David Mancuso, one of the most influential figures in New York City nightlife, has died less than a month after his 72nd birthday. The Loft, an underground club that Mancuso operated out of his home in Noho, then Soho, and finally in Alphabet City, was celebrated for its invite-only after-hours parties, fueled by a cutting-edge sound system and a spirit of racial, sexual, and social inclusiveness. The vibe influenced later clubs like the Garage and even Studio 54.
It was an oddly apropos time to be thinking about “high” art and “low” art, which is what artist Doug Young and I discussed at the Van Doren Waxter Gallery uptown just a few days before the all-consuming presidential election. I’d mentioned a New Yorker article that eschewed the line separating left and right in favor of a line dividing “up versus down”: a working class vs. a desk-ridden, urban class.
We were looking at Young’s pieces “Chains,” which are exactly that: carved wooden chains, created in what Young called a “kind of monotonous, boring, really unsatisfying use of my time. It was only satisfying at certain moments,” like when he stepped back to see the enormity of his progress.
We remember him well in the Chelsea Hotel, but Leonard Cohen’s New York City existence spanned beyond just the hotel where a makeshift memorial sprung up on Thursday after his death at the age of 82. Cohen came to New York City in 1966, just a year before the Summer of Love, and his breakthrough years there brought him into the orbit of Warhol and the Velvet Underground, the Beats, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix. He wrote songs for Nico and penned “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” after a night with Janis Joplin.
Madam Geneva was one of those places that routinely made lists of the best bars in the city and heck, even the country. But if you’re a mixologist, sometimes you just gotta shake things up, har har. That’s exactly what Eben Freeman, a true master of the cocktail craft, has done. Madam Geneva, the gin-loving cocktail den attached to sister spot Saxon + Parole, has ghosted and has been replaced with a new spot, Ghost Donkey.
Have you heard the one about the mom who decided to shake off her post-election blues by taking a walk through the woods in Chappaqua, only to bump into Bill and Hillary Clinton, walking their dog? The resulting photo has swept the internet, and offered some degree of solace to Clinton supporters. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders die-hards are probably thinking, “Boy, I wouldn’t mind running into Bernie somewhere. I bet that guy could use a hug, too.” Don’t worry, Berners– you needn’t go trekking through the woods of Vermont to make it happen. (“Oh, hi, Bernie! I was just here for some maple syrup.”) This Monday, the candidate will be at the Barnes & Noble at 555 Fifth Avenue, in Midtown, posing with fans who’ve bought a copy of his new book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.
If you thought Donald Trump would only win if hell froze over, you’re probably putting on a North Face jacket right about now and thinking, “So much for eating outdoors ever again!” Okay, that was an awkward segway from election talk, but come on, we gotta focus on the positive. And here’s a welcome development: the folks who operated summertime barbecue spot Pig Beach in Gowanus are soldiering on through the winter with a new pop-up, Pig Beach Burger. They’ve moved into a 1,900-square-foot indoor space adjacent their sprawling patio and are now turning out some enticing sandwiches in addition to the cheeseburgers they were serving during finer weather.
Last night starting at 6 pm, thousands gathered in Union Square Park and marched over 40 blocks through the traffic-filled streets to Trump Tower and then to Columbus Circle to express their displeasure with Donald Trump being pronounced America’s next president.
One of the main organizers of the event was Socialist Alternative, a national activist organization wishing to rally against bipartisanism and global capitalism to “build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people.”
All it took was Madonna playing a surprise pro-Hillary concert in Washington Square Park last night, and New York voters are out in droves this morning. And you should be, too! All it takes is 15 minutes to vote! LOL JK. That may have been true for some lucky folks today. But at Theater for the New City in the East Village, where there were waits of about an hour and a half in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the lines were no better this morning: We counted some 150 people out the door around 10am, and one person reported a two-hour wait there (Update: As of shortly after noon, the line of voters in the 23/74 district, where that two-hour wait was reported, had dwindled to 35.)
By now you may have heard that, hot on the heels of opening Westlight on the roof of Williamsburg’s shiny new William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini has opened his bottom-floor restaurant, Leuca. Grub Street noted that the Italian spot is serving “New York’s most elegant sundae,” which will surprise no one who’s had the decadent, over-the-top La Fantasia di Doppio Cioccolato at one of the chef’s other spots, Locanda Verde.
In 2002, “Lurker” Lou Sarowsky moved to New York City with his longtime friend and fellow Cape Cod native Zered Bassett, into a now infamous, windowless apartment in Lower Manhattan. Sarowsky dubbed it the “Vicious Cycle” house, and his crew kept up a rigorous schedule of skateboarding all day and filming for Bassett’s indie-skate video of the same name, followed by nights of smoking, drinking, and playing pool.