East Village

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Politicians Call Out Airbnb as Mural Welcomes Guests to ‘Illegal Hotel Row’

A mural painted by local tenants in protest of Airbnb’s impact on their community. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)     

“Hey hey, ho ho, illegal hotels have got to go!” On a rainy Wednesday afternoon at the First Street Green Cultural Park, a dedicated group of 15 or so elected officials, activists and local residents sporting “Save the Lower East Side” T-shirts gathered to protest commercially operated, short-term rentals like VRBO and Airbnb.

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Here’s How Joe’s Pub Does a Block Party

On the first day of the summer solstice, the air thrummed with the rhythmic sensations of drumbeats and fast-paced guitar solos, lively dancing and good vibes during the Joe’s Pub Block Party at Astor Place.

Following the 2016 election, Joe’s Pub decided to pay greater homage to immigrant voices in their annual bash, which is part of the citywide Make Music New York program. This year, they touted a pretty incredible lineup of immigrants and performers of color, featuring the mambo and North African beats of the Yemen Blues Duo and the classically-trained voice of Treya Lam, among others.

Play our video to see the block party in full swing.

Video by Nicole Sedgh.

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Watch Video of This Year’s ‘Magical, Strengthening’ Drag March

The 24th annual Drag March took place in the East Village Friday, as a colorful crowd kicked off Pride weekend by strutting from Tompkins Square Park to Stonewall Inn. The march started in 1994, in response to those attempting to discourage leather and drag wearers from participating in the festivities marking the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Watch our video of this year’s parade and look for some cheeky nods to Melania Trump’s wardrobe choices.

Video by Amelia Henry.

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Swiss Institute’s East Village Art Space Has a Rooftop Sculpture Garden and a Floating Yoda

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

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(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

Arriving, amazingly, with almost zero hype, a four-story contemporary art museum opened over the weekend on one of the busiest corners of the East Village, news that feels more 1978 than 2018, when even global chains aren’t willing to pay the rent around these parts. Admission is completely free, it’s open to everyone, and there’s even a lovely little sculpture garden on the roof!

The glorious kicker: the place took over a bank.

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See Saul Leiter’s Striking East Village Nudes

(Photos: Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York)

As the son of a distinguished rabbi and Talmudic scholar, Saul Leiter could have been expected to follow a similar path. But instead, he chose to pursue a more unorthodox life in the creative arts and showcased a rich side of New York through decades of photographs.

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I Love the ‘Straighties,’ and More of This Week’s Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Stigma Unbound / Eventbrite)

Stigma Unbound: Pride
Thursday, June 21 at Secret Location, 8 pm: $15-30

You probably haven’t forgotten, but it’s Pride month. To sex-worker-centric event series Stigma Unbound, Pride means something more than merely slapping a rainbow flag onto your coffee mug or banner ad. “In contrast to corporate and official pride celebrations, we come together on this night to share personal stories and perspectives on what pride really means if you’re queer, a person of color, gender nonconforming, trans, or a sex worker,” they say. At a secret dungeon in Brooklyn, a variety of performances from sex workers and their allies will unfold, exploring topics such as queerness and trans identity, white supremacy, lost loved ones, and fantasy. After the show, the evening will turn into an inclusive, consent-focused, all-gender play party for those who want to engage in a little post-show steaminess. Keep Reading »

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Will Your Lamb Gyro Survive NYC’s New Styrofoam Ban?

The city’s sytrofoam ban could affect food truck vendors like this one. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Along with pillowy heaps of steaming rice, hot sauce and shredded meat, Styrofoam containers are practically ubiquitous among the city’s halal food carts. The foam trays contribute to the food trucks’ tantalizingly cheap offerings. But your favorite corner gyro or chicken biryani could soon leave you scrambling for extra change.

Last week, New York State Supreme Court judge Margaret A. Chan allowed a ban on single-use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam products and loose fill packaging (aka Styrofoam cups, containers and packing peanuts) to move forward. The ruling effectively ended a three-year legal battle between the city’s Department of Sanitation and the Restaurant Action Alliance, which opposed the new law.

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‘He’s One of the Good Guys’: Lower East Siders Recall Filming With Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain and Danny Fields (Photo via @anthonybourdain on Instagram)

Back in April, Anthony Bourdain visited some of his old stomping grounds (and new ones) in the East Village and Lower East Side for an episode of Parts Unknown, chatting with numerous local characters along the way. It’s unclear what will happen with this and other episodes Bourdain was filming prior to his unexpected death last week, so we spoke with some of the featured artists and business owners about their experiences with a reporter and raconteur who was known for keeping it real.

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Astor Place’s Insta-Famous Rhino Sculpture Trots Off

The empty Astor Place, where ‘The Last Three’ once stood. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

“Oh no, Jerry!” The 93-year-old woman in Washington Square Park called out to her husband, who was similarly distraught. I had just informed the passing couple that The Last Three—an installation in nearby Astor Place featuring three bronze, life-sized rhinos piled topsy-turvy on top of each other—was about to be taken down. The anguish was evident on their faces—and mine.

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Classic Japanese Studio Ghibli Films Like Spirited Away Return to the Big Screen

A rendering of the characters from the Studio Ghibli Film “My Neighbor Totoro.” (Image Credit: City Cinemas)

Fans of beloved Japanese storyteller Hayao Miyazaki, who produced some of the world’s most iconic animated films, will be delighted to see his quintessential works and others from the Japanese company Studio Ghibli returning to the Village East Cinema this summer. During the height of Miyazaki’s tenure at Studio Ghibli, the filmmaker was lauded for his visually stunning movies featuring gutsy female heroines that struck at the wide range of the human experience, spanning whimsical family tales in My Neighbor Totoro to grim government spies and giant robots in Castle in the Sky.

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Performance Picks: Immersive Comedy, Intergenerational Queer Performance

FRIDAY

(flyer via BEEF show / Facebook)

Post Verbal: Pride
Friday, June 8 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $5-10

The passionate queerdos that comprise burlesque/drag collective BEEFSquad have cooked up yet another performance creation for you, just in time for pride. So, rather than bowing to the forces of rainbow-tinged capitalism as more and more brands trumpet just how proud they are of everyone (while really also saying, by the way, you should buy their stuff), perhaps consider supporting local independent queer performers instead. A BEEF show is always full of surprises, from the salacious to the scary, and Friday night’s show hosted by C’etait Bontemps and Angelica Frankenstein should be no different. Keep Reading »