“As the hour grew late and working people around Tompkins Square Park began turning out the lights on Memorial Day 1967, police asked several hundred music lovers to turn down the volume of a guitar-and-bongo concert in the park,” reported the New York Daily News. “The crowd’s reply … was a barrage of bottles, bricks and fists that left seven officers injured.
It’d be impossible for Bradley Spinelli to top the suicide-themed set that Questlove did for his debut novel, Killing Williamsburg, but the B+B contributor’s latest book launch should come close. Thursday’s party for The Painted Gun, a noir mystery published by Brooklyn’s own Akashic Books, will feature a raft of burlesque stars as well as tacos from ever-expanding Dos Toros.
It makes sense that the West Coast-inspired burrito joint is on food duty: The Painted Gun is set in the Williamsburg-based author’s former hometown of San Francisco, in the late ’90s– you know, when Yahoo! stock was booming. Its hard-bitten, hard-drinking hero is David “Itchy” Crane, a journalist-turned-PI on the hunt for the mysterious Ashley, a missing artist who has a creepy talent for painting scenes straight out of Crane’s sad-sack life. (If you want to make like Itchy during the party, suck down a half dozen Jamesons.) Don’t take it from me, since I’m his editor– Publishers Weekly says Spinelli is “definitely a talent to watch,” and his latest “deftly segues from one genre to another—from hard-boiled noir to paranoid thriller, puzzle mystery (with each and every riddle logically explained), spy caper, and ultimately to something evocative of Bogart and Bacall.”
While New Yorkers can be blind to events in other cities, there are many reasons to sympathize with San Franciscans in Joshua Mohr’s new novel All This Life. Specifically, gentrification (the Mission is finally going the way of Williamsburg, in case you didn’t notice), addiction to tech, and a yearning for societal interaction that social media merely imitates.
With 3rd Ward closing and General Assembly discontinuing its co-working space, it doesn’t seem like the greatest time to open a new workspace in the city. But that isn’t stopping Rena Tom from bringing her San Francisco-based Makeshift Society to Williamsburg. With 15 minutes to go, its Kickstarter campaign has surpassed its $30,000 fundraising goal. More →
Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.
Looking back at the cover of the L.P. that The Offs released in 1984, we didn’t remember that Jean-Michel Basquiat had designed it. But the image of their lead singer, Don Vinyl, face down, his bicep glistening with the tattoo of a .45 pistol — that we had not forgotten.
We recall Don coming to our apartment the day he got the ink, his arm still red and a little bloody. “Paul Simonon is getting the same one!” he told us, excitedly. It was the summer of 1981 and everyone in the East Village was getting tats, even The Clash. Bob Roberts, The Offs’ saxophonist — and also a tattooist — had done the work for both. More →