First Person

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My Bushwick Ride-Along Ended With a Shooting

(Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

(Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

My ride-along with Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct landed on a sunny afternoon. I was told the sunny days are the busiest ones for the NYPD — something that rang true when, an hour into the ride-along, three teenagers opened fire on a public park, injuring a 19-year-old with a bullet to the back.

I’ve never trusted cops. I signed up for the ride-along because I was curious to see things from the perspective of a police officer.
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My Body Came Out of Shock and I Was Like, 'Oh, I Got Hit By a Train!'

Liza Dye at Bellevue Hospital on Sunday night (Photo by: Jenna Marotta)

Liza Dye at Bellevue Hospital Center on Sunday night (Photo by: Jenna Marotta)

Tonight, hours after Liza Dye has her eighth surgery since being struck by a B train on February 13, Abbi Crutchfield will host a benefit at the Jersey City Comedy Festival, in hopes of adding to the $63,000 that have already been raised for Dye . Sunday, from her hospital bed at Bellevue, the 25-year-old stand-up from South Carolina told us her story in detail for the first time.
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I Tried Co-Ed Naked Meditation Led By a Crystal-Wielding Vegan Chocolatier

The love letter I picked up, carnation, and my crystal. (Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

The love letter I picked up, carnation, and my crystal. (Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

My period was already a day late when I signed up for the naked meditation. Class was scheduled for Saturday — five days away. On Thursday, I began to spot. I went to the website for the Young Naturists and Nudists America to see what the organizers of the event suggested: a Diva Cup, a silicone-based container purported to be more discrete than a tampon. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but the list of items I feel comfortable putting inside of my body is not very long, and something with the word “Diva” in the title is certainly not on it. The website also condoned underwear, but (no pun intended!) I didn’t want to half-ass the experience, so I decided to just tough it out with a tampon.
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How the Squatter in Our Basement Drove Us Out of New York

Fridge.

“The real thrill existed in our new found ability to reach the fridge while still in bed.”

I often wonder if we would have ever left Manhattan, had a strange man not been living in the basement of our apartment.

Living in the city is a surreal experience for most post-grads – high rise buildings full to the brim with clouds of marijuana, organic produce, and receipts from the local dry cleaner – and if our little corner of the Lower East Side was not one of the last safe places for stowaways, vagabonds, and migrant workers, perhaps we would have continued on with life the way it was; my girlfriend, Danielle, pushing papers for a small corporate law office, and me, pitching diversity inclusive initiatives to one of the last generations of old white men in corporate advertising.
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That Time I Tried Naked Yoga

The author.

The author in her usual attire.

This Saturday at Alphabet City Sanctuary, Young Naturists America presents a naked yoga session that promises healing through “crystals, vegan chocolate, and community love.” To find out what it might be like, we had Sally Lynn Edmonds attend a class at Bold & Naked, in Chelsea.

I tell my mom I’m doing naked yoga and she says, “Good, that’s your best look.” She doesn’t think much of the way I put together outfits.

My friend Scott thinks the only people who’d do naked yoga are narcissists who want to fuck themselves, but really I’m just curious to do yoga naked with like-minded people.
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Philip Seymour Hoffman Took Me Under His Wing

Hoffman at the opening night party for "The Little Flower of East Orange," at B Bar on April 6, 2008.  (Photo by Will Ragozzino/Getty Images)

Hoffman at the opening night party for “The Little Flower of East Orange,” at B Bar on April 6, 2008. (Photo by Will Ragozzino/Getty Images)

Philip Seymour Hoffman, found dead in his West Village apartment yesterday, was a Villager through and through: he battled his alma mater, NYU, in the fight for Greenwich Village, and he often ventured east to stage shows at The Public. There, as artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company, he helmed “The Little Flower of East Orange” and taught East Villager Ajay Naidu — who played a doctor alongside Ellen Burstyn — some lasting lessons about theater. Over the phone yesterday, Naidu, best known for his roles in “Office Space” and “Bad Santa,” told us what it was like to get his first break as a solo artist from one of the most talented and admired actors of our time.

In 2001 I was making my first venture into solo work, with an esoteric piece that combined breakdance, clowning, rhyming, mask work, ancient gestures from the Natya Shastra, Sanskrit drama, and characters from the streets of New York City. I had no I idea where it fit. My manager, who was also Phil’s, told me I should show it to him in the LAByrinth and do it in front of them after one of their company meetings.
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High Fidelity: Breaking Up With Your Dealer Can Be Such a Drag

textDid I get in a fight with my weed dealer because I was high? Or did I get high because I was in a fight with my weed dealer? The answer is both. Shortly after the misunderstanding, I found myself passing around a splif at a dinner party and asking friends, “Was it all my fault?” Most of them didn’t respond – a sign that, yes, it was all my fault. But what about my dealers before this one, where did those relationships go wrong?
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Caught Between Two Worlds in Bushwick

(Photos: Joshua Kristal)

(Photos: Joshua Kristal)

Jazz is floating through my window and it’s coming from the taqueria across the street. At Mesa Azeteca, there’s live jazz on Thursdays and mariachis on Fridays. Welcome to Bushwick, 2013.

The restaurant sits on Wyckoff Avenue near Hart Street, which has become a clear dividing line between two different worlds. Keep Reading »