Things To Do
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Biennial Alternatived

99 times out of 100 starting a story with "This year there is a Brooklyn-based alternative to" is an automatic adjuration to close tab, but just this once I'll let it slide.

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Here Is How To Go Out And Enjoy Art Like A Rich Person

This weekend is The Armory Art Fair in New York City. It is not currently held in one of New York City's fine dilapidated armories—these days, we've used some of those to house the large numbers of people made homeless by Hurricane Sandy! Oh and also the one on Park Avenue serves in part as a shelter for mentally ill women, did you know?!—but over on piers 92 and 94, which is basically where West 53rd Street runs into the Hudson. Yes, brr.

In this art fair, a couple of hundred galleries have wedged wares into little booths. People walk around and look at these things. And run into [...]

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Tonight at Housing Works: Nerds About Songs and Feelings!

Tonight at Housing Works, it's a fun event/panel/thing, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Fluxblog. Lots of folks will share a song and talk about their feelings!

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Quiz Show Persists

Awl pal Noah Tarnow's Big Quiz Thing turns ten this year, and he's marking the occasion with a ten-hour live quiz show on Sunday, June 3 at 92YTribeca. There is a thousand dollar prize! Hurry up and get your ticket here.

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Do You Enjoy Listening? Then We Have Plans for You for Tonight

If you're free TONIGHT (and if you happen to live in New York City; sorry in advance, everyone else!), you can head over to the CUNY Graduate Center at 7p.m. to hear esteemed writers Joan Acocella, Rivka Galchen, Alex Ross and David Samuels talk about something called "long-form journalism." Never heard of it, but it sounds fascinating.

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Rich People Things: Live

Got plans tomorrow night? Cancel 'em! Or at least modify them so that you give yourself time to attend this: "Mark Crispin Miller hosts Chris Lehmann, author of Rich People Things: Real-Life Secrets of the Predator Class. In Rich People Things, Chris Lehmann lays bare the various dogmas and delusions that prop up plutocratic rule in the post-meltdown age. It's a humorous and harrowing tale of warped populism, phony reform, and blind deference to the nation's financial elite." Awl pal Chris Lehmann! You'd be a fool to miss it. (McNally Jackson, 7 PM)

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Just a Few Things to Do This Weekend

• Eek, Saturday is MP3 Experiment 8. Um! "Wear a white shirt and bring a bag containing the above-mentioned items."

• Haha, Postmasters is doing a summer group show of art arranged by color. Bring a picture of your couch and you'll know what matches, you heathen.

The Fighter and Iron Man 2 and Let Me In are all new on Netflix Instant, so, just stay home. (Also, apparently Brazil just finally came out on Blu-Ray?) And there's some… Harry Potter thingie? IDK.

• Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn is a competition between 25 amateur ice cream makers.

Or you could stay home and read some [...]

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Walk Through Frozen Midwestern Sea Caves

For the first time in five years, the National Park Service has declared that lucky Midwesterners can safely experience one of about three reasons to allow winter to still exist (the others are daily soup and warm thick socks): the magical sea caves of the Apostle Islands, off the northern tip of Wisconsin in Lake Superior.

In the summertime, people can kayak out there and paddle through the cave system of a few of the 22 Apostle Islands, which sounds, you know, pretty cool. But in the winter, if it's cold enough, everything freezes, and that's when the Apostles get really cool:

By February, an ice bridge might [...]

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Man Who Runs Website Will Answer Questions For You

"I run the website Splitsider and the associated comedy podcast network. In addition, I’ve been performing improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and elsewhere around New York City for years. You can see me pretty much every Saturday night at 10:30pm at the UCB East in NYC with my group Airwolf. I’m also a freelance writer who has worked at and written for such places as Gizmodo, GQ, Spin, Fast Company, Discover, Dvice, and others. Ask me anything."

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Finally, A Reason To Visit Staten Island

Look, I know none of us likes to go to the Isle of Staten, but this sounds pretty cool: "TELETTROFONO is a new site-specific commission by sound artist Justin Bennett and poet Matthea Harvey. Discover the hidden stories, sounds and silences of Staten Island on an audio walking tour along the waterfront. The tour weaves the true story of Antonio Meucci, the unacknowledged inventor of the first telephone (1871), with fantasy. Meucci's wife Esterre was rumored to be a mermaid who left the water for land due to her love of sound." The tour is on Saturdays and Sundays through August 5th. Learn more (and get tickets) here.

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The Story Of Junk

Remember Significant Objects? It's the project from Rob Walker (Buying In) and Joshua Glenn (Taking Things Seriously) wherein writers are paired with a cheap garage sale/thrift shop item chosen by the curators. The writers compose a short story about the item, and the item is put up for auction on eBay. Well, here's your chance to signify! Rob and Kurt Andersen visited a thrift store in Manhattan and picked up "three prime examples of junk." Can you come up with a backstory for them? Of course you can! And you should.

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Quit Your Job Today

717 years ago, Pietro Angelerio, an Italian professional type who had been forced into a promotion to an office he had never desired, decided to quit his job and return to the more sedate climate of his previous position. In honor of Pope Celestine V's resignation we are declaring today Quit Your Job day, although it should be noted that Angelerio had hoped to resume his monastic life as an ascetic pentitent but was in fact taken prisoner by his successor and very probably killed on that same man's orders. So you're going to want to tread carefully with that resignation notice. In any event, go! Do! Quit! [...]

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88 Minutes of Goats Bleating

"His film has no distinctly audible dialogue so doesn't need subtitles, and he doesn't move his camera during the first half-hour. There is no music, just the sound of bells, of the wind in the trees, of the bleating of goats." —Would you like to see a movie tonight? Le Quattro Volte is playing at MoMA at seven. Fair warning: you could perhaps achieve the same qualities of stillness and reverence by staring at your bedroom wall. It's only 88 minutes long—but my God, thirty minutes of unmoving camera! (Also, the title is not to be confused with the delicious four-cheese pizza. I'm hungry.)

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Things to Do this Weekend

• Remember how I told you last week there were going to be fireworks in the East River, nicely visible from Brooklyn? Yeah, my fireworks party didn't go so well either, as there were none. Sorry! But supposedly there are some fireworks Saturday night. (Don't take it from me, ask someone else apparently. Fireworks credibility: ruined!)

Warning: Sunday is gay pride. Don't go west of Broadway. Upside: that means tonight is the drag march. Starts at 7 p.m., Tompkins Square Park.

• Tonight Bob Mould plays at the Highline Ballroom! Have you read his book yet? He's on tourreading tour—across (parts!) of the country. (Related: Pat Benatar [...]

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Delete These Apps From Your Phone! If You Feel Better And More Productive After You've Done That, You Should Take It As A Sign That You Need To Kill Yourself, Because Your Existence Is So Vacuous And Superficial That The Absence Or Presence Of Apps On Your Phone Has Any Sort Of Bearing On The Way You Interact With The World And Feel About Your Life. God, What A Useless Piece Of Shit You Are, App-Having Phone User. People Are Struggling At This Very Moment With The Near-Impossible Task Of Basic Human Survival And You've Got A Little Bit Of An Extra Spring In Your Step Because Your Phone Is A Few Apps Lighter? Seriously, Fill Your Tub With Water, Dunk Your Head In It Twice And Lift It Out Once. You Bring Dishonor To All Of Us, But Most Of All Yourself.

"For 2014, resolve to cleanse your cell phone of unnecessary apps just as you resolve to cut out carbs from your diet. Maybe you loved these apps once, maybe you hooked up with them because someone told you to, or maybe you don’t even remember how they came into your life. Doesn’t matter! The time has come to purge them from your system. We swear you’ll feel instantly lighter."

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Grumpy Man About Town

If you are a fan of curmudgeonly Magnetic Field Stephin Merritt, be aware that he'll be around a bunch in the next few weeks.

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'Significant Objects' Book Launch Is Next Week And You'll Be There

Got plans for July 10th? Liar! That's like 8 days from now, you're not that organized. Anyway, here's what you should do: Head to the Strand for the launch of Significant Objects (the book). "Join contributors LUC SANTE, MATTHEW SHARPE, MIMI LIPSON, BEN GREENMAN, ANNIE NOCENTI, SHELLEY JACKSON, JASON GROTE and Editors JOSHUA GLENN and ROB WALKER as they read their stories from and celebrate the release of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS." So yeah, do that.

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Kraftwerk Does MoMA

What are you doing at the beginning of April? Because this seems promising.

The Museum of Modern Art presents its first time-based artist retrospective with Kraftwerk–Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, performed live on eight consecutive evenings from April 10 through 17, by Kraftwerk, the avant-garde electronic music pioneers. Each evening will consist of a live performance, in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, of works from one of the group’s eight albums, created over four decades, followed by a selection of original compositions from their catalogue adapted specifically for this exhibition’s format, to showcase both Kraftwerk’s historical contributions and contemporary influences [...]

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Tomorrow Night's Zine Party

Zines zines zines. People like them so much better than blogs now. They're like artisanal local blogs. They're the organic watercress of the larger cabbage family that is self-publishing. THIS particular zine is getting a launch party tomorrow night (that's Wednesday, November 16th) at the totally adorable Other Music, from 7 to 9 p.m. Um, Tao Lin will be DJing, so… enter at your own risk. (But then so will the awesome Victor Vazquez!) The people-adverse (technically, yes, -averse, but I like the idea of being people-unfavorable!) among us can just stay home and order the zine here; more info here.) N.B. There is no [...]

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Next Tuesday: The Big Quiz Thing

If you're in town on Tuesday the 6th—and you will be; Labor Day and the summer that preceded it are OVER—you might want to head over to Awl pal Noah Tarnow's Big Quiz Thing at The Highline Ballroom. This one's for the ladies, which makes for a nice change from your usual trivia event: "Proving that acumen knows no gender, the BQT gives a six-round multimedia shout-out to XX-chromosome trivia fans (while welcoming male fans, too), with discount admission for the ladies, a spotlight on women of entertainment and history, and the all-female Three-Way Finale, plus the cash jackpot of $300." You go, girls. Etc.