The Department of Transportation’s newest pet project has been the DOT Art Initiative, which partners with artists and community organizations to bring some color into this concrete jungle. You might have caught last month’s “asphalt activation” at a Citi Bike docking station in Williamsburg. Now, the DOT has partnered up with New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and the non-profit Hester Street Collaborative to set up a temporary public art installation on the South Street median, starting at Rutgers Street.
This is Happening
The name says it all– at Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, Secret Project Robot will start saying their goodbyes to the neighborhood they’ve called home for the last five years. On Wednesday, July 13 (7 pm to 10 pm) the DIY venue will open the final art show at its current location with festivities and hopefully some booty-shaking to coronate what the SPR community’s calling a “magical realm.”
Today is Wallplay’s last day on the Lower East Side before it has to vacate the premises at 118 Orchard Street, and if you’ll remember, they’re throwing one hell of a farewell party to commemorate their pop-up space, which during its short history added some serious color to the Lower East Side landscape. The best part? Everyone’s invited.
In less than two weeks, Rainbow Hugs and Kisses: a Doomsday Celebration, the final closing ceremony/bye-bye art show at Secret Project Robot, will open as a “greatest hits” celebration of the last five years at their current space, 389 Melrose Street in Bushwick. Rachel Nelson, who co-directs the long-running DIY art and music venue with her partner Erik Zajaceskowski are moving on to their fourth (to be determined) location since the couple started an underground party place in Williamsburg known as Mighty Robot way, way back in 1998.
You’re no doubt already counting down the hours till Independence Day weekend, with its blessed promise of a booze-soaked Monday (and Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…). But don’t waste your precious free day standing in a massive, sweaty crowd all afternoon just to have any hope of glimpsing some fireworks thwarted when some NBA reject stand right in front of you at the last minute. Instead, spend it drinking, partying, and stuffing your face with grilled meats (or grilled meat substitutes), at one of these parties– no screaming toddlers included. Fireworks are overrated, anyway.
Whimsical baked goods? Check. Free drinks? Check. A massive interactive mural with interchangeable bits and pieces you can move around like a giant adult version of a sticker book? Check! Wallplay may not be around much longer to satisfy your LES pop-up needs, but there are plenty of other artist-brand collabs waiting to fill the void. Case in point: Extra Butter. Tonight, the Lower East Side sneaker boutique will be hosting a pop-up event with Argentine-born artist Magda LOVE, who has transformed Extra Butter’s space into a walk-in interactive mural and shop selling LOVE’s paintings, custom stickers, and even furniture designed by the artist.
Let’s be real, it’s been a sticky week. And since the frozen negroni machine has been broken at the Narrows for going on forever, you’re probably thinking, what’s the point of even leaving my fire-escape kiddie pool this weekend? There never is one, truth be told. But there’s something going down this weekend at Alphaville that could turn out to be the next best thing to soakin’ in a plastic tub filled with the champagne of public water and dribbles of your own pee.
Amidst all the pigeon poop, garbage juice, and sundry other mystery substances littering the streets of New York, there are actually some hard-working people out there trying to make this city just a teensiest bit nicer. Sure, you could go the ad-hoc route like this artist who leaves gold spray-painted trash bags lying around. Or, go the way of the city’s Department of Transportation and commission artists to unleash the pretty. Williamsburg is the new recipient of one such beautification project, with a massive painting adorning the ground of Ascenzi Square, in the triangle formed by Roebling Street, Metropolitan Avenue, and N 4th Street.
It’s no secret: New York in the summer stinks. Most of the time, that overpoweringly unpleasant smell is coming from the garbage bags whose contents are slowly cooking, sous-vide style, in the sun. But if you’ve wandered the streets of North Brooklyn or the Lower East Side recently, you may have noticed a flash of gold peeking out from the rat castles that are our city’s trash piles. Those gilded bags aren’t the Department of Sanitation’s newest attempt at urban beautification; they’re the work of Peruvian-born artist Iván Sikic, whose new series “Trashed” aims to call attention to New Yorkers’ relationship with waste.
If this sticky heat doesn’t exactly make you feel inclined to eat, well, you’ll just have to get over that nonsense. Firstly, because no one can survive a juice cleanse and have friends to speak of; secondly, because there are two musically-inclined feasts on the way to your ears and gullet, serving to remind you that solid food is essential to having fun and being fun. Prepare thyself, hungry foodies, for Pizzafest III and CookoutNYC’s Little Big BBQ.