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Who Will Pay New York City Rents? The Robots!

Over a year after hitting the market at $35,000 per month (it’s now asking about $27,000), the retail space in the former Amato Opera House building finally has a tenant. Just not a human one.

The animatronic wastrel you see in the window of 319 Bowery is an “activation” (read: advertisement) for Burrow, a company that’s trying to do for couches what Casper does for mattresses (or, for that matter, what Joybird does for couches). Clearly, Burrow’s founders, a couple of Wharton grads, are hoping the so-called Lord of Leisure becomes neighborhood lore along the lines of Zoltar, over on Second Avenue. But when we texted the brand’s name to a phone number as instructed, his response was a little underwhelming.

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There’s A Little Less Hummus Among Us

Alas, although the openings of Vish on East 8th Street and Levantine chain Panorama this summer increased the amount of hummus among us, something had to offset this influx of chickpeas. It seems the trade-off is popular Lebanese fast-casual dining option Semsom Eatery. The previously lively storefront on Astor Place is now barren and empty, save for a ladder along with a sad McDonald’s cup and some rags resting on a counter by the door. Yelpers have reported the venue as closed down. It’s unclear when the closure occurred, but the eatery was active on social media as recently as August 2. While it’s possible that the Astor Place location of this chain may revive someday, for now, students will have to get their turmeric rice and cauliflower veggie bowls with unlimited toppings elsewhere.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is Teaching the Ramones All Wrong

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is notorious for getting it wrong, sparking yearly lists of snubees. (For starters, Sonic Youth and the Pixies have yet to be honored, though Kim Gordon’s and Kim Deal’s basses are currently displayed in the museum’s Guitar Gallery.) Of course, you can’t always get what you want– unless you’re the Rolling Stones, in which case you get a ton of display space. But you’d think the Rock Hall would at least get their shit straight with bands that have been inducted. Not so with the Ramones.

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Who Had the Most Shred Cred at the US Air Guitar Championships?

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

At the US Air Guitar National Championships this past Saturday, the country’s fiercest air shredders went neck-to-neck to see who’d get the axe. The winners from air guitar qualifiers in 12 cities across the country competed to see who would be crowned the champion and represent the US in the world championships in Oulu, Finland.

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Here’s Why a Judge Mentioned the Marquis de Sade While Dismissing a Lawsuit Against the Pfizer Rezoning

Broadway Triangle

A lawsuit that had temporarily halted the development of the controversial Pfizer Project has been dismissed, clearing the way for developers to build on the southwest corner of the Broadway Triangle in Brooklyn. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of community groups, was an attempt to require the City of New York to study how the residential development might, tangentially, increase racial segregation. Judge Arthur F. Engoron, in his decision, called the suit “well-intentioned, passionately argued, and occasionally produces a glimmer of plausibility.” However, the judge noted that New York City has been experiencing a never-ending “housing crisis” since the end of World War II. To fix this, the priority should be building. “The City needs more housing… a lot more,” he said.

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Video: Smashing Pumpkins Turned 30 With Courtney Love and… the Guy From Sugar Ray?

On stage at the PNC Bank Arts Center last night, Billy Corgan recalled how someone, after the previous evening’s show at Madison Square Garden, asked him why the Smashing Pumpkins were playing their special 30th anniversary show in New Jersey, of all places. He explained that it was because New Jersey knew how to rock, knew how to party, and had supported the Pumpkins early on. (They played Maxwell’s in early 1991, before their debut album, Gish, came out.) Whatever the reason, those who skipped the NYC show to see them at the amphitheater in Holmdel were treated to a lively (semi-)reunion packed with cameos.

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Momo Sushi Shack Begets Chicken Shack

Karaage and waffles (Image credit: Momo Chicken Shack via Instagram)

The ever-popular Momo Sushi Shack in Bushwick has spawned a sister restaurant not too far from its origins. At the corner of Starr Street and Wyckoff Avenue lies Momo Chicken Shack, which opened in late July. Smartly taking note of how much customers loved munching on karaage or Japanese fried chicken thighs at Momo Sushi Shack, business partners Tito Cabrera and Chance Johnston decided to expand the concept into a full restaurant with modestly-priced fare (the karaage is only $9). But perhaps the real star behind Momo Chicken Shack is general manager Valerie Boyle, who helped craft the menu along with Momo Sushi Shack’s chef Izzy Alvarez.

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Performance Picks: Kaufman-Inspired Comedy, Mental Health, and More

THURSDAY

(image via Vow Performance Party / Facebook)

Vow II: Mental Health
Thursday, August 2 at Rose Gold, 7:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors

While it still carries some stigma, mental health has steadily become more and more of a presence in today’s everyday dialogues. This is undoubtedly due to the unfortunate prevalence of mental health issues, many of which have proven to be exacerbated by the current political climate. Even as (and especially) as things get worse, continually talking about it can help. One of the more unique ways you can engage is through Vow, a sex-positive party and performance series “for artists with stigmatized identities or experiences to express themselves freely in a supportive community.” The night is centered around mental health, and features relevant performances by a lineup that includes burlesque performers Regal Mortis, Lucy Risqué, and Miss Sugar Mamasota, dominatrix Venus Cuffs, performance artist Monika Rostvold, and more. Keep Reading »

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Joint Committee! Gov. Cuomo Convenes Team to Legalize Weed

(Screen shot via Chris Cuomo’s Instagram)

Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously referred to marijuana as a “gateway drug” (he’s more of a beer guy), but it looks like he’s finally mellowing out. After commissioning a report that recommended the drug’s legalization, the governor is convening a team to draft legislation for what’s being called a “regulated adult-use marijuana program.” Translation: legal weed. Snoochie boochies, New Yorkers.

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The East Village’s Oldest Tapas Bar Has Left the Building (But Not the Hood)

(Photo: Nai Tapas Bar on Instagram)

The narrow, slightly subterranean space at 174 First Avenue has been home to a tapas bar and flamenco shows since the ’90s, when tapas were described by the New York Times as a “novelty.” The original occupant, Xunta, moved to Williamsburg in 2009 and Nai Tapas Bar quickly took over the dark, date-friendly nook. Now, after eight years, Nai has moved on as well. It plans to reopen on Second Avenue next month.

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Get Your Summer Reading (or Flirting) On With These 9 Book Talks

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

(Image credit: Amazon)

Thursday, August 2 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Darnell Moore, writer and leader in the Movement for Black Lives, brings what’s sure to be a riveting discussion of his new memoir No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America to the Brooklyn Historical Society. The description for his book on his website recounts how three neighborhood boys in Camden, New Jersey tried to set him on fire when he was only 14. In the three decades since that encounter, Moore has gone on to seek solace in the gay community of Philadelphia, justice on the front lines in Ferguson, Missouri, and life in his current home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. In this book, he seeks to understand how that 14-year-old boy not only survived, but became the individual that he is today. Tickets to this event cost $5.

Books Beneath the Bridge: Greenlight Poetry Salon

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