Anyone who has visited the IFC Center in winter knows the particular pain of waiting in line for a popular film in the freezing cold. No, it’s not an effort to separate the diehard arthouse film enthusiasts from the weak dilettantes. The center, formerly the Waverly Theater and before that a church, is just really old and the owners sacrificed lobby space for screens. But now, relief for those long lines– and much more– may be on the way. The IFC Center is preparing for a serious upgrade, with plans to double the size of its building and add six new screens.
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Love Thyself, Kunt: A Night with Badlands Unlimited
April 12 at 7 p.m. at KGB Bar, 85 East Fourth Street.
When Badlands Unlimited’s “New Lovers” series is involved, you know what to expect: no-holds-barred erotica with a surreal or even sick twist. Tamara Faith Berger will read from her new novel, Kuntalini, a story about a young woman named Yoo-hoo who experiences sexual awakening in her yoga class and embarks on a wild journey from there. Michael Robbins, author of poetry collection Alien vs Predator and Lynne Tillman, whose sixth novel Men And Apparitions is out next year, will also read.
When aging hipsters pine after “the way things used to be” in Williamsburg, they’re usually talking about the free-spirited ’90s music and art scene or even the early 2000s when Williamsburg already was an indie darling, but didn’t yet have hotels, tourist mobs chasing the rainbow-bagel dream.
But what if you could wipe the streets clean and go back before even the days of Luxx and the Stinger, to see Williamsburg as it was in the 1980s? The music scene would have been the one on the street, with immigrant kids playing salsa and pop from boomboxes, hips moving in formation, or squaring off in a break dance competition. The neighborhood was also one of New York’s poorest during the high-crime 1980s, suffering drug problems and neglect. More →
“People are going to come and say: ‘How does this place stay in business?'” Brian Shevlin, the founder of Con Artist Collective said, talking a mile a minute and gesturing around Lazy Susan, the new itsy-bitsy gallery at 191 Henry Street still in the midst of a “mini facelift.” But that doesn’t bother Shevlin– maybe it won’t manage to stay “in business” in the traditional sense, but he hopes it’ll succeed as a rag-tag, largely artist-run project space that’ll surprise and delight in a way more bottom-line driven galleries don’t.
“We thought: wouldn’t it be awesome if Con Artist Collective could have a space that we could just sort of have the keys to and give it to an artist and say: do whatever the hell you want, you’ve got this many days?” Shevlin said. “It doesn’t matter what they do. They make money or they don’t make money. They sit in the room or they don’t open at all. It doesn’t really matter, it’s your space.”
Democratic District Leader Alice Cancel picked up two more endorsements today in the run up to a special election on April 19 to replace Sheldon Silver’s seat in the New York State Assembly. Both Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez, downtown councilmembers, said Cancel was the right choice for the job.
“Alice knows the community, she knows our schools, she knows our small businesses, she knows about public housing and she’s worked with the tenants,” said Chin in her endorsement. “She’s a district leader that works with the elected officials. When there’s a problem in the community, she calls them.”
Public officials are demanding, in louder and louder voices, to know why and how the city quietly allowed a Lower East Side building once reserved for non-profit use to be turned into luxury housing. Today, local politicians gathered to push for stronger transparency and oversight, to prevent it from happening again.
The former schoolhouse at 45 Rivington was operated by VillageCare as an AIDS/HIV treatment facility, under a deed restriction established in 1992 that limited the building to non-profit usage. Since the HIV crisis has dimmed in the Lower East Side, the facility was no longer needed at capacity. At the end of 2014, VillageCare sought to sell it to a for-profit nursing-home operator, Allure Group, with local officials’ understanding that it would remain some kind of medical facility for the general population, likely for the many seniors in the neighborhood.
Whether you’re preparing for a spin at the rodeo or just outfitting for summer’s busy festival sched, you’ll want to check out the Wild West pop-up shop in Williamsburg, running until May 15.
This general store by way of Brooklyn is filled with basically everything you need to pull off that whimsical hat you’ve been trying to make work (we all have one): lace-up-front bralets, dreamcatchers, Navajo artisanal jewelry, and hand-painted, perfectly worn-in boots, for example. (We were happy to see there weren’t any of those terrible “fashion” Native American headdress pieces though).
Vulture Insider’s Book Club with Rebecca Traister
April 6 at 7:30 p.m, at The Strand, 828 Broadway
New York magazine’s own Rebecca Traister recently published All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, a knock-out investigation into the history of single-woman-dom and its implications in today’s society. As the age of marriage climbs (today only 20 percent of Americans tie the knot before age 29) women are gaining more power and more options than ever before. Traister, who also frequently writes about feminism and culture for Vulture, will speak with Vulture’s book editor, Boris Kachka.
Williamsburg just seriously upped its cocktail cred. Mixologist Richard Boccato, a Sasha Petraske acolyte who owned the short-lived PKNY on the Lower East Side, just opened Fresh Kills on Grand Street, an offshoot of his popular Long Island City haunt, Dutch Kills.
We all know the drill by now–classic cocktails with impeccable provenance, fresh, premium ingredients and perfect proportional wizardry that somehow make you open your eyes and question if you’ve ever truly tasted an old-fashioned or negroni before. The menu here boasts Boccato’s usual puritanical emphasis on drinks from the history books and mania for detail, which means specialty ice and annotations on the historical inspiration behind each menu item.