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Smorg Vendor Tramezzini Brings Its Venetian Sandos to the Lower East Side

(Photos courtesy of Tramezzini)

First came Trapizzino, and now comes Tramezzini.

Lower East Siders are getting a serious education in Italian street sandos. Back in February, the Roman pizza pocket operation, Trapizzino, opened on Orchard Street. Now Tramezzini, a Smorgasburg vendor specializing in Venetian sandwiches, is opening just a handful of blocks away, on Houston Street.

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Teen Arrested for Synagogue Fire; Central Station Might Shutter This Weekend

Police revealed that they arrested 14-year-old David Diaz for Sunday’s fire at the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue. [NY Post]

Though unconfirmed, the Ace Hotel group is reportedly eyeing 225 Bowery for a 200-room getaway that could open next year. [Bowery Boogie]

Bushwick gastropub Central Station will close at the end of the week for an indeterminate length of time. [Bushwick Daily] Keep Reading »

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Eurodance Gorillas, Bad Tattoo Roasts, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Heaven Is Here! A Eurodance Party and Spiritual Rebirth Seminar
Wednesday, May 17 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $16

Do you love Eurovision? Did you miss it this year? Do you have no idea what I’m talking about? Do gorillas bring a smile to your face and a rhythm to your hips? Whichever of these categories you might fit into, perhaps you might be intrigued by the latest offering from Ars Nova Makers Lab member Emily Oliveira, working in collaboration with Max Branigan and James Gentle. We last saw her organize a night of performances involving songs each performer’s mother selected, and this time she’s taking more of a performer role herself. However, instead of mothers, there will be someone a little more primal. I’m talking about everyone’s favorite sign-language speaking gorilla, Koko.

Yes, in this strange Wednesday night journey you’ll learn that Koko is “a divine liaison to the spiritual world,” and she has facilitated the birth of a Eurodance group called All Ball through her educational sign-language YouTube videos. Perhaps electronic beats and kindly primates really can save the soul. Keep Reading »

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Great Comet‘s Dave Malloy On Epic Choral Songs, Hamilton, and Showing Tunes to a New Generation

(photo: Chad Batka)

Nowdays, the commercial and insular shell that is Broadway is feeling a little less untouchable. Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is a major catalyst behind this shake-up, but the latest to breathe new life into the Great White Way has been Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, an “electro-pop opera” based on a drama-laden portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The immersive show began at Ars Nova in 2012 and has gone through many iterations, including a funky stint in a pop-up tent in the Meatpacking District. Now, it’s landed at Broadway’s Imperial Theater, which has been totally restructured to accommodate the show’s 360-degree, immersive staging. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, it remains one of the most authentic transfers of a smaller, more experimental production to a Broadway stage I have observed.

I have seen every NYC production of this show now, and always maintained it was too odd and unique to ascend to the oh-so commercial realm of Broadway. Turns out I was absolutely wrong, and audiences and critics alike are gobbling it up with a voracious enthusiasm. (Singer Josh Groban is now in a starring role.) There is even fanart of the characters, so you know it’s real. The 12 Tony nominations don’t hurt, either.

Great Comet‘s original Broadway cast recording will be released tomorrow and is now available for first listen over at Vulture. We caught up with the show’s writer and composer Dave Malloy, fresh off his Broadway debut temporarily stepping back into the role of Pierre, to talk how the Broadway transfer has affected the show’s music and even got him a little closer to Bowie. Keep Reading »

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Log Ladies and Laura Palmers Painted It Red at This Immersive Twin Peaks Tribute

“We all signed N.D.A.s,” before gearing up for the highly-anticipated reboot of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Kyle MacLachlan told the Times.

While reboots are dime-a-dozen, the fervor surrounding the Twin Peaks redux—Quadruple Peaks?—has put a seal on the project far tighter than anything around the White House lately. In inverse proportion, the tie-in zeitgeist has exploited every angle, from Showtime’s public chalk art at BAM to MetroCards.

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East Village Residents Get Crusty About Travelers

The Times called them a “harbinger of spring” in the East Village. That was back in 2011, when the paper asked, “Where Have All the Crusties Gone?” Well, looks like they’re back.

During a gathering of locals last night at the 9th Precinct station house, a longtime resident complained about the swarm of travelers, as they’re often called, who had recently invaded his block on Second Avenue, between 7th and 8th Streets. Flashing photographs of the scruffy interlopers, he said that people in his building had to “walk over their pitbulls” and put up with their noise, panhandling and drinking. The gent, who asked B+B not to identify him, wanted to know if the cops could bust them.

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Synagogue Fire Was Arson; Last Week for Empellón Cocina

Rosario Dawson, who was raised in the East Village, found her 26-year-old cousin and employee, Vaneza Ines Vasquez, dead inside the actress’s Venice, California home on Thursday. [TMZ]

According to the NYPD, Sunday night’s fire inside the 167-year-old Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue was an act of arson. [Bowery Boogie]

Following a September fire, Caracas Arepa Bar will apparently not return to E. 7th Street, as the storefront is now for rent. [EV Grieve] Keep Reading »

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Week in Shows: Sacred Bones Turns 10, The Future Is Odwalla 1221, and More

(Flyer via AdHoc)

Odwalla 1221, SADAF, Chicklet, Half Pet
Friday May 19, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10

There’s this weird feature on Soundcloud, ostensibly an interactive one, that allows users to leave a “comment” by clicking anywhere on the wavelength as the song progresses. It seems kind of pointless until you come across a remark like the one left on an Odwalla1221 song that reads: “The world isn’t ready for your genius abilities!”

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50 Years Ago: The Summer of Love Brings Pot, Protests and Psychedelic Rock to the East Village

Tompkins Square Park
(Photo: James Jowers)

“As the hour grew late and working people around Tompkins Square Park began turning out the lights on Memorial Day 1967, police asked several hundred music lovers to turn down the volume of a guitar-and-bongo concert in the park,” reported the New York Daily News. “The crowd’s reply … was a barrage of bottles, bricks and fists that left seven officers injured.

“And thus began the Summer of Love.”

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Book It To These Three Book Fairs

Reading is the opiate of the masses.

We can only agree with the Strand when it says Make America Read Again. Hence, a heads up about three upcoming book fairs.

BookExpo America
May 31 to June 2, Javits Center, Midtown; badge prices vary.
BEA is the big kahuna of local book fairs, drawing industry types looking to ply their wares to foreign publishers as well as librarians looking to spice up their lives by getting a glimpse of Stephen King (this year he’s doing an “author breakfast,” as are astronaut Scott Kelly, comedian Whitney Cummings, and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris). Autograph hounds can get the John or Jane Hancocks of authors like East Village poet Eileen Myles, whose book Afterglow (a dog memoir), about her 16-year relationship with her pitbull Rosie, comes out in September. Also appearing are feminist writer Jessica Valenti and the one and only Neil Patrick Harris. Among the industry panels are crowd-pleasers about comedy (with John Hodgman and Denis Leary) and, of course, first amendment “resistance” (with PEN America). Sorry, y’all, the Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton is sold out, so you’ll just have to keep looking for her in the woods. While you’re touring the exhibitor floor, make sure to welcome Soft Skull Press back to New York.

BookCon
June 3 and 4, Javits Center, Midtown; tickets $30-$35.
Hot on the heels of Book Expo, and also in the Javits Center, BookCon is run by the same people and is BEA’s more populist sibling. Instead of Hillary, you’ll get Chelsea Clinton. Among the panelists are comedian Marc Maron, there to plug a new book based on his WTF podcast; actor Jeffrey Tambor, who has a new book of personal essays, Are You Anybody?; and newly trending literary legend Margaret Atwood, who will be speaking to the showrunner of The Handmaid’s Tale. There’ll also be an appearance from a B+B favorite, Scott Rogowsky, prankster and Running Late host best known for taking some highly questionable books onto the subway. And, in case you miss him at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, science guy Bill Nye will be in the house.

BABZ Fair
June 3 and 4, Knockdown Center, Maspeth;
This year, the festival formerly known as the Bushwick Art Book & Zine Fair is being held in Queens, so let’s just call it BABZ Fair. Occurring on the same weekend as BookCon, this fair is its indie counterpart, and will feature eclectic offerings from over 100 publishers. Among those exhibiting and presenting are Williamsburg comics shop Desert Island; Jeremy Nguyen, the Bushwick satirist whose comics have landed in the New Yorker; Greenpoint comic artist Tony Wolf; Brooklyn-based Maga Books (no relationship to Making America Great Again); and Bushwick bookstore and sexy chess host Molasses Books. Wendy’s Subway, the non-profit library and writing space that moved from Williamsburg to Bushwick a year ago, will host feedback sessions for those who want to bring in-progress work. Should you want to self-publish that work, Red Hook art-book publisher Small Editions will be leading a bookbinding workshop.

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The William Vale Opens Its Pool, Launching Williamsburg Wading Season

(Photo: The William Vale)

Ever since its opening last summer, The William Vale has added more and more amenities to its little corner of Williamsburg– the most recent being Wylie Dufresne’s donut shop, just a few weeks ago. Now comes the crown gem: a fourth-floor pool that, at 60-feet long, bills itself as “the longest outdoor hotel pool in Brooklyn and greater New York City.”

There were some one-off events at the pool last summer (Burning Man decompression party, anyone?), but on May 26 it’ll fully open to the public. That’s right: You’ll never have to dodge turds at the McCarren Park Pool again. Naturally, chilling poolside will cost you: Options range from a three-person pergola ($150 on weekdays, $200 on weekends) to a six-person cabana ($400 to $550). On weekends, you can also book a lounge chair ($45) or daybed ($100) on the adjacent terrace.

These rates are more or less in line with the McCarren Hotel’s pool, where day passes range from $55 (weekday) to $65 (weekend). This season, daybeds for one will be $150 to $175, and daybeds for two will be $325 to $375. That pool also reopens on Memorial Day weekend.

Also in the mix this summer is the Williamsburg Hotel, which, according to a receptionist, is aiming to open its rooftop pool in late June. Rates haven’t yet been announced.

The William Vale has one advantage over its splash-happy neighbors: a menu of light bites from Andrew Carmellini, the celeb chef who also operates the hotel’s rooftop bar, Westlight. Think guacamole with chili-lime chips, grilled hot dogs, and crispy shrimp tacos with chipotle-cilantro slaw. Plus a daily frozen cocktail.

If you’ve got dollars to drown, you can make reservations here, starting May 17.

On the other hand, if these prices are giving you the bends, there’s always the city pool at McCarren Park, which reopens June 29.