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.
This is Happening
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.
Two years ago when we first caught wind of the the launch of Shwick Market, it was still a dinky affair in out-of-the-way Bushwick. Since then, their effort to highlight made-in-Brooklyn goods has outgrown that location and evolved into a rotating pop-up more than 100 vendors strong, with about 80 percent of wares made right in the borough. (All the rest are still conceived of and designed in New York, even if the fabrics come from far away places).
So what’s a socially conscious individual to do? If you’re self-described “female secret society” GRLCVLT, you invite everyone to an open-bar blowout at Holyrad Studio in East Williamsburg, featuring live performances by local act Edith Pop and comedian Lane Moore’s band It Was Romance. Throw in a letter-writing campaign to unseat Judge Aaron Persky, and it sounds like your typical Wednesday night, right?
Back in 2014 I was exploring Governor’s Island when I came across a strange little wooden cabin on an isolated stretch near the water. Curious, I stepped inside to find a brown typewriter with a long ribbon of paper sticking out. I had no idea what this random typewriter was doing there on its lonesome, but its surprising absurdity– a noisy retro throwback next to my sleek iPhone–was both refreshing and irresistible. Soon I was clacking away, devising a whimsical stream of my thoughts (and, of course, getting frustrated that I couldn’t erase my typos).
A riddle: how do you get all the artists in Bushwick in the same place at the same time? Tell them that everyone is going to be there.
In anticipation of the Bushwick Open Studios, the neighborhood arts festival happening this year in October, photographer Meryl Meisler is trying to get a group photo of every artist who calls the artistically vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood home. To do so, Meisler and writer James Panero, who is curating the project, have put out a call for any artist who is planning on being involved in BOS this October to meet tomorrow at 11 a.m. outside Stout Projects on Meadow Street.
Whether in a club, basement, or bar, most comedy shows are indoors. And that’s fine. But what kind of stuff could happen at a comedy show in a backyard, free from oppressive building structures and rules? If your guess was “a lot of messy stuff,” then you should win some prize from someone other than me, because I don’t have any prizes. However, comedian Andrew Benedict and his sketch group SOAP (also featuring Erin Coughlin, Ben Hosley, and Joel Straley) may very well have created a gem with their “messy backyard show” this Saturday, which promises “all the bits too messy to do indoors.”
What’s being billed as a “16 hour fully immersive, internationally inspired” music and visual art event is coming to a yet-to-be disclosed location near the Jefferson stop, joining Northside and Out in the Streets on the growing list of festivals happening in and around Bushwick this summer. Variance, however, is situated somewhere between Brooklyn’s answer to SXSW and the super-local chill fest known for bringing DIY regulars out of their usual dank, cavernous confines and onto the grassy grounds of Onderdonk House.
Two years ago, like so many of us lost New York City souls, Abby Hertz was disappointed with her sex life. She’d been married for almost a decade, and as a divorcee reentering the dating scene in her early 30s, she started to notice something. Excuse her language, but there was “a lot of fucking without intimacy going on.” Startled, she decided to do something about it. Something that involved a lot of dessert… smothered all over a model’s naked, supine body. She created LUST, “a night of intense intimacy without fucking.”
What’s in a pin? Con Artist Collective, the scrappy community of creative hustlers always busy dreaming up crazy stuff on Ludlow Street, believes it’s just another way for artists to express themselves and the rest of us to have fun sticking funky doodads all over our jackets.