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The Author of The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street Shopped On the LES Before It Was Cool

Susan Jane Gilman (Photo: François Bourru)

Susan Jane Gilman (Photo: François Bourru)

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street opens in 1913 on a spunky young girl fleeing Russia for New York with her family. Crippled and abandoned on the Lower East Side, she hustles her way into the Italian-ice peddling racket and travels across America in an ice cream truck, building an ice cream empire in a story that spans 70 years. The book examines the immigrant experience, particularly on the Lower East side, and themes of independence and appearance, as the protagonist remains a hard-drinking woman even as she becomes the wholesome “Ice Cream Queen of America.”

Susan Jane Gilman, also the author of best-selling memoir Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, will read at Barnes & Noble UWS tonight at 7 p.m. We spoke to her about childhood shopping treks to the LES, her mentor Frank McCourt, and her favorite places for an ice cream fix.

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Writer Kim Addonizio Thinks Living on the Bowery is Like Having Her Brain Tattooed

(Photo: Elizabeth Sanderson)

(Photo: Elizabeth Sanderson)

Book Expo America, the annual trade show for the analog information-delivery devices known as “books,” is in town through tomorrow, though it’s easy to miss if you don’t take a cab anywhere near the Javits Center. Via Twitter, we learned that poet Kim Addonizio was personally handing out free blue cotton candy along with galleys of her new book of stories, Palace of Illusions.
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Anthony Rapp Thinks If/Then Is Like a Grown-Up Version of Rent

Anthony Rapp in If/Then. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Anthony Rapp in If/Then. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Not long ago we joined Anthony Rapp for a post-Sunday-matinee snack in the Meatpacking District, and very soon thereafter his Broadway show, If/Then, was nominated for two Tonys (best score and best actress for his fellow Rent castmate Idina Menzel). When we found out that he lived on the Bowery we had to catch up with him to discuss the changes in his adopted neighborhood, and how that must feel for someone who originated a role in the groundbreaking musical Rent.
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Cultfever Likes to Get ‘A Little Manic’ On Stage

At Baby’s All Right, Cultfever played an energetic set for an enthusiastic hometown crowd before setting off to SXSW. The Williamsburg venue’s backdrop, a mosaic of lit-up glass bottles, cut cheerful silhouettes of the band members. Lead singer Tamara Jafar leaned over the lip of the stage, looked at the people ten feet away and crooked a finger; on demand, everyone moved up.
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Slothrust’s Frontwoman Was Into Sloths Before They Were Cool

Slothrust-1

At the Sailor Jerry Gypsy Lounge event in East Austin, Slothrust opened their set with the same song they always open with. Simply titled “Intro,” it’s a minute and a half of intimidating sound that boldly proves Leah Wellbaum is much more than a pretty face. The crowd head-banged as the band thumped through a blistering set, literally shaking the stage.
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Dead Stars, Tearing Through SXSW, Aren’t Hipsters So Much As Beatsters

(photo: Cary Whittier)

Dead Stars (photo: Cary Whittier)

Austin’s Club 1808 felt like a soul-food roadhouse yesterday as some young dudes who clearly dig Sebadoh worked through their tight, efficient set. In the bright sun of the backyard stage, Jeff Moore, the guitarist and frontman of Dead Stars, looked younger than he had when he played a show in dreary New York last week, and bassist John Watterberg — who was excited about playing on the bright backyard stage after a long winter of playing indoors — quickly became flushed.
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This Film About a Sex Surrogate Explores Intimacy and Isolation in NYC

She’s Lost Control is a tense, brooding story about a sex surrogate and her involvement with a volatile new client. Technically, the profession is now called “surrogate partner training” (in researching and preparing to make the film, director Anja Marquardt and her captivating lead actress, Brooke Bloom, spoke with the head of the International Professional Surrogates Association).
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The Heart Machine Plumbs an East Village-Bushwick Cyber Affair

Still from The Heart Machine

Still from The Heart Machine

The first moments of The Heart Machine are a dream, an abstract impression of movement and shifting light, laced with muted sounds like music from next door. Then the filter pops off, the thumping music rushes in, and we’re thrust into the life of Cody, checking his phone in a loud club, ignoring the Millennial mating ritual happening around him. In Zachary Wigon’s film, which premiered at SXSW over the weekend, Cody suspects that his online girlfriend is not, as she claims, in Berlin, but here in New York, perhaps in the East Village as he pines for her from Bushwick.
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A Chat With Oh, Honey, the Latest Williamsburg Band Sign With a Major

(Photo: Jesse DeFlorio)

Danielle Bouchard and Mitchy Collins of Oh, Honey (Photo: Jesse DeFlorio)

Oh, Honey, the Williamsburg-based band made up of Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard, has a dreamy, sun-drenched sound that could almost pass as being from the other coast, or from another decade. One thinks of the Sundays, or a more upbeat Crowded House with a lithe female vocalist.
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