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Brooklyn’s Wildest Performance Artists Talk Lawsuits and New Beginnings

Wild Torus at the Torus_Porta last year (photo: Nicole Disser)

Brooklyn performance art duo Wild Torus are known for their wild, orgiastic, and messy shows, which often get the audience involved. They’ve always been a bit extreme, but found themselves in a situation that shocked even them when, in April, a performance art festival they did with Estonian performance collective Non Grata at East Williamsburg space The Paper Box was shut down mid-show without warning.

Mike Berlant (aka Vlady VØz Tokk, one half of Wild Torus along with Amy Mathis / Mág Ne Tá) recounted their experience on Facebook, in a post that was shared over 50 times and led to many in the surrounding arts community leaving bad reviews of the venue (including bad experiences some organizers had with other shows done there) and calling for it to be blacklisted. A month later, Wild Torus found themselves being sued by Paper Box for defamation and for “trashing” the space. They say they weren’t informed of the suit until the New York Post called them for comment for a piece they wrote about it.

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Tenants Claim ‘Potentially Life-Threatening’ Conditions at 128 Second Ave

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

After several months without gas service in their apartments, a group of rent stabilized tenants living in 128 Second Avenue have banded together to sue their landlord, Icon Realty Management. During a rally yesterday outside of New York City Housing Court, residents and elected officials pointed to a number of other “potentially life-threatening” issues that Council Member Rosie Mendez said should land the building owners in jail.

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Can This App Keep Your Landlord From Freezing You Out of Your Apartment?

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Mayor de Blasio announced today that his Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force has made its first arrest, of a landlord who, among other things, stands accused of illegally depriving rent-regulated tenants of heat even as temperatures were below freezing. The indictment of Daniel Melamed for allegedly endangering the welfare of his tenants during winter renovations of his Crown Heights building “sends a clear signal to any unscrupulous landlords that they will be next,” De Blasio said. “And we’ll spare no effort in going out – going after those who are forcing New Yorkers out of their homes illegally.”

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Manitoba’s Launches Life-or-Death Fundraiser After Settling Discrimination Suit

Dick Manitoba and Zoe Hansen

(Photo: Shira Levine)

Earlier this month it was Cake Shop putting out a cry for help and this week Alphabet City fixture Manitoba’s is looking to raise funds. The headline of the “Save Manitoba’s!” campaign, which hit Indiegogo yesterday, is dire: “Please help save Manitoba’s bar from being FORCED out of business through no fault of our own.”
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NYU Taps 9/11 Memorial Architects to Design Controversial New Building

University Hall. (Photo: NYU)

University Hall. (Photo: NYU)

With a lawsuit contesting the construction of NYU’s new Coles Sports Center up for appeal, the university has named the architects that will design the controversial building.

The school has tapped Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake, writes Alison Leary, NYU’s Executive Vice President for Operations, in a letter sent to university students and employees such as myself.
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John Sexton Numbers His Days as NYU Prez and His Critics Say, 'Meh'

(Photo: NYU)

(Photo: NYU)

John Sexton will step down from his position as president of NYU in 2016, according to a campus-wide e-mail by NYU Local. The e-mail, from The Special Committee of the NYU Board of Trustees, indicates that J-Sex has “made clear” that he will not serve as president beyond 2016, and that faculty and students will be able to participate in the search for his replacement.

Sexton’s opponents know how to party (just ask Thurston Moore and the guy from the Violent Femmes) but they aren’t exactly dancing in the street about this.
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Sexy vs. Sexton: Padma Shows Up to Support Lawsuit Against NYU 2031

As expected, Padma Lakshmi was among those who packed into a courtroom today to hear arguments against NYU’s Greenwich Village expansion plan. This was the first public hearing in a battle for the soul of the neighborhood that has become almost as heated as the hellish temperatures outside Manhattan State Supreme.
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Is Sam Lewontin a Coffee Snob? Well, It Depends What You Mean

Introducing the Couch Read. It’s the weekend: fix yourself a coffee and spend some time with these longer pieces.

Lewontin in the heat of competition (Photo: Kelsey Kudak)

Lewontin in the heat of competition (Photo: Kelsey Kudak)

Everyman Espresso has had a lot brewing lately. Earlier this week, it closed its East 13th Street store for a month of renovations and opened a pop-up at Tribeca’s Bikini Bar. All this while being sued by the state of New York for allegedly appropriating its “I ♥ NY” logo.

But Sam Lewontin, who manages the shop, is trying not to think about that right now. He’s more focused on the menu at the summer pop-up, which he’s hoping will touch off a radical new trend. It’s among the first in the country to offer espresso drinks that rival cocktails in their complexity. The Queen Mary, for instance, combines tomato jam, citrus, herb and AeroPressed Kenyan Ndaroni.
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