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Rumors Fly in Menachem Stark Case; Bill Murray Melted Hearts in Williamsburg

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(Photo: Scott Lynch)

Police now say Menachem Stark was squashed to death. “It might be that they sat on him to get him under control and that they wound up killing him that way,” a police source tells the Daily News. [NY Daily News]

According to the Post’s sources, Stark’s business partner told police they owed money to characters who could be involved in the killing. [NY Post]

Meanwhile, rumors are flying in South Williamsburg: “One rumor had it that Mr. Stark had told his wife in recent weeks that he was being followed by men in a car. Another held that Mr. Stark had borrowed $500,000 from a mysterious, unidentified lender the day of his kidnapping.” [NY Times]
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On St. Marks, Piercings Trump Fro Yo — Again

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

If there was ever any concern that there weren’t enough places on St. Marks to get your belly button pierced at 2 a.m. on a Friday night, Elite Jewelry and Piercing Co. has just opened, replacing self-serve fro yo shop Yogurt Station.

It’s the second late night “body mod” outpost to claim the space of a frozen yogurt joint on this very block (NYC Kulture replaced a Red Mango just across the street), which would suggest that the drunken vagabonds of St. Marks would rather enhance (or disfigure) their physical appearance than enjoy a frozen treat. Except that vegan ice cream joint DF Mavens is coming to the block.
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Joyce Carol Oates Wants Tarantino to Direct a Menachem Stark Movie

Source: Wikipedia Commons

(Wikipedia Commons)

Police have yet to identify suspects in the death of Brooklyn real estate magnate Menachem “Max” Stark last week, but author Joyce Carol Oates is already endorsing a feature film about the man and the murder.

“Only a great film can do justice to rise & fall of Menachem Stark. Scorsese or Tarantino?  Coen brothers?” tweeted the 75-year-old Pulitzer Prize nominee.
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Here’s Everything Olek Swaddled in Yarn Last Year

Last time we saw Olek in action, she was yarn bombing a car in Williamsburg. So where’s she been since then? Just about everywhere, it turns out. The mad crocheter just posted a sizzle reel of her work from last year and in it you’ll see swaddled versions of a statue of El Cid in Seville, Spain (where she now has an exhibit up), a shopping center in Russia, a locomotive in Poland, some half naked people at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, and the amazing Doggie Diner heads on Treasure Island, in San Francisco. Not that any of them beat her experiment in Cubism.

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Revisit Punk With Desperate Teenage Lovedolls or Folk With Don’t Look Back


Spectacle’s month-long Rockuary series is going full force from the start with a David Markey double feature you can’t afford to miss…

This Friday at 7:30 p.m. catch Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and, at 9:30 p.m., its follow-up, Lovedolls Superstar. Two girls decide to start a band, find a drummer, a manager and battle it out with rival bands, gangs and anyone else who dares to get in the way. The band’s manager Johnny Tremaine is played by Steven Shane McDonald of Red Kross and Off! and the movies feature music by Red Kross, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth and more. This is a definitive piece of punk rock history! The screenings are only $5 a pop and are back-to-back.

Catch these and other films about possessed cats, mutilated children and Bob Dylan we’re Reel Psyched about this week.
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Matchless Is ‘An After-School Program For Late-Night Comedians,’ Thanks to This Guy

(Photo: Ebru Yildiz)

(Photo: Ebru Yildiz)

“Beautiful” is not the first word that comes to mind when you step into the back room at Bar Matchless. But that’s how comic Nimesh Patel affectionately describes the dark, brick and concrete space that houses a small stage with the lonely bones of a drum kit and a couple guitar amps sitting silently on top. As host of the free Monday night show Broken Comedy, Nimesh tirelessly works the room every week.
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Slain Developer Was Loved and Hated; Arrest in 'Knockout' Attacks

Hot Chicks at The Hole

Adam Green has a new exhibit at The Hole. (Photo: Scott Lynch)

Menachem Stark, the Williamsburg developer who was abducted Thursday outside of his office and then found burned and asphyxiated to death in Long Island Saturday, was mourned as a charitable man by his neighbors but was “a lightning rod for fuming tenants and neighborhood activists across north Brooklyn,” per The Times. Though thousands attended Stark’s funeral, the New York Post accompanied its story with the front-page headline “Who Didn’t Want Him Dead?” Yesterday, as B+B reported, City Councilman Stephen Levin (and others, including Stark’s brother-in-law) condemned the headline as “offensive and horrific.” (The Post, reporting on a protest rally led by the Brooklyn BP, later said its thoughts and prayers were with Stark’s family.) Meanwhile, The Daily News says some relatives believe the mob was involved in the hit, or that it was a hate crime. The Post says Stark’s business partner is worried he’s next.

A Brooklyn man has been arrested in connection with what the Daily News says is five and the Post says is at least seven “knockout” incidents.

Some 200 firefighters spent nearly five freezing hours battling a five-alarm fire in a Greenpoint lumber yard early Saturday. [WABC, NY Post]
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‘Definitely a New York Hang’: Jazz Musicians Remember the Five Spot Café

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.
frontpicUrban renewal plans are nothing new to the Bowery. In 1955, New York dismantled the Third Avenue El, the elevated train that ran overhead, in an effort to bring light and air to the sordid strip of dives and flophouses. The cleanup campaign inspired brothers Joe and Iggy Termini to transform their No. 5 Bar, named after its Five Cooper Square address, into a place that would welcome the artists, writers and dancers moving into the neighborhood.
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The Steamy History of the Tenth Street Baths

Bath Night, circa 1945. (Weegee/International Center of Photography)

Bath Night, circa 1945. (Weegee/International Center of Photography)

A man named Alex beat me with a bundle of oak leaves at 268 East 10th Street.

That’s where the Russian and Turkish Baths Health Club is housed, in a renovated tenement building midway between First Avenue and Avenue A. Established in 1892, it’s New York City’s oldest – and for a while in the early ’90s, it was its only – bathhouse. And it feels it: the baths have the aura of an era lost to our world of flipped switches and pushed buttons.
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Shedding Light On the Church That Was Razed By NYU

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.

(Photos: Meghan White)

(Photos: Meghan White)

On cold days when I walk between Cooper and Union Squares, I find myself turning from Fourth Avenue onto East 12th Street to gaze in a sort of reverence at the façade of St. Ann’s Catholic Church. The first time I saw it, I was struggling to drag a Craigslist couch down four flights of stairs in the adjacent apartment building. Cushions in hand, I looked in awe and confusion at the strangeness of the 166-year-old stone façade, which seemed to be a trick of architecture, until I realized there was no church behind it, only long metal rods to prop up the wall and a 26-story NYU dorm casting the tower in dreary shadow.

Rich Williams has never experienced the perplexing moment of stumbling upon St. Ann’s that many East Village newbies have – nor did he watch its dismantling in 2005, as many older residents did. But in his basement in Schenectady, he still sees sunlight illuminating the dazzling colors of the early 1920s stained glass that once shone in the panes of the now-demolished church.

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Remembering the ‘Forgotten City,’ Greenpoint Terminal Market

Until we return to our usual schedule Jan. 3, enjoy this daily series of longer pieces in which we unravel the mysteries and the histories of storied addresses.

The Greenpoint Terminal today, during an exhibition there: (Photo: Nathan Kensinger)

The Greenpoint Terminal today, during an exhibition there: (Photo: Nathan Kensinger)

On a recent white-gray Sunday, the Historic Districts Council gave a tour of what remains of the Greenpoint Terminal Market, a complex of old industrial buildings along the East River that was engulfed in 2006 by a mysterious 10-alarm fire.  On the day of the blaze, billowing clouds of gray smoke stretched across the river, and could be seen all the way to Chelsea.

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