Three years ago, when Dunkin Donuts opened on Cooper Square, we wondered how long its neighbor, Cafe Zaiya, could last. “Dunkin’ Has Done Its Plunkin’ and Our Spirits Are Sunken” was the oh-so-clever headline. Well, now our spirits are truly squashed, because Cafe Zaiya, that haven of cheap eats, is gone. The Japanese bakery and cafe was closed by the health department at the end of last month after racking up 73 violation points, and an employee at Zaiya’s midtown location tells us the East Village outpost is closed for good.
While binging on the new season of I’m Dying up Here, catching up on The Deuce, or even streaming A Futile and Stupid Gesture, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the ‘70s were awesome and now, “everything is the worst” (©Liz Lemon). In the ‘70s, a zine could matter, people read comics that weren’t also billion-dollar movies, and it was still kind of rebel to listen to The Ramones. And smoke weed. John Holmstrom, founder of legendary Punk magazine, is bringing all of that back—ok, maybe not The Ramones—by dropping a new zine.
Downtown guitarist and composer Glenn Branca died last night at the age of 69. The longtime West Villager died in his sleep of throat cancer, his wife and collaborator Reg Bloor announced in a Facebook post.
“His musical output was a fraction of the ideas he had in a given day,” Bloor wrote. “His influence on the music world is incalculable.”
Opening Tuesday, May 15 at Gagosian, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.
When you look into the body of work that Swiss artist Urs Fischer is created, you’ll quickly see a common theme is how the human form can be manipulated and distorted, whether that’s crafting grotesque collages of faces that once looked typical or sculpting a huge bust of Katy Perry and inviting onlookers to alter it with clay. He’s also interested in how everyday objects (a block of cheese, a gallery floor) can be broken open or picked apart until something new and surprising is created. Average objects will once again be on display in his latest show at Midtown’s Gagosian, aptly titled Things. The central “thing” of the show is a life-size rhinoceros sculpture with household items like vacuum cleaners and copiers clinging to it as if it was some sort of huge magnet for domestic chores or office tasks. And isn’t everyone, unfortunately, at some point in their lives? More →
Jim Jarmusch, Rosie Perez, and Other Downtown Legends Basked in Basquiat at the Opening of ‘Zeitgeist’
By all appearances, downtown filmmaker Sara Driver had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night, Boom For Real, Driver’s evocative, propulsive, and genuinely moving documentary of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s late teenage years (and the late 1970s Lower East Side art scene that nurtured his extraordinary talent), had its world premiere at the IFC, following a rave review in the Times. It’s a terrific movie, functioning equally well as a we-were-there record of how Basquiat went from homeless kid spraying Samo© to instant sensation at PS1’s New York/New Wave in 1981, his first-ever public show; and as a loving portrait of a neighborhood abandoned by the rest of the city, and all craziness and creativity that ensued.
Then on Sunday evening Driver and a coterie that included the likes of her partner Jim Jarmusch, Lee Quinones, Rosie Perez, Katie Taylor Legnini, Jimmy Webb, Henry Chalfant, Jeffrey Deitch, Luc Sante, and Alexis Adler crammed into the opening of a big group exhibition at the Howl! Happening space. A line to get in formed early and extended all the way over to Bowery for much of the night.
West Village residents voiced their concerns last night about the city’s plans to deal with the effects of the L train shutdown, but MTA and DOT officials held firm in their belief that the current plan to mitigate the upcoming L-pocalypse will cause the least amount of pain for all involved.
This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors
It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. More →
This is going to blow the minds of East Villagers who complain about banks taking over every corner: An art bookstore is moving into the former home of a Chase bank. And not just any art bookstore: Chelsea tastemaker Printed Matter will open its second shop at 38 St. Marks Place this summer. For the many who are still mourning the loss of the St. Mark’s Bookshop, this is very good news indeed.
A controversial “tech hub” bound for the East Village has won the Borough President’s stamp of approval– but only if certain conditions are met.
“New Yorkers don’t wait on line for anything, except for David Bowie,” said a woman waiting in line this afternoon for the MTA’s new David Bowie MetroCards.
Available at the booths and most kiosks at both Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker Street stations, the 250,000 cards feature five images of Bowie from across his entire career, and are in general pretty groovy.