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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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The Museum of Interesting Things Is a Roving ‘Speakeasy’ Run By a Quirky Curator

How did we watch films at home before Netflix and DVD? And before VHS? Denny Daniel will show you at his Museum of Interesting Things. This “speakeasy museum” pops up weekly at various locations in the city to show how our current-day technology is based on earlier inventions, often going all the way back to the late 19th century. From 1960s solar-powered walkie-talkies to carousel animations and parts of the original World War II Enigma machine, Daniel has collected a wide array of antiques and curiosa.

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How to Make the Most of #MuseumWeek

(Photo courtesy of Rose M. Singer Center, Rikers Island Correctional Center)

It’s time to stop putting off checking out the city’s great cultural institutions, because this week is #MuseumWeek. UNESCO is focusing on a different theme each day, with the entire week dedicated to celebrating gender equality and women around the world.

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How the Hare Krishna Movement Started 51 Years Ago in the East Village

A kirtan (collective chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra) at Washington Square Park.(© Kasper van Laarhoven)

If you’ve ever been to Union Square, you’ve seen them: They chant, drum; sometimes they even give you a free copy of their scripture. Hare Krishnas are often shrugged off as an urban oddity on par with clipboard people, but what lies behind those orange robes and endless mantras?

This Friday, June 16, Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It will premiere at Village East Cinema. The documentary tells the story of Srila Prabhupada, a disheveled 70-year-old Hindu who boarded a freighter to the U.S. in August 1965 with little more than three self-translated religious texts and instructions from his guru to “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world.”

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Bowery Wall Tagged After Getting Mural By Controversial Pick, David Choe

(Photo courtesy of Shannon Barbour)

Taggers wasted no time marking up the Bowery wall’s newest mural.

The wall, on Houston Street and Bowery, has featured work by artists like Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf in the past and is now host to David Choe’s mural, completed last week.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unbuilt East Village Towers Rise High in New MoMA Exhibit

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

In October of 1929, a New York Times headline announced: “Odd-Type Buildings to Overlook Church.” Those odd-type buildings would’ve been New York’s first glass skyscrapers, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to surround St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bouwerie. Starting Monday, a meticulously restored model of his East Village towers will be exhibited for the first time in over 50 years, as part of a new retrospective at MoMA.

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$13 Million Synagogue Sale Threatened by Power Struggle of Biblical Proportions

The Home of the Sages property on Bialystoker Place. Photograph: J. Oliver Conroy.

A new lawsuit is only the latest sign of an epic power struggle within the Home of the Sages of Israel, a tiny Lower East Side synagogue. The house of worship’s nondescript and rundown building on Bialystoker Place has become the subject of a ferocious real estate battle between different factions, each claiming to be the synagogue’s lawful representative.

In a suit filed two weeks ago – only the latest in a mounting pile of litigation – members of the Orthodox Jewish synagogue’s small congregation allege that Rabbi Samuel Aschkenazi, “who despite his title, is not the rabbi for Home of the Sages,” is attempting to sell the property out from under them to real estate developer Peter Fine – and then split the $13 million profit with Friends of Mosdot Goor, a Gerer Hasidic group unconnected to the synagogue.

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Holy Scharf! We Found Free, Unregulated Street Parking in NYC

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Calling all urban campers!

If you’re one of the 23 percent of New Yorkers who own a car and happen to need a free parking spot in the East Village, you’re in luck. We’ve found the rarest of commodities: a stretch of curb that doesn’t have any parking regulations. Seriously. None.

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Bicycle Film Festival Is Going to Be Wheelie Good, According to a Spokes-person

Biking is having a moment. Citi Bike is expanding, Andy Samberg just released his Tour de Pharmacy trailer, and Bicycle Fetish Day is quickly approaching. Which makes it a great time for the Bicycle Film Festival to roll into town. The fest will bring a week of screenings, live performances, exhibitions, and even a new animation program to Anthology Film Archives.

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Legendary Gogo Dive Pussycat Lounge Returns After a Six-Year Catnap

Nine lives, indeed! The legendary Pussycat Lounge has quietly reopened after six years of uncertainty.

I haven’t yet read Meet Me in the Bathroom, the oral history of the aughts rock scene that got James Murphy and Nick Zinner reminiscing, but I’d be surprised if the Pussycat Lounge wasn’t mentioned. After all, it’s where Taavo Somer and Carlos Quirarte threw parties before they went on to open downtown hotspots Freemans and The Smile, respectively. At one point, the place was so cool that it appeared in a Times trend piece about the death of the trucker hat. And then, in 2011, the 41-year-old dive was suddenly closed by the city, after its building was deemed unsafe.

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Feminist Summer Camp: ‘Invite As Few Straight White Women As We Can’

(Photo courtesy of  Feminist Camp)

If you’ve been dying to learn how to perform an abortion on a papaya and have $1,600 to spare, Feminist Camp has got you covered. That may sound like a joke, but Feminist Camp isn’t for poster making, hashtagging Resist on all your Instagrams or even teaching you how to be a better feminist. Instead, campers will learn how to bring feminism into their daily lives and careers.

“It’s a tiny-sized conference,” said the camp’s co-director Carly Romeo. “We bring [participants] around the city to different organizations or companies that are doing feminist work or feminist-adjacent work. And the goal is to demystify the idea of feminist work.”

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