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Law Would Close ‘Kushner Loophole’ After Developer Is Fined For Fudging Building Applications

118 East 4th Street (photo courtesy of StreetEasy)

Council Member Ritchie Torres is introducing legislation to prevent landlords from lying in paperwork to the City about the number of rent-regulated apartments in their buildings, he announced at a press conference today.

The bill aims to crack down on what’s known as the “Kushner loophole” — landlords falsely stating in construction permit applications that a building does not contain occupied rent-regulated units. (Buildings with rent-regulated tenants are subject to stricter construction oversight.) A study by Housing Rights Initiative found that Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 false permit applications in dozens of buildings, according to an Associated Press report. Many of those buildings are in the East Village.

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Cheese Tea and Durian Pizza Is Coming to the East Village

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Cheese tea, the Asian sensation that has been on the brink of trending here in the States, is coming to St. Marks Place. If you’re the type that claims to have known about matcha before it was cool, brace for the opening of Mi Tea, the latest import to hit Chinatown North. The international chain, founded in 2016 in Hangzhou, China, specializes in teas that are topped with a layer of salted cheese foam.

Yes, this is a thing.

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Bushwick Open Studios and More Art This Week

(image via La Mama)

Inside Out Here
Opening Thursday, September 27 at La Mama Galleria. On view through October 20.

La Mama, the historic East Village theater space primarily known for presenting a range of experimental performance, also maintains a gallery space on Great Jones Street. Thursday, it will open Inside Out Here, an exhibition by multidisciplinary artists Devin N. Morris and Frederick Weston. Morris was born in 1986 and Weston in 1946, 40 years prior; uniting these two to create work around queerness, blackness, and how these communities have made space for themselves throughout history has made for a show that quite literally stretches across generations. Keep Reading »

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At Sauce’s New Pizzeria, You Can Dunk Your Slices

(Photos courtesy of Sauce)

The East Village needs another pizzeria like a white pie needs extra cheese, but the latest one, Sauce Pizzeria, comes with a twist: True to the place’s name, slices and pies are served with a side of sauce.

You may know Sauce as a popular Italian restaurant on the Lower East Side. Owners Adam Elzer and Perry Rahbar will be offering some of that spot’s specialties (spaghetti bolognese, etc.) at this new spinoff. But the star of the menu is thin-crust pizza made with sourdough and organic malted flour.

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This Book About ‘Artisanal Blanket Forts’ Is Very InTENTS

(Photos courtesy of HarperCollins)

If you’ve ever Airbnbed a yurt in West Philadelphia or run out of TP at a teepee motel, boy do we have the book for you. It’s called Blanket Fort: Growing Up Is Optional, and it’s described by its publisher as a DIY primer on “artisanal blanket tents.”

As avid campers with an “epic backyard garden” in Brooklyn, novelist Nathaniel Kressen and his wife, illustrator Jessie T. Kressen— collectively known as Grackle + Pigeon– consider blanket forts to be “the pinnacle of all things awesome.” Or so they say in the introduction of their book showing how to create some 25 blanket forts without breaking the bank. That’s right, unlike those pricy REI tents, these are totally aFORTable. (Ok, I’ll stop.)

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At Cuomo’s ‘Marijuana Listening Session,’ High Hopes For Legalization

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

When Governor Cuomo’s office announced a series of statewide “marijuana listening sessions” to get community feedback when drafting legislation for legal adult use, many rushed to make jokes; the name conjured images of stoned people jamming to records. But recreational cannabis use was one of the last things on the minds of those at last night’s Manhattan session. Rather, the two-hour event at BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center was rife with dialogue surrounding the potentials and risks this type of historic legalization could bring, and how New York might be able to get it right. Keep Reading »

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Dario Argento Won’t Be Appearing at His Metrograph Retrospective After All

Asia and Dario Argento at Cannes in 1993. (Photo: Olivier Strecker)

Back in April, when Metrograph announced its forthcoming Dario Argento retrospective, it was said the Italian horror master would be appearing in person. A lot has happened since then. For one thing, the opening date of the series was moved from June to September 21. For another, Argento’s daughter, fellow filmmaker Asia Argento, has become involved in a #MeToo imbroglio that has, to some degree, sucked in her father as well.

Back in May, when Metrograph announced its postponement of the 12-film retrospective, it explained that “Mr. Argento wants to appear in-person, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ll need to shift the series until a soon-to-be-announced date in September.” When the new date was announced, we were once again assured that the 78-year-old giallo pioneer would be in attendance.

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New Greenpoint Cinema Wants Artists To Make Movies And Money

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Emelyn Stuart has run The Ocktober Film Festival, a showcase of emerging filmmakers, since 2013. Each year, she’s rented venues for it. One year, she recalls the lights shutting off; they had run over their allotted rental time, and there were no exceptions. “I said to myself, I will never, never, never have to go through this again,” she says. “I will find a home for this festival, and [the filmmakers] will be able to stay as long as they want, and they will be able to talk about their films for as long as they need, and I’m not going to be rushing them.” She found that home in Stuart Cinema and Cafe, her own space in Greenpoint she opened at the start of September alongside Chief Operations Officer Carl Gilbert Jr. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Clowns, Immersive Aliens, and Comedy Comebacks

THURSDAY

(image via Becca Bernard / Facebook)

Clown Cabaret
Thursday, September 20 at The Brick, 7 pm: $20

Ah, clowns. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood performance mediums, they’re most commonly thought of as just a strange part of circuses (or horror films), wearing red noses, white face paint, and large shoes. I just had a strange recollection of a time my mom volunteered to be a clown at my preschool or something, and she did in fact have to wear large floppy shoes. But it’s not always this way! Come see the many ways clowns can exist at an all-clown cabaret at The Brick in Williamsburg on Thursday night, presented as part of The Clown Theater Festival. There will be music, comedy, and other varieties of clownlike performance. Will everyone be wearing a red nose or will someone be subversive and spring for a different color? Only one way to find out. Keep Reading »

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New York City’s ‘Gut Biome’ And More Art Opening This Week

(image via Storefront for Art and Architecture)

Subculture: Microbial Metrics and the Multi-Species City
Opening Tuesday, September 18 at Storefront For Art and Architecture, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 12.

It’s no secret that the city is filled with all sorts of microorganisms—yes, even the kind you’d rather not think about. They’re there! Rather than focus on just the unsettling spores, a uniquely scientific new installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture seeks to reimagine the city and the many neighborhoods and cultures it contains using the framework of the “human microbiome.” This posits that each city in the world, and each subculture or pocket within them, has their own “gut biome,” just like human beings do. The installation (by Kevin Slavin, Elizabeth Hénaff, and the collective The Living) normalizes the idea that there are microorganisms everywhere in a city, collecting them through wood in the exhibition space’s facade as well “bio-receptive wooden tiles” scattered throughout the city. This wood is then displayed and analyzed, simultaneously art and scientific specimen. Keep Reading »

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I Survived the San Gennaro Cannoli-Eating Contest

(Photo: Mathew Silver)

“Hi Mathew, It’s Mort Berkowitz from the Feast of San Gennaro. We’re delighted to have you enter the cannoli-eating competition, which will be this Friday.” I received that voicemail from the organizer of the famous festival in Little Italy, after responding, on a lark, to a flier on Mulberry Street. I don’t technically have professional eating experience, but I have enjoyed – more or less – three meals a day over the course of my entire life, which I thought qualified me for competition.

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Emile Panerio of Plastic Picnic On Mixing Darkness and Light to Create Of-the-Moment Synthpop

(Photo: Tim Seguin)

Combine the soundtrack of a John Hughes movie with millennial anxiety and you’ve got the sound of Brooklyn-based Plastic Picnic. The band, comprised of four West Coast transplants, makes sad yet energetic indie rock tunes that– with their catchy, danceable beats, melancholy lyrics, and shimmery melodies– could be mistaken for ’80s synth pop. According to Nylon, they’re on the Brooklyn bands you should be listening to right now.

Ahead of their show at Baby’s All Right on Monday, Bedford + Bowery spoke to lead singer Emile Panerio about the grind of being an indie band in the New York City music scene, and about their new single “Doubt.” It’s about “beginning a life with someone you love and never seeing them,” Panerio has told me. “When you’re going to sleep, they’re leaving for work. When a partnership works in theory, but current life doesn’t allow it the time it needs to healthily grow–something New York City seems to have a good reputation for.”

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