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TONIGHT: Cycling Advocates Roll Into the Newsroom

BikeNight

Used to be that bike messengers were just about the only ones willing to brave the mean streets on two wheels, but we now live in an age where even dogs are riding bikes. Join us tonight and grab a free Stumptown stubbie (plus one for the road) as some spokespeople who’ve seen it all discuss the evolution of biking culture in NYC.

Keegan Stephan will have some news to share: this week the writer, activist, and co-host of “Bike Talk” (WBAI) announced the creation of Bike Yard, a pop-up for cooperative bike repair that’ll be located in Havemayer Park through next year. Stephan founded Cranked Up!, a cycle club and advocacy group, while at Sarah Lawrence and, after graduating, opened a bike shop in the South Bronx. He started volunteering — as a mechanic and eventually as an instructor, administrator, and organizer — at the legendary environmentalist non-profit Time’s Up in 2010 and went on to revitalize Right of Way, the direct-action street justice group best known for its unauthorized bike lanes.

Brendt Barbur started the Bicycle Film Festival in 2001 after he was hit by a bus while riding in New York City. The festival — along with Joyride, its affiliated art show — has since gone beyond the streets of the East Village to become a worldwide phenomenon, and has traveled to over 50 cities (it made a stop in London earlier this month and visits North Carolina next week). This year’s New York installment featured 60 screenings of bike-related films and a blowout performance by Blonde Redhead.

AJ Nichols was repairing and selling bicycles out of a basement studio — and teaching at 3rd Ward — before he took a storefront on Bushwick Avenue this past summer and opened Harvest Cyclery, a vintage and used bike shop with a focus on reclaiming underappreciated rides.

Daniel Leeb is a documentary filmmaker also known for his video installation work with artists such as Doug Aitken and avant garde musician Hisham Bharoocha. In 2003, he founded Cinecycle, a Williamsburg-based production company and boutique marketing studio that, among other things, has documented the rise of bike messenger culture in cities around the world — most notably in a short film, “Messenger,” that was commissioned by Puma in 2004.

They’ll all be coasting into the Newsroom at 7 p.m., so join us then at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.

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Watch It Live: A Bushwick Writers Confab

Can’t make it to our tonight? Worry not: we’re coming at you live. Watch and listen as Brando Skyhorse, author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, reads from his forthcoming memoir, Five Fathers; Paul Rome reads from his debut novel, We All Sleep in the Same Room, out this month; and Patricia E. Gillespie reads her poems from the recently published anthology, Bushwick Poems. And then keep on watching as they chat about living and writing in the neighborhood. The stream starts around 7 p.m.

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Bushwick and Greenpoint Just Got Two New Record Stores

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Vinyl Fantasy (Photo: Lauren Carol Smith)

Amid the gloom and doom over closing record shops, there are a couple of glimmers of hope. Last week, Academy Annex  (check out photos of the new store at 83 Oak Street below) while a Bushwick newcomer hit the corner of Knickerbocker and Jefferson.
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There Shall Be Free Food and Drink at Baoburg’s Grand Opening

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg (Photo: Melissa Kravitz)

Baoburg won’t celebrate its grand opening until Saturday (with free food and drinks!!*) but the restaurant has already created a sort of Asian trifecta at the corner of North 6th and Berry, where Chai Home Kitchen and Ramen Yebisu are also located. (*RSVP since seating is limited, per a Facebook post.)
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The Best Cosplay We Saw at Comic Con, From Deadpool to Deadmau5

Ahri from the League of Legends videogame. (Photos: Lauren Carol Smith)

Ahri from the League of Legends videogame. (Photos: Lauren Carol Smith)

We're not sure about these costumes, but they look very anime.

We're not sure about these costumes, but they look very anime.

Captain America from the Marvel comic book universe.

Captain America from the Marvel comic book universe.

Batwoman from the Batman comics as well as the Witch King of Angmar from Lord of the Rings.

Batwoman from the Batman comics as well as the Witch King of Angmar from Lord of the Rings.

A centaur, presumably from Greek mythology.

A centaur, presumably from Greek mythology.

Kisami Hoshigaki from the Naruto anime and manga.

Kisami Hoshigaki from the Naruto anime and manga.

Some Star Trek officers, one from the J.J. Abrams timeline and another from The Next Generation.

Some Star Trek officers, one from the J.J. Abrams timeline and another from The Next Generation.

Prince Robot IV from the Saga comic book series.

Prince Robot IV from the Saga comic book series.

A victorious Shredders hoists aloft the heads of some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A victorious Shredders hoists aloft the heads of some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A deadmau5 head accompanying a Nyancat shirt.

A deadmau5 head accompanying a Nyancat shirt.

Skeletor from He-man perhaps? Or some other flesh-deprived villain.

Skeletor from He-man perhaps? Or some other flesh-deprived villain.

The woman on the right appears to be a long-haired Misty from Pokemon. The masked woman in the kimono is a mystery.

The woman on the right appears to be a long-haired Misty from Pokemon. The masked woman in the kimono is a mystery.

The Witch King of Angmar from the Lord of the Rings.

The Witch King of Angmar from the Lord of the Rings.

He-man and She-ra from their respective eponymous cartoons.

He-man and She-ra from their respective eponymous cartoons.

The Batman rogues gallery poses for a group photo.

The Batman rogues gallery poses for a group photo.

Sub Zero from Mortal Combat attempts to finish Deadpool from Marvel Comics.

Sub Zero from Mortal Combat attempts to finish Deadpool from Marvel Comics.

Darth Vader from Star Wars vs. Darth Vader from Much Better Star Wars

Darth Vader from Star Wars vs. Darth Vader from Much Better Star Wars

Poison Ivy from the Batman comics.

Poison Ivy from the Batman comics.

There's a lot going on here, but that appears to be a group shot with Ser Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, from Game of Thrones.

There's a lot going on here, but that appears to be a group shot with Ser Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, from Game of Thrones.

Difficult to identify from this angle. Could be a confused brony.

Difficult to identify from this angle. Could be a confused brony.

We had to google this, but it appears this human spray-paint can digs the band

We had to google this, but it appears this human spray-paint can digs the band "Anxieteam."

Unless we miss our mark, this appears to be the un-named protagonist from the game Miami Hotline.

Unless we miss our mark, this appears to be the un-named protagonist from the game Miami Hotline.

Not sure about this one, looks like either a Transformer or a Japanese super sentai villain.

Not sure about this one, looks like either a Transformer or a Japanese super sentai villain.

No idea, but it looks fabulous.

No idea, but it looks fabulous.

Whatever this costume is, it looks as though it requires a lot of product.

Whatever this costume is, it looks as though it requires a lot of product.

Not certain, but these look like variations on D.C.'s Speedy/Red Arrow.

Not certain, but these look like variations on D.C.'s Speedy/Red Arrow.

Not sure what this is, but we wouldn't want to meet it in a dark alley.

Not sure what this is, but we wouldn't want to meet it in a dark alley.

Would you believe that we woke up this morning from the world’s biggest New York Comic Con hangover? The last two days since the convention ended on Sunday are a bit of a blur. These photos come from a memory card found in the tights of a discarded Robin cosplay on the bathroom floor that we don’t remember wearing. John Barrowman isn’t in any of them … yet.
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Tonight! See These Bushwick Writers and Sip Free Stumptown

bushwickwriters

Earlier this week we got some literary types togeth to , and now we go east to Bushwick. Tonight at the Newsroom, a trio of Bushwickians will read from their recent work and talk about writing in the neighborhood. To keep you riveted, we’re giving away stubbies of Stumptown cold brew. So, yeah!, come see:

Brando SkyhorseThe LA-born author of the highly praised debut novel The Madonnas of Echo Park (winner of the PEN/Hemingway award and Sue Kaufman Prize) is a fixture at KGB‘s Sunday Night Fiction series in the East Village, but he actually makes his home in Bushwick. Tonight he’ll read from his forthcoming book, Five Fathers. The memoir of growing up with five stepfathers and being a Mexican-American who was raised as a Native American will be published in June of 2014 by Simon & Schuster.

Paul Rome: You’ve seen this guy around. He manages the Wyckoff Starr and his performance literature has packed the house at the Bushwick Starr — so he has a lot of starr power? Anyway, his debut novel, We All Sleep in the Same Room, comes out this month (see the just released book trailer). The psychological bender, about the unraveling of a Union Square labor lawyer, has already been called “a powerful symphony of melancholy and wisdom” by National Book Award finalist Howard Norman.

Patricia E. Gillespie is a professional filmmaker whose writing appears in Bushwick Poetry, a just published anthology of Bushwick poets. She teaches at the New York Film Academy.

7 p.m. at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom, 155 Grand St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg

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Watch St. Lucia Perform ‘Elevate’ in Their Studio Before They Get Evicted

Though they played Governor’s Ball in June and opened two sold-out shows for Two Door Cinema Club last week, it’s been over a year since Williamsburg’s St. Lucia has headlined a hometown show of its own. But on the heels of the band’s first LP, When the Night, Bowery Presents has just announced two new gigs: one at Music Hall of Williamsburg on January 17 and the other at Bowery Ballroom the next day.

St. Lucia recently invited Bedford + Bowery into the studio on South 11th Street where their debut album was recorded, and performed an acoustic version of their single “Elevate.” Afterward, we spoke to Jean-Philip Grobler about facing eviction from the studio and maybe spending more time in Los Angeles.

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These North Brooklyn Writers Agree: Stop Talking Shit About Williamsburg

After spieling with a pair of downtown memoirists about changes in the East Village and Lower East Side over the years, we brought together to talk North Brooklyn. Yesterday, before their reading at Pete’s Candy Store, we spoke to Mike DeCapite and Bradley Spinelli, who both live in Williamsburg, as well as Jacob Tomsky, a Bushwick novelist whose hotel memoir, Heads in Beds, hit the New York Times bestseller list (again! this time as a paperback) earlier this month.
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Priced Out of NYC, This T-Shirt Designer Now Commutes From the Catskills

Making “upcycled vintage from 20th century pop culture” ain’t easy: to do it, artist Golly Bishop sometimes drives 800 miles to acquire vintage bedsheets, sleeping bags and curtains at yard sales; then he cuts out characters like Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and sews them onto T-shirts. He’s been practicing this “post-modern archeology for a brave[ish] new world” full-time for the past five years, but in recent months the exorbitant cost of living in the city forced him out of the East Village, his home of 12 years, to a new studio space in the Catskills.
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Watch These Two Musician Memoirists Remember Stanton Street Very Differently

Friday at the B+B Newsroom Rayya Elias, author of Harley Loco: A Memoir of Hard Living, Hair, and Post-Punk from the Middle East to the Lower East Side, and Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, The Lower East Side and the Prime of our Lives read from their recently published memoirs and talked about the changes they’d seen in the East Village and Lower East Side over the years. Play the video to watch the readings and conversation. And here’s what happened when an audience member asked the authors to compare the eras during which they moved to the city (the late ’80s and mid-aughts, respectively).
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