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.
Well, this is a bummer. One of our favorite Spanish spots, La Churreria, has called it a day. Just a month after we got all excited about a menu makeover that brought churro cups into the mix, the three-year-old sister restaurant of neighboring Socarrat has “closed for renovations,” per a Facebook message. But don’t get it twisted, heart-shaped churro fans: the Nolita cafe isn’t coming back. An inquiry reveals the ownership will be “launching a new concept,” with details coming soon.
You can still walk down to Despaña for something close to the Spanish-style sandwiches that La Churreria served. But why did this have to happen when churros were finally going viral?
Hot damn, it’s summer in the city. In celebration, a pop-up beach just appeared for the weekend at 171 Elizabeth Street. “Nolita Beach,” reads a blue neon sign outside the tiny gallery filled with 7,000 pounds of beach sand. Appropriately draped along its walls, like a set of functional tapestries, are beach towels created by ten prominent New York designers such as Jessica Walsh and Damien Correll. The crazed brain behind this bohemian beach is Tictail, an online marketplace where designers and artists create their own stores (think a less crunchy Etsy.)
Federico García Lorca once again achieved Poet in New York status when a mural depicting the Spanish literary lion went up in Bushwick a couple of years ago. Now he’s returned to Manhattan, where he studied at Columbia in 1929 and penned “Sleepless City: Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne.” The poem is quoted in this new mural by Spanish artist Raúl Ruiz and Brooklyn’s own Cern.
Eduardo Sarabia, “Ballads” exhibit. (photo: Rob Scher)
Paper holds much value, even when it’s not green, with Franklin’s unsmiling mug on it. A recent MoMA exhibit, for instance, showed Henri Matisse’s appreciation for the potential beauty of tree pulp. Another fellow who seems to have received the memo is Mexican-based artist Eduardo Sarabia, whose most recent exhibit, “Ballads,” opens today at Other Criteria gallery in Soho.
“Shout outs to the drunk white girls,” exclaimed Awkwafina, gesturing toward a giggling gaggle gathered Thursday night at McNally Jackson Books in Soho. At this month’s installment of the Real Characters storytelling/reading series, the rapper turned New York City tour guide read a couple excerpts from her recently published Awkwafina’s NYC and shared some experiences from a hard-bitten life of riding the rails.
(Photo of Mark Hogancamp’s photo, by Daniel Maurer)
Last time we admired the art of Mark Hogancamp, subject of the fantastic documentary Marwencol, it was in Red Hook, at a Pioneer Works exhibit that focused on the female figures who populate the miniature World War II-era village that he built in his Kingston, New York backyard. Since then, Steve Carrell has signed on to play Hogancamp in Robert Zemeckis’ dramatic adaptation of the doc, and now the real-life Hogie is returning to city for what will be his largest exhibit to date.
Time again for our weekly roundup of what’s new on the art scene.
Art by Brice Brown
Buccaneer, Masquerade, Suspence, Abundance, Thorn, Champion. Recent works by Brice Brown April 17 (opening reception 7-9pm) to May 23 at Air Circulation, 160 Randolph St., Bushwick.
Kentucky-born artist Brice Brown created a multi-part installation meant to present a fragmented experienece of the still life genre as a way to explore “the dichotomous impulses inherent in the act of domestication: containment and freedom; restraint and release; a need for chaos and a need for order,” per the artist’s statement. The installation, largely consisting of archival pigment prints, wallpaper design and soft sculpture, draws from The Batsford Colour Book of Roses (1962) and pages from an early 20th century fruit and seed catalog. References to the letterhead design of constructivist-influenced masters such as Piet Zwart are embedded in the pieces.
The man who robbed an East Village boutique last month may have also held up several other stylish stores in the area.
Last month, the police put out word that, on the afternoon of Jan. 23, a knife-wielding man entered Goldwater (aka AuH20), a used clothing store on East 7th Street, and demanded cash. He snagged $240 while an accomplice waited outside. Keep Reading »