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Artist Thomas Manco Is Getting New Yorkers to Confess Their Most Foolish Moments

(Photos: Daniel Karel)

Thomas Manco, an artist from the East Village, commercial painter, and muralist with work at The New York Aquarium and elsewhere, didn’t expect his latest public sculpture to strike a nerve. The piece, a shoulder-high, foil-covered cardboard structure spelling out “FOOL,” asked passersby to attach a Post-It note, copping to a private blunder. Within days, hundreds of replies were stuck to the artwork. They ranged from silly (“‘Sure, I’ll help you move!’”) to sincere (“Moving into an apartment without seeing it in person”) to sorrowful (“Loved someone who never loved me back”). More →

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The Band That ‘Saved Summer’ Returns to Tompkins With a New Song

Last summer, when the city was sweltering, New Yorkers sought refuge from their apartments, and each other, in COVID-safe public spaces. Many lugged themselves to Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village, where, every Saturday, the self-proclaimed “imaginary band,” Pinc Louds, would play a rollicking, effervescent set. Reflecting on their impact, one commentator summarized the public consensus: “Pinc Louds saved the summer.” More →

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As Schools Reopen, the Lower Eastside Girls Club Prepares For a Return to Semi-Normality

(Photos courtesy of Lower Eastside Girls Club)

Thousands of New York City high schoolers returned to in-person classes on March 22, nearly a month after middle schoolers did the same. As classrooms reopen, high school sports are finally resuming this month, and after-school programs that transitioned to online learning last year — or that went dark entirely — are also  reevaluating their services. One of those programs, the Lower Eastside Girls Club, began a new session of online classes last month. Now, it plans to resume limited in-person classes in May and full in-person activities by the summer. It will be a return to semi-normality after a year of constant adaptation. More →

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Tony Chung Splits Med School With Keeping His Family’s Chinatown Restaurant Alive

Tony Chung outside of Pasteur Grill and Noodles. (Photo: Paul Kim)

Behind every great Asian restaurant are the owner’s children doing their homework nearby, or so the joke goes. Whenever Tony Chung sees those memes in the Facebook group “subtle asian traits,” he can’t help but laugh. He was one of those restaurant children. “There was this corner table, number one, at the restaurant where we would always sit and just do our homework while people were eating,” recalls Chung, now a 23-year-old Biomedical Science Master’s student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. More →

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The ‘Magician’ Who Makes Art Appear On East Village Walls

Art by BKFoxx, Katie Reidy (@RARiGRAFiX), and Urban Russian Doll. (Photo courtesy of East Village Walls)

Dive bars, vintage boutiques, and locally owned restaurants have long occupied the East Village’s streets, but one feature of the neighborhood stands out – the art up on its walls. A highland cow for the Year of the Ox and two purple faces fashioned into the likeness of Kobe and Gianna are only some of the images painted on a variety of buildings, with new murals replacing them every few months. More →

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Grab a Socially-Distanced Hammock at This Weekends-Only LES Nanobrewery

(Photos: Quincy Walter)

When Paolo Tagatac-Chan and Rose Chan took over a former hair salon space in the Two Bridges neighborhood six years ago, they knew of only one other brewery in Manhattan. By the time the husband and wife finally opened their quaint nanobrewery, That Witch Ales You, in October of last year, a few more had popped up. But Manhattan breweries are still a rarity. More →

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‘Group Sex’ at Ed. Varie’s New Gallery and 4 More LES Art Shows to See

“Group Sex” at Ed. Varie Gallery (Photo: Steve Pierce)

The COVID era has familiarized us with two unwelcome feelings: anxiety and monotony. A good art show, like dinner with friends, has the power to dispel both. Luckily, around the Lower East Side this April, gallerists have slated a number of wonderfully ambitious and provocative exhibitions, guaranteed to invigorate even the most sluggish-feeling New Yorker. The shows listed below require no appointment, are free to attend, and present a great opportunity to witness springtime bloom across the city. Just don’t forget to bring a mask. More →