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It’s ‘Hard to Say Goodbye’ to Fontana’s, ‘Really, Really Hard’

The crowd after Fontana's final concert, on the basement stage, 3/20 at 2:30 a.m. (Photo: Nick McManus)

The crowd after Fontana’s final concert, on the basement stage, 3/20 at 2:30 a.m. (Photo: Nick McManus)

On Sunday, the Lower East Side bid a tearful adieu to Fontana’s. And we do mean tearful. “There was a lot of crying men,” said owner Holly Ferrari. “Really crying — men with long hair and beards, all weeping.” You guessed it: A massive rent hike forced Ferrari and co-owners, Mary Finn and Deannie Wheeler, to shutter their beloved bar and music venue after 11 years on Eldridge Street. We poured out a little happy-hour Jameson for our homegirls and got on the phone with Ferrari.

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Talks and Readings: ‘Badass’ Novelist, Comic Books Club, and Trivia Tidbits

sellout

Tonight
The Sellout, the latest novel by satirist Paul Beatty (The White Boy Shuffle), takes on some pretty big themes; it challenges “the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality–the black Chinese restaurant,” according to the blurb on the website for St. Mark’s Bookshop, where Beatty will read from his novel tonight. Evidently you don’t have to read much of The Sellout to be hooked; a New York Times review stated it contains “the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.” April 14 at 7 p.m. St. Mark’s Bookshop, 136 East Third Street (East Village).

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Behind Bars: How a Police Station House Became a Speakeasy

All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.

(Photo: Shanna Ravindra for NY Mag)

(Photo: Shanna Ravindra for NY Mag)

Given the history of the building at 105-107 Eldridge Street, it’s no surprise that the bartender at Fontana’s, the otherwise-laid back establishment at 105, checks everyone’s ID meticulously. Among the Chinese-owned vegetable shops and beside a discount sushi restaurant, the place is a bit of an anomaly on the border of Chinatown, near the Grand Ave. B, D stop. But the 146-year-old building has deep neighborhood ties that entwine law, liquor, and vice.
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Reel Psyched: Feminism, Punk Rock, Bloodshed and Free Pizza

Here’s what we’re really excited to see this week in local theaters (or, for that matter, at local bars and rooftops).

Sarah Jacobson was an independent filmmaker who believed wholeheartedly in feminism and punk rock, and fully embraced a DIY method of filmmaking. Before cancer cut her life short at age 32, she made some of the most influential underground films of the ’90s, including “I Was a Teenage Serial Killer,” “Road Movie (Or What I Learned In a Buick Station Wagon),” and a feature film, “Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore.”
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