If you manage to lift your nose from the aromatic steam of the food on your plate, you might catch sight of a fast-moving silhouette at the back of the Drunken Dumpling restaurant. When he isn’t in the kitchen, Yuan Lee is making pork filling in the basement or picking up deliveries outside. His smooth skin, young features and non-imposing presence could fool anyone into thinking that this is a man of gentleness and compromise. But Lee is on a mission.
A couple of years ago, a fourth grader at the Children’s Workshop School, in the East Village, discovered something magical about a closet in his school. No, it wasn’t Narnia. Rather, young Bobby Scotto spotted some intriguing items inside of a crack in the closet’s floorboards. Before long, with his teacher’s help, he and his classmates were digging up items such as a circa 1912 baseball card (anyone remember the New York Highlanders?), a 1943 penny, and a 1921 Red Cross service pin. Miriam Sicherman, their teacher, made sure to turn these into teachable moments. For instance, when the kids uncovered an old box of snuff, they were no doubt fascinated to learn that there was a time before vaping.
Anyway, these excavations ended up being the subject of a New York Times story, which would be achievement enough for the amateur archeologists at the East 12th Street school. Now, their artifacts will be displayed at an exhibition at City Reliquary, the pint-sized repository of urban curiosities in Williamsburg.
“Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule,” named after the Instagram account where Sicherman shared the class’s findings, opens June 3, with a 2pm reception featuring presentations from the teacher and her students as well as collectors like Peter Sugar of the Flushing Coin Club. Also presenting will be Robin Nagle, who literally wrote the book on trash. As the sanitation department’s “anthropologist in residence,” she’ll hopefully talk about Nelson Molina’s garbage gallery. A repository of the finds that the san man scavenged while making the rounds, it’s presumably the city’s most oderiferous art exhibition– if you don’t count Maurizio Cattelan’s toilet.
Speaking of (getting) trash(ed), Brooklyn Brewery will be pouring at the reception.
“Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule” on view from May 25 to August 27 at City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg; opening reception June 3, 2pm, admission $5.
Al Franken has to be the most influential politician in America right now. Not because he’s fighting the good fight and keeping them honest and all that, but rather because the President must ascribe to Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations. I mean, how else could Donald Trump get through a single day of talk about impeachment and “the beginning of the end” without looking in the mirror and saying, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.”
Aside from being a Minnesota senator, Franken is also the author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them — a title that seems especially prescient these days. Now he’s out with a new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, a memoir about his unlikely political career that also promises to delve into “our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture.”
Yesterday we gave you the heads up that Ridgewood’s Nowadays was set to open today and, once again, this year’s programming will feature a film series from Harlem documentary mavens Maysles Cinema. Now Justin Carter, co-owner of Nowadays, sends over the lineup of films that’ll screen for free on Wednesdays, from June through August. Highlights include Decline of Western Civilization, a seminal doc about the ’80s LA punk scene that focuses on bands like Black Flag and X. (Aside from Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, it may well be the best punk doc of all-time.) That’ll be paired with the metalheads-gone-wild classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot.
Williamsburg construction company owner Michael Weiss was indicted on multiple charges yesterday stemming from the September 2015 death of an 18-year-old laborer on one of his properties. [The Real Deal]
Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm is no longer vying for 95 acres of New Jersey land that it had intended to develop and market to Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish population. [Gothamist] Keep Reading »
Little Green Guys: An Evening of Comedy About Frogs and Lizards
Wednesday, May 10 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $5
First of all, I don’t know what I can say about this show that will make it any more appealing than the title already makes it. Little green guys! Why make jokes about people and places when you can make them about frogs and lizards. They’re small, they’re wacky, and they’re one of a kind. A grand old lineup of people will be stopping by to wax comedic about these green-hued critters, including Jo Firestone, Lorelei Ramirez, Annie Donley, Anthony Oberbeck, Carmen Christopher, The Junk Bros, and more, plus your amphibian-and-reptile-loving hosts Joe Rumrill and Andrew Tisher.
The only thing that would make this show better is if actual frogs and lizards made their way up the steps to Babycastles, clambered up the mic stands, and croaked out their own jokes and humorous musings. I guess we will just have to wait for the sequel to see that. Keep Reading »
Q: When does Ridgewood’s best backyard hangspot open?
Yep, that’s right: The al fresco dancin’-n’drinkin’ destination, Nowadays, reopens Thursday, May 11. According to co-owner Justin Carter, that’ll “hopefully mean, since the indoors should open this summer, that tomorrow we open for good!” You’ll recall that Carter and his partner Eamon Harkin, with the help of over $100,000 in crowdfunding, are building an indoor dance floor with killer sound system, which will allow the seasonal venue to go year-round.
People crowd into the rear area of a Bushwick bar. They’re hooting and hollering, throwing dollar bills into the air as a drag queen named Ruby Fox, with long hair and an outfit reminiscent of an underground fetish party, lip syncs and launches into a back handspring. Where a kitchen once sizzled, a DJ now spins. Nowadays, this is just an average Wednesday night at The Rosemont, a newer project from Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce that initially opened in Bushwick last May. Rather than carrying on the wild spirit of Trash, The Rosemont was poised to be more mature, a jazz club slinging bespoke cocktails and small plates. But recently they brought on someone new, switching saxophones for death drops.
Hopeful as Pierce was for this new, classier direction, seven days a week of jazz didn’t prove entirely fruitful. Enter Troy Carson, previously known for opening Williamsburg gay bars Metropolitan and Sugarland and managing East Village spots Nowhere Bar and Phoenix, who now serves as The Rosemont’s general manager. Keep Reading »
Our Wicked Lady, the East Williamsburg bar/venue that described itself as a “playground for musicians” when it opened in 2015, is becoming even more of a playground this summer, with a rooftop movie series. It joins SummerScreen, Rooftop Cinema Club, and the Rooftop Films Summer Series in announcing its summer slate.
As you can see from the poster, the films include some musical masterpieces (Velvet Goldmine, Sid & Nancy, Moonwalker, Rock & Roll High School, Dirty Dancing), some childhood throwback fare (The Goonies, The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and classic Transformers), some more recent favorites (Donnie Darko, Fight Club, The 5th Element, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, True Romance, and Repo Man), and an obvious jab at Trump: Funny or Die’s spoof of The Art of the Deal, paired with Team America.
There’s good news and bad news coming out of Coney Island, home of the Feltman’s hot dog. First, the bad news: The Mermaid Parade has suffered some “fairly serious financial crisis events” and has started a fundraising campaign to ensure that it survives beyond this year’s June 17 carnival, which will be led by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie.
Now, the good: The Coney Art Walls are reopening for the season on Saturday, and bringing a host of new artists and food vendors.
In the past seven years, 170K residents have vacated Brooklyn, the biggest exodus from an NYC borough. [Crain’s NY]
City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who represents Bushwick and other neighborhoods, is lobbying for a new Office of Nightlight that would be overseen by a “night mayor.” [Gothamist]