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You’ll Never Guess Who Just Came Out Against Valentine’s Day (Hint: Some Strip Clubs)

Valentine’s Day is a beautiful, beloved celebration of life-affirming romance and no one would dare say otherwise, right? Well, get this: A group of Manhattan strip clubs are going out on the edge and totally thumbing their noses at this time-honored tradition by throwing an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party. Talk about tipping sacred cows!

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Week in Film: Polish Mermaid Strippers, a ‘Shapeshifting’ New Leftist, and More


The Lure
Friday February 10 through Thursday February 16 at IFC Center: $14

This beautifully shot, futuro nightlife fantasy flick is sort of like a glammed-up, femme-fatale version of Splash, only the mermaids here are hardly damsels in distress. These sister mermaids are flesh-eating fish people with vampy tendencies. They have the same power to entrance and, well, lure that sirens are supposed to have, but that somehow American imaginings have left out (Puritans, ughhh). I guess it took some Catholic guilt and Polish imagination to get this darkened-disco retelling of The Little Mermaid off the ground. IFC writes, “One sister falls for a human, and as the bonds of sisterhood are tested, the lines between love and survival get blurred.”

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Williamsburg Attempts to School Betsy DeVos

The first few days of Betsy DeVos’s tenure as education secretary have been, well, rather grisly (get it?). Protesters briefly blocked her appearance at Washington, D.C. school this morning. Meanwhile, over in Williamsburg (Brooklyn, not Colonial), everyone’s favorite deer-in-headlights face has made its way onto a subway ad for the Bravo show, Imposter. Note the “Alt-Right Punks Fuck Off” sticker affixed to the poster. Scrawled next to it is what’s clearly a message for Gavin McInnes, the “Western nationalist”, anti-feminist, anti-masturbation advocate whose recent appearance at NYU touched off a storm that ended in 11 arrests and some beef with Thurston Moore. Who knows whether McInnes will actually see this, since he recently moved from Williamsburg to the burbs. Either way, add it to the growing palimpsest of anti-Trump graffiti.

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Rat-ical Terrorism in a Jared Kushner Building; Food Fest at Essex St. Market

A Jared Kushner-owned building in Williamsburg is having a bit of a vermin issue, judging by this video of a mouse in a baby’s crib. [Gothamist]

A six-story office building in Williamsburg just sold for $30 million. [Real Estate Weekly]

And some Israeli investors just bought a Williamsburg loft building for $56 million, with plans to make it more “high-end.” [The Real Deal]

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Henry Chalfant’s Golden Age ‘Graf Writers’ Speak

Henry Chalfant, "Mad PJ" 1980 (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Henry Chalfant, “Mad PJ” 1980 (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Long before Gordon Gekko’s bimbo cousin was inaugurated in January (no doubt aided by doing the best impression of Ronald Reagan he could muster), trend pieces had picked up a scent that hinted which way the wind was blowing. It had notes of burnt hair and overcooked mini vegetables on the nose, followed by white wine spritzer, and finished with a robust whiff of Misty Slim Lights and the lingering, chemically after-stank of cheap knockoff perfumes like “If you like Giorgio you’ll love PRIMO!” Then, the elections made it official: the ’80s are back, baby.

It might have smelled delicious, but the Decade of Greed wasn’t exactly a superbly excellent time for everyone involved. But for all the negi vibes–magnified in New York City by an extreme wealth gap– the ’80s produced some truly inspiring art, and the best of it came from a thriving, vibrant underground. During this time, graffiti reached its “golden age,” as a recent photography exhibition, Henry Chalfant: 1980, reminded us, and it wasn’t long before graf became a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

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Gowanus-Based Threes Brewing Tries Greenpoint On For Size

(Photo courtesy of Threes Brewing)

(Photo courtesy of Threes Brewing)

Cassette closed (or got “mangled in the tape deck of Greenpoint,” as Eater put it in a headline) back in November, but we’re happy to report that Gowanus-based Threes Brewing is taking over the French-Catalonian spot’s handsome home for a pop-up that could just become permanent.

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New Yorkers, Stop Being Babies About the Plastic-Bag Tax

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

A five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags is looming over New Yorkers, and many of us seem to be worried that a touch of mindfulness about unnecessary waste is going to turn us all into linen-pant-wearing, hybrid eastern spirituality weirdos who are really pumped up about goji berries. 

Relax.

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Raymond Pettibon Breaks Out From Behind the Black Flag Bars, at New Museum Show

Lobby installation. (All art by Raymond Pettibon, all photos by Daniel Maurer)

Lobby installation. (All art by Raymond Pettibon, all photos by Daniel Maurer)

As he introduced the new Raymond Pettibon retrospective, New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni admitted that he first became aware of the artist via his album covers for the Minutemen, Black Flag, and Sonic Youth. While we’re in confession mode: I still think of Pettibon mainly as the brother of Black Flag frontman Greg Ginn and the creator of the punk band’s iconic logo. But “A Pen of All Work,” which opens today, is further proof that the artist is far more than just a nihilistic doodler whose work has been “displayed” by skaters and punks sporting Six Pack t-shirts.

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Bejeweled Opera, Empowering Blurred Lines, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image courtesy of Hallie Haas)

(image courtesy of Hallie Haas)

Masterpiece Classic: Women in Art
Wednesday, February 8 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $7

It is generally agreed upon that art is Good. However, the art world is where things get a little more polarized. This new character-based show by comedian and actress Hallie Haas takes on the type of people who consider themselves high and mighty creators, the type of people who take themselves reeeeeeally seriously. The premise is that Laura Linney, of course, has gathered together seven of the most sophisticated and acclaimed women artists for an evening that feels a lot like a certain public access television show. Only probably a lot weirder. Especially considering Haas will be playing every character. This spoof on PBS classics feels especially timely, considering I just got an email asking me to sign an online petition so that Donald Trump doesn’t get rid of PBS Kids. Please, think of the children. And the art.

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City Doesn’t Have Greenbacks For Rehab of Sara D. Roosevelt Park

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.

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