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Weird New Yorkers, Deathly Drawings, and More Art This Week

(image via shelter_gallery / Instagram)

Impractical Frontiers
Opening Tuesday, November 19 at Shelter Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 5.

Despite the magazine’s general air of sophistication, cover art for The New Yorker can run the gamut—recall that one time they put DIY space Palisades (RIP) on the cover. However, they probably wouldn’t sell an issue plastered with the image of someone defecating on the street, or a naked George Washington, looking back at you cheekily. Those images (and more) you can find at artist Timothy Wehrle’s solo show at Shelter Gallery (which occupies the same space on East Broadway as the galleries Shrine and Sargent’s Daughters). The artist’s unique drawings, made from colored pencil and graphite, depict serenely strange scenes from the midwest to the city rendered in soft, surreal detail. 

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Performance Picks: Blacklight Burlesque, Queer Cowboys, Space-Age Late Night

FRIDAY

(image via Plan B / Facebook)

Plan B: Glovember
Friday, November 15 at Bodeguita, 9 pm: $5

There’s no denying it anymore: it’s dark and cold out. Unfortunately for many of us, that means seasonal depression, bemoaning daylight savings, and investing in one of those SAD lamps that may or may not actually work. One way to get a little more light in your life is by attending the latest edition of the Plan B variety show, which presents drag and burlesque in the back of Bodeguita, a cozy Cuban bar and restaurant off Myrtle-Broadway in Bushwick. This time, the show is blacklight-themed, which the performers will be embracing heartily, surely in the form of neon body paint, glowing outfits (that won’t be on for long) and other surprises.

SATURDAY

(photo: Danny Bristoll)

Virgo Star
Now through December 1 at La MaMa, various times: $25 ($20 for students and seniors)

Astrology has exploded in popularity lately, from apps that send you negs from the stars to people’s signs being referenced in movies and TV. Though Virgo Star, the latest performance offering from the Pioneers Go East Collective, seems like the latest edition to that starry trend, but it’s actually an exploration of cowboy culture—another buzzy topic nowadays. Using dance, theater, projections, and more, the show deconstructs the Wild West and classic western movies to find what those stories might look like when told from a queer perspective.

SUNDAY

(image courtesy of The Violet Hour)

The Violet Hour
Sunday, November 17 at Caveat, 7 pm: $10 advance, $12 doors

Late night talk shows are one of our culture’s oldest forms of entertainment. Typically, there’s a white guy in a suit, he does a monologue, he interviews a guest who is there to promote something, a musician plays, etc. Sure, this formula has some slight deviations now, but it mostly remains the same. One attempt to do something new instead is The Violet Hour, a live late night talk show at Lower East Side space Caveat that’s literally out of this world. Hosted by a Victorian spiritualist time traveler who live in a spacecraft, the show focuses on our planet and the climate-related issues plaguing it, as well as how to enjoy our time here while we still can. This Thanksgiving-themed show’s special guests include Broadway performer Alex Brightman, conservationist Brett Jenks, and musician Eileen.

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You Can Now Buy Artisan Axes in Williamsburg, But What Can You Do With One in NYC?

On any given day in gentrified Williamsburg you can grab a trendy breakfast, stop by Supreme for your streetwear needs and even get your waste-free shopping done. And now, for the outdoorsy types who’ve been champing at the bit, Williamsburg finally has an axe shop. 

Best Made Co, a luxury adventure brand currently celebrating its tenth year in business, recently opened its latest outpost in Williamsburg. The Grand Street shop is stocked with artisanal outdoor products like a $1,795 shearling coat approved by legendary Argentine chef Francis Mallmann (who will be having a cookout in McCarren Park on Sunday, Nov. 17, in honor of their collaboration).  And then there’s the Best Made Axe, an object of such simplicity, beauty and utility that it has struck a nerve with celebrities and the art world alike. David Lynch owns one and they’ve even been displayed in the Saatchi Gallery in London. The design-focused tool goes for around $350 and testing them in person is a big draw to Best Made’s shops. But if you decide to buy one, what exactly can you do with it in New York City? 

In case you’re on the fence about purchasing one of the famed fellers, we’ve compiled some of the big no-nos when it comes to being an urban lumberjack. 

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In an Immersive Play, Scrolling Through Grief at the Coffee Shop

(Photo via Dante or Die Theatre on Facebook)

To actor Terry O’Donovan, a coffee shop isn’t just a less-expensive WeWork or a Tinder date option. A coffee shop is one of the many places we humans “go to be alone together.” And in his site-specific play User Not Found, a coffee shop becomes a place where you might suddenly learn that your ex-partner has died, that before he died he made you his digital executor, and now you have to decide whether to delete or preserve all his social media accounts. More →

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Food Truck Sweet Chili Finds a Home in Bushwick

Vietnamese caramel pork belly (image courtesy of Sweet Chili)

Longtime cooking competition enthusiasts may recognize chef Lisa Fernandes from her time appearing on the Bravo show Top Chef, where she finished as a finalist in 2008. Those more drawn to mobile cuisine may also know her from her food truck Sweet Chili, which served up southeast Asian food all over the city for five years. Now, Fernandes has retired from truck life and brought Sweet Chili to Bushwick, where it will be opening as a brick-and-mortar restaurant this Friday.

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Expats in the City: Why a Web Series About Migrant Comedians Really Hits Home

(Left to right) Franca Paschen, Giuditta Lattanzi, co-creators of “Critically Ashamed.

“How are you going to stay here?”

“Maybe I’ll marry you…” 

That line from Critically Ashamed’s season 2 premiere episode got a laugh from the audience, but it hit me a little closer to home. It’s the exact half-serious joke I’ve been making for two years. 

Critically Ashamed follows an immigrant comedian, Delia, as she tries to navigate the New York City comedy scene, making jokes and taking side jobs to try to make ends meet. The German expat’s stand-up routine relies, to some extent, on the differences between her culture and the American life into which she tries to assimilate. More →

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The New Get Up Kids Video Starring Lou Barlow Is Sebadoh Bad It’s Good

In what might just be the most delightful intra-indie homage since Sleater-Kinney sang “I wanna be your Thurston Moore,” the new single from The Get Up Kids, titled “Lou Barlow,” starts out: “I saw Lou Barlow on the street / I don’t think he noticed me.” Now, in a real stroke of genius, the Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh singer-guitarist stars in the song’s music video, out today. More →

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Can Pretty Ricky’s Work With the City’s New Plan to Make Nightlife Less Ugly?

(Photo: Casey Kelbaugh)

The Lower East Side is notorious for its bars, noise and rising crime rates, and the 24-block section known as Hell Square has one of the highest densities of liquor licenses in New York City. Neighborhood activists have been pushing back against the rise of nightlife for years, and adding another watering hole hasn’t been at the top of their to-do list. But a new beer-centric bar, Pretty Ricky’s, has entered the fray right as the City enacts a new plan to improve the quality of life in the area, and it promises to be an interesting indicator of whether nightlife and neighbors can coexist.  More →

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Art This Week: Anxiety-Inspired Mosaics, Nostalgic Beading, and More

Rashid Johnson
The Broken Five, 2019
Ceramic tile, mirror tile, spray enamel, bronze, oil stick, black soap, wax
246.4 x 398.1 x 7.6 cm / 97 x 156 3/4 x 3 in
left: H.98 W.74 D.3 in
right: H.98 W.86 D.3 in
Photo: Martin Parsekian
© Rashid Johnson
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

The Hikers
Opening Tuesday, November 12 at Hauser & Wirth 22nd Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 25.

Mosaics have an interesting place in the realm of fine art. Similar to collage, they simultaneously occupy spots in both high and low art, and can occasionally be seen as part of home decor. As it turns out, Rashid Johnson works in both mosaic and collage, as well as sculpture, film, and other multimedia endeavors. His latest exhibition, The Hikers, is inspired by a film he shot in the Colorado mountains and uses all these artistic disciplines to explore the ever-growing anxiety that stems from the mere act of being alive in today’s tumultuous times, both in America and beyond. In addition to The Hikers, the gallery will also be opening a show of eclectic, colorful paintings by Mike Kelley.

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Best of Other Art Fair, Where Attendees Got Nude and Tattooed

Handpoked Tattoos by Bluestone Babe.

The Other Art Fair returned to Greenpoint this past weekend to show works from over 130 emerging masterpiece-makers. The fair wants to draw in a new generation of art-buyers by exhibiting a wide variety of works (those bland still-life paintings just aren’t doing it for people anymore). The fair served as an active, immersive experience—some creators drew or painted or even tattooed during the open hours. Over the course of the weekend, Bedford + Bowery found seven of the most out-of-the-box and interactive collections at The Other Art Fair. More →