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Suffragette City Is A DIY Feminist Publication Serving Zine Realness With Magazine Style

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

It’s not just a Bowie song. Suffragette City, a new intersectional feminist zine, aims to marry the DIY spirit of zines with the production value of a full-fledged magazine. Spearheaded by editor-in-chief and graphic designer Gwynn Galitzer, Suffragette City smartly combines the best of two worlds, resulting in an independently-produced yearly publication that has entrancing visuals and spirited content, like essays on gender activism, interviews with witches, styled photo spreads, poetry, hand-drawn lettering, comics, and more.

As they gear up to release their second-ever issue, they’ve been throwing monthly fundraising shows that double as parties, and will launch a formal fundraising campaign soon. I sat down with Gwynn, fresh from organizing and styling the zine’s cover photoshoot featuring model Angel Rose, to find out what’s up and what’s next.

Zines are one of the few forms of print media that are relatively thriving at least on a local scale, thanks to shops like Molasses Books and Bluestockings, maker pop-up shops at places like Shwick and Catland, and events such as the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair and Brooklyn Zine Fest.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

  1. Magazines, on the other hand, are far less prevalent than they once were. Written media and photos within print publications have mostly moved to the internet, which doesn’t allow as much for glossy photo spreads and sharply designed editorial layouts.

“It’s a super DIY zine, but the production level is really high. We do all the fundraising and everything so we can print this in such a high caliber. I love print, I love working on paper, I love collage. I love having a tactile thing. There’s something about having your work physically printed. It communicates to someone else that someone has invested the money to physically publish your work,” she says. “[And] the work deserves it. It’s all done through fundraising, it’s all volunteer-based, it’s all advertisement-free, and it’s clearly expensive to make. ”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City‘s first issue, which was all about hair, came out in 2015. They printed 300 copies and had a kickoff event at Silent Barn, and now sell copies at Bluestockings. The second issue (the theme is Politics) is slated to run the week before Election Day in November. Naturally, there will be an appropriately-themed release party, also at Silent Barn.

The content and people in Suffragette City reflects Galitzer’s multifaceted community; she grew up in the city, studied Fine Arts at SVA, sings in a band, and has spent several years curating and producing art events throughout the city.

“I didn’t just grow up in the city, I went elementary school through college in a five-block radius in Chelsea. It’s a small town,” she says. “I have a lot of my childhood friends in this. [Design Director] Nicole Ruggiero and I [have been] best friends since we were 4 years old, as well as Harley Kinberg who is our illustrator. It’s the first time we’ve been working on a creative project together, it’s been really awesome.”

She got the idea for the zine from the monthly event she helps run with her boyfriend, a workshop-based reading and music series called Having A Whiskey Coke With You that’s now been running for five years.

“I noticed there was a lot of really powerful female-identifying readers, but the events were very male-heavy. Mostly because the reading scene is very male-dominated. I was talking to my boyfriend Jesse, saying that he should do a female-centric [event], and he was like, ‘I think you should do something.”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Since the reading series was already producing a monthly zine and she grew up doing “music and zines” all throughout high school, Galitzer figured this would be similar, made in the classic DIY Xeroxed style she was used to. She soon realized that the project was moving in a sleeker direction. “All the sudden it started snowballing, the quality of the work was going up and up and up. So I realized I needed to step this up more, I needed to make this high caliber.”

Galitzer works as a graphic designer and concentrated in printmaking at SVA, so she felt strongly that the quality of the publication needed to be up there with the pros. “We printed with one of the industry leaders in the city. Because I’m a graphic design nerd, I want everyone I know who does graphic design to look at it and go, yes, you did it right,” she says. “It was also investing in the people involved. I can’t have everyone put all this work in it and not make it the greatest thing I could possibly do. It felt necessary.”

Though many of the people featured in Suffragette City are people Galitzer knows personally, this does not make for any sort of lapse in legitimacy. Joanne Petit-Frere, who created the wigs and hair sculptures featured in one of several beautiful photo spreads shot by Alannah Farrell, has done work for celebrity clients. “Joanne gets hired a lot for these big deal photoshoots and performers, she’s done hairpieces for Beyoncé and all these crazy music videos, but she doesn’t get billing for it. I thought it was important to give her some spotlight,” says Galitzer.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

The Hair issue also features journalist and nightlife figure Gerry Visco (Galitzer calls her one of her best friends), “gender capitalist” androgynous model Rain Dove, and “masculine-of-center and/or genderqueer” activist Lucy Parks. Notably, Suffragette City features a diverse spread of minds and bodies often absent from the pages of glossy productions. “I’m very adamant that we are really an intersectional thing,” she says. “You can’t say you’re a feminist and not be intersectional. [It’s] definitely not all cis, heterosexual, white women. That’s also not representative of the people I know.” And it’s not just local; they put out a submission call via Twitter for their next issue and got a many responses, including someone currently living in the Philippines.

Suffragette City has been doing fundraising events monthly, and their next one is this Saturday. They’re starting at Williamsburg’s Two Boots Pizza for a “mini zine fair,” where they’ll also have handmade buttons featuring “strong female lead characters from the ‘90s with pizza.” After that, everyone will head over to the Gutter Bar for a rock show of female-fronted bands, including Galitzer’s own band, No Ice. She’s been committed to involving as many women as she can for these events. “If the venue has women on staff, I request they work that night,” she tells me.

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not like I have investors or I personally have money. I don’t have any experience with how it’s supposed to work at a magazine. It’s just me. It’s literally run out of my living room,” she says, telling me for their last photoshoot they moved all the furniture in her house and shot everything in the zine in 17 hours. She rented a room for a shoot this time, for her sanity.

Despite the immense work it takes to put out a publication like this, Galitzer shows no signs of stopping, and is considering starting a podcast and making miniature zines with Nicole Ruggiero in addition to the big yearly publication.

“I want more than anything for someone to give it to a 16-year-old girl and have her be like, ‘Yeah!’ And then for her to make a zine,” she says, grinning. “Also, I would like to get enough funding to pay everyone involved. I’d like to raise enough money so that everyone that put in hard work can get paid for it. And it’s going to happen. I have faith. If not for this one, then the next one.”

Suffragette City’s latest fundraiser is happening Saturday, July 23 at The Gutter Bar, 200 N 12th Street, Williamsburg. 8pm. $8. More info here. Visit the zine’s website here.

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Duff Alert: Guns N’ Roses Returns to CBGB (Kinda) With Varvatos Pop-Up

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Get in the ring, motherf*cker.

Or at least get over to the John Varvatos store if you’re a Guns N’ Roses die-hard. The newly reunited band is making a return to CBGB– sort of. A GNR pop-up is opening today at what used to be the storied venue. The shop opens at noon (and that’s 12 p.m. SHARP, since there’s no need to yellow-jacket Axl), when the first 50 fans through the door get free concert tees. Will GNR make a surprise appearance ahead of their two shows at the Meadowlands this weekend, like they did at the Varvatos store in 2010? A publicist tells us, “No in-store performance. But I heard Duff is stopping by.”

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Here’s Where To Hate-Watch the RNC Tonight

(WNYC Studios)

(WNYC Studios)

Some people are on the FBI Watchlist. Well, this is the RNC Watchlist, where you can settle down at a bar, event space, or Republican haunt (if you’re nasty) and bear witness to the great and terrible orange man, as he drips words and possibly froth from his mouth, instilling fear into impressionable folk about how no one can save our country but him. Though the news has painted a fairly grim picture of the US recently, I’m pretty sure Donald and I have different definitions of what “saving” something means.

If the reality of this week’s Republican National Convention is too wretched to behold as truth, you can pretend you’re watching a movie. But let’s hope it’s a movie that compels you to educate yourself and vote in all of your state and local elections, in addition to the big one in November. You can be the change you want to see in the world… If your vote manages to be counted, that is. Yikes.

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Two Shootings in Williamsburg and the LES in the Past Week

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

A pair of shootings occurred in recent days, one on the Lower East Side and the other across the bridge in South Williamsburg.

The first occurred during the late afternoon of July 16, when gunfire erupted near the corner of Pitt and Delancey Streets. A 20-year-old man was shot once in the right leg, according to the police. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital and released. Police say the suspect, thought to be about 20 years old, 5’6″, and 145 pounds, was last seen wearing a navy baseball cap, white tan top and dark shorts. He’s shown above.

He was accompanied by an unidentified woman of about the same age, last seen holding a bicycle and wearing the outfit below.

(Photo: DCPI)

(Photo: DCPI)

On Tuesday, July 19, around 9:25pm, another shooting took place at 84 S 10th Street in South Williamsburg. A 28-year-old man was shot in the arm and taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. As of yet, there is no information available about the suspect.

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Electeds Aim to Keep Community, Non-Profit Spaces From Becoming Soulless Condos

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer with Councilmember Margaret Chin,  New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, and other members of the NYC Council (Photo: Courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Brewer's office)

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer with Councilmember Margaret Chin,
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, and other members of the NYC Council (Photo: Courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Brewer’s office)

As the ongoing drama surrounding the Rivington House intensifies, elected officials urged the City Planning Commission this morning to make deed restriction changes subject to the city’s strictest approval process. On the steps of City Hall, officials reiterated the importance of making deed restriction changes more transparent and accountable.

In a statement released after the press conference, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer argued that changes to deed restrictions (which limit how a property can be used) should have to be approved via the city’s Uniform Land Use and Review Process (ULURP), which requires multiple city agencies to sign off on certain projects. “We lost Rivington House because the deed restriction change was managed by the wrong agencies in a bad process. The best way to fix this is to handle these land use changes the same tried-and-true way we’ve handled other meaningful land use changes for years, with transparency and public input.”

Some background on the issue: 45 Rivington, a former schoolhouse turned nursing home, was subject to a deed restriction established in 1992 that limited the building to non-profit usage. Although Allure Group, the nursing-home operator that took over the building in 2014, is a for-profit organization, it was understood that the building would remain as some kind of medical facility for the neighborhood’s many seniors.

But last year, the city controversially lifted the non-profit deed restriction and failed to set down any conditions for the building’s use. The building was then sold to private developers, who plan to convert it into luxury condos. Predictably, the outcry has been significant.

Last week the city’s Department of Investigations released a report accusing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration of incompetence and finding a “complete lack of accountability within City government regarding deed restriction removals.” Furthermore, the report found that the Rivington House’s deed restriction removal was handled by a number of agencies that weren’t directly in charge of determining land usage. Yesterday, the Neighbors to Save Rivington House, a community activist group, said in a statement that “the fact that the deed restrictions were lifted without any notice to our electeds or Community Board 3, and that there was NO chance for community discussion and comment is scandalous.”

City Council member Margaret Chin and President Brewer agreed that it was problematic that the deed restrictions were lifted in a manner that completely escaped pubic notice and that lacked any formalized process. In a letter to the City Planning Commission, Brewer and Chin proposed legislation that would create a searchable database of properties with city-imposed deed restrictions, and called for a codified, “public and transparent process” for the lifting or modifying of the restrictions. The pols are also seeking “a more formal process for lifting deed restrictions on formerly city-owned property.” This way, local community boards, borough presidents, city council members, and members of the public could be informed and react quickly. Chin has already introduced this legislation to City Hall in May.

However, Brewer and Chin stated in their letter that while “these steps are necessary,” they “no longer believe they are sufficient.”

“Rather than sticking with a broken system that took Rivington House from the community, or creating another system from scratch, it makes sense to utilize a proven process that for decades has guided thousands of land use changes,” Council Member Chin said in a statement at today’s press conference. “By making deed restriction changes subject to ULURP, we will introduce transparency and public input to an inconsistent process that has failed to protect and preserve significant community assets, such as Rivington House.”

Under ULURP, projects involving certain changes such as rezoning, transfer of city property, and adjustments to the city map must be approved by multiple agencies, including the revelant community board, the borough president, the City Planning Commission, the City Council, and the mayor’s office. In their letter to the City Planning Commission, Brewer and Chin invoked a section of the New York City Charter that gives the commission power to determine, with the City Council’s support, what can and cannot be subject to ULURP, meaning that deed restriction removals could very well fall under its jurisdiction as well.

The elected officials urged the Planning Commission to adopt this proposal and present it to the City Council to prevent future losses of community-relevant buildings such as the Rivington House.

Correction: The original version of this post misstated the term Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for Universal Land Use Review Procedure.

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On Governors Island, the Hills Have Slides

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

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“The air is heavenly up here,” a lady exclaimed delightedly into her phone as she paused her climb up the large granite slabs of Outlook Hill, the 70-foot-tall hill comprising the new highest point of Governors Island. Indeed, with a mild breeze tempering the sun’s otherwise aggressive rays and a spectacular view of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, I wasn’t too opposed to her declaration.

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Alamo Brooklyn Reveals Menu Details While We Continue to Chomp at the Bit

Last time we got news about Alamo Drafthouse’s much anticipated Downtown Brooklyn theater, the Texas-born chain’s owner, Tim League, was telling a crowd at SXSW that it was “really actually happening”– this summer, to be precise. Since then, they’ve kept us waiting with a few satellite screenings to tide us over. Now the theater is further teasing us with some details about its menu.

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Pacha’s Papa Takes Over Troubled Verboten Space in Williamsburg

Eddie Dean, the nightlife impresario behind defunct megaclub Pacha NYC, is taking over the home of Verboten and opening a new club there in the fall. He snagged the troubled Williamsburg space by putting in a $1.2 million bid in bankruptcy court.

Verboten, an underground party that morphed into a brick-and-mortar venue on Wythe Avenue’s budding club row in March of 2014, was seized for non-payment of over $360,000 in taxes this past March, after co-owner Jen Schiffer was sued by employees who alleged sexual harrassment and racism. The club was able to reopen in April after filing for Chapter 11, but soon after, Schiffer was arrested in Greenpoint for allegedly writing $31,000 in bad checks.

So how will Dean’s new venue clear the air?According to a press release, it will be “dedicated to the creative ethos of Brooklyn and serve as an outpost for the global dance music scene.” He and director Andrew Inomata, a holdover from Pacha, are hoping to “tap into the maker-culture of DIY Brooklyn with arts, music, food, and community life,” in the words of the announcement.

Dean opened Pacha, the first US outpost of the legendary Ibiza club, in 2005 in the storied Sound Factory space in Hell’s Kitchen. During its 10-year run, it served as a reliable throwback to the pre-Giuliani era of big-box dance clubs (you know, when glo sticks, raver pants, Mitsubishis, and “bridge and tunnel” were a thing). Thanks in part to outsized music director Rob Fernandez, who died of heart problems a year ago, the club regularly featured NYC house legends like Erick Morillo and Danny Tenaglia, and drew A-list international DJs aplenty.

To a lesser extent, Output now carries the big-club flame, so it’ll be interesting to see how its new neighbor clicks with it (Good Room, another haven for electronic/DJ music, is also a walk away). The venue’s name is TBA, which has nothing to do with the (also troubled) Wythe Avenue club known as TBA– it’s to be announced.

Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the location of Pacha.

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Leo DiCaprio Was the Wolf of Hester Street This Weekend

(Photo: Carolina Iwanow)

(Photo: Carolina Iwanow)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream– even Leo DiCaprio, apparently. Everyone’s favorite bear-attack survivor stopped by the Hester Street Fair’s Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon. Wild guess: he was cruising the weekly market for a new pageboy cap in order to keep the paparazzi from peeping his next Malibu makeout sesh. If so, he wasn’t exactly successful– Williamsburg-based jewelry designer Carolina Iwanow managed to snap this photo as he strolled past her booth.

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