Children’s books have a way of teaching lessons without coming across as preachy or insistent. They teach you to eat your vegetables and take care of others with playful language and bright illustrations. And, for some reason, they tend to stick with us. Those first stories stay in the back of our heads well into adulthood, reminding us to be kind to animals, try new things, and maybe give lima beans a chance.
The Society of Illustrators expects to draw crowds to Hudson Yards this weekend for the annual MoCCA Arts Festival. Hundreds of New York- and Brooklyn-based cartoonists, publishers, and other artists will turn out for Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon, and animation festival. This year’s installment pushes beyond the boroughs of New York, though, with a special emphasis on breaking down borders.
In rock and roll, there are legendary feuds. Mike Love vs. Brian Wilson, Axl vs. Slash, and one of the most savage: John Lydon, frontman of the Sex Pistols, vs. Glen Matlock, the bassist credited with co-wroting nearly all of the songs on Never Mind the Bullocks... As luck would have it, both of the founding Pistols are making rare New York City appearances.
Aside from being April Fool’s, today was also the first day of National Poetry Month. If you forgot, that’s all right. There are plenty of poetry events happening around town this month to make up for it. Here’s where we’ll be heading to listen to beloved and undiscovered poems alike.
Você April 1, Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, East Village The Bowery Poetry Club is kicking off National Poetry Month in collaboration with the poetry agency Ars Poetica. Tonight, the club hosts a NYC/Amazon break-up themed dialogue and poetry reading called “Você.” Come to debate corporate tax incentives, stay for the music, comedy, and verse. Comedy Central’s Yedoye Travis, Brown Girls singer-songwriter Ashni, New School economist Richard McGahey, Make the Road NYC’s Deborah Axt/Angeles Solis, and poet ELÆ (aka Lynne DeSilva-Johnson) will get down for some “real talk,” as the Você slogan goes.
The Ridgewood-Bushwick cafe scene saw some dramatic changes this weekend with the closing of the TransAm Cafe on Wyckoff Avenue. (Never fear, the Trans-Pecos performance space is still alive and well.)
In an Instagram post on Friday, Trans-Pecos announced, “We’re sad to share that after nearly 5 years serving Ridgewood & Bushwick as our cohabitating sister biz, Trans Am cafe has closed.”
From Finding Neverland to Surviving R. Kelly, there’s been a recent spate of unflinching documentaries about sexual assault. The latest, Roll Red Roll, might be the most infuriating and difficult to digest, because it documents almost in real-time the horrific gang rape committed by high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio in August of 2012. After watching it, you’ll need to talk about it with someone, and who better than filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman, who will appear at three post-screening discussions at Film Forum this weekend.
In a small East Village apartment, a girl who goes by Von has combined her bedroom and her music in more ways than one. Physically, a keyboard, mic and laptop are a few strides from her bed. Creatively, Von makes music with the wave forms of her own orgasm taken from a smart vibrator. At 21, the NYU student makes what she calls “sex-positive synth pop” using pulsating beats, piercing percussion and lyrics of sexual empowerment. This past Valentine’s Day, Von released a music video and a sex-ed PSA campaign on her digital platform, Vondom Labs, and she plans to release a new song and video in early April. Here, Von—who doesn’t put her real name in press because she doesn’t want her dad’s corporate coworkers to make any assumptions—talks about her music, Vondom Labs and the importance of destigmatizing sex talk.
Williamsburg is constantly changing, as evidenced by the recent closings of The Abbey and Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern. But some can remember a time before there was a Chase and a Sephora on Bedford Avenue. They even have photographs from back then.
New York’s record store landscape is ever in flux, with the most recent example being the closing of Good Records in the East Village and the opening of a San Francisco import, Stranded Records, in its place. The latest development in Brooklyn: A new endeavor from the owners of Greenpoint record shop Co-Op 87 and neighboring indie label Mexican Summer.
If you celebrated Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, it seems only appropriate to wrap up the season by attending the 21st annual African American Women in Cinema Film Festival this weekend.