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Merchant’s House Desperately Needs You to Nominate Its Plaster For an Award

merchanthouse1The Merchant’s House Museum suffered a blow on Tuesday when the Landmarks Preservation Commission finally signed off on the design of a controversial nine-story building that’s due to be erected next to the 182-year-old house. Today the museum sends out an e-mail indicating that it’s still concerned that the new building’s construction could damage the meticulously preserved East Fourth Street residence, and its custodians will soon be taking steps “to secure the necessary legal and engineering protective measures.”
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Jad Abumrad of Radiolab Gets His Black Sabbath Fix at Splitty

(Photo: Nina Westervelt)

(Photo: Nina Westervelt)

Jad Abumrad is a genius. Really. In 2011, he received the ridiculously prestigious MacArthur Genius Award for creating “engaging audio explorations of scientific and philosophical questions” on his nationally syndicated WNYC show Radiolab, which he co-hosts with veteran broadcaster Robert Krulwich. When you listen to Jad talk on Radiolab or face-to-face at his favorite Brooklyn bar Splitty, it truly feels like you’re in the presence of a genius. He uses the word “quantum” way too casually and convincingly. And he drinks bourbon neat, which is definitely a genius-style drink.
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Watch Nirvana Reunite — With Kim Gordon, St. Vincent and Lorde As Kurt

It’s not every show that Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates and freaking Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are merely the warm-up acts, but then last night’s concert at Barclays Center wasn’t just any show: Nirvana was also being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and surviving members performed the band’s songs for the first time since the death of Kurt Cobain 20 years ago this month.
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Williamsburg Apartment Fire; Bushwick Hit-and-Run Driver Caught on Video

Andy Goldsworthy

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

More than 100 firefighters fought a blaze at a Williamsburg apartment building. Two police officers were hospitalized with smoke inhalation before being released. [The Brooklyn Paper]

Here’s video of the speeding hit-and-run driver who killed a Bushwick bicyclist Wednesday crashing into a parked car. [ABC 7 NY]

For $108, you can attend tonight’s “gong bath sleepover party” at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. [Racked NY] More →

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Near Joey Ramone Way, De Blasio Touts First 100 Days As ‘Rockaway Beach’ Plays

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Today while the rest of us were celebrating Stephen Colbert’s succession of David Letterman, Mayor Bill de Blasio was celebrating himself. Specifically, his first 100 days in office, which he marked in a speech at Cooper Union’s Great Hall.

Students of the college brought back the red “Free Education To All” banner that made several appearances during the doomed two-year battle to keep Cooper Union tuition-free. It didn’t last long.
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Three Bookselling Institutions Get Ready For Their Next Chapters

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

There’s real estate news from three of the city’s book-selling institutions.

The rumors about Shakespeare & Co.’s possible closure are getting harder to ignore. The space that houses the decades-old bookstore, at 716 Broadway, is available for lease, said Brendan Gotch, director of retail leasing for Massey Knakal, who is handling the listing.
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Surprise, Surprise: Half Off All Housewares at Two East Village Goners

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

If you’re looking for cheap housewares, today’s your day: everything is 50 percent off at Surprise! Surprise!, which will close at the end of this month after two decades in business. The store is looking pretty stripped-down (the basement has already closed) but there’s still tons of furniture, shower curtains, kitchen supplies, bamboo shades, lamps, you name it. A manager says the half-off discount is probably as low as they’ll go, and the rest will be donated to charity.
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Could This Rat-Riddled Lot Become Your New Picnic Spot?

(Photo and rendering courtesy of Gardeners of Hooper Street Park)

(Photo and rendering courtesy of Gardeners of Hooper Street Park)

Could your next kale salad come from what’s currently a trash-strewn, rat-infested lot in Williamsburg?

The Gardeners of Hooper Street Park believe so. The group of neighbors want to turn a .05-acre lot on the corner of Hooper Street and South Fifth Street into a small park, with some vegetable and flowerbeds. “We want it to be both a garden and gathering place in the community,” said Robert Atterbury, who started organizing residents last year.

The park will only be temporary; the city’s Housing and Preservation Department, which owns the lot, plans to use it for affordable housing, though it’s not clear when it will begin developing it. But Atterbury and others think it can still serve as the sort of open, public space that’s rare in this part of Bushwick.

Community Board 1 supported the park’s creation during its March meeting, and GreenThumb, the Parks Department’s community gardening program, is currently considering the group’s application.

In the meantime, Atterbury’s group is looking for more volunteers, planning the park’s design, and fundraising to purchases benches, tables, a tool shed and composting bins. They’re working with El Puente’s Green Light District and Nuestros Niños Child Development, a daycare near the site.

Two challenges the gardeners face is leveling the ground, which is not even with the street and could be a safety concern, and getting rid of a rat infestation.

“Everyone dumps their stuff in the lot,” says Tiffany Frances, another involved resident. “I’ve seen strollers in there. It’s ridiculous – the lot is fenced, so they would have to make an effort to throw their stuff away.”

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The ‘Ultimate Stoner Cupcake’ Is Coming to Bedford Avenue

An Everything Cupcake from Sweet Haus (Courtesy of the bakery)

An Everything Cupcake from sweethaus (Photos courtesy of the bakery)

Tara and Billy Koenig met while working as managers at Balthazar in 2006. Two years later, they moved to Charlottesville, VA, where they opened a bakery and candy shop in 2011. Now they’re back in NYC and living in South Williamsburg, where they plan to open a second location of sweethaus this September.
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