clayton patterson

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Wednesday: See Billy Leroy On the Big Screen and in Person

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We were devastated — really just devastated — when Billy Leroy, star of Travel Channel’s Baggage Battlestold us he had ditched plans to return to the old spot on Houston Street where he sold subway signs, skulls, and sundries out of a tent. It’s not like we ever had room to keep a stuffed coyote in our apartment, and our taste in art doesn’t really tend toward blue demons — but everyone knows Billy’s Antiques & Props was one of the last holdovers from the days before “metro-suburbanites,” as Billy likes to call them, swarmed the Bowery in flip-flops. Which is why Jim Jarmusch showed up at the closing party.

Wednesday, that green tent will live again — on the big screen — as we present Dirty Old Town at the B+B Newsroom. (The event is free: just let us know you’re coming.) This fine work of cinema verité portrays Billy as an antiques dealer — and a “leader of fools and king of gypsies” — who has 72 hours to make the rent, or his landlord will turn his junk store into a Starbucks. All the while Billy has to resist the advances of a young party vixen played by Janell Shirtcliff (it’s hard out there for a props dealer) who also has her claws in a preppy restaurateur played by Paul Sevigny of Beatrice Inn. (Sevigny’s band A.R.E Weapons contributed an ode to gentrification, “Parking Lot,” to the soundtrack.) Maybe the best part: Scott Dillin, an ex-cop who actually patrolled the mean streets of the LES back in the bad old days, plays a hard-drinking, wrong-thinking boy in blue.

Are you starting to see why Abel Ferrara presented Dirty Old Town when it premiered in Manhattan? Take it from the man himself: “This film is fucking real.”

So join us Wednesday at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg as we screen this insta-classic and then talk to the film’s star, Billy Leroy, as well as the filmmakers, Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. Furst and Levin will also be taking questions about Captured, their documentary about LES photographer Clayton Patterson (who also has a part in Dirty Old Town). Stop in and have a Stumptown stubbie on us.

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The Closing Ceremony of The Portals Involved Gypsy Centries, Tallbikes and the Goddesses of Death

Portal 13, The Genesis of Life.  (All photos by Scott Lynch)

Portal 13, The Genesis of Life. (All photos by Scott Lynch)

A gypsy-sentry.

A gypsy-sentry.

Susannah Pryce and her fingernails.

Susannah Pryce and her fingernails.

Kiss Slash Crooked Smile performing upstairs.

Kiss Slash Crooked Smile performing upstairs.

Light show.

Light show.

Angel Eyedealism before her performance.

Angel Eyedealism before her performance.

Portal 4, The Manifestation of the Material World.

Portal 4, The Manifestation of the Material World.

Nap.

Nap.

Justin Riley's sculpture-bike.

Justin Riley's sculpture-bike.

Mbira instruments.

Mbira instruments.

Behind the portal.

Behind the portal.

A Goddess of Death inside the portal.

A Goddess of Death inside the portal.

The chamber of rebirth.

The chamber of rebirth.

There's a person in there.

There's a person in there.

Waiting for a chance at the portal.

Waiting for a chance at the portal.

“I’m a fire dancer,” said Susannah Pryce, who was lurking about the front stairs of the Sixth Street Community Center on Saturday night, dressed as the Goddess of Death. For her role as a macabre guide to the finale of the 13 Portals, she wore glowing face paint, a black cloak, and six-inch fingernails made of curling brown beans. After explaining how she regularly performs at bars with an on-fire instrument that looks like “the bones of a giant geisha fan,” Pryce told us: “Tonight’s portal is about rebirth. And that’s why I’m here. Because everybody has to die to be reborn.”
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Crackup at the Riots: 10 Laughs From the ’88 Tompkins Square Park Riot

clayton(1)A slew of East Villagers — including poet Bob Holman and Times writer Colin Moynihan — shuffled into Anthology Film Archives last night to watch Clayton Patterson’s 3.5 hours of footage of the Tompkins Square Police riot, on its 25th anniversary.
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Here’s What Went Down On Max Fish’s Last Night

So, yeah. Max Fish closed last night with an epic sendoff. Yesterday photographer Daniel Savage shared his photos of the bar’s regulars and last night, our own Taji Ameen stopped in (or tried to, anyway) to hang with them. He brought back the video above and the report below.
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Relive the Tompkins Square Park Riots In Their Bloody Entirety, 25 Years Later

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 6.44.47 PM
Southerners have their Civil War reenactments but what do East Villagers have when it comes to reliving their defining battle? Just the annual Tompkins Square Park Riot reunion shows. But this year, on the 25th anniversary of that tumultuous night when cops went gonzo on a group protesting the park curfew (resulting in over 100 complaints of brutality), they’re getting much, much more.
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