On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York. Five years later, advocacy groups and residents assembled to voice objections to how elected officials have responded to both the storm and the looming threat of climate change. On Saturday, hundreds representing organizations from around the country marched from downtown Brooklyn to Manhattan, in a protest called Sandy 5.
When I heard that an adult ball pit was opening in Soho, I jumped at the opportunity to cover it. And I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm: 4,200 others booked half-hour slots in just a week. Maybe visitors to “Jump In!” really did want to awaken their inner child and channel the wealth of creative energy back into their day jobs. More likely, they envisioned a grown-up version of Chuck E. Cheese — a Charles Edward Cheese, if you will.
“I’m playing hooky from work,” admitted Kristin Ren as we took the elevator up to the fifth floor offices of Pearlfisher yesterday afternoon. Beside us stood an actual employee of the office, simply returning to work from a break void of reminisced childhood. “Yeah, it’s been fun,” semi-enthused the unnamed worker, his excitement understandably waning since his office took a turn toward a McDonald’s PlayPlace.
It’s hard to fit AfroPunk into a box, which is kind of the point. The annual two-day music festival at Barry Commodore Park in Brooklyn is simply a concert, to some. For many others, though, “AfroPunk” is a noun, verb and adjective that describes the broader community and ethos this festival has come to represent over time. We caught up with a few of the thousands in attendance and asked them what exactly “AfroPunk” means to them.
A scattering of camera-wielding press members sat in a darkened Upright Citizens Brigade theater last Friday, awaiting the arrival of the UCB 4 (founders Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh) and the start of the 17th Del Close Marathon “press conference.” This was, of course, a rather loose term for what unfolded, as minutes prior to the start, an improv-enthused audience flooded the theater, swallowing the “press” whole.
“Yeah, I just got back from a year working as a bartender in Malawi,” said the windswept blonde to the doe-eyed brunette seated beside him, and behind me, as we awaited the delayed arrival of Aziz Ansari. The banner at the entrance to the Union Square Barnes & Noble read “Aziz Ansari: Modern Romance – Book Signing, 12pm.” My watch showed 12:34, as I continued to unwittingly learn more about the “dark continent,” courtesy of this rather endless, self-involved pick-up attempt. “Mr Ansari is currently stuck in traffic and sends his apologies,” explained a store clerk. Apology not accepted, Aziz.