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Comedian Damien Lemon Will ‘Get into the Deep Issues, But This Isn’t a TED Talk’

Damien Lemon.

Damien Lemon.

You’ve probably seen Damien Lemon on MTV 2’s Guy Code, or as the cabbie in one of those Spiderman movies or on Comedy Central’s The Half Hour. This month you can find him doing stand-up at The Stand. Lemon first walked onto the stage in 2005, when he performed at Sal’s Comedy Hole, and since then he’s been dishing out laid-back advice and commentary on race, sex and, yes, Uber drivers. Lemon, who also co-hosts a podcast called #InTheConversation and co-anchors MTV 2′s Not Exactly News gave us insight into the comedians he most looks up to, the “two different Brooklyns,” and how he transforms “fucked up” shit into jokes that hit.

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Rockaway Gets More Boardwalk and Clam Boils, Just in Time for the 4th

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

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I’m proud to be an American, because the Parks Department just opened another stretch of Rockaway boardwalk, from Beach 97th Street to Beach 106th Street (i.e. from Low Tide Bar’s concession stand to the Caracas concession stand). Okay, fine, so the construction company is Swedish, but whatever. As you can see from the slideshow above, shit is looking good.

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Shakespeare As You Like It: In a Park or in a Parking Lot

Last year's production of "Othello" in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

Last year’s production of “Othello” in the parking lot. (Photo: Claire Taddei)

After construction of Essex Crossing bumped it from its home last year, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will relaunch just three blocks away, in a parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Center. From July 9 to 26, The Drilling Company, led by Hamilton Clancy of Orange Is the New Black, will imagine “As You Like It” in a “Steampunk paradise,” and from July 30 to August 15, they’ll be doing free performances of “Macbeth.”

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And Now Coney Island Is Getting a Flippin’ Trapeze School

Photo illustration by Daniel Maurer (photo of Coney by Daniel Maurer, photo of NY Trapeze School courtesy of Thor)

Photo illustration by Daniel Maurer (photo of Coney by Daniel Maurer, photo of NY Trapeze School courtesy of Thor)

The competition for summer weekend destination has been fierce: while Rockaway added a skate bowl and a (still forthcoming) palm-tree paradise, Coney Island leveled up with a Smorgasburg and some murals. Coney’s latest gambit? A freaking trapeze school. That’s right: Trapeze School New York, which has an outdoor rig at Pier 40 in Hudson River Park, is adding another location in Coney.

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Photos + Video: David Byrne, St. Vincent and Others Make Color Guard Pop

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

“Ladies and gentlemen, America has changed,” David Byrne said Saturday as he introduced “I Was Changed” at the American debut of Contemporary Color at Barclays Center. And yes, what a week it was. Thoughts turned to diversity and understanding as Quebec color-guard troupe Les Eclipses formed a diagonal line and hugged one another for the opening of the song, performed by Byrne, St. Vincent and Lucius.

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Reactions Mixed as Albany Renews Rent Laws, With Some Tweaks

A rally earlier this week. (Photo: Sam Gillette)

A rally earlier this week. (Photo: Sam Gillette)

Minutes and hours after Albany extended rent laws for four years, elected officials were already complaining that changes to the laws don’t go far enough.

“Just when it seemed Albany couldn’t get worse, it did,” wrote State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the Lower East Side, East Village, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. “This year’s legislative session has just ended. I’m sorry to say, there’s a lot to be frustrated and disappointed about. This year offered a chance to extend and strengthen rent laws, but Albany came up short.”

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Lizzie Velasquez Fights a Rare Disease With a Winning Attitude

The director of 'A Brave Heart' (left) and Lizzie Velasquez (middle) at LES Film Fest. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

The director of ‘A Brave Heart’ (left) and Lizzie Velasquez (middle) at LES Film Fest. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

There was a flood of tears and a surge of inspiration at the New York premiere of A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. This past weekend at the Lower East Side Film Festival, the documentary took home Audience Award — to be shelved with numerous others. When we spoke to the film’s subject yesterday, she said she was “still smiling.”

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See the Latest Murals at Coney Art Walls, Where There’s Now a Sunday Party

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A couple of weeks ago we checked in with the Coney Art Walls as they neared completion. Now here are the latest offerings from the big-name artists curated by Jeffrey Deitch, including fresh works by Retna, Sheryo & the Yok, and more. The Walls officially open this Wednesday with a private party. In the meantime, Thor Equities — which owns the sprawling outdoor lot at 1320 Bowery Street, next to the Thunderbolt — just kicked off Summer Sundays, a weekly jam with DJs programmed by longtime PS1 Warm Up curator Jason Drummond of Rong Music.

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Hoping to Rent Kurt Cobain’s Place? ‘Stay Away’

Cobain's childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

Cobain’s childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

A couple of months after Vulture noticed Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s old Los Angeles apartment on Airbnb, the listing has been taken down. Sorry, Nirvana fans: if you want to sleep like Cobain slept, you’ll have to crawl underneath a bridge and collect drippings from the ceiling.

Actually, that’s not quite true.

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Can This App Keep Your Landlord From Freezing You Out of Your Apartment?

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Mayor de Blasio announced today that his Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force has made its first arrest, of a landlord who, among other things, stands accused of illegally depriving rent-regulated tenants of heat even as temperatures were below freezing. The indictment of Daniel Melamed for allegedly endangering the welfare of his tenants during winter renovations of his Crown Heights building “sends a clear signal to any unscrupulous landlords that they will be next,” De Blasio said. “And we’ll spare no effort in going out – going after those who are forcing New Yorkers out of their homes illegally.”

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Trixie Little Won Big-Time at Burlesque Hall of Fame; Now She’s Thinking Revolution

(Photo: Neil Kendall)

(Photo: Neil Kendall)

On a Southwest flight to Las Vegas, I sat next to a spunky, petite woman from Baltimore who now lives in Brooklyn. Her small stature belies her strength—I’ve watched her do handstands and seen her lift a man heavier than her while wearing kitten heels. Trixie Little was on her way to compete—for the fifth time, much like Diana Nyad—for the title of Miss Exotic World, the queen of burlesque crowned annually at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender.

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Heems On Rachel Dolezal, Getting Political, and How Hip-Hop Is Like an Ex-Girlfriend

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

We caught Himanshu Suri (known by his stage name, Heems) after his performance this weekend at Northside Festival. The rapper and visual artist from Queens, formerly of the group Das Rascist, will travel across North America for his Eat Pray Thug tour — the lineup for which was just announced. Among other things, he talked to us about “Damn, Girl,” a straight-faced song off the new album, and the choreography for the recently released video. He was open and friendly during our chat, though he would say only “no comment” when asked about the criticism he received for his use of the N-word during his talk in London, “The Policing of Brown Bodies Post 9/11.” Here’s what he said before that.

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