Williamsburg

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New Bar Brings Sliders Back to the Corner Where Williamsburg’s White Castle Once Stood

Easy Lover co-owner Aaron Koen (second from right) with staff and guests outside during the soft opening. (Photos: Nick McManus)

When the White Castle on Metropolitan Avenue closed in order to make way for a luxury apartment complex, it attracted graffiti that read “RIP LATE NIGHT SLIDERS.” Four years later, it might be time to stop mourning. On Monday, sliders returned to the corner of Metropolitan and Humboldt, as Easy Lover soft opened in the former home of Legion Bar.

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Smorgasburg Is Launching a Williamsburg Night Market With Vice

You couldn’t help but guffaw when it was announced that uber-hip media empire Vice was planning to launch a food court in New Jersey, but this one’s for the New Yorkers. And, ok, all the European tourists who flood Williamsburg. Smorgasburg just announced that it’s teaming with Vice to open a winter night market inside of Villain, the media company’s event space at 307 Kent Avenue. It’ll be one of two new indoor markets Smorg launches this season.

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Performance Picks: Spooky Shows (And More) Galore

THURSDAY

(image via Vic Sin / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, October 18 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

If you think that most drag, burlesque, and variety shows aren’t going to be spooky-themed for pretty much the entire month of October, you’d best think again. You’d be hard-pressed to find an evening that doesn’t involve some sort of witches, blood, ghouls, or at the very least, goth attire. Vic Sin’s monthly Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret makes no exception; its “spoopy show” promises to be everything you’d expect from a Halloween show and simultaneously nothing you’d expect, with performances from Sugar Mamasota, Shanita Bump, Madame Vivien V, Seedy Edie, Jack Barrow, Larissa McCoy, Pieretta Viktori, and burlesque duo The Schlep Sisters. Keep Reading »

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Planet Earth Spoof Shows Invasive Hipsters Threatening NYC’s Biodiversity

New York City has an ecosystem all its own: The sub-species in North Brooklyn survive with vintage clothing that costs more than current clothing; people in the Bronx keep it chill in the park; financial district Manhattanites trample over their lower-income prey with no remorse; and Staten Islanders are basically nonexistent.

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Now Showing: Sadness, as Videology Bar + Cinema Announces Closing

(photo by Gavin Thomas / NY Mag)

Yesterday, we told you about some new additions to Williamsburg, like a shiny Chase Bank and a Sephora, joining the ranks of a nearby Apple Store and Whole Foods. As much as the neighborhood seemed to be turning into a replica of chain-laden Manhattan, some offbeat gems were still surviving, like Quimby’s, Desert Island Comics, the volunteer-run Spectacle Theater, and independent video store/bar/screening room Videology Bar & Cinema, which has catered to culture nerds and film buffs for close to 15 years. However, Videology just announced it will be closing their doors later this month, on October 27, making the streets of Bedford Avenue just a little more sterile. Keep Reading »

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Bedford Ave Pulse Check: W’burg Strip Gets a Chase, Sephora, and Another Poké Spot

If you were thinking of going Halloween shopping at the Salvation Army store on the corner of Bedford and North 7th, sorry, it was demolished in 2013 and its prime plot at 180 Bedford was sold to Thor Equities for $36.1 million in 2015. Since then, speculation has run rampant about what would replace the thrift shop (an Apple Store? a grief center for the neighborhood’s remaining hipsters?), and now we have the answer. Surprise! It’s a very, very swank Chase branch.

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With Two New Cafes, These Coffee Subscription Services Are No Longer Just Mailing It In

787 Coffee. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Subscription boxes have been all the rage for years now, offering anything from cocktail ingredients to stuff to supposedly empower you when you’re single, delivered to your door on a recurring basis. Even beloved salami slingers Katz’s will bring pastrami to your doorstep every month. Now, some subscription companies have decided to branch out by opening physical storefronts in addition to their delivery services. Two coffee companies that offer subscriptions for whole or ground beans, Eleva and 787 Coffee, are both opening cafes this week, in Williamsburg and the East Village respectively.image.gif

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Performance Picks: A Queer Eye Parody, Bushwig’s Return, and More

THURSDAY

(photo: Rachel Nicholson, via Facebook)

Athena
Now through September 16 at JACK, 8 pm (some shows at 3 pm and 7 pm): $18-25

You can probably divide people into three categories regarding competitive athletics they engaged with growing up: more mainstream sports-doers who partook in football, basketball, and the like; people who vehemently did no sports at all; and those drawn to more niche offerings, like martial arts or fencing. The latter grouping is the star of Gracie Gardner’s play Athena, which is being revived for a brief run following a sharply successful debut at Clinton Hill space JACK in February. Presented by The Hearth, which “tells the stories of women,” the play surrounds two teenage girl fencers training for the Junior Olympics. Though such a task undoubtedly requires the duo to spend quite a lot of time around each other, “friends” they do not seem to be. While this situation seems stressful to go through personally, it surely will be interesting to spectate upon. Keep Reading »

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BK Wildlife Summer Festival Is the Labor Day Bash You Won’t Want To Miss

(Image posted by Brooklyn Wildlife on Facebook)

The Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival returns this Friday for a triumphant sixth year. The festival, which according to Brooklyn Wildlife founder Christopher Carr, is the “largest independent art and music festival in Brooklyn” with no corporate sponsors, features a lineup of more than 150 performers over the course of 10 days. It touts not only summer music jam sessions, but also “fine art shows, multi media presentations and tech meet ups” per their Eventbrite page.

In lieu of receiving corporate, non-profit or government funding, Carr, a full-time photographer who runs the Gamba Forest art studio with his partner (which is also hosting the festival’s Saturday lineup), funds the entire festival out of pocket–with the exception of a $10 application fee that he charges first-time performers seeking to play in the festival. The out-of-the-box music fest seeks to be the “new CMJ, the new WMC, the new SXSW” according to their Facebook event page. But doesn’t that sort of big tent, mainstream vibe run counter to the festival’s purpose as a gathering of indie artists? According to Carr, whom Bedford + Bowery spoke with by phone, not necessarily. In the early days of SXSW, Carr recalls smaller or mid-sized venues that brought people together in appreciation of solid indie music. He approaches his music festival in a similar way.

Photo from last year’s festival at Gamba Forest Gallery in Greenpoint (Photo: Nick McManus)

“I’m going for that middle ground where it’s large enough that it’s worth the time of the venues and individuals that put in the effort, but not so large that it cannibalizes itself,” says Carr. “I also enjoy Afropunk…but there’s an irony about a festival [that] punk kids can’t afford. We want to find that nice little area where we get some coverage, but we don’t need to cater to the media.” Carr also notes that this year’s festival stands out from previous years in two ways: “magnitude” and “decentralized performances” AKA events hosted in private residences with the help of the website artery.is. With so many events and performers, it can be hard to know where to start, but Carr suggests paying particular attention to metal band No Clouds, esoteric rapper Akai Solo (performing on the festival’s opening night at Trans-Pecos), and reggae/hip-hop artist D-Andra.

You can scope out the links to the performers’ music on the festival’s website and find more information about the various events on Facebook.  Tickets ($50) are available here. The 10-day summer fest runs from Friday, August, 31 through Sunday, September 9.

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Performance Picks: Anarchist Emmas and Violent Ellens

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Tank / Facebook)

Red Emma and the Mad Monk
Now through September 1 at The Tank, 8 pm: $20-30

Nowadays, when one thinks about theater (particularly any form of commercial theater, Broadway or otherwise), radical politics aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second or third for that matter. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see this serve as the cornerstone of Red Emma and the Mad Monk, a new play with music by Alexis Roblan presented as part of The Tank’s Ladyfest. It centers around a 12 year-old girl who has a mystic Russian imaginary friend and enjoys fighting online with “deplorables,” an unsettling pastime for someone so young, but it probably happens more than we’d like to think. In the midst of this, she learns about the influential anarchist activist Emma Goldman, and starts to consider the world a bit differently. Keep Reading »

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They’re Giving Away Bikes in Williamsburg, But You’ll Have to Wait a Wheelie Long Time

(Photos courtesy of Spiked Seltzer)

Spiked Seltzer is just one of the brands that have been using the L train shutdown as a marketing hook (you may have also noticed Stuy Town’s attempt to lure Williamsburgers over the bridge via its model-apartment truck). But the Connecticut-based alcopop brand gets extra points for just straight-up giving stuff away. And not just keychains or t-shirts– we’re talking [Price is Right voice] A NEW BICYCLE!

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