Coney Island was all aglitter Saturday as the 34th annual Mermaid Parade rolled down Surf Avenue and the boardwalk. Amidst the usual semi-naked sirens, less-than-sober pirates and other fishy types (#Netflixandkrill), some paid tribute to the late David Bowie, others honored the victims of last week’s shooting in Orlando, and plenty celebrated Pride early. Click through our photos to have a look at the colorful mix of beauty, activism and buffoonery.
Yesterday, on the same day that the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office revealed that Judge Aaron Persky was removed from a new sex assault case at the request of prosecutors, over 700 letters petitioning for him to be permanently unseated were signed at a “Fuck Rape Culture” party in Bushwick. GRLCVLT’s event at Holyrad Studio drew women and men dissatisfied with the lenient, 89-day county jail sentence Persky handed down for the sexual abuse committed by Stanford student Brock Turner. The response was overwhelming not only because hundreds signed their letters while lined up outside of the packed, 150-capacity studio, but also because of the sheer emotion as women shared their personal stories of sexual assault, and called for an end to the abuse and injustice.
Last night, as part of this month’s Brian De Palma retrospective at Metrograph, the director himself sat down for a Q&A after a screening of his 1970 comedy Hi, Mom!, in which a fresh-faced Robert de Niro plays an “urban guerrilla” who voyeuristically photographs the residents of NYU’s Silver Towers. (Check out the film’s genius opening sequence for a tour of a squalid, $66-a-month Lower East Side apartment.) De Palma said revisiting the film so many years later was “like seeing a lot of old photographs, really— I mean, you see these people you took pictures of when they were in their 20s and now we’re old, old men.”
For Luis Martin, the curator of a small gallery project inside East Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brush Studios called Paranthesis Art Space, this last weekend was the culmination of a yearlong effort, but also an exercise in keeping chill and carrying on. Just a few months before he was set to open Parallel Lives– a double-venue show featuring seven artists who traveled here from Chicago and five who traveled there from New York– it was announced that Bushwick Open Studios was canceling its regular June festivities, and moving its artist-focused event to a later date in October. “When Arts in Bushwick decided not to do the summer event, there was no centrality, no direction,” he said. Like many other artists in the area, Martin said he’d been “counting on the Bushwick Open Studios crowd.”
Marijuana activists marched from West 31st Street to Union Square Park on Saturday, celebrating cannabis culture and rallying for an end to criminalization. Once at the park, Global Marijuana March founder Dana Beal and former High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick took to the stage and regaled the crowd with stories of how far the movement has come. Since Beal thinks Hillary Clinton will be elected in the fall and not Bernie Sanders, whose posters made an appearance at the event, he urged attendees to make “a movement in the streets” and ensure their progress doesn’t go to pot (in a bad way).
After you’re done casting your citizenly duty, you could head to a bar to watch the results roll in, or sit around the apartment refreshing your iPhone every five minutes. What we recommend, however, is to celebrate the finale of New York primary season by hightailing it over to The Debates: New York Primary Performance, presented by Theater in Asylum at The Kraine Theatre. Whether you’re a political junkie, a theater freak, or just kind of curious what all the fuss is about, the show is the perfect capsule of our surreal political culture.
Sprung on us just last week, LCD Soundsystem’s instantly sold-out shows at Webster Hall on Sunday and Monday were warmups for their much-hyped reunion appearances at festivals like Coachella, Bonnarroo, and Panorama. But last night, the band didn’t warm up so much as it blazed through crowdpleasers like “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” and “Us v Them.” Frontman James Murphy announced in January that a new record was forthcoming “sometime this year,” but they didn’t play anything off of it, instead choosing to, well, shut up and play the hits.
Despite the rumors a couple of weeks ago, Beetlejuice 2 isn’t happening anytime soon. But that didn’t stop Bushwick from saying, “It’s showtime!” this past weekend.
At Bizarre on Saturday, local drag king Lee VaLone, aka Lela Graham, turned on the juice and shook loose at the Sinner’s Ball, lip-syncing and dancing to a mash up of Nirvana’s “Breed” and Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line.”
Things always get interesting at the Mr. Lower East Side pageant, a raucous beauty contest for men (last year, in Brooklyn, the winner held up three computers with his penis). But they got really interesting last night, when the pageant returned to its namesake neighborhood for its 17th annual installment.
Anyone who’s ever heard Marc Maron’s WTF podcast knows that comedians are as good at navel gazing as they are at getting belly laughs. It’s pretty much a given that a sad clown lurks inside of every happy one. Listen to enough of those angst-ridden podcasts and, trust me, you’ll get tired of the stories about aloof parents, high school bullies, the loneliness of the road… But here’s one you haven’t heard before: Neal Brennan, the self-described “invisible white one” who co-created and co-wrote Chappelle’s Show, is merging the bellyaching and the belly laughs in a new one man show, 3 Mics, currently playing at the Lynn Redgrave Theater.
Last time we saw Noah Baumbach in the East Village, he was doing a q&a for his film While We’re Young. Today he returns to the hood to film a project that’s being called Yen Din Ka Kissa. According to a flyer posted near the corner of East 5th and Cooper Square, the feature, written and directed by Baumbach, “tells the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist and patriarch Harold’s career retrospective.” Sounds like Baumbach is returning, to some degree, to the territory he explored in The Squid and the Whale, a domestic drama inspired by his troubled childhood as the son of Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Baumbach.
When you see a saxophone on stage at Brooklyn Bowl and know Bill Clinton is moments away from walking on, you have to wonder whether he’s going to go full Arsenio. Sadly, he did not jump in with the Wailers as they performed a couple of Marley hits, “One Love” and “Could You Be Loved,” at last night’s fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. But it’s still safe to say everyone who forked over $250 and up got their money’s worth.