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LES Residents at De Blasio Town Hall: Don’t Let High-Rises Push Us Out

Mayor de Blasio and council member Chin at the well-attended town hall meeting in the Lower East Side © Kasper van Laarhoven

Over 300 residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown gathered in a Bowery gym for Mayor de Blasio’s 27th town hall Wednesday, and we probably don’t have to tell you what the theme of the evening was. You guessed it: gentrification, particularly with regard to the 60-plus-story towers rising over Two Bridges.

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Wettest, Wildest Looks From the Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

Photos: Kasper van Laarhoven

It was mermaid time in Coney Island on Saturday, as New Yorkers once again paraded past the Cyclone and Nathan’s in everything from elaborate sea-creature costumes to, well, basically nothing. Despite a rainy start, the 35th annual Mermaid Parade was as merry as ever, with many a parader having cleverly turned their transparent umbrella into a floating jellyfish. Click through our slideshow to see the pageantry that, as the parade’s website puts it, “celebrates ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside.”

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How the Hare Krishna Movement Started 51 Years Ago in the East Village

A kirtan (collective chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra) at Washington Square Park.(© Kasper van Laarhoven)

If you’ve ever been to Union Square, you’ve seen them: They chant, drum; sometimes they even give you a free copy of their scripture. Hare Krishnas are often shrugged off as an urban oddity on par with clipboard people, but what lies behind those orange robes and endless mantras?

This Friday, June 16, Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It will premiere at Village East Cinema. The documentary tells the story of Srila Prabhupada, a disheveled 70-year-old Hindu who boarded a freighter to the U.S. in August 1965 with little more than three self-translated religious texts and instructions from his guru to “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world.”

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Prince and the Bard Are Taking Over City Parks

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot 2016: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (© Lee Wexler)

Cinephiles have plenty of excuses to spend the summer in city parks, starting with Films On The Green and Movies Under The Stars. But if you’ve sworn off going to the movies in favor of #Netflixandchill, there are plenty of other excuses to enjoy our public greenery, starting with the following free events dedicated to The Artist and The Bard.

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The Story of the Gaslight Café, Where Dylan Premiered ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

MacDougal Street where once was the Gaslight Café (© Kasper van Laarhoven)

MacDougal Street where once was the Gaslight Café (© Kasper van Laarhoven)

Bartenders with beards and tattoos serve $15 cocktails to a sharply dressed, late-20s public at what is now the Up & Up. The menu instructs: “Gentlemen will please refrain from approaching ladies. Ladies are welcome to start a conversation or ask a bartender to introduce you.” What would Kerouac have thought of that? “Refrain” is not much of a Beat chorus.

It isn’t hard to imagine the place as it was. Strip away the 2016 fanciness, insert a small stage and there you are: the legendary subterranean Gaslight Café of half a century ago.

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