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Soho House Tells SLA ‘This Liquor Might Actually Do a Lot of Good’

(Courtesy LES Dwellers)

(Courtesy LES Dwellers)

Soho House made the case for a liquor license at their impending Lower East Side location, Ludlow House, at the State Liquor Authority in Harlem today, with the LES Dwellers and several Ludlow Street residents in attendance to oppose it. Ludlow House’s legal representation, Donald Bernstein, attempted to prove that Soho House’s cultural programs, responsible leadership, relatively low-key nightlife, and classy members who “won’t be puking on stoops” will be a public benefit to the neighborhood.
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House Fire On Graham Avenue; ‘theArtisan’ Coming to Williamsburg

(Photo: Anthony Pappalardo)

(Photo: Anthony Pappalardo)

A fire broke out at 293 Graham Avenue in Williamsburg this afternoon. The three-story residential building appeared to sustain little damage, although 60 firefighters responded, prompting one bystander to ask, “Is this a show of force? Show those fires what they’re up against?” An FDNY spokesperson told Bedford + Bowery the fire was placed under control at 4:45 p.m., about a half-hour after it began. Its cause is currently under investigation.

City public advocate Bill de Blasio rocketed into second place in the latest mayoral poll. Sure, it could be a sign that New Yorkers are tired of Anthony “Danger Zone” Weiner’s cock-shot proclivities, but might Blasio’s open courting of “the Williamsburg vote” have something to do with his rise? [Daily Intelligencer] Keep Reading »

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Don’t Even Think About Asking These Improv Legends to Do ‘Real Housewives’

(Photo: Facebook, Baby Wants Candy)

As mentioned in this week’s comedy roundup, the 15th annual Del Close Marathon kicks off this Friday, with 56 straight hours of improvised comedy taking place across 7 stages throughout the city, including East Village’s own UCB East theater and Theater 80 on St. Marks Place.

There’s reason to range beyond the Bedford + Bowery borders, as well: Baby Wants Candy — the long-running, Chicago-based improvised musical — is one of the most beloved institutions within the improv world and a Marathon fixture, having played over 1,700 shows worldwide.
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72 Hours of New Year’s Parties, 5 of Them at Venues Now Gone For Good


New Year’s Eve was the day the music died for venues Hank’s Saloon in Boerum Hill, Continental Bar in the East Village, Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village and nightclubs Cielo in the meatpacking district and Output in Williamsburg.

Between them, almost every genre of sound was represented including punk, hardcore, country, jazz, classical, house, techno and lots of spoken word. Though Continental Bar hasn’t hosted live music in years, I still felt it there from when I hung out starting in the ’90s (the stage was taken out in 2006). Though it got tough reviews when it switched to focusing on shot specials, I’ll always remember it as the free-for all punk clubhouse that hosted Murphy’s Law Halloween for years.

Hank’s Saloon kept up that tradition in Brooklyn as it became one of the few hard-rock stages in the borough following the closures of Grand Victory, AcheronDon Pedro’s, and Bar Matchless. They also shuttered last Saturday ahead of the building’s demolition, but thankfully for music fans owner Julie Ipcar plans to re-open this month above Hill Country’s new food court nearby, with bigger capacity and new sound system.

Though it is a literary as well as musical landmark, words can almost not describe the loss of Cornelia Street Cafe after 40 years in the Village. When I spent time with owner Robin Hirsch for the Cafe’s 40th Anniversary last year, he summed up the words spoken there as “the Greenwich Village coffeehouse conversation” in a place he described as “America’s bohemia.” Hirsch’s friend and legendary jazz composer David Amram played the venue’s final New Year’s Eve concert ahead of its closure the next day. When Amram, along with his band, raised his glass at midnight he said, “This is not a farewell but a celebration of Cornelia Street Cafe In Exile’s birthday and to the next 41 years of its life.” He then struck up a song starting with that line and the spirit in his 88-year-old voice soothed the audience members as they measured what they would lose the next day without the cafe.

Cielo and Output both went out with bangs as the house and techno beats kept their uber-hip crowds dancing well into New Year’s Day. Cielo was launched 15 years ago by DJ Nicolas Matar, who then followed up with Output in 2012. It became NYC’s “absolute best” nightclub. I was able to photograph the staffs of both and after talking with them, many of whom had worked for the full tenures of the clubs, I discovered that they genuinely loved their jobs and how the work families formed there were their biggest losses next the venues themselves.

Taken in the context of the rest of the night’s major parties– including JunXion’s New Dawn at Brooklyn Bazaar and Bang On!’s Time & Space at Knockdown Center– these portraits show the loss of these venues in real time as the rest of the parties raged on around them. My 72-hour New Year’s journey can possibly be summed up from my 3am drive from Cornelia’s emotional concert in the Village to two house parties in South Brooklyn. Going from a room full of tearful seniors citizens in the classic New York bohemia to the beer-soaked youth in a culturally expanding outer-borough that’s not focused on the past gave me pause. As much as I wanted to blast my memories towards the new “cool” kids, I held back, hoping that these old acquaintances would come towards these young minds naturally, just as they did mine.

6pm at The Lot Radio pop-up, Times Square

DJ Eli Escobar (left) with staff during the final sets of its Times Square residency:

8:30pm at Output, Williamsburg

VIP door manager Rene Harriman (top, third from left) with his fellow staff before opening up for the venue’s final night:

First attendees on line to see John Digweed’s NYE show on Output’s final night:

9pm at Continental Bar, East Village

Patrons having their final shots before NYE:

9pm at Coco 66, Greenpoint

Bartenders Jodi and Nicky (first and second from right) as they served pre-gamers:

9:30pm in Greenpoint

Brooklyn Wildlife’s Chris Carr with Gamba Forests’s Melissa Hunter Gurney (middle row, third and fourth from right) during their New Years Eve showcase:

9:30pm at Cielo, Meatpacking District

Manager David Mitchell with his staff before their final Saturday shift ahead of their NYE closure:

10pm at Easy Lover, Williamsburg

Co-owner Aaron Koen (center) with his DJs as he started up his NYE karaoke party:

10:45pm at Con Artist Collective, Lower East Side

Artist Wizard Skull (bottom right) with his fellow partiers:

3am in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Chris and Melissa Detres’ lingerie and pajama slumber party at their home:

4am at Hank’s Saloon, Boerum Hill

Owner Julie Ipcar (lower photo, center) with patrons during her bar’s final last call:

4am at Brooklyn Lodge, Kensington

Doormen Tevin and Taylor Baily beside the venue’s VIP room with organizers Alex Neuhausen and Robin French (back, second and fourth from left):

Attendees of the New Year’s Masquerade:

5am at Knockdown Center, Maspeth

Attendees of Bang On!’s Time+Space NYE pary .

6am at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint

Partiers at the conclusion of JunXion’s New Dawn NYE party:

At 6am, the Orijins crew closing out JunXion’s New Dawn NYE party:

At 6:30am, founder Myk Tummolo (right pic) alongside artist Michelle Joni (left pic) and his crew (center) as they boarded their bus:

6:45am in Bushwick

After-partiers Rhiannon Catalyst, Dave Gelles and Miller Pyke as they walked through the neighborhood:

8am in Williamsburg

(L to R) Aleks Craine, Mike Trotter and Penny Lane alongside their partiers at the conclusion of Eris Evolution’s, SOUP NYC and G House NYC’s Metropolis Ball in Williamsburg:

12pm at Cornelia Street Cafe, West Village

Owner Robin Hirsch (center) with jazz legend David Amram’s band and family toasting the eve of the restaurant’s closing day:

12:30pm at The Lot Radio, Greenpoint

Soul Clap’s Eli Goldstein and The Lot Radio’s Tara Wight (l and r) as they reopened the station’s Greenpoint home after its Times Square residency:

3:30pm at House of Yes, East Williamsburg

DJ Penny Lane (top pic, second left) finishing her second New Year’s set in Bubble and Bass’s Onyx Room alongside partiers including Emily Plaskett’s pooch Meatball (right pic, center).

The conclusion of Bubble and Bass’s Seize the Day 2019 party at House of Yes:

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Looking Back On 17 Pre-Halloween Parties As We Suit Up For the Big Night

The partiers at BAE’s Mystic’s Playground party with co-host Reem Abdou (bottom, center), 134 Metropolitan Ave, 10/27/18 at 2am.

While you may be under the illusion that Halloween starts tonight, the city’s hardest partiers have been filling clubs, bars, and warehouses since the weekend. On Saturday, I hopped from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn, visiting underground and above-ground venues like House of Yes, Secret Mansion, and Strangelove Bar, as well as dance parties like BAE’s Mystic’s Playground and the annual Bang On! rave, Warehouse of Horrors. I even stopped by Videology to photograph the bar/screening room before it ghosted.

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Kat Cunning Explores the Dark Side of Sleeping Beauty in CNTRL

(Photo: Ben Trivett)

In the past years, we’ve seen Kat Cunning on the stage with Company XIV singing Lana del Rey’s songs better than Lana del Rey, in high-octane Broadway productions (Paramour; Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and on cable (The Deuce, where she plays a recurring character). What’s more, her first EP might (finally!) be on the way

As if she needed to add to her resume, on November 8, she’ll make her co-directorial debut in CNTRL, a circus-musical performance co-created with House of Yes’ own Anya Sapozhnikova, also starring nine core performers and five extras. A spin on Sleeping Beauty, CNTRL focuses on the power dynamics, the sexuality and the darker aspects of the fairy tale, with Cunning in the leading role. “Control is the word that kept coming up when I was talking about the characters’ power dynamics, and their sexualities, as a reference to power play,” Cunning told Bedford + Bowery. “The word comes up to me as a human when I am working, being a control freak.”   

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These Anti-Creep Posters Are Coming to Halloween Parties, and Could Become Law

(Flyer courtesy of Anya Saphozhnikova)

If you ask Anya Sapozhnikova, co-founder of glitzy Bushwick club and venue House of Yes, Halloween is the biggest party season in New York. It’s also “kind of the most consent violation-y weekend of the whole year,” she tells me, something that’s far scarier than any ghouls or fake blood. That’s why starting this week, both her venue and Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. will be spearheading a consent education initiative in the form of a website and posters that will be displayed in prominent nightlife venues throughout the city, with future plans that could make this type of consent-centric signage required.
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Photos: The Best of What We Saw at Bushwick Open Studios

There wasn’t all that much information about this year’s Bushwick Open Studios on the Arts in Bushwick website until the end of the week, so it was hard to know what was most exciting to check out. That allowed me to meander around, but I couldn’t help feeling some FOMO knowing I’d only see a fraction of the 200 participating art studios.

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Performance Picks: Anarchist Emmas and Violent Ellens

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Tank / Facebook)

Red Emma and the Mad Monk
Now through September 1 at The Tank, 8 pm: $20-30

Nowadays, when one thinks about theater (particularly any form of commercial theater, Broadway or otherwise), radical politics aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second or third for that matter. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see this serve as the cornerstone of Red Emma and the Mad Monk, a new play with music by Alexis Roblan presented as part of The Tank’s Ladyfest. It centers around a 12 year-old girl who has a mystic Russian imaginary friend and enjoys fighting online with “deplorables,” an unsettling pastime for someone so young, but it probably happens more than we’d like to think. In the midst of this, she learns about the influential anarchist activist Emma Goldman, and starts to consider the world a bit differently. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Drag Competition, Comedy (Divine Or Otherwise)

WEDNESDAY

(image via House of Yes / Facebook)

Hot Mess: Drag Competition
Wednesday, July 11 at House of Yes, 10 pm: FREE

When you think of a drag competition, surely one certain television show comes to mind. But, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has made clear, not every type of drag performer is allowed to partake. But at Madame Vivien V’s live drag competition Hot Mess, there are no such limitations. “All drag is equal so whatever form you take, [whether] you are a seasoned professional or a baby darling, if you’ve got something to say, we want to give you the stage,” the event page articulates, noting that the show will include queens, kings, “queerdos,” and whomever else may want to strut their stuff. The winner will receive the coveted title of Mx. Hot Mess, as well as $100 cash. Plus, unlike a lot of events at the glitzy House of Yes, it’s free. Keep Reading »