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Strand Owner Fred Bass Honored By Krugman, Talese, Lebowitz at Memorial

Fran Lebowitz (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

The late Fred Bass, longtime owner of the Strand Bookstore who died January 3 at age 89, is getting posthumous bear hugs from the City of New York, which is expected to name a bench after him in Washington Square Park. It has also named January 26 “Fred Bass Day,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who on Friday night presided at a public memorial for Bass at the iconic East Village store.

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Sarsour: ‘No Conflicts’ Over Women’s March, Despite ‘Irresponsible Journalists’ and Times Story

Linda Sarsour, center. (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

This weekend, there will be hundreds of events in the U.S. marking the first anniversary of the massive women’s marches around the country and the world, among them a Manhattan rally starting a day ahead of time on Saturday Jan. 20 at 11:30am at Central Park West. It was organized by a group called Women’s Alliance March.

The theme this year is “Power to the Polls,” aimed at educating people to register and vote. That will make the events decidedly different from the demonstrations by more than 5 million people who marched a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, many wearing pink pussy hats to protest his recorded boasts that he could grab women by the genitals with impunity because of his stardom.

“We need to talk to men about a much bigger picture– we need to bring men to the table,” said Linda Sarsour, the controversial Palestinian American activist from Bay Ridge, as she spoke at Barnes & Noble Union Square on Tuesday night during a launch for Together We Rise, a coffee-table book on the first march. That event began with spirited protest songs by the Resistance Revival Chorus, dressed all in white. Members posed with the book, which is handsomely photographed and contains oral histories from participants, among them Roxanne Gay, Ashley Judd, Gloria Steinem, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Choir (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Sarsour, born in 1980, drew chuckles from a crowd of about 200 when she said, “I wasn’t inspired by Bernie Sanders, a 75-year-old white man,” alluding to her role as a Sanders surrogate during his unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign. Sarsour added, however, that she shared his political agenda, also noting of her group, “We’re interested in the issues that come from the communities that we care about.”

During a question and answer period from the audience, Sarsour grew visibly agitated when discussing a recent New York Times report of splits in the women’s march movement.

“There are no conflicts,” she insisted. “Irresponsible journalists are trying to take us back. That story is trying to pit women against each other, trying to show we can’t work together.” Her rapid-fire remarks were greeted with applause and she got more of it when she said: “We are intelligent, brilliant and mature women!”

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Ibogaine Activist Dana Beal On His Arrest For Pot Trafficking: ‘I’m Just Trying to Complete My Mission’

Dana Beal during a protest at the Intrepid museum in 2016.

No way does long time marijuana activist Dana Beal come across like a blissed-out stoner. In fact, the New York yippie leader sounded briskly analytical and often combative yesterday when discussing his latest arrest for pot trafficking–this one on December 16 in Northern California’s cannabis-rich Golden Triangle. It happened after a state trooper with a drug-sniffing dog stopped his rental car in the small rural community of Hayfork. He and driver James Statzer of Michigan were charged with possessing 22 pounds of weed for sale, a misdemeanor, and attempting to transport it across the state border.

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SantaCon Location Comes Early

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

Breaking from a years’ long tradition of withholding its starting point until the night before, SantaCon announced last night that its red-suited revelers will first gather Saturday morning at the sprawling James A. Farley Post Office at 421 8th Avenue. Organizers reportedly made the early announcement as a bow to public officials who have complained that they needed more time to alert their constituents to the costumed boozers coming into their neighborhoods.

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SantaCon Location Still a Mystery; Critics Say ‘Be Good, For Goodness Sake’

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

SantaCon’s massive band of red-suited revelers will arrive in New York on Dec. 9, but no one seems to know where.

The controversial bar crawl keeps its starting point secret until the night before, a move that has “rankled public officials” like State Senator Brad Hoylman. With little notice, they don’t have enough time to tell their constituents “to get out of the way,” Hoylman told us.

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Controversial Antifa Expert Prefers ‘Social Revolution’ to ‘Terrorist Group’

Drew. (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Bluestockings bookstore quickly filled to capacity last night for Mark Bray, a former Occupy Wall Street organizer turned Dartmouth history lecturer who is making waves with the publication of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

Soon after its release last month, the president of Dartmouth rebuked him in a strongly worded statement after Bray, appearing on “Meet the Press,” expressed support for the sometimes violent tactics of Antifa, that mysterious network of masked anarchists, socialists, communists and varied others who have clashed with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, tragically in Charlottesville.

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Former Village Voice Scribes Gather to Say, ‘That’s All She Wrote’

Lucian K.Truscott IV (right). (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

It seemed more like a wake than a party for Village Voice alums at the renovated 19th century firehouse on 87 Lafayette Street that’s known as the Downtown Community Television Center. At least 300 people showed up Saturday night for the event, including famed cartoonist Jules Feiffer by video. None of those we spoke to believe that the legendary 62-year-old alt weekly– expected to end its print edition this month– will ever rise to its former glory, even as an online venue.

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Gay Talese Is ‘Enthusiastic About a Brash New Yorker’ in the White House

Gay Talese at Strand Book Store in 2006. (Photo: David Shankbone)

It was the last Tuesday night concert of the Washington Square Music Festival. A few minutes before the JP Jofre Ensemble began to play mostly Argentinean music, I did a double take on a white-haired thin man seated on a park bench a few feet opposite from me. Unlike the casually dressed folks passing by, this gent was elegantly attired in a tailored suit. His straw fedora gave him a faintly rakish air. He had on what looked like custom made shoes. Occasionally he would say something to a comely middle-aged woman sitting not far from him.

The man had to be 85-year-old Gay Talese, legendary grandaddy of ’60s New Journalism who left the New York Times to pen signature pieces about Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio for Esquire, later producing bestsellers with biblical names like Honor thy Father, about the Mafia and Thy Neighbor’s Wife, a controversial book about the sexual revolution in which he took a decidedly personal interest in the research. Then there’s High Notes, a collection of his work out this year.

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Artichoke Debuts New Pizzeria Across From Fire-Ravaged Original

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

A brand new Artichoke Pizza opened today in the East Village, across the street from where its famed and decidedly funkier predecessor was shuttered by a fire last month.

The two-alarm blaze broke out at 5:15 am on Friday, May 26, just as Artichoke was closing. It spread to the second floor of 328 E. 14th Street, but no one was injured. Fire marshals determined it was “an accidental fire which started in the kitchen due to heat from the pizza-oven flue,” according to an FDNY spokesperson.

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How Some Classical Musicians on Wheels Turned a Truck into Carnegie Haul

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Last night on the northern end of Union Square, passersby stopped and listened– some in rapt astonishment– to classical music, the kind they’d normally hear at Carnegie Hall. Except that these soulful sounds were coming from top performers playing in a popup theater that came out of back of an old U-Haul. The Music Haul is a tour bus operated by Yellow Barn, an international center for chamber music based in Putney, Vermont, that seeks to bring Beethoven, Bartok and Mozart to the masses.

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East Village Residents Get Crusty About Travelers

The Times called them a “harbinger of spring” in the East Village. That was back in 2011, when the paper asked, “Where Have All the Crusties Gone?” Well, looks like they’re back.

During a gathering of locals last night at the 9th Precinct station house, a longtime resident complained about the swarm of travelers, as they’re often called, who had recently invaded his block on Second Avenue, between 7th and 8th Streets. Flashing photographs of the scruffy interlopers, he said that people in his building had to “walk over their pitbulls” and put up with their noise, panhandling and drinking. The gent, who asked B+B not to identify him, wanted to know if the cops could bust them.

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