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BK Wildlife Summer Festival Is the Labor Day Bash You Won’t Want To Miss

(Image posted by Brooklyn Wildlife on Facebook)

The Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival returns this Friday for a triumphant sixth year. The festival, which according to Brooklyn Wildlife founder Christopher Carr, is the “largest independent art and music festival in Brooklyn” with no corporate sponsors, features a lineup of more than 150 performers over the course of 10 days. It touts not only summer music jam sessions, but also “fine art shows, multi media presentations and tech meet ups” per their Eventbrite page.

In lieu of receiving corporate, non-profit or government funding, Carr, a full-time photographer who runs the Gamba Forest art studio with his partner (which is also hosting the festival’s Saturday lineup), funds the entire festival out of pocket–with the exception of a $10 application fee that he charges first-time performers seeking to play in the festival. The out-of-the-box music fest seeks to be the “new CMJ, the new WMC, the new SXSW” according to their Facebook event page. But doesn’t that sort of big tent, mainstream vibe run counter to the festival’s purpose as a gathering of indie artists? According to Carr, whom Bedford + Bowery spoke with by phone, not necessarily. In the early days of SXSW, Carr recalls smaller or mid-sized venues that brought people together in appreciation of solid indie music. He approaches his music festival in a similar way.

Photo from last year’s festival at Gamba Forest Gallery in Greenpoint (Photo: Nick McManus)

“I’m going for that middle ground where it’s large enough that it’s worth the time of the venues and individuals that put in the effort, but not so large that it cannibalizes itself,” says Carr. “I also enjoy Afropunk…but there’s an irony about a festival [that] punk kids can’t afford. We want to find that nice little area where we get some coverage, but we don’t need to cater to the media.” Carr also notes that this year’s festival stands out from previous years in two ways: “magnitude” and “decentralized performances” AKA events hosted in private residences with the help of the website artery.is. With so many events and performers, it can be hard to know where to start, but Carr suggests paying particular attention to metal band No Clouds, esoteric rapper Akai Solo (performing on the festival’s opening night at Trans-Pecos), and reggae/hip-hop artist D-Andra.

You can scope out the links to the performers’ music on the festival’s website and find more information about the various events on Facebook.  Tickets ($50) are available here. The 10-day summer fest runs from Friday, August, 31 through Sunday, September 9.

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Black Art Matters and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective)

August Summer Residency Showcase
Opening Wednesday, August 29 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 31.

It’s the end of the summer, which means people are scrambling to get the last of their leisure time in before it feels less justifiable to do so. This often means less events and other artistic goings-on. After all, it’s hard to have an art show when you don’t want to leave the beach. But the restless vigor of Con Artist Collective continues—on any given day (including in the midst of the end-of-summer lull) you can probably find them up to something, whether that be the party-filled unveiling of a new art exhibition or something else entirely. Starting Wednesday night, the Lower East Side art space’s summer studio residents will be showing their latest creations. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Wallace Shawn, Heavy Metal Comedy, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, July 19 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

Even though your parents probably told you otherwise, it can be fun to sin. Someone who knows that well is Vic Sin, a dance, drag, and burlesque performer who produces The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret every month at Bizarre, which is hosted by drag performer (and leader of the inimitable queer drag and burlesque collective Beefsquad) Lee VaLone. It also happens to be Lee’s birthday, so you know the show will be extra special. Helping celebrate (and sin) will be the stacked lineup of C’Etait BonTemps, Angelica Sundae, Devo Monique, Dynasty, Laé D. Boi, Mini Horrorwitz, Nyx Nocturne, and Theydy Bedbug. 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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Mysterious Masks, Creepy Collages, Cryptocurrency and More at Greenpoint Open Studios

Guests create collages at Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda).

Out of more than 400 participating artists in the annual Greenpoint Open Studios this past weekend, Bedford + Bowery interviewed five zany (and impressive) artists you should definitely keep an eye on.

Check out our five artist Q+As below: Keep Reading »

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Oxomoco Is Greenpoint’s Fiery New Mexican Spot

(Image courtesy of Oxomoco)

Combine a classic wood-fired kitchen and hearty Mexican fare, and what do you get? The new foodie’s haven in Greenpoint: Oxomoco.

Mexican restaurant Oxomoco—whose name refers to the Aztec goddess of the night—opens June 5 at 128 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. It operates under the ownership of Chef Justin Bazdarich—known for popular LES/Clinton Hill pizzeria Speedy Romeo—and his childhood friend Chris Walton, who runs a successful restaurant franchise in Arizona.

Bedford + Bowery spoke to Bazdarich by email about the inspiration behind his and Walton’s new enterprise, which was borne of countless trips to Mexico that forged a shared love for its culture and cuisine. Keep Reading »

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The Colored Girls Hustle Marketplace Will Get You In The Mood For Spring Shopping

(Credit: Colored Girls Hustle Marketplace)

Itching for a creative shopping experience that doesn’t involve spending hours in line—or online? Then make your way to the Colored Girls Hustle Marketplace this Saturday, June 2 between 12-8 pm at New Women Space in East Williamsburg. CGH Marketplace is a pop-up experience featuring an impressive lineup of products from women entrepreneurs and creatives of color. Keep Reading »

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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 »

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What to Watch at the Greenpoint Film Festival This Weekend

Image courtesy of Greenpoint Film Festival’s Website

The Tribeca Film Festival may be over, but another homegrown flicks fest is just beginning. The 7th Annual Greenpoint Film Festival will take over North Brooklyn this weekend, with four days of films and panel discussions.

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Art This Week: Immigrant Stories and Secondhand Paintings

(image courtesy of Baxter Street Camera Club of New York)

Walking In Lightness
Opening Thursday, April 19 at Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 12.

Some photography is staged, utilizing the lens to create a fantastical scene that would very likely never be encountered in a candid sense. Rather than doing that, Mexico City-born photographer Amanda Gutiérrez seeks to document her surroundings as she ventures through Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, focusing both on her “subjective experience as a Mexican woman living and working in New York” and painting a photographic portrait of the neighborhood’s Mexican immigrant community. In addition to photography (shot with a 35mm disposable camera), Gutiérrez’s solo show will also feature videos of her working in the darkroom, animations created from her own prints, and binaural audio tracks of her walking through various environments, welcoming you in on multiple sensory levels. Keep Reading »

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I Spent Lunch Drinking Cannabis-Infused Coffee, Here’s What I Learned

(Photo: Libby Torres)

Bushwick coffee shop Caffeine Underground made waves a few weeks ago when it came to light that they were serving CBD-infused coffee drinks. Now, it looks like others are getting on board with cannabidiol: Greenpoint’s Antidote Apothecary and Tea Bar has started selling CBD-infused coffee beans, with drinks coming soon. With a trend clearly in the works, I was intrigued enough to head to Caffeine Underground to try a CBD-infused latte for myself.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the more common compounds found in cannabis. Caffeine Underground sources their infused brew from Flower Power Coffee Company, a champion of cannabidiol’s supposed health benefits. The roaster’s website stresses that “CBD is legal, has no psychoactive effects, and will not make you fail a drug test.” Unlike THC, the infamous psychoactive compound also found in cannabis, CBD is said to have more of a simple relaxing effect.

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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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