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New LES Cacti Store Meets All Your Cactus Needs

A cult LA cacti store now has a location in New York — at least for the season. So, while the sun shines, check out Cactus Store’s Lower East Side popup site and admire its collection of exotic cacti — which run anywhere from $30 to $4,000, if you’re interested in taking one home and making it your own.

Most of the cacti on display are rare, including a few that are part of a private collection and not for sale. All the plants were shipped from California, but drawn from across the world, especially South America and the American southwest. “True cacti,” as distinguished from related flora, are always from the New World, explained manager Han Wang.

Cactus Store’s collection includes several “mutations” — cacti that have grown into strange shapes — and “grafts,” where two plants fuse together and one plant draws its water and nutrients from the other.

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A Visit to DeKalb Market Hall, the Heathen Food Orgy and New Home of Katz’s

I like food; I dislike crowds. So it was with mixed feelings that I descended the escalator into DeKalb Market Hall, the Albee Square food-court-on-steroids that opened today in downtown Brooklyn.

I arrived on the earlier side of the lunch rush – actually right at the stroke of noon, when civilized people like myself take luncheon – but the market was already bustling with people eager to sample from some of the 40-odd food vendors.

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Industry City Beefs Up With Another Restaurant, This One With Shuffleboard

Pool and shuffleboard on offering. Photo credit: Industry City.

Vincent Chirico, the chef and serial restaurateur behind Coarse in the West Village and Vai on the Upper West Side, opened a new restaurant today in Sunset Park’s Industry City. We got some photos and a copy of the menu.

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Visit a Bodega Where Every Item is Made of Felt. Yes.

Credit: www.sewyoursoul.com

Have you ever fantasized about visiting a bodega where every sale item is an exact replica made of felt? No? Either way, as on June 5, you’ll now have the opportunity.

For your consideration: Next week British artist Lucy Sparrow will unveil her newest art installation– a 1,200-square-foot space she has conjured into an “immersive, fully stocked felt convenience store.” The store will contain 8,000 purchasable items, all made of felt. Snickers bar? Felt. Pack of Marlboros? Felt. Liter of milk? Felt. Bodega cat? Felt, probably.

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Coney Island’s New Vintage Pinball Arcade Is Ready to Roll

The Mystic Machine

Photo credit: Norman Blake

Last week we shared the news that the Coney Island Museum is expanding with a new (playable) pinball exhibition. We’ve obtained more details about the pinball gallery, which had its soft opening yesterday.

“We had machines in the bar being played nonstop,” said Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA and “unofficial mayor” of Coney Island.

Not all the machines are installed yet; by this coming weekend everything should officially be in place.

There are going to be 10 pinball machines – six in the Coney Island Museum storefront and another three or four in the Freak Bar in the lobby of the nearby Arts Center.

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Helvetica, Yeah! Greenpoint Gets a Graphic Design Bookstore

(Photo courtesy of Hamish Smyth, Order)

If you’re the kind of person who delights in debating the relative merits of font serifs or reminiscing about the heyday of subway sign design then you may have a new place to congregate with the like-minded. The founders of Greenpoint-based design firm Order recently opened Standards Manual– to their knowledge New York’s only specialty graphic design bookstore.

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Attention Indie Film Fans: One Week to the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

Picture courtesy of AoBFF17.

Here’s some good news for New York’s numerous indie film fans – the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival is only a week away.

Running June 3 to 12, the festival (acronym, for extra credit: AoBFF17) describes itself as “the ONLY international, independent festival in the world devoted to Brooklyn’s vibrant film and media scene,” and considers films with any connection to the borough.

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Smorgasburg Is Opening a Garden Restaurant at The High Line Hotel

(Photo: High Line Hotel’s Facebook page.)

The folks behind Smorgasburg, Berg’n and Brooklyn Flea are opening a “garden restaurant” at the High Line Hotel, in Chelsea. 180 Tenth was set to unveil its menu to friends and family this evening, but the private preview has been canceled due to the rain.

According to an invite, those lucky enough to have landed on the guest list to tomorrow’s preview will be treated to some “delicious, fresh, simple” food courtesy of head chef Aaron Taber, who has previously worked at Grindhaus and June Wine Bar. Cocktails, natural wine and frozen drinks will be served by Berg’n general manager Jen Watson, who will be the director of food and drink at 180 Tenth.

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After A Long Wait, Chuko Ramen’s Bushwick Location Is Open For Slurping

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

This past Monday, notable noodle purveyors Chuko Ramen began serving dinner in their Bushwick location at 144 Evergreen Avenue. Now, North Brooklynites will no longer have to make their way to Prospect Heights to enjoy a bowl of Chuko’s flavor-packed veggie miso ramen or their celebrated kale salad.
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Hot Diggity: Gray’s Papaya Unleashes New Location

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Earlier this week we brought word that Gray’s Papaya would be opening a midtown location at 612 Eighth Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, making an uptown Papaya pilgrimage just a little easier for those of us who are still mourning the loss, three years ago, of their Greenwich Village spot. (The chain had dwindled down to its original store at 72nd Street.)

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What’s Up With the Giant Spikes Outside of Cooper Union?

Jan Palach Memorial at Cooper Union (Photo: Anaka Kaundinya)

Cube, meet spikes.

The Alamo returned in November and now another piece of monumental art is being installed outside of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. The sculpture, a nine-foot-by-nine-foot cube with spikes mounted on top, is by John Hejduk, an artist, architect and former Dean Emeritus of Cooper Union.

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