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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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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 →

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NYC’S First ‘Nut-Milk Bar’ Milks Nut Puns For All They’re Worth

(Photos: Jae Thomas)

Nolita cafe Tulo House wants to know: “Did you nut today?”

The hashtag-worthy slogan immortalized by a bright blue neon sign (although, if your mom follows you on Instagram, maybe don’t post it) refers to the health spot’s homemade dairy-alternative milks. The self-proclaimed “first fresh nut-milk bar” in the city, Tulo House opened its doors last week. More →

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6 Lines From the ‘West Wing’ Impeachment That Are Still Timely, 20 Years Later

Aaron Sorkin at PaleyFest NY. (Photo by Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix)

What better way to ponder (read: mourn) the current state of the union than with the 20th anniversary of Aaron Sorkin’s political drama The West Wing? PaleyFest New York, a two-week celebration of popular television, kicked off with a screening of the show’s season-two finale, “Two Cathedrals,” as well as a panel discussion where Sorkin explained his creative process, the history of The West Wing and the show’s continued relevance.  

The pilot episode of The West Wing debuted in 1999 after the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and follows the senior staffers of the fictional Bartlet administration. The “Two Cathedrals” episode was released on May 16, 2001 and comes at the end of President Bartlet’s first term, when he’s being investigated for lying to voters about his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Bartlet is expected to direct the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate him, all while making sure the investigation will be made up of people who were appointed by Republican presidents. Bartlet’s slip-up “now feels like a relatively minor crime,” Sorkin observed.

Bedford + Bowery collected some of the most evergreen (read: currently relevant) themes from “Two Cathedrals.” 

The President Should NOT Run For Re-election
“I don’t like being the first one to say it, but I’m gonna; I think the president has got to strongly consider not running for re-election.”
Multiple White House officials advise that Bartlet not run for a second term; of course, he does anyway.

Crazy Tropical Storms
“Isn’t it strange to have a tropical storm in May? I’m pretty sure there’s a season and this isn’t it.” 
President Bartlet continually asks when tropical storm season is and why there’s a strong storm coming off the coast of Florida in the off-season. He’s told that a storm of this magnitude hasn’t happened in over a century. At least Bartlet double and triple checked his storm facts. No sharpie-doctored, inaccurate hurricane map here. 

Women’s Workplace Woes
“The women who work here, if they bring it up, they’re afraid for their jobs.”
President Bartlet has a flashback to his high-school days, where his father is the headmaster of a prestigious private school. The new secretary tells him that women who work there are getting paid less than men, and that women are afraid to speak up. #MeToo, anyone?

Good Deeds
“3.8 million new jobs, that wasn’t good? Bailed out Mexico, increased foreign trade, 30 million new acres of land for conservation.”
Amid all the re-election controversy and his personal misfortunes, Bartlet briefly rants about all the good deeds he’s done in his first term as president. Maybe Trump took a page from Bartlet’s book of political benevolence, by boasting about the economy to distract from the impeachment inquiry. 

Congressional Crisis
“Are you out of your mind? I can’t possibly win re-election, I lied about a degenerative illness, I’m the target of a grand jury investigation and Congress is about to take me out to lunch.”
Staffers contemplate Bartlet’s place as commander in chief after being wrapped up in controversy after controversy. It’s looking like Congress may treat President Trump to a nice meal sometime soon, too.

Health Insurance Hiatus
“How many Americans don’t have health insurance?”
“44 million.”
President Bartlet talks to his secretary about work that needs to be done in the next term. While the number of uninsured Americans has gone down since 2001, that number has been steadily increasing over the past year. Good to know that 20 years later, affordable healthcare is still a partisan issue!

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Teens Walk Out, School Their Elders During NYC Climate Strike

(Photo: Jae Thomas)

Over 250,000 people took to the streets of downtown Manhattan Friday in support of the New York City Climate Strike. Many of these protesters were high school students, using their DoE-approved ditch day to march from Foley Square to Battery Park, demand climate reform and listen to activists plead their cases for the planet.  More →

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At 21, Sophia Elaine Hanson Already Has a Steampunk Trilogy Under Her Belt

Sophia Elaine Hanson hasn’t yet graduated college, but she has topped Amazon’s list of Young Adult Steampunk bestsellers. In case you didn’t know, the category is a mix of science fiction and fantasy, with elements of technology woven in. Basically, if you’ve read The Hunger Games and Divergent and are craving another dystopian world, you’ll want to read Hanson’s Vinyl trilogy.

The final book in the series, Siren, is set to be released in May. It’s set in Revinia, a world where the government ensures loyalty via The Music, a type of mind control that dulls emotions and passions. In an Instagram post, Hanson tells her 4,600-plus followers to expect “steampunk cities, ride or die squads, queer ships, and plot twists.”

Aside from the two previous books in the series, Vinyl and Radio, Hanson has also released a collection of poetry, and her second one is due out in April. We spoke with the 21-year-old NYU junior about her writing process, the merits of indie publishing, and more.

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