Yep, it’s official. New York has once again become an urban swamp, with the muggy, mosquito-filled realities of the tropics blending seamlessly with the stinking sidewalks of the city. It’s like a caipirinha with no cachaça. But fear not, for the key ingredient arrives tomorrow in the form of Brasil SummerFest.
Now in its fifth year, Brasil SummerFest claims to be the “largest and most important international Brazilian music festival in the world.” With last year’s attendance peaking at 22,000 and this year’s event extended to 10 days and spread out across the city from Lincoln Center to the South Street Seaport, it’s become a hard fact to argue.
Man, it is hot today (it’s hot, too). With temps hitting the high 90s, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from noon until 6pm tomorrow. In light of what Mayor De Blasio calls “extremely dangerous” conditions, the city is opening dozens of “cooling centers” for those at risk of heat stroke. We stopped into a couple of them and rated them on a scale of 1 to 5 fans — and, just for good measure, we also tried Muji’s new chill-out area to see if we were bigger fans of that.
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. This Friday night in a Bushwick warehouse, almost 1,000 people are gathering to watch a performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a 19th century piece of classical music. Before you ask — no, this is not a fad (baroquecore?). Rather, it’s an event hosted by Groupmuse, a social media platform single-handedly bringing classical music back into #relevance.
In a delightful corner of the internet, William Shatner sits perched atop a scenic mount. As the YouTube clip plays, Shatner, backed by a catchy 16-bit funk score, poses the following profound question: “Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain, why is he climbing a mountain?”
Do you yearn to catch a street artist mid-mural? Tired of your ears being battered by the ground they’re close to? If only catching street art in the act of creation didn’t need to be a game of chance, mural makers lined the streets, and Instagram likes filled the air. Enter the LoMan Art Festival, New York’s first ever festival dedicated to the art of the spray can.
Passing by Moishe’s Bake Shop this week, we were delighted to see that after a few months of going relatively incognito, the East Village institution has finally gotten a new sign. But we couldn’t help but wonder, as fans of such things, about its lovably dilapidated original signage. Is it now in safe keeping, a la Kim’s Video? We asked owner Moishe Perlmutter, who told us the last thing we wanted to hear.
Rachel Mason (Photo: courtesy of The Lives of Hamilton Fish)
Multidisciplinary artist Rachel Mason’s album turned surreal rock-opera film The Lives of Hamilton Fish owes its life to coincidence. In January 1936, two men from upstate New York named Hamilton Fish — one a sadistic serial killer, the other a minor statesman — died a day apart. Decades later, while volunteering as an art teacher at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (where killer Fish was executed), Mason discovered their side-by-side obituaries in a newspaper clipping that would spark her self-admitted “obsession” with the Fish men.
Chike Obeagu – Private Viewing, 2015 (Credit: Courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery)
In Nigerian artist Chike Obeagu’s “Private Viewing,” a white couple wearing comical expressions look at art with bulging eyes. The painting, one of the first things you see when you enter Richard Taittinger Gallery on the Lower East Side, serves as a mirror to those perusing the latest exhibit there, titled “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”
“This is the art market,” explained curator Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, gesturing towards Obeagu’s pop-eyed figures. “They’re saying, let’s find Africa.”
With this image in mind, Nzewi has put together the work of 12 contemporary artists from Africa for this exhibit. As interest in contemporary African art within the global art market grows, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” is as much a statement of fact as it is a question.
In the past year and a half, the East Village has grown accustomed to the presence of candles, messages of remembrance and fresh flowers outside 136 Second Avenue, home to the Ukrainian American Youth Foundation. This impromptu memorial has served as a constant reminder of the many lives lost during the November 2013 “Rise up, Ukraine!” anti-government uprisings in Kiev.
On the heels of Marcha Cocina’s opening, the East Village just got another chic Latin fusion spot. Visitors to Secara can expect “wholesome homestyle meals, prepared traditionally and presented in a contemporary way,” according to general manager Alberto Spadnuda.