chinatown

No Comments

Week in Film: Find Out If Ghost in the Shell Is a Shadow of Its Former Self, and More


Ghost in the Shell (1996)
Thursday April 13, Saturday April 15, and Sunday April 16 at The Metrograph: $15

No better time to see the original Ghost in the Shell, now that the anime classic has been remade and lost a good chunk of its futuristic/cyborg ambiguity in the process via the casting of a decidedly blonde, white bombshell in the lead. In the remake, Scarlett Johansson plays Major, i.e. an Anglicized version of the already Anglized Cyborg Major Kusanagi from the anime version.

The year is 2029, and this “perfect specimen of human-brained computer engineering” has been tasked with tracking down the elusive and amorphous villain known as The Puppet Master, whose precise plan for overthrowing the world– a Blade Runner-like super-city megalopolis where the human race has become so consumed by technology, that they are now inseparable and, at times, difficult to distinguish. The film deftly navigates the ethical and existential quandaries that are dramatically more real than they were in 1996 when the animated film was made.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Thursday April 13 through Thursday April 20 at Nitehawk: $12

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Panteha Abareshi Wants You to ‘Hurt Me Badly’ at The Girl Who Loves Roses

Work by Panteha Abareshi (Image courtesy of Larrie, NYC and the artist)

Panteha Abareshi specializes in cutthroat portraits that pair the rawness of ecstatic creation with the realness of first-hand experience. As a young woman of Jamaican and Iranian descent, it seems only natural that she paints other women who look like her. But according to Abareshi, there’s much more at stake than the physical appearance of her subjects.

“I draw women of color only,” she has said of her effort to bring greater visibility to women who are so often left out of, or invisible, in the art world (not to mention under- and misrepresented everywhere else, too). But there are no smiling models or perfect angels in any of the paintings on view at The Girl Who Loves Roses, a show of Abareshi’s work at the new downtown gallery Larrie, NYC (“It’s a women’s space,” founder Emily Spitale told me). Instead, the women you meet are brooding, suffering, and embattled. Often they are splattered in blood, wearing a vacant expression, and seemingly staring at a target point that hovers right between your eyebrows.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Week in Film: Punky Frida Kahlo, Buñuel in France, and More

(Painting by Panteha Abareshi)

The Girl Who Loves Roses
Thursday March 30, 6 pm to 9 pm at Larrie, NY: free

Kelsey and Remy Bennett, granddaughters of Tony Bennett, are working artists, outspoken feminists, and curators of various exhibitions and art happenings. You might be saying to yourself, “Of course they are.” But that would be a jerk move, since the Bennett sisters take after their family patriarch, who is widely known as one of the nicest dudes in showbiz (the Daily Beast called him “one of the greatest living Americans” for his long history of service to just causes including “Nazi hunting” and participating in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches of the Civil Rights movement). Their approach to curating is ultra-inclusive and social justice-oriented, but it’s not motivated by self-congratulatory horn tootin’ and seems instead to come from an easy, natural inclination to do good work.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Patron Saints of the Local Scene, and More Art Affairs This Week

F8 Tropical , 2017
28 x 21 Inches
Dye Sublimation on Aluminum

Particle Paradise
Opening Wednesday March 22 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 30.

Photography is said to be a significant documentation tactic due to its ability to capture reality in its truest form. Particle Paradise, Joseph Desler Costa’s solo show at Foley Gallery, seeks to lay bare the ways one can manipulate the medium of photography to turn it into something sleeker, or even a total rejection of reality. This can happen through tactics like double exposures, cut paper constructions, in-camera editing, or even snapshots of the equipment used to create the photo in the first place.

The show is named for a video game mod that allows players to customize their experience through hacking and tweaking the existing code, allowing the gameplay experience to change oh-so-slightly or immensely. I don’t know about you, but I associate mods with either sneakily downloading sexy clothes for my Sims or that time I bought a Gameshark to use with my Pokemon and it glitched in a way it was not supposed to and I felt fear deep in my heart. Maybe this show will be something like that?

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Cheer of the Rooster: Photos from Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

(Photos: Sam Patwell)

Despite the chilly, grey weather, masses of people lined the streets of Chinatown yesterday as the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade wound its way down Mott, under the Manhattan Bridge and up Eldridge to eventually land outside of Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Last Look at Fong Inn Too, Gone After Eight Decades in Chinatown

(Photo: Nick McManus)

(Photo: Nick McManus)

One of Chinatown’s oldest businesses, Fong Inn Too, shuttered over the weekend after 82 years in business. It was thought to be the oldest family-run tofu shop in the country. Opened in 1933 by a Guangzhou immigrant, Geu Yee Eng, the Mott Street shop grew into a factory churning out about 10,000 squares of tofu per day. Still, in 2011, third-generation owner David Eng told WNYC that business was “terribly slow,” and lamented that the family’s fourth generation had no interest in taking it over.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

RAE BK Had an Old-School Art Party With DJ Kool Herc and It Went Like This

(Courtesy of RAE BK)

(Courtesy of RAE BK)

The last time I saw a bunch of RAE BKs work all in one place was in 2015, just after the street artist and Brooklyn-native had opened his guerrilla-style solo exhibition in Chinatown. But the show wasn’t held at a gallery, instead RAE’s site-specific installation was housed inside a dingy old basement, accessible only by way of an unmarked, totally unassuming rust-red metal door adjacent to a bustling produce market. Even then, I was so jaded that I couldn’t allow myself to believe that this was a real basement with real dirt and dust everywhere. But actually it wasn’t just a fancy pop-up rental space with a stage-grit makeover, nor was it an attempt by some developer to “activate” a particular corner before the building was torn down. As RAE told me, the basement was simply on loan from a recently-retired butcher with whom he had a “tentative relationship,” and the show, called Trunk Work, was one of those rare art happenings that was both real and strange.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

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.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

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.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Your Next Favorite Book or Album Is Hiding in a Mall Under the Manhattan Bridge

(Photo: Sam Patwell)

(Photo: Sam Patwell)

If your idea of “discovering” new music is sitting back with a soy-milk Frappawhatever and browsing Pitchfork, then maybe you need 2 Bridges… but first you have to find it. Tucked away underneath the Manhattan Bridge in the New York Mart, the hidden gem sells independent, experimental, and international music as well as literature and art books.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Wake Up and Smell the Poppins at Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious_inviteL copyTackling the topic of feminism is a monumental task for any art exhibition, let alone one that fits inside a downtown art space called White Box–which you already know, or maybe just guessed, is not all that enormous. Even if the curator had the MoMA to herself, a show like this would require some epic planning. And from the viewer’s perspective? Yeah right. Seeing everything in one go would be require an Odyssean attention span which, let’s be real, just doesn’t exist anymore.

So when curator Lara Pan was commissioned by the non-profit art space White Box to put together a show “about women,” she and her co-curator Ruben Natal-San Miguel came up with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (on view through January 21), a 27-piece show that fits neatly within a realm of feminism she knows well. She may have felt compelled to whittle down the larger theme, but she managed to keep the feeling of an epic, history-sweeping, time-spanning, half-the-human-race, cross-culturally inclusive narrative. At the same time, the show defies what we’ve come to expect from women’s art exhibitions: those one-note, temporary deviations from the default (i.e. white men) that are plagued by tokenism, tiptoeing, stale themes, and work that’s about as revolutionary as a closet full of pantsuits.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Ryan McGinness Combined 50 Parties into a Book and One Big Basel Bash

Ryan McGinness. (Photo: Angelo Fabara)

Ryan McGinness. (Photo: Angelo Fabara)

You don’t have to reach all the way back to the days of David Mancuso for some epic downtown loft parties. Seven years ago, over the course of 50 successive Fridays, artist and designer Ryan McGinness held a series of legendary fetes in his Chinatown studio. Each had a separate theme, starting in July of 2009 with White Trash BBQ (kegs, sparklers, wet t-shirts) and ending in June of 2010 with a Talent Show (magic, dancing, and unicorns).

Keep Reading »