East Village

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Can This East Villager Get Elected to Congress By Going to Yoga Classes and Making Coffee Dates?

(Photos: Ben Brandstein)

The space that used to house Coup, on Cooper Square, still feels like a cocktail lounge, but the young people at the bar during a recent visit were hunched over laptops instead of pints. Scrawled on three massive rolls of brown paper were the talking points of Suraj Patel, the Congressional candidate who is now using the space as his campaign headquarters. Patel’s platform, outlined on his website, states that voting should be digital, gender is a spectrum, healthcare is a right, and marijuana should be legalized.

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UFO Cults, Modern Vaudeville, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Wondershow / Eventbrite)

Wondershow
Wednesday, March 28 at Lot 45, 7 pm: $25

When you think of vaudeville, you may imagine charismatic and fast-talking magicians, jokesters, and other memorable figures circa hundreds of years ago. Though it had its heyday in the past, this type of vaudevillian evening is far from extinct, and you can find it tonight in the form of Wondershow, a night helmed by mentalist Eric Walton. In addition to mind-melting tricks from Walton himself, you can also see “elegant sleight of hand” from Alex Boyce, dancing from Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies, and comedic experiences from Jonathan Burns and Harrison Greenbaum. Time Out called this show “professional mindfuckery,” so provided that’s what you’re into and consent is obtained, I assume you shall be in for a treat. Keep Reading »

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‘Downtown Was My Heaven’: Generations of Performers Revisit Club 57

L-R: Holly Hughes, Moe Angelos, Martha Wilson, Carmelita Tropicana (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Last Thursday, the theater at MoMA went back to the 20th century when Performing Difference: Gender in the 1980s Downtown Scene, a day of panel discussions presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983.”, took over one of the museum’s spacious screening rooms.

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It’s Been 24 Years Since Flower Power Herb Shop Put Down Roots in the East Village

(Photos: Marina Koslock)

A woman with a shock of wild red hair and oversized sunglasses approached me outside of Flower Power Herbs and Roots as I stood waiting for Lata Chettri-Kennedy, the East Village shop’s herbalist.

“Are you…” she trailed off, her gaze caught by two leather stools at the entrance of her door. “Chair karma! We have been having very good chair karma lately.” Without missing a beat, she picked up the stools and walked them inside.

The walls of Flower Power were filled with loose herbs and teas, herbal extracts and oils, flower essences, local honey, ritual herbs, and a library of herbal healing books. Hanging from the ceiling were dried flowers, wreaths made by local artisans, strings of lights, and arrangements of branches and leaves, which made one feel as though they had left the streets of New York and walked into a store of C.S. Lewis’s making.

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Get Woke and Dodge the Oscars With This Week’s Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(flyer via Woke AF / Facebook)

Woke AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show
Thursday, March 1 at UCB East, 11 pm: $7

Minds are like doors, I guess. Some are closed and some are open and some are in between and uh, some have doorbells? I’m working on it. Instead of trying to continue this bit, let’s get to the point here: Woke AF is a comedy variety show that aims to open your mind by exposing you to a diverse group of people waxing poetic/comedic about social issues they feel particularly attached to. Maybe it’s a topic you’re well versed in but have never heard joked about lovingly, or maybe you’ll learn something totally new. However your mind will react to this proposed awakening, you can expect to see ruminations of all sorts from Jes Tom, Corin Wells, Timothy Dunn, Glorilis Tavarez, Jesse Roth, and Kami Dmitrova. Just remember not to be too performatively woke, even if this is a performance. Keep Reading »

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A Very Fragrant V-Day, Noise + Drag, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Secret Project Robot / Facebook)

Valentine’s Day with SSION
Wednesday, February 14 at Secret Project Robot, 8 pm: $15

If you somehow haven’t made Valentine’s Day plans yet (and yes, I count staying home and groveling as ‘plans’), consider attending this sensorial sensation of a show at Secret Project Robot tonight. In addition to serving as home for the high-energy SSION’s first Brooklyn performance, you can also expect a hefty spritz of performance art, installations, and even perfume. The multi-talented Ziemba will not only be performing some new “boudoir songs” from her soon-to-be-released album ARDIS (which, might I say, doubles as a “feminist sci-fi fragrant musical”), she has also created a new fragrance specifically for tonight. On top of all that, Ziemba and SSION will be joined by performance art vixens Caitlin Baucom and Pauli Cakes, and they’ll be doing their thing in an installation created by Monica Mirabile that was once likened to a “modern Brooklyn dollhouse.” Plus, if you wear Valentine’s colors, you could score a free beverage. So, open your heart (and your nose) and get to SPR. Keep Reading »

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Neutral Milk Cabaret, Butts, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Salty Brine’s Living Record Collection / Facebook)

How Strange It Is
Wednesday, February 7 at Pangea, 7:30 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

You may have first caught wind of this show back in 2016, when it happened at small East Village venue the Red Room. Whether you did or not, Salty Brine’s cabaret that uniquely puts Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea in a WWII setting has been enjoying an encore run at nearby spot Pangea for the past few weeks. The show is part of his longtime “Living Record Collection” project, in which he performs notable albums in their entirety with a conceptual twist. Past endeavors have included a German cabaret Abbey Road, a Prohibition-era She’s So Unusual, and a sentimental, seafaring rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Tonight will be the last night of this particular creation, so don’t be a “fool” (ha ha, get it, because that is one of the song titles) and get over there. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Environmental Imaginings, Sonic Voids, and More

(image via The Bellwether / Facebook)

Hair Paintings & Other Stories
Opening Tuesday, February 6 at La MaMa Galleria, 7:30 pm. On view through March 3.

The Bellwether and Codify Art team up with La MaMa Galleria to present this solo exhibition by multidisciplinary creator Jarrett Key. Though yes, it’s technically a showcase of just work created by Key, it’s representative of so much more than that. Their works deal specifically with “the collective bodily memories and rituals of the Black community,” so each one of them manages to be deeply personal while also literally containing multitudes. As you may have guessed by the title, hair has a significant presence here, which can be seen both in the exhibition description (“Key grew up in rural Alabama to their grandmother singing, ‘your hair is your strength'”) and the look of the actual paintings themselves, which often resemble vast and complex tangles you could get lost in. Keep Reading »

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Your Chance to Rail at the MTA (Or Just Get More Info) About the L-pocalypse

(Image via the NYC DOT / Twitter)

In an effort to create a dialogue about the impending L train shutdown, the MTA recently announced that it will partner with the city’s Department of Transportation for a series of informal town hall-style meetings this January and February. The meetings are scheduled to take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn communities where the shutdown will be felt the most; the first open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24 in East Williamsburg.

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Performance Picks: Experiments in Comedy, Magic Mushrooms, and More

THURSDAY

(flyer via littlefield)

A Gay Show For All People
Thursday, December 28 at littlefield, 7 pm doors, 8 pm show: $10

If you’re looking to literally make the yuletide gay, you have plenty of chances to do so at the holiday spectacular edition of Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp’s A Gay Show For All People. True to its name, this show features “comics and queers and mostly people who are both” doing their thing onstage while anyone who so desires to attend watches. The lineup is quite “stacked,” as the teens say, with Cole Escola, Naomi Ekperigin, Patti Harrison, Blake Daniel, Liza Treyger, Larry Owens, Bowen Yang and Matt Roger’s improv duo Sluck, Henry Koperski and His Straights, a live band playing “vodka songs,” and possibly more.

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Performance Picks: 30-Year Christmas Carol, Queer Vloggers, Gay Hell

THURSDAY

(image courtesy of A Christmas Carol)

A Christmas Carol Year Five: Home For The Holidays
December 14-18 at Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, 8 pm or 7 pm: $30

Marriages are technically a commitment for life. The team behind this deconstructed, imaginative, and wacky riff on A Christmas Carol directed by Andrew Neisler and told through the story of a fictional couple has chosen something no less ambitious, particularly for live performance: they will perform a version of this show every year, for thirty years. Now, they’re on their fifth year. Things are changing, but they show no signs of slowing down. So, come on down to whatever a “fashion and design accelerator” is and pay this kind couple (Ryann Weir and Andrew Farmer, who also wrote the piece) a visit. Though Farmer was the writer behind the recent series of spooky subway-centric tales, I assume this show will be more seasonal than spine-chilling. Also, it includes unlimited beer and wine. Keep Reading »

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A 4-Hour Hug and More Art to Embrace This Week

(image courtesy of Michael Alan)

Mind Body Sound
Opening Saturday, December 9 at Khorasheh + Grunert, 8 pm to midnight. On view December 6 – 9.

One wouldn’t normally associate an art opening with instances of prolonged hugging. Unless it’s the mouths of eager wine consumers hugging the rim of that little plastic cup they always give you at art openings. But at artist Michael Alan’s opening reception, there will be one very literal hug that will last for a whopping four hours. The participants will be Alan himself and his partner Jadda Cat, who will be doing the deed (hugging, that is) while covered in Alan’s visual artwork, stationed in the unmissable center of the gallery. This exhibition and performance is part of a long-running (17 years, to be exact) project of Alan’s entitled “The Living Installation,” a series of small performance-based art happenings, such as his recent glow-in-the-dark paint party. An array of his works on paper will also be on view, including new large-format abstract works and 96 baseball cards the artist created from childhood until the present day. Sometimes art, like life, works best with a little added affection. Just remember to ask for consent! Keep Reading »