Let’s be real, it’s been a sticky week. And since the frozen negroni machine has been broken at the Narrows for going on forever, you’re probably thinking, what’s the point of even leaving my fire-escape kiddie pool this weekend? There never is one, truth be told. But there’s something going down this weekend at Alphaville that could turn out to be the next best thing to soakin’ in a plastic tub filled with the champagne of public water and dribbles of your own pee.
One of the highlights of WNYC’s recent released rundown of filming locations was the Mr. Robot map that showed how heavily filming is concentrated in the Lower East Side and Chinatown (Elliot lives in an apartment at 217 East Broadway, after all). Of course, the show also shoots in Coney Island, where the hacker group Fsociety is based in what’s actually the rear of the Eldorado Auto Skooter bumper car track (totally not a conspicuous location for an Anonymous-like collective that wants to bring down The Man.)
As inevitable as your student loan bills, Valentine’s Day is once again around the corner. If you’re inclined to celebrate it ironically rather than romantically, fret not: this is, after all, a city of misanthropes. At these Valentine’s weekend events, there’ll be nary a chocolate heart in sight.
Tonight’s your very last chance to say goodbye to the Montrose Avenue location of Alt Space– the netty, uber-hip physical incarnation of Alt Citizen. We told you last week that the gallery slash super-fetch fashion boutique would close at the end of the month, and now the time is upon us. But we also promised you more deets about where founder Nasa Hadizadeh and the Alt crew would be headed.
If there’s a better way to start a party than watching a Captain America-themed burlesque performance that ends in Deity Delgado throwing money everywhere, quickly followed by a smoldering Japanese bondage demonstration, then count me in. But even if you missed the first Party by Ostbahnhof at Verboten last week, rest assured because you’re likely to at least match that experience at the second iteration. The circuit party, founded by Derek Marshall– owner of underground queer hotspot The Club in Kreuzberg (the Bushwick of Berlin)– brings a premium slice of Berlin’s alt-drag scene to Williamsburg as well as top DJs and artists from the hipper-than-hell German city, plus a slew of local performers for a seriously raucous party time.
Trash drag queen Olympia Bukkakis returns, but look for newcomers including Lonshi, a New York-based musician who will perform a “progressive-tech DJ set,” and Blaenk Minds from Berlin, a multi-media duo that will present a tripped-out, live DJ/VJ performance. Don’t miss the $15 ticket pre-sale.
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I had high expectations when the Party by Ostbahnhof, the performance-centric circuit rager inspired by Berlin’s “trash drag” scene, kicked off in December at Verboten. Derek Marshall, ex-pat owner of The Club in Kreuzberg, was infectiously giddy upon his return to the States. And the Party was bound to be a hit if it was any bit as raucous as Olympia Bukkakis, a regular drag performer at Marshall’s underground hot spot for the arty queer scene in the Bushwick of Berlin. Which is why I’m not at all surprised to see the Party’s return to Verboten on January 15.
Patrons and staff gathered at Sway to bid bye bye as the downtown bar passed on to the next world, joining its brethren in depraved bar heaven. Group portrait artist Nick McManus was on hand to capture the mournful revelry of Sway’s last night on earth with instant snapshots from The Impossible Project, á la a young Ryan McGinley at Lit Lounge (RIP).
It’s once again Miami Art Week, that rare time when you can escape the city without the slightest bit of FOMO. Because, after all, pretty much every Lower East Side gallery (and some North Brooklyn ones, too) will be posting up and partying down. Survey this year’s rundown of where to find NYC in the MIA, below, and you’ll notice some interesting developments: Williamsburg venue Baby’s All Right is flying down and popping up, Ridgewood venue Trans-Pecos is curating a poolside series, and there are a couple of whole new fairs this year, X Contemporary and Satellite, from co-founders of the now defunct Select fair. That’s just the start of it, so read on. We’ll be adding to this list as more intel pours in.
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The official blowback in response to the Halloween-Superfund-rave-that-almost-was has begun. As promised, Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol wrote a letter to the State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on behalf of his district strongly suggesting he “investigate the pop-up party industry in New York City.” Lentol asks that Schneiderman take a close look at CityFox, the party promoters responsible for the would-be rave, which the Assembly Member refers to as “a corporation extremely difficult to track.” More details about the rave have emerged, including a social media response from CityFox.
The massive Halloween rave shutdown by the Fire Department in Greenpoint over the weekend stole the show once again, this time at Monday evening’s Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG) meeting about the oversight of hazardous waste cleanup at a former plastics manufacturing site in the neighborhood.
The building of interest, 280 Franklin Street (aka the NuHart Plastics building) is a Superfund site that was recently bought by a group of developers (DuPont Street Developers, LLC) hoping to turn it into a residential and retail site. Things got pretty, pretty weird at the meeting– to the point that Michael Roux, a geologist hired by the developers as an environmental consultant, fielded most of the questions about why on earth nearly 5,000 ravers were almost allowed to party on a Superfund site. At one point he slipped up, referring to the former plastics factory as a “venue.” The audience erupted back. “It’s not a venue!” one neighbor shouted. “It’s a toxic waste site!”
Where, I wondered, does one without children find children? “Everyone asks that, and it’s funny because there are kids everywhere– if you try, how can you not reach kids?” Angelina Dreem found my question pretty funny. Dreem is the artist and the founder of Powrplnt, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing underserved kids (and sometimes adults) with access to digital tools and technology. Angelina recently dubbed it “a net art school for indigo children,” on Twitter. “I feel like there is a real invisibility in the hipster world of everybody else who lives in New York City– it’s like, ‘Well I don’t see them at the bars,’ but for real, there’s a lot of kids.” Touché.
But now I’ll have no excuse about wondering where to recruit children for dastardly deeds, because they’ll be all in one place: Powrplnt just landed an IRL place of its very own in Bushwick, the organization’s first permanent space. “We’ll be starting the first round of classes in January, when the kids get back to school,” Angelina explained. But first up, there’s a fundraising event tonight (featuring the inimitable Junglepussy, believe it or not) and some very orange walls to get rid of immediately after. “On Monday, I’m definitely gonna start painting it white,” Angelina said.
I made a couple of mistakes when I first spoke with Rashaad Newsome— a visual and performance artist who makes digital and video work largely inspired by vogue– ahead of his third King of Arms art ball. In these situations I usually shrug and move on, but what I assumed were slight missteps actually indicated a larger misunderstanding on my part of some essential tenets of ballroom culture. Thankfully the King of Arms, held Sunday night in Bushwick, offered an introduction to the pillars of vogue for many newcomers like myself, while pushing the medium beyond its bounds for the old school ballroom crew in attendance.