Some people are on the FBI Watchlist. Well, this is the RNC Watchlist, where you can settle down at a bar, event space, or Republican haunt (if you’re nasty) and bear witness to the great and terrible orange man, as he drips words and possibly froth from his mouth, instilling fear into impressionable folk about how no one can save our country but him. Though the news has painted a fairly grim picture of the US recently, I’m pretty sure Donald and I have different definitions of what “saving” something means.
If the reality of this week’s Republican National Convention is too wretched to behold as truth, you can pretend you’re watching a movie. But let’s hope it’s a movie that compels you to educate yourself and vote in all of your state and local elections, in addition to the big one in November. You can be the change you want to see in the world… If your vote manages to be counted, that is. Yikes.
I met a man today whose religion was speakers. Whitney Walker, the general manager of retail for the soon-to-be-unveiled Sonos store in Soho, talked to me for an hour about sound diffusion and stereo design and, while I’m not sure, there’s a chance our discussion may have ended with me agreeing to check out their literature. Who knows?
Patrons, bartender, bouncer and kitchen staff downstairs at Puck Fair during its final weekend, 3/27 at 3am.
The floor of Puck Fair was pounding on Friday as patrons wished the Soho pub a rising road. Perched atop the bar with a guitar, Pierce Turner led his string quartet through a full set and then an hour-long encore. As he walked along the length of the bar (half a city block), a sing-along boomed up to the high ceiling. Violins and cello responded from the balcony, creating an exchange that shook the house like, well, a wrecking crew.
Daffodils are already peeking their heads up at the Elizabeth Street Garden, welcoming early spring-time wanderers to park their shopping bags on a bench amid the antique sculptures, or spread out on the grass. The park, once inaccessible, has been having a renaissance of sorts– often as a perfect Instagrammable respite for model-types weary of traipsing through Soho.
Reid Jenkins (violin) on left, Sam Owens (guitar) on right in Control Room. (Photos: Frank Mastropolo)
There is nothing on the front of 49 Crosby Street save for a tiny label under a bell that would indicate that inside is one of the most enduring recording studios in New York. The Magic Shop opened in 1988 well before Bloomingdale’s, MoMA and a luxury hotel became its neighbors. The increase in the area’s rental value spelled the end of the studio. Despite the offer of financial help from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, owner Steve Rosenthal was unable to buy the space from his landlord. While Rosenthal will continue his business of mixing and restoring classic recordings, the Magic Shop will close today.
Holiday parties are usually a claustrophobic nightmare scenario where you’re crammed into a tiny space with everyone you’ve been avoiding all year, but the Judd Foundation’s was a different story. Last night, anyone who got tired of noshing on smoked fish from Russ & Daughters on the ground floor, where Donald Judd’s woodcut prints were on display, could mosey upstairs and tour five floors of the former textile building that the Soho artist purchased in 1968.
Ryan McGinley’s seventh opening at Team Gallery was just like all the others: at any given moment, there were just as many people on Grand Street as in the gallery – a fact that did not go unnoticed by the uniformed and undercover cops who rolled by to tell the mob of downtown scenesters to clear the sidewalk and bike lane.
Anyone who saw The Wolfpack at Tribeca or in theaters earlier this year was completely blown away by Crystal Moselle’s documentary about a band of shut-in brothers whose parents had all but imprisoned them inside of a Lower East Side housing project. The movie, just out on DVD and also available for download, has since become a sensation, with the Angulo brothers becoming almost as huge as the Hollywood stars they impersonated in their homegrown movie recreations. Now they’re the subject of “The Wolfpack Show” at Jeffrey Deitch’s space in Soho, and anyone who’s looking for inspiration for a Halloween costume (or inspiration in general) needs to go see it.
Manhattan’s annual Lit Crawl, presented by PEN America and the Litquake Foundation, is going to be a hammed-up, carnivalesque celebration of bookish nerds. Hosted by graphic storyteller Mira Jacob and BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald, it promises plenty of free booze and games like Literary Pictionary and Nerd Jeopardy. It’s free and open to the public. Read more.
What’s going on at 101 Greene Street? You may recognize the above scene as the work of Mark Alan Stamaty, whose frenetic renderings of NYC have graced the pages of the Village Voice (olds may remember his late-’70s Village-set comic, “McDoodle Street”), the cover of the first They Might Be Giants album, and more recently the cover of Will Hermes’s excellent account of the ’70s music scene, Love Goes to Buildings on Fire.
Historically, arts and the Roman Catholic Church have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship. Good branding, divine inspiration – whatever you wanna call it, most will agree that the church’s patronage ranks as one of the nobler pursuits done in the name of a higher being. Today, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York continues this fine tradition with the grand opening of the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in Greenwich Village.
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.