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L of a Plan: Rider Coalition Wants Cars Off of 14th Street During the L-pocalypse

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Richard Barone of Regional Planning Association, one of the transportation experts on hand at “What the L?” listened to community members’ feedback (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Since word leaked in January that the MTA was planning to shut down L train service for over a year in order to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy, the residents, small businesses, and restaurant and bar owners who belong to the grassroots L Train Coalition have desperately wondered what the extended vacation will mean in real terms. For almost a year now, they’ve been locked in a push-and-pull with the MTA and elected officials, all in an effort to get the facts straight and prepare for the impact. At a meeting last night dubbed “What the L?”, coalition members took matters into their own hands and unveiled a report that proposes a 14th Street “transitway” that would be closed to private vehicles and other measures to stave off the L-pocalypse.

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Times Square Elmo En Español, Comedy For Charity, and More Performance This Week

THURSDAY

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

(image via The Bushwick Starr)

Furry! / La Furia!
Continues through November 26 at The Bushwick Starr, 8 pm (November 20 show at 3 pm): $15.

Imagining the everyday life of someone who dresses up as Elmo and roams around Times Square for tips is entertaining enough, but now you have a chance to see it on stage, in two different languages. Playwright William Burke has teamed up with Modesto Flako Jimenez and the Brooklyn Gypsies Collective for a “Spanish/Spanglish/human” translation of his play FURRY to be performed by Jimenez and Olander “Big O” Wilson. Also, this play isn’t even about the regular life of an Elmo in Times Square, however odd and intriguing that may be. It’s about “a street Elmo who rises to power by taking over the streets of 42nd to 46th Street by using The Art of War.” I don’t think I could imagine the details of such a thing if I tried, so you’re better off checking it out for yourself. Keep Reading »

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You Can Now Take the Cube For a Spin Again

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Just a couple of weeks after its return to Astor Place, Tony Rosenthal’s “Alamo” has been freed from the protective barrier that surrounded it while it awaited a final stage of restoration. As you can see, young lovers are already flocking to it and smooching under its aegis as if it’s the Summer of Love– which, by the way, is the year the Cube was installed as part of a citywide exhibition, Sculpture and the Environment.

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Four Shows: Drown in Sound if Feeling Down, or Just Say Cheers to a Jolly End

(Flyer via Alphaville)

(Flyer via Alphaville)

Video Daughters, Quin Galavis, 2;Frail, Drome
Wednesday November 16, 8 pm at Alphaville: $8

The good people at Alphaville haven’t been mincing words about their views on the election, that’s for sure. Actions, of course, scream louder than words, but music, also, is technically much louder than chatter. Thankfully, there’s the grinding, cathartic freakout music of Video Daughters to help bridge the gap. See them in person and it might just be the energy jolt that so many of us so badly need to pull ourselves out of this Trump Slump before we’re sucked down further than our current near-hopeless position of in-chin-deep.

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Own Jay-Z’s Brooklyn Loft; Video of Suspect in Williamsburg Shooting

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Police released video of the suspected gunman from the Williamsburg triple shooting that occurred Sunday outside of Don Pedro. [DNA Info]

The 2017 NYC Michelin Guide awarded two stars to Aska, a month-old Scandinavian restaurant on Wythe Avenue. [NY Times]

Casette, a year-old Greenpoint eatery partly backed by Kickstarter’s founder, will be replaced with a private event space. [Eater NY]

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David Mancuso, ‘Musical Host’ Who Shaped NYC Nightlife, Dead at 72

First Leonard Cohen, now this.

David Mancuso, one of the most influential figures in New York City nightlife, has died less than a month after his 72nd birthday. The Loft, an underground club that Mancuso operated out of his home in Noho, then Soho, and finally in Alphabet City, was celebrated for its invite-only after-hours parties, fueled by a cutting-edge sound system and a spirit of racial, sexual, and social inclusiveness. The vibe influenced later clubs like the Garage and even Studio 54.

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Latest Buzz: Vibrator Store That Unionized Now Faces Unfair Labor Charges

(Photo: Maura Murnanae)

(Photo: Maura Murnanae)

Just six months after becoming the first sex shop to unionize, Babeland has been accused of unlawfully firing an employee and engaging in practices that violate the National Labor Relations Act.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the sex shop’s owners yesterday, November 14.

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Artist Doug Young Attempts to Elevate ‘Low’ Art to Uplifting

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

It was an oddly apropos time to be thinking about “high” art and “low” art, which is what artist Doug Young and I discussed at the Van Doren Waxter Gallery uptown just a few days before the all-consuming presidential election. I’d mentioned a New Yorker article that eschewed the line separating left and right in favor of a line dividing “up versus down”: a working class vs. a desk-ridden, urban class.

We were looking at Young’s pieces “Chains,” which are exactly that: carved wooden chains, created in what Young called a “kind of monotonous, boring, really unsatisfying use of my time. It was only satisfying at certain moments,” like when he stepped back to see the enormity of his progress.

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Transgender Awareness Week: What To Do + Where to Donate

(flyer via Audre Lorde Project / Facebook)

(flyer via Audre Lorde Project / Facebook)

Life seems pretty bleak post-November 9, and even moreso when you consider that 2016 has been declared the “deadliest year on record” for transgender individuals in America, with 24 trans people– predominantly women of color– murdered so far.

This week, GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week continues, culminating on Sunday with the Transgender Day of Awareness. Founded in 1998 by a trans advocate in honor of trans woman Rita Hester’s memory, TDOR has been commemorated every year by vigils and other community-based events. Here are several goings-on this week, fun and solemn alike, that are either directly affiliated with Trans Awareness Week or serve to spotlight and lift up trans and queer individuals or groups.

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McSorley’s Bounces Back From Health Dept Closure; Rezoning Nixed on Williamsburg Waterfront

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The School’s Special Commission of Investigation found no one to blame for the October 2015 choking death of a 7-year-old girl at P.S. 250 in Williamsburg, news that upset her family. [DNA Info]

On Wednesday, police arrested a woman, 34, for allegedly punching a 9-year-old girl (who was not her child) at the Essex/Delancey Street subway station. [Gothamist]

Four days after the 162-year-old bar was closed by the Department of Health, McSorley’s Old Ale House was back in business as of yesterday afternoon. [EV Grieve] Keep Reading »

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How a Bunch of Brave New Futurists Zapped the Old Pearl River Mart Back to Life

A booth dedicated to the old Pearl River Mart (Photo: Nicole Disser)

A booth dedicated to the old Pearl River Mart (Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Preservationist” has become something of a slur, used to denigrate the old-timers and neo-hippies who’d rather save ratty old tenant buildings and dusty mom-and-pop stores than make way for clean big-box stores with cheap stuff for everyone, and skyscraping mixed-use luxury complexes with their affordable housing pittance. It’s sorta like: C’mon, New York City is, by its nature, dynamic and changing. But the ever-faster pace of development and the lightyear rate of change have made for an urban landscape where transformation takes place exponentially and squeezes out the very people who have made this city vibrant and interesting in the first place.

Over the weekend, a slew of more than 40 local and visiting artists, as well as organizations like the Chinatown Art Brigade (a grassroots effort tackling the divisive issue of gallery-led gentrification in their neighborhood) demonstrated that preservation doesn’t have to be backward-looking.

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‘Style Wars’ Producer Henry Chalfant Offers Panoramic Views of Graffiti’s ‘Golden Age’

Henry Chalfant's subway photographs now on view (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Henry Chalfant’s subway photographs now on view (Image courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery)

Since Thursday, the white walls at Eric Firestone Gallery have been wholly devoted to just a small portion of Henry Chalfant’s  archive of “subway photographs.” Henry Chalfant: 1980 focuses on a year in which graffiti was still regarded as subversive and dangerous. At the same time, street art was at its most vibrant and anarchic. The work offers not only a trip back to the “golden age of graffiti,” but a thorough “visual anthropology,” as Chalfant describes it– a studied view of street culture back when it actually came from the streets.

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