Last night at Jue Lan Club, the Chinese restaurant inside of the former Limelight, we went upstairs to check out the club kids wallpaper and ended up ducking into the private dining room, where there’s a gallery of Lisa Paul’s nightlife photos. Who should we find there but Donald Trump. Obviously not the real Donald Trump– he’s been busy crafting his inaugural address (from a receptionist’s desk?). No, this was a photo of The Donald at the opening of Club USA, congratulating owner Peter Gatien and his right-hand-man John Carmen. The snap was taken in 1992, about 11 years before the, um, deporation force sent Gatien back to Canada for tax evasion. (Yes, sometimes our friends across the northern border break the law.)
When we popped into the Museum of Sex last night for a preview of their new exhibit on erotic outsider art, we didn’t expect to find a discotheque on the premises. But there it was: An exhibit titled “Night Fever” has brought a massive Richard Long Audio System (the type used at Studio 54 and Paradise Garage) to MoSex’s bar space, and it’s absolutely killer. Back when we visited MoSex for Kayvon Zand’s sadly short-lived weekly, the bar had a fusty library look, with couches set between bookcases. But Jason Volenec, designer of atmospheric restaurants like Miss Lily’s and Tertulia, has given it a ‘70s vibe via silver-foiled walls (a la Warhol’s factory), disco balls, and swiveling glass coffee tables.
The next month or so will bring many an opportunity to honor the late, great Leonard Cohen. You’re already aware that Film Forum is screening the tour documentary Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire. And you may have heard about “Sincerely, L. Cohen,” the tribute concert scheduled for January 24 at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets went on sale today). That show will feature Joan as Policewoman, Richard Thompson, Lenny Kaye of Patti Smith Group, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick, and Hannah Cohen (no relation), among others. To top it all off, Anthology Film Archives has announced a film program that will pay tribute to the Canadian crooner, who died in November.
Just a couple of months after Gowanus barbecue joint Pig Beach converted itself into a seasonal burger joint, the restaurant remains on Eater’s “heat map” of the hottest restaurants in Brooklyn. Now, good news for Manhattanites: You’ll no longer have to persevere the F train to get a taste of it. Pig Beach just opened a Greenwich Village outpost.
Where there once was a butcher, there now are books. Williamsburg cooking store Brooklyn Kitchen has decided to scrap (get it, scrap?) its butcher counter and has replaced it with an inviting area where customers can peruse cookbooks and food magazines, including a collection of Gourmet that dates back to 1943.
The inevitable arrival of Lululemon is only the latest affront to Williamsburg. And nobody knows that better than the Italian community that has been there since the mid-1800s. As Leonora Russo, the “Queen of Williamsburg,” told us before she died in November, the neighborhood is “growing so fast… They started building condos, condos, and condos. It’s all we have now, condos, condos.” While longstanding traditions such as the Giglio Feast have survived that hyper-gentrification, East Williamsburg’s Italian Americans are feeling the pinch. We spoke to three life-long residents about what has changed, and what’s left today. Play the above sound file to hear their story.
Having just returned from two weeks in India, I definitely don’t miss the honking: it’s enough to make Rudy Giuliani rip out the rest of his hair and run crying into the bosom of Daddy Trump. But I do miss the cute little tuk tuks, bobbing and weaving through traffic Mario-Go-Kart-style. So, you can imagine my delight when I passed by the newly soft-opened Williamsburg Hotel and saw this gleaming new ride outside.
The incident occurred Thursday, Jan. 12, around 4:30 p.m., when a hoodie-and-skully-wearing man walked into the TD Bank at 21 East 1st Street and passed a note demanding money. The 24-year-old teller handed over an undetermined amount of cash, the police say.
The suspect is thought to be 25 to 30 years of age, 5’7″ tall, 170 pounds, and was last seen wearing multi-colored kicks.
You may recognize this as the TD Bank that replaced Mars Bar. Who said the corner of 1st Street and 2nd Avenue has lost its grit?
We haven’t heard much about n’eat since it opened in November. Despite its beefcake chef, the ambitious East Village newcomer hasn’t managed to garner the buzz of other New Nordic eateries, like the rebooted Aska in Williamsburg. That may well change with two new chefs, both of whom have some serious New Nordic bonafides. Chef Yelena Del Mundo, who replaces Gabriel Hedlund, comes to the restaurant after two years as sous chef at Atera, a seriously spendy Tribeca spot that advertises a “continuously sensory tasting menu experience.”
Initially, Samuel T. Adams had a condition for being interviewed: he must remain anonymous.
“I got an email,” Adams explained to me, “from Janus Films saying, ‘Hey! Saw you’ve been screening a few of our films! How’s that working out for ya?’”
Just a few months after The Smart Studios Story screened at St. Vitus, the Greenpoint metal bar is taking another look at the Seattle grunge scene by showing The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale. Last week’s screenings at St. Vitus and Nitehawk were sold out, but tickets to tonight’s encore are still available. The debut effort from filmmakers Bob Hannam and Ryan Southerly is a sort of behind-the-music take on the band that influenced Nirvana, among countless others who were warped by the Melvins’ neo-Sabbath brand of sludge metal.
Now that you’re done binging on Black Mirror and Westworld, it’s good to know there’s a sci-fi film fest in the not-so-distant future. The New York Science Fiction Film Festival launches next Friday, January 20, and brings an intriguing slate of films to downtown venues like the Roxy Hotel Cinema and Anthology Film Archives. The schedule promises UFO cults, zombie attacks, breath mint ads for vampires, apocalyptic viruses, murderous humanoid robots, android clones of Philip K. Dick, and Winston Churchill battling Nazis with a group of time-traveling super scientists. There’s even a 360 VR experience simulating a Bohemian Grove-esque virgin sacrifice, set to music by These Machines Are Winning. Okay, then!