It’s the time of year again, when the venerable Essex Street Market marks its anniversary with an all-out block party, taking over the stretch between Delancey and Rivington with pushcarts, astroturf, outdoor DJs, and delicious food galore. It’s been 76 years and as the longest-surviving market from the La Guardia era, it deserves to celebrate. (To get the full deets on its history, check out our deep dive into its roots. You can also get a free market tour at the party, from Turnstile Tours).
This is Happening
The great giver of free things, House of Vans, has announced they’re teaming up with Rooftop Films (the latter just dropped their 20th-anniversary summer programming) for two undeniably sick events happening next week. The super group of summertime chill times are calling the almost back-to-back affairs “cinematic music events,” and for the low, low price of $0 you too can see two music-centric documentaries followed by performances from Danny Brown, The Casualties, and more. It’s all happening at House of Vans. Read on for more deets.
When you think about classic horror flicks, the word “feminism” probably doesn’t jump out at you– those blood-bathed scenes are usually dominated by hot young women, running around helpless and screaming for their lives. But Spicy Witch Productions is turning the slasher genre on its head in their new repertory season at The Clemente, by exploring the fetishization of violence through the lens of an all-female creative team.
Any show that begins in full blackout long enough for the elderly patron next to me to start murmuring and glancing at the program with the light of his phone screen is one that is going to pique my interest.
Evening – 1910, a new musical written by Randy Sharp and Paul Carbonara (a former guitarist and music director for Blondie), has many interest-piquing factors. Indeed, it began in the pitch dark. It’s an entirely sung-through musical in a quaint and intimate space (the Axis Theater in the West Village) with a live band. It follows immigrants who arrive in the city in 1910. Some are showgirls at a failing variety show theater on the Bowery who dream of finding more fulfilling work, one is a man who enjoys using his camera. Their lives are interrupted by a rich man who intends to transform the theater into a cinema.
On May 20, the 50,000-square-foot Knockdown Center will become the site of a bold new experiment in live performance. Authority Figure, directed by performance/dance/sound artists Monica Mirabile and Sarah Kinlaw, is an immersive and participatory experience exploring themes of surveillance, authority, and obedience. Appropriately vast in scale, it features over 150 performers (including a child and a pregnant woman), and has been created with six choreographers, seven installation artists, and six musicians, including local faves Pictureplane, SOPHIE, and Hot Sugar.
Lucy Hearn recently did what so many musicians and artists before her have done when she made the big move to New York, hoping to find a bigger audience and a more “intense” environment. But instead of leaving Sydney, Australia behind in a flurry of middle fingers and broken shot glasses, Hearn (who fronts an indie pop band called Fieldings) is taking a piece of her hometown with her.
As an active member of the scrappy arts community in Sydney, she founded Strange Cuts, a rotating event that functioned as a live-music space, homemade goods market, and art show. On Saturday, May 21, at Secret Project Robot, Hearn and her organizing partner Caitlin Pasko of Drunken Piano, will host the very first Brooklyn Strange Cuts. It’ll feature performances by Fieldings as well as a slew of other local bands like Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk. Plus, there’ll be visual art and cool things to throw your money at brought to you by independent purveyors of handmade objects, garments, and book things.
If you care about the gold rush sweeping Brooklyn and you haven’t been listening to WNYC’s There Goes the Neighborhood podcast…well, you must be living under a rock (or maybe in Tribeca). The eight-episode capsule podcast, hosted by The Nation‘s Kai Wright, is required listening. From studying landlord and developer tactics to understanding people’s complicated relationships with their homes and neighborhoods, it goes beyond the constant stream of tenant harassment cases to really try to make sense of the historical and social context around the recent developments in the changing the city.
Will it be as uplifting as the impromptu tributes across New York City or the Purple Rain Day second line in New Orleans? It remains to be seen, but Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has announced that he’ll host a celebration of Prince this Friday at Fort Greene Park. A press release promises three hours of his music, followed by an 8 p.m. screening of Purple Rain.
Coming your way faster than you can say “wayward seed deluge,” it’s the second iteration of what’s indisputably the artiest smut fest the world over. The NYC Porn Film Festival is returning June 4 and 5), uniting an actually-smart postmodern exploration of porn with an earnest, non-binary, non-heteronormative, super sex-posi celebration of sex on film.
This year, the organizers say they’re once again dedicated to “exploring human sexuality through art, audience participation, parties, live performance, film, virtual reality, and sex technology.” Even if it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be seeing Miley Cyrus on the bill again this year, there will be plenty else to set fire to your loins.
While Bushwick Open Studios is fighting back against the bro-vasion of a festival that started out, anyway, as a means of celebrating local artists and the neighborhood where they live and work, Greenpoint Open Studios has remained the nerdy (not actually related) little sister that never had to tell corporate bandits and party promoter tagalongs to beat it. We’re guessing this has something to do with the G train– whatever it is that’s holding back a heavy influx of too many non-art and non-Greenpoint related interests, keep doing what you’re doing.
OK, so there are a fewwww sponsored things going on this year at GOS, but the greedy capitalist overlords in this case are, like, a potato chip maker and Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. (oh, and one advertising interest, but we’ll get to that later). We’d be crazy to hate on free salty snacks and local beer! But remember: it’s all about the art and more than 300 local artists and their often pretty cool studio spaces.
The last time we saw Nasa Hadizadeh of Alt Space– the IRL art and fashion hub of Alt Citizen– it was January and she and her crew were so, so ready to cram their stuff inside a baby blue short bus and escape winter early by way of an enviable jaunt across the country. That’s exactly what Alt Space did after closing down its Montrose Avenue incarnation. Now, after a few months and some bumps along the way (including a broke-down bus), they’ve returned to Brooklyn with a whole new lease on pop-up life.
Its awning says Second Time Around is a thrift shop, but it doesn’t have all that much clothing on its shelves, and this weekend there won’t be any on its staff, either. On Saturday night, workers at the Bushwick store will actually be figure models, performing naked as part of artist Michael Alan’s Nude Thrift Shop. They’ll be painted by the artist until the place becomes a “naked, oozing painted weirdo shop” — and to top it all off, the backyard will host “a kiddie-pool naked dance party.”