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Another Sex Toy Company Says MTA Advertising Jerked Them Around

(image courtesy of Dame Products)

These days, trains are delayed often enough for you to get a good look at whatever advertisements emblazon the subway walls. You might see ads for luxury scrubs or the city’s $15 minimum wage rollout, or perhaps ones for breast augmentation, birth control, or pitches for erectile dysfunction meds featuring limp cacti or simply the words “erectile dysfunction meds.” But you won’t be seeing ads for sex toys, as Dame Products has become the second sex toy company to have their ads considered and subsequently rejected by the MTA. Keep Reading »

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Grilled ‘Rhode Island-Style’ Pizza Has Come to New York… or Has It?

(Photo: Melissa Hom for NY Mag)

New York City is getting less and less jingoistic where pizza is concerned. First we got St. Louis-style pizza in 2012 with Speedy Romeo, then “Wisconsin-style” that same year with Nicoletta, respectable Chicago-style with Emmett’s in 2014, and, of course, Detroit-style with Emmy Squared in 2016. If you thought the next carpetbagging crust would be Connecticut’s famed apizza (shoutout to Frank Pepe!), you were wrong. Instead we get… Rhode Island-style?

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Performance Picks: Exponential Festival, Comedy, and Sex Work

(image via Exponential Festival / Facebook)

The Exponential Festival
Now through February 2 at various venues, various times: $20

The Exponential Festival is a little different from the many theater festivals setting up shop in venues across the city this month. It’s exclusively based in Brooklyn, the material it champions is a little weirder and genre-expansive than what you might typically think of as “theater,” and it runs longer, which means both more shows (a dizzying array, really) and more chances to see them. Some highlights include a new short play by Athena playwright Gracie Gardner, a double bill of comedy from Justin Linville and David Perez, a play based on the Talmud and Kung-Fu films, a dystopian psychosexual musical with a disco soundtrack, an intimate show involving one audience member and one performer, and A Doll’s House, Part 3.

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After ‘Living Illegally,’ Rapper Capital Ode Can Now Rep His Roots

(Courtesy of Capital Ode)

Among dozens of CDs, birthday cards, and posters, a few hats hang on Capital Ode’s Far Rockaway bedroom wall. “Every single place that I’ve been in really contributed to who I am in some way,” says the rapper and DJ, pointing to a few hats that stand out to him. “There’s a Toronto [Maple Leafs] hat up there, there’s a Marlins hat up there – Florida Marlins, not the Miami Marlins.”

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Art This Week: Traumatized Clowns and Reducing Food Waste

Joel Osteen (Jessie Pierrot) part 1, 2018
Single Channel Video

Holy Fools
Opening Wednesday, January 9 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 3.

Clowns are perhaps one of the most polarizing figures on this green earth. Some people have a literal phobia of them, some find them distasteful, some chuckle at them, some employ them, some become them, and some make art about them. One of the art world’s more notable clown-based endeavors is Bruce Nauman’s 1987 piece Clown Torture, featuring a slew of video displays portraying “an absurd misadventure of a clown” that’s both morbid and humorous. Over three decades later, artist Ondine Viñao is putting her own spin on this work in an exhibition at Rubber Factory, recruiting four all-female clownish performers to stage their own mishaps, mixing both trauma and folly. Keep Reading »

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With L Shutdown Averted, Debate Over All Those Extra Buses and Bikes

(@sloaneklevin on Instagram)

Since Governor Cuomo announced last week that the MTA would scrap its total L-train shutdown in favor of a new plan involving the closure of just one tunnel at a time on nights and weekends, the mood has been a little bit celebratory and little bit WTF. Among other things, New Yorkers who had been ready to see their commutes descend into stygian chaos are now wondering what will happen to all those promised ferries, buses, and bike lines. Some still want ’em, others most definitely don’t.

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Governors Ball Drops 2019 Lineup: Strokes n’ Folks

(Photo: Daniel Leinweber – Razberry Photography)

After a rainy installment last summer, Governors Ball is back with its 2019 lineup. Headlining the three-day food-and-music fest on Randall’s Island this year: Tyler, the Creator gets top billing on Friday, May 31; Florence + the Machine will close things out on Saturday; and the Strokes, who last played the Ball in 2016, will wrap up the whole shebang on Sunday.

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At Kellogg’s Diner, Mediterranean Migrants Got a Piece of the Pie

Kellogg’s Diner, November 2018.

The idea of a good life for Irene Siderakis was being able to stay at home with her four children. She got to live that dream until her husband, Christos, died suddenly in April, leaving her to run the 24-hour Williamsburg diner they owned together. Life has a way of throwing things at you, she told me one November afternoon, standing behind the counter. Clad in black, she wore no adornments, save a pair of pearl earrings, and teared up as she recounted Chris’ burial at the Antonopoulos funeral home in Astoria, where the line of mourners snaked around the block. Irene had no time to grieve. Someone needed to take the reins at Kellogg’s, one of the oldest and busiest diners in Brooklyn.

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72 Hours of New Year’s Parties, 5 of Them at Venues Now Gone For Good

New Year’s Eve was the day the music died for venues Hank’s Saloon in Boerum Hill, Continental Bar in the East Village, Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village and nightclubs Cielo in the meatpacking district and Output in Williamsburg.

Between them, almost every genre of sound was represented including punk, hardcore, country, jazz, classical, house, techno and lots of spoken word. Though Continental Bar hasn’t hosted live music in years, I still felt it there from when I hung out starting in the ’90s (the stage was taken out in 2006). Though it got tough reviews when it switched to focusing on shot specials, I’ll always remember it as the free-for all punk clubhouse that hosted Murphy’s Law Halloween for years.

Hank’s Saloon kept up that tradition in Brooklyn as it became one of the few hard-rock stages in the borough following the closures of Grand Victory, AcheronDon Pedro’s, and Bar Matchless. They also shuttered last Saturday ahead of the building’s demolition, but thankfully for music fans owner Julie Ipcar plans to re-open this month above Hill Country’s new food court nearby, with bigger capacity and new sound system.

Though it is a literary as well as musical landmark, words can almost not describe the loss of Cornelia Street Cafe after 40 years in the Village. When I spent time with owner Robin Hirsch for the Cafe’s 40th Anniversary last year, he summed up the words spoken there as “the Greenwich Village coffeehouse conversation” in a place he described as “America’s bohemia.” Hirsch’s friend and legendary jazz composer David Amram played the venue’s final New Year’s Eve concert ahead of its closure the next day. When Amram, along with his band, raised his glass at midnight he said, “This is not a farewell but a celebration of Cornelia Street Cafe In Exile’s birthday and to the next 41 years of its life.” He then struck up a song starting with that line and the spirit in his 88-year-old voice soothed the audience members as they measured what they would lose the next day without the cafe.

Cielo and Output both went out with bangs as the house and techno beats kept their uber-hip crowds dancing well into New Year’s Day. Cielo was launched 15 years ago by DJ Nicolas Matar, who then followed up with Output in 2012. It became NYC’s “absolute best” nightclub. I was able to photograph the staffs of both and after talking with them, many of whom had worked for the full tenures of the clubs, I discovered that they genuinely loved their jobs and how the work families formed there were their biggest losses next the venues themselves.

Taken in the context of the rest of the night’s major parties– including JunXion’s New Dawn at Brooklyn Bazaar and Bang On!’s Time & Space at Knockdown Center– these portraits show the loss of these venues in real time as the rest of the parties raged on around them. My 72-hour New Year’s journey can possibly be summed up from my 3am drive from Cornelia’s emotional concert in the Village to two house parties in South Brooklyn. Going from a room full of tearful seniors citizens in the classic New York bohemia to the beer-soaked youth in a culturally expanding outer-borough that’s not focused on the past gave me pause. As much as I wanted to blast my memories towards the new “cool” kids, I held back, hoping that these old acquaintances would come towards these young minds naturally, just as they did mine.

6pm at The Lot Radio pop-up, Times Square

DJ Eli Escobar (left) with staff during the final sets of its Times Square residency:

8:30pm at Output, Williamsburg

VIP door manager Rene Harriman (top, third from left) with his fellow staff before opening up for the venue’s final night:

First attendees on line to see John Digweed’s NYE show on Output’s final night:

9pm at Continental Bar, East Village

Patrons having their final shots before NYE:

9pm at Coco 66, Greenpoint

Bartenders Jodi and Nicky (first and second from right) as they served pre-gamers:

9:30pm in Greenpoint

Brooklyn Wildlife’s Chris Carr with Gamba Forests’s Melissa Hunter Gurney (middle row, third and fourth from right) during their New Years Eve showcase:

9:30pm at Cielo, Meatpacking District

Manager David Mitchell with his staff before their final Saturday shift ahead of their NYE closure:

10pm at Easy Lover, Williamsburg

Co-owner Aaron Koen (center) with his DJs as he started up his NYE karaoke party:

10:45pm at Con Artist Collective, Lower East Side

Artist Wizard Skull (bottom right) with his fellow partiers:

3am in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Chris and Melissa Detres’ lingerie and pajama slumber party at their home:

4am at Hank’s Saloon, Boerum Hill

Owner Julie Ipcar (lower photo, center) with patrons during her bar’s final last call:

4am at Brooklyn Lodge, Kensington

Doormen Tevin and Taylor Baily beside the venue’s VIP room with organizers Alex Neuhausen and Robin French (back, second and fourth from left):

Attendees of the New Year’s Masquerade:

5am at Knockdown Center, Maspeth

Attendees of Bang On!’s Time+Space NYE pary .

6am at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint

Partiers at the conclusion of JunXion’s New Dawn NYE party:

At 6am, the Orijins crew closing out JunXion’s New Dawn NYE party:

At 6:30am, founder Myk Tummolo (right pic) alongside artist Michelle Joni (left pic) and his crew (center) as they boarded their bus:

6:45am in Bushwick

After-partiers Rhiannon Catalyst, Dave Gelles and Miller Pyke as they walked through the neighborhood:

8am in Williamsburg

(L to R) Aleks Craine, Mike Trotter and Penny Lane alongside their partiers at the conclusion of Eris Evolution’s, SOUP NYC and G House NYC’s Metropolis Ball in Williamsburg:

12pm at Cornelia Street Cafe, West Village

Owner Robin Hirsch (center) with jazz legend David Amram’s band and family toasting the eve of the restaurant’s closing day:

12:30pm at The Lot Radio, Greenpoint

Soul Clap’s Eli Goldstein and The Lot Radio’s Tara Wight (l and r) as they reopened the station’s Greenpoint home after its Times Square residency:

3:30pm at House of Yes, East Williamsburg

DJ Penny Lane (top pic, second left) finishing her second New Year’s set in Bubble and Bass’s Onyx Room alongside partiers including Emily Plaskett’s pooch Meatball (right pic, center).

The conclusion of Bubble and Bass’s Seize the Day 2019 party at House of Yes:

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Performance Picks: Three Theater Festivals and Quit-Happy Comedy

A scene from Chambre Noire, running January 10-13 at The Public Theater as part of The Public’s 15th Annual Under the Radar Festival. Photo Credit: Benoit Schupp

Under the Radar Festival
Now through January 13 at The Public Theater (some shows at offsite venues), various times: $30

Yesterday marked the start of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, which showcases new performance from around the globe and is now in its impressive 15th year. While most of the shows take place at The Public, some are staged elsewhere, from Chelsea’s SVA Theater to The Met. Festival loyalists may recognize some familiar names—Peter Mills Weiss and Julia Mounsey’s [50/50] old school animation, a monologue-based work about violence that’s hard to adequately describe, also appeared as part of UTR’s smaller fest-within-a-fest last year, but is chillingly compelling enough to warrant a repeat viewing. Other highlights include creative storytellers James + Jerome filling the halls of The Met with their music-laced tales, multimedia puppet-centric riffs on both Frankenstein (Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein) and Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas (Plexus Polaire’s Chambre Noir), an evening with darkly odd comedian Lorelei Ramirez, and more. Keep Reading »

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Kidnappers, Quacks, and Go-Go Boys in One of Jared Kushner’s Buildings

This week, we continue our series of deep dives into the histories of storied addresses.

Death! Destruction! Dutchmen! The history of one intersection in the East Village features murders, kidnappings, and a few famous names. Now the Spotted Owl Tavern occupies ground level at the northwest corner of Avenue A and 13th Street, the latest in a long line of bars at that location. There’s been a watering hole in that space (well, a saloon or maybe a bierpalast or a nightclub) for over 125 years, exempting, legally speaking, the unfortunate period between the 18th and 21st amendments.

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Art Exhibitions To Start 2019 With

Image: Logan T. Sibrel, ‘Best-Case’, 2018, Pencil on paper, 6.75 x 5.25 in. Courtesy the artist. (image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Better Loser
Opening Friday, January 4 at Leslie-Lohman Project Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 6.

It’s the new year, and most of us are probably reflecting on what we did over the last 365 days and what we can do to at least be marginally better. Rather than dream up a more perfect being, artist Logan T. Sibrel prefers to focus more on the flaws and complications of being alive, making drawings depicting people who are acting difficult, awkward, aroused, and sometimes all three at once. Deemed “a serious joke,” his mixture of words and images are reminiscent of a sort of existential comic book. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to finally think of a resolution, or maybe just to ditch the concept entirely. Keep Reading »