If the streets of the East Village seemed eerily deserted last night, it’s because everyone was packed into Professor Thom’s to watch the season premiere of (cue Santigold riff) GIRLS. And over in Greenpoint — at Alex “Ray” Karpovsky’s favorite bar, Greenpoint Heights — the audience was equally rapt. That’s where we chatted up 15 of Hannah Horvath’s neighbors to find out what they thought of the first episodes, and what they’re looking forward to this season. More →
De Blasio says finding Menachem Stark’s killer is a high priority. [DNA Info]
The House of Yes has found a new space in Bushwick. It’ll have a larger stage and seating area, a smokehouse restaurant, a bar, and an outdoor lounge. [Brooklyn Paper]
Mellow Pages explains why they fibbed about turning down a $50,000 loan from Exxon: “We did it for the survival of the library. But we’re OK with the reality of the situation, that people will hate us now.” [Brokelyn]
Amiri Baraka reads the words to songs by Curtis Mayfield as William Parker and Leena Conquest perform Parker’s “Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield” on the final evening of Vision Festival at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in 2008. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)
In the 1950s, before LeRoi Jones would change his name to Amiri Baraka, the poet soaked up the sounds of jazz in bars throughout the East Village. Clubs like the Five Spot Café, where Jones was a regular patron, featured jazz legends like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Their performances helped inspire Jones to write Blues People, the 1963 groundbreaking study of African-American music.
Last month I had the glorious opportunity to see Atlanta-based band Mood Rings open for Cults but I didn’t because I was too busy getting drunk or straightening my hair (or getting drunk while straightening my hair). At any rate, this is now a deeply felt regret as yesterday evening they opened for Connan Mockasin at Mercury Lounge and they were just swell — despite being down their synth player, who could not make the 14-hour drive for personal reasons. Luckily, his absence was well compensated for with generously used effects and a setlist consisting largely of songs they had written back when they were a four-piece. More →
To the surprise of no one, NYU has announced that it will appeal a State Supreme Court judge’s ruling that it must get the state’s blessing to build on parts of two superblocks in Greenwich Village. More →
A New York State Supreme Court judge has ruled that the venerable Yippie Museum be cleared for new tenants and has handed yippie leader Dana Beal a hell of a birthday gift, forbidding him from setting foot inside of his home of 40 years.
Since 2009, the owners of 9 Bleecker Street, Yippie Holdings LLC and the National Aids Brigade, have been fighting foreclosure for alleged non-payment on the mortgage. Yesterday, as Beal turned 67, Justice Jeffrey K. Oing ordered all of the building’s occupants to take their stuff and leave by Jan. 17 — unless, that is, the owners can come up with unpaid back rent amounting to tens of thousands of dollars, according to attorneys familiar with the proceedings. More →
Sasheer Zamata learned she was SNL’s newest cast member just minutes before you probably did. “It was pretty wild because that day they called her [at] Monday at like 3 p.m. and it was on the Internet at 3:30,” said Josh Sharp, her friend and one of her frequent comedy collaborators. That night, 20 or 30 improvisers and writers from the Upright Citizens Brigade feted the 27-year-old with champagne and cocktails at The Drink, near her home neighborhood of East Williamsburg. Bedford + Bowery spoke with six of her peers to ask what Sasheer was like before she got the call from Lorne Michaels. More →
The day of his play ‘The Toilet’ debuted at the St. Marks Playhouse (Second Ave & 8th Street), December 13, 1964. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)
Amiri Baraka may have been a “son of Newark,” but in between his birth there in 1934 and his death there yesterday following post-surgery complications, he was once described as a “king of the Lower East Side.” It’s where Baraka began a career as a music writer; broke out as an acclaimed, controversial playwright; and came into his own as a tenacious advocate of African-American equality.
In 1957, Baraka was going by his birth name when he moved into a $28-a-month, three-room cold-water walk-up on East Third Street, off of First Avenue. “This was before the Lower East Side became fashionable,” he wrote in The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones. “It was then just outside of the Village, the romantic center.” More →
Beards have gone mainstream, argues Alex Williams. That’s right: the “L-train look” is now appearing on “corner-office types.” [NY Times]
Speaking of the L train, at a meeting with the MTA, Stuy Town residents complained about overcrowding at the First Avenue station. [Town & Village]
The $92 million redevelopment of Pier 42 got a Community Board 3 subcommittee’s approval. Check out renderings that show the Lower East Side waterfront getting a bike path, lawns, a playground, waterfront marshes, an educational estuarine park, and more. [Curbed]