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How One Fraudulent Banking Temple in Brooklyn Found Faith in Orthodoxy

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

The Williamsburg Trust Company building, 2016. (Photo: Natasha Bluth)

The Williamsburg Trust Company building, 2016. Natasha Bluth

Buildings repurposed as churches always attracted the legendary writer Joseph Mitchell, including one particular Williamsburg building that never made it into his New Yorker columns. “I find myself standing in front of and looking up at [it] several times a year—I have never been able to figure out why,” he admitted in his unpublished memoirs. To Mitchell, the mystery of the old Williamsburg Trust Company on South Fifth Place between South Fifth Street and South Fourth Street was most alive in the summer dusk when it transformed into “the quarter of St. Petersburg in which Raskolnikov killed the old moneylender woman and her half sister.”

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Double Stabbing in the East Village; Cake Shop’s Run Comes to an End

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

An Alphabet City couple was taken to Bellevue Hospital yesterday morning in critical condition after they were allegedly stabbed by their upstairs neighbor, police and fellow residents of 1 Haven Plaza reported. [NY Post] One witness said the female victim attempted to escape to the elevator before putting on her clothes. [CBS2 NY]

Ludlow Street’s eleven-year-old music venue, Cake Shop, will shutter this weekend, but it may eventually reopen in Brooklyn. [Brooklyn Vegan]

Paperwork was submitted to begin construction on a 12-story mixed-use building with 61 residential units at 40 Bleecker Street. [The Real Deal] Keep Reading »

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A Chinatown Church Marks 80 Years in a Place Where ‘No Decent Person Walked’

The True Light Lutheran Church today (Photo by Jiayun Feng)

The True Light Lutheran Church today (Photo by Jiayun Feng)

On May 29, 1949, a group of people marched through Chinatown to celebrate the construction of a brand new building at 195 Worth Street, just a short walk from City Hall. A scout band played at the head of the procession and the men and women who followed carried banners that proclaimed, “We are marching to Chinatown’s True Light Lutheran Church.” It was the third US location of the first Lutheran mission, established to bring the Word of God to people of Chinese origin.

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Join a Community Arts Dialogue, See Queer Latinx Art, and More Before the Clock Strikes 2017

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Art Start Up!
Tuesday, December 27, 7 pm to 10 pm at Theater for the New City, RSVP by Email info@theaterforthenewcity.net to RSVP

This Tuesday, one of the last independent East Village art spaces still hangin’ on, Theater for the New City, will welcome a group of artists as well as an array community organizations to engage in a conversation about the East Village and Lower East Side arts scene. There’s a lot to survey: the current state of things, what’s missing, what improvements should be made to best suit the community the arts (hopefully) serve, and economic barriers that may be in place. That last one is sure to be a long conversation.

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The Greenwich Village Church That Helped Women Get Illegal Abortions

This week, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

(Photo: Bill Altham)

(Photo: Bill Altham)

On the 16th of November in 1964, four women and four men appeared in their underwear at the Judson Memorial Church, happily cavorting with each other and rubbing their bodies with carefree smiles. They piled up together, humping and sensually touching each other in a mess of raw fish, chicken and sausages. It was an event devoid of modesty, an unapologetic, uncensored expression of sexuality.

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Alexander Skarsgård Considers an EV Address; Subway Therapy Book Underway

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Chef Damon Wise recently agreed to oversee kitchen operations at both Sauvage in Greenpoint and its sibling restaurant, Maison Premiere, in Williamsburg. [Grub Street]

True Blood actor Alexander Skarsgård recently toured the three-bedroom penthouse above the East Village’s Anshei Meseritz synagogue. [NY Post]

In October, a book called Subway Therapy will forever capture the thousands of uplifting Post-It notes that appeared in the Union Square subway station following the election. [Gothamist] Keep Reading »

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All John Gotti Wanted For Christmas Was This Infamous Address

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

Nothing, at least nothing widely known, has happened at the Ravenite Social Club since Christmas Eve thirty-one years ago, when it became the court of John Gotti. Some 200 well-wishers filed across its rosette-tiled floor to pay their respects to the newly anointed boss of the Gambino crime family. FBI detectives concealed in a van watched the procession as the start of a new dynasty began.

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Hallelujah, Film Forum Is Screening the Leonard Cohen Tour Doc, ‘Bird On a Wire’

If you’re still mourning the loss of Leonard Cohen last month, this may help: Film Forum is screening Tony Palmer’s classic documentary Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire for two weeks starting January 18. A lovely antidote to all those “Hallelujah” covers, the doc follows Cohen on a month-long tour of Europe in the spring of 1972, after his salad days in New York City. While it starts off with the obligatory footage of the band boarding planes and signing autographs (Cohen was already a big deal at the time, having released his first three albums), it soon takes a far more pensive turn.

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Is Mission Chinese Planning a Vietnamese Offshoot?

(Photo: Paul Wagtouicz for Grub Street)

(Photo: Paul Wagtouicz for Grub Street)

Mission Cantina has apparently closed after three years of serving up Mexican-Chinese-whatever food, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Danny Bowien’s Lower East Side empire is shrinking. According to a Community Board 3 calendar of meetings sent out today, an entity by the name of Mission Vietnamese is interested in a liquor license in the former Pies ‘n’ Thighs space.

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This ‘Squirranha’ Maker Is Just One Reason We’ll Miss the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Before the Morbid Anatomy Museum suddenly ceased operations in Gowanus, we stopped by its holiday flea market at Bell House and met Wilder Duncan, who, among other things, conducted “skeleton workshops” at the museum. The artist and rogue taxidermist was just one member of “a community that gathered regularly to celebrate those strange, liminal ideas that led to the unexpected places where death, beauty, science and spirit meet,” as Evan Michelson, co-owner of Obscura Oddities and Antiques, put it in a eulogy for Morbid Anatomy. Duncan describes his work– including his “queer deer” series and his half-squirrel, half-piranha “squirranha”– as “a combination of morbid and humorous.” Watch our video and you’ll see why.

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Live in Bret Easton Ellis or Aaron Neville’s Pads; Jude Law Hits Economy Candy

Tour the penthouse that until recently belonged to Grammy-winning singer Aaron Neville, who recently unloaded the $2.6 million property on E. 9th Street. [NY Post]

Baci e Vendetta, a wine bar/trattoria/cafe replacing 10 Degrees Bistro, opened last week on Avenue A. [EV Grieve]

At Central Avenue’s Maite, a whole roasted pig will be served Saturday night as part of a special Chistmas Eve dinner. [Bushwick Daily]

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