Introducing Book Hawks, in which we meet the sidewalk booksellers who brave the elements to bring you good reads.
Jen Fisher. (Photo: Naryan Sawyers)
Jen Fisher sells books, which she unpacks from the trunk of her car each day, on the corner of Avenue A and St. Marks Place. Our conversation was punctuated by her exchanges with friends and neighbors as they passed.
How’d you start selling books?
I started selling books five years ago, because I really love people and books and I want to share it with people. Books are very complicated, and they bring a lot of complication and beauty out of people.
New York City has an ecosystem all its own: The sub-species in North Brooklyn survive with vintage clothing that costs more than current clothing; people in the Bronx keep it chill in the park; financial district Manhattanites trample over their lower-income prey with no remorse; and Staten Islanders are basically nonexistent.
Instagrammers and arthounds rejoice! A Brooklyn coffee shop that focuses on single origin espresso and a nonprofit organization devoted to popularizing local photographers are teaming up to create a space filled with beans and beauty.
James Murphy, Laurie Anderson, and David Gahan were among the hundreds of party people who packed into last night’s opening of the Velvet Underground Experience, a pop-up exhibition in the Village celebrating the seminal NYC band and the cultural era it helped define. Also on hand were avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas, whose work is a prominent part of the show, and one of the band’s founding members, John Cale.
While splitting their days between both NYC and LA, indie pop rock duo The Lulls have come together to release their latest EP, Meridian, out October 9th. The band, comprised of California natives and longtime friends Rutger Rosenborg (singer and guitarist) and Ryan Miller (drummer), take listeners on a journey of shimmering guitar riffs, cruising beats, and introspective, poignant lyrics. Ahead of their EP release show at Berlin on October 13, Bedford + Bowery was able to talk to Miller and Rosenborg about the new project, what it’s like to be a bicoastal band and how isolation and traveling influenced the creation of Meridian.
“Alright everyone, happy Tuesday. Thank you for joining me in class today,” Frank King says, standing on a wooden box that doubles as a podium. He stands before a group of scantily clad, sweaty men and women, crammed together in a room about the size of a New York City studio apartment. He’s heated the space to over 100 degrees, and King himself is shirtless, wearing skin-tight cycling shorts and guiding his class through the two breathing exercises and 26 yoga poses that make up the “sacred geometry” of Bikram Yoga.
He’s one of the eight instructors at YO BK, a studio on Williamsburg’s Broadway that offers three types of hot exercise classes, including power yoga and hot pilates. Bikram yoga, though, is the most controversial.
It couldn’t have been easy being a barber on St. Marks Place during the hippie era but somehow one shop has survived. Now called the St. Marks Barber Shop, the haircutter has been around since the 1960s or ’70s, according to Albert, one of the shop’s barbers.
Recovering hippies may recall when this was the Royal Unisex Barber Shop, located across St. Marks from the Electric Circus. A ghost sign, with mind-blowing psychedelic lettering, was covered by a new sign for the shop in 2017 but was recently resurrected.
For more ghost signs of the East Village and Lower East Side, check out our series.
With the fifth anniversary of Lou Reed’s death coming up on Oct. 27, you may cringe at the idea of a Velvet Underground “experience” joining the ranks of the Color Factory, the Dream Machine, the Egg House, and all the other gimmicky pop-ups that have been drawing lines of Instagrammers all over the city. Isn’t this the stuff of Ariana Grande? What, is there going to be a ball pit full of plastic bananas? More →
Chi Dracula Orengo, vocalist for local punk band Anasazi, says they both empower society’s misfits and outcasts. He got involved in the scene visiting leather bars and drag shows as a teenager with a “lust for adventure” and he now organizes the annual Bodega Ball, which had its second installment, themed “Drag Me to Hell,” this past weekend.
Artist and director Cynthia von Buhler arrived at our appointment carrying a case containing her new pet rabbit Agatha. The cuddly, two-month-old rescue curled up in her lap and stayed put for the entire time we spoke.