Back in April, Anthony Bourdain visited some of his old stomping grounds (and new ones) in the East Village and Lower East Side for an episode of Parts Unknown, chatting with numerous local characters along the way. It’s unclear what will happen with this and other episodes Bourdain was filming prior to his unexpected death last week, so we spoke with some of the featured artists and business owners about their experiences with a reporter and raconteur who was known for keeping it real.
Lower East Side
In Her Hands
Opening Thursday, June 14 at Robert Mann Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 17.
It seems more women than ever are running for office, from the two Staceys who recently faced off for Georgia governor to local Congressional challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina from the Bronx whose recent campaign ad gathered buzz for being legitimately compelling. Robert Mann Gallery’s newest group exhibition, curated by Orly Cogan and Julie Peppito, showcases a series of portraits of women who are running in the 2018 elections. Adding an additional layer of femininity to the whole affair is the fact that these portraits are made predominantly using craft methods and materials, utilizing a medium historically tied with women and domesticity (and often downplayed in importance due to both of these associations). You’ll see anyone from big-name candidates to unfamiliar face immortalized through quilting, embroidery, and more. Keep Reading »
It’s been said that adding plants to your living space is a great way to improve both the appearance of a room and your own personal well-being. But what if you’re really bad at keeping plants alive? Well, in that case, maybe a cactus will be good. They don’t need to be watered very much. Plus, if you happen to be passing through the Lower East Side, you can browse a variety of Southern California cacti, now that The Cactus Store pop-up has returned to spend another summer near Seward Park. Keep Reading »
If you’re already gearing up for the Mermaid Parade, you might feel the rush of sweat and glamour pouring back into town from one of the biggest glitter gatherings of the year: The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in Las Vegas. Bringing home more than a yearning to eat a vegetable this year is the local performing group Boys’ Night, who won the pageant’s award for Best Large Group. I caught up with the boys via email while they were still dazed (and likely oxygen-starved—the secondhand smoke at the Orleans Casino is notorious) from the win and the weekend. Keep Reading »
Light In Wartime
Opening Wednesday, June 6 at apexart, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 28.
War has been a near-constant in most people’s lives, whether they intimately know it or not. This exhibition, curated by Rola Khayyat, explores “the gap between understanding wars as historical happenings, and their fictionalized representations in the entertainment world, political realm, and collective consciousness.” Seeking to combine traditional documentary photographs with artistic metaphor and experimental development processes, the work in Light In Wartime predominantly depicts imagery that shows the aftermath of war, from sniper holes to newspaper articles. In viewing these new creations, we may start to form new thoughts about the information related to war we’ve been given for most of our lives. Keep Reading »
The Lower East Side’s beloved Katz’s Delicatessen has changed the game for the subscription food industry by debuting a pastrami on-demand service this week. Bloomberg first broke the news that the 130-year-old Jewish deli has launched a monthly subscription box, bringing deli meats to doorsteps nationwide. Keep Reading »
Thursday, May 31 at Le Poisson Rouge, 7 pm: $35
Everyone likes drag. Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s certainly been having a mainstream moment lately, so it’s safe to assume more people like drag than ever before. If you’d like to see some drag, there are many places you can go in the city, but tonight you can specifically go to Le Poisson Rouge, where an array of colorful performers such as Bear Lee Legal, Glace Chase, Chris Tyler, Dynasty, and Donald C. Shorter Jr will be giving shows, shows, shows to help raise money for feminist theater company The Dirty Blondes. The show’s Facebook event proclaims “bodies will dance, drinks will flow and gender norms will be smashed,” which sounds like a recipe for a nice night to me. And yes, I know Drag Race is also tonight, but you can just watch it later. Keep Reading »
On a cloudy May morning, maintenance workers were busy prepping the launch pad of the Stuyvesant Cove/Town stop on the Lower East Side ferry route. But the boarding ramp connecting the East River Bikeway along FDR Drive with the ferry launch pad remained roped off. An older gentleman named Bruce Goldstein, passing by on his Citi Bike, halted to inquire about this still-closed stop. Keep Reading »
The rain was out in full force this past Sunday, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of performers and Lower East Side residents who came out for a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage. For more than thirty years, the Loisaida Festival has served as an homage to Puerto Rican culture in the Lower East Side and back on the island. This year, the festival’s theme was “Bridging Resurgence: From Sandy to Maria.” According to the Loisaida Festival’s Twitter page, the theme served as “a tribute to the resilience of the Lower East Side, past and present, and in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.” Keep Reading »
Opening Thursday, May 31 at La MaMa Galleria, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 16.
Presented by Visual AIDS and curated by Kyle Croft and Asher Mones, this exhibition zeroes in on the insidious intersection of HIV and incarceration, both today and throughout history. Currently, more than half the states in America have laws in effect that criminalizes the act of potentially exposing someone to HIV without first disclosing their status, often regardless of other factors like viral load or actual transmission risk, leading many to deem them dangerous. The 15+ artists of Cell Count use their work to interrogate these laws and how they affect people with HIV, placing them into conversation with a larger history of “medically sanctioned violence and incarceration.” Keep Reading »
Stuck in town this Memorial Day weekend? You’re better off avoiding the mile-long airport lines anyway, so consider yourself lucky. But just in case you’re tired of hitting up to Smorgasburg for the third weekend in a row or staring at your computer screen as you Netflix your life away, Bedford + Bowery has put together plenty of options to keep you entertained over the long weekend.
Last July, when Cup and Saucer closed due to a rent hike after more than 75 years in business, the throwback luncheonette was mourned by Lower East Siders. The mom-and-pop diner has now been replaced by a chicken and pizza joint, but its storefront, at least, will return to the neighborhood in the form of a tribute that will live in Seward Park for a year. Karla and James Murray, the East Village photographers whose Store Front books document some of the city’s iconic and evocative facades, are creating a structure displaying near-life-size versions of four of their photos. “Mom & Pops of the LES,” as the project is called, is described in a Kickstarter campaign as “an artistic intervention and a plea for recognition of the unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses.”