If things had gone as planned, the St. Mark’s Bookshop would’ve been closed for good by now. But the store has received a stay of execution and is still holding out, selling off its books at half-price while hoping for a miracle– or at least more investors to join the two who have already stepped up. Still, with new information surfacing about the plan for a St. Mark’s redux, it’s not looking good. Asked how long he thought the store had, owner Bob Contant guessed, “We might be here until the end of the month.”
Arts + Culture
Arturo Castro alert: on Saturday the Broad City star paid a surprise visit to Comedy Central’s public painting party. Castro, who plays Jaime on the show, braved the cold along with Abby’s post-dentist shopping buddy Bingo Bronson to help hundreds of fans paint-by-number a #BC3 wallscape at North 11th Street and Wythe Avenue. Watch our video for a partial time lapse of the painting process and for Castro’s take on what fans can expect from season three, which premieres on Wednesday, February 17 at 10 p.m. The mural will remain up until February 28.
Waiting to board my plane, I flipped through a Time magazine sitting on the table nearby. Nixon was traveling to China, people were wondering whether or not hippies made good parents, and the Honeywell Pentax was one of the best cameras on the the market.
Last week, we gave you the heads up about Exponential Festival, a cavalcade of local productions that are “all experimental and strange in nature, but in a way that’s experimenting with the idea of experimental theater,” according to founder Theresa Buchheister. With the fest continuing through Sunday, we checked in to see how it’s going. Watch our video for a taste of the shows at The Brick, Cloud City, The Silent Barn and The Bushwick Starr.
Two members of East Village royalty, Philip Glass and Iggy Pop, have upcoming gigs at venues that befit their majesty. Iggy, whose throne is in Miami these days, just released the first and second songs off of Post Pop Depression, his recently announced album with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age (out March 18). The supergroup (also made up of members of The Dead Weather and Arctic Monkeys) announced tour dates today. The NYC stop, on April 12, will be at the United Palace Theatre, the gilded, grandiose former movie palace in Washington Heights. (The onetime Loews “wonder theater” was a sister of the Kings Theatre in Flatbush, and is bigger and possibly even more jaw-dropping than its lavish sibling.) Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m., with presales starting Thursday.
What exactly is an expedition, who goes on them, and why? That’s what curators Shona Kitchen, Aly Ogasian, and Jennifer Dalton Vincent set out to explore in Setting Out, their exhibition of expeditions (say that five times fast) large and small, real and imagined.
The St. Mark’s Bookshop has now officially announced what we broke news of two weeks ago — that it’s facing eviction by the New York City Housing Authority. In an email sent yesterday, co-owner Bob Contant asks followers to donate money so that the troubled shop can restock its shelves, get an interested investor to take over its lease, and fulfill the terms of a settlement with the city. So far, a crowdfunding campaign has raised just over $21,800 of the desired $150,000.
But don’t fire up that “print is dead” thought piece just yet. While things look pretty dire for the Bookshop, its East Village neighbor, Strand Book Store, is touting its best holiday season ever, and has announced that yearly traffic was up by 30,000 people.
Though it’s easy to get distressed about how white and male-dominated the artistic landscape still is today (because it really, truly is), it’s important to acknowledge and seek out the exciting and prevalent work being made by artists of color in spaces that are perhaps not as commercial as, say, network television. Some of it has been in comedy: recently, we’ve written about black comedian and activist Elsa Waithe and an all-Muslim comedy showcase.
Most people know Grove Press and its onetime sister journal, The Evergreen Review, as the pioneering publishers of Burroughs, Beckett and Brecht, just to name some of the Bs. Grove gave us seminal (in every sense of the word) books such as Valley of the Dolls (the 50th-anniversary edition of which will be published in July) and Please Kill Me (the 10th-anniversary edition of which comes out in April). What’s not so well known is that Grove’s firebrand publisher, Barney Rosset, was a cinema buff who launched a trailblazing film division in the mid-’60s. In May, to mark a new collection of Evergreen essays, BAM will screen 29 titles distributed by Grove and/or championed by Evergreen, including rarities by Godard, Genet, Warhol, and Robbe-Grillet (late husband of that 85-year-old dominatrix) .
Sure, we were expecting snow earlier, but in a valiant effort to keep our minds on the sunny days ahead, a slew of festival organizers have chosen today to drop new details about their summer blowouts. Hot on the heels of the recently announced Governors Ball lineup, we now have this to share.
Just as we began to worry, rather dramatically, that New York had lost the last of its great geniuses, Glenn Branca, the uber influential modernist composer who at one point collaborated with David Bowie, has announced a rare live show. He’ll be leading the US premiere of The Third Ascension at The Kitchen on Feb. 23 and 24.
In the early 1970s, New York actor Tony Zanetta performed in underground theater in plays by Andy Warhol, Jackie Curtis and Wayne/Jayne County. His portrayal of Warhol in the play “Pork” would have him meet David Bowie in London. When Bowie visited New York in 1971, Zanetta guided him through the town’s nightlife. He soon became part of Bowie’s inner circle as tour manager of the Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs tours and helped run Bowie’s MainMan management organization. Zanetta had not seen Bowie in over 40 years when he learned of his death this week. Below, Zanetta recalls the exciting time when Bowie arrived in New York an unknown who would soon become a superstar.