B+B Newsroom

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Monday, Join Our Conversation With the Editors of Vice

Last week, Ad Age named Vice its Publishing Company of the Year and neatly summarized the bohemian behemoth’s acid-laced ascent: “What had started in Canada as Voice of Montreal in 1994 has now morphed into a Brooklyn-based multimedia empire that can land a deal with HBO — for ‘Vice,’ the Emmy-nominated documentary ‘news magazine’ series that was renewed this summer for a second season — while also playing with the magazine-world big boys (Vice was a 2012 National Magazine Award finalist in the General Excellence category).”

Monday at the Newsroom, top editors Jason Mojica (editor-in-chief of Vice News) and Rocco Castoro (editor-in-chief of Vice Media) will stroll over from their Williamsburg headquarters to tell us how, exactly, the skate-brat rag you used to pick up at Beacon’s Closet rose to such prominence that 21st Century Fox recently bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million. (That’s right, Murdoch is IN.)

Incidentally, we’re told the company has no plans as of yet to expand next-door into the Beacon’s space, as was widely reported — but it’s expanding just about everywhere else: the magazine boasts 25 editions covering 30 countries and a global circulation of over 1 million, the record label has over 50 artists, the publishing arm has put out a dozen books, and nearly 3.5 million subscribers watch YouTube shows like “Fresh Off the Boat with Eddie Huang,” in which the East Village chef bounces from Mongolia to Detroit.

Meanwhile, Vice.com continues to probe everything from sex on the Lower East Side (by B+B contributor Taji Ameen) to Obama’s drone strikes, via long-form video and gonzo reporting that — for better or worse, depending on where you stand — delivers a Fightland-style kick to the face of conventional journalism.

Join us Monday at 7 p.m., at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Avenue, as we explore Vice’s evolution from the fringes to the front lines. The event is free but seating is limited; let us know you’re coming.

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Sunday: Here’s the Kicker! A Night of Free Comedy With Dave Hill, Greg Barris + More

comiti8Join us at the Newsroom tomorrow, Sunday, as Natalie Shure – the creme da la Greenpoint comedy creme – hosts a night of stand-up. It’s a family affair! Shure, a grad student at NYU Journalism, will welcome Dave Hill, a New York magazine contributor who you also know and love from This American Life and just about a zillion other things. Plus East Village comedian Greg Barris, last seen debriefing a psychedelics expert, will be back fo mo, fo sho. We’re hoping he recycles his Holy Mountain Halloween costume for the occasion (see below). It’s all FREE — just let us know you’re coming.

DAVE HILL is a contributor on This American Life and has appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TLC and other networks. He is the writer of the book Tasteful Nudes, and his writing has appeared in NY Times, GQ, Salon, Vice, McSweeney’s, and others.

Screenshot_2013-10-26-02-32-55GREG BARRIS is a staple in New York’s downtown stand-up scene and is the creator of Heart Of Darkness: a psychedelic showcase of comedy, live music and fringe scientists that has been a frequent Time Out New York critic’s pick, much loved by BrooklynVegan and hailed as ‘excellent’ by The New Yorker. Paper describes him as “the perfect combination of very good looking, hilarious and super-weird.” The next Heart of Darkness is Dec. 5 at the Bell House.

MATTEO LANE has performed on Keith and the Girl, Sirius XM, and the TBS Just for Laughs Fest in Chicago. He’ll be in the NY Comedy Festival and is headlining at Caroline’s Nov. 19

SARA ARMOUR is a recent NYC transplant from DC, who has performed in clubs and festivals nationwide.

NEAL STASTNY is a writer for MTV. He has performed at Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Brooklyn Comedy Festival and will be at the Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans.

NATALIE SHURE is a comedian, journalist and grad student at NYU. She has performed at Cape Fear Comedy Festival and has written for several publications.

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Watch the Creators of The Domino Effect Talk Williamsburg Development

Tonight at the B+B Newsroom we screened The Domino Effect, a film about the development of the Domino Sugar factory. If you missed it, watch online as we speak to filmmakers Brian Paul and Daniel Phelps, Colin Miles of Save Domino, Community Board 1 member Esteban Duran, and Daniel Campo, author of The Accidental Playground, a new book surveying the wilder days of the East River waterfront. More about the event and the film here. Update: The event has passed, but we’ve archived the discussion above.

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Here’s Why This Guy Was Giving Free Haircuts On Bedford Avenue the Other Day

On a recent Thursday, Steven Chu and Parker McComb were posted on Bedford Avenue with a white folding chair, scissors, buzzers, and a sign offering “free haircuts for art.” Chu — who learned how to cut hair in 2008, by watching YouTube videos — was offering up his services to promote a new art project, called Hourships. “The premise is hour-long apprenticeships for youth, ages 5-18, interested in the arts,” the 28-year-old explained.
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Tonight, We’re Screening The Domino Effect and Talking Development


When we reported in August that demolition of part of the Domino Sugar Factory had been approved, Megan Sperry told us that Williamsburgers have “gotten used to losing” to Two Trees and many now feel that the developer’s radical transformation of the waterfront is a “done deal.”

Tonight at the Newsroom, we’ll be screening Sperry’s film on the subject, The Domino Effect. The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a discussion featuring filmmakers Brian Paul and Daniel Phelps, Colin Miles of Save Domino, and Daniel Campo, author of The Accidental Playground, a new book surveying the wilder days of the East River waterfront. (The event is free — just let us know you’re coming.)
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A Talk With the Director of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations

We’re watching The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations tonight at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom. Couldn’t make it? Tune in shortly after 8 p.m. as we talk to the documentary’s director, Greenpoint’s own Hannah Jayanti, about the classic children’s story. You can read more about the event here. Update: The event has passed, but you can watch the recording above.

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Adam Green Thinks Virtual Reality Will Bridge the Manhattan/Brooklyn Divide

As you can probs guess from our name, Bedford + Bowery is all about uniting the neighborhoods on either side of the Williamsburg Bridge and the L line. But East Village musician and artist Adam Green has another idea. Earlier this month, we spoke to him at the Newsroom after a screening of How to Act Bad, a documentary that follows the singer-songwriter over the course of two years of touring Europe, getting cozy with the Shining Twins and dabbling in ketamine and DMT. Green told us, “I tried this virtual reality helmet the other day. Have you ever tried this? Oculus? I feel like it’s going to bridge the divide between these two neighborhoods.” According to Green, we could all be chilling in a French chateau instead of wondering whether life is better on the other side of the bridge. “When they took the helmet off of my head, I didn’t want to go back,” he said.

Watch the rest of the discussion between Green and the documentary’s director, Dima Dubson, above.

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Next Up at the Newsroom: Andrew WK, Dave Hill, Phantom Tollbooth and More

lectureWe’ve got just a couple of weeks left at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom and we’ve packed them with a dizzying/dazzling array of screenings, discussions, and, er, party lectures? We’ll share more about each event as the date nears, but for now here’s a proper schedule so you can mark your calendars. We’ll be livestreaming whenever possible, but your best bet is to join us in person at 155 Grand St., off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg. All events are free and start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Follow us at on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates.

Indie Publishers Press On! A talk with the founders of three small presses: Jordan McIntyre of The Crumpled Press, Rami Shamir of Underground Editions and Katelan Foisy of Knickerbocker Circus. More here.

WED., OCT. 23
A screening of Dirty Old Town followed by a talk with the film’s star Billy Leroy and filmmakers Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. More here.

A screening of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations followed by a talk with director Hannah Jayanti. More here.

FRI., OCT. 25
A screening of The Domino Effect followed by a talk with the filmmakers about development in North Brooklyn.

SUN., OCT. 27
Comedy night featuring Dave Hill, Greg Barris, Sara Armour, Matteo Lane and Neal Stastny. Hosted by Natalie Shure.

MON., OCT 28
An Evening with Vice. Jason Mojica, editor-in-chief of Vice News, and Rocco Castoro, editor-in-chief of Vice Media, discuss Vice’s evolution from the fringes to the mainstream.

TUES., OCT. 29
A party lecture by Andrew W.K. featuring wisdom from the musician’s forthcoming book The Party Bible.

WEDS., OCT. 30
How to Grow a Label in Brooklyn: a talk with the founders of indie record labels Captured Tracks, Loma Vista, and Cascine.

See previous Newsroom events here, and keep checking back — we’re posting footage daily.

The Bedford + Bowery Newsroom, 155 Grand. St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Wednesday: See Billy Leroy On the Big Screen and in Person


We were devastated — really just devastated — when Billy Leroy, star of Travel Channel’s Baggage Battlestold us he had ditched plans to return to the old spot on Houston Street where he sold subway signs, skulls, and sundries out of a tent. It’s not like we ever had room to keep a stuffed coyote in our apartment, and our taste in art doesn’t really tend toward blue demons — but everyone knows Billy’s Antiques & Props was one of the last holdovers from the days before “metro-suburbanites,” as Billy likes to call them, swarmed the Bowery in flip-flops. Which is why Jim Jarmusch showed up at the closing party.

Wednesday, that green tent will live again — on the big screen — as we present Dirty Old Town at the B+B Newsroom. (The event is free: just let us know you’re coming.) This fine work of cinema verité portrays Billy as an antiques dealer — and a “leader of fools and king of gypsies” — who has 72 hours to make the rent, or his landlord will turn his junk store into a Starbucks. All the while Billy has to resist the advances of a young party vixen played by Janell Shirtcliff (it’s hard out there for a props dealer) who also has her claws in a preppy restaurateur played by Paul Sevigny of Beatrice Inn. (Sevigny’s band A.R.E Weapons contributed an ode to gentrification, “Parking Lot,” to the soundtrack.) Maybe the best part: Scott Dillin, an ex-cop who actually patrolled the mean streets of the LES back in the bad old days, plays a hard-drinking, wrong-thinking boy in blue.

Are you starting to see why Abel Ferrara presented Dirty Old Town when it premiered in Manhattan? Take it from the man himself: “This film is fucking real.”

So join us Wednesday at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg as we screen this insta-classic and then talk to the film’s star, Billy Leroy, as well as the filmmakers, Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. Furst and Levin will also be taking questions about Captured, their documentary about LES photographer Clayton Patterson (who also has a part in Dirty Old Town). Stop in and have a Stumptown stubbie on us.

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Tuesday at the Newsroom: Indie Publishers Press On!


According to popular legend, the death knell tolled for print publishing years ago. But while industry insiders threw up their hands in defeat and the giant Borders crumbled to its knees, there were those in the shadows that refused to hear the bell’s call. Tomorrow at the Newsroom, we’ll talk to some local indie publishers who refused to go quietly into the digital night. Join us Tuesday, Oct. 22, as they speak to the challenges and opportunities facing independent print publishing. As always, the event is free — just let us know you’re coming.

Rami Shamir is the author of the acclaimed novel Train to Pokipse and a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award for fiction. He started Underground Editions in 2011 with partner Adam Void. The pair established a national distribution network of 40 independent booksellers while maintaining a total boycott of its titles from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. In addition to publishing Shamir’s novel, Underground Editions has released three other titles including the train-hopping travelogue from graffiti artists Droid 907 and AVOID, Live the Dream, learn to Die 2.

Katelan Foisy is a visual artist specializing in collage and mixed media painting. Her memoir, Blood and Pudding, was called The Best Book of 2010 by Words with Jam magazine. Knickerbocker Circus began in a Lower East Side café in 2009 and was designed to give artists more creative control over their own works and to embrace those artists overlooked by traditional genres.

Jordan McIntyre is the founding editor and sole owner of The Crumpled Press, which he began in 2004 to showcase new authors and provided a space for established writers to say something new. McIntrye has published two books of poetry including Crumpled Press’s inaugural publication, Still Leaves.