s donut shop, just a few weeks ago. Now comes the crown gem: a fourth-floor pool that, at 60-feet long, bills itself as “the longest outdoor hotel pool in Brooklyn and greater New York City.”

There were some one-off events at the pool last summer (Burning Man decompression party, anyone?), but on May 26 it’ll fully open to the public. That’s right: You’ll never have to dodge turds at the McCarren Park Pool again. Naturally, chilling poolside will cost you: Options range from a three-person pergola ($150 on weekdays, $200 on weekends) to a six-person cabana ($400 to $550). On weekends, you can also book a lounge chair ($45) or daybed ($100) on the adjacent terrace.

These rates are more or less in line with the McCarren Hotel’s pool, where day passes range from $55 (weekday) to $65 (weekend). This season, daybeds for one will be $150 to $175, and daybeds for two will be $325 to $375. That pool also reopens on Memorial Day weekend.

Also in the mix this summer is the Williamsburg Hotel, which, according to a receptionist, is aiming to open its rooftop pool in late June. Rates haven’t yet been announced.

The William Vale has one advantage over its splash-happy neighbors: a menu of light bites from Andrew Carmellini, the celeb chef who also operates the hotel’s rooftop bar, Westlight. Think guacamole with chili-lime chips, grilled hot dogs, and crispy shrimp tacos with chipotle-cilantro slaw. Plus a daily frozen cocktail.

If you’ve got dollars to drown, you can make reservations here, starting May 17.

On the other hand, if these prices are giving you the bends, there’s always the city pool at McCarren Park, which reopens June 29.

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Butcher Bar Is the Latest Outer-Borough BBQ Spot to Land in Manhattan

(Photo: Bettie Cutie)

I haven’t yet watched the new season of Master of None (maybe I’m still smarting from getting bounced by Aziz Ansari from the William Vale), so I have no idea how Butcher Bar factors in. But I’m told the Astoria restaurant is indeed featured. I’m guessing it has something to do with Aziz’s love of barbecue (he grew up in South Carolina, after all), because that’s exactly what the smokehouse and butchery is known for.

(Photo: Bettie Cutie)

Should that Master of None scene get your mouth to watering, you won’t have to hop on the ol’ N, W to get there, because this past weekend Butcher Bar opened a location right on Orchard Street.

As its name implies, Butcher Bar started as a butcher, hence its commitment to local, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and heritage pigs. The chef, Orlando Sanchez, is Austin-born, but that doesn’t mean the place is religious about Texas-style ‘cue– they also offer up Kansas City-style burnt ends, aka “meat candy,” and Cajun-style shrimp and grits– and there are some nods to the Missouri and Carolinas schools of barbecue as well.

(Photo: Bettie Cutie)

On the menu at the Lower East Side location are some standards from the Astoria original as well as new dishes like a “chili cheese nacho tower,” spicy tacos, a rotating venison offering, and whole animal roasts. Also new here are moonshine cocktails like the Georgia Creamsicle, made with apricot nectar and peach liqueur.

(Photo: Bettie Cutie)

Between this and the Greenwich Village expansion of Gowanus barbecue joint Pig Beach, it’s never been easier for downtowners to do the ‘cue.

Butcher Bar, 146 Orchard St., Lower East Side; 212-842-8000.

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Go to Church to Hear Philip Glass on a Newly Restored, 105-Year-Old Pipe Organ

Back in December, when online radio station The Lot added a vintage school bus to its chill hangspot in Greenpoint, we noted that they had been doing concerts across the street at the San Damiano Mission. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, this is the time. Next Thursday, May 18, the church is dusting off its century-old pipe organ for a performance of Philip Glass.

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Riis Park Beach Bazaar Returns For Another Season in Rockaway

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

First Nowadays, and now another one of our favorite outdoor destinations has unveiled its summertime programming. The Riis Park Beach Bazaar is returning on Memorial Day weekend with the usual food vendors, live music, and then some. And this year, getting out to the Breezy Point area is literally a breeze, what with the new cheapo ferry service to Rockaway.

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See an ‘Accidental Time Capsule’ Unearthed By East Village School Kids

A couple of years ago, a fourth grader at the Children’s Workshop School, in the East Village, discovered something magical about a closet in his school. No, it wasn’t Narnia. Rather, young Bobby Scotto spotted some intriguing items inside of a crack in the closet’s floorboards. Before long, with his teacher’s help, he and his classmates were digging up items such as a circa 1912 baseball card (anyone remember the New York Highlanders?), a 1943 penny, and a 1921 Red Cross service pin. Miriam Sicherman, their teacher, made sure to turn these into teachable moments. For instance, when the kids uncovered an old box of snuff, they were no doubt fascinated to learn that there was a time before vaping.

Anyway, these excavations ended up being the subject of a New York Times story, which would be achievement enough for the amateur archeologists at the East 12th Street school. Now, their artifacts will be displayed at an exhibition at City Reliquary, the pint-sized repository of urban curiosities in Williamsburg.

“Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule,” named after the Instagram account where Sicherman shared the class’s findings, opens June 3, with a 2pm reception featuring presentations from the teacher and her students as well as collectors like Peter Sugar of the Flushing Coin Club. Also presenting will be Robin Nagle, who literally wrote the book on trash. As the sanitation department’s “anthropologist in residence,” she’ll hopefully talk about Nelson Molina’s garbage gallery. A repository of the finds that the san man scavenged while making the rounds, it’s presumably the city’s most oderiferous art exhibition– if you don’t count Maurizio Cattelan’s toilet.

Speaking of (getting) trash(ed), Brooklyn Brewery will be pouring at the reception.

“Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule” on view from May 25 to August 27 at City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg; opening reception June 3, 2pm, admission $5.

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Here’s Your Chance to Ask Al Franken If Everything’s Going to Be Okay

Al Franken has to be the most influential politician in America right now. Not because he’s fighting the good fight and keeping them honest and all that, but rather because the President must ascribe to Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations. I mean, how else could Donald Trump get through a single day of talk about impeachment and “the beginning of the end” without looking in the mirror and saying, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.”

Aside from being a Minnesota senator, Franken is also the author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them — a title that seems especially prescient these days. Now he’s out with a new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, a memoir about his unlikely political career that also promises to delve into “our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture.”

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What to Watch at Nowadays’ Free Outdoor Film Series

(Photo: Hannah Mattix for NY Mag)

Yesterday we gave you the heads up that Ridgewood’s Nowadays was set to open today and, once again, this year’s programming will feature a film series from Harlem documentary mavens Maysles Cinema. Now Justin Carter, co-owner of Nowadays, sends over the lineup of films that’ll screen for free on Wednesdays, from June through August. Highlights include Decline of Western Civilization, a seminal doc about the ’80s LA punk scene that focuses on bands like Black Flag and X. (Aside from Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, it may well be the best punk doc of all-time.) That’ll be paired with the metalheads-gone-wild classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

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Nowadays Returns With Cookouts, Outdoor Films, and Live Shows With LPR

(Photo: Hannah Mattix
for NY Mag)

Q: When does Ridgewood’s best backyard hangspot open?

A: Nowadays!

Yep, that’s right: The al fresco dancin’-n’drinkin’ destination, Nowadays, reopens Thursday, May 11. According to co-owner Justin Carter, that’ll “hopefully mean, since the indoors should open this summer, that tomorrow we open for good!” You’ll recall that Carter and his partner Eamon Harkin, with the help of over $100,000 in crowdfunding, are building an indoor dance floor with killer sound system, which will allow the seasonal venue to go year-round.

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Our Wicked Lady Hosts Free Rooftop Movies, Starting With The Goonies

Our Wicked Lady, the East Williamsburg bar/venue that described itself as a “playground for musicians” when it opened in 2015, is becoming even more of a playground this summer, with a rooftop movie series. It joins SummerScreen, Rooftop Cinema Club, and the Rooftop Films Summer Series in announcing its summer slate.

As you can see from the poster, the films include some musical masterpieces (Velvet Goldmine, Sid & Nancy, Moonwalker, Rock & Roll High School, Dirty Dancing), some childhood throwback fare (The Goonies, The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and classic Transformers), some more recent favorites (Donnie Darko, Fight Club, The 5th Element, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, True Romance, and Repo Man), and an obvious jab at Trump: Funny or Die’s spoof of The Art of the Deal, paired with Team America.

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Coney Art Walls Return, Bringing the Burger Records Beach Bash With ‘Em

Artwork by Daze, photo by Martha Cooper (courtesy of Coney Art Walls)

There’s good news and bad news coming out of Coney Island, home of the Feltman’s hot dog. First, the bad news: The Mermaid Parade has suffered some “fairly serious financial crisis events” and has started a fundraising campaign to ensure that it survives beyond this year’s June 17 carnival, which will be led by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie.

Now, the good: The Coney Art Walls are reopening for the season on Saturday, and bringing a host of new artists and food vendors.

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We Agree: ‘Say No to the Gentrification of the Kalimoxto’

(Photo: rare specimen. Back then, it was one of the only restaurants serving the mix of wine and Coke that has long been the Spanish teenager’s street drink of choice. But, perhaps due to a shoutout from the Old Grey Lady in 2013 (“Wine and Cola? It Works”) the poor man’s sangria has grown in stature and is now a requisite on every new Spanish restaurant’s cocktail menu. That’s why we aren’t surprised to learn that Lamano, the Chelsea newcomer from the folks behind The Black Ant, has a $9 kalimotxo on its brunch menu.

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