Lower East Side

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Photos: Last Night at Schiller’s Liquor Bar, Now Closed After 14 Years

Manager Michael Reynolds (right) with his girlfriend Sam outside Schiller’s on its final night. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Schiller’s Liquor Bar closed out its last night Sunday with cheers, confetti and cocktails galore. The bistro, which in May announced that it would shutter due to a rent hike, remained crowded well past its normal midnight closing hour and food was also served late. Longtime patron Michael Reynolds, who also co-owns neighboring Black Crescent, held court at the center of the bar where he stood on the stretchers of his stool, cheered, and liberally passed drinks to friends.

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Art Openings: Teacups Get Handsy, Ruminations on the Grid, Photography Galore

Tom Butler, analog photography (image via Foley Gallery)

Analog v. Digital
Opening Wednesday, August 16 at Foley Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 26.

Nowadays, it’s common to hear that film photography is dead and that anyone can be a photographer who has enough money to get the iPhone with that fancy Portrait Mode built-in. Nothing like automated depth of field to convey the illusion of skill and craft! However, this group show at Foley Gallery seeks to uplift both analog and digital forms of photographic art.

The gallery defines “analog” as “the photographer using light sensitive paper or film in the process” and “digital” as “using hardware requiring a digital component (point and shoot, cell phone or dSLR cameras) regardless of how it was printed.” Fifty artists in total, approximately 25 in each category, will demonstrate the wide range of photography that’s still out there. It’s one of the rare times that focusing on the merits of “both sides” isn’t a totally useless thing to do.

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New LES Beer Store Promises to Cure What Ales You

Credit: Beer Fridge.

A new craft beer store is coming to the Lower East Side: Beer Fridge, at 41 Essex St., is currently in soft launch, with the official opening “hopefully sometime in the next few weeks,” according to owner Cat DiPaci.

“We’re working out the kinks,” she added. DiPaci, 26, is a first-time entrepreneur. In terms of industry qualifications, “I’m a very avid beer drinker,” she said.

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East Broadway Subway Station Is F-ing Disgusting, Pols Say

City DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg speaks with press.

A group of city officials and local residents gathered today at the East Broadway subway station as part of a publicity tour calling attention to New York City’s deteriorating public transit system.

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Chelsea Manning’s DNA, Candy-Colored Churches, and More Art This Week

(image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

A Becoming Resemblance
Opening Wednesday, August 2 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 5.

It’s hard to ignore Chelsea Manning lately. And rightfully so: Against all odds, her newly liberated presence, both on Twitter and IRL, remains one of the most fiercely optimistic in a pool of (justifiably) jaded folk. Ironic memes have no match for colorful emojis, it seems. But this Wednesday, Manning can be found in an art gallery, and her presence manifests in more ways than just the literal.

A Becoming Resemblance is a collaborative venture between Manning and interdisciplinary artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, using and exploring the technology of genomic identity construction. The show consists of 3D-printed portraits constructed in 2015 from pieces of DNA (hair, nail clippings) Chelsea sent her collaborator from prison. This gave the world a chance to once again put a human face to her identity, which had been shrouded by incarceration for years. The show will also include a graphic novel the duo made last year in collaboration with illustrator Shoili Kanungo depicting Chelsea’s sentence getting commuted by Obama and her being able to see her 3D portraits in person. What was initially drawn as hopeful fiction can now become reality.

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Technicolor Blanket Forts and More Art To Soak Up This Week

(flyer via Point Green / Facebook)

Tümbiverse
Opening Thursday, July 27 at Point Green, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 5.

Despite what you may think, “Tümbiverse” isn’t a weird German futuristic version of Tumblr. It refers to painter Michael Bianchino’s sweeping and immersive “technicolor portraits” that invite all types of self-expression. He won’t be the only one creating art, as Bianchino and co-curator Jasmine Williams have asked 20 innovative folk to do what they do alongside his vibrant mini-worlds. The result is expansive, featuring textiles, video art, sculpture, performance art, voguing, and even a living doll experience courtesy of Toshi Salvino.

On the last day of the exhibition, the band Confetti Armor will lead a hands-on workshop on “blanket forts as ritual practice,” which will surely justify any of the times your mom said you were wasting time making a blanket fort growing up. Uh, mom, I was doing important ritual work. And if you’re hungry for even more art in a Greenpoint photo studio, earlier in the week Point Green will also be showing How This Has To Be Told, a 35mm slideshow of photos by Martha Naranjo Sandoval that interrogates old photos and the power they have. Keep Reading »

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Bowery Tenants Hit the Streets Again to Protest Dr. Jay’s Owner Joseph Betesh

(Wah Lee before she threw the poster on the ground and stomped on it. Photo: Shannon Barbour)

Tenants of 83 and 85 Bowery poured into the streets of Chinatown yesterday afternoon to protest their landlord Joseph Betesh, again, who they say is a “slumlord” who has been harassing and trying to evict his tenants.

Betesh, owner of Dr. Jay’s, bought 83 and 85 Bowery along with other buildings in 2013 for $62 million; according to a press release, tenants believe he has maintained that the building isn’t rent stabilized. Both parties have gone back and forth in court. In May of last year, Betesh’s lawyers agreed to work toward a settlement wherein Betesh would make repairs, relocate residents, and return them to their refurbished apartments with 99-year leases. However, tenants ultimately rejected the deal because Betesh would not agree that the units were rent-stabilized, according to one of the residents.

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Slipper Room Owner Faces Criticism After Dropping N Bomb On Stage

Credit: Liz Clayman for New York Magazine.

Lower East Side vaudeville venue the Slipper Room is at the center of a controversy over offensive speech which began Wednesday, July 5, when host and owner James Habacker, while performing as his character Mel Frye, used a racial slur onstage as well as referred to mentally disabled people with language often considered offensive.

According to a Facebook post (quoted in a recent addition to the Slipper Room’s Wikipedia page) by someone who attended the show in question, Habacker made a joke using the term “retarded,” which he justified by arguing he was changing the word’s context to be more positive, and then, adding further fuel to the fire, claimed it was akin to black Americans’ reclamation of the “N-word,” which he used several times to the discomfort of the sole black audience member.

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Art This Week: Father + Son Collab, VR World, Hairy Domesticity

(image via Babycastles / Facebook)

Virtual Insanity
Opening Monday, July 17 at VR World NYC, 7 pm to midnight.

I think we can all agree that reality as we know it currently leaves something to be desired. So, what about virtual reality? For those not particularly prone to dizziness and/or nausea, it can be a very effective way to literally escape the perils of life and be thrust into a new environment. Even if you move your head in a bunch of angles, you can’t escape it! It’s pretty remarkable, TBH. Or terrifying, depending on what world you’re virtually immersed in. 

Tonight is the beginning of VR World NYC and Babycastles’ “VR-themed exhibition and concert.” You’ll be able to see VR ~experiences~ crafted by 9 developers/artists and vibe to music from Icarus Moth, RAFiA, and Haleek Maul. How hard can you dance without your VR goggles falling off? Tonight be the night to find out. Keep Reading »

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Diner Death Notice: Cup & Saucer Goes Dark

Credit: Shanna Ravindra, New York Magazine.

Last week we reported that LES/Chinatown stalwart Cup & Saucer — one of the last of the New York luncheonette old guard — is closing after more than three quarters of a century, thanks to a rent hike on its Canal Street location.

Although Bowery Boogie reported that today would be Cup & Saucer’s last day of operation, it already, as of this morning, appears to be closed forever. Phone calls to Cup & Saucer are going unanswered, and sources tell us the diner is dark.

People paid their respects on Instagram.

Credit: ____genna____ (Instagram)

Credit: OrchardStreetRunners (Instagram).

Credit: PraiseShadows (Instagram).

The owners told the New York Times that their rent was set to nearly double and that they may look for another space.

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Alejandro Jodorowsky On Poetry, Psychomagic, and How to Get Free of Trump

Endless Poetry

When surrealist auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky makes a rare trip to New York City— to promote his new autobiographical film, Endless Poetry— you know it’s an occasion. During a MoMA discussion on Wednesday, the spry 88-year-old gave a tarot reading to Daniel Craig; the next evening on the Bowery, there was a party celebrating the release of the film’s soundtrack, composed by Alejandro’s son Adan Jodorowsky, who also stars in it.

Clearly, multi-talentedness runs in the family. Like his 37-year-old son, the elder Jodorowsky has composed music for films in which he has also acted— namely his cult masterpieces, El Topo and The Holy Mountain. At various times, he’s been a circus clown, a puppeteer, a mime, a novelist, a comic book artist, and a practitioner of his own brand of “shamanic psychotherapy,” called psychomagic.

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LES Stalwart Cup & Saucer to Shutter After 75 Years

Shanna Ravindra for New York Magazine.

Cup & Saucer, a throwback luncheonette that has occupied the same quiet spot on Canal Street for more than 75 years, is likely closing, Bedford + Bowery has learned. The small but much-loved diner — whose iconic Coca-Cola sign and faded retro aesthetic hearken to an older era — is a staple of the Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.

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