About J. Oliver Conroy

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Yuan Invites ‘Sophisticated Chinese Food Lovers’ to Slurp a Storied Rice Noodle

Yuan, on 2nd Ave.

Yuan, a new East Village restaurant specializing in Guilin-style rice noodle dishes, aspires to serve the “sophisticated Chinese food lover,” according to lettering on its glass storefront.

Currently in “soft launch,” the restaurant will officially open next Wednesday or Thursday, hot on the heels of 99 Favor Taste’s expansion to St. Marks Place.

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What’s Going On With the Great Jones Cafe?

Great Jones Cafe.

New Yorkers today learned some shocking news: beloved Cajun/Creole restaurant Great Jones Cafe will close tonight and may or may not reopen. Tipsters told EV Grieve that tonight would be the last night, but there’s reason to hope rumors of the 34-year-old Basquiat hangout’s death are greatly exaggerated. This evening, an employee at the Jones told Bedford + Bowery that it’s closing for a week; after that it will reopen — or not. More likely not, she said.

Messages left for owner James Moffett have not yet been returned. In April, the restaurant’s longtime GM, Bill Judkins, told EV Grieve that he was forced out when he couldn’t see eye to eye with his two partners, who “feel that the Jones needs to be changed into something more contemporary to appeal to the ‘new’ neighborhood.” The restaurant’s famous jukebox had been turned off, Judkins told Grieve.

In January of 2015, Judkins told Eater that the restaurant’s landlord was “a nice, old school guy,” and that there were still “a few years” left on the lease. Eater wrote that Judkins “doesn’t see things changing anytime soon, although he does admit to some ‘concern’ about what will happen in the future.”

We’re hoping the Noho fixture rises Lazarus-like from the dead. (I mean, where else can you get a proper oyster po boy around here? Served up by Pavement bassist Mark Ibold, no less.) But many are operating on the assumption that the restaurant won’t be coming back. They filed onto social media to pay their respects:

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Pour One of These Out for the Kosciuszko Bridge

The new brew. Instagram: nyccraftbeer.

After several weeks of delays the long-awaited demolition of Greenpoint’s old Kosciuszko Bridge began yesterday, despite the intercession of a band of sword-waving and wolf-wielding marauders. (The “new” Kosciuszko Bridge has been in use since April.)

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Pols Condemn Hit-and-Run Drivers After Weekend Deaths of Two Brooklynites

City councilman Stephen Levin speaks during press conference.

“There is a no more senseless or inhumane action than to leave a body in the street,” declared city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at a news conference earlier today at the Greenpoint intersection where 27-year-old Neftaly Ramirez was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Saturday morning.

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This Mac-n-Cheese Burger Is the Latest Sign of the Apocalypse

Instagram: TheBedfordNYC.

Important news for decadent foodies, millenarians, and doomsday preppers: the latest sign of the impending apocalypse has come to pass. Following on the heels of Burger King’s “mac-n-Cheetos,” we now have another ungodly Doctor Moreau-style mac-n-cheese cross-over dish: the mac-n-cheese burger. And, just like the mac-n-cheese bagel, this grotesque beast was created right here in New York.

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This Sculpture Is Williamsburg’s Newest Instagram Bait

Credit: Douglaston Development.

Move over, rainbow bagels.

Deborah Kass‘s iconic OY/YO sculpture made its triumphant return to Brooklyn two weeks ago, and it’s proving irresistible Insta bait.

The sculpture — which reads YO (“I am” in Spanish) or OY (as in the Yiddish “oy vey”) depending which way one faces it — was previously installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Now, a year later, it’s back — this time at the Williamsburg waterfront at the end of N. 5th Street.

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Legendary Art Duo McDermott & McGough Are Building an ‘Oscar Wilde Temple’

McDermott & McGough, “Oscar Wilde in Prison, 1895 (MMXVII)” (detail), 2017. Oil and gold leaf on linen. Courtesy of the artists.

Legendary New York art team McDermott & McGough — known, among other things, for spending 15 years living in the East Village while dressed as top hat-wearing Victorian gentlemen — are back with an ambitious new project to be unveiled at The Church of the Village this September.

The new art installation combines several of the artists’ motifs and preoccupations — the Victorian era, Ireland, gay culture, LGBT rights, time — in a giant homage to Oscar Wilde, the turn-of-the-century Anglo-Irish writer and bon-vivant famously condemned to prison for refusing to hide his sexuality.

The Oscar Wilde Temple “combines painting, sculpture, and site specific elements in a functioning environment that recalls the beautiful and provocative sensuousness of the Aesthetic Movement [that] Wilde championed,” according to a press release. It will transform The Church of the Village‘s chapel into a shrine to Wilde. In the center will be a four-foot statue of Wilde in the manner of a religious icon. On the walls will be paintings in the style of the Stations of the Cross, but instead of depicting Christ’s persecution they will illustrate Wilde’s journey from arrest to incarceration.

Peter McGough and David McDermott — who, after their East Village days, threw elaborate parties in the Williamsburg bank building where they resided — evidently first began discussing the idea of the Oscar Wilde Temple more than 20 years ago. In keeping with the duo’s fondness for “time experiments,” the Temple will painstakingly replicate the aesthetics and atmosphere of Victorian England through the use of “specially made fabric wall coverings, architectural and decorative details, furnishings and lighting.”

The Temple will also include a secondary altar conceived as a shrine to those struggling with or killed by AIDS, as well as a series of portraits by McDermott & McGough of homophobia “martyrs,” such as Harvey Milk and Alan Turing, and lesser-known victims of AIDS or homophobia including Sakia Gunn, a teenage African-American lesbian stabbed in Newark in 2003, and two figures from The Church of the Village’s own history — Rev. Paul M. Abels and Rev. C. Edward Egan, ministers forced out for being gay.

Sponsored by The Church of the Village and the New York LGBT Center, the Temple will also be available to rent for weddings, memorial services, and other private functions, with the proceeds benefiting the LGBT Center.

The installation will run concurrently with “I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going,” a McDermott & McGough retrospective opening at the Dallas Contemporary in Texas on October 1st.

The installation will be open Sept. 11th through Dec. 2nd at The Church of the Village at 201 W. 13th St. at 7th Ave., viewable Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon – 7:00 pm.

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Astor Place Now Home to Mexican Ice Cream Stand From Creators of Dough

Photo credit: J. Oliver Conroy.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you, like me, require a daily allotment of chocolate or ice cream in order to forestall the possibility of slipping into a homicidal rage?

In that case, good news. As of today Astor Place is now home to a La Newyorkina ice cream stand. The stand, which sells “paletas” (popsicles), “Mexican ice cream,” and other treats, comes from the same people behind Dough, the New York pastry purveyor which inspires almost cult-like devotion. It joins the newly opened Astor Plate Cafe on the reconstructed plaza.

The stand is open today till 9 pm. (The person I spoke with seemed unsure about the stand’s hours going forward but it appears it will be open till that time every day.) Not all menu items are available at this location yet.

La Newyorkina is already a fixture of the Highline and Smorgasburg, and it has a storefront in the West Village, among other locations.

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Slipper Room Owner Faces Criticism After Dropping N Bomb On Stage

Credit: Liz Clayman for New York Magazine.

Lower East Side vaudeville venue the Slipper Room is at the center of a controversy over offensive speech which began Wednesday, July 5, when host and owner James Habacker, while performing as his character Mel Frye, used a racial slur onstage as well as referred to mentally disabled people with language often considered offensive.

According to a Facebook post (quoted in a recent addition to the Slipper Room’s Wikipedia page) by someone who attended the show in question, Habacker made a joke using the term “retarded,” which he justified by arguing he was changing the word’s context to be more positive, and then, adding further fuel to the fire, claimed it was akin to black Americans’ reclamation of the “N-word,” which he used several times to the discomfort of the sole black audience member.

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Diner Death Notice: Cup & Saucer Goes Dark

Credit: Shanna Ravindra, New York Magazine.

Last week we reported that LES/Chinatown stalwart Cup & Saucer — one of the last of the New York luncheonette old guard — is closing after more than three quarters of a century, thanks to a rent hike on its Canal Street location.

Although Bowery Boogie reported that today would be Cup & Saucer’s last day of operation, it already, as of this morning, appears to be closed forever. Phone calls to Cup & Saucer are going unanswered, and sources tell us the diner is dark.

People paid their respects on Instagram.

Credit: ____genna____ (Instagram)

Credit: OrchardStreetRunners (Instagram).

Credit: PraiseShadows (Instagram).

The owners told the New York Times that their rent was set to nearly double and that they may look for another space.

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LES Stalwart Cup & Saucer to Shutter After 75 Years

Shanna Ravindra for New York Magazine.

Cup & Saucer, a throwback luncheonette that has occupied the same quiet spot on Canal Street for more than 75 years, is likely closing, Bedford + Bowery has learned. The small but much-loved diner — whose iconic Coca-Cola sign and faded retro aesthetic hearken to an older era — is a staple of the Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.

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