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There’s A Little Less Hummus Among Us

Alas, although the openings of Vish on East 8th Street and Levantine chain Panorama this summer increased the amount of hummus among us, something had to offset this influx of chickpeas. It seems the trade-off is popular Lebanese fast-casual dining option Semsom Eatery. The previously lively storefront on Astor Place is now barren and empty, save for a ladder along with a sad McDonald’s cup and some rags resting on a counter by the door. Yelpers have reported the venue as closed down. It’s unclear when the closure occurred, but the eatery was active on social media as recently as August 2. While it’s possible that the Astor Place location of this chain may revive someday, for now, students will have to get their turmeric rice and cauliflower veggie bowls with unlimited toppings elsewhere.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is Teaching the Ramones All Wrong

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is notorious for getting it wrong, sparking yearly lists of snubees. (For starters, Sonic Youth and the Pixies have yet to be honored, though Kim Gordon’s and Kim Deal’s basses are currently displayed in the museum’s Guitar Gallery.) Of course, you can’t always get what you want– unless you’re the Rolling Stones, in which case you get a ton of display space. But you’d think the Rock Hall would at least get their shit straight with bands that have been inducted. Not so with the Ramones.

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Who Had the Most Shred Cred at the US Air Guitar Championships?

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

At the US Air Guitar National Championships this past Saturday, the country’s fiercest air shredders went neck-to-neck to see who’d get the axe. The winners from air guitar qualifiers in 12 cities across the country competed to see who would be crowned the champion and represent the US in the world championships in Oulu, Finland.

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Here’s Why a Judge Mentioned the Marquis de Sade While Dismissing a Lawsuit Against the Pfizer Rezoning

Broadway Triangle

A lawsuit that had temporarily halted the development of the controversial Pfizer Project has been dismissed, clearing the way for developers to build on the southwest corner of the Broadway Triangle in Brooklyn. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of community groups, was an attempt to require the City of New York to study how the residential development might, tangentially, increase racial segregation. Judge Arthur F. Engoron, in his decision, called the suit “well-intentioned, passionately argued, and occasionally produces a glimmer of plausibility.” However, the judge noted that New York City has been experiencing a never-ending “housing crisis” since the end of World War II. To fix this, the priority should be building. “The City needs more housing… a lot more,” he said.

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Video: Smashing Pumpkins Turned 30 With Courtney Love and… the Guy From Sugar Ray?

On stage at the PNC Bank Arts Center last night, Billy Corgan recalled how someone, after the previous evening’s show at Madison Square Garden, asked him why the Smashing Pumpkins were playing their special 30th anniversary show in New Jersey, of all places. He explained that it was because New Jersey knew how to rock, knew how to party, and had supported the Pumpkins early on. (They played Maxwell’s in early 1991, before their debut album, Gish, came out.) Whatever the reason, those who skipped the NYC show to see them at the amphitheater in Holmdel were treated to a lively (semi-)reunion packed with cameos.

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Joint Committee! Gov. Cuomo Convenes Team to Legalize Weed

(Screen shot via Chris Cuomo’s Instagram)

Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously referred to marijuana as a “gateway drug” (he’s more of a beer guy), but it looks like he’s finally mellowing out. After commissioning a report that recommended the drug’s legalization, the governor is convening a team to draft legislation for what’s being called a “regulated adult-use marijuana program.” Translation: legal weed. Snoochie boochies, New Yorkers.

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The East Village’s Oldest Tapas Bar Has Left the Building (But Not the Hood)

(Photo: Nai Tapas Bar on Instagram)

The narrow, slightly subterranean space at 174 First Avenue has been home to a tapas bar and flamenco shows since the ’90s, when tapas were described by the New York Times as a “novelty.” The original occupant, Xunta, moved to Williamsburg in 2009 and Nai Tapas Bar quickly took over the dark, date-friendly nook. Now, after eight years, Nai has moved on as well. It plans to reopen on Second Avenue next month.

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Sneak Preview Of the Newly Renovated Film Forum, Opening Tonight

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

Who doesn’t love the Film Forum? The autonomous, non-profit institution first started showing films (foreign, art house, independent, repertory) back in 1970, in a space with 50 folding chairs on the Upper West Side. It moved downtown two years later, and, after a couple of temporary homes in western Soho, settled into its current residence on Houston Street some 28 years ago. So even if you don’t make it over there as much as you’d like to anymore–those cramped seats am I right, ugh!–just the fact that it exists is enough to give you faith that NYC isn’t dead yet, right?

Well, sorry, that’s not going to cut it. Institutions, especially autonomous, non-profit ones like Film Forum, need your physical presence (and money) as well as your affection from afar. And now, thanks to a respectfully-conceived, extremely well-executed renovation of this cultural treasure–it’s been closed for construction since the spring–you can get excited again about actually going here and sitting through a two-plus-hour feature. Here are all the details on this near-miraculous, $5 million transformation:

  • There’s a whole new theater, upping the Film Forum’s total screen count from three to four. And they didn’t cut into any existing theaters, or the lobby, to build it; what’s now Theater Four used to be a loading dock. The new screen will be used for movies with longer-running commitments as well as holdovers of popular titles. This fourth screen will allow the Film Forum to increase its overall number of selections each year by a third.
  • The new seats–more than 500 of them, in all four theaters–are amazing! Made by Spanish design firm Figueras, they’re firm (but comfy), and much wider than their at-times-tortuous predecessors. The spacious, cushioned arm rests, too, are now places upon which you’d actually want to rest your arm. And there’s none of that fuzzy, vaguely disconcerting cloth material going on here anymore; soft, easily-cleaned vinyl is now where it’s at. Also, and crucially, the leg room in each row has been lengthened to a noticeable degree.
  • Just as crucial for your viewing pleasure, each of the old theaters have been re-raked, steepening the grade of the floor to a more stadium-style seating situation. This increases the number of “good” seats in each theater by a large margin.
  • There are two new additions to the lobby, most notably a 10′ x 5′ digital screen hung over the ticket-taker. This will show, among other things, silent, short, specially commissioned “lobby movies” by the likes of David Byrne and Cindy Sherman which you can watch while you wait in line for your theater to open. There’s also new carpeting, which is always nice.
  • Good things that have NOT changed at the new Film Forum: the layout of the lobby, and that funky, zig-zagging standing table; the generous slate of member benefits (their subscription-based model means they never have, nor ever will, accept MoviePass); the commitment to both new and classic movies; and, perhaps most important, the popcorn.
The Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston Street, between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street. Tonight is the grand re-opening, with a full schedule of movies daily from here on out.
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TV On The Radio Will Play Dear Science Live As the Album Turns 10

TVOTR at Rough Trade in 2014. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Is it 2008 again? First Interpol releases a new single, and now this. After moving to Los Angeles, TV on the Radio is heading not just halfway, but all the way home to mark the 10th anniversary of Dear Science. They’ll play the entire album live at the Knockdown Center on Sept. 20.

For various reasons this record means a LOT to us and we’re thrilled have a chance to play it in its entirety, in New York, nonetheless,” Tunde Adebimpe said in a statement. “I’d say it’s gonna be a special night.”

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Michael Jackson Mural Hits East Village as Spike Lee Preps MJ Block Party

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

At the corner of First Avenue and East 11th Street, tourists and residents alike stopped in their tracks, stunned by the mural in front of them. It was a very familiar visage split straight down the middle. The right half of the face depicted an image of a young boy with a relaxed smile, round cheeks and a discernible afro on a white backdrop. The left half, by contrast, showed an older, gaunt face with straight hair and alert eyes on a black backdrop. The faces were further bifurcated into crisp diamonds in all the colors of the rainbow, standing out from the neighboring red brick facades. The face was none other than the late king of pop: Michael Jackson.

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East Williamsburg Club Will Welcome DJs, Drag Kings and Snake Chamers

Galatea Stone and Jon Corbett. (Photos courtesy of Eris)

If you’ve seen the Williamsburg episode of the satirical “What’s the 311?” web series, you know locals are bummed about all the venues that’ve closed: “Shea Stadium… Wreck Room… the White Castle on Metropolitan, when will it stop?” Well, here’s some good news: A pair of party promoters are putting down roots and opening a new multipurpose venue in East Williamsburg.

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