Whenever we ogle the renderings of future buildings slated for construction, our eye is drawn to the aspirational humans within. They’re always pretty good for a laugh, and an idea of what the developers are after, despite their lip service to affordable housing and community spaces.
Where are the teens of color hanging out, street vendors selling fruit or tamales, Chinese seniors doing tai chi? Maybe architecture firms should take a cue from Barbie and diversify their paper dolls? Here’s a roundup of some of the “types” we’ve glimpsed traipsing through the future versions of North Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. Welcome your new neighbors!
Book Launch: The Mandibles: A Family by Lionel Shriver June 28 at 7 p.m. at Powerhouse Arena, 37 Main Street (DUMBO).
Perhaps watching the firestorm of a Donald Trump-infused election PLUS the xenophobia-motivated Brexit this past week is enough dystopia for you. But if you’re getting weirdly addicted to following the fallout of major geopolitical twists and turns, then Lionel Shriver’s latest novel might be for you. The Manibles: A Family, set in the not-too-distant future (2029), is family saga in the midst of the sudden devaluation of the American dollar. With the Mandible inheritance essentially eviscerated, each family member must come to terms with a new way forward–alone, or together. Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Wall street Journal, will join in discussion.
Clinton Ink next to Koneko Cat Cafe (Photo by Kavitha Surana)
Lillian Melendez still remembers when Clinton Street was a destination for anyone planning a sweet sixteen, baby shower or wedding. “If you were having a party, you had to come to Clinton,” she said. “Clinton was famous, everybody knew Clinton.” As a child she spent afternoons playing in her mother’s shop, Genesis Party Supplies at 97 Clinton, packed with custom wedding and bridesmaids dresses, speciality balloons and centerpieces and themed baby shower chairs and pins. Back then, Genesis held court with three other Latino party shops on that stretch of the block alone– if a customer didn’t find what they wanted at Genesis, her mom would send them next door or across the street.
Clinton Ink next to Koneko Cat Cafe (Photo by Kavitha Surana)
Lillian Melendez still remembers when Clinton Street was a destination for anyone planning a sweet sixteen, baby shower or wedding. “If you were having a party, you had to come to Clinton,” she said. “Clinton was famous, everybody knew Clinton.” As a child she spent afternoons playing in her mother’s shop, Genesis Party Supplies at 97 Clinton, packed with custom wedding and bridesmaids dresses, speciality balloons and centerpieces and themed baby shower chairs and pins. Back then, Genesis held court with three other Latino party shops on that stretch of the block alone– if a customer didn’t find what they wanted at Genesis, her mom would send them next door or across the street. More →
Book Launch: In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi June 22 at 7 p.m. at The Powerhouse Arena. 37 Main Street (DUMBO)
Is identity something you choose, or is it actually the very thing you can’t escape? This is the question Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi poses in her most personal work yet, In the Darkroom. In 2004 Faludi went in search of her estranged 76-year-old father, a man who had been an elusive and sometimes violent presence in her childhood and then all but disappeared from her life. When Faludi discovered he had undergone sex reassignment surgery and was now living in Hungary, her whole frame of reference was shaken to the core. Her book is an effort to unpack her father’s transition and her own questions of identity, while traveling through a country in the midst of its own dangerous project of refashioning its nationhood.
With your smartphone at your fingertips, these days its easy to mistake Instagram and Facebook for the ultimate arbiters of visual taste. But the International Center of Photography begs to differ. On Thursday they open their brand new museum on the Bowery, with an inaugural exhibition making the case for considered curation and historical perspective to broaden the conversation around images and their impact. More →
Two years ago when we first caught wind of the the launch of Shwick Market, it was still a dinky affair in out-of-the-way Bushwick. Since then, their effort to highlight made-in-Brooklyn goods has outgrown that location and evolved into a rotating pop-up more than 100 vendors strong, with about 80 percent of wares made right in the borough. (All the rest are still conceived of and designed in New York, even if the fabrics come from far away places). More →
An opening for the Chinatown Working Group’s rezoning proposal may finally be on the horizon. Last night, Community Board 3’s chair, Gigi Li, presented a new development to the Land Use Committee– after two years of sending resolutions supporting the plan to the Department of City Planning, its director, Carl Weisbrod, responded on June 7th expressing willingness to engage in discussion. Still, some community groups remain frustrated that the rezoning process isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with the quickening pace of high-rise development, while board members warned that unity from various stakeholders would be key to achieve comprehensive changes. More →
Mychal Denzel Smith presents: Invisible Man, Got the Whole Word Watching June 15 at 7 p.m. at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street
Growing up black in 21st century America can have its own sense of vertigo–the president is African-American but police brutality and incarceration still disproportionately affect men with your skin color. In his debut book, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education,Mychal Denzel Smith (Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute) tries to make sense of the political and social landscape he’s grown up in and come to terms with his own education. He’ll be joined by fellow writers Ashley C. Ford and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib.
This morning shoppers looking for American flag swimsuits or bright-patterned leggings at Dr. Jay’s streetwear store in downtown Brooklyn were greeted by a flurry of slogans and posters decrying the brand’s owner, Joseph Betesh, as a slumlord. Tenants from 83 and 85 Bowery were gathered with local activists out front, chanting against Betesh’s efforts to evict them.