A group of a dozen small business owners and community advocates from Bushwick gathered at Esmeralda Valencia’s restaurant on Myrtle Avenue this morning with an alarming message on posterboard: “Los pequeños negocios nos declaramos en crisis”—We small businesses declare ourselves in crisis.
It was difficult to ignore the fluttering signs at last week’s Bushwick Community Plan meeting. Sure, they were black-and-white, only about as big as two sheets of computer paper and just as flimsy, but there were tons of them. As City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal touted their community-driven alternative to developer-led change, almost everyone sitting in front of them seemed to be holding a flyer reading: “EVICT THE RICH.” The rallying cry may have been more Mao Tse-tung than #BushwickBerners, but the Brooklyn Solidarity Network (BSN) couldn’t have been more serious.
“We just ended 20, almost 21 years of selling records in New York City,” said Chris Vanderloo, co-founder of Other Music.
It was about a year ago that Brooklyn filmmaker Alex Ross Perry released his latest, about some female friends who retreat to a cabin after a woman’s relationship doesn’t end well. Now he’s appearing in a film in which a group of guy friends retreat to a cabin after their bro’s relationship falls apart. Needless to say, Joshy, directed by Jeff Baena (Life After Beth), contains way more dick jokes than Queen of Earth, as you’d expect from a largely improvised film in which comics Nick Kroll and Brett Gelman play coke-snorting, prostitute-hiring wingmen. But don’t mistake this for an Apatow knockoff– it’s actually a nice balance between the Rich Dicks shtick for which Kroll is known and the sad-sensitive mumblecore for which Perry is know.
The abandoned military buildings at Fort Tilden have lured photographers, taggers, and graffiti artists for years (hell, I’m even guilty of taking sunset photos of them many moons ago, for my college photography class), but now they’re becoming Art in the official sense of the word.
The Rent Guidelines Board has voted to freeze the rents on rent-stabilized apartments that are up for a one-year lease renewal between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, and has agreed on a 2-percent increase for two-year leases. It’s the second year in a row that one-year leases will not face a rent increase– a move that had previously been unprecedented in the 47-year history of the board.
The closing of two beloved record stores wasn’t the only blow dealt to Manhattan’s music scene over the weekend. Down on the Lower East Side, the social center known as ABC No Rio hosted its last two shows in its home of over three decades.
Sadly, the urban beach that the owners of Rockaway Brewing Company had planned to open near the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick ain’t happening. Some very vocal neighbors just weren’t having it. But the good news is this: the brewery’s founders, Marcus Burnett and Ethan Long, have succeeded in getting their tap room up and running in Rockaway Beach.
Remember when James Franco, holding forth at Village East Cinemas, described some of his former NYU colleagues as “shitheads”? It seems he’s not the only Tisch faculty member with complaints. During a q&a at Angelika Film Center following a screening of his new film Wiener-Dog, indie director Todd Solondz had some harsh words for the “evil empire” that cuts his paychecks.
New York City’s 46th annual Pride March was bound to be even more political and urgent than usual. In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub during the weekly Latino night, feelings of solidarity, of mourning, and of resistance were more present than ever among this year’s marchers.
A slew of city agencies and elected officials are asking Bushwick residents for direct input on how best to handle the rapid change that’s consuming the neighborhood.
“We’re here to make sure we give the people the opportunity to make a decision on what their neighborhood’s going to look like in the future,” City Council member Antonio Reynoso told the crowd at a Monday meeting at Ridgewood Bushwick Youth Center. Among the areas of concern: population growth, demographic shifts, the loss of affordable housing, an influx of luxury housing, private interests, and businesses that cater toward the moneyed. In other words, gentrification.
You may have been shocked to hear, yesterday, that the NYPD raided an unassuming Bushwick bodega and uncovered what appeared to be a massive heroin operation.
But one Brooklyn resident told us he was “totally not surprised.” More than a year ago, Bruno Navarro posted the above photo of the Gates Candy & Grocery to Yelp with the caption “Get your fresh…candy?!”