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Look Out, Witches of Bushwick: The East Village Is Getting Metaphysical

IMG_0356Halloween is over, but a store that sells “raven stuff” will open in the East Village in just a couple of weeks.

“I don’t think of it as witchcraft,” says Rakesh Samani of his selection of candles and pendulums. “I consider it positive thinking.”

To be fair, Aum Namaste is about more than just wiccanism. Samani describes the eastside offshoot of his West Village shop Namaste as an “Eastern and Western metaphysical bookstore.” It will sell tarot and oracle cards, meditation and yoga supplies, sage, essential oils, and books on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
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Norman Siegel Wants ‘Lots of Reform in the NYPD,’ But Is OK With Stop-and-Frisk

Norman Siegel and listeners. (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Norman Siegel and listeners. (Photo: Mary Reinholz)

Insisting he is not “anti-cop,” only “anti-bad cop,” civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel last night called for the creation of a New York State prosecutor to investigate police misconduct in the wake of the chokehold death of Eric Garner. At a community forum at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the West Village, he also recommended that training for cadets be extended from six months to a year.
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Cleaner Streets, But Dirty Needles Are Still a Cause for Concern

(Photo: Amy Lombard)

(Photo: Amy Lombard)

It was dark by the time members of the East Village walkabout group entered Tompkins Square Park, carrying plastic bags containing clean syringes, sterilized cookers and tourniquets, condoms, lubricants and dental dams.
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The Story of Kim’s Video & Music, Told By Its Clerks and Customers

(Derek Wang for New York magazine)

(Derek Wang for New York magazine)

When the last remaining location of Kim’s Video & Music announced it was closing for good, most agreed it was just another nail in the coffin, the latest reminder of what the Times called “a downtown culture now largely lost.”
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ChikaLicious Is Coming to Williamsburg

Chef Chika preparing the day’s amuse of yellow tomato gelée and a watermelon sorbet.

Chef Chika preparing the day’s amuse of yellow tomato gelée and a watermelon sorbet.

ChikaLicious Dessert Bar has set an opening date for its West Village location — and here’s some more sweet news: it plans to expand to Williamsburg next year.

The East Village dessert spot – home to the cronut-esque “doughssant,” among other quirky confections – is aiming to open at 27 Bedford Street, near Downing Street, on October 1. Don Tillman – co-owner with his wife, head chef Chika Tillman – is calling this “the origin of the national rollout of ChikaLicious,” with the West Village location serving as the “prototype” for stores they hope to open nationwide. Those will join ChikaLicious’s international outlets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Tokyo.
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James Franco’s Debut as a Theater Director Is a Little Bit Alien-ating

Scott Haze as Richard in The Long Shrift (Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Scott Haze as Richard in The Long Shrift (Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Near the end of “The Long Shrift” — James Franco’s debut as a theater director — one character says to another, and to the audience at large: “Let’s stop. I’m getting bored with this.” My thoughts exactly.
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First Look at The Black Ant, Now Serving Insect-Dusted Margs and Guac

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photos: Kirsten O'Regan)

The Black Ant, opening tonight in the East Village, doesn’t look much like any other Mexican restaurant in town, and that’s the way the owner likes it. “Our inspiration is Salvador Dali and Buñuel,” explains Jorge Guzman, who is Dominican but has spent time in Mexico. “All Mexican restaurants go with the same old ideas — it’s what they know. But we wanted something different. And you know, Mexico is so surreal.”
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