While we're all assessing the Bloomberg legacy, we should remember a wonky but big part of the city’s transformation in the last dozen years: the rise of the Business Improvement District. Of New York City’s 68 BIDs in operation today—the latest being the hard-fought SoHo BID—24 were founded since 2002. The BID model runs the gamut from corporate-financed midtown groups, like the 34th Street Partnership, to smaller outer-borough associations that pool money for holiday lights and maybe pay for some extra street cleaning and trash removal. They have taken up roots and cleaned up their areas—and now several are looking to extensively widen their borders, including one in [...]
On a recent five-star November afternoon, I decided to visit Trinity Church Cemetery in northern Harlem. Starting at the plateau on Amsterdam Avenue and 154th Street, I followed the winding paths down through a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves and crumbling crypts, which, glowing in the western sun, appeared almost transitory. As one tends to do in cemeteries, I contemplated the end of all things. Lately, I had heard murmurs about “the death” of the internet, and though inclined to dismiss such speculation as a form of insipid nostalgia that often clings to any recollection of the past—and really, what is the internet if not an infinite collection of memories?—I [...]
"Several photogenic felines from the five boroughs are featured in the traveling 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival, landing in Brooklyn Friday."
Few musical ensembles are so thoroughly synonymous with New York City’s underground scene as the Hungry March Band. Over the past fifteen years they have established themselves as the band that will play anywhere and everywhere, at any time and under all circumstances. Dedicated to “in your face” encounters with mostly unsuspecting audiences, they are a “public” marching band and frequently take to the streets with their instruments, whether they have been invited to do so or not. Once dubbed “Best Anarchist Parade Group” by the Village Voice, HMB gave performances on the streets, sidewalks, and subways of the city that are legendary. The band is large, loud, and [...]
You should run, not walk or train, to Carroll Gardens this week, where one of their restaurants is doing a collaboration with "ramen-burger creator Keizo Shimamoto, who's adding some R&D variety into the fold: Co-owner Justin DeSpirito tells Grub Street that Shimamoto will test-drive a new type of ramen burger every Saturday at Smorgasburg, then bring the fried-noodle-bun novelties to Smith Street for the remainder of each week." While you're there, waiting for your trendy noodle burger, you should take some time and really get to know the neighborhood, perhaps even find a place and settle [...]
"If a young Oliver Twist lived in Brooklyn in 2013, he would probably go to the Brooklyn Porridge Co., a Park Slope pop-up specializing in 'whole grain porridges.'"
The first reports early last week told the story of a disgruntled young man who had been kicked out of a band called the Yellow Dogs, a band of Iranian expatriates. The man, traumatized by his exile and enraged at his friends, the story went, killed his former bandmates before killing himself.
"Iranian 'murdered bandmates' after group ousted him," read the New York Post headline. "Rafie betrayed his bandmates, stealing money and equipment last year," that story went. "Rafie was kicked out of the group, but on Monday returned with a vengeance." A source told the Post that Rafie shouted, "something like, 'Why did you bring me over here [...]
"The band is planning to introduce New Yorkers to their new double-album… with a pair of scantily publicized concerts, played under a false name, in a former sheet-metal and plastics factory in an industrial pocket of Brooklyn with enough room for just 3,000 people."
Those of you who believe that the best view of Brooklyn is from anywhere else will appreciate this video and its preview of 'All Day,' a digital art thing that "lets viewers virtually fly over Brooklyn thanks to photographs that were shot from rooftops around the borough. The work will play on the giant outdoor oculus at the Barclays Center," which I guess is where those of you who are okay with the view of Brooklyn from within that borough can go to see it, starting today.
"Williamsburg died long ago. I put the exact date before Zebulon closed, before Savalas closed, before the unbelievably shitty Brooklyn Bowl opened, way back when the life-changingly awesome Jelly Pool Parties ended. Dunkin changes nothing."
"As Ms. Waldman nursed a bourbon with a splash of soda on ice, the nearby tables filled up with girls in their summer dresses and boys in their graphic tees. The growing conversational murmur was punctuated by the loud burst of gunning motorcycles and muffler-free cars from the unseen Atlantic Avenue…. At a neighboring table, a young man was reading a trade paperback, filtering out the surrounding buzz and abandoning it when a friend appeared."
Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.
Sixty-two years after its publication, notable events in New York City caused the poem "September 1, 1939" to be immediately, and repeatedly, invoked. Its application seemed clear. But so much of Wystan Hugh Auden’s poetry—for both his generation and those to follow—is full of the kind of abstraction that is less readily apparent, of verses that slowly unfurl with each reading.
The sentiments [...]
It’s everything that may annoy you about the new Brooklyn.
A barge from Vermont.
A crowd-sourced barge from Vermont.
Arriving in Brooklyn with produce and artisanal goods.
The goal of the Vermont Freight Sail Project is to establish “a zero-emissions food trading network that builds community.” The barge plans to leave with cocoa beans and locally roasted coffee.
"When Mike D of the Beastie Boys wanted wallpaper for his Brooklyn home, a lightbulb went off for the rockstar—why not create toile inspired by his favorite borough, Brooklyn. Created in collaboration with Vincent J. Ficarra at Revolver New York the wallpaper depicts Brooklyn moms with strollers in tow, Notorious B.I.G., the famous Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, and pigeons—in other words Brooklyn icons of past and present."
You would be forgiven for knowing or caring nothing about the race for Brooklyn District Attorney. However, surely you care about brutal, vicious takedowns, right? The short version is that a young challenger at last unseated the old white man who has been DA since 1989, who admitted defeat and agreed to stumble off. Until he apparently did an about-face, vowing to run as a Republican against his challenger. Here is a truly vicious fact-check on the campaign and it is hilarious. Also you know what goes over so big in Brooklyn? Old white men who are on the ballot as Republicans. Enjoy throwing that money down a well!
I moved to New York City, and I needed to make money. I wasn’t having luck getting a job. It's a common tale.
My solution was to grab my typewriter that I bought at a yard sale for 10 dollars and bring it to a park. I’d write stories for people, on the spot—I wouldn’t set a price. People could pay me whatever they wanted. I knew that I had the gift of writing creatively, very quickly, and my anachronistic typewriter (and explanatory sign) would be enough to catch the eye of passersby. Someone might want something specific; they might just want a story straight from my imagination. I [...]
"When we emerge on Bedford Avenue, Lyonne seems terrified. 'You notice how everything just slowed down?' she asks. 'Why is everybody moving so slowly?' We pass a blonde, dreadlocked hippie playing guitar. 'A handsome young person you could probably sleep with is the Williamsburg equivalent of a homeless guy,' says Lyonne. 'Look at this guy. You could totally take this guy home for a hot meal.' Seconds later, we pass a sofa on the curb. 'He has sex with women on the sofa in broad daylight, while reading The Tin Drum and strumming his guitar,' says Lyonne. 'Welcome to fucking Brooklyn. Does anyone over 50 live here?'" —Natasha Lyonne, [...]