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Talks and Readings: School Stories, Awkward Sex Moments, and Zach Braff

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Summer vacation might have students hightailing it to the nearest exit, but Union Hall wants to rope you back into the world of teachers and books for “How I Learned to Make the Grade: Stories About School,” where master storytellers, including author and comedian Sara Benincasa (Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom) and actor/comedian Jeffrey Joseph (The Tonight Show), will share their tales of playground humiliations and homecoming regrets. Of course, now that we’re all grown-ups, beer and cocktails will be available to ease the angst.
Wednesday, May 27, doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Union Hall, 702 Union Street (Park Slope).

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Nightclubbing | Max Blagg

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Max Blagg (Photo: Emily Armstrong)

August 1980 in the Lower East Side: it was the Summer of Heroin.

Clinton Street was not yet restaurant row – it was lined with shooting galleries, rows of cars with Jersey plates and steerers plying their wares. “We got Snoopy, 7-Up, Yellow Bag; we got the stuff that can kill you, man!” – a pitch both fascinating and confounding. Junkies were on every other corner and street muggings were rampant. Home break-ins were a fact of life so common that it became uninteresting unless it happened to you.

Which it did. We came home one night to find our apartment tossed and our video equipment gone. At the time, we were running the Video Lounge at Danceteria and our coworkers rallied to our support, organizing a benefit. Poet Max Blagg, then a bartender at the club, read his epic, “Smack Yourself Senseless.” His poem, a brutal five minute take-down of heroin chic, was a comfort. Keep Reading »