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Citi Bike Sets Up Shop in Riis Houses, Hoping to Boost Low-Income Ridership

(Photo: Citi Bike on Instagram)

The operators of Citi Bike are set to open facilities in the Jacob Riis Houses in Alphabet City, a move that they hope will bring more low-income riders to the bike-share program and make it easier for existing users to score a ride.

The new base of operations is located in what the New York City Housing Authority describes as “an existing facility in an underutilized space,” at 152-154 Avenue D. Motivate, the operators of Citi Bike, hope it will lead to a more balanced system, meaning no more showing up to stations to find there are no bikes to rent. Citi Bike general manager Kris Sandor also hopes it will help with community outreach. “We are again looking to support and engage with everybody, especially for ridership, but then also for our hiring practices,” Sandor said. “We’re really looking to make sure that we’re engaging with lower-income communities.”

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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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35,000 Drawings Turn a Vampire Classic Into a Story of Immigrant New York

For three years, Italian artist Andrea Mastrovito and a dozen assistants have slaved away on NYsferatu: a Symphonie of a Century, a remake of the 1922 vampire classic Nosferatu, but made out of 35,000 hand-drawn pictures. “This movie is my second wife right now,” Mastrovito told us. “We are always together, me and NYsferatu. And even if I love it, I love and hate it. NYsferatu has sucked my blood.”

At last, this Monday, the film will premiere at Pier 63.

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City Council Passes Sweeping Tenant Protections

Credit: Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center.

Yesterday the City Council passed a sweeping package of pro-tenant legislation long advocated by tenants’ rights groups, activists, and sympathetic city officials. One of the key organizations that lobbied for the legislation, the “Stand for Tenant Safety” coalition, held a support rally outside City Hall.

The main target of the new legislation is the widespread practice of “construction as harassment,” whereby landlords use invasive, unsafe, and sometimes illegal construction to drive out tenants. Typically the landlords are trying to get rent-regulated tenants out so they can charge market rents.

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Worlds Fair Coming to Brooklyn Promises Art, Food, Tech, Tim Kaine

“Worlds Fairs have inspired Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, and many others to express their brilliance. For 130 years, American cities set the standard for Worlds Fairs. Now it’s time to rebuild the world’s greatest stage in the United States, and inspire the pursuit of our best possible future.”

So says the manifesto of Worlds Fair USA, an organization which describes itself as “an independent effort to bring the international showcase of the future, featuring the world’s most amazing technology, art, and more, back to the United States.” Keep Reading »

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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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Greenpoint Resto Brooklyn Label to be Revived, With Some Help from Le Gamin

Instagram: AlexForsythRussell.

Brooklyn Label, the French corner restaurant in Greenpoint’s historic Astral Building that closed last year, is going to be revived. Now under new management, it will return from the dead with a little help from Le Gamin, another beloved French bistro located in Greenpoint.

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Take It From This Bushwick Peacock Owner, That Wasn’t a Live Peacock on the Subway

Ventiko feeding Dexter yogurt and blueberries in her Bushwick loft. (© Zito)

A photo of a peacock on the subway created a social media frenzy on Friday. People crowed not just about the peacock, but also the fellow passengers who seemed unfazed by the feathery giant. Only in New York City, New York City exclaimed.

We wondered whether the mystery bird was the one and only Dexter the Peacock, so we reached out to his owner, Ventiko. Turns out the subway peacock didn’t belong to the Bushwick-based conceptual photo and performance artist, but Ventiko had a theory: “By the way the human is holding a small stick with the bird perched on it, it must be stuffed.”

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Inside the East Village’s Plucky New Record Shop, Limited to One

Limited to One’s storefront at 221 E. 10th St.

Last month we wrote about Limited to One, the soon-to-be-unveiled 10th St. vinyl collectors’ haven that hopes to shake up the stereotype of the dusty East Village record shop. Created by the people behind the podcast and cult Instagram RecordNerdz, Limited to One says it plans to focus on contemporary limited-edition and rare vinyl runs — and in the process perhaps become “the Flight Club of record stores.”

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Let There Be Dark! at This Electricity-Free Theater Festival 

Butcher Holler Here We Come at DarkFest, with Adam Belvo on the right

Tonight, The Tank turns off its lights for four days, for its annual DarkFest. The midtown theater has invited five known and emerging acts to do whatever they want, as long as they steer clear of the power grid. In previous years, that has meant anonymous confessions in the pitch black, shows illuminated with nothing but glow tape, and a mining-disaster story lit only with hard-hat headlamps.

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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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