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Sun’s Out, Signs Out For ‘Close The Camps’ Rallies Against Migrant Detention

As Congress shut its doors for the holiday today, New Yorkers convened at the doors of Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, rallying for the closure of abusive immigrant detention centers. The protest was part of the larger “Close the Camps” movement, a national day of protest pushing members of Congress to stop authorizing funding for family detention, to visit the detainment camps and to push for their closure. Locals, activists and representatives of the organizations leading Close the Camps– including MoveOn, United We Dream, American Friends Service Committee and Families Belong Together– gathered at the steps of Middle Collegiate Church to share personal testimony and their displeasure with the centers. More →

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‘Battle For Bushwick’ Pits Grassroots Anti-Gentrification Plan Against City’s

Bushwick locals are desperately trying to save the neighborhood from the Department of City Planning’s Bushwick Neighborhood Plan— especially since they spent five years laboring to create a plan of their own. The clash of PDFs was the focus of an hours-long meeting on Friday at Bushwick High School. The meeting kicked off the Department of City Planning’s official call for written comments on the Bushwick Neighborhood Plan, a period that will last until July 12th.  More →

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Photos From the Massive Anti-Pride Rally, the Queer Liberation March

(Photos: Amanda Feinman)

Twenty blocks north of the World Pride parade kick-off yesterday, thousands in Bryant Park were singing. Sing Out, Louise! passed out pink-and-black “hymnals”—protest lyrics, set to recognizable Americana (“Somewhere over the rainbow, love trumps hate/Black lives matter to all, and Muslims can immigrate”). When those in attendance came to outnumber the print-outs, latecomers snapped photos of their neighbors’ copies, and followed along on their phones. More →

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Art This Week: Miss Meatface and Many Group Shows

(image via The Untitled Space / Facebook)

Miss Meatface
Opening Tuesday, July 2 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through July 13.

No, “Miss Meatface” does not refer to the latest right-wing woman to adopt the “carnivore diet,” that frightening all-beef culinary regime embraced by the likes of Jordan Peterson; it refers to the artist Kat Toronto, who creates bizarre and entrancing “performance-based photography” under the name Miss Meatface, which resemble stills from some surreal, experimental, BDSM-laced film you want to immediately consume in full. In addition to an exhibition of recent creations by Miss Meatface, Tuesday’s reception will also feature a zine signing and an artist talk between Meatface and The Untitled Space’s director, Indira Cesarine.

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The Stonewall 50 Rally Drew Pride Celebrants of All Stripes

Thousands of people from all over the world crowded around Christopher Park on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising, several nights in the summer of 1969 when patrons of the Greenwich Village gay bar and their allies fought back against routine police harassment and ultimately catalyzed the LGBTQ rights movement. We asked the rally’s attendees where they came from, and what brought them to the dive that’s now a national monument and a worldwide symbol of pride and resistance. Play the video to hear their stories.

Video by Doreen Wang.

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Drawing Inspiration From Tribeca Arts + Culture Night

(Bob Eckstein)

Last Thursday kicked off the Tribeca Arts + Culture Night, an evening of visual art, performance and workshops that took place in over 25 venues. The event was captured by students from NYU’s Graphic Journalism class. Their subjects included artists Erin Ko, Valentin Loellmann, Azadeh Nia, William Yu, musician Kevin Bernstein and the rockabilly band, the Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. More →

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‘Drag Race’ Star Aja Dares Fans to Keep Up With New Hip-Hop Album

(Photo: AJ Jordan)

Aja, mostly, doesn’t care what you think. The rap artist, whose pronouns are “they/them,” came to prominence as a drag queen, through two stints on reality TV (RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9, and Drag Race: All Stars season 3). The two industries they straddle don’t often overlap: one world is dominated, traditionally, by masculinity, and the other by femininity, each with weirdly impermeable borders. But about not conforming to industry standards—or to fan expectations—they’re brash and unapologetic.  More →

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Does ‘Artwashing’ Blur the Line Between Beautification and Gentrification?

(Photo:  Ryan Roco)

Bushwick Collective held its annual block party this month in Bushwick, pairing blocks of street art with food trucks and performances by artists like rapper/pear enthusiast Rick Ross. However, cell phones and pot smoke weren’t the only things in the air. Beside the Jefferson Street L train station, the closest station to the block party, activists hung a bright pink banner reading “Bushwick Collective Exploits Artists + Community.” Activists also stood on a rooftop behind the stage, flying a stark burgundy banner reading “Artists Resist Becoming Weapons of Mass Displacement.” More →

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LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing Development Cleared For Controversial Elizabeth Street Garden Site

Raymond Figueroa, president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, at a rally to save Elizabeth Street Garden last year. (Photo: Ryan Krause)

In the latest chapter of a divisive issue that has pitted garden advocates against city officials and affordable-housing supporters, the City Council approved Haven Green on Wednesday, potentially cinching the fate of the Elizabeth Street Garden, where the city wants to build the development for senior citizens. Now, the project must win in the legal arena as well, after two grassroots organizations filed lawsuits against New York City the first week of March. More →

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Watching ‘Pose’ By the Piers: A Viewing Party in the Shadows of LGBTQ History

(Photos: Trey Strange)

Last Tuesday afternoon, Thomas Deshields threw on a tee shirt and mid-thigh shorts, left his Jersey City apartment and fled to New York City. The 22-year-old stopped in at a liquor store, splurged for a bottle of whiskey and stuffed it into his bag, then sauntered through West Village gay bars — Monster Bar first, then the Hanger — until finally, the clock neared 10 p.m., and he walked down Christopher Street toward the piers. In front of him was Pier 45, where men who look like him have, throughout history, met to hook up and take shelter, where poor New Yorkers have bought and sold drugs, where trans women have turned tricks for cash, and where rich New Yorkers have paid them for it. More →