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Free-Jazz Pioneer Cecil Taylor Has Died At 89

A piano at Cecil Taylor’s retrospective at The Whitney. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Cecil Taylor died at his Brooklyn home Thursday evening. He was 89. A polarizing figure during the jazz heyday of the 50s and 60s due to his frenzied and untraditional playing style, Taylor helped to pioneer the free jazz genre along with Ornette Coleman. His avant-garde style has influenced countless musicians and left an indelible mark on the jazz as a whole.

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Book Jackets: Stephanie Marano Combines High Fashion With Works of Literature

Image via God Save the Misanthropes

Tavi Gevinson caused quite a stir among Donna Tartt fans last week when she posted an Instagram photo of a custom-made jacket inspired by Tartt’s 1992 novel The Secret History. Designed and sewn by Stephanie Marano, a Brooklynite and fellow book lover whom Gevinson, the Rookie founder and influencer par excellence, happened to meet on a subway platform, the jacket is equal parts awe-inspiring and allusive. The response on Instagram was enormous, and now Marano’s exclusive “book jackets” have become the must-have piece for any bibliophile worth their salt.
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Bowie Mania Continues With Ziggy Cocktails and Record Store Day Releases

From “David Bowie is” at Brooklyn Museum. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The opening of the mammoth “David Bowie is” exhibit last week at the Brooklyn Museum left a lot of people nostalgic for the late Starman. Lucky for all the Ziggy Stardust acolytes out there, the Bowie love continues with a slew of new record releases in April and a batch of themed cocktails at Crown Heights bar and restaurant. So take your protein pills, put your helmet on and let the Bowie mania begin.

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Washington Square Park Goes Back in Time For Motherless Brooklyn Shoot

(Photo via Washington Square Park Conservancy’s Twitter.)

Motherless Brooklyn, the Edward Norton-penned adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel, took over Washington Square Park today, transforming the public space into a scene straight out of the 1950s.

Norton, who also directs and acts in the film, plays a lonely private investigator with Tourette’s searching for his only friend and mentor’s killer. Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, among others, are set to join the cast. The film, set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, will be released next year.

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‘Sex Work Has Enriched My Life In Everlasting Ways,’ Says Escort Turned Author Andrea Werhun

If you’ve ever wanted to know what life is really like for a sex worker, then Andrea Werhun’s Modern Whore is definitely worth a read. The 28-year-old University of Toronto graduate, who spent a few years escorting while in college and after graduating, shares her experiences and insights in the new book, which features fine art photographs by collaborator Nicole Bazuin. Werhun, who also writes for Playboy, is candid about her clients and the stigma she’s encountered, and hopes her new book will change perceptions of sex workers.

Life after sex work has been busy for Andrea; in addition to writing, she’s also acted in several films, and, with Bazuin, cofounded the multimedia production company Virgin Twins, which is responsible for the release of Modern Whore. The New York book launch and reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 3 at the Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village. In the meantime, here’s our conversation with Andrea. Discussing everything from noteworthy johns to the #MeToo movement to her current endeavors, she proves that there’s no such thing as a stereotypical sex worker.

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Here’s What It Looks Like When People Pie an Artist in the Face

(Photo courtesy of Jason Schmidt)

Jennifer Rubell has been on the receiving end of a pie-five for about nine nights thus far, and she still has 14 more to go. Since Feb. 8, the Meredith Rosen Gallery has been home to Rubell’s Consent, an exhibition of her newest works. Visitors have been invited to admire the artist’s paintings and, while you’re at it, smash a pie into her face.

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Turn to the Left, Right: David Bowie Is Everywhere Right Now

Suit used for the Ziggy Stardust tour. Courtesy of the David Bowie Archive (c) Victoria and Albert Museum.

David Bowie made no secret of his love for New York; he was known for frequenting the Strand and sneaking into movies at the Angelika, spending his final years enjoying all that the city has to offer. Several upcoming events around town will pay tribute to the late, great Starman, who died after a battle with cancer in January 2016. Whether it’s through a gallery exhibition of behind-the-scenes photos from Bowie’s prime, or a themed dance party in Brooklyn, there’s no shortage of ways to show your love and appreciation for Bowie this month. Hang on to yourself.

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A Yarn About the Christopher Street Tree Cozies, Coming Down in April

(Photo: Ben Brandstein)

In November of last year, amid the aggressive grey that is winter in New York City, Christopher Street was overrun with color. From Hudson to Bleecker, someone had swaddled the trees in different shades of crochet. Nearly 1,500 squares of lavender, mint green, cobalt, powdered pink, and egg-yolk yellow lined the sidewalks. Passerby began posing with them, Instagramming them, calling them “tree cozies.” Parents admired the eight-foot-tall sweaters with their children, asking aloud which ones were medium, which ones were large. As it turns out, the trees of Christopher Street were clothed by Holly and her aunt Polly.

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Joey Skaggs, King of Fake News, Unveils Annual Parade Charade

Joey Skaggs jester.

(Illustration courtesy of Joey Skaggs.)

Joey Skaggs is at it again. The longtime prankster has made a profession out of feeding the media false information in order to highlight and satirize their gullibility. His victims range from Fox to The Washington Post. In October of last year, director Andrea Marini released Art of the Prank, a documentary that covers Skaggs’s history as an artist and his many hoaxes. Yet despite the media’s growing awareness of Skaggs and his MO, he continues to disseminate elaborate scoops to the press.

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Girl Power: Metrograph and Nitehawk Focus On Female Filmmakers

Image via Metrograph’s website

The lack of female directors in the film industry isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, but with the rise of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp in the past year, this gender gap has been highlighted now more than ever– just take Natalie Portman’s presentation of the Best Director award at this year’s Golden Globes as an example. Nitehawk Cinema and Metrograph, two local movie theaters, are also recognizing this disparity with a series of film screenings focusing exclusively on female directors.

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Tartt House Film: The Goldfinch Begins Shooting in the Village

(Photo: Libby Torres)

The highly anticipated adaptation of Donna Tartt’s 2013 novel The Goldfinch began filming in Greenwich Village this Friday, with film crews taking over sections of 11th and 12th streets between 5th Avenue and University Place. In case you were living under a rock in 2014, The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction that year, and was selected as one of the 10 best books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review.

The novel is a Dickensian bildungsroman; it tells the story of Theodore Decker, who becomes involved in art theft and forgery after a troubled childhood. Ansel Elgort is reportedly set to play the adult Theodore, while Finn Wolfhard (yes, of Stranger Things fame) has been cast as the younger version of Boris, Theodore’s childhood friend. Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, and Jeffrey Wright are all supposedly part of the cast as well.

While the film unfortunately won’t be released until 2019, you might as well get started on the book in the meantime– it’s a whopping 784 pages long.

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Video: Meet Ooti the Uterus at Renegade Crafts Fair

Over the next two weekends, the Renegade Crafts Fair will bring handcrafted works from 150 makers and a handful of food and beverage vendors to Industry City in Sunset Park. This past weekend, we checked out the first installment of the season and watched as holiday shoppers swarmed the glass works, ceramics, custom leather, jewelry, and a general panoply of knick-knacks. Play our video to hear more about the highlight of the fair, an “expressive uterus” that has caught the attention of the alt right.

Want to meet Ooti yourself? The Renegade Crafts Fair will return to Industry City (274 36th St., Sunset Park) on December 9-10 and 16-17 from 11am to 6pm. Brooklyn Flea will be in the same building.