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Maggie Estep Remembered: ‘She Was Vintage, Pure Old-School Punk-Art New York’

maggienewYesterday, we got the sad news that Maggie Estep, arguably the face of the ’90s East Village slam movement, died at 50. Today, we spoke to Bob Holman, who helped propel her to fame as co-director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Mark Pellington, who directed her classic “Hey Baby” video. Here’s what they had to say.

Bob Holman
Maggie came out at the Nuyorican Poets Café when the Nuyorican had just reopened. Slam had just emerged in Chicago and I imported it here – and it became their signature, where the multiculti voices found a home. Maggie’s punk-absurdist, angry-comic voice was a leading edge. I ran the slams, so I was the one who called her up and told her, “Oh, you really are good, you really do have to come back and let us hear some more.”
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A Scaffolding Collapse Cleared First Avenue of Momofukuheads

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

That East River Ferry ramp isn’t the only thing that crapped out today — minutes ago above 177 First Avenue, near East 11th Street, a crew was struggling to untangle a mess of scaffolding that had collapsed on itself. Cops had taped off the area around Momofuku Noodle Bar and Iggy’s Pizzeria, and onlookers watched as workers battled a plastic tarp that was being whipped by the wind. Careful out there, folks!

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Tonight: Free Hot Toddies and Tattoos in Honor of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

abonesThis kind of weather demands a hot toddy, and Otto’s Shrunken Head wants to give ya one. Tonight at 8 p.m., they’re hosting a tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the hard-drinking, voodoo-vamping singer-pianist best known for “I Put a Spell On You” (and not as well known for “Constipation Blues”). Hawkins — who in the ’80s appeared in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train and had a weekly engagement at an East Village restaurant called Jack the Ribber — died 14 years ago yesterday.
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Maggie Estep Has Died at 50

Maggie Estep, May 1994, New York City. (Photo by Bob Berg/Getty Images)

Maggie Estep, May 1994, New York City. (Photo by Bob Berg/Getty Images)

Writer and spoken-word star Maggie Estep has died at the age of 50. A friend tells The Times she died two days after having a heart attack at her home in Hudson, New York.

Estep was a fixture of the East Village slam-poetry scene who rose to national prominence via her grunge-era appearances on MTV and on HBO’s Def Poetry, and went on to perform in front of massive festival audiences.
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The Sex and the City Guy’s New Project Filmed at Matchless Today

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Sex and the City creator Darren Star’s new project, Younger, a half-hour comedy pilot for TV Land, shot interiors today at Matchless in Greenpoint. Two-time Tony-winner Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes) plays 40-ish Liza, who sees her kids off to school in the morning, then heads to the office, where her colleagues think that she’s — wait for it — younger than she actually is.
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Jim Gaffigan, Michael Ian Black, and Ashley Williams Were Filming Gaffigan Today

Michael Ian Black (left) and Gaffigan (up top). (Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Michael Ian Black (left) and Gaffigan (up top). (Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Filming of Jim Gaffigan’s postponed CBS pilot is underway. The officially untitled sitcom — which crew members were referring to as Gaffigan — borrows liberally from the 47-year-old comedian’s life, in the same vein as Everybody Loves Raymond. On the show, Gaffigan will also be a New York dad with five kids. Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother) has been cast as his wife.
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Big Gay Ice Cream Is Serving Up Padma Lakshmi Sundaes

(Photo: Randi Eichenbaum)

Not to be outdone by Stephen Malkmus, Padma Lakshmi is also getting her very own soft-serve flavor. That’s right, Big Gay Ice Cream tweeted earlier this morning that Padma’s “rose ice cream with pistachios and rose-infused whipped cream” is coming this Valentine’s Day. The sundae is a take on a recipe in Padma’s cookbook Tangy Hot Tart & Sweet. Though Padma won’t be in-store doing any meet n’ greets, co-founder Douglas Quint suspects she’ll pop by to sample the creation. He tells us Padma even taste tested some batches last week. Did you taste test batches of your ice cream, Stephen Malkmus?
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Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Work Out Their Roommate Issues, Circa 1997

Graphic by Lindsey Yadon

Graphic by Lindsey Yadon

Wish you’d been able to hang with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey back when they were broke 20-something improv nerds? You can do just that at Under St. Marks next week. Sort of.
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Watch Amy Touchette and The World Famous *BOB* Discuss Their New Photo Book

The Strand has posted footage of last week’s talk between Williamsburg photographer Amy Touchette and The World Famous *BOB*. The duo met backstage at CBGB, then at Bliss Cafe on Bedford Avenue, and eventually spent a year collaborating on what’s now a photo book about the legendary “female female impersonator,” titled Shoot The Arrow. During the talk, *BOB* recalls doing her first burlesque show after her drag mother Jackie Beat told her, “You should mix a drink in your boobs, they’re big enough.”
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Stephen Colbert Still Can’t Get Over That Hillary Clinton Cover

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

At the Apple Store Soho last night, documentarian Ken Burns called the interface on his self-titled new free iPad app a “constellation” of historical events and themes, likening it to the “Planet Hillary” chart that accompanied The New York Times Magazine‘s January 26 cover story. A visibly drained Stephen Colbert — who’d just filmed two episodes of The Colbert Report — perked up when Burns made the reference.
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