About Mathew Silver

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Life After ‘Jeopardy!’: Austin Rogers Doesn’t Want to Be Quiz Guy, Despite the Groupies

(Illustration by Neil Hamel)

Austin Rogers is working behind the bar at Gaf West, a cozy little Irish pub in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a pleasant surprise to find him here, knowing that the 39-year-old bartender just won $466,000 over the course of a brilliant run on Jeopardy! from September to November. The native of Pound Ridge, NY, has also become a cult figure for his delightfully subversive antics on the otherwise humorless gameshow. He’d wager frivolously, punctuate his correct responses with nifty celebrations, and wisecrack with the often-serious Alex Trebek. He did it while displaying near-encyclopedic knowledge and, most importantly, winning. Again. And again. And again.

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One Man’s Crusade Against the ‘Epidemic’ of Fake MCs

Keep your eyes peeled. A new poster, featuring rapper Big Daddy Kane, claims that “real MCs” are absent from the world of modern hip-hop. Zeps, a hip-hop artist turned children’s book author from Brooklyn, is the guy who made the poster, and according to him, there’s a new trend to blame for the disappearance of authentic artists. It’s that thing where, instead of singing during live performances, rappers just yell sloppily over the studio version of their song. He said his poster should be considered a public service announcement.

It reads: “There is a horrible new trend among today’s rappers: RHYMING OVER VOCALS LIVE. This is unacceptable. You are ruining the essence of live hip-hop, it’s lazy and means you have no stage presence.” The 36-year-old has been putting up signs with this message for a few years, and said that there’s a whole generation of rappers who think this style of performing is cool. But according to Zeps, it’s taboo and makes you look foolish.

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Pour One Out For Pourt

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

Pourt, an upscale java joint at 35 Cooper Square, got a bit of attention (including from B+B) when it opened in late January, for using a business model that incorporates a pay-to-stay work area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Its windows have been papered over, and a message on its website quells any hope that the shop is undergoing upgrades.

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See This La La Land Parody, Even if the Poster Is ‘Slightly Alarming’

You might have seen Jimmy Fowlie, the star of So Long Boulder City, on a poster in Greenwich Village. He’s standing high above the midnight Los Angeles cityscape, wearing high heels and an elegant yellow dress, the Hollywood sign small but distinctive in the distance. The poster is an obvious parody of La La Land (a lamp post is officially synonymous with a movie), the Oscar-gobbling musical drama that had Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling waltzing through the streets.

“I think for some tourists, seeing my poster is slightly alarming,” said Fowlie, a writer/actor/comedian based in LA. “I’ve been told that in drag I actually look kind of upsetting.”

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How Do Bushwickers Feel About Living in America’s Second Coolest Neighborhood?

“We’re peaking. Bushwick is peaking. Do you think it’s gonna get to one? No way. The Mission has been around. Bushwick’s peaking. You can’t sustain this kind of a boom.”

Congratulations to the people of Bushwick! Your neighborhood was just named the second hottest in the United States, falling closely behind The Mission in San Francisco. So, we hit the gritty, graffiti-stained streets to see how locals feel about being one of the “25 coolest neighborhoods in America.” (That’s right, it’s hot and cool!) Is that ranking just right? Totally bogus? Does landing somewhere on a coolness ranking preclude you from actually being cool? Click through the slideshow to find out.

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Battered Big Bird Shows PETA Isn’t Down With Canada Goose

A giant bloodied goose was spotted outside of the Canada Goose store on Wooster Street shortly after noon on Wednesday. This was, of course, just a costume. The disgusting eight-foot-tall creature, with bulging eyes and exposed flesh, stood with a group of protesters from PETA, who gathered in the wake of undercover footage released by the animal rights organization last week. The footage was allegedly taken from a slaughterhouse that supplies Canada Goose’s down, the fine layer of feathers the clothing company uses in their luxury garments.

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Barbara Kruger’s New Skatepark Art Has Skaters Flipping Out

(Photo: @markatthemusuem)

Have you ever wanted to land a nollie heelflip on an art installation? Maybe you can’t skateboard (like me), and would simply prefer to enjoy the artwork as a work of cultural commentary? (I totally did an ollie once, but that was in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 with the cheats on.) Either way, Barbara Kruger’s latest work, Untitled (Skate), is on display at the Coleman Skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge, now through Nov. 19.

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Will Janice Gunter Be America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter?

Beware, boils and ghouls. The season finale of Janice Gunter: Ghost Hunter will be available on YouTube and Facebook Oct. 31, just in time for a Halloween fright. After a season of haunting misadventures with her Ma behind the camera, it’s Janice’s opportunity to hit the big time, when she lands an appearance on America’s Next Top Ghost Hunter. Will the amateur sleuth rise to the occasion, or disappear in spooktacular fashion?

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Surviving the Cage: A New York Newbie Steps Onto the West 4th Street Courts

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

The West 4th Street Courts are some of the most fearsome in New York City; their reputation for physical play and cutthroat competition is the stuff of documentaries. They’re known as “The Cage,” which helps describe the four towering walls of chain-link fence that surround them, along with the openly hostile territory inside. It’s said that none other than NBA legend Julius Erving used to play here in his heyday. I, on the other hand, was cut from my high school basketball team (in Canada, no less). So, when I rolled up to The Cage with a freshly bought basketball, I had more confidence than actual talent.

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