Soho went back to the days before it was Soho as JD Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye filmed in the neighborhood today. On Jersey Street, between Lafayette and Crosby, crews had taken down modern-day street signs and replaced them with the sort of signage that would’ve graced Hell’s Hundred Acres, as it was then called, back when Salinger was a downtown denizen.
The UMOJA choir (Photo by Catherine Roma, courtesy of Fury Young)
“I need to get into awomen’s prison. I need to get into another men’s prison. Maybe I can get into two women’s prisons, or three more men’s prisons,” Fury Young said, punching his open hand with his fist emphatically. “I don’t know, but I want to try and at least get into one more of each.”
I realized the Bushwick-based prison reform activist wasn’t really directing this statement toward me– instead he was drilling himself about what remains left of his enormously ambitious passion project. For years, Young has been at work on Die Jim Crow– an effort that, so far, has taken him to a State Prison in Ohio and to neighborhoods in New York City and Philadelphia with particularly high incarceration rates. Along the way, he has recorded and collaborated with musicians who, at one time or another, have spent time behind bars or are currently locked up. “It’s the first anti-prison album recorded in prison,” he explained.
Back in 2014 we told you about British painter Amar Stewart’s “Hip-Hop Royalty” series at the Cotton Candy Machine in Bushwick, a display of “Golden Age”-inspired oil paintings of influential hip hop artists like Rick Ross, Action Bronson, and 10 other rap royals. As of June 2, he’ll be back at it again in Bushwick, with a six-week (maybe longer, depending upon popularity) exhibition and residency at Sweet Science.
His new exhibition, titled “The History of Hip Hop” has all-new work, including more than 20 new portraits of major New York hip hop artists in place of European nobles, as originally portrayed by your Rembrandts and Van Dykes, two recreated “Imperial” Faberge eggs (originally crafted for the last Russian Czar Nicholas II) on canvas, and Stewart’s first-ever sculpture, a collaboration with Russian sculptor Anton Tishchenko. (Check out our photo gallery for a sneak peek, courtesy of Stewart.)
DTF Presents: Mandatory Seminar Continues weekly through June 2 at The Annoyance Theater, 367 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg. 9pm. Tickets are $10. More info here.
Have you ever been a part of an office wellness seminar? I personally have not, but they sound truly absurd. Get a taste of one too outrageous for words tonight and next week in the hallowed halls of The Annoyance, where The Dingleberry Theater Foundation tries their very best to stage their own wellness seminar featuring a cast of characters who don’t seem at all suited for that sort of workplace, much less any workplace. Will there be meditative breathing exercises and miniature bottles of water or will there only be disaster? Only one way to find out.
Maison Premiere’s new sister restaurant, Sauvage (Photo: Katie Burton, courtesy of Sauvage)
Maison Premiere has been the Belle of the Brooklyn Ball since it opened in 2011– the Williamsburg oyster bar is perpetually brimming with enraptured guests and hovering, perspiring would-bes waiting for a seat at the horseshoe bar. Earlier this month, their off-the-chain booze operation earned them the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bar Program.” I mean, where else can you find a classy, non-diabetes-forming answer to the tiki trend, an unrivaled selection of absinthe drips, and a $20 martini that looks worthy of Macaulay Culkin’s character in a sorely needed Richie Rich Redux?
BAMcinemaFest, the summer series that last year celebrated the 20th anniversary of Kids, is back with some equally exciting offerings this year, and tickets go on sale tomorrow. If you thought the Anthony Weiner documentary would be hands-down the best Weiner movie of the year, note that it’ll have some competition when Todd Solondz’s long-awaited Welcome to the Dollhouse follow-up, Wiener-Dog, screens at BAM on June 17.
The work-in-progress garage space and backyard. (Photo courtesy Backyard Rockaway)
It’s difficult to predict the exact start date of yard sale season– or as I like to call it, “that time a stranger tried to haggle with my dad for the driveway basketball net that I was actively playing with.” As one Maine-based blogger Julie-Anne Baumer quips, “there seems to be a mysterious mathematical equation involving air temperature, the chance of precipitation, and square feet of house junk.” Looking at the weather forecast– and around my apartment– it would seem the season for distracted-er driving and voyeuristic perusal of neighbors’ undesirables is upon us. But for one “yard sale style display” in Rockaway, the start date is more than a month from now, on Independence Day.
When I first locked eyes with The Teen Age, I wrote that once the band’s music “gets stuck in your head, you’re screwed.” And truly, the Brooklyn band’s concoction of vibey, stoned doo-wop, cut with surf-rock and steeped in pop, hasn’t left my innards since. Theirs is the kind of pop music that seeps into your bones, made up of individual ditties that, after your first dose, can cause foot spasms and whistle symphonies for months on end.
What’s in a pin? Con Artist Collective, the scrappy community of creative hustlers always busy dreaming up crazy stuff on Ludlow Street, believes it’s just another way for artists to express themselves and the rest of us to have fun sticking funky doodads all over our jackets.