Some people can work wonders in small quarters. (Remember that beautifully organized, itty-bitty kitchen-shower apartment?) I am not one of those people. I’ve lived in a 350-square-foot Lower East Side apartment with my husband for four years, and during that time I’ve managed to keep it in an almost uninterrupted state of mess (except when guests come to stay).
Posts by Kavitha Surana:
Songwriter Dru Cutler lives with five other artists in a loft that’s pretty much the epitome of DIY Bushwick. With its soaring industrial ceilings, comfy armchairs and requisite hipster decorations (vintage posters, hanging plants, etc.), Unit J seems to fit the platonic ideal of millennial living spaces, combining creative pursuits, lifestyle and the search for buzz. Over the past three years, the loft off of the Wilson Avenue stop has evolved from a co-living space for artists trying to make ends meet to an under-the-radar performance venue. Now Cutler and his fellow musician roommates are taking it a step further, launching their own record label to represent other artists they’re excited about.
Even as Urban Outfitters continues to market fresh new record players to the masses, record shops seem to be on their way out (RIP, Other Music). So, like everything else, it’s to the digital world we turn: curated record subscription services are moving in with bells and whistles to “disrupt” old-fashioned crate-digging. For example, every month the good folks over at Vinyl Me, Please dig up an often forgotten-about classic, like The Fugees’ The Score, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid or Wilco’s AM, and reissue it with exclusive artwork–for about $23 a month, it’s almost like a fancy, slow-moving Pandora for your record player.
Book Launch: Rich Cohen’s The Sun and the Moon and the Rolling Stones
May 10 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street
Rich Cohen seems to have his mind plugged into the tempos of the past–a co-creator of HBO’s Vinyl and a Vanity Fair contributor, his new book reconsiders the history and impact of one of the greatest bands to ever shake up the music scene. His telling of the ups and downs of the Rolling Stones benefits from his close relationship with the band since the 1990s. The story charts their course from their beginnings in 1961 to their golden run through the 70s, drawing readers into the defining moments that left a lasting imprint on music and our culture. No, the Rolling Stones themselves won’t be on hand at the launch–but luckily there will be music in the form of the dance band argonaut&wasp.
While low-income tenants at 83-85 Bowery have been fighting tooth and nail to stay put in their rent-stabilized tenements, just up the street it’s easy to see why pressure to evict them is at a fever pitch.
Landlords are on notice–yesterday Steve Croman was charged with 20 felony counts and using illegal tactics to push tenants out of his buildings. Today Public Advocate Letitia James and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez kept up the heat, using their clout to influence the outcome of a prominent tenant-landlord dispute in Chinatown. Standing outside the state supreme courthouse, the two railed against landlord Joseph Betesh (also owner of the Dr. Jays streetwear brand), accusing him of using “illegal practices” to evict 27 families at 83 and 85 Bowery.
Upstairs at 39 Eldridge Street, a dim, stuffy internet cafe is a refuge for hardcore gamers, glued to the computer screen for hours. This morning many of them were passed-out asleep, slouched across two chairs with hoodies pulled over their eyes and takeout food boxes crumpled next to them.
Just a month ago we followed faith leaders and tenants as they tried to meet their landlord, Steve Croman of 9300 Realty (and honoree on The Village Voice‘s New York City’s 10 worst landlords list twice–once in 1998 and again in 2014). They wanted to deliver letters from 32 different religious figures, decrying Croman’s alleged tenant harassment tactics, such as cutting gas and heat, dangerous construction, low buyouts, and threatening frivolous lawsuits.
By now, everyone and their mother has tried the candy-colored extravaganza that is the rainbow bagel. For your next sugar-induced fever dream, we suggest ordering up the Cotton Candy Bubble Tea Float at Vivi Lower East Side. Presented on a wooden board and served in a mason jar (of course), the awe-inspiring tower of cotton candy comes with a tiny jug of leftover slush topped by a cute swirl of whipped cream. Cookies-and-cream ice cream, Pop Rocks, and a color-changing spoon are also involved.
The insane calorie bomb was created by Connie Shan, manager of Vivi Lower East Side, who originally hails from Hong Kong. She sells hundreds of them each week. “We tried to conceive something completely different with bubble tea,” she said of her creation. “Hong Kong has all this stuff already. People are getting all kinds of different things with cotton candy, like coffee.”
So how does this Franken-beverage get made? And how does it taste? Check out our video to find out.
With all the buildings going up on the Lower East Side, it’s not uncommon to come across scraps of metal or other weird objects left behind at construction sites. But picking them up and using them for artistic inspiration? Denise Triezman, a Chilean artist, has been collecting found objects all over the city for the past five years, hoarding many of her treasures in an ever-growing storage facility. Now she brings some of the results to Cuchifritos, Essex Market’s resident gallery run by Artists Alliance Inc.