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Here’s Everything Olek Swaddled in Yarn Last Year

Last time we saw Olek in action, she was yarn bombing a car in Williamsburg. So where’s she been since then? Just about everywhere, it turns out. The mad crocheter just posted a sizzle reel of her work from last year and in it you’ll see swaddled versions of a statue of El Cid in Seville, Spain (where she now has an exhibit up), a shopping center in Russia, a locomotive in Poland, some half naked people at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, and the amazing Doggie Diner heads on Treasure Island, in San Francisco. Not that any of them beat her experiment in Cubism.

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Shots For Tots! Two Bars Bought More Than 700 Toys For Their Needy Neighbors

20131223-195512.jpgA couple of bars on Avenue C raised more than just a ruckus last night – The Wayland and Summit Bar teamed up to buy over 700 toys for residents of the housing projects an avenue over.

Pete Canny, a bartender at The Wayland, said he was working the bar’s sandwich shop, Animals, when a couple of officers from the adjacent station house mentioned that donations for their annual toy drive were a few thousand dollars short this year. So Canny decided to team up with Pete Chelly, of Summit Bar across the street, to donate an evening’s worth of their tips toward the cause.

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Ring in the New Year With Some ’60s Persian Funk at This Expat Cafe

There’s no Little Iran in New York, but since opening in April of last year, Greenwich Village’s Cafe Nadery has become a social hub for Iranians and non-Iranian alike. Case in point: on New Year’s Eve, Mitra Sumara, one of the bands that played the Yellow Dogs tribute at Brooklyn Bowl, will belt out ’60s funk classics from pre-revolutionary Iran. A ticket gets you some of the “New Persian” dishes New York magazine praised in its review, and a couple of glasses of Prosecco.

If you’ve already got New Year’s plans, don’t worry: the West 8th Street cafe, named after one of the first in Tehran, is always hosting backgammon tournaments, concerts, and art exhibits. Watch our video for a taste of one of Mitra Sumara’s recent performances.

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This Greenpoint High-Rise Gets to Rise Higher, With More Affordable Housing

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

The City Council has agreed to let the developer of 77 Commercial Street stack a total of 35 more stories onto two-high rises bound for the Greenpoint waterfront. In return, the neighborhood will get 200 more units of permanently affordable housing, funding for a park where an MTA parking lot now sits, and — among other concessions — assurances that a WalMart isn’t on the way, Council Member Stephen Levin’s office has announced.
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Remembering Al Goldstein: ‘Pioneer of Free Speech,’ ‘Ralph Kramden of Porn’

(Photo: Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

(Photo: Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

He was arrested numerous times for obscenity and reviled as the devil incarnate by religious figures and feminists. But when pornographer Al Goldstein died at 77 yesterday in Brooklyn, there was a flurry of tributes to his chutzpah and humor, some from people who knew him in 1968 when Screw, his explicit sex tabloid, debuted. (He also presided nude over a cable tv talk show, “Midnight Blue.”)
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Someone Who Hates NYU and/or Loves Philip Seymour Hoffman Paid Almost $10K For an Acting Lesson With Him

The new South Village Historic District.

The new South Village Historic District. (Map: Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)

While the St. Mark’s Bookshop has extended its auction to Dec. 22, Faculty Against the Sexton Plan’s fundraising auction is now over, and someone has paid a whopping $9,950 for an hour-and-a-half-long acting lesson with Philip Seymour Hoffman. For that kind of dough, you presumably have the right to request a sex scene (sorry for that image).
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Gather ‘Round the Festivus Pole

dc38ebf0681111e394a00ef4841a629f_8If you’ve seen the holiday windows at The Bean and East Village Pizza (done by Nicolina’s Paint the Town), then you know they’ve showered the corner of First Avenue and East Ninth in Christmas cheer. But a few doors down, one East Village resident is looking out for the rest of us. With Festivus! Should you want to air your grievances on Dec. 23, you know where to go. (Or you could go to Allen Salkin’s place — the Lower East Sider wrote the book on Festivus, after all.) Just don’t let Fox News find out.

Photo from our Instagram

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Stephen Malkmus and Momofuku Are Making Soft-Serve Pornography Together

tumblr_my03fdjSwc1rljaeco1_1280-11-364x500-customThe folks at Momofuku have always had a huge crush on Pavement (forget the Mega Millions, if you ever dine at one of David Chang’s restaurants without hearing “Shady Lane” we’ll give you $600 million). And now it’s coming to fruition: to celebrate the release of the Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks video we shared last week, Momofuku Milk Bar is doing a “Cinnamon & Lesbians” soft-serve flavor. According to Momofuku, the limited-edition offering will be available at all Milk Bar locations, including the ones in the East Village and Williamsburg, starting Jan. 7.

Matador Records is also psyched about the flavor, and wants you to know the new Malkmus album will stream live here on New Year’s Eve.

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Manatees Are Huge This Year, Says One of These Novelty-Gift Gurus

Whether you’re looking for an inflatable unicorn horn, a MetroCard bow tie, or a Ryan Gosling coloring book, the East Village is just the place to find those preposterous stocking stuffers. If you’re not giving everyone Bowery-scented air fresheners this year and you’re hard-up for last-minute gift ideas, you’ll want to stop into Random Accessories, Alphabets and Exit 9. We recently did just that, to find out what’s on the shelves and what’s flying off of them. For one thing, Charles Branstool, owner of Exit 9, insists the manatee is “the next big animal to go viral on the shopping scene” (sharknado is totally over, after all). Hear all about that above, and hear from the folks at the other fine gift emporiums below.
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