With a champagne toast yesterday, the vendors of Essex Street Market said goodbye to their longtime home at 120 Essex Street ahead of its relocation across the street. Opened in 1940 in an effort to remove pushcarts from the street, the market continued to provide an affordable, diverse variety of food to its Lower East Side neighbors and beyond. More →
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Moniker International Art Fair has opened its doors in Noho as Frieze NY weekend takes over NYC’s art world. The Fair, which was launched in London in 2009 by Tina Ziegler, is celebrating a second year in New York. After a stint in Greenpoint, Moniker has taken new digs at 718 Broadway and has partnered up with fellow art fair Superfine over in Soho with a ticket deal so that guests can see both at one price.
Last night at Moniker’s opening party, we were greeted by unpretentious attendants. After posing for a portrait with the opening installation by muralists Yok and Sheryo, staff member Madeline Philipp told us why she was having so much fun: “I love all the humans I meet as they all have to come through me first.”
The booth belonging to Chicago’s Cake Agency is one of the first you see, and you need to see it up close to appreciate the details of the engraved watches, rings and pendants by artists Christopher Ser and Buddy Austin. Gallerist Nick Malloy said Seattle-based Austin’s engraved Rolexes and Cartier timepieces have a two-year waitlist. “It’s a young money type of thing and we want to bring something else to the table.”
For those that don’t mind interaction, artist WK was snapping “mugshot” Polaroids of guests and then taking their fingerprints for a project he’s working on. WK’s young assistant Dash, a Parsons student, told us that working with the artist has inspired his own project about “young African-American men being targeted by police.”
Upstairs, Aurora Fisher was running a booth for the Garey The Third art boutique. For sale were books and apparel inspired by late artist LeRoy Neiman, famous for his modern expressionist paintings of athletes and celebrities, along with other vinyl collectables and prints. “We’re based on the West Coast,” Fisher said of the Los Angeles store, “but we have a demand here for our limited releases and we wanted to satisfy that.”
On Moniker’s second main floor, in a spacious basement, an eye-popping 3D installation by artist Li-Hill was on display along with several of her paintings. The London-born, Brooklyn-based Li-Hill explained the installation’s message. “It’s about a potential dark future because we’re in a global crux. So much can be done to the world to make the positive change.”
Also on the second floor was Philadelphia’s Analog Contemporary, featuring the art of Bruce Jefferies Reinfeld and Tai Taeoalii. Reinfeld’s saturated photographs are printed on lenticular plastic; the 3D illusion makes them jump at you from across the room. “These photos of graffitied trains and trucks were taken all over the country, but I just started working in lenticular about a year ago,” Reinfeld told us. “My pieces can range in any size and I’m doing a large lenticular installation for Art Market Hamptons this summer.”
Two levels down in the building’s cellar, Sold magazine partied at their street-art installation while a discussion panel took place on a nearby stage. Titled “The War of Messaging: Ad Takeovers and the Fight For Your Attention,” the talk was moderated by artist and activist Josh MacPhee, who spoke with writer RJ Rushmore, street art photographer Luna Park and public space artist Jordan Seiler. They discussed the subversive methods some artists employ against the giant reach of billboard advertising and how replacing them with street art is a way to resist corporate monotony.
When a fellow artist in attendance challenged whether the street artist had the “right” to illegally change the ads, another artist chimed in to defend them. “Yes, in legal terms they’re not right to do that, but because they admit who they are, what they do and have outlined their cause I would grant them that right. They see the world in a different way than the law and I agree with that difference.”
After the panel, the audience hit up Moniker’s bar, which was embellished by artist SKEWVILLE and run by The Sampler Bushwick, a craft beer house owned by two firefighters from the neighborhood that relaunched 15 months ago. General Manager Joel Suarez explained how The Sampler, which also offers session cans and growler refills, doubles as a gallery and pop-up kitchen. “We have a monthly art show that follows Black History Month, Women’s History Month; we did an indigenous peoples show last Thanksgiving and we give artists 70 percent of the cut. It’s even better when he have guests chefs come use our kitchen because we give them 100 percent. Me and my staff come from the Bronx and we were all artists first so we know how it is.”
Moniker International Art Fair continues through the weekend and will be free to the public on Sunday from 11am-12:30pm.
Here’s some super sad news: One of Bushwick’s quirkiest homegrown bars, Gotham City Lounge, has closed after 15 years under the M train on Myrtle Ave. The superhero-themed drinks den was a hidden refuge for neighborhood old-timers and comic-lovers alike.
Greenpoint’s past and present collided last week as Enid’s shuttered after 20 years of early brunches and late-night parties. After the beloved bar and restaurant announced its closure two months ago, owner Ashley James told Bedford+Bowery that it had served its purpose and “now it’s time to move on.” We spent time at Enid’s during the long reunion that was its final week and met countless regulars and staff who drowned themselves in tears, sweat and scores of Harrison cocktails.
Greenpoint’s Lot Radio recently hit a setback when its shipping-container cafe was temporarily shuttered by the health department, but it’s keeping the music alive with a new pop-up shop on Canal Street and a performance by Alex Zhang Hangtag, aka Dirty Beaches, inside the San Damiano Mission this Thursday, March 14.
Williamsburg became a boozy funeral row on Thursday with the closings of Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern and The Abbey. Nostalgic drinkers bounced from Bedford to Driggs all night, filling both bars to the brim for hours.
Juggalos, the face-painted, unashamedly low-brow fans of rap-rock band Insane Clown Posse, have been an object of morbid curiosity for over two decades. Officially listed as a “gang” by the FBI since 2011, the legion will once again convene for their annual Gathering of the Juggalos on July 31 in Springville, Indiana. If you can’t wait till then or just don’t want to get drenched in Faygo (if you went to their Brooklyn show in 2017, you know what I’m talking about), you may want to head to HERE Arts Center to catch a new play, American Juggalo.
The East Village’s Sidewalk Cafe is celebrating its final Winter Antifolk Fest ahead of the cafe’s closure this weekend due to new ownership after 33 years on Avenue A. Longtime antifolkers such as Ray Brown, Dan and Rachel, and Endless Arrows, whose style originated as an ’80s reaction to dated ’60s folk, have played for packed rooms since the Fest started last week. It continues on till Sidewalk’s final night on Saturday. More →
You might say he’s a buzzworthy candidate.