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It’s Movie Night at The Bowery Mission

(Courtesy Bowery Mission)

(Courtesy Bowery Mission)

It’s not all that often that church pews double as theater aisles at The Bowery Mission’s Lower East Side Chapel but that’s what happened today, as local homeless men sought refuge from the single-digit temperatures.

Staffers set the thermostat above 70 degrees and unspooled a projection screen to show DVDs of The Bible, a 10-part miniseries that aired on the History channel last March. (The Blind Side was screened during a previous film session.) A few dozen men wearing hooded sweatshirts and nylon jackets watched stories of Jesus, Moses and Sampson before a backdrop of Christmas tree garland and organ pipes.
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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.

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