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Project Parlor Reopens With Art Shows, Concerts, and Pinball

Guests in the front booth (left) alongside DJ TEK. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Bed-Stuy “boozerie” Project Parlor had its grand re-opening Friday after closing up for a month of renovations. The bar originally opened in 2009 under the ownership of Megan Florence and was bought from her in June of 2018 by former employee Rob Morrero, the bar’s music booker TJ Olsen, and law student Roy Berman, who was a regular there. The three co-owners all felt a strong connection to Project Parlor and that feeling was shared by the large crowd of friends that celebrated with them into the wee hours. More →

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The Wildlife Trade Goes Far Beyond China, Many New Yorkers Know

Confiscated tiger bone products. (Ryan Moehring / USFWS)

Customs agents at JFK airport made an unusual discovery last June: Three dozen finches straightjacketed in hair curlers. The tiny birds are used in singing contests by Guyanese men in New York, spawning a niche illicit trade that extends back to the Caribbean. The finches are trapped in the wild and drugged with rum before shipping. Hundreds have been intercepted over the last few years. More →

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Gordo’s Cantina Crosses the Brooklyn-Queens Border

Gordo’s Cantina quietly opened in Bushwick a month ago after leaving Long Island City last summer, and it’s been a good move for owner JR Savage. “I was just out walking Gordo before you got here,” said the resident of nearby Ridgewood, referring to his restaurant’s namesake French bulldog. “Living five blocks away has been perfect for getting this place together this year.” Savage’s pop-ups are still big business for him; last year his tacos was served at Celebrate Brooklyn’s concerts and Governor’s Ball, where we met him in the midst of the festival’s inclement weather. More →

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Cigar Strikes, Anarchists and Bohemian Beer: Vestiges of a Czech Community 

It looks like any other East Village apartment building now, but over a century ago, 533 East Fifth Street, between Avenues A and B, was the site of what may have been the city’s first Bohemian National Hall. At the time, Czech and Slovak immigrants were so concentrated along Avenue B, between Houston Street and Tompkins Square Park, that it was called “Czech Boulevard.”  More →

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How ‘Love at First Sight’ Saved a 170-Year-Old Synagogue

(Photos: Holly Pickett)

Kaleidoscopic colors illuminate the interior of Anshe Slonim Synagogue at 172 Norfolk St. on the Lower East Side. Sapphire, scarlet, magenta, and emerald take turns reflecting off peeling gold paint and the pulse of the Bee Gees’ 1977 disco classic “Night Fever” radiates from speakers facing the sanctuary. In front of the Ark—in most synagogues, the special cabinet housing the Torah, Judaism’s holy text—actors perform a musical based on New York City’s notorious Studio 54 nightclub. During the musical numbers, the audience members boogie on a square dance floor, lit from below with fuchsia and white lights. Above it all, a rotating disco ball flings sparks of light across the room. More →