About Shannon Barbour

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Nitehawk Nods to Female Directors, Addressing the ‘Elephant in the Room’

(Photo: Signature Move)

Representation matters. But unsurprisingly, it’s still lacking in nearly all fields. Especially in Hollywood. Casts, directors and producers are overwhelmingly white and male. So much so that in 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated claims of systematic discrimination against female directors.

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Vermin Got You Squirmin’? Here’s 10 Things We Learned at Rat Academy

Rat Academy graduates collecting their free rat-proof garbage bins. Photo: Shannon Barbour

In a city with as many rats as there are children, New York has taken on several methods of eliminating the pests from city streets, homes and sewers. Birth control, dry ice, and bait have all been employed to curb the ever-growing population. Just last month Mayor de Blasio declared a $32 million war on rats, which has already proven to be successful in the East Village. But rats aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and they’ve even been linked to a Bronx resident who was killed by leptospirosis this year. So last night, a few dozen New Yorkers scurried over to Midtown to attend the third annual Rat Academy and get schooled on all things vermin by a health department rat expert, Caroline Bragdon. Graduates of the talk, hosted by Council Member Corey Johnson, walked away with brand-new rat-proof garbage bins and two hours worth of rat facts. Here are 10 lessons we learned at Rat Academy.
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Blerd City Celebrated Black Nerds, and Emotions Ran High

(Photo: Shannon Barbour)

(Photo: Shannon Barbour)

Blerd City Con, the comic conference for black nerdom, came to four venues across Dumbo this weekend. Sci-fi and fantasy short films were showcased at Automatic Studios to an intimate crowd of conference attendees, directors and producers. One film featured Sterling K. Brown running from an alien invasion and another featuring Frankie Faison as a zombie about to eat his granddaughter, which has been included in “The Black Horror Revolution.” Down the street there were cosplay and martial arts panels as well as an especially emotional panel on being a black woman in the comic industry.

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Williamsburg Shopping Weekend Launches With Free Drinks and Sweet Discounts

(Photo: Williamsburg Shopping Weekend)

With rents going up, an L Train shutdown imminent, and chains like Lululemon moving into the ‘burg, retailers are tasked with drumming up more business and loyal shoppers. Enter the first ever Williamsburg Shopping Weekend.

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Bowery Tenants Hit the Streets Again to Protest Dr. Jay’s Owner Joseph Betesh

(Wah Lee before she threw the poster on the ground and stomped on it. Photo: Shannon Barbour)

Tenants of 83 and 85 Bowery poured into the streets of Chinatown yesterday afternoon to protest their landlord Joseph Betesh, again, who they say is a “slumlord” who has been harassing and trying to evict his tenants.

Betesh, owner of Dr. Jay’s, bought 83 and 85 Bowery along with other buildings in 2013 for $62 million; according to a press release, tenants believe he has maintained that the building isn’t rent stabilized. Both parties have gone back and forth in court. In May of last year, Betesh’s lawyers agreed to work toward a settlement wherein Betesh would make repairs, relocate residents, and return them to their refurbished apartments with 99-year leases. However, tenants ultimately rejected the deal because Betesh would not agree that the units were rent-stabilized, according to one of the residents.

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Bushwick Directors On What It’s Like to Bring Civil War to Brooklyn

Cary Murnion and Jon Milott have teamed up to direct Bushwick, an action movie about a Texas army that invades the Brooklyn neighborhood. Starring Brittany Snow and Dave Bautista, it was one of two Bushwick-set films that clocked some buzz at Sundance back in February (the other one, The Incredible Jessica James, will have a Rooftop Films screening on July 25, and will be streaming on Netflix July 28. With the trailer for Buswhick out earlier this week (it hits theaters Aug. 25), we caught up with the busy directors to talk about the film, politics and why Bushwick? Keep Reading »

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Bitterness Over St. Marks Starbucks

(Photo: Shannon Barbour)

Hell no, we won’t Frappuccino. 

Nearly 50 residents, small business owners, activists and crusties alike attended an anti-Starbucks rally Thursday evening in the East Village.
The crowd gathered at St. Marks and Avenue A, where the chain plans to open a new store, to discuss what another Starbucks would mean for the community. Increased corporate presence, increased rents, increased tenant harassment, increased property taxes, increased vacant properties, decreased retail diversity, decreased community involvement– the list of fears went on.

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The Water Table Loses Its Dinner Boat, Looks Toward a Cloudy Horizon

Captain Kelli Farwell with the Revolution (Photo: The Water Table Instagram)

In April we shared the sad news that The Water Table’s boat, the Revolution, was hit by a large tugboat, forcing them to postpone their scheduled dinner cruises. Since then, there have been even more setbacks.

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Spread the Blerd: Black Nerds Get a Con of Their Own

(Photo courtesy of Blerd City Con)

Black nerds unite!

There’s no shortage of black nerds a.k.a. blerds and there’s a bunch of black writers, actors, and artists, but there’s definitely a lack of representation in popular nerd cultureit’s been 19 years since Marvel has made a new film with a black protagonistand in conventions. That’s where Clairesa Clay and Blerd City Con come in.

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