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When You Sell Books On the Sidewalk, You Meet Some Characters

Here’s another chapter of Book Hawks, in which we meet the sidewalk booksellers who brave the elements to bring you good reads.

(Photos: Jess Rohan)

D, who asked that we not use his full name, is a poet and fiction writer who sells books on the sidewalk by Union Square. He splits his time between New York and New Orleans, where he does street poetry for people on a typewriter.  

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Skip the Turkey and Spend This Thanksgiving With Unicorns

(via House of Yes)

Weather people are saying the tall buildings on the Thanksgiving Day parade route from Central Park to Penn Station could funnel “frigid wind” straight into the faces of 3.5 million people. Plus, Al Roker will be riding a motorcycle all over the place this year. “He will be very mobile,” the head of NBC’s parade telecast said. Avoid this icy hellscape and the inevitable MTA delays with these Thanksgiving events.

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Spinal Tap Will Turn It Up to 11 For First Time in 10 Years at Tribeca Film Fest

Derek Smalls, the massively muttonchopped bassist for Spinal Tap, just released a solo album titled Smalls Change (Meditations On Aging), in which he ponders the fate of bands that stay together too long: “the drummer OD’d; lead singer got fat; bass player’s on IV, he likes it like that.” Other songs are titled “Hell Toupee” and “MRI” (“50 years of rock-n-roll fun, now I’ve got a bad limp and can’t feel my bum”).

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Williamsburg Water Tower Bar Opens With a $150 Negroni and ‘VIP Elevator’

(Photos: Liz Clayman)

It’s been nearly four years since we first caught wind that The Williamsburg Hotel was planning to install a bar inside of a faux water tower atop its roof, and now that crazy little dream is finally a reality. The Water Tower, as it will henceforth be known, launches tonight atop the hotel’s recently opened pool deck, and a look at the photos indicate this is not the kind of water tower that’s going to give you Legionnaires’ disease.

If you imagined something along the lines of those illicit art parties in a Chelsea water tower, sorry, this place is billing itself as more of a straight-up lounge and nightclub, with regular live acts and DJs. You have to reserve one of the 45-or-so seats by emailing watertower@thewilliamsburghotel.com, and walk-ins are “at the discretion of the door.” If the doorperson doesn’t keep you out, the prices just might: cocktails are $22 to $150 and bottle service starts at $500. Yes, you read that right: there’s a $150 negroni. But, hey, a publicist assures us it’s “really cool” and has truffle-infused Aperol and shaved truffle on top.

As for food, prices range from $20, to $525 for caviar service. We haven’t gotten a look at chef Nic Caicedo’s full menu yet, but we’re told items include a seafood plateau, a bowl of crudite, and a white-truffle grilled cheese on Brooklyn Bread Lab brioche.

I’m just going to quote from the press release here: “The lounge is accessible via a VIP elevator, and colorful murals painted by a local artist line the walls, offering an apt mix of grit and glam that pays homage to the neighborhood’s history.”

You can experience all that grit and glam for yourself Wednesday through Sunday, 10pm to 4am.

Interestingly, thousands of New York City’s actual water towers were built right across the street at the Rosenwach Water Tower Factory. That site was sold in 2009 and is now the site of, you guessed it, another one of Williamsburg’s new hotels, the Hoxton.

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Watch Julian Casablancas Be Lou Reed and Q-Tip Be David Bowie at a Jeans Store

A visit to a jeans store in the heart of Times Square is normally something I wouldn’t subject myself to even if my Spanish cousins had begged me to take them there during the height of their denim-mania in the early ’90s. But when Levi’s throws an opening party for its new flagship and promises performances by Lauryn Hill, De La Soul, Raekwon, and Chic, plus DJ sets from Questlove and Justine D, you’re going to make the trip come hell or high water. (And by high water I mean some nasty slush puddles).

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As Taxis Battle Ubers, a Cab-Friendly Ride-Hailing App Offers a Deal

(Photo courtesy of Waave)

Yellow taxis throughout New York are clapping back against the influx of Uber and Lyft drivers.

App-based cars outnumber taxis by a four-to-one ratio, and yellow cab drivers are complaining about financial strains as a result of decreased business. Earlier this month, 58 year-old Roy Kim hanged himself in his home, becoming the eighth taxi driver to commit suicide in the past year; the New York Post reported that he was over $500,000 in debt after purchasing his taxi medallion last year.

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Performance Picks: Ron Athey, Radical Burlesque, Cannabis Comedy

THURSDAY

Compost Bin (A RadicalASS Cabaret To Deal With the World)

Thursday, November 15 at Starr Bar: $15

Brave the snow and go to Bushwick for Brass (Brown Radicalass Burlesque)’s latest Compost Bin, a monthly showcase of queer, trans, and POC burlesque, drag, and performance art that earned the inclusive, boundary-pushing group a feature in the New York Times(That’s not something all shows happening in back rooms of bars can say). It’ll be their last show of the year (though they’re returning in 2019, fret not), so come warm your frozen self with steamy and stimulating shows by Miss Aurora BoobRealis, Regal Mortis, Juniper Juicy, Exhotic Other, sister selva, Munroe Lilly, and more. Plus, Starr Bar has a new selection of food that looks pretty good, so you don’t just have to warm up with booze. Keep Reading »

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If the Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Finale Made You Want to Learn More About Kembra Pfahler, Here’s Your Chance

Pfahler and Bourdain (via @anthonybourdain on Instagram)

The finale of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, which aired on CNN this past week, was a bittersweet love letter to the East Village and Lower East Side of the ’70s and ’80s. Which seemed like an appropriate send-off for a guy who was punk rock till the very end. When Bourdain filmed the episode in June, we knew only that it would feature neighborhood legends like filmmakers Jim Jarmsuch and Amos Poe at Max Fish, photographer and historian Clayton Patterson at his LES home, hip-hop visionary Fab 5 Freddy at El Castillo De Jagua, and hardcore musician Harley Flanagan of the Cro-Mags, who, after visiting Ray’s Candy Store in the episode, recalls living in fear of a local street gang that, um, listened to Kraftwerk.

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