The Brooklyn Design Expo kicked off in Greenpoint today, bringing dozens of exhibitors showing “the very best contemporary furniture, lighting, accessories and art made in Brooklyn.” Now through Sunday, you can hit up the Brooklyn Expo Center to see-saw in a “Pac-Mac” rocking bench made from wood rescued from a New York City distillery or recline in a chaise lounge made of Coney Island boardwalk wood. Oh, and don’t miss your chance to take a VR tour of Williamsburg’s forthcoming Pod hotel.
Glenn Branca’s voice was even raspier on Tuesday than it was back in February, when he premiered his latest work, The Third Ascension, at the Kitchen. But somehow the iconoclastic composer managed to croak his way through a chat with Alan Licht as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival.
Three years after the police shut down their Bushwick gallery and party pad, brothers Sei and Ki Smith keep finding gonzo ways to show art. Last Saturday, the founders of Apostrophe NYC launched a guerrilla attack on MoMA PS1 in Queens. Sneaking in paintings with hinged dowels that they had hidden in their bags, they infiltrated the museum’s courtyard and quickly pushed the works into 12 one-inch holes in the wall, adding informational cards that mimicked the museum’s Proxy font.
Last December, Charles Pastore, a real estate investor who owns property in East New York, purchased a century-old Bushwick brownstone, on the corner of Cooper Street and Wilson Avenue, just a block off the Wilson L stop. He and his partners, Hillary Megroz and Lauren Douglass, spent a few months renovating the house and now they’re ready to launch the Unruly Collective, a 2,500-square-foot space dedicated to artistic creation, offering co-working studio spaces as well as short-term rentals for travelers and resident artists.
Every morning, Dina Leor opens her Mexican folk-art store the same way: by lighting sage, burning incense and scattering rose petals. “I feel it affects the store if I don’t,” she says.
With the approach of Cinco de Mayo, a flood of local restaurant owners and residents have been coming to La Sirena, in the East Village, looking for authentic, handcrafted decorations like papel picado banners and colorful ponchos. As I lingered over some painted shot glasses during a recent visit, Dina called over: “People in America associate Cinco de Mayo with getting drunk! I have no idea why!”
Andra Ursuta’s new solo exhibit is, well, a lot to swallow. “Alps,” which opened at New Museum last night, is rimmed by artificial rock-climbing walls with colorful, penis-shaped holds– some are flaccid, some are erect, all are sculpted by the Romanian-born, New York-based artist. Within the walls are cavities that, according to a press release, resemble “eye sockets as vacant as peep holes (or glory holes).”
EAST VILLAGE—God unsuccessfully attempted to wipe away an advertisement for Justin Bieber’s latest album today on the corner of Second Avenue and East 6th Street. The All-Knowing and All-Seeing Lord of the Universe pummeled the sidewalk with rain, apparently displeased that the stencil had been placed across the street from the site of the Fillmore East.
On Monday John Barclay, proprietor of Bushwick mainstay Bossa Nova Civic Club, announced on Facebook that he was no longer involved with Juno, the upscale-diner “date spot” that he opened up with the help of the same investors from his nightclub venture back in December. “It had become clear that the spot wouldn’t survive without the funding that I can’t provide,” he wrote, wishing the place well.
Somehow Amy Sedaris always seems to be around when paintings have to come down off the walls. Remember the Mondrian that Jacqueline was forced to part with in the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? And how Sedaris’s character, spazzy socialite Mimi Kanasis, was taken aback when Kimmy approached her in Jacqueline’s empty apartment: “I thought you were a Jeff Koons sculpture of Ronald McDonald!”
Aby J. Rosen, owner of the gloriously graffitied Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery (soon to be outfitted as a high-end office building for fashion agencies and archives) is in the news today for something other than his disruptive real estate moves on landmarked buildings (in case you forgot, he also pissed off preservationists two years ago, when he displaced The Four Seasons restaurant and its Picasso curtain painting from the Seagram Building).
If you own a bar or restaurant in Chinatown or on the Lower East Side, you may want to double bolt the door tonight. Last week, two men robbed five neighborhood joints in two days, the NYPD says. Targeting everything from a cupcake bakery to a fish ball joint, they made off with nearly $2,000.
The spree actually started before that, in the early hours of April 3; police say the burgling bros pinched several bottles of booze and some tools from Giuseppe Gonzalez’s recently opened cocktail destination, Suffolk Arms.
In Season 2 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Lillian the landlord becomes obsessed with gentrification– even if she only recently added it to her vocabulary. “I miss the old days,” she tells Titus, “When the longest word I knew was friggin’Giuliani.”
Lillian is determined to keep East Dogmouth “weird and dangerous,” but there are endless signs of gentrification in the neighborhood, from the parade of joggers pushing strollers to the opening of East Dogmouth Art Space. Not only does the performance space have the audacity to offer an “open tables DJ night,” but its owners painted over a long-standing mural of Biggie Smalls. “Now how are we supposed to remember he’s dead?” whines Lillian as she marvels at the disconcertingly unblemished roll-down gate. “Twenty-four hours and not one graffito. What a disgrace.”