When Belkis Whyte graduated from college and earned a dream fashion internship in New York City, she found herself conforming to the city’s ubiquitous style: all black apparel with poker straight hair. Ironically, her creativity and individuality was being stifled in one of the world’s great fashion capitals. “I came as a minority in the industry and those insecurities kick in,” explains Whyte, who was born in Ghana. “I have to work twice as hard, even three times as hard, just to make a quarter of what my white counterparts make.”
You don’t have to know comics to know the work of Mark Alan Stamaty. He’s responsible for the ornately illustrated cover of the first free edition of the Village Voice back in 1996; he channeled dozens of 1970s musical icons for the cover art for Will Hermes’s Love Goes to Buildings on Fire; and, more recently, he created a mural for Sonos’s first New York City store. And that’s in addition to a long-running career in comics, including books for both adults and children, which began in the 1970s.
After revealing its lineup of features and the full slate for its TV festival, the Tribeca Film Festival is showering us, piñata-style, with yet more goodies. Today the fest’s organizers dropped its schedule of Tribeca Talks, including tete-a-tetes between Martin Scorsese and festival co-founder Robert de Niro (their latest collaboration, The Irishman, comes to Netlfix in the fall); David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence; Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary; and comics Sarah Silverman and Mike Birbiglia. There will also be talks with Rashida Jones, Questlove, and Queen Latifah, followed by a screening of shorts created by female filmmakers with the support of The Queen Collective, Latifah’s program aimed at encouraging racial and gender equality among directors.
Tribeca TV Festival just announced its lineup, and the highlight might be a 30th anniversary screening of The Simpsons that will include a panel discussion with Harry Shearer (voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, and many others) and creator Matt Groening as well as his fellow producers.
Day and night, Tapash Sarkar, a Bangladeshi street vendor in lower Manhattan clinks his spatulas as he cooks biryani behind a fingerprint-stained food truck window. “I’m new here, I’ve been at this food cart for 15 days. I came to New York because my country had some problems, religion problems with the Hindus, so that’s why I came here with my family,” Sarkar says.
Baba Brinkman bills himself as “the world’s only peer-reviewed rapper,” and nobody disputes the title. In college, the lumbering son of Canadian tree planters studied the parallels between hip-hop and medieval poetry and he has since carved out a niche with science-themed hip-hop shows and albums, such as “The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos.”
In this climate, titling any artwork Dreamers signals politics. Fittingly, politics is the main undercurrent of the album Magos Herrera released last year with chamber musicians Brooklyn Rider. Their collaboration, Dreamers, draws on musical and literary works from across Ibero-America, and everything sampled is, in some way, connected to themes of state violence and resistance. The musicians—who will perform tomorrow at Williamsburg’s National Sawdust—call these the album’s “connecting thread.”
Greenpoint’s Lot Radio recently hit a setback when its shipping-container cafe was temporarily shuttered by the health department, but it’s keeping the music alive with a new pop-up shop on Canal Street and a performance by Alex Zhang Hangtag, aka Dirty Beaches, inside the San Damiano Mission this Thursday, March 14.
The spring festival season has officially begun with carnival and mardi gras celebrations around the world. Fortunately, New Yorkers won’t have to wait until Easter or Holi to welcome the warmer weather; the Persian New Year is just around the corner. This year, Nowruz falls on March 21, but festivities run from March 16 through 25. Celebrate the Vernal Equinox and welcome in 1398 (on the Persian calendar) at one of these parties.
Saturday afternoon at South by Southwest, I had a choice between watching presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speak and watching a documentary about the making of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Guess who I chose? Who? Who? Who? Who?
Starting March 13, you won’t have to leave the city to see the night sky; you’ll just need to take a trip to 159 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side.