One of Jared Kushner’s buildings, 118 East 4th Street, where tenants have taken legal action against their landlord (Photo courtesy of Streeteasy)
After months of pleading with Westminster City Living to restore cooking gas and address a litany of repairs in her aging East Village tenement building, Jennifer Hengen and other members of the 118 East 4th Street tenant association had reached their breaking point. “It was like waiting for Godot,” she recalled.
Not only had the building’s real-estate management company, headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, neglected to fix problems in her building, and many more across the neighborhood, but tenants felt as if the problems didn’t really matter to management. “We’re invisible to them because we’re not millionaires,” she said. “I just don’t think we’re taken very seriously– number one, because we’re not in one of the big, shiny buildings and, number two, because we are rent-stabilized.”
Queer Trash 4: It Gets Sleazier Saturday December 10, 8:30 pm at Alphaville: $10
Remember back when you’d regularly opt out of noise shows? The way things used to be, they were pretty much guaranteed to be dominated by white boys, unbathed (like, in a stilted way) and of questionable talent, who’d rather spend all night trying to make contact between forehead and concave chest for maximum gloom appeal, while dropping painfully lame hints about holding a copious stash of heavy drugs in an attempt to add mystery and subversiveness to their otherwise dull music.
Homogenous, standoffish scenes are just the worst. There is a silver lining, though: the backlash tends to be far superior than the priggish haughty BS anyway. Queer Trash 4 is no exception, and the queer noise acts they spotlight are carrying out the kind of insurgency that most noise makers only dream about.
If you’re a dedicated visitor of spots like Shea Stadium and Alphaville, you’ve inevitably seen or heard Sexy Neighbors. Going on seven years of recording together as a psychedelic post-punk do-whatever-we-want garage band, the odds that they’ve caught your attention are on their side, even if they’ve dwelled comfortably underground.
These days, there are countless ways to act like an entitled jerk even if you don’t go around launching empty Turkey’s Nest cups into McCarren Park (pretty sure NYC squirrels are just paid actors anyway). For starters, Amazon Prime, Seamless, Caviar, and eBay have all contributed to a massive increase in packaging waste. But starting this week, if you live and/or order takeout food within the Greenpoint area, you can sign up for a new eco-conscious initiative that will help you hate yourself a little less. Patrons of two local restaurants will be given free takeout food containers that can be returned to the restaurant for reuse.
Los Sures Friday December 9, 7 pm to 10 pm at Dobbin Street: $8 to $10
Dobbin St. is a new “luxury event space” that occasionally throws non-luxury events. For Halloween, they hosted a screening of Suspiria and went all out, washing the space in Dario Argento’s signature evil-pink light and amassing a band to do the live score. They even threw in some popcorn, a bar, and prep school-style beds for good measure.
Tucked inside a densely industrial corner of East Williamsburg, there’s a not-so-easy to find new “cultural space” called 99 Scott. With a name like that, not even newbs, or those not yet acquainted with the neighborhood’s winding corridors and sharp triangular street-traps, should have a hard time finding the space. On a dead-end industrial street where garbage trucks and cement mixers outnumber humans, sits a newly renovated, sparkly building occupied by a swarm of new tenants–99 Scott included– who make up one of the most sophisticated and concrete examples of the push toward light-industry happening across Brooklyn.
Queer-themed art shows are having a moment right now, and we can only expect that trend to continue as we enter a time of uncertainty about the future of LGBTQ rights in this country (and those of all marginalized people, really). An ongoing exhibition called Like Smoke(on view through December 4 at the New York Artists Equity Association on the Lower East Side) feels so right-now in that way. The show mines gay history and examines the ways in which oppression, both past and persistent, still creep into the present. Though it examines the queer body, you won’t see any actual bodies on display. Instead there’s a great gaping black hole, phantoms from the past, and a lingering sense of absence.
Videofilia (And Other Viral Syndromes) Friday December 2 through Thursday December 8 at Spectacle, $5
As we’re constantly reminded these days, technological progress is hurdling faster and faster toward the speed of light. These days, we don’t even have to get off our asses and schlep it to the dollar store for toilet paper– we can simply press a button and the butt paper shows up like magic, encased in an obscenely large cardboard box. Then again, there are times when you’re riding the subway and you’re overwhelmed by an apocalyptic dread, having realized that every singlehuman on board is playing Candy Crush. These things serve to remind us that End Times are nigh, and these phone zombies will be the beginning of a very dark, totally uncool end.
Mo Fathelbab and his crew at The Experiment Comedy Gallery are organizing what could be the most exhaustive (and exhausting) anti-Trump action to go down yet, one week before America officially becomes Trumplandia. On Friday January 13 the Williamsburg comedy club, which recently relocated to a former punk venue on Grand Street, will host The Fuck Donald Trump Marathon, an epic “31 and 1/2” hour lol-bender that the organizers say is “aimed to fuck with the incoming fascist regime of Donald J. Trump.”
Last week, a mysterious Instagram account began posting photos of Ivanka Trump looking her usual perfect self, primped, stilettoed, and precisely preened to sexy-career-girl perfection. If you were scrolling too quickly, you might have mistaken @dear_ivanka for a fan account, with over 7,5oo followers. But it was actually the first satirical social media action of Halt Action Group, a grassroots protest organization that’s appealing to Ivanka as the Trump administration’s “voice of reason.”
With the release of Uncle Meg’s first proper album, the Brooklyn-based rapper is officially flying solo. Having recently separated from Handjob Academy, a longtime collaboration with Ash Wednesday and Clara Bizna$$, Meg has not only found creative freedom but a newfound seriousness. “It’s a huge accomplishment, 15 tracks,” Meg said, reflecting on Bug. With its release this month, the artist’s music has become much more personal at the same time that Uncle Meg has become better acquainted with, well, Uncle Meg.
The Range, Glass Gang, Sarah Kinlaw, IMAGIST, Kathleen Dycaico Tuesday November 29, 8 pm at Elvis Guest House: $10 minimum donation
Prepare for some straightforward, vaguely uplifting dance musicfrom the The Rangeaka James Hinton, a Brooklyn-based producer/ electronic musician with a penchant for sped-up, Chipmunks-style vocal samples and dreamy soundscapes.Glass Gang sounds like TV on the Radio shed any remaining remnants of rock n’ roll music and fully embraced their electronic pop music side.