Lower East Side

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Performance Picks: Trashy Comedy, Asian Drag, 4/20 Monotony

WEDNESDAY

(flyer via Wonders Of Nature / Facebook)

What’s Your Damage?
Wednesday, April 18 at Wonders Of Nature, 8 pm: $5

A show called What’s Your Damage taking place at a space called Wonders Of Nature sort of feels like it could be a metaphor or political statement talking about the ways we have irreparably damaged the natural world, because at this point it would be hard to deny we haven’t. However, that’s not what this show is about. Quite simply, hosts Sachi Ezura and Halle Kiefer will ask performers what exactly their damage is, which is just a snappier way of asking them to reveal past embarrassments and drama that have shaped them into “the weird, wonderful people they are today.” This time around, Carmen Christopher, Aaron Jackson, Marcia Belsky, and Joyelle Nicole are the ones to tell all. Keep Reading »

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We Went Station to Station Trying to Score the New David Bowie MetroCards

“New Yorkers don’t wait on line for anything, except for David Bowie,” said a woman waiting in line this afternoon for the MTA’s new David Bowie MetroCards.

Available at the booths and most kiosks at both Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street stations, the 250,000 cards feature five images of Bowie from across his entire career, and are in general pretty groovy.

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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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Photos: Jerk Chicken, Jewelry and Jenga at Opening Day of Hester Street Fair

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

(Photos: Scott Lynch)

The Hester Street Fair kicked off its ninth outdoor season on Saturday, with more than 20 food and crafty vendors setting up in the usual Seward Park spot under glorious, about-goddamn-time springtime skies. The scene, as always, was plenty festive but also pleasantly low key, because unlike Smorgasburg, which is great for different reasons, Hester Street never really gets uncomfortably mobbed. Even after all these years, this remains very much a neighborhood hang.

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‘Hellhole’ McDonald’s Shakes Things Up With Automated Ordering, Table Service

The Mickey D’s on Delancey Street has been called “the worst McDonald’s ever” by multiple reviewers on Yelp, where it has a lackluster two stars. But on April 21, there’ll be a ribbon-cutting to celebrate recent renovations to what’s been called “the last stop before hell.”

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Art This Week: Language, Marching Bands, 11 Shows In One

Beryl Korot, Babel 2 (detail), 1980, Pigment on linen woven by the artist, 72 x 38.75 in (image via bitforms gallery nyc / Facebook)

A Coded Language
Opening Thursday, April 12 at bitforms gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 20.

As a child, perhaps you tried to invent a new language with your friends, or merely came up with a new phrase so that parents or teachers or what have you didn’t get to know the kind of stuff you were actually getting up to. Codenames and made-up, just-for-you languages have made an appearance in nearly everyone’s lives, even if yours just consists of you doing a gibberish vocal warmup in an acting class once or something. Technologically-inclined artist Beryl Korot has also created her own language, but it’s inspired by something a little more mathematical: the grid pattern formed from woven cloth. Her solo exhibition A Coded Language will showcase work made between 1980 and 2017, many of which utilize this language of the grid, initially created in 1980. In addition to this language’s presence, she also pays tribute to others who have forged their own way of communicating, such as Dutch Jewish writer Etty Hillesum, who wrote to her friends in code during the Nazi invasion in Holland. Keep Reading »

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Free-Jazz Pioneer Cecil Taylor Has Died At 89

A piano at Cecil Taylor’s retrospective at The Whitney. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Cecil Taylor died at his Brooklyn home Thursday evening. He was 89. A polarizing figure during the jazz heyday of the 50s and 60s due to his frenzied and untraditional playing style, Taylor helped to pioneer the free jazz genre along with Ornette Coleman. His avant-garde style has influenced countless musicians and left an indelible mark on the jazz as a whole.

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Coffee With A Conscience? GrandLo Cafe Serves Up Cold Brew With a Splash of Job Skills

GrandLo Café, a “new social enterprise” from nonprofit Grand St. Settlement, will turn your daily coffee habit into a chance to support disadvantaged youth. The coffee shop and café, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 16 after a soft opening that same week, is now fully open for business.

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Art This Week: Developer Trays and Stylized Selfhood

(image via Elizabeth Houston Gallery)

Developer Trays
Opening Wednesday, March 28 at Elizabeth Houston Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 5.

Though digital photography (whether on fancy DSLRs or iPhones with portrait mode) is inarguably king today, there are still people out there shooting film. Though not quite a relic yet, the chemical-laden process of developing and printing your own film in a darkroom is something many people may not understand or even be aware of. One of the key components of doing this is laying the soon-to-be photograph in a tray filled with developer chemicals, which steadily brings the photo to life. Artist John Cyr, a photographer and printer himself, has latched onto the developer tray as an integral object to the working photographer. His images, portraying developer trays that belonged to notable and unknown photographers alike, cast these practical objects in a light usually reserved for more “important”-seeming items. Their unique textures, stains, colors, and designs documented for posterity illuminate film development as a historically-significant art practice in itself. Keep Reading »

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Boxing, Competitive Comedy, and More Performance Picks

THURSDAY

(image via Uncharted)

Polly Mope
Thursday, March 22 at Greenwich House Music School, 8 pm: $15

I have to be totally honest, I have not yet managed to see one of performer Molly Pope’s cabaret shows, but based on what I know of her and who she has collaborated with, I feel like I can still say with confidence that you’ll be in for a treat when you do. Thursday is a particularly good time to do so, as Pope will be premiering her first ever “completely original solo piece,” Polly Mope, as part of Uncharted, a concert series focused on new work and first-time experiments. By “completely original” she means the music is her own instead of the familiar cabaret protocol of covers n’ banter, but you can trust that the originality will not stop there. Keep Reading »

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Choreographed Photos, Experiments In Light, and More Art This Week

Image: Jenna Westra, Mariana Sits on “The Complete Photographer, An Encyclopedia of Photography” (1949), Volume 6, Pages 2178-79, ‘Best Fashion Study and Best Action Production Still Taken in a Studio’, 2018. Archival pigment print, 26 x 21.75 inches (image courtesy of Lubov)

Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits
Opening Saturday, March 24 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 6.

The Tribeca gallery Lubov is small, tucked away on the second floor of an office building, but within it you’ll find none of the monotony typically associated with such work. Instead, you’ll be greeted with contemporary art of all sorts, including their newest exhibition Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits. In addition to being a very good exhibition name in my opinion, it’s also an assortment of analog photography by Jenna Westra that focuses on what happens when you don’t shy away from the act of purposefully trying to create an engaging scene ripe for the snapping. The scenarios recall a kind of captured choreography, such as an amateur model (or maybe a dancer?) kneeling with their dirt-dusted feet squarely sitting on (what else?) a book of photography, simultaneously desecrating and establishing its position as subject. Keep Reading »