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Go Watch Seth Meyers Have a Frank Discussion With Franken

(Photo: B&N Union Square on Instagram)

If you missed Al Franken shaking his damn head at Trump’s “stupid” budget a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble Union Square, don’t worry: The Strand is having the gentleman from Minnesota back for an appearance at Cooper Union’s Great Hall. It’s just been announced that the moderator for the August 1 discussion will be Seth Meyers, who is no stranger to the East Village bookstore– we saw him at the recent Meet Me in the Bathroom event (no, we did not meet him in the bathroom.)

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The VW Traffic Jam Is Gonna Be Absolutely Vantastic

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Today Volkswagen agreed to pay California another $154 million in its dieselgate scandal, but the German carmaker wasn’t always the face of pure evil. Fifty years ago it was the Summer of Love, and the VW bug and bus were symbols of everything groovy. Whether you’re an old hippie pining for the good ol’ days or you’re a social-media influencer living the #Vanlife, you’ll want to get out to the VW Traffic Jam on Governor’s Island next month.

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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, and the court ultimately reached a decision that would give Betesh’s tenants longterm leases and keep the units rent-stabilized. However, the residents at 83 and 85 Bowery say Betesh has worked his way around the court’s decision and now states that the buildings must be vacated in order to do the repairs, which they fear will lead to rent increases and displacement.

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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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Absinthe and Jazz Party Dispels the Green Fairy’s ‘Strange, Outlandish Reputation’

The Red Room above KGB— the former black box that you were probably dragged to by college friends doing DIY theater in the early aughts— has become a swanky, prohibition-themed bar. Every bit as tuxedo as the KGB is shirtsleeves, it boasts warm lighting and art deco details, with a tiny stage and a copper bathtub. “The Green Fairy” event showcases a monthly absinthe tasting paired with era-appropriate entertainment: August’s episode features live piano by Chris Johnson, absinthe history by Kellfire Bray, and Nelson Lugo on the Victrola during breaks. Ticket prices drop for those in “vintage, evening wear, unmentionables or intimate attire,” encouraging you to help create the ambiance.

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These Restaurant Collabos Are Very x-citing

“Restaurant Tweak” dinner at Dos Toros.

Restaurant Week usually means hum-drum prix fixes that may or may not even be a bargain. But this year a couple of local favorites have decided to make an occasion of it by teaming up with some other local favorites. Like Bruce Springsteen once said, two restaurants beat better than one.

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NYC’s Party of the Summer Might Just Have Happened… in New Jersey?

(Photos: Desdemona Dallas)

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There was a mass exodus from Brooklyn this past weekend as the finest minds from the city’s underground art scene headed for the beaches of Keansburg, New Jersey for the third annual Gratitude Migration festival. The Burning Man-inspired gathering brings the principles of Black Rock City (no, they are not Gym, Tanning, Laundry..) to the beach for an immersive experience of art, music and fire. Workshops on everything from “Conscious Consumerism” to “Connecting with the Multiverse” were conducted by the School of Dreams, and DJs like Myk2melo and David Starfire blasted beats well into the evenings. The JunXion crew played cumbia all night and closed out the weekend with an epic beach party. Click through our slideshow to have a look.

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George Romero Was America’s Bram Stoker

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Since he passed away on Sunday, tributes to George A. Romero have been pouring out like a ravenous undead horde escaping from a government research facility. The Fear NYC film festival, which will bestow its annual Legacy Honor on the director, has announced a special screening of Night of the Living Dead at the Sonnet Theater in October. In Williamsburg, Vinnie’s Pizzeria is serving up special pies like the Night of the Living Ched. Local movie houses like Syndicate, Sunshine, and Alamo have also paid their respects.

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