Lower East Side

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District 2: This Harley Riding Pastor Wants to Be Your New City Councilman

Del Rio co-ordinating Sandy relief efforts (Photo: Jonathen Adkins)

Del Rio co-ordinating Sandy relief efforts (Photo: Jonathen Adkins)

Aspiring City Councilman Rick Del Rio raps his gold-ringed knuckles on the table as he speaks, his colorful bicep tattoos (“Jesus Christ Is Lord” and “The Lion of Judah Has Conquered”) peeking out from beneath the sleeves of a black button-up.

“I’m a political outsider, and being a political outsider means I have a lot to learn,” he says in a gravelly, booming voice that one can easily imagine bellowing across a pulpit. “But I’ll learn it. Because whatever I have to do, I will do. I’ve got no issues with ego; I just want to serve. And I’ve got no fear.”
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Justin Bieber’s Tattoo Guy Opened His LES Ink Spot Last Night

Bang Bang and clients.

Bang Bang and clients.

The crowd.

The crowd.

Celebrity love.

Celebrity love.

Rihanna's kiss.

Rihanna's kiss.

Bang Bang hugs a friend.

Bang Bang hugs a friend.

Just Bieber's kiss.

Just Bieber's kiss.

JR Smith shows off a tattoo.

JR Smith shows off a tattoo.

Tattoo artist Liz with her husband.

Tattoo artist Liz with her husband.

Fergus the dog. Watch out for heels!

Fergus the dog. Watch out for heels!

Megan Massacre, artist.

Megan Massacre, artist.

Knicks in the house.

Knicks in the house.

Adele's kiss.

Adele's kiss.

Last night the city’s tattoo luminaries hobnobbed at the grand opening of the most buzzed-about ink parlor in the history of man. Bang Bang (real name: Keith McCurdy) counts the likes of Rihanna, Rita Ora, and Justin Bieber as loyal customers — and he has their tattoo autographs to prove it.
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Check Out Dimes, Bringing Some Crunch to the Lower LES Monday

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

(Photo: Anna Silman)

A little while ago we told you about Dimes, the new health-focused cafe and eatery on Division Street from Sabrina DeSousa and Alissa Wagner. Though it was originally slated for a mid-August opening, the spot will finally open its doors next Monday, providing some long-awaited MSG-free eats to the Lower Lower East Side.
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Odessa Bar Is Gone, and Motor City Comes Back in a Music Video

Odessa's bathroom. (Photo: Bedford + Bowery's Instagram)

Odessa’s bathroom. (Photo: Bedford + Bowery’s Instagram)

After the Bedford + Bowery Bazaar on Saturday, we ended up stopping by Odessa Cafe Bar‘s last night after 48 years on Avenue A. Around 3 a.m. the place was buzzing with a very young crowd, though at least one member of the old guard had planned to pay his respects. Erik Foss, who was a bartender there before opening Lit and Fuse Gallery (the latter is also closing, on September 11), wrote on Instagram: “ODESSA , the bar I started out at in the east village is closing tonight for ever, so sad, and haden’t it been for this magical place LIT probably wouldn’t have existed.” Lauren Dillard (Lauren Flax‘s bandmate in CREEP) chimed in: “That’s where I would get perogies before I would Dj for the night at lit!”
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More Dish on the B+B Bazaar: Jalapeño Beer! PB&J Ice Cream Floats!

P&H Soda doing their thing. (Photo: Clay Williams)

P&H Soda doing their thing. (Photo: Clay Williams)

Woohoo! We can now tell you what Tørst has on tap for our merry day-to-night Bazaar on Saturday, starting with two Evil Twin releases you’ve never tasted before. One, Femme Fatale, is fermented with yuzu, and the other sounds just plain amazing: Spicy Nachos is a pale ale infused with jalapeño.

Not only that, but chef Daniel Burns, formerly of Noma and the Fat Duck, will be at the Hester Street Fairgrounds in the flesh, eschewing the high-minded manners of Michelin-starred etiquette. Using a yakitori grill, he’ll be roasting chicken oysters (think of them as the chicken’s love handles) with eggplant puree on a circle of braised cabbage. Don’t call this Luksus tasting-menu item a taco, but you are encouraged to roll it up and eat with your hands.
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Boozehounds and Bookworms, Mark Your Calendars for Lit Crawl

litcrawl2

Henry Chang reading from a planter box on Bleecker, during a previous Lit Crawl. (Photo courtesy of Lit Crawl)

New York City has a long, amazing, storied literary scene — the East Village, in particular, has nursed writers like Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Bob Holman. New York City also has a long, amazing, different-kind-of-storied history of extensive drinking. It only makes sense to willfully combine these two traditions, and that’s exactly what Lit Crawl NYC has done.
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Turn Your Favorite T-Shirt Into a Free Hat at the B+B Bazaar Saturday

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This used to be a t-shirt. (Photo: Anthony Pappalardo)

As if you needed another reason to hit the Bedford + Bowery Bazaar on Saturday, here’s a real good one: Brian Downey of The Amazing Falcon Bowse T-Shirt Transformation Program will be there to turn your favorite old t-shirt into a nifty five-panel hat — for free. The custom lids go for $30 at his Greenpoint pop-up but from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, they’re gratis (first come, first served — based on availability, of course). So bring him that Wo Hop shirt that got felled by soy sauce and revive it in the form of a Falcon Bowse original.

FB joins the Bazaar’s already robust lineup: Torst is pouring beer all afternoon, Brooklyn Brewery is doing a free happy hour at 6:30 p.m. and serving into the night, Bossa Nova Civic Club is programing the DJs, and folks like Bunker Vietnamese, Harvest Cyclery and a slew of others (see the Facebook invite) are crossing the bridge for our outdoor extravaganza at the Hester Street Fair grounds, at Hester and Essex.

Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter as we announce more vendors, and see you Saturday!

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Bob Holman Is Fighting the ‘Blazing, Blanding Branding’ of the Scene

Howl! Festival, Bob Holman

Holman is also an organizer of Howl! Festival. (Photo: Chris O. Cook)

Given his involvement with the No 7-Eleven campaign and the relaunch of the Bowery Poetry Club in a new location, the poet Bob Holman occupies the crossroads of several vectors of change on the Bowery. Not that that’s anything new for him: since the ’70s, in his various roles as coordinator of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, director of the Nuyorican Poets Café, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, author, editor, emcee and archivist (among other things), Holman has perhaps done more than anybody else to foster and grow the Bowery’s long and storied oral poetry tradition.
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A Tour of Lady Gaga’s LES, Courtesy of the Guy Who Wrote the Book

Sullivan (and his book) on the Lower East Side (Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Sullivan (and his book) on the Lower East Side (Photo: Natalie Rinn)

If you caught Lady Gaga’s, well, Gaga-esque performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last night, you’d never think to describe her as “very short,” with a “very quiet voice.” But that’s how she was known to Brendan Jay Sullivan, author of a memoir out this week, Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, The Lower East Side and the Prime of our Lives.
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On Sunday There’ll Be Cool Jazz, Hot Jazz, and Jazz Poetry, You Dig?

This weekend, it’s “all that jazz” in a very literal sense. You already know that the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is bringing legendary Miles Davis sideman and cool-jazz pioneer Leo Konitz to Tompkins Square Park for a free show. But that’s just the start of it. If you need to get out of the sun at any point between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., you might want to duck into A Gathering of the Tribes, where Bird meets the word in the form of the Charlie Parker Poetry Reading. Downtown poets Bob Holman, Steve Dalachinsky, Patricia Spears Jones and a host of others will do their thing at Steve Cannon’s East Third Street apartment gallery.
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Free Shows in Parks This Weekend, Joan of Arc Next Week

Thanks to our summer weekends guide, you already know that the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is taking over Tompkins Square Park on Sunday. Here’s what else is coming up this weekend and beyond. Afropunk-2013-Line-up
AFROPUNK FEST
For nearly a decade now, the two-day Afropunk Festival, held at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene, has symbolically marked the end of the summer festival circuit with bonkers lineups that are blessedly (at this point) bereft of white twenty-something indie rock bands.
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Owners of Pearl’s and Los Perros Locos Got Stiffed By Bike Thieves

As far as we can tell, the thefts are in no way related to the classic work of Italian neo-realist cinema.

There’s an old saying: don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and don’t steal their wheels either!

And yet a couple of weeks ago Alex Mitow, the owner of Los Perros Locos, posted a Facebook update about his bike disappearing from a fence on the Lower East Side. And this morning Betsy Maher, the owner of Pearl’s Social and Billy Club, and Benny Thomson, a bartender at Anchored Inn, had their two Suzuki motorbikes stolen from outside Thomson’s place at 62 Greenpoint Avenue. (Yep, more crime in Greenpoint…)
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