The literal translation of omakase is “I’ll leave it up to you”– meaning the chef– but at Williamsburg’s new Japanese restaurant, Ume, chef Danny Zhang is turning the expression back on the diner. The specialty at this homegrown spot is a “deconstructed omakase” that leaves it up to you.
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If you’ve seen the touching documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the words “The Roast of Mister Rogers” might seem like an oxymoron. Roasted? The national treasure who stands for everything good and pure in this crazy, mixed-up world? But that’s exactly what Character Assassination– a comedy troupe born in Louisville, Kentucky that has previously roasted Luke Skywalker, Freddy Kreuger, Walt Disney, and many others– plan to do at The Creek and the Cave on Aug. 30.
Not only that, but the roasters who’ll hold court at the Long Island City bar will be some other beloved figures from our childhood (or stand-up comedians playing them, anyway): Kermit the Frog, Pee-wee Herman, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. (It’s unclear whether Tom Hanks, who is playing Fred Rogers in an upcoming biopic, will make a cameo.)
Sonic Youth isn’t touring and won’t be anytime soon, but now you can at least go on a Sonic Youth tour of downtown Manhattan.
The Tribeca TV festival, from the folks behind the film festival, is returning for its second installment Sept. 20-23. De Niro et al just dropped this year’s lineup and among the highlights are a chat with the East Village’s own Rosario Dawson; a conversation between Meryl Streep and sketch comedy queen Tracey Ullman, who will premiere the new season of her rebooted show; and the premiere of the final season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, followed by a conversation with some of the show’s makers, including comedian/director W. Kamau Bell. (Oh, and an appearance by Law & Order producer and human meme Dick Wolf.)
At this point every other business in New York City is a coffee shop, but what happens when you’re stuck on that rare block that doesn’t have a cafe? Enter The Greenpoint Peddler, a trike that will wheel the cold brew right to you.
It’s been a while since Harmony Korine was the enfant terrible of indie cinema, weirding out David Letterman, nightclubbing with Leo DiCaprio and the rest of the “pussy posse,” making a Sonic Youth video starring young Macaulay Culkin sucking face, and trolling random New Yorkers into beating him up. For art! Gone are the days when the director of bizarre id trips like Trash Humpers and Mister Lonely subscribed to Lars Von Trier’s Dogma 95 Manifesto of punk-rock minimalism. In fact, Korine wants to screen his next star-studded film in theaters hot-boxed with weed smoke. Clearly this is an artist enjoying his golden era, and there are multiple ways to bask in it in the coming weeks.
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Rockaway keeps getting new toys (a video arcade in a bathhouse? Yisssss) and the latest is two dockless bike share networks. Users of the Lime and/or Pace apps can now grab a bike and pay $1 for every 30 minutes to zip around from Tilden to the new barbecue joint, or most anywhere else on the peninsula east of Breezy Point. Unlike Citi Bikes, these 200+ rides don’t have to be docked at a station, so you won’t experience that familiar Dock Rage of being unable to return a bike to your preferred location because a station is full. And Lime even offers pedal-assist e-bikes– the ultimate beach cruiser.
Look at the corner of Broome and Orchard on Google Maps and you might think that the Lower East Side is gentrifying far more rapidly than you imagined. The Street View images, taken in November of last year, show an Italian music store, a fish market, a cheese store, a grocery and a hardware store– none of which are there just months later. Should we blame Essex Crossing, with its forthcoming Target?
Black Seed, the wood-fired bagel spot with locations in the East Village, Nolita, and Battery Park City, just expanded its footprint to the Ace Hotel. A painfully hip bagel company in a painfully hip hotel? Sounds about right!
The new NoMad outpost takes over the former No. 7 Sub space on the Broadway side of the hotel, and bears a resemblance to Black Seed’s other stores. As does the menu. You’ll find the same itty, bitty bagels– made by boiling dough and then wood-firing it– topped with salmon cold-smoked by Greenpoint’s own Acme, among a variety of other options. Naturally, the coffee is from Stumptown, over on the hotel’s 29th Street side.
First there was Fresh Kills, and now—right across the street—there’s Kill Devil. When it comes to ambitious cocktail bars, Williamsburg is killing it.
Kill Devil House of Dark Spirits takes its name from an old euphemism for rum, and it’s dead serious about the liquor. It offers a list of some 125 sipping rums from all over the world, and many of its cocktails employ it. You might assume this place is just riding the tiki trend, but you won’t find any thatch or bamboo in the onetime bank building at the corner of Grand and Bedford. Instead, the former Witlof space has gotten a dark, slightly devilish makeover.
It’s been over two years since wildly popular Greenpoint pizzaiolo Paulie Giannone– better known as Paulie Gee— announced that he was planning to open a slice joint. After some fussjng from neighbors and the usual delays, there was no sign of its opening– except, of course, for the barrage of taunting Instagram shots showing some delicious-looking experiments with vegan thin-crust slices, baguette sandwiches, pan pizza squares, “OG” grandma slices, Sicilian slices, and, of course, the classic “NYC-style” slice. Now, the time has finally come. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop has announced a grand opening of Aug. 29.
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Sure, you can beat the heat by buying cubed watermelon at the bodega, but that’s so basic. Here’s how to get your watermelon fix and be extra.
Ladle soju punch from a watermelon
At Pocha 32, 15 W 32nd St # 2, Koreatown.
Pocha 32, a second-floor pub hidden away in Koreatown, would be worth the trip even if it didn’t use hollowed-out watermelons as punch bowls. Notes written on chopstick wrappers hang from the fishnet that covers the walls and ceiling, and oil drums serve as tables. It’s a festive place for dipping a ladle into a watermelon and helping yourself to a frothy mixture of ice, soju, Sprite, and fruit puree. This is a lot of drank even for two people to share, but you can always sneak the leftovers into the Vivi lightbulb jar below.