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Performance Picks: Clowns, Immersive Aliens, and Comedy Comebacks

THURSDAY

(image via Becca Bernard / Facebook)

Clown Cabaret
Thursday, September 20 at The Brick, 7 pm: $20

Ah, clowns. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood performance mediums, they’re most commonly thought of as just a strange part of circuses (or horror films), wearing red noses, white face paint, and large shoes. I just had a strange recollection of a time my mom volunteered to be a clown at my preschool or something, and she did in fact have to wear large floppy shoes. But it’s not always this way! Come see the many ways clowns can exist at an all-clown cabaret at The Brick in Williamsburg on Thursday night, presented as part of The Clown Theater Festival. There will be music, comedy, and other varieties of clownlike performance. Will everyone be wearing a red nose or will someone be subversive and spring for a different color? Only one way to find out. More →

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BK Wildlife Summer Festival Is the Labor Day Bash You Won’t Want To Miss

(Image posted by Brooklyn Wildlife on Facebook)

The Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival returns this Friday for a triumphant sixth year. The festival, which according to Brooklyn Wildlife founder Christopher Carr, is the “largest independent art and music festival in Brooklyn” with no corporate sponsors, features a lineup of more than 150 performers over the course of 10 days. It touts not only summer music jam sessions, but also “fine art shows, multi media presentations and tech meet ups” per their Eventbrite page.

In lieu of receiving corporate, non-profit or government funding, Carr, a full-time photographer who runs the Gamba Forest art studio with his partner (which is also hosting the festival’s Saturday lineup), funds the entire festival out of pocket–with the exception of a $10 application fee that he charges first-time performers seeking to play in the festival. The out-of-the-box music fest seeks to be the “new CMJ, the new WMC, the new SXSW” according to their Facebook event page. But doesn’t that sort of big tent, mainstream vibe run counter to the festival’s purpose as a gathering of indie artists? According to Carr, whom Bedford + Bowery spoke with by phone, not necessarily. In the early days of SXSW, Carr recalls smaller or mid-sized venues that brought people together in appreciation of solid indie music. He approaches his music festival in a similar way.

Photo from last year’s festival at Gamba Forest Gallery in Greenpoint (Photo: Nick McManus)

“I’m going for that middle ground where it’s large enough that it’s worth the time of the venues and individuals that put in the effort, but not so large that it cannibalizes itself,” says Carr. “I also enjoy Afropunk…but there’s an irony about a festival [that] punk kids can’t afford. We want to find that nice little area where we get some coverage, but we don’t need to cater to the media.” Carr also notes that this year’s festival stands out from previous years in two ways: “magnitude” and “decentralized performances” AKA events hosted in private residences with the help of the website artery.is. With so many events and performers, it can be hard to know where to start, but Carr suggests paying particular attention to metal band No Clouds, esoteric rapper Akai Solo (performing on the festival’s opening night at Trans-Pecos), and reggae/hip-hop artist D-Andra.

You can scope out the links to the performers’ music on the festival’s website and find more information about the various events on Facebook.  Tickets ($50) are available here. The 10-day summer fest runs from Friday, August, 31 through Sunday, September 9.

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Black Art Matters and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective)

August Summer Residency Showcase
Opening Wednesday, August 29 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 31.

It’s the end of the summer, which means people are scrambling to get the last of their leisure time in before it feels less justifiable to do so. This often means less events and other artistic goings-on. After all, it’s hard to have an art show when you don’t want to leave the beach. But the restless vigor of Con Artist Collective continues—on any given day (including in the midst of the end-of-summer lull) you can probably find them up to something, whether that be the party-filled unveiling of a new art exhibition or something else entirely. Starting Wednesday night, the Lower East Side art space’s summer studio residents will be showing their latest creations. More →

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Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop Is Finally Opening in Greenpoint

@pauliegee123 on Instagram.

It’s been over two years since wildly popular Greenpoint pizzaiolo Paulie Giannone– better known as Paulie Gee— announced that he was planning to open a slice joint. After some fussjng from neighbors and the usual delays, there was no sign of its opening– except, of course, for the barrage of taunting Instagram shots showing some delicious-looking experiments with vegan thin-crust slices, baguette sandwiches, pan pizza squares, “OG” grandma slices, Sicilian slices, and, of course, the classic “NYC-style” slice. Now, the time has finally come. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop has announced a grand opening of Aug. 29.
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Performance Picks: Wallace Shawn, Heavy Metal Comedy, and More

THURSDAY

(image via The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret / Facebook)

The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret
Thursday, July 19 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation

Even though your parents probably told you otherwise, it can be fun to sin. Someone who knows that well is Vic Sin, a dance, drag, and burlesque performer who produces The Sinner’s Kit Kat Cabaret every month at Bizarre, which is hosted by drag performer (and leader of the inimitable queer drag and burlesque collective Beefsquad) Lee VaLone. It also happens to be Lee’s birthday, so you know the show will be extra special. Helping celebrate (and sin) will be the stacked lineup of C’Etait BonTemps, Angelica Sundae, Devo Monique, Dynasty, Laé D. Boi, Mini Horrorwitz, Nyx Nocturne, and Theydy Bedbug. More →

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Starbucks Faces Off Against Five Leaves in Greenpoint

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

It’s a story as old as time– or as old as worries over hyper-gentrification, anyway: a Starbucks moves in across the street from a mom-and-pop coffee shop in an attempt to be the big-market bully and residents worry about the fate of the local spot. As another Starbucks opened in Brooklyn, this time on Bedford Avenue directly across the street from the nearly 10-year-old cafe and restaurant Five Leaves, your first instinct might have been to worry for the future of the beloved neighborhood fixture. But in a visit to both places last week, customers in Starbucks and Five Leaves seemed to shrug off any imminent apocalypse, making the case that both coffee spots could exist across the street from each other.

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Will Your Lamb Gyro Survive NYC’s New Styrofoam Ban?

The city’s sytrofoam ban could affect food truck vendors like this one. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Along with pillowy heaps of steaming rice, hot sauce and shredded meat, Styrofoam containers are practically ubiquitous among the city’s halal food carts. The foam trays contribute to the food trucks’ tantalizingly cheap offerings. But your favorite corner gyro or chicken biryani could soon leave you scrambling for extra change.

Last week, New York State Supreme Court judge Margaret A. Chan allowed a ban on single-use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam products and loose fill packaging (aka Styrofoam cups, containers and packing peanuts) to move forward. The ruling effectively ended a three-year legal battle between the city’s Department of Sanitation and the Restaurant Action Alliance, which opposed the new law.

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Mysterious Masks, Creepy Collages, Cryptocurrency and More at Greenpoint Open Studios

Guests create collages at Amy Williams Studio (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda).

Out of more than 400 participating artists in the annual Greenpoint Open Studios this past weekend, Bedford + Bowery interviewed five zany (and impressive) artists you should definitely keep an eye on.

Check out our five artist Q+As below: More →

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Oxomoco Is Greenpoint’s Fiery New Mexican Spot

(Image courtesy of Oxomoco)

Combine a classic wood-fired kitchen and hearty Mexican fare, and what do you get? The new foodie’s haven in Greenpoint: Oxomoco.

Mexican restaurant Oxomoco—whose name refers to the Aztec goddess of the night—opens June 5 at 128 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. It operates under the ownership of Chef Justin Bazdarich—known for popular LES/Clinton Hill pizzeria Speedy Romeo—and his childhood friend Chris Walton, who runs a successful restaurant franchise in Arizona.

Bedford + Bowery spoke to Bazdarich by email about the inspiration behind his and Walton’s new enterprise, which was borne of countless trips to Mexico that forged a shared love for its culture and cuisine. More →