East Village

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Performance Picks: Drag, Science, Neurodivergence

THURSDAY

(flyer via The Dirty Blondes / Facebook)

DRAG!
Thursday, May 31 at Le Poisson Rouge, 7 pm: $35

Everyone likes drag. Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s certainly been having a mainstream moment lately, so it’s safe to assume more people like drag than ever before. If you’d like to see some drag, there are many places you can go in the city, but tonight you can specifically go to Le Poisson Rouge, where an array of colorful performers such as Bear Lee Legal, Glace Chase, Chris Tyler, Dynasty, and Donald C. Shorter Jr will be giving shows, shows, shows to help raise money for feminist theater company The Dirty Blondes. The show’s Facebook event proclaims “bodies will dance, drinks will flow and gender norms will be smashed,” which sounds like a recipe for a nice night to me. And yes, I know Drag Race is also tonight, but you can just watch it later. Keep Reading »

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What’s Up With the Lower East Side Ferry?

(image: Tara Yarlagadda)

On a cloudy May morning, maintenance workers were busy prepping the launch pad of the Stuyvesant Cove/Town stop on the Lower East Side ferry route. But the boarding ramp connecting the East River Bikeway along FDR Drive with the ferry launch pad remained roped off. An older gentleman named Bruce Goldstein, passing by on his Citi Bike, halted to inquire about this still-closed stop. Keep Reading »

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Annual Loisaida Festival Celebrates Puerto Rican Heritage, Rain Or Shine

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

The rain was out in full force this past Sunday, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of performers and Lower East Side residents who came out for a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. For more than thirty years, the Loisaida Festival has served as an homage to Puerto Rican culture in the Lower East Side and back on the island. This year, the festival’s theme was “Bridging Resurgence: From Sandy to Maria.” According to the Loisaida Festival’s Twitter page, the theme served as “a tribute to the resilience of the Lower East Side, past and present, and in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.” Keep Reading »

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HIV Criminalization, Thermal Surveillance, and More Art This Week

Barton Lidicé Beneš, “Lethal Weapons: Silencer,” 1994. Mixed-media assemblage with artist’s HIV-positive blood, 16 1/8 x 15 1/8 x 3 1/2 in. Collection of Joshua Rechnitz. Courtesy of the estate of Barton Lidicé Beneš and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York (image via Visual AIDS / Facebook)

Cell Count
Opening Thursday, May 31 at La MaMa Galleria, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 16.

Presented by Visual AIDS and curated by Kyle Croft and Asher Mones, this exhibition zeroes in on the insidious intersection of HIV and incarceration, both today and throughout history. Currently, more than half the states in America have laws in effect that criminalizes the act of potentially exposing someone to HIV without first disclosing their status, often regardless of other factors like viral load or actual transmission risk, leading many to deem them dangerous. The 15+ artists of Cell Count use their work to interrogate these laws and how they affect people with HIV, placing them into conversation with a larger history of “medically sanctioned violence and incarceration.” Keep Reading »

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Eleven Excuses to Stay in New York for the Memorial Day Weekend

(Photo via Elsewhere)

Stuck in town this Memorial Day weekend? You’re better off avoiding the mile-long airport lines anyway, so consider yourself lucky. But just in case you’re tired of hitting up to Smorgasburg for the third weekend in a row or staring at your computer screen as you Netflix your life away, Bedford + Bowery has put together plenty of options to keep you entertained over the long weekend.

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Cafe Zaiya Has Left the East Village, Taking Its Cheese Domes With It

Three years ago, when Dunkin Donuts opened on Cooper Square, we wondered how long its neighbor, Cafe Zaiya, could last. “Dunkin’ Has Done Its Plunkin’ and Our Spirits Are Sunken” was the oh-so-clever headline. Well, now our spirits are truly squashed, because Cafe Zaiya, that haven of cheap eats, is gone. The Japanese bakery and cafe was closed by the health department at the end of last month after racking up 73 violation points, and an employee at Zaiya’s midtown location tells us the East Village outpost is closed for good.

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Punk Magazine’s John Holmstrom Doesn’t Think Music Matters Much Any More

(Photo courtesy of John Holmstrom)

While binging on the new season of I’m Dying up Here, catching up on The Deuce, or even streaming A Futile and Stupid Gesture, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the ‘70s were awesome and now, “everything is the worst” (©Liz Lemon). In the ‘70s, a zine could matter, people read comics that weren’t also billion-dollar movies, and it was still kind of rebel to listen to The Ramones. And smoke weed. John Holmstrom, founder of legendary Punk magazine, is bringing all of that back—ok, maybe not The Ramones—by dropping a new zine.

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‘Radical’ Downtown Composer Glenn Branca Has Died at 69

Glenn Branca during a discussion at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. (Maria Jose Govea/Red Bull Content Pool)

Downtown guitarist and composer Glenn Branca died last night at the age of 69. The longtime West Villager died in his sleep of throat cancer, his wife and collaborator Reg Bloor announced in a Facebook post.

“His musical output was a fraction of the ideas he had in a given day,” Bloor wrote. “His influence on the music world is incalculable.”

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Art This Week: Life-Size Rhinos, Lower East Side Grit, and More

(image via Gagosian / Facebook)

Things
Opening Tuesday, May 15 at Gagosian, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.

When you look into the body of work that Swiss artist Urs Fischer is created, you’ll quickly see a common theme is how the human form can be manipulated and distorted, whether that’s crafting grotesque collages of faces that once looked typical or sculpting a huge bust of Katy Perry and inviting onlookers to alter it with clay. He’s also interested in how everyday objects (a block of cheese, a gallery floor) can be broken open or picked apart until something new and surprising is created. Average objects will once again be on display in his latest show at Midtown’s Gagosian, aptly titled Things. The central “thing” of the show is a life-size rhinoceros sculpture with household items like vacuum cleaners and copiers clinging to it as if it was some sort of huge magnet for domestic chores or office tasks. And isn’t everyone, unfortunately, at some point in their lives? Keep Reading »

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Jim Jarmusch, Rosie Perez, and Other Downtown Legends Basked in Basquiat at the Opening of ‘Zeitgeist’

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

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(Photo: Scott Lynch)

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(Photo: Scott Lynch)

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(Photo: Scott Lynch)

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(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

By all appearances, downtown filmmaker Sara Driver had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night, Boom For Real, Driver’s evocative, propulsive, and genuinely moving documentary of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s late teenage years (and the late 1970s Lower East Side art scene that nurtured his extraordinary talent), had its world premiere at the IFC, following a rave review in the Times. It’s a terrific movie, functioning equally well as a we-were-there record of how Basquiat went from homeless kid spraying Samo© to instant sensation at PS1’s New York/New Wave in 1981, his first-ever public show; and as a loving portrait of a neighborhood abandoned by the rest of the city, and all craziness and creativity that ensued.

Then on Sunday evening Driver and a coterie that included the likes of her partner Jim Jarmusch, Lee Quinones, Rosie Perez, Katie Taylor Legnini, Jimmy Webb, Henry Chalfant, Jeffrey Deitch, Luc Sante, and Alexis Adler crammed into the opening of a big group exhibition at the Howl! Happening space. A line to get in formed early and extended all the way over to Bowery for much of the night.

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Performance Picks: Queer Anniversary, Modern Dance, This Alien Nation

WEDNESDAY

(art by Payton Turner, image via This Alien Nation / Facebook)

This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. Keep Reading »