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Summer Streets Hits Astor Place: Food, Mini-Golf, VR, and… a ‘Smell Walk’?

A waterslide at last year’s Summer Streets.

The city’s popular “Summer Streets” program — in which seven miles of New York streets are temporarily turned into pedestrian-only parks — returns the first three Saturdays of August.

Our fair city’s government — or the program’s sponsors, anyway — have spared no expense. The smorgasbord of activities announced at a Department of Transportation press conference on Astor Place this morning includes crowd favorites like waterslides and ziplines — as well as some eccentric new additions, including a “smell walk”; an event described as “a silent disco, but for your tongue”; and the opportunity to bathe in a “giant washing machine.” Yet riding our subways is like participating in the Stanford Prison Experiment. Remarkable.

Anyway: This year’s theme is “the Five Senses,” hence novelties like the smell walk. Created by artist and designer Kate McClean, who previously created “smellmaps” in cities like Amsterdam and Paris, it’s described as “45 minutes of walking slowly and sniffing followed by a 15-minute visualisation exercise to communicate your smell encounters to those who missed the opportunity.” You can RSVP to be one of the 30 lucky smellwalkers here.

In keeping with the sensuous new theme there will also be a greater emphasis on food this year, with “food sessions” organized by New York chef John Mooney of Bell Book & Candle in the Village (known for growing vegetables on its roof). During the culinary silent disco, designed by Daily Tous Les Jours, a Montreal-based “interaction design studio,” participants will dine at a banquet while wearing headphones so their experience can be complemented by a soundtrack and narrator.

The “giant washing machine” will apparently be that — a 30’ wide by 50’ long inflatable washing machine filled with giant plates and utensils that participants run through while being splashed by jets of water. For the more pedestrian among us there will also be mini-golf, a dog park, bouldering walls, and the aforementioned waterslide and zipline, among other attractions.

Astor Place is one of Summer Streets’ designated “rest stops,” and several of the activities — including the “smell walk,” the mini-golf, the interactive banquet/silent food disco, and a virtual-reality tour of Mt. Everest — will be located there.

This is the tenth year of the Summer Streets program, noted speakers at the press conference this morning, who described the program as part of a broader shift in New York toward a more pedestrian-friendly, environmentally-friendly, and creative city. As last year, the main sponsor is Citi.

Summer Streets will take place from 7am to 1pm on Aug. 5th, 12th, and 19th along Park Avenue, Lafayette, and Centre Streets from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. All activities are free; some require advance registration.

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Go See Endless Poetry and Alejandro Jodorowsky Himself Will Make It Worth the Trip

It’s a great time for lovers of surrealist cinema, what with the recent release of Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch and Flying Lotus’s Kuso, screening as part of the Rooftop Films Summer Series tonight. The trippiest news of all: The master of the midnight movie, Alejandro Jodorwosky, is set to release his new one, Endless Poetry, and the 88-year-old Chilean auteur, who currently lives in Paris, is making some rare NYC appearances to promote it.

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Bash a Printer Piñata at SummerScreen’s Showing of Office Space

We’re going to go ahead and move you over to McCarren Park, because Office Space is screening there Wednesday, mmkay?

Back when we unveiled the posters for SummerScreen, we knew Office Space would be one of this year’s highlights, but the folks who program the outdoor movies in Williamsburg are really busting out the flair for this one. Among other things, there’ll be printer piñatas on hand so you can go HAM on them, hopefully while listening to Geto Boys. Here’s the rundown from SummerScreen. Damn, it feels good to be a hipster.

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Biter Attacks Woman at BK Steakhouse; Village Pourhouse’s New Replacement

Video has been released of a female graphic designer sustaining a punch in the face from a stranger Sunday night at Alligator Lounge. She filed an assault report, but the man who attacked her has not been located. [Gothamist]

On Sunday, a 50-year-old woman was bitten on the arm by a fellow female diner at Williamsburg’s Peter Luger Steakhouse. Although police responded, they made no arrest and the first woman declined medical attention. [DNA Info]

At 332 E. Sixth Street, the six-story residence is seeking a $10.5 million buyer. Owner Raphael Toledano paid $4.5 million for the property just 18 months ago. [EV Grieve] Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Printmaking in Protest, Robots Will Kill, Mexico + Staten Island

(image via Center for Book Arts)

Center for Book Arts Summer Exhibitions
Opening Wednesday, July 12 at Center for Book Arts, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 23.

This Wednesday, The Center for Book Arts will unveil their two summer exhibitions, titled “Protest Profest: Global Burdens” and “Animation + Printing.”  Though the institutions focuses on books (obviously), the exhibitions themselves span a variety of disciplines. “Protest ≠ Profest” is their annual Artist Members Exhibition, with the timely concept of showing work dealing with activism and “current societal concerns.” In order to narrow down the type of theme that could easily fill multiple rooms worth of art (and to keep with the book focus), works on display will either be artist’s books or works relating to the book arts.

“Animation + Printing” is predominantly a short film showcase, but all films have been created using techniques typically applied to the creation of books, such as  etching, moveable type, and silkscreen. A whopping 50-ish artists will be partaking, and the exhibition theme invites a cross-discipline experience for many, as several printmakers will be attempting animation and vice versa. Keep Reading »

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Lust in Yonkers: ‘You Are So Lucky’ Brought Its Magic to a Gilded Age Mansion

(Photos: Desdemona Dallas)

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As promised, the crew from The Danger parties– underground takeovers of hidden Brooklyn spaces– moved their mayhem out of the city this past weekend, taking over historic Alder Manor in Yonkers. Circus performers wandered through the 72-room Gilded Age mansion and its gardens while Sweet Meg and the Wayfarers whispered jazz into the night. Snake charmers and candlelit bars were tucked into hidden spaces, and that was just the beginning. If you weren’t one of the Lucky attendees, click through our slideshow, above, to see what you missed.

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Secret Loft Not-So-Secretly Moves From Bushwick to the LES

Secret Loft Comedy’s performers and audience at the conclusion of the show, 7/7/17 at 11:30pm. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Secret Loft opened its doors to Manhattan on Friday night as it celebrated its new home across the river from where it started in Brooklyn. The new space, which until recently housed Babycastles before that venue moved two buildings down, was filled with a sold-out audience for the long-running Secret Loft Comedy Show.

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Watch Flying Lotus’s Kuso and Then Ask the Filmmaker WTF

Still from Kuso.

Before you keep telling everyone that Episode 8 of Twin Peaks was the trippiest visual spectacle in recent history, you might want to catch the Rooftop Films screening of Flying Lotus’s new movie, because Kuso is absolutely insane. And trust, you’ll want to attend the July 11 screening at House of Vans, in Greenpoint, because Flying Lotus himself (real name: Steve Ellison) will be there to explain what the hell you just saw.

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Babu Ji Settles Lawsuit; EV Starbucks Finds New York Post Ally

The FDNY responded to smoky conditions Friday morning in the Bedford Avenue L train station. [Gothamist]

Three former Babu Ji employees will receive settlements from the East Village Indian eatery’s owners for previously denied tips and overtime compensation. [Eater NY]

Last week, Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition (aka BARC Shelter) in Williamsburg refuted Lena Dunham’s claims about the dog she got there four years ago and recently re-homed. [Yahoo Celebrity] Keep Reading »

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DIY Venue Silent Barn Opens Up Its Books, Wants to Be ‘Not in a State of Panic’

Silent Barn’s is releasing their financials to anyone who wants to read.

Beloved Bushwick DIY venue/housing cooperative/artist colony Silent Barn has been in a bit of a financial bind of late. The popular concert venue, which also functions as an art collective of sorts, has struggled to navigate a coldly indifferent capitalist world, and Silent Barn — technically a for-profit LLC but operating more or less as a non-profit and in the process of transitioning to one — has put out an urgent call for donations as well as paid members.

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Throwback Italian Deli Promises Food Just Like Nonna Used to Make

Credit: Nico Eyes.

Following on the recent news of Greenwich Village eatery Dante’s expansion to a second location in Little Italy comes another development of interest to fans of Italian cuisine.

Today is the grand opening of Regina’s Grocery, an Italian-American comfort-food joint at 27 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, next door to The Fat Radish.

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