The rooftop of the William Vale Hotel isn’t finished yet—right now the floor is covered in some kind of black canvas—but I hardly noticed that when I was 21 stories up, with the Manhattan skyline to the west and all of North Brooklyn surrounding me. Across the river, this altitude is nothing (the Flatiron building is 22 stories, for reference) but in Williamsburg it’s pretty mindboggling.
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.
Last week following a traffic incident in Williamsburg, the two cyclists in this video allegedly choked a bread truck driver and whipped him with a bike chain during a middle-of-the-night fight that partly occurred inside Union Deli & Grocery. [DNA Info]
It’s only been about a year and a half since the closure of Glasslands Gallery, the other DIY venue on the Williamsburg waterfront– the one that was the button-down oxford (second-hand, but you couldn’t tell) to Death By Audio’s torn-up band tee. It wasn’t so surprising– after 8 years of hosting indie rock, R&B, techno, you-name-it shows in their cavernous, blackened industrial confines, their neighborhood along Kent Avenue no longer felt like the “forgotten backwater” it did when they opened in 2006. Today the Glasslands team announced that it’s returning with a new venue in East Williamsburg, Elsewhere, set to open this fall– and it’s not just any old ramshackle DIY establishment, but a 24,000-square-foot affair in a former warehouse. It’ll be #blessed with $3 million worth of pure sparkle, including a sprawling roof, food and drink service, and an adjacent art space.
A group of a dozen small business owners and community advocates from Bushwick gathered at Esmeralda Valencia’s restaurant on Myrtle Avenue this morning with an alarming message on posterboard: “Los pequeños negocios nos declaramos en crisis”—We small businesses declare ourselves in crisis.
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.
It was difficult to ignore the fluttering signs at last week’s Bushwick Community Plan meeting. Sure, they were black-and-white, only about as big as two sheets of computer paper and just as flimsy, but there were tons of them. As City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal touted their community-driven alternative to developer-led change, almost everyone sitting in front of them seemed to be holding a flyer reading: “EVICT THE RICH.” The rallying cry may have been more Mao Tse-tung than #BushwickBerners, but the Brooklyn Solidarity Network (BSN) couldn’t have been more serious.
Erin Markey: Humping A Gatorade Bottle
At The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, West Village. 9:30pm. $15 plus a two drink minimum. More info here.
Performance artist/comedian/writer/singer/actress/my friend Erin Markey is always a pleasure to watch onstage. Her cabaret shows at The Duplex and Joe’s Pub are full of strange and compelling life stories, odd characters, impressive voice work, jokes you might not realize are hilarious until five seconds after they’re told, and some very nice singing. This show, with the truly memorable subtitle of Humping a Gatorade Bottle, is sure to be no less wonderful and intriguing, in addition to being a “heartwarming crossfit program.” Now that’s what I call one-stop shopping.
At this point, everyone has tried the ramen burger, tried to try it, or tried to make it– if they weren’t already over it before the hype began. Next, please! The crew at Osaka Grub, a Japanese street-food stall that opened yesterday at Essex Street Market, may have have found a way to replace the burger-sized hole in your heart (and stomach). Enter: the okonomiyaki slider.
“We just ended 20, almost 21 years of selling records in New York City,” said Chris Vanderloo, co-founder of Other Music.
Taj Patterson, the 20-something who was attacked by a homophobic mob of Orthodox Jewish Williamsburg men in late 2013, filed a lawsuit against the city and the NYPD. [Gothamist]
Students at EBC High School for Public Service netted $235K in funding to help bring Broadway in Bushwick back to its former glory. [DNA Info]
In the past year, median rents within a five-block radius of the Bedford Avenue L stop have dipped 11.4 percent. [Brick Underground]
It was about a year ago that Brooklyn filmmaker Alex Ross Perry released his latest, about some female friends who retreat to a cabin after a woman’s relationship doesn’t end well. Now he’s appearing in a film in which a group of guy friends retreat to a cabin after their bro’s relationship falls apart. Needless to say, Joshy, directed by Jeff Baena (Life After Beth), contains way more dick jokes than Queen of Earth, as you’d expect from a largely improvised film in which comics Nick Kroll and Brett Gelman play coke-snorting, prostitute-hiring wingmen. But don’t mistake this for an Apatow knockoff– it’s actually a nice balance between the Rich Dicks shtick for which Kroll is known and the sad-sensitive mumblecore for which Perry is know.