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East Village Queer Film Festival Packs House, Pulls Heartstrings

Opening-night host Cecilia Gentili. (Photos: Mycah Hazel)

The East Village Queer Film Festival brought rebellious sons and snappy elders to the big screen for a packed opening on Monday night. Hosted by mixed-arts space the Wild Project, the weeklong festival features an array of short and full-length films, webisodes and music videos all focused on LGBTQ+ experiences.   More →

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Eileen Myles Made a Road-Trip Film Driven By Poetry, Politics, and Puppetry.

Eileen Myles in The Trip.

When I first read Eileen Myles’s 1994 classic Chelsea Girls, I was certain it was nonfiction. I think I may have told an inquiring stranger on the subway that it was a book of essays, which it isn’t (sorry, now-misinformed New Yorker). It’s fiction, a series of short coming-of-age stories about a queer poet named Eileen Myles, who is like the collection’s author in many ways but not in all. I was so certain it was memoir because the book feels so lived-in—it brings you to tactile places, conjures the mud underfoot at Woodstock and those recognizable, “gorgeous grey feeling(s)” of adolescent romance. But Myles has long called Chelsea Girls an “autobiographical novel,” a hybrid of sorts. It merges the unreal, the dreamed-up, with the hyper-real.   More →

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LES Health Clinic Displaced By Essex Crossing Demands First Aid

Food stands aren’t the only things being bulldozed for Essex Crossing, the ever-growing Lower East Side development of housing, vendors and aerial vegetables. Community Healthcare Network, a medical mainstay since 1971, will be demolished in 2021 to make way for Site 10 of Essex Crossing. Now, the nonprofit health-care provider is calling for the city to provide financial support for their expensive move.  More →

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There’s a Great Doc About ’80s Post-Punk Shows in the Desert, and Their Organizer Is Ready to Rock Again

Savage Republic at Mojave Exodus near Lucerne Valley, CA 1983 (Photo: Scot Allen)

The email from Rooftop Films came hours before last night’s screening of Desolation Center at Green-Wood Cemetery in Sunset Park: “No standing, sitting, or leaning on any gravestone (no matter how sturdy it looks).” Apparently Lee Ranaldo didn’t get the memo, because during a post-screening performance involving an electric guitar suspended from a crane, the Sonic Youth member hopped onto the edge of an obelisk and ran his instrument across the stone to produce a howl that sounded all the more unholy under the full moon. More →

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A Glimpse into Orthodox Crown Heights, Courtesy of a Hipster-Hasid Uniter

On a recent summer morning, Rabbi Yoni Katz stood a few steps away from the Kingston train station, in the heart of Crown Heights, as he has been doing every day for the past two years. He was waiting for his guests to show up so he could usher them into a local library and begin his $69-per-head tour of the Hasidic community. As I exited the station and made my way down Kingston Street, I recognized his red beard and laid-back posture from an online profile and cheerfully walked up to him. More →

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A Showdown Over a Controversial Gas Pipeline Has Taken a Bushwick Empanada Joint ‘Hostage’

Courtesy of Empanada City.

A disagreement over a proposed gas pipeline could keep Bushwick from some sweet and savory empanadas. Lefferts Gardens favorite Empanada City plans to open its second location at 321 Starr Street next month. However, the restaurant, along with any other businesses seeking gas service, is being denied gas from National Grid until the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) approves a National Grid-backed pipeline extension that would bring natural gas from New Jersey to New York City. The NYSDEC rejected the pipeline extension, citing water quality concerns, on May 15.  More →

New Film Shows Jay Maisel Leaving His Masterpiece, a 6-Story Bowery Bank

Jay Maisel is one of our greatest living photographers, known for his gorgeous, striking street photography and his eye for the art in the mundane. He is also, incidentally, New York’s most successful amateur real estate speculator. In 1966 he bought a six-story, 72-room bank building in the pre-gentrified Bowery. “The Bank” became his home, his studio, and a cabinet of curiosities housing his massive, ever-growing collection of found objects. More →