Marijuana activists marched from West 31st Street to Union Square Park on Saturday, celebrating cannabis culture and rallying for an end to criminalization. Once at the park, Global Marijuana March founder Dana Beal and former High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick took to the stage and regaled the crowd with stories of how far the movement has come. Since Beal thinks Hillary Clinton will be elected in the fall and not Bernie Sanders, whose posters made an appearance at the event, he urged attendees to make “a movement in the streets” and ensure their progress doesn’t go to pot (in a bad way).
Whether you know it as International Workers Day or as spring-inflected May Day, this year’s May 1 falls on a weekend, which means two days packed to the brim with events ranging from the revolutionary to the ridiculous. With a hat tip to Conor Tomás Reed from the Free University of NYC, here’s a roundup of events taking place in lower Manhattan and North Brooklyn.
Chants of “Feel the Bern,” “Not for sale,” and “We are the 99 percent!” echoed down Broadway on Saturday as New Yorkers participated in a national March For Bernie. The candidate himself was present only in the form of cardboard cutouts, hand-drawn portraits, and (in one case) a Bernie puppet, but that didn’t stop hundreds of supporters of all ages and stripes (humans, canines, pigs, a #butterfly4Bernie, and the purple people eater below) from marching from Union Square to Zuccotti Park.
There was a closing sale today at Frank’s Wine and Liquor store on 46 Union Square East, one of four stores forced to leave the historic Tammany Hall Building on the brink of a massive renovation. Already shuttered are Trevi Deli, a smoke shop, and a newsstand.
The big moving vans came Friday to clear out Tammany Hall’s most prominent tenant, The Union Square Theatre around the corner from Park Avenue South at 100 East 17th Street. Within a matter of hours, it was a ghost building, emptied of all vestiges of the Tony-Award winning hit comedy, 39 Steps, which had played on Broadway and other venues for 1,135 performances starting in 2008.
The New York Film Academy has left Tammany Hall and another tenant, the Union Square Theater, will soon follow suit as the landmarked building that was once home to a corrupt Democratic party machine expands for retail development.
The law has spoken: leggings are not pants and the sidewalks of New York are not your yoga mat. So toss out the athleisure wear and take advantage of these two shopping opportunities.
The Vintage Twin NYC Pop-Up Shop
July 22 to 29 at 42B W. 14th St., Union Square
Morgan and Samantha Elias, the titular twins who operate this roving vintage shop, usually pop up in the slim space at 355A Bowery, but this time they’re slipping into something a little more comfortable. “It’s going to look like we took over a vacated Gap store,” Morgan promises of their larger space on West 14th Street. But don’t expect plain-Jane, off-the-rack designs: The Eliases buy ’60s-to-’90s pieces from estate sales and then adapt them by, say, turning a gown into a short skirt, or sewing a section of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedsheets onto a denim jacket. Plus, we’re told a “jean-ius” will be on hand at a “denim bar” to size each customer for the perfect fit of Levi 501s or Wranglers.
“No Your City,” Nicholas Heller’s brilliant YouTube series of short docs, normally focuses on colorful street characters like Ms. Colombia (the neon-bearded cross-dresser with the pet pigeon), equally outré stylist Wendell, and “Mosaic Man” Jim Power. But today, to cap off the second season of the series, Heller is turning the lens on a fellow documentarian of Union Square’s eccentrics, “Normal Bob Smith.”
An estimated 1,000 protesters rallied in Union Square Friday afternoon for a May Day rally for worker and immigrant rights. People gathered in support of issues from raising the minimum wage to fair and equal pay for women, but this year May Day meant a lot more to many people-with the death of Freddie Gray, the subsequent violent protests in Baltimore, Maryland, and the indictment today of six police officers in connection to Gray’s death, racism among the police was one of the main messages, if not the most prevalent issue, taken up by the protesters.
Over 100 people were arrested in New York City last night as hundreds protesting the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody gathered in Union Square and marched through the streets.
Hundreds of New Yorkers protesting police brutality took over Broadway today and marched from Union Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, where some clashed with police amidst stalled traffic.
Elizabeth Warren has said repeatedly that she doesn’t want to run for president, but she sure sounded like a contendah last night. The Massachusetts senior senator cut a commanding presence while plugging the paperback edition of A Fighting Chance at Barnes & Noble Union Square.
“My story is America’s story,” Warren intoned to thunderous applause from about 300 fans who had purchased her book in order to hear her speak (not exactly Hillary numbers, but still). She had just finished an account of how her mother’s minimum-wage job, taken after her father’s heart attack, had helped save her family from going under and allowed her to attend a community college that cost a mere $50 per semester.
Over the weekend we noticed signage for Mi Garba up at 129 Fourth Ave., the former home of Dryden Gallery Space near Union Square. According to the Post, the company, which stocks European supermarkets with freshly prepared Tuscan foods, is planning a 10-table restaurant where clothing items and food and wine will also be for sale.
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