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Monday at the Newsroom: Three Generations of Williamsburg Writers

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On Monday, join us at the B+B Newsroom as we talk to authors whose work spans three decades in Williamsburg. After the 5:30 p.m. discussion we’ll head over to Pete’s Candy Store, where, at 7 p.m., they’ll read from their books. It’s all free; just let us know you’re coming.

Jacob Tomsky, is in his early 30s and just hit his ten-year Williamsburg anniversary. His memoir about the hotel industry, Heads in Beds, is a New York Times bestseller. The New York Times Book Review said “the prose is brisk and smart,” and Janet Maslin (also in The Times) calls Tomsky “an effervescent writer.” Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, calls him “a star.” Jake is also the founder of Short Story Thursdays, a weekly, email-based short story club, which has been sanctioned by the Paris Review. Heads in Beds was released in paperback in August.

Bradley Spinelli, a former stagehand in his early 40s, has lived in Williamsburg since 1999. His debut novel, Killing Williamsburg, imagines a suicide epidemic in New York City, as told by a proto-hipster lighting technician in 1999 Williamsburg. Publishers Weekly says “Spinelli offers sharp and stylish prose.” The book’s launch party featured a three-hour “Suicide Set” by DJ Questlove.

Mike DeCapite, a former taxi driver and the elder of the group in his early ’50s, lived in Williamsburg in the late ‘80s (and then moved back there in the mid-aughts), when his work first appeared in three issues of Richard Hell’s CUZ magazine. In 1999, his cult-classic novel about his taxi-driving days, Through the Windshield, drew a rave from the San Francisco Chronicle. Harvey Pekar, writing in the Austin Chronicle, called it “one of the better American novels of the past several years,” and Jocko Weyland, in Rain Taxi, called it “a down-at-the-heels masterpiece.” DeCapite has recently published the chapbook Creamsicle Blue and the prose collection Radiant Fog.

5:30 p.m. discussion at the B+B Newsroom, 155 Grand St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg
7 p.m. readings at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., nr. Richardson St., Williamsburg

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Check Out Park Luncheonette, Reopened by Team Matchless and No Name

Last weekend, as promised, the owners of Manhattan Avenue bars Matchless and No Name reopened the Park Luncheonette off of McCarren Park. You can now stop by in the morning for espresso drinks and maybe some banana bread, or in the evening for beer, wine or cocktails at the candlelit bar (there’s also root beer on tap). The pizza menu didn’t debut this past week as hoped, but we’re told slices should be flying out of the takeout window by next week. We spoke to Nicholas Schneider, who’s heading the pizza operation, and his partner Ted Nugent of No Name and Matchless. Play the audio slideshow to check out the luncheonette’s new look and hear more about what to expect from the kitchen.

Park Luncheonette, 334 Driggs Ave., at Lorimer St., Williamsburg

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‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ Guy Has Released a Funky Little Housing Court Jam

Now that Jimmy McMillan, founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High party, has achieved even more fame as a music video star, why wouldn’t he put his eviction fight to music? The East Village resident’s new tune, “Order in the Court,” is basically a primer (Jimmy McMillan style) on landlord-tenant law, and contains theories like “the judges that sit on the bench have been appointed by the landlord’s attorney who represent the landlord.” This may be the only time a scathing indictment of Article 31, Section 3120 has been put to funk music (unless George Clinton did it?).

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Hit This Open Bar and Check Out Lit Lounge’s New Back Room

openingFlyerAfter Fuse Gallery closed behind Lit Lounge, owner Erik Foss gave us a preview glimpse into the new back room, which will now hold a pool table, games, seating, and rotating installations on the wall (unlike when the space was a gallery, the artwork won’t be for sale and will be covered over by each new artist). Now the space has a name (Fuse Room) and an opening date (Wednesday, Oct. 16). The launch party for “Rollers” (the debut installation from Ivory Serra, BÄST, and Lance De Los Reyes) looks like a blast (a BLÄST?): there’s an open vodka bar from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and DJs include Steve Lewis, Jonathan Toubin, and Prince Terrence.

For the serious part, we go over to Foss: “We at Fuse and Lit felt that making a change was the best way to ensure our place in downtown culture and keep our vision of exposing the masses to things they would probably not normally get to see in person,” he writes in the invite, “and also to continue to help artists.”

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Would You Get One of These Memorial CBGB Tattoos?

tumblr_muh5artsdU1qbr14ko1_1280Okay, so Glenn Branca thinks CBGB was “just a shithole where bands got up on stage and played,” but others think the place was pretty special. And many of those folks are likely to converge on Greenpoint today, because Three Kings Tattoo is giving away one of these memorial tattoos between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. It’s first come, first serve, but don’t expect quite the kind of line those $13 tats got: these are going for $100 to $300.

When you’re done getting inked, head over the the B+B Newsroom to hear Rayya Elias, who played at CBGB back in the day, read from Harley Loco, her memoir about her rough-and-tumble life in the ’80s East Village, followed by Brendan Jay Sullivan reading from Rivington Was Ours and sharing his memories of running with Lady Gaga on the Lower East Side. The free reading and discussion starts at 7 p.m., at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.

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Watch Glenn Branca Hold Forth On Bowie, Byrne, CBGB, Sonic Youth + His Own Bad Self

As excited as we were to celebrate Glenn Branca’s 65th birthday at the B+B Newsroom last week, we didn’t expect our discussion with the trailblazing composer to be as epic as, say, the time in 2001 that we were blown away by his 100-guitar symphony beneath the Twin Towers, and (more recently, in 2010) the debut of his 15th symphony at Le Poisson Rouge. How wrong we were: the master rolled into 155 Grand with a bottle of whiskey and, just like when New York spoke to him in 2004, immediately lit up a cig. We weren’t about to tell him to put it out.
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Sorry, You Already Missed Everybody’s Favorite Former President in the East Village

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

The world’s most powerful peanut farmer and everyone’s — well, okay, this reporter’s — favorite ex-Prez made an appearance in the East Village today. Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn held a press conference this afternoon to look back at their 30 years of community service for Habitat Humanity. Awkward looking Secret Service agents milled about in the middle of East 6th Street while press, local residents, and habitat volunteers gathered across the street from Mascot Flats, the first Carter Work Project site.
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Rodriguez of Searching for Sugar Man Heard ‘South Africa’ a Lot Last Night

(Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

(Photo: Kristy Ann Muniz)

Last night, Barclays Center was filled with a mixture of middle-aged South Africans and twentysomething Williamsburg artist types, all there to catch a glimpse of Sixto Rodriguez, star of Searching for Sugar Man. For those who haven’t seen the Oscar-winning documentary, the back story of Rodriguez is pretty unreal; it’s like something straight out of, well, an Oscar-winning documentary. Basically, the Mexican-American guitarist had a short-lived musical career in the ’70s, but bootlegs of his albums made their way to South Africa where, unbeknownst to him, he became a legend. All the while, he was working manual labor jobs in Detroit. Now, thanks to the success of Searching for Sugar Man, at 71, Rodriguez is suddenly playing stadiums such as Barclays Center, and a sold-out Radio City Music Hall.
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Will Kent Avenue’s Hidden Mini Mall Be ‘Better Than Chelsea Market’?

Jacqueline Yu in her specialty hat and jewelry shop, Oat

Jacqueline Yu in her specialty hat and jewelry shop, Oat

“We’re still debating on names. It’ll be either Kent Avenue Market, Kent Avenue Shops, or Shops at 240 Kent,” says Renée Cecris, owner of Renée New York, a “girly” boutique in the newish, yet-to-be-named market near Williamsburg’s waterfront. The retail space is bright and airy, with dozens of little shops and businesses to wander through, and outgoing designers and shop owners to boot.
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Watch the House Videographers at CBGB Call Richard Hell a Crybaby

As you may have read over at Rolling Stone, Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong — in what’s sure to be one of the highlights of the CBGB Festival — are screening some of their rare late-70s and early-80s concert footage at Bowery Electric tonight, between performances by Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, Syl Sylvain of the New York Dolls, and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. We were lucky enough to have the authors of our weekly Nightclubbing column into the B+B Newsroom last Friday, along with Richard Boch, who’s working on a memoir of his time manning the door of the Mudd Club, and Pat Irwin, the guitarist for the Raybeats, 8 Eyed Spy and the B-52s, who spoke about his recently unearthed collaboration with Philip Glass.

If you missed Friday’s discussion, watch the replay above. Here’s what the gang had to say about Suicide (we spoke to Martin Rev of that band back in June) and the evolution of the Ramones.
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This Is Definitely the Most Pizza and Pickles You’ll Ever See in One Place

PickleDay

Pickle lovers and pizza lovers, prepare for sensory overload at two upcoming feasts.

Tonight, no less than 43 pizzerias will converge on St. Anthony’s Church at 154 Sullivan Street, for the annual Slice Out Hunger event. Tickets are only $1 and get you any one slice of your choice out of 700 pizzas to be found inside the event. Rest assured these aren’t the kind of dollar slices that Crazy Legs maligned: among the 43 pizzerias represented here are Motorino, Two Boots, Joe’s Pizza, and Forcella. Even De Blasio favorite Di Fara will be there. Dollars from this mega pizza party go directly to the NYC Food Bank. Vegan and gluten-free options will also be available for those of a softer disposition.
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Greg Barris and Dennis McKenna Will Drop Some, Er, Knowledge About Psychedelics Tomorrow

311152011_640The Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference kicks off Friday at Judson Memorial Church in the Village, but what about Brooklynites who don’t want to take the, er, trip into Manhattan to hear about the role of psychedelics in science, healing, culture and just plain feeling groovy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, man: tomorrow evening at the B+B Newsroom, East Village comedian Greg Barris interviews scientist and psychedelic journeyman Dennis McKenna.
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