About Daniel Karel

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‘Downtown Live’ Brings Free Outdoor Performances to an Altered Landscape

From left: Katie Madison, Meghan Finn, Eisa Davis, Debora Balardini, Andressa Furletti, and Kaaron Briscoe. (Photo: Maria Baranova)

Anne Hamburger, the founder and artistic director of NYC-based theater company En Garde Arts, began envisioning the return of live performances one month into the pandemic. Over a year later, Downtown Live, the product of that planning, will take place over the course of two weekends this May. The free performing arts festival is sponsored by the Downtown Alliance for New York, and produced in collaboration with another nonprofit arts organization, The Tank. More →

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New Yorkers Celebrating the First Legal 420 Tell Us How They Roll

Aaron in Washington Square Park (Photos: Daniel Karel)

As you can probably smell, New York State recently legalized recreational marijuana use. The legislation was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 31, mere weeks before the annual stoner holiday on April 20. Yesterday, throughout the five boroughs, New Yorkers celebrated their new freedoms by bringing their biggest and most outrageous smoking devices to public spaces. Unsurprisingly, by midday, Washington Square Park looked like someone had plugged in a fog machine.  More →

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Artist Thomas Manco Is Getting New Yorkers to Confess Their Most Foolish Moments

(Photos: Daniel Karel)

Thomas Manco, an artist from the East Village, commercial painter, and muralist with work at The New York Aquarium and elsewhere, didn’t expect his latest public sculpture to strike a nerve. The piece, a shoulder-high, foil-covered cardboard structure spelling out “FOOL,” asked passersby to attach a Post-It note, copping to a private blunder. Within days, hundreds of replies were stuck to the artwork. They ranged from silly (“‘Sure, I’ll help you move!’”) to sincere (“Moving into an apartment without seeing it in person”) to sorrowful (“Loved someone who never loved me back”). More →

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The Band That ‘Saved Summer’ Returns to Tompkins With a New Song

Last summer, when the city was sweltering, New Yorkers sought refuge from their apartments, and each other, in COVID-safe public spaces. Many lugged themselves to Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village, where, every Saturday, the self-proclaimed “imaginary band,” Pinc Louds, would play a rollicking, effervescent set. Reflecting on their impact, one commentator summarized the public consensus: “Pinc Louds saved the summer.” More →

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‘Group Sex’ at Ed. Varie’s New Gallery and 4 More LES Art Shows to See

“Group Sex” at Ed. Varie Gallery (Photo: Steve Pierce)

The COVID era has familiarized us with two unwelcome feelings: anxiety and monotony. A good art show, like dinner with friends, has the power to dispel both. Luckily, around the Lower East Side this April, gallerists have slated a number of wonderfully ambitious and provocative exhibitions, guaranteed to invigorate even the most sluggish-feeling New Yorker. The shows listed below require no appointment, are free to attend, and present a great opportunity to witness springtime bloom across the city. Just don’t forget to bring a mask. More →

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‘Kids’ Star Leo Fitzpatrick: Opening a Gallery Is Like Building a Skateboarding Team

(Photo courtesy of Public Access.)

The pandemic has been rough for museums and art galleries. The Met is on the brink of selling masterpieces to keep the lights on, and galleries — small, intimate spaces — are largely empty because of capacity-limiting social distancing guidelines. All of this makes the buzzy start of Leo Fitzpatrick’s new gallery on St. Marks Place, Public Access, twice as exciting. More →

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As Pandemic Fractures the City, Mosaic Man Stays on the Trail

The East Village is one of the most visually distinct neighborhoods in New York City, and for the past 35 years, James “Jim” Power’s famous Mosaic Trail has twisted through the middle of it like a colorful ribbon made of tile. His efforts have made him a beloved neighborhood character, more mascot than fixture, and at age 73 — with wispy white hair tucked beneath a Vietnam Veteran cap, a slight but hardy frame, and faded red scooter he uses to navigate the street — he feels no desire to slow down. But he feared the coronavirus pandemic would force the issue. More →