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Tracy Morgan, Last O.G., Returns to Bed-Stuy to Show Off New Basketball Courts

Tracy Morgan at Marcy Playground (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TBS)

Bed Stuy has new hoops thanks to comedian Tracy Morgan, who returned to his childhood neighborhood yesterday to unveil new basketball courts at Marcy Playground.

The $215,000 park renovation was funded by TBS in conjunction with The Last O.G., in which Morgan’s character returns to the once hardscrabble streets of Brooklyn after 15 years in prison, only to find moms “alkalizing” their tots with seaweed and hipsters expounding on Michelin starred vs. Michelin rated. 

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We Went Station to Station Trying to Score the New David Bowie MetroCards

“New Yorkers don’t wait on line for anything, except for David Bowie,” said a woman waiting in line this afternoon for the MTA’s new David Bowie MetroCards.

Available at the booths and most kiosks at both Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street stations, the 250,000 cards feature five images of Bowie from across his entire career, and are in general pretty groovy.

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You Talkin’ to Paul Schrader? Your Chance to Ask the Director About Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

Paul Schrader will be back in movie theaters May 18 with First Reformed, a new one starring Ethan Hawke as a conflicted upstate priest who’s “cut from the same holy cloth as Yukio Mishima or Travis Bickle,” in the words of one review. But let’s face it, it’s Bickle, the mohawked madman from Taxi Driver, that will likely remain Schrader’s most enduring character. Starting May 4, Lower East Side arthouse Metrograph will screen four Schrader films that explore what the director calls the “man in a room” premise, in which a man faces his inner demons and asks the tough questions. Like: “You talkin’ to me?” Schrader himself will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening of Taxi Driver on May 5, and tickets are now on sale. If you go, ask him about filming in the East Village, on a block that, back in 1975, had “developed somewhat of a notorious reputation for seediness and crime.”

Here’s the rest of the “Paul Schrader x 4″ program, direct from Metrograph.

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LES Scores City’s First Public Squash Court

(Photo: Daniel Avila)

When NYU shuttered its Coles Sports Center, we mourned the loss of its squash courts– one of the only downtown places where you could reenact the racquetball scene from Manhattan. Problem solved: The Parks Department today opened a public squash court in Hamilton Fish Park– said to be the first of its kind in the world.

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Listen Up, Maggots: 3 Chances to See the Late R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey died of pneumonia complications on Sunday at the age of 74. The former Marine Corps drill instructor started his acting career as an uncredited helicopter pilot during the famous “Ride of the Valkyries” strike in Apocalypse Now!, but it was another seminal Vietnam war movie, Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, that brought him fame. If you pukes want to reacquaint yourself with his tough-talking character, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, you’ll have no less than three opportunities to enter a world of shit in the coming weeks.

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Bike Messengers Name Tompkins Bench After Biker-Photographer ‘Fast Eddie’ Williams

The attendees of ‘Fast Eddie’ Williams’ bench dedication at Tomkins Square Park, 4/13/18 at 6pm.

Members of the bike messenger community came together in Tompkins Square Park on Friday to mark the naming of a bench for bike messenger and photographer ‘Fast’ Eddie Williams. Friends featured in his 2004 photo book Bike Messengers Life – New York City‘ joined Eddie’s son Nagi, daughter Koko and dozens of working messengers for the service. The beautiful weather allowed for a fitting sun set over the bench that sits opposite the big tree on the south side of the park, a longtime gathering spot for New York bike messengers.

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Anthology Unveils Basquiat-Inspired Film Series Curated By Jarmusch, Fab 5 Freddy, and More

Downtown 81.

A while back we revealed that East Village cultural space Howl! Happening would be presenting an exhibition to coincide with the release of Sara Driver’s new Basquait documentary, Boom For Real: The Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Now Howl!’s neighbor, Anthology Film Archives, sends over the lineup for the film series that will coincide with the exhibit. The cinema is going all out for this one, dividing the series into a two parts. One is dedicated to films by or about Basquiat, as well as some contemporary films; the other features overlooked or personally influential films of the era picked by Driver, hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy, street art pioneer Lee Quinones, author and Lower East Side historian Luc Sante, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and other Basquiat associates who appeared in the Boom For Real. 

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Market Watch: Get Your Totes Ready For Hester Street Fair and Greenpointers Spring Market

Hester Street Fair
April 14, 11am to 6pm at Hester and Essex Streets, Lower East Side.
The Lower East Side’s favorite foodie flea market kicks off this weekend and the lineup looks pretty sick. No, seriously, Pretty Sick, the band led by wunderkind model-musician-Insta-phenom Sabrina Fuentes will be doing a set, as will electro-soul trio JIL. Vendors highlights this season include lightweight shoe designer Rollie; Punto Verde Ceramics, which makes cool constellation dishes; designer/tastemaker Liz Olko; and more. On the food front, there’ll be tacos from LES cafe/ceramics-studio hybrid L’estudio, Chinese bao from C Bao; and, for the first time, free-flowing beer, in the form of Vice’s brew, Old Blew Last.

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Northside, Governors Ball Festivals Make Lineup Announcements

If it’s finally rooftop party season, the summer music festivals can’t be far behind. Today, two of the biggies, Northside and Governor’s Ball, made some lineup reveals.

First off, Northside returns June 7-10, and it just dropped its initial lineup of shows at clubs like Brooklyn Bazaar and Music Hall of Williamsburg. In the mix are Liz Phair, whose box set Girly-Sound to Guyville comes out May 4; model-turned-rapper Chynna; Mogwai-esque instrumentalists Caspian; indie darlings Deerhoof; woke free jazz outfit Irreversible Entanglements; “post-punk’s most surprising success story,” Protomartyr; Brooklyn neo-punk soul duo Oshun; viral subway musicians Too Many Zooz, and many more. Entry for the club shows will be free with a badge (currently $75 and up) or can be purchased a la carte. Northside also revealed its initial lineup of speakers and panelists, which include a host of reps from media and tech companies. You can see that list below.
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‘Johnny’s’ By The Midnight Moan Is a Rollicking Tribute to ‘The Last Dive Around’

Cover art by Tom Fruin.

The Magnetic Fields told downtowners to “be true to your bar,” and that’s exactly what The Midnight Moan does with “Johnny’s,” a song off their new album, Build Up Big Temples. The track, now streaming along with the rest of the album, is a rollicking, anthemic homage to Johnny’s Bar in the West Village, “the last dive around.”

“It became a little refuge for me when I lived on the west side,” explains singer-guitarist Andrew Paine Bradbury. Bradbury moved to New York in 1995 and dived right into the nightlife, writing about bars and restaurants for BlackBook and other outlets (I edited his reviews for NYMag).

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