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Artichoke Owner Brings More Detroit-Style Pizza to the East Village

(Photos: Jae Thomas)

The co-founder of the oft-debated Artichoke Pizza (you either love it or you hate it) is bringing more untraditional pies to the East Village. The second location of the Detroit-style pizza concept, Lions & Tigers & Squares, soft-opened on Friday and is expected to be fully operational by the end of this week.

The new pizza place is housed in the old Nicoletta location on 2nd Ave and 10th Street. Michael White’s pizzeria closed back in December after almost seven years of service (and more than its share of bad reviews). After the bright-red corner building was shuttered and the storefront went up for lease, Artichoke Basille’s Francis Garcia jumped at the chance.

“People love pizza in the East Village,” Garcia said. “There’s tons of pizza, but everyone has their lights on, everyone’s paying the rent. It’s a strong market.” 

The strong market wasn’t the only reason for the new location. Garcia started out with the first Artichoke Pizza in the East Village, before moving across 14th Street to where it stands now. The new Lions & Tigers & Squares is situated in what is essentially Garcia’s home neighborhood.

“Of course it’s sentimental to be back in the East Village,” Garcia said.  “It’s our wheelhouse, it’s where we go every day.”

Garcia opened the first Lions & Tigers & Squares earlier this year, in Chelsea on 23rd Street. In true slice-shop fashion, the Chelsea spot is a hole-in-the-wall. The East Village pizzeria is definitely an expansion, comfortably seating 60, with additional outdoor seating expected for the warmer months. The extra space will allow for added menu options, including beer and wine.

Menu staples include the traditional Detroit pizza with toppings like sausage and onion, black olives, pepperoni and mushrooms. They’re also serving up the controversial mustard pizza, which went viral online after it was featured in a Food Insider video.

The pies are made in a deep square pan, using a one-bake process. They’re cooked with the cheese and when done, hot tomato sauce is ladled on top.

If you missed the Coney dogs at the 23rd Street shop (they were taken off the menu because the tiny site got too busy to make them efficiently), you can catch the frankfurters on the menu here. The Detroit-style hot dog is topped with chili, cheese and onions, and was heavily requested after it was taken off the menu, according to Garcia. 

Another Michigan necessity is the boogaloo sandwich, which Garcia says is similar to a sloppy joe. It’s served on toasted hero bread with barbecue sauce, American cheese and grilled onions. 

Detroit-style may just be the new big pizza trend. The square pies have been popping up in New both in New York and all over the country. Emmy Squared brought the Midwestern pies to Brooklyn in 2016, and has since opened up another restaurant in the East Village. Michigan pizza chain Jet’s took the cue and moved to NYC as well, opening their first New York location in Chelsea today.

Garcia says that Detroit-style pizza isn’t going anywhere, and is only going to get more popular. “If you call it Detroit-style pizza or New York-style pizza, at the end of the day, people love salty, greasy, hot pizza.”

Lions & Tigers & Squares, at 160 Second Ave., is open late afternoon until midnight during its soft opening. Once fully operational, the hours will be 11 a.m. until 4 a.m.

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‘Tell Me Who I Am’ Is a Disturbing Doc About Family Dysfunction, But There’s a Problem With Its Startling Reveal

Marcus and Alex Lewis in Tell Me Who I Am, directed by Ed Perkins. (Image courtesy of Netflix)

Tell Me Who I Am is one of the most disturbing documentaries about family dysfunction since Capturing the Friedmans— all the more so because it unfolds like a psychological thriller. But there’s something about the film’s big reveal that won’t be readily apparent to viewers who haven’t read the extraordinary book that preceded it. (This article contains spoilers and is written for those who’ve already watched the film.) More →

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Two New Docs Go Deep Inside the Philippines’ Murderous War on Drugs

The Nightcrawlers.

“When I smoke meth, I feel nothing when I kill.” The irony is thick as a man paid to execute drug users exhales a cloud of shabu smoke in The Nightcrawlers. The National Geographic documentary, which last week won a special jury prize for courageous filmmaking at the Hamptons International Film Festival and next month will play at DOC NYC, is named after the photojournalists who’ve documented thousands of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, said to be ordered by police at the encouragement of strongman president Roberto Duterte. The film, directed by Alexander A. Mora, follows these photographers while also riding along with the masked vigilantes who brazenly gun down users and pushers in the streets of Manila. More →

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Bikram Choudhury Is ‘Not Happy’ With a Chilling New Doc About the Hot Yoga Guru

As I waited in line for the US premiere of Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Saturday, I was reading The Program, Toni Natalie’s new memoir about surviving NXIVM. It was a funny coincidence, given the clear similarities between hot yoga pioneer Bikram Choudhury and New Age cult leader Keith Raniere. Both are charismatic manipulators who offered healing and empowerment to their vulnerable, mostly female followers, only to psychologically, financially, and sexually prey on their devotees while raining ruin down on anyone who threatened their empire. But while Raniere has been convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking (his sentencing date was announced earlier this month), Choudhury is still teaching his trademark brand of hot yoga to starstruck students– a fact that is not lost on filmmaker Eva Orner. More →

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KAZU of Blonde Redhead Goes Solo With a Little Help From a Legendary Composer

KAZU during her performance at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, 10/11/19. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Kazu Makino, the lead singer of indie rockers Blonde Redhead, performed her new solo album, Adult Baby, on her home turf last Friday night at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade. Her fans and friends, including longtime bandmates Simone and Amedeo Pace, enjoyed her subdued, dreamy tracks, a soft departure from Blonde Redhead’s rock music.

Bedford + Bowery spoke to KAZU ahead of the show as she rehearsed at upstate’s Flying Cloud Studios with her live band, including violinist Darian Thomas, drummer Ian Chang, and Sam Evian on synthesizer. The songs on Adult Baby were influenced by her time on the Italian island of Elba, which the Pace brothers introduced her to before she returned there a few years ago by herself. “Elba means something personally to me; I want to show that,” KAZU told us as we discussed the video for her single, “Salty,” which was filmed on the island. “The video will be part of the full movie we shot for the album that featured an international crew from Italy, Austria and Canada. The costumes are by designer Isabel Marant in Paris and she didn’t make anything special for me, we just like the same things.” More →

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Performance Picks: Comedy With Free Pizza and Plenty of Drag

WEDNESDAY

(image via The Great Fairy Venus Celestina / Facebook)

I’m Selfish! The Birth of Venus
Wednesday, October 16 at Dream Baby, 9:30 pm: $10

Drag performer The Great Fairy Venus Celestina’s recurring show at the bar Dream Baby is always named I’m Selfish, but this time the title feels even more justified, as it will be celebrating the literal birth of Venus herself. Join the birthday queen, members of her Haus, and other special guest performers who will be turning out “Venus-themed” numbers for all to see. The cast will be performing a whopping three sets, so there will be plenty of time to see, tip, and drink, including some chances to win free booze.

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In a New Doc, Imelda Marcos’s Son Is a Shoe-In For Vice President

Early in Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary about Imelda Marcos, The Kingmaker, there’s a photo of the disgraced former First Lady of the Philippines mingling with one of the many beautiful people in her orbit at the time: Donald and Ivanka Trump. This is our cue that the story of the Iron Butterfly remains relevant decades after she and her husband Ferdinand packed their diamonds into a bunch of diapers and fled the Philippines amidst the People Power Revolution.  More →

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Art This Week: Cinema of Transgression and Outdoor Oddities

Image: Other Wise from “Mirror Mirror, Daylight Cinema” at The Old Shul for Social Sculpture, Tessa Hughes-Freeland.

Passed and Present
Opening Thursday, October 17 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 17.

One of the pioneers of the Cinema of Transgression—an New York-based underground movement active in the 80’s that focused on low-budget subversion—was Tessa Hughes-Freeland, an experimental filmmaker who utilized psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals in her work, as well as found footage. This exhibition at East Village space Howl Happening acts as a “cinematic survey” of her work, featuring sculptures, videos, and an “interactive kaleidoscope.” Beyond the opening reception, there will be several special events throughout the course of the show, including film screenings and filmmaking workshops led by Hughes-Freeland herself.

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4 Exciting Artists We Discovered at the Clio Art ‘Anti-Fair’

“Fight Like a Girl,” 2019, by Yumiko Hirokawa (Courtesy of Yumiko Hirokawa)

Clio Art Fair came to Chelsea this past weekend, bringing with it 54 artists from over 20 different countries and from all over the United States. The self-styled “anti-fair” catering to independent artists focuses on moving away from everything that sucks about traditional art fairs (like how you have to basically be famous already to show your work there). More →