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Haring on the Side of Caution: Downtown Artists and Dealers (and Their Bartenders) Persevere

Art dealer Irv Ortega (right) outside the shuttered C.J. Yao Gallery in Soho while he finalized the sale of an original Keith Haring piece.

Downtown Manhattan’s galleries and bars have started to hum again after almost two months of silence brought on by coronavirus. With most artists working from home while their dealers operate on the internet and the bars that serve them surviving on to-go drinks, the scene is figuring out its new normal along with the rest of the city. Last week I caught up with some of the people still working behind it. More →

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With New Yorkers Staying Put, Moving Companies Go the Extra Mile

(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

As New York’s quarantine began in March, Piece of Cake Moving & Storage saw a spike in the number of customers requesting their services. “A lot of people were scared that the city would shut down,” recalled Voyo Popovic, the moving company’s general manager. Many clients pushed up their moving date from April to March, but the higher volume didn’t carry over into the next month. Piece of Cake completed just 758 moves in April, compared to 924 in March. To keep his business running, the company has lowered its rates, not just to be competitive in the market but also to make sure its employees keep their jobs. More →

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Virtual Performance Picks: New Music and Create-Your-Own Cult

THURSDAY

Max Vernon (image courtesy of Everyman Agency)

New Songs Now In Your Living Room
Thursday, May 7 at Rattlestick on YouTube, 8 pm: FREE

These days, everything happens in your living room. Or your kitchen, or your bedroom, or maybe your balcony, if you’re lucky enough to have something like that. On Thursdays, you can welcome the dulcet tones of new music to your living room, thanks to Rattlestick’s new virtual series. They’re spotlighting local songwriters and theater composers, who will be performing new material and discussing their artistic processes, so you can see the sausage and how it’s made. Yes, that’s an unsettling metaphor, but so be it. This week, composers Max Vernon and Rona Siddiqui get their turn in the virtual spotlight. 

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Welcome to the Age of the Online Street Fair

With warm weather rescuing the city from the claws of winter, you might be tempted to stroll through a weekend street market. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hester Street Fair won’t be filling Seward Park with food vendors, jewelers, artisans, designers, and indie entrepreneurs as usual. Instead, the beloved weekend fair is going virtual, and pitching its tents on the internet. More →

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Restaurants Have Pivoted to Feeding the Frontlines: Is It Delivering?

Harlem Hospital workers get a delivery from Eat Gai Zen. (Photos courtesy of Feed Your Hospital)

When New York’s restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms on March 16, many decided to keep their lights on by switching to a charity model. Over the last six weeks, dozens of restaurants have launched fundraising campaigns with the mission of feeding frontline workers while keeping their employees on payroll. The headlines are heartwarming, but how are these endeavors actually working out? More →

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Improvised Tarot, A Theatrical Saga on Zoom, and More Virtual Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

The cast of the 2013 production of Regular Singing, written and directed by Richard Nelson, the final play of The Apple Family Plays at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

What Do We Need To Talk About?
Wednesday, April 29 at The Public Theater on YouTube, 7:30 pm: FREE

We’re used to movies having sequels for years on end, but when it comes to live performance, this practice is much rarer. It’s far from nonexistent, though—just ask Richard Nelson. The playwright’s epic Apple Family saga (formally known as the Rhinebeck Panorama) has stretched for a literal decade, and has always been performed at The Public Theater. Obviously things are different now, but the story continues nonetheless. Nelson wrote this latest play very recently while quarantined in Rhinebeck, and of course, it takes place over Zoom instead of over the dinner table. And if you’re new to this tale, Nelson’s previous Rhinebeck plays are available to stream for free, so you can get all caught up.

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