While we’re talking about fall here, don’t go reaching for the pumpkin spice. That’s not what this is about. But if you would like to spice up your Thursday night plans, keep reading. Queer nightlife collective and “global network of artsluts” The Culture Whore is having an event called Sequinox tonight at Bushwick’s Flowers For All Occasions, billed as “a celebration of queer music and the turning of the wheel.” It’s part of a new initiative the collective has started, with a focus on showcasing new queer music and underground artists.
Bars + Restaurants
Forgot to book your ticket to Munich for Oktoberfest this year? You can still get your beer fix this Saturday at the Village Voice‘s Brooklyn Pour beer festival. Dozens of breweries will gather at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint for one of the biggest beer tasting events of the fall. Represent the five boroughs by slugging beers from local favorites like Flagship, Big Alice, Rockaway Brewing Co., and Other Half, and compare New York’s best to the wares of national players like Allagash, Victory, and Sierra Nevada. Or get snickered at by the craft beer cognoscenti by sipping on macrobrews like Singha, Guinness, and Kronenbourg 1664.
The NYC Wine and Food Festival returns in October, but who the hell wants to pay $195 for a chicken tasting, even if its hosted by Whoopi Goldberg? Opt for these homegrown fests instead.
Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint
Sept. 18, 1pm to 5pm at East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave., Williamsburg.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the North Brooklyn scene, this ticketed block party offers the opportunity to sample from 50+ local establishments, including cocktail hideaway Fresh Kills, French favorite Le Fond, Spanish spot El Born, wine bar The Camlin, and the Museum of Food and Drink. In addition to these relative newcomers there’ll be neighborhood fixtures like Maison Premiere, Pies’n’Thighs, Brooklyn Star, and Anella. If nothing else this is a chance to get a taste of the highly lauded Lilia without having to beg for a reservation– while Blonde Redhead plays, no less. See here for the fest’s full lineup as well as tickets, which range from $24.50 (four tastes and two beverages) to $70 (12 tastes, 6 beverages).
As of this afternoon, for the first time ever, you can make your way up to the tip top of the brand new William Vale hotel, clink glasses with your crew and look out over the expanse of Brooklyn from the Westlight, the new Williamsburg luxury hotel’s 22nd-floor bar with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Suddenly, Brooklyn will look almost insignificant and underdeveloped, teeming with pathetic, spartan life. Shift your godlike eyes down toward the Wythe Hotel and its unfortunate patrons will look like drunken, desperate ants. “Literally, that’s the Wythe– look how little it looks,” a PR rep laughed along with us.
VNYL Is a ’70s-Styled ‘Lifestyle Space’ With a Cafe, Restaurant, and a Record Store by Adrian Grenier
Vinyl might have been cancelled, but VNYL is about to open in the East Village.
James Morrissey, owner of The Late Late, says that although his new bar nods to the ’70s, he actually came up with its name before he heard about the HBO show. It stands for Vintage New York Lifestyle, but the place’s decor was primarily inspired by the “elegant, chic, sophisticated” decor of Los Angeles homes during the ’70s.
When word first emerged that Abby Ehmann, an East Village party organizer and neighborhood chronicler who’s resided in the hood since 1989, would be opening a bar on Avenue B, not everyone was all about it. There were enough bars, people said– in fact, there are several of them located on the block between 10th and 11th streets already. And worst of all, weren’t the proliferation of bars (especially the fancy cocktail ones) part of the problem?
Ask anybody who’s not from the so-called flyover states to describe a Midwesterner and you’re absolutely going to hear some variation on the word “nice.” But try asking an actual Midwesterner to say something about their own and it’s likely to be along the lines of, “Well, they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Thankfully, Frank Bevan and Eric Odness, a pair of super chill Minneapolis rock-n’-roll vets, fit the latter description, and likewise their Greenpoint bar, Lake Street, is about as unpretentious as it gets. Just whatever you do, don’t call it a “Minneapolis-themed” bar.
“I can’t stand hearing that,” Frank said. “I don’t know what that means.”
The much anticipated BK Bazaar (formerly Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Night Bazaar) is beefing up its staff in preparation for its opening in the Polonaise building in Greenpoint. In addition to the staff needed to run events—like their stacked opening weekend, featuring Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah and Pissed Jeans on September 9 and 10, respectively—they also need people to staff the “bazaar” part of the venue, which includes a restaurant, arcade and, of course, karaoke rooms. As Greenpointers reported earlier today, that means they’re looking for, among other things, a karaoke manager. I, John Ambrosio, believe I should be that karaoke manager.
Some of us have the distinct memory of weaving up and down the aisles of Kim’s Video– or really, any old-school place of a similar disposition with B-film and cult-movie analogue tapes galore– while an endless stream of campy horror flicks played on the junky old TV set. Did you ever feel a burning desire to run your fingers up and down the spines of those dusty VHS tapes? Then use those same gritty fingers to grab handfuls of mushy bananas and stuff them into your face?
If somehow the answer to this twisted fantasy is “yes,” then you best get over to Terra Firma tonight, because believe it or not all these things will be available to you there, coz lord knows the days of the video store (it’s kind of like Netflix, only IRL) are over and done with. This is where your people are now.
Any discerning boozehound knows that tequila is sooo 2006– the alcoholic drink du jour is tequila’s smokier, sexier cousin: mezcal. And while United Staters’ newfound taste for the spirit may be killing off the very plant that makes it (agave takes a long time to grow– one of the easier varieties reaches maturity after a decade and even then only yields approximately ten bottles), mezcal’s popularity only seems to be picking up. That means that, nowadays, any self-respecting bartender will have a mezcal cocktail or two up their sleeve, mezcal old fashioneds are pretty much standard, and a bar can’t be called complete without at least one bottle of the stuff on-shelf.
There are three things that are really difficult to do in Manhattan (in ascending order): maintaining a bar, maintaining a music venue, and maintaining your weirdo energy. Impressively, Berlin, the Avenue A booze/music bunker, has been doing all three for a year now.
To celebrate, the literally underground spot— known for its musically inclined clientele— is throwing a two-night-long party complete with performances by Berlin’s owner and glammy garage rocker Jesse Malin and his friends.
Dozens of women and femmes will descend upon the Good Room in Greenpoint this Thursday to party until that oppressive cis-white-male toxic-masculinity is done for. Or at least they’re gonna try.
The Femmequerade Ball, a fierce feminist bash filled with DJ sets, performances, and lots o’ partyin’, is the brainchild of Raechel Rosen (aka Mima Good, best known for leading her eponymous witchy music group, The Coven of Mima Good). It’s co-hosted by Brujas, the Bronx-based all-woman skater crew that won some pretty legit attention from a recent profile in the New York Times, as well as an inclusive electronic-music collective known as Sister, and a satirical “art-bro” duo called Hot Schmucks.