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The Bean Is Expanding Into the Former St. Mark’s Bookshop Space

(Photo: The Bean on Facebook)

As East Villagers fight another Starbucks, a more homegrown chain has announced that it’s expanding in the neighborhood. The Bean, which started in the East Village and now has a place in Williamsburg, is opening its fifth location, at 31 Third Avenue, in the former home of St. Mark’s Bookshop. According to Instagram and Facebook messages, it’s “coming this Fall.”

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This Souped-Up Truck Serves Free Food With a Side of Social Services

Cooper Park residents Guillermo Nunez and Maria Albarado enjoying a free meal © Kasper van Laarhoven

A $340,000 “Angelmobile” has started cruising the streets of North Brooklyn, handing out free meals in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. The state-of-the-art food truck– funded in part by Norman Brodsky, the entrepreneur who drew ire from community activists when he held out on selling his valuable waterfront property for parkland— is more than just a mobile soup kitchen. Inside, it has an office space where a rotating array of neighborhood organizations can dole out social services.

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Alejandro Jodorowsky On Poetry, Psychomagic, and How to Get Free of Trump

Endless Poetry

When surrealist auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky makes a rare trip to New York City— to promote his new autobiographical film, Endless Poetry— you know it’s an occasion. During a MoMA discussion on Wednesday, the spry 88-year-old gave a tarot reading to Daniel Craig; the next evening on the Bowery, there was a party celebrating the release of the film’s soundtrack, composed by Alejandro’s son Adan Jodorowsky, who also stars in it.

Clearly, multi-talentedness runs in the family. Like his 37-year-old son, the elder Jodorowsky has composed music for films in which he has also acted— namely his cult masterpieces, El Topo and The Holy Mountain. At various times, he’s been a circus clown, a puppeteer, a mime, a novelist, a comic book artist, and a practitioner of his own brand of “shamanic psychotherapy,” called psychomagic.

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Bitterness Over St. Marks Starbucks

(Photo: Shannon Barbour)

Hell no, we won’t Frappuccino. 

Nearly 50 residents, small business owners, activists and crusties alike attended an anti-Starbucks rally Thursday evening in the East Village.
The crowd gathered at St. Marks and Avenue A, where the chain plans to open a new store, to discuss what another Starbucks would mean for the community. Increased corporate presence, increased rents, increased tenant harassment, increased property taxes, increased vacant properties, decreased retail diversity, decreased community involvement– the list of fears went on.

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Julie Orlick Debuts Her Surreal Opus, Silent Lovers

Still from Silent Lovers.

Two androgynous sisters, their cheeks caked with jewel-sized tears, embracing in silvery black-and-white. Contrasted against the downtown street, with its storied past muzzled by high-priced developments, this striking portrait, located on Orchard and Broome, provides a rare public glance through a time portal. It’s a strange alchemy conjured by Julie Orlick, a Bushwick-based surrealist who specializes in tintype photography and silent 16mm films. She is currently featured in The Storefront Gallery’s group show “SaveArtSpace: The Future is Female,” which runs until July 16. That same day, Mono No Aware will host her latest film Silent Lovers, in the first of many nationwide screenings, at Brooklyn’s Center for Performance Research. Hers is a world that is at once contemporary and retroactive, populated by mimes, beached sirens, and creatures with only an eyeball for a head.

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Can We Talk About the VitaminWater Jukebox On Bedford Avenue?

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

When Williamsburg longtimer Bliss Cafe closed at the end of last month, Free Williamsburg snarked that it “will be missed when it’s replaced by Zara, or whatever ends up there.” Well, it’s not a Zara, but a little further north, Bedford Avenue has suffered yet another corporate indignity. Currently lodged in the facade of the 101 Bedford luxury apartments, off of McCarren Park, is a VitaminWater vending machine/jukebox.

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LES Stalwart Cup & Saucer to Shutter After 75 Years

Shanna Ravindra for New York Magazine.

Cup & Saucer, a throwback luncheonette that has occupied the same quiet spot on Canal Street for more than 75 years, is likely closing, Bedford + Bowery has learned. The small but much-loved diner — whose iconic Coca-Cola sign and faded retro aesthetic hearken to an older era — is a staple of the Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.

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George Clinton On His Role in Flying Lotus’s Kuso: ‘I Thought I Was On Drugs Again’

Flying Lotus with mic, George Clinton in hat. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

We warned you that Flying Lotus’s debut feature, Kuso, would be one of the grossest, weirdest movies in recent memory. Sure enough, after last night’s Rooftop Films screening an audience member had just one question for FlyLo.

Why?”

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The Museum of VHS Is On Track to Make Its NYC Debut

MoVHS’s display at the Severed film festival.

Though the final VCRs were manufactured in Japan last year, VHS is far from extinct. Forty years after it was introduced, collectors still prospect many a Goodwill and sticky-floored porno shop (this author would know) for rare and collectible tapes. With boutique companies lovingly refurbishing VHS-only films for DVD and Blu-ray, and Alamo and Nitehawk paying tribute, the once-triumphant medium is becoming more widely regarded as integral to cinema history. For the tapeheads behind the Museum of VHS, being kind and rewinding is not just nostalgia, but a way of life.

“Home video is the art form of the people,” claims Matt Desiderio, a founder of MoVHS. “Anyone with a camcorder and blank tape can create.” Desiderio, who runs weirdo imprint Horror Boobs and curates the highly eclectic DVD section of Forbidden Planet in Union Square, teamed up with friends and fellow collectors to create a pop-up exhibit of rare tapes, artwork, and related memorabilia. It’s been a hit several times over, beginning in 2015 at the annual Severed Short Film Competition in Pennsylvania.

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The Water Table Loses Its Dinner Boat, Looks Toward a Cloudy Horizon

Captain Kelli Farwell with the Revolution (Photo: The Water Table Instagram)

In April we shared the sad news that The Water Table’s boat, the Revolution, was hit by a large tugboat, forcing them to postpone their scheduled dinner cruises. Since then, there have been even more setbacks.

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Hightail It to Meowmania, a ‘Cat Party in Brooklyn’

If all that drama between Lena Dunham’s beloved Lamby and a Williamsburg dog shelter turned you into a cat person, we’ve got just the place to adopt one. Oh, but Meowmania!, coming to Pine Box Rock Shop in East Williamsburg on July 22, is more than just an adopt-a-thon. It’s billing itself as “A Cat Party in Brooklyn.” Basically, it seems like the place to be if you want to hang with felines but sipping a cup of sencha at your local cat cafe sounds a little too hygge.

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Summer Streets Hits Astor Place: Food, Mini-Golf, VR, and… a ‘Smell Walk’?

A waterslide at last year’s Summer Streets.

The city’s popular “Summer Streets” program — in which seven miles of New York streets are temporarily turned into pedestrian-only parks — returns the first three Saturdays of August.

Our fair city’s government — or the program’s sponsors, anyway — have spared no expense. The smorgasbord of activities announced at a Department of Transportation press conference on Astor Place this morning includes crowd favorites like waterslides and ziplines — as well as some eccentric new additions, including a “smell walk”; an event described as “a silent disco, but for your tongue”; and the opportunity to bathe in a “giant washing machine.” Yet riding our subways is like participating in the Stanford Prison Experiment. Remarkable.

Anyway: This year’s theme is “the Five Senses,” hence novelties like the smell walk. Created by artist and designer Kate McClean, who previously created “smellmaps” in cities like Amsterdam and Paris, it’s described as “45 minutes of walking slowly and sniffing followed by a 15-minute visualisation exercise to communicate your smell encounters to those who missed the opportunity.” You can RSVP to be one of the 30 lucky smellwalkers here.

In keeping with the sensuous new theme there will also be a greater emphasis on food this year, with “food sessions” organized by New York chef John Mooney of Bell Book & Candle in the Village (known for growing vegetables on its roof). During the culinary silent disco, designed by Daily Tous Les Jours, a Montreal-based “interaction design studio,” participants will dine at a banquet while wearing headphones so their experience can be complemented by a soundtrack and narrator.

The “giant washing machine” will apparently be that — a 30’ wide by 50’ long inflatable washing machine filled with giant plates and utensils that participants run through while being splashed by jets of water. For the more pedestrian among us there will also be mini-golf, a dog park, bouldering walls, and the aforementioned waterslide and zipline, among other attractions.

Astor Place is one of Summer Streets’ designated “rest stops,” and several of the activities — including the “smell walk,” the mini-golf, the interactive banquet/silent food disco, and a virtual-reality tour of Mt. Everest — will be located there.

This is the tenth year of the Summer Streets program, noted speakers at the press conference this morning, who described the program as part of a broader shift in New York toward a more pedestrian-friendly, environmentally-friendly, and creative city. As last year, the main sponsor is Citi.

Summer Streets will take place from 7am to 1pm on Aug. 5th, 12th, and 19th along Park Avenue, Lafayette, and Centre Streets from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. All activities are free; some require advance registration.